Outdoor Ice Skating in the Philadelphia Area
As the chill settles into the Philadelphia area, it's tough to think of a more traditional outdoor winter activity to do with the family than ice skating. Getting bundled in hats and scarves, lacing up your skates, and warming up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate after a spin on the ice is sure to please kids young and old. This year, ice skating might be more popular as families search for safe and entertaining activities out of doors and away from electronic devices.
Several outdoor ice rinks have set up in the Philadelphia area this season, providing unique settings for this winter activity. Many Pennsylvania state parks also offer ice skating when the conditions are right. In the current COVID environment, most spots require masks, and capacity is limited to promote social distancing. Be sure to check directly with the location for the latest updated information.
For other great ideas on ways to spend these winter months, browse through our Winter Fun Guide for Philadelphia Families. It's filled with the best spots to ski, tube, sled, and visit when the weather is cold.
While we try to promote safe activities that occur outdoors or with social distancing guidelines in place, keep your family and others safe by wearing a mask and maintaining appropriate distance. If you arrive at an event that appears too crowded, try using the “nearby” search feature on our event calendar to find something else to do.
Skate and enjoy Winterfest at the Blue Cross RiverRink. Photo by Matt Stanley/Delaware River Waterfront Corporation
Outdoor Pop-Up Ice Rinks in the Philly Area
Blue Cross RiverRink—Philadelphia
This scenic location along the Delaware River opened November 27 and runs through March 7, 2021 for its annual Winterfest celebration. More than just ice skating, the venue offers amusements, boardwalk games, cabins to warm up in, and firepits to roast marshmallows. Reservations for both ice skating and cabins/fire pits are suggested.
Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park—Philadelphia
Located at City Hall and open through February 28, 2021, skaters have a unique experience surrounded by Center City skyscrapers. Skate rentals and lockers are available as well as skate aids for children 10 and younger. Discounts are available for college students. Dilworth Park also offers the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market, Wintergarden, and the Deck the Halls Light Show.
Horizon Services Riverfront Rink—Wilmington, Delaware
Unfortunately, this outdoor ice rink will not be opening for the 2020 season due to COVID.
Outdoor Ice Skating in State and County Parks near Philly
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources posts a weekly winter activities report with ice skating conditions at several state parks. The website also posts ice skating safety tips from December until the spring thaw. In general, skaters should test the ice prior to skating. The recommended thickness is four inches. Other advice includes spreading out on the ice, avoiding areas with logs and debris as well as spots with cracks. Also, be sure to check the weather forecast in advance.
Philly-area state parks with outdoor ice skating (conditions permitting) include:
Delaware Canal State Park—Upper Black Eddy
The park will be drawing down water levels to complete repairs. Check back to view progress.
French Creek State Park—Elverson
This park, situated in Berks County, offers the natural ice of two lakes, which can be skated upon when conditions permit.
Green Lane Park—Green Lane
Located in Montgomery County, this park offers outdoor ice skating, conditions permitting.
In addition to sledding and cross country skiing, Marsh Creek offers ice skating, which is permitted on the natural ice. Note: Ice thickness is not monitored.
Nockamixon State Park—Quakertown
Skating is permitted on the lake when the ice is at least four inches thick at the park in Bucks County.
Tyler State Park—Newtown
Ice skating is allowed near the boathouse warming area when the Neshaminy Creek freezes. Ice thickness is not monitored.
This post was updated in December 2020.
Places featured in this article:
Blue Cross RiverRink
Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park
Horizon Riverfront Rink
Marsh Creek State Park
French Creek State Park
Tyler State Park
Delaware Canal State Park
Nockamixon State Park
Green Lane Park