Check back soon! This piece is currently being updated for 2022-23.
Winter can test your creativity in entertaining the kids, and sometimes you just need to get out of the house or at least find new indoor activities. Fortunately, we have some amazing outdoor winter activities that allow kids to romp, play, and explore, as well as fresh ideas for being at home that can shake off winter fatigue while keeping the family safe.
For all the best ways to make the most of the chilly temps, check out 20+ Free Activities for Philly Kids this Winter, and don't miss our Winter Activities Guide.
Winter Activities Near Philly for Kids
Guests can expect the magic of Hogwarts to come alive at the Franklin Institute with Harry Potter: The Exhibition. Visitors will learn about the artistry and craftsmanship behind the blockbuster films of Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts. The exhibit opens in February, and tickets are available online.
Lace your skates for a spin on the ice and then warm up by a fire pit. Some of Philly's outdoor rinks also have games and other kid-friendly activities, and of course, hot chocolate.
Throw it back to your own childhood and help the kids construct a super cool secret hideaway.
Many of Pennsylvania's mountains make the perfect visit for families with young kids who are just starting, but experts are sure to find fun as well.
RELATED: Free Indoor Play Spaces for Philly Kids
Hit a hole-in-one at Franklin Square's Chilly Philly Mini-Golf. Photo by J. Fusco for Historic Philadelphia
Bundle up for a hole-in-one during a chilly game of Philly Mini Golf presented by IBEW Local 98 at Franklin Square. Putt the ball amid familiar miniaturized Philadelphia sites.
Take the family up the New Jersey Turnpike for mini-golfing, indoor skiing, a water park, and a Nickelodeon-themed indoor amusement park.
Take in the beauty of the well-manicured grounds, and catch the Winter Wonderland exhibit running through March.
RELATED: At-Home Activities Guide
Grab a sled and prepare for an outdoor adventure. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
We've already had our first snowfall of the year, and if you missed one of these sledding spots, be sure to hit it up next time. We've even organized the hills by suitability for each age group.
RELATED: Easy Recipes for Kids
Kids are always in the mood for hot chocolate bombs. Photo by Ally Noel
Use this exciting and delicious spin on hot chocolate for a yummy treat after spending time outdoors.
Play the guitar, polish up your art skills, learn about coding, and more—Mommy Poppins has virtual events that fit every interest.
Bundle up, pack a hearty lunch, and draw in the cool air at one of these local hiking destinations.
Grab your bathing suits and try out one of the many options in the Poconos.
13. Volunteer as a Family
Opportunities abound on MLK Day of Service, and many of the organizations on our holiday volunteering list need help year-round.
Supplies are provided and art projects and themes change monthly for these Sunday studio sessions. Children are free.
RELATED: Guide to Philly Museums
Take a scenic ride on the Snowflake Train. Photo courtesy of Colebrookdale Railroad
Climb aboard the train for a two-hour ride and watch the snowy world go by on a journey through the Secret Valley. The trip departs from and arrives in Boyertown, Pennsylvania.
Cross the bridge to visit the over 15,000 aquatic animals this winter. One child gets in for free during the week through February 4.
Art, science, history, or nature, wherever your interests lie, exploring them for free is an option on certain days.
Enjoy the pretty seasonal topiaries at Wintergarden or go ice skating at the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink.
If you want the mountain experience without skiing or snowboarding, snow tubing is offered at most local ski resorts.
RELATED: 40 Outdoor Activities for Kids this Winter
Say hello to Dimitri the Amur Tiger at the Philadelphia Zoo. Photo courtesy of the zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo reopens for Friday–Sunday daytime visits beginning in February.
Walk around for amazing views of the grounds and get a bird's eye view from the Out on a Limb exhibit.
Tee up the fun and learn about butterflies, the rain forest, food chains, and more at this event created by the Academy of Natural Sciences.
The Philadelphia Insectarium & Butterfly Pavilion is crawling with hands-on exhibits for kids who can't get enough of arthropods.
If you missed Shady Brook Farm's holiday light show drive-thru over the holidays, there's still time to view it on weekends throughout January.
25. Admire Native Art
This new exhibit Water, Wind, Breath: Southwest Native Art in Community opens this February at the Barnes and will feature Pueblo and Navajo pottery, textiles, and jewelry.
Explore our list of ways to incorporate the holiday of love into crafts, meals, and more.
Winter events run into March and include storytime and guided walks with themes like "Out of Hibernation", "Blue Bird Workshop", and "Maple Sugar Day".
This exhibit at The Academy of Natural Sciences invites visitors to explore water through artwork.
Dinosaurs dominate at Jurassic Quest. Photo courtesy of Jurassic Quest
Jurassic Quest, with over 100 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs, will be at the Pennsylvania Convention Center through January 23.
Come out to Cedar Grove Park in Conshohocken for this lighted winter hayride that features holiday lights, a wintry tale, and a sweet treat.
The Museum of American History in Deptford, New Jersey will have trains from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s on display through January for a small admission fee.
Sure, these recipes originated on TikTok, but that may be all it takes to gain some traction with the kids.
These aren't just for the kids; parents are also sure to enjoy a trip upwards.
Put all the heads in your family together and solve a riddle to reach the end.
Head over to the New Jersey side of the Delaware River to board "America's Most Decorated Battleship" and experience life as a sailor.
Learn together with your little one while having fun, too.
Tree-tapping season officially kicks off in February with sugarings and tastings running through April.
Your eyes will play tricks on you at the Museum of Illusions. Photo by Jody Mercier
Slated to open in March, this museum will surely trick your eyes and entertain your mind.
Consider these drivable options to explore another area.
It's never too early to start dreaming about warm weather and plan your summertime bucket list.
Writer Corrie Stango contributed to an update of this post in January 2022.