Philly Winter Fun List: 40 Things To Do with Kids

The Harry Potter Exhibit casts its spell on Philly this February. Photo courtesy of the Franklin Institute
The Harry Potter Exhibit casts its spell on Philly this February. Photo courtesy of the Franklin Institute
1/16/22 - By Lindsay Li

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

1. Harry Potter: The Exhibition

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.

2. Hit the Rink 

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.

3. Build a Fort

Throw it back to your own childhood and help the kids construct a super cool secret hideaway.

4. Ski and Snowboard

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

Chilly Philly Mini Golf at Franklin Square
Hit a hole-in-one at Franklin Square's Chilly Philly Mini-Golf. Photo by J. Fusco for Historic Philadelphia

5. Play Chilly Philly Mini-Golf

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.

6. Spend a Day at American Dream

Take the family up the New Jersey Turnpike for mini-golfing, indoor skiing, a water park, and a Nickelodeon-themed indoor amusement park.  

7. Walk Around Longwood Gardens

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

8. Sled Down a New Hill

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

Hot Chocolate Bombs
Kids are always in the mood for hot chocolate bombs. Photo by Ally Noel

9. ...Then Make Hot Chocolate Bombs

Use this exciting and delicious spin on hot chocolate for a yummy treat after spending time outdoors. 

10. Explore the Virtual Calendar

Play the guitar, polish up your art skills, learn about coding, and more—Mommy Poppins has virtual events that fit every interest. 

11. Take a Winter Hike

Bundle up, pack a hearty lunch, and draw in the cool air at one of these local hiking destinations.  

12. Visit an Indoor Water Park

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.

14. Create at the Art Museum

Supplies are provided and art projects and themes change monthly for these Sunday studio sessions. Children are free. 

RELATED: Guide to Philly Museums 

Snowflake Train
Take a scenic ride on the Snowflake Train. Photo courtesy of Colebrookdale Railroad

15. Ride the Snowflake Train

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. 

16. Visit Adventure Aquarium

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. 

17. Explore a Free Museum

Art, science, history, or nature, wherever your interests lie, exploring them for free is an option on certain days. 

18. Head to Dilworth Park

Enjoy the pretty seasonal topiaries at Wintergarden or go ice skating at the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink.

19. Snow Tube Down a Mountain

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

Amur Tiger at the Philadelphia Zoo.
Say hello to Dimitri the Amur Tiger at the Philadelphia Zoo. Photo courtesy of the zoo 

20. See Animals at the Zoo

The Philadelphia Zoo reopens for Friday–Sunday daytime visits beginning in February.

21. Experience Winter at Morris Arboretum

Walk around for amazing views of the grounds and get a bird's eye view from the Out on a Limb exhibit. 

22. Play Indoor Mini-Golf at Linvilla

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. 

23. Touch Bugs at the Insectarium

The Philadelphia Insectarium & Butterfly Pavilion is crawling with hands-on exhibits for kids who can't get enough of arthropods.

24. Catch the Last Holiday Lights 

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. 

26. Share Love for Valentine's Day

Explore our list of ways to incorporate the holiday of love into crafts, meals, and more. 

27. Visit Peace Valley Nature Center 

Winter events run into March and include storytime and guided walks with themes like "Out of Hibernation", "Blue Bird Workshop", and "Maple Sugar Day". 

28. View the Invisible World of Water

This exhibit at The Academy of Natural Sciences invites visitors to explore water through artwork. 

Jurassic Quest
Dinosaurs dominate at Jurassic Quest. Photo courtesy of Jurassic Quest

29. Roar with Dinosaurs 

Jurassic Quest, with over 100 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs, will be at the Pennsylvania Convention Center through January 23.

30. Take a Winter Hayride

Come out to Cedar Grove Park in Conshohocken for this lighted winter hayride that features holiday lights, a wintry tale, and a sweet treat. 

31. Check Out Toy Trains

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.  

32. Try a Kid-friendly Recipe

Sure, these recipes originated on TikTok, but that may be all it takes to gain some traction with the kids. 

33. Get Air at a Trampoline Park

These aren't just for the kids; parents are also sure to enjoy a trip upwards.  

34. Get Out of an Escape Room

Put all the heads in your family together and solve a riddle to reach the end. 

35. Ride a Battleship

Head over to the New Jersey side of the Delaware River to board "America's Most Decorated Battleship" and experience life as a sailor.  

36. Hit Up a Mommy and Me Class

Learn together with your little one while having fun, too. 

37. Go Maple Sugaring

Tree-tapping season officially kicks off in February with sugarings and tastings running through April.

Museum of Illusions.
Your eyes will play tricks on you at the Museum of Illusions. Photo by Jody Mercier

38. Watch for the Museum of Illusions

Slated to open in March, this museum will surely trick your eyes and entertain your mind.

39. Plan a Weekend Getaway

Consider these drivable options to explore another area. 

40. Plan Your Summer Vacation

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. 

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