7 Ideas for a Winter Getaway for Philly Families

Road trip options to enjoy this winter
Photo courtesy of the National Aquarium

Winter may not officially be here yet, but the first snowfall has us thinking about what to do (and where to go) this winter. Whether you enjoy skiing, building snowmen, or roasting s’mores, there are plenty of cold-weather winter activities to do. If you’re thinking of going away for a winter weekend, there are plenty of options for a quick road trip. 

National Aquarium- Baltimore, MD
Located about 2 hours south of Philadelphia, the National Aquarium in Baltimore is renowned as one of the best in the country. Perfect for a day trip, there’s plenty to do at the Inner Harbor as well. The Shark! Behind the Scenes Tour is available on the weekends; kids must be at least 8 years of age. You’ll be able to visit the food prep area to learn about shark diets, and walk the catwalk above Shark Alley. For younger kids, check out the Dolphin Explorer tour. Marine mammal staff will answer questions, and guide you through research stations.

 Photo courtesy of Gaylord National Harbor

ICE! at the National Harbor- National Harbor, MD
If you’re thinking of making a long weekend in the Maryland area, check out the National Harbor ICE! show. This year’s event is back with a new theme: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The signature holiday attraction at the Gaylord National is available through January 1, 2018. The hand-sculpted winter wonderland is created from 5,000 blocks of ice. ICE! is kept at a cool 9 degrees, so make sure you bring warm shoes, a hat, and gloves. After the show, enjoy some of the other winter activities, including JOY, a live entertainment show. Visitors can enjoy the Gaylord National singers perform sounds of the holiday season. There is also a new Glacier Glide Ice Skating experience in the resort’s Christmas village.

 Photo courtesy of Destination Gettysburg

It might seem like a non-traditional winter getaway, but this is a great time to take in some history. Located about 3 hours away from Philadelphia, Gettysburg is rich with museums.  Often called The Gateway to the Battlefield, Gettysburg National Military Park Museum is a must-see. The museum has 11 galleries, filled with some amazing artifacts from the Battle of Gettysburg. Also, check out Lincoln Railroad Station, the place of greeting for President Lincoln when he came to deliver his Gettysburg Address. After you’ve filled your day with education, check out Liberty Mountain Resort. Located in nearby Carroll Valley, there are slopes, lessons, and a new ice skating rink.

The Poconos
Get your ski and snow tube on as you hit the slopes in The Poconos. It’s the perfect winter getaway for the whole family! Big Boulder, Blue Mountain, and Jack Frost are just a few places for some classic winter fun. Why not take a ride in a horse-drawn sleigh at Daisy Field Farm? Wrap up with a blanket and enjoy the winter wonderland. It’s not all snow, though. Check out Kalahari Resorts to warm up in the 84-degree indoor waterpark.

New York City
It’s one thing to see it on TV, but the tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City is really a winter must. While you’re there, grab a pair of ice skates and enjoy the time-honored rink. It’s always fun to see a Broadway show, but we recommend taking advantage of the winter-themed shows, like The Nutcracker. The Radio City Rockettes are a great staple of the Christmas Spectacular. 2017’s show boasts updated technology, enhanced by a brand new 8K LED wall. For the first time ever, digital projections will extend to all eight of Radio City Music Hall’s iconic proscenium arches.

Yes, Hersheypark is fun in the summer, but you don’t want to miss Christmas Candylane and Hershey Sweet Lights this winter. If you’re planning a trip later in the winter, check out The Hershey Story Museum. The 45-minute Chocolate Lab experience is a great way to learn about chocolate, and make your own! Hershey’s Chocolate World is also a lot of fun. Besides the retail store, you can create your own candy bar, and get on the famous Great American Chocolate Tour ride.

 Photo courtesy of Strasburg Rail Road Company

Strasburg, PA
If you haven’t been able to make it to the Strasburg Railroad for A Day Out With Thomas!, there’s still time this season to enjoy the railroad in a different way. From December 26-31, 2017 the regular train will be available for train lovers. There may even still be a few openings left for the Christmas Coach on December 16 and 17. While you’re in the area, consider making a stop at Dutch Winter Wonderland. Open through December 30, enjoy rides, entertainment and thousands of twinkling lights.

National Aquarium
501 E Pratt St
21202 Baltimore , MD 39° 17' 5.37" N, 76° 36' 25.7112" W
Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
201 Waterfront Street
20745 National Harbor , MD
Phone: 301-965-4000
38° 46' 53.9112" N, 77° 1' 2.0856" W
Strasburg Rail Road
301 Gap Rd
17572 Ronks , PA
Phone: 866-725-9666
39° 58' 59.0592" N, 76° 9' 35.1504" W
The Gettysburg Foundation
1195 Baltimore Pike
17325 Gettysburg , PA
Phone: 717-338-1243
39° 48' 41.6628" N, 77° 13' 33.798" W
Radio City Music Hall
1260 Avenue of the Americas
10020 New York , NY 40° 45' 35.9172" N, 73° 58' 47.91" W
New York
100 W. Hersheypark Drive
17033 Hershey , PA
Phone: 717-534-3900
40° 17' 24.702" N, 76° 39' 18.7056" W