Updated: Feb 5, 2021
One way to safely skate through the winter, and perhaps the last few pre-vaccination months (hopefully) is by ice skating. Here’s what you can expect at a couple of local outdoor ice rinks.
When you ice skate at the RiverRink, the breathtaking views of the Ben Franklin Bridge spanning the Delaware River are sure to warm your heart. If that’s not enough, you can snuggle up in a warming cabin, make s'mores by a fire pit or sip on a warm cocktail.
For the first time, two summer-time attractions -- a Ferris wheel and boardwalk games -- are open this winter too.
The following protocol in place for everyone’s safety.
Masks must be worn, except when seated and eating or drinking
Guests must stay 6 feet apart
Touch-free ordering of food/drink using a QR code is available
Seating is socially distant
Seating areas, restrooms, skates and all public areas are regularly disinfected
Sneeze guards have been installed between guests and vendors
Hand sanitizer can be found throughout the area
The RiverRink is open 7 days a week. Ice skating admission $5; skate rental $10; kid’s skate helpers $5; lockers $1. Cabin rental ranges from $75 to $125 for a 90 minute session and the fire pits are $30. Food and drink not included. Advanced purchase of tickets is strongly recommended. Open through March 7, 2021.
Tip: Independence Blue Cross card holders get complimentary admission. Card required for entry.
Dilworth Park, on the west side of City Hall, is an inviting gathering spot, as originally intended by William Penn when he designed the city. This time of year, you can enjoy the ice skating rink, Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin and the Wintergarden. Watch for special events including a Sweetheart Skate on Valentine’s Day, free story hours and a Lunar New Year Celebration.
Food and drinks, including seasonal cocktails and beer, are available in the cabin. Tables in the cabin are socially distant and masks are required except when eating and drinking. There are also individual fire pits.
The outdoor Wintergarden is designed for maximum Instagrammability with twinkling lights and reindeer topiary. And it’s free.
The ice skating rink is operating with timed tickets and limited capacity. Advance purchase of tickets is recommended. Admission is $5 for children aged 10 and under. $7 for adults. Skate rental is $10. Children and adults with physical/developmental disabilities can reserve a sled. Lockers are available. There is free skating on Tuesdays from noon to 1 p.m. and college students get discounts on Thursday evenings. Open through February 28, 2021.
Tip: In February each skater will receive one free admission pass at the end of their session to return later in the month, subject to availability during remaining time slots. Subscribers of Center City District’s email newsletter will also be able to get free passes. To subscribe: centercityphila.org/signup.
Outdoor Ice Skating in Parks
These Pennsylvania parks offer ice skating. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources publishes a winter report weekly. For more information about conditions, visit
In Bucks County: Delaware Canal State Park in Upper Black Eddy; Nockamixon State Park in Quakertown; Tyler State Park in Newtown
In Chester County: Marsh Creek in Downingtown
In Montgomery County: Green Lake Park in Green Lake
In Berks County: French Creek State Park in Elverson
Update: Philadelphia Parks & Recreation has opened 5 ice rinks. Click here for details.
Lace up your skates for a safe and romantic date, fun family activity or to create memories with your friends.
by Irene Levy Baker, author, 100 Things To Do In Philadelphia and Unique Eats & Eateries of Philadelphia. Both books are full of tips. For even more tips, visit www.100ThingsToDoInPhiladelphia.com. Planning a staycation? Need gifts? Go to the website for signed copies of books. For free shipping, use promo code TheCityPulse. Click here for more blog postings by Irene Levy Baker including where to get warm cocktails, Philly-themed masks and socially-distant tours.