Even in the winter, the Greater Philadelphia area is packed with exciting things to do. Actually, I think this city is even more magical in the winter. Sure, you could stay inside snuggled up under a comfy blanket drinking tea and reading a book — one of my many favorite past times — but when you’re ready to explore, these are some of the things you should be doing if you find yourself in and around Philly during the winter!
Go Ice Skating at the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
If you dress correctly, ice skating is one of the coolest things to do in the winter time. Ramp up the coolness even more by ice skating along (not on because that’s impossible and unsafe) Philadelphia’s scenic Delaware River.
Head down to the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest until March 3rd, 2019 to get your blood pumping and have some fun on the ice. If you’re like me, you’ll also want to indulge in some crabby fries and a few spiked hot chocolates to take the edge off. When you’re done on the ice, take a seat around one of the fire pits that they have there and have a few more.
Explore the Wintergarden at Dilworth Park
Guess what? There’s MORE places to go ice skating in Philly during the winter including at the Wintergarden at Dilworth Park. Ice skate right right next to City Hall or take a stroll through the meticulously designed greenery garden that has taken over Dilworth Park.
If you get hungry or thirsty during your skate, head on into the Rothman Orthopedics Cabin for some delicious chili or fries. You can also warm up with spiked hot chocolate or a hot toddy featuring Maker’s Mark liquor.
Visit the Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood Gardens
So, Longwood Gardens isn’t in the city… but it’s totally worth the drive especially during the Orchid Extravaganza. The Longwood Gardens staff goes all out when it comes to this winter event by transforming their indoor and outdoor landscapes into a seemingly never ending field of orchids. While you’re taking in the incredible displays that the Longwood Gardens team has put together, stop by one of the on-site fooderies for a bite to eat or a boozy drink.
Have a GNO (Game Night Out) at Thirsty Dice
Thirsty Dice, Philly’s first (and only for the time being) board game cafe offers both introverts and extroverts a winter activity that they can get behind. The concept is simple — you show up, you pick a game from their more than 800 board games, and you play.
The set up couldn’t be more perfect honestly — you’re out of the house but you’re comfy, cozy, and getting low-key drunk with your friends while playing board games from just about every era.
Play a few rounds of cards and then roll out, or settle in for a multi-hour game of Dungeons and Dragons. No matter how long you stay or when you come, Thirsty Dice has you covered with a full bar, hot coffee from Herman’s, milkshakes, and an array of comfort food like mac ‘n’ cheese and pizza.
Walk Through the Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of is open year-round but the fact that it’s an indoor activity that takes many hours to complete makes it one of the best things to do in Philly during the winter. Many of the installations are permanent with temporary exhibitions filtering in and out throughout the year.
This winter season, visitors will be able to explore several different temporary exhibitions including the Fabulous Fashion exhibition which displays everything from “romantic ball gowns to audacious contemporary ensembles, and everything in between.”
If you visit before February 10, 2019, you’ll also be able to explore the Between Nature and Abstraction exhibition, which features a wide selection of pieces by American painter Edwin Dickinson.
Go to One of the Many Shows at the Pennsylvania Convention Center
Throughout the year, the Pennsylvania Convention Center hosts a wide variety of events, and three of the most exciting events of the year (in my opinion) take place during the winter months. This year, you won’t want to miss out on the Philadelphia Auto Show (February 2-10, 2019), the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention (February 15-17, 2019), and the Philadelphia Flower Show (March 2-10, 2019).
The prices for tickets to all three events hover around $20 for regular Joe adults like me. But you’ll want to check their websites for more details — you may get a discount by ordering a ticket online rather than at the box office.
Do a Fun Taste Test at the New Bourse Food Hall
In the 1890s, The Bourse was conceptualized and built as a place for Philadelphians to meet and exchange goods. One hundred years later, this concept is being revamped to provide locals and visitors alike with a unique shopping and eating experience.
Now, The Bourse is an upscale shopping destination packed with artisan foodery stands to eat from. Round up a group this winter and stop by The Bourse to sample gourmet grilled cheese from Mighty Melt, poke bowls from Abunai Poke, and sticky buns unlike any you’ve ever had before from Barry’s Buns.
See? You can have fun on the East Coast in the winter!