Now that Halloweekend has passed and Starbucks has donned its stores in all things holiday, it’s time to start thinking about winter activities. Ice skating is a classic cold–weather sport, but the actual logistics of the activity—finding a rink, renting the skates, realizing you’re nowhere near as skilled as you talked yourself up to be to your friends—can be discouraging. Whether you’re leaning into cuffing season and are looking for a unique date location or have a sudden urge to refine your skating techniques, here’s where to go ice skating this winter in Philadelphia:
If you're seeking the perfect Instagrammable shot:
Dilworth Park, 1 S 15th St. (West Side of City Hall)
The Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink opens Nov. 9 at Dilworth Park, a prime location directly in front of City Hall. With one of the most architecturally impressive buildings in Philadelphia as the backdrop, combined with the ornate string lights strung across the rink and the winter decorations lining the perimeter, this location is the ideal spot for getting a stunning group photo with friends.
Open Monday–Thursday from noon to 9:00 p.m., Friday from noon to 11:00 p.m., Saturday 11:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. Admission is $5 a person, with a $10 skate rental fee, though groups of 10 or more are eligible for a $12 rate, which includes admission and rental fees.
If you're looking to impress a date:
121 N Columbus Blvd.
Opening Nov. 23, The Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest is more than just a ice rink—they advertise themselves as “Philadelphia’s winter tradition,” and given the sheer number of activities on offer outside of skating, that might be a fair assessment. With six food vendors to choose from, rustic warming cabins, a lodge outfitted in winter decorations and couches you practically sink into, an entire area devoted to winter–themed drinks and desserts, and outdoor fire pits, this spot will guarantee an eclectic and impressive first date experience.
Open Monday–Thursday 1:00–11:00 p.m., Friday 1:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m., Saturday 11:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m. Admission to the festival is free, while 90–minute skating passes are $4, with a $10 skate rental fee. Blue Cross offers discounted skating admission for students with a valid student ID during their Monday–Thursday hours.
If you're on a budget:
1001 S Front St.
Located in South Philly, Rizzo Rink has free admission—just pay $4 to rent skates. Rizzo is an indoor rink with a full–serve concession stand, certain to please anyone who's looking to go ice skating for less than they would pay for a cappuccino.
Open Wednesday and Friday 3:30–5:00 p.m., Friday evening 6:30–8:00 p.m., Saturday 5:30–7:00 p.m., and Sunday 3:30–5:00 p.m. and 5:30–7:00 p.m. Public skating starts Nov. 23.
If you just want to try out a wintry sport:
63rd and Walnut streets
A fixture of the West Philadelphia community since 1985, the Laura Sims Skate House has been open for the season since Oct. 19. In addition to open skate hours, the rink offers six–week skating lessons, as well as open hockey games and buy–in sled hockey games. Open hockey is every Tuesday from 8:30–10:00 p.m., with a flat $10 a player fee; sled hockey is every Sunday from 9:00–11:00 a.m., also with a $10 fee. Open skating hours have a free admission and $3 skate rental.
Open skate hours Monday and Wednesday 7:00–9:00 p.m., Friday 7:45–9:45 p.m., and Saturday 3:00–5:00 p.m. and 5:30–7:30 p.m.