It’s cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you need to stay indoors for the next few months, huddled in front of the television or by a fireplace. Philadelphia is practically bursting with winter sport options and activities to keep you busy. Whether you want to keep physically active this winter or learn something new, you have several options for keeping busy and warm.
Go Ice Skating
Until 2014, the Blue Cross RiverRink was the only outdoor rink in Center City. That changed when Dilworth Plaza was revamped and the Rothman Institute Ice Rink opened next to City Hall. Now you have two options for outdoor skating and winter sport in the downtown area.
There are some key differences between the two rinks. For one thing, the RiverRink is a bit bigger than the Rothman rink. The prices are also different. Skate rental is $10 at RiverRink and $8 at Rothman. Admission is $4 for adults at Rothman and $3 for adults at RiverRink. RiverRink offers free admission to people with Independence Blue Cross health insurance. The RiverRink is also the home of WinterFest, which features outdoor firepits where you can warm up after a skating session, and The Lodge, a heated tent with a bar, cafe, and snack stand. Both rinks are open through February.
Although many birds have flown south for the winter and many plants are dormant, there’s still a lot of wildlife to see and learn about in the Philly area. Throughout the winter, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum offers a number of guided bird and plant walks. The walks can be eye-opening as well as fun. Even if you don’t go on a walk, you can still explore the Wildlife Refuge throughout the winter. The Refuge was created in 1972 to preserve the Tinicum Marsh area and to provide a green area within the city of Philadelphia. It’s much more than just a park. It’s a fully preserved ecosystem that’s home to a number of native plants and animals — and it’s a great way to get out of the city, without actually leaving the city.
Check Out Cars
Perhaps your idea of winter sport doesn’t involve physical exertion or spending time in nature, but instead focuses on RPM or MPG. If so, a visit to the Philadelphia Auto Show might just the thing to get you through the cold months. A must-attend for gear heads, the show features more than 700 cars from different manufacturers. It starts at the end of January and runs until February 8. Tickets are $13 for adults, with discounts offered for seniors, kids, and active military.
Luxuriate in Spring Greenery
By the end of winter, you’ll probably be looking forward to spring greenery and flowers. Attending the early March Philadelphia Flower Show (held February 28–March 8 this year) is a great way to say goodbye to the dreary months of winter and hello to spring. Even if you’re not a gardener or have managed to kill every plant you’ve ever tried to grow, the Flower Show can be a dazzling event that’s about more than just flowers and plants. You might find inspiration for decorating your Philly home at the show, or get design ideas for an upcoming wedding or other major life event.
During a long Philly winter, it might be tempting to hide indoors. But the number of activities that take place here liven up even the coldest, grayest weather and prove that Philadelphia has a lot to offer those who call it home.
Image Source: Flickr/Tom Ipri
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