Temperatures are dropping, which means it’s time for cold weather activities like ice skating — and there are many places throughout Philadelphia to have fun on the ice this winter.
The obvious choice is the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink located in Dilworth Park just outside Philadelphia’s city hall. The Center City ice skating rink opened Nov. 8 for the season and will remain open until Feb. 23, 2020.
Admission to the Rothman rink this season is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 10 and under. Rental skates are offered for $10 and are available in a children’s size 9 to a men’s size 14. Visitors who show a current SEPTA pass or SEPTA Key Card will receive $1 off admission, except on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays.
The Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink also offers Learn to Skate lessons for children and adults. Each lesson is 30 minutes long and led by professional skate instructors. Lessons are held in five weekly sessions beginning Jan. 7 and ending Feb. 4.
The rink has also partnered with Magee Rehabilitation Hospital to offer accessible skating for all. From Jan. 6 to Feb. 23, adults and children with disabilities can reserve a sled to use — free of charge — as well as receive free admission. One adult accompanying the sled user can ice skate free of charge, including a free skate rental. Reservations are required.
In the month of February, skaters can stop by the Capital One Cafe in Rittenhouse to receive a free admission ticket to the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink.
A popular alternative is the Blue Cross RiverRink, located along the Delaware River at Penn’s Landing. Skaters can enjoy the regulation-sized rink, which offers skate rentals, skating lessons, a sharpening service for skates and free events and entertainment.
The rink first opened in 1994 and is now celebrating 26 years of the winter tradition, according to the Delaware River Waterfront website.
“Blue Cross RiverRink is the centerpiece of this magical winter wonderland,” the Delaware River Waterfront wrote on its website. “[The rink is] open to the public … seven days a week, including holidays. The seasonal winter park includes a fairytale winter landscape, world-class ice skating rink, beautiful lighting, outdoor seating area with fire pits, newly-decorated warming cabins, … a Kids Lodge and arcade and chalet-inspired Lodge with festive decor, as well as food and beverages from Garces and Chickie’s and Pete’s.”
Those interested in skating at the Blue Cross RiverRink can find more about the food and beverage menu, which includes allergy-friendly and gluten-free options, on the Delaware River Waterfront website. Skaters can also take a break from the ice and enjoy the multiple warming cabins, outfitted with warm blankets, soft pillows, holiday greens, fireplaces and games. Cabins can be rented online for as low as $75 for a 90-minute window.
Regular admission for ice skating costs $4, while a pair of rental skates costs $10. Skate helpers for children are available for $5. Discounted group skating rates are available for 15 or more people.
And while the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink and the Blue Cross RiverRink steal the show, there are many lesser-known ice rinks open to the public throughout the city.
The Laura Sims Skate House on 63rd Street in West Philadelphia is open to the public every day of the week except Tuesdays and Thursdays. Regular admission is free and rental skates cost $3. The rink also offers open hockey, sled hockey and skating lessons regularly, as well as special events, like Skate with Santa, a Christmas Eve event, Kwanza Trip, Disney on Ice and a New Year’s Eve event.
The Penn Ice Rink at the University of Pennsylvania is also open to the public — except for Tuesdays and Thursdays — for certain periods during the day. Admission is $6 and rental skates cost $3. Group rates are available for 10 or more people.
Philadelphia offers many options for those looking to enjoy some time on the ice this winter. The Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink and the Blue Cross RiverRink are the fan favorites. Both have a lot to offer on and off the ice. But for those looking for a quieter skating experience, two local ice rinks (Laura Sims Skate House and the Penn Ice Rink) also have a lot to offer.