From open-air skating rinks and idyllic spots with twinkling lights to indoor arenas.
Originally posted by Thrillist Philadelphia
By Allie Volpe
Lace up those skates, Philly! The temps are approaching single-digits, which means there’s not much to do but glide across your neighborhood ice rinks.
Breathe in that crisp winter air and partake in the quintessential seasonal activity or check out an indoor rink because sometimes it really is too cold to be outside. We’ve got both options on this list of the best places to go ice skating in Philadelphia this winter. And don’t worry: Whether you have your own pair of blades or need to rent some, all of these local rinks have you covered.
A true winter wonderland overlooking the Delaware River, Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest packs all the seasonal vibes into one place. Between the twinkling lights, ferris wheel, boardwalk games, cozy cabins, and fire pits, you might miss the NHL-sized rink. But the space’s centerpiece, the ice rink, is open seven days a week until early March with advance timed tickets highly recommended to hit the ice for 90-minute skate sessions. Don’t have your own skates? Don’t fret: You can rent skates there.
Cost: $5 skating admission, $12 skate rental, $1 locker rental, pay-as-you-go food and drink
Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
What was once a barren field was transformed into a winter wonderland for Flight On Ice. This outdoor skating rink in Newtown Square is now open for its second season, running through late February 2023, with 90-minute public skating sessions, fire pits, and hot cocoa. String light-adorned trees surround the rink and a warm hospitality tent will serve snacks and drinks.
Cost: $12 skating admission, $10 skate rental, pay-as-you-go food and drink
Voorhees, New Jersey
Feel like a pro and take a lap or two around the rink at the Philadelphia Flyers’ official practice facility. Located in South Jersey, the indoor rink hosts public skating for 90 minutes every afternoon, with additional sessions on Friday and Saturday nights. Or if you’re looking to up your game, you could join a hockey league or take skating lessons.
Cost: $12 skating admission, $5 skate rental
Sewell, New Jersey
With two neighboring facilities, Hollydell Ice Arena offers double the open skate opportunities: Weekday afternoons at the main facility and weekends at Hollydell North. Not only does the South Jersey rink offer open skate, but it also has open hockey and public stick and puck skills sessions.
Cost: $10 skating admission, $6 skate rental
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
With two rinks, this South Jersey-based facility caters to skaters of all levels, from beginners to adult hockey teams. As for open skate, the public can come stretch their legs for 90 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings and 90 minutes on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and Saturday evenings. Plus, a restaurant and pro shop are situated on site for any bit of gear you’d ever need.
Cost: $10-16 skating admission, free skate rental
Hockey players, or aspirational hockey players, will enjoy the plethora of programs available here, from youth hockey leagues to open hockey time. For those who prefer a casual skate, this Northeast Philly rink offers two-hour public skate on weekday afternoons, Friday nights, and weekend afternoons. Heads up: You must register ahead of time.
Cost: $16 skate admission with skate rental
After 12 years of campaigning, West Philadelphian Laura Sims successfully lobbied city council to open a skating rink in Cobbs Creek in 1985. Now her namesake Olympic-sized rink hosts free open skating on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from October through May.
Cost: Free skating admission, $3 skate rental
Located on Penn’s campus, this professional-sized ice rink provides ample space for gliding and plenty of seating for spectators. Public skating is held every day except for Tuesdays and Thursdays (advance registration is recommended). Plus, skating lessons and facility rentals for birthday parties are available.
Cost: $7-8 skating admission, $4 skate rental
This Main Line skating facility is touted as America’s first skating club and is specifically designed with figure skating in mind: lots of natural light, a wall of mirrors, and, most importantly, no hockey teams. So if you’re looking to feel like a stately skater, head to the rink on Sundays during family skate or Friday evening for public skate.
Cost: $10 skating admission, $5 skate rental
With three NHL-sized rinks and one Olympic-sized surface, Premier Orthopaedics IceWorks has tons of frozen ground for you to glide on, plus a cafe, restaurant, arcade, and pro shop. The facility offers ample public skate time, too—weekdays at noon, Fridays at 7:30 pm, and Saturdays at 2 pm—with annual memberships for unlimited skating.
Cost: $12-15 skating admission, $3 skate rentals (Wednesday free skate rental)
Billed as South Philly’s best-kept secret (guess the cat’s out of the bag now), the ice rink under I-95 specializes in youth hockey programs, but on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, the public can stop by for free pseudo-outdoor public skate sessions. Bundle up and let the sound of overhead traffic provide a soundtrack.
Cost: Free skating admission, $5 skate rental
Perhaps one of the more visible outdoor rinks due to its central location at Dilworth Park, the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink provides al fresco skating under whimsical string lights through the end of February. Make a reservation any day of the week for a 90-minute skating sesh (lockers and skate rental are available, too) and then refresh afterward in the ski chalet-inspired Cabin, complete with winter foliage, dangling lights, and a menu of Maker’s Mark Bourbon and Haku Japanese Vodka cocktails.
Cost: $5-8 rink admission, $10 skate rental, $10 locker rental, pay-as-you-go food and drink
The ice rink in the rec center at the Scanlon Playground hosts student teams but also opens its doors to the public on weekends and Monday and Wednesday nights through the end of March, with plenty of space to frolic and fall.
Cost: Free skate admission, $3 skate rental
First opened as an outdoor rink in the 1950s, the rink at Simons Recreation Center is now indoors, but with large windows and bright yellow rafters. The public can drop in for skating Wednesday and Friday nights and during the late afternoon on Tuesdays and Thursdays through late May.
Cost: Free skate admission, $4 skate rentals
First opened in the ‘70s, Skatium is the home rink of the St. Joseph’s University ice hockey team. Take a photo under the retro “Skatium” sign during regular public skate or open hockey, with schedules updated weekly. Generally, public skate is held on weekend afternoons, mornings on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and nights on Fridays.
Cost: $3-8 skating admission, $2 skate rentals
Northeast Philly’s Tarken Ice Rink has an old-school feel—it was originally built in the ‘50s—with exposed rafters and a concession stand. Come for a lap (or several) during public hours on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and Mondays.
Cost: Free skate admission, $3 skate rental
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks
This holiday lights attraction also comes with its own ice rink. Explore the space during 60-minute skating sessions overlooking the larger-than-life light structures through December 31. Just keep in mind that a skating ticket doesn’t get you access to Tinseltown (read: the area where all the lights are) and vice versa.
Cost: $5-10 skating admission, $10 skate rental
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Jersey’s version of Winterfest features an outdoor rink surrounded by illuminated trees, fire pits, and a toasty lodge where weary skaters can refuel with food and drinks. Open until late February, Winterfest doesn’t require advance reservations and offers skate rentals on site.
Cost: $5.50-7.50 skating admission, $6 skate rental, pay-as-you-go food and drink
Open for more than half a century, the Wissahickon Skating Club has a public skating program, giving visitors the opportunity to skate for 90 minutes on Saturday afternoons and for two hours on Friday evenings through May. For serious skaters, memberships are available if you want access to family skating sessions and kid and adult lessons.
Cost: $7-9 skating admission, $3 skate rental