Who’s ready for ice skating, lodge-chilling, s’more-making, fire-pit snuggling and Franklin-Fountain-hot-chocolate sipping? Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, a true winter wonderland, is back from November 24 through March 4 to celebrate the season like no other.
Transforming Penn’s Landing into a winterized riverfront park, the cool weather attraction heads into its 24th year as an outdoor (Olympic-sized) skating rink and its fifth season as Winterfest.
The Delaware River waterfront area gets decked out with holiday lights – more than 100,000 in total – alongside landscaped winter gardens, a rustic lodge with indoor fireplaces and comfy couches, an area for kids filled with arcade games and more.
- Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest season runs November 24 to March 4.
- The attraction offers ice skating, winter gardens, a rustic lodge, food and drink and more.
- Admission to Winterfest is free; food and drink is pay as you go.
- Admission to the RiverRink for ice skating is $3, and skate rental is $10.
A few new Winterfest additions add to the festive fun (extra fire pits, fried Oreos and more!) as does a season-long calendar filled with special events and all-ages programming.
Read on for a rundown of all of the fantastic happenings that Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest brings to Penn’s Landing this year.
The Blue Cross RiverRink Outdoor Ice Rink
The centerpiece of the waterfront experience remains the Blue Cross RiverRink, the only regulation-sized outdoor ice skating rink in Philadelphia. A holiday tradition for more than 20 years, the RiverRink brings skating to Penn’s Landing in view of the scenic Benjamin Franklin Bridge and Delaware River.
Admission to the rink is $3 and on-site skate rentals are available for $10. The destination also serves as a fantastic spot for holiday gatherings and birthday parties and hosts special events on the ice throughout the season.
The Lodge Restaurant & Bar and the Kids Lodge
It’s hard to beat a cup of hot cocoa after a skating session on the ice. When you’re ready to warm up, head to The Lodge, where Winterfest treats abound from Garces Group and Chickie’s and Pete’s.
Menu items include Chickie’s and Pete’s popular Crabfries, warm-you-up tomato soup from Garces, burgers in both meat and veggie forms, Buffalo wings and more.
The Lodge will also feature two different bar locations during peak times, serving an array of local and regional craft beers and spiked cocktails.
With clear views of the skating rink and an abundance of comfy couches, it’s easy to lounge for hours.
Across from The Lodge, find a separate lodge for the kids featuring interactive arcade games, small rides, air hockey and more. Planning a winter birthday party? The space is available for hosting private events, too. For Winterfest group skating rates and party packages, click here.
Franklin Fountain at Winterfest
The Franklin Fountain’s Confectionery Cabin returns for another season of sweet treats at Winterfest.
Look forward to a menu of s’mores kits, ice cream waffle sandwiches, homemade hot chocolate, hot fudge sundaes and seasonal ice cream flavors and floats. Check out the full menu here.
Adjacent to the Franklin Fountain Confectionary Cabin, find five reservable warming cabins furnished with armchairs, loveseats, electric fireplaces and seasonal decor distinctive to each cabin.
The cozy cottages can be booked in advance by clicking here.
In addition to the slew of awesome returning Winterfest attractions, the waterfront park unveils a few brand-new features this year.
At the north end of the rink, find a new gathering space outfitted with heaters for cozying up and topped by a canopy of lights that hang over multiple seating areas.
More fire pits than ever before will also be available this season, making additional room for everyone who wishes to enjoy the winter comfort of a kindling outdoor fire.
And new food options include a wealth of casual, concession-style eats including pizza, pretzels, funnel cake and fried Oreos.
To celebrate the official opening of the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest season, the park hosts free festivities for the entirety of Thanksgiving weekend.
Beyond skating, activities include LEGO building with ColonialLUG, claymation with The Clay Studio, face painting and circus arts. A life-sized snow globe will also pop up for the event, creating photo-ops galore.
From Friday, November 24 through Sunday, November 26, Winterfest will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day. For more information about opening weekend, click here.
Special Events at Winterfest
The Winterfest season kicks off Thanksgiving weekend and continues through early March with a calendar full of free entertainment and special events.
Save the date for four different Fireside Session live concert nights featuring popular local bands playing alfresco by the fire pits. The shows will be held on select Thursday nights in January and February.
In the days leading up to Christmas Eve, Winterfest hosts a dozen movie nights screening popular holiday favorites like A Charlie Brown Christmas, Elf and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
The annual Winterfest Holiday Tree Lighting goes down on December 1, which entails a full night of entertainment from performers including singers, dancers and ice skaters and concludes with a fireworks show.
The fireworks return for Winterfest’s New Year’s Eve Parties on the Ice, ticketed celebrations that feature food, drinks, music, entertainment, ice skating and a spectacular view of the SugarHouse Casino’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront.
To view all of the events taking place at Winterfest this year, click here.
We hope you’re ready to practice your double axel and sip craft brews beside the fire, Philadelphia. See you on the ice!