Dilworth Park Opens its Ice Rink and Wintergarden This Week


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Thanksgiving who? Dilworth unveils its ice-skating rink, Wintergarden maze, and holiday season plans for November. Plus, a reindeer Phillies makeover!


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Skating at Dilworth Park returns this week / Photograph by Laura Swartz

Now that Halloween is over, holiday season is apparently fair game. So if you’re looking to get festive early, Dilworth Park is on it.

Today, November 1st, Dilworth began its transformation into a winter wonderland with its annual Wintergarden. This open-air labyrinth of lights, animal topiaries and rustic decor is perfect for photo ops and fun, but there’s an added bonus this year: Phillies spirit!

Some of the reindeer topiaries in the Center City park’s garden can be seen wearing Phillies jerseys and other gear.

A Phillies-clad reindeer topiary in Dilworth Park / Photograph courtesy of Center City District

Later in the season, look for a Chaddsford Winery kiosk in the garden selling mulled wine. (Pro-tip: Mix the red and white together for an off-menu “215.” Thank me later.)

This Friday, November 4th, the rest of Dilworth gets activated with the opening of Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink and Cabin. The ribbon cutting at 11:30 a.m. will include a snow shower and a skate performance by children from West Philly’s Laura Sims Skate House.

The rink will be open daily (including on Thanksgiving and Christmas) through February 26, 2023. Skating sessions are available in 90-minute timeslots online. You can take your chances with walk-up ticket sales, but for weekends, especially, advance online reservations are your best bet. Admission is $5 for children 10 and younger, and $8 for adults; skate rentals are an additional $10 per person, but you can bring your own skates to avoid that rental fee.

There are also adorable penguin skate aids you can rent for $15 an hour. The website says they are for children ages 10 and under, but I have been known to “share” with my daughter. You can also rent an on-site locker for $10 (or just throw your shoes under a bench and hope for the best). Lockers and skate aids can be reserved online or in-person.

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Another reindeer Phillies fan in Dilworth Park / Photograph by Laura Swartz

From January 2, 2023 through February 26, 2023, children and adults with disabilities can reserve a sled for skating. One adult accompanying the person using the sled will get free admission and skate rental, as well. To reserve a sled, email here.

SEPTA Pass and Key Card holders can show their pass or card for $1 off ice-skating admission, as can Temple University staff and students with their IDs. But never mind that, Temple students, because on Thursday nights all college students with a valid student ID can pay just $2 for admission.

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The Dilworth Park Wintergarden maze set up on November 1, 2022 / Photograph by Laura Swartz

The Cabin will return with comfort foods (think tomato soup and grilled cheese), warm beverages, and cocktails. You can also sit outside around the fire pits. Beginning November 9th, they will have happy hour specials on Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m. Called “Cocktails and Cold Ones,” the promotions include $7 Hornitos tequila cocktails, $6 wine and $5 Blue Point Toasted Lagers, plus discounted weekly food specials.

Gritty ornaments by Ana Thorne Creative at the Made in Philadelphia holiday market at Dilworth Park / Photograph by Laura Swartz

Looking ahead, Dilworth rounds out the seasonal cheer with the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market beginning November 19th. A local counterpart to Christmas Village (soft-opening at LOVE Park the same weekend), this market focuses only on Philly-made gifts, from jewelry to artwork to candles, and usually lots of fun Gritty items.

Finally, the Deck the Hall light show begins on November 21st, with projection-mapped animation displayed on the west side of City Hall nightly at the top of the hour from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Deck the Hall light show / Photograph by Laura Swartz