Ice skaters make their way around the new rink at the base of City Hall, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, at Dilworth Park in Philadelphia. The open air rink is schedule to be open to visitors Feb. 22, 2015(AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Pennsylvania Daily Life
Ice skaters make their way around the new rink at the base of City Hall, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, at Dilworth Park in Philadelphia. The open air rink is schedule to be open to visitors Feb. 22, 2015(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Throughout Pennsylvania, outdoor ice rinks and frozen ponds welcome cold-weather adventurers who are looking to get some exercise, have some family fun, or recreate a scene from their favorite romantic holiday movie. 

Ice skating is one of the most enjoyable activities you can do outside in the winter. While indoor rinks are often open year-round, ice skating is extra special when you have to don a hat, scarf, and gloves to keep yourself warm as you glide across the ice under the open sky. If a few snowflakes fall as you’re skating, all the better.

Throughout Pennsylvania, outdoor ice rinks and frozen ponds welcome cold-weather adventurers who are looking to get some exercise, have some family fun, or recreate a scene from their favorite romantic holiday movie. 

These 7 outdoor Pennsylvania spots are great for ice skating. 

Parker Dam State Park, Penfield

When the conditions are right, the swimming area at Parker Dam State Park opens up for ice skating. The park monitors the ice for safety, and when there are four inches of solid ice, single person skating is allowed, although it’s recommended to always have a friend along for safety. When there are seven inches of solid ice, small group skating is allowed. Since ice thickness can vary, it’s recommended that skaters wear life jackets in the event of ice breaking. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources maintains a searchable Winter Report page to indicate the safety conditions of various outdoor activities, including ice skating, at all the state parks. 

28 Fairview Rd, Penfield, Clearfield County

South Park, Bethel Park

From mid-November to mid-March, weather and conditions permitting, South Park in Bethel Park opens its NHL-size ice outdoor skating rink and skate trail for the season. Both ice rinks offer several ice skating and hockey programs for ages 3 and older. Tickets are required for public skating times and for open stick time (when hockey sticks are permitted on the ice). The skating rink is open Monday through Friday, and times vary per day. The ice rink is also available to rent for private birthday parties and other celebrations. 

General admission is $5 for residents and $6 for non-residents. Stick time admission is $7 for residents and $8 for non-residents. Skate rental is $2 for residents and $3 for non-residents. Coin lockers are available for 25 cents. There’s also on-site skate sharpening.

Location: 30 Corrigan Drive, Bethel Park, Allegheny County

North Park, Allison Park

About an hour north of Bethel Park and the South Park skating rink, Allison Park’s North Park has many of the amenities that South Park has and the price to skate is the same, although the rink is smaller. It is, however, handicap accessible, making it the place to go for those who need specific accommodations. 

Location: 1101 Pearce Mill Road, Allison Park, Allegheny County

The Lodge at Glendorn, Bradford

If you’re looking to recreate a romantic holiday movie ice skating moment, this might be the place. The Lodge at Glendorn hosts ice skating at Skipper Lake for guests of the lodge. When you’re done skating, enjoy homemade hot chocolate or s’mores. Ice skates are complimentary for guests of the Northwest Pennsylvania resort. 

In addition to ice skating, guests can enjoy a variety of outdoor winter activities including snowshoeing, sledding, skiing, and ice fishing. 

Location: 1000 Glendorn Drive, Bradford, McKean County 

Earl E. Schaffer Bethlehem Municipal Ice Rink

The Lehigh Valley’s only outdoor Olympic sized rink is open from November through March, weather permitting. The Earl E. Schaffer Bethlehem Municipal Ice Rink has public skating sessions with an adaptive skate session for those with special needs, stick times, skating lessons, and private rink rental. 

For avid skaters, the rink sells season passes to public and adaptive skating sessions. Passes start at $60 for youth ages 3 to 17, $70 for adults ages 18 to 61, and $60 for seniors ages 62 and over. Individual sessions are $7 for youth and seniors; $8 for adults.

Location: 345 Illick’s Mill Road, Bethlehem, Northampton County

Flight on Ice, Edgmont

The Flight on Ice attraction has an outdoor ice rink plus festive music and lighting, food and beverages for purchase, heated hospitality tents for rent, and a calendar of family-friendly themed events like movie nights and live music nights.

Tickets to individual timed skating sessions are $12 plus a booking fee, and skate rentals are $10 plus a booking fee. Tickets can be purchased online, and a skating waiver must be filled out before getting on the ice. A portion of all rink proceeds will be donated to the Delaware County Veterans Memorial Association  

Location: 4901 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, Delaware County

Downtown Erie Community Skating Rink

New this year, the Downtown Erie Community Skating Rink is open East Perry Square between the fountain and State Street until the end of February, weather permitting. The rink accommodates 32 skaters at a time, first come first serve. Admission is $5 and skate rental is included in admission. 

Location: 571-601 State St, Erie, Erie County

More Outdoor Skating Opportunities

Many Pennsylvania state parks offer ice skating opportunities, weather permitting. Search the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources by region. Each park has its own hours and conditions, and the parks reserve the right to not allow ice skating on ponds or lakes that might not have safe conditions.

In Philadelphia, the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink is in Dilworth Park by City Hall and the Blue Cross Riverrink is on the Delaware Waterfront. In Pittsburgh, the UPMC Rink at PPG Place is a spectacular one-of-a-kind outdoor skating rink at the Plaza between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue.