Baby it’s cold outside…and you’ll miss out on all the fun if you don’t get out there and enjoy it! With abundant wintertime activities for couples — skiing and tubing, horseback and carriage rides, ice skating under the stars, or strolling through one of Philadelphia’s many museums or galleries — there is something for everyone to enjoy during the long winter months in the City of Brotherly Love. Need an added bonus for venturing out on a snowy day and frosty evening? How about warming up together afterwards over steaming mugs of coffee or cocoa, or snuggling in front of a fire? Bundle up and head out to one of these top winter date destinations for some wintertime fun with a romantic twist.
Skiing or Tubing
1660 Blue Mountain Drive
Palmerton, PA 18071
An easy drive from Philadelphia, Blue Mountain is a popular destination for skiing, boarding and tubing. With 39 trails designed for all levels of skill and experience, this venue has it all, including lessons and equipment. Are you or your date novice skiers? No worries, as Blue Mountain’s teaching environment includes three ski school hills and a staff of experienced (and patient!) instructors. For those not interested in skiing or snowboarding, there’s always tubing — the ultimate “sledding” experience. Warm up afterwards at one of Blue Mountain’s dining venues, or head down the mountain to one of the local eateries for a romantic dinner for two.
A Romantic Carriage Ride
Philadelphia Trolley Works and 76 Carriage Company
1350 Schuylkill Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Play “tourist” for the day with “tickets to ride” from the Philadelphia Trolley Works and 76 Carriage Company. Enchant your date by arranging for a horse-drawn carriage tours through historic neighborhoods, or take in the views from atop a double-decker bus as you explore the City of Brotherly Love together. You’ll lose yourselves in the moment — if not each others’ eyes — as you take in the historic sights and are regaled with stories of days gone by from your guide. Whether you are out for the entire day or a brief excursion, you are sure to take away some special memories that you can share again over dinner at one of Philadelphia’s fine restaurants.
Horseback Ride or Sleigh Ride
Happy Trails Stables
1623 Hamlin Highway
Lake Ariel, PA 18436
What could be more romantic than snuggling together as you ride through the wintry countryside in a horse-drawn sleigh? Philadelphia-area folks can enjoy the experience, singing sleighing songs all the way at Happy Trails Stables, located an easy drive away in the nearby countryside. You can also go horseback riding, as this venue is operational year-round. You and your date will be instructed on basic horsemanship, including tips on reining, body position and safety before you head out for a ride on one of the trails. Open daily, seven days a week, trail rides begin at $34 for an hour, but bring cash as Happy Trails does not take plastic. Note: Lessons in both English and western styles of riding are offered at Happy Trails, and boarding services are also available.
Blue Cross RiverRink
Columbus Boulevard at Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19019
Philadelphia’s Blue Cross RiverRink is top of the list when it comes to a romantic ice skating date. Open seven days a week for the season, this outdoor, Olympic-sized venue is even open on holidays, with skating packages for every occasion and skating level. You’ll enjoy gliding along together under the open sky with the City of Brotherly Love as a backdrop. After skating, warm up together at one of the many local eateries or coffee houses. Tip: remember to dress in layers and bring along extra gloves or mittens.
Strolling Through a Museum
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
The Philadelphia Art Museum houses some of the world’s most important artistic treasures, and is the perfect place to escape the chilly blast of wintry winds. A great spot for a first date, you’ll enjoy exploring together, finding plenty to talk about as you stroll through the seemingly endless exhibits housed in this historic and oh-so-romantic venue. Top off your date with dinner at the Museum’s premier restaurant, Granite Hill, where you’ll enjoy fare from the French-inspired menu that includes seasonal appetizers, entrées, specialty cocktails and wines. Often themed to pair with museum exhibits, this venue serves up a selection of light dishes as well as artisanal cheeses, charcuterie and salads.
Christy Ayala covers sports, recreation, the outdoors, and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. She earned a masters degree in recreation administration from George Williams College and managed programs in the Midwest, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.