Head Outdoors: 4 Family Activities To Try This Winter

Cold and snow doesn’t keep everyone indoors. If you’re craving some outdoor time with the ones you love, Philly has plenty to offer. There are several ways you can enjoy time together this winter in the great outdoors.

Did someone say cabin fever? There’s only so much Netflix and video games you and your family can take before you all start to feel cooped up and ready for winter to be over. If you just can’t bear the idea of spending another winter’s day indoors, fear not, because Philadelphia is full of outdoor family activities, even in the heart of winter. The leaves might be off the trees and some animals might be hibernating, but there’s still a lot going on at a few popular places.

Learn About the Environment

The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education offers family activities throughout the year, including in the winter months. On most Friday afternoons from 4–5 p.m., the center plays host to a program called “Seedlings.” Designed for kids between the ages of two and five and their caregivers, the program lets you explore nature through arts and crafts and hands-on activities outdoors. If you decide to go, remember to dress for the weather, especially if there’s snow on the ground. The Center also offers a special Saturday morning program for families. The weekly program starts at 10:30 a.m. with story time, then heads outdoors for a nature walk. Each week features a different theme.

Have an A-MAZE-ing Time

If you had a Christmas tree in your Philadelphia home, odds are you recycled it right after the holidays. But did you ever wonder what happens to all the trees that don’t end up selling in time for the holiday? It turns out that many of them get turned into a Christmas Tree Maze.

Linvilla Orchards, which is in Media, just outside of the city, creates a large maze out of trees from its own lots, as well as from lots around the area. Getting lost is part of the fun, and you can expect to spend between 30 minutes and an hour navigating your way through the trees. It’s open through the winter and is located next to Linvilla’s indoor mini golf center, so after finding your way out, you can warm up with a few rounds of golf. Wondering what will happen to the maze’s trees at the end of winter? They’ll be turned into wood chips and used as fuel.

Visit the Zoo

Many people visit the zoo in the spring, summer, or fall, but if you’re the type who enjoys avoiding the crowds, the winter is really the ideal time for a zoo visit. The Philadelphia Zoo is open year-round, although some of its features — such as the hot air Zooballoon, which takes you up in the air for an impressive view of the city — don’t operate in the winter. Check out the zoo’s calendar to see its special wintertime events.

Head to the Garden

Not all plants are dormant in the winter. Some are in full bloom. During a day spent at the Morris Arboretum, in Chestnut Hill, you can learn more about winter-blooming plants and about flora in the area in general. The arboretum also sponsors a few family activities, such as a weekly story time, which takes places in the Outdoor Children’s Classroom, unless the weather is really unpleasant.

You don’t have to wait until spring to enjoy the outdoors in Philly. Get to know your city during all four seasons by participating in a few wintertime outdoor activities.

Image Source: Flickr/Dana Pico


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