November 20, 2017
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest will open for the season on Friday, Nov. 24. The winter wonderland on the waterfront – back for the fifth year – offers family-friendly fun with picture-perfect views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
Under thousands of twinkling lights, there is a regulation-sized outdoor ice skating rink, a winter garden, and the cozy Lodge.
In the garden there are trees, shrubs, seating, and heaters. Plus, more fire pits have been added this year to accommodate families and friends hanging out.
Inside the Lodge, decorated with couches and an indoor fireplace, visitors will find food and drink options. Chickie's and Pete's will serve Crabfries, wings, cheesesteaks, and soups. Garces Group offers burgers and fries. Two bars highlight local and regional beers.
Franklin Fountain provides the dessert by offering sundaes, ice cream sandwiches, s'mores kits, and seasonal ice cream flavors, like eggnog and peppermint stick. Hot chocolate, hot apple cider, coffee, and tea will be available, too. In addition, the new custom-made Italian chestnut roasting cart will roast chestnuts and sugar-coated mixed nuts on the weekends.
In the Kids Lodge, filled with arcade games, there are new food items like pizza, nachos, funnel cake, and fried Oreos.
Winterfest is free to attend. To skate, admission to the rink is $3 per person (free for Independence Blue Cross cardholders and employees) and $10 for skate rentals.
Winterfest is open Mondays through Thursdays from 1 to 11 p.m.; Fridays from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Below are upcoming events at Winterfest.
Activities throughout the weekend include LEGO building with ColonialLUG, claymation with The Clay Studio, face painting, and circus arts. There will also be a life-sized snow globe for photo ops.
Friday, Nov. 24 through Sunday, Nov. 26
Beginning at 11 a.m.
At the tree lighting there will be singers, dancers, other performers, and fireworks.
Friday, Dec. 1
6 to 9 p.m.
New this year is a storytime series in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia. Light snacks and hot chocolate will be provided for kids.
Saturdays beginning Dec. 2
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Get a family portrait on the ice with Skating Santa.
Saturdays and Sundays from Dec. 2 through 17
1 to 5 p.m.
Enjoy holiday favorites like "Elf" and "Home Alone." All movies will be shown in the Lodge.
Thursday, Dec. 14 through Monday, Dec. 25
8 to 10 p.m.
Spend more time at Winterfest during the holidays. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. from Saturday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 1. The only exceptions are Christmas Eve, when Winterfest will be open 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and on Christmas Day, when it will be open 1 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 24 through Sunday, March 4, 2018
Mondays through Thursdays from 1 to 11 p.m.
Fridays from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Sundays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Free to attend; pay-as-you-go
101 S. Columbus Blvd.