Ice Skating and Tree Lighting: The Holiday Season Is Upon Us

Philly’s 70-foot holiday tree has arrived at City Hall — and the ice-skating rink at Dilworth Park opens on Friday. Prepare yourselves for winter festivities.

dilworth park ice skating holiday season

The ice skating rink at Dilworth Park opens on Friday, kicking off the holiday season. | Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Break out your ice skates, mittens, string lights and jawnaments, Philly: Holiday season is nigh.

Sure, we’re still in early November, but we’ve nonetheless got a few holiday-themed announcements for you. First, get ready to see City Hall transform into a winter wonderland yet again this year: The ice-skating rink at Dilworth Park opens on Friday. Starting at 5:30 p.m., you can rent some skates (or bring your own!) and show off your moves in front of City Hall.

Per usual, the park’s Wintergarden and Rothman Institution Cabin will open with the ice-skating rink, offering the opportunity to stroll through the garden’s holiday-themed maze and warm up with a bite or drink between skating sessions. Plus, the park will offer festive events (including a holiday market and light show) throughout the winter. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, expect to find fire performers, ice-sculpture demos, chili tastings and more. (For more info, visit the park’s website.)

Meanwhile, more good news: Philly just got its holiday tree — and it’s 70 feet and a whopping 7,000 pounds.

The 60-year-old white fir arrived yesterday from Yuletide Tree Farm in upstate New York. Looks like it was a doozy to put in.

The city will hold its annual tree lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on November 28th. But for now, three tree is standing tall outside City Hall, bare and beautiful and ready for decorations.

One more thing to get you in the holiday spirit: We’re two weeks away from the opening of Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest on November 23rd.

Winterfest’s 25th anniversary season will kick off with a “very big, yet-to-be announced surprise,” according to a spokesperson for the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. The surprise will usher in an opening week of festivities that culminates with a holiday-tree-lighting ceremony — complete with singers, performers, ice skaters and more.

So yeah, we’re just getting started: There’s a lot to be excited about this holiday season. We’ll keep you in the loop as we learn more.