Sign in
17 Things To Do In Pennsylvania That You Need To Add To Your Winter Bucket List

Although it may be bitterly cold, winter can be one of the best times of the year in Pennsylvania if you take advantage of all the activities going on. While most of us spend the snowy season cooped up inside complaining about the weather, there are tons of festivities going on that you could be enjoying instead.

Believe us, we totally get it, a warm fireplace, a Christmas movie and a cup of hot cocoa area practically calling your name. But this year do yourself a favor, get out from under the warm blankets, layer up, and celebrate the holiday season doing these seasonal activities in PA - you will be glad you did. 

Via Facebook

Crystal Cabin Fever

Where: 311 Purdytown Turnpike, Lakeville

@christinegraziano29embedded via

If you think sliding down 50ft of solid ice sounds like a good time, then Crystal Cabin Fever is an event you do not want to miss. And if you think that is impressive, wait until you see the dozens of other meticulous ice sculptures that will truly blow your mind. The photos alone are impressive - so just imagine how surreal they would look in person!


@ama__amaembedded via

@poconotourismembedded via

Bethlehem Christmas Market (Christkindlmarkt)

Where: E 1st St, Bethlehem

@rseigleembedded via

They say you just don't get Christmas Markets anywhere in the world quite like those in Germany... But this little PA town, appropriately known as the Christmas City Village, is challenging that stipulation with their very own Christkindlmarkt. The town has done such a great job hosting the annual event that has been named one of the best Christmas Markets in the USA several times! No need to travel to Europe for a one-of-a-kind holiday shopping experience when this one is practically in your backyard.


@kaitoandmaeveembedded via

@thebeerecklessembedded via

Kalahari Indoor Water Park

Where: 250 Kalahari Blvd, Pocono Manor

@powerlinewellnessembedded via

Stop dreaming about that tropical getaway this season, it is not as far as you think. This Pocono waterpark is open all year round and features tons of water activities including slides, pools, rides, a spa area, a lazy river, mermaids, a children's area, a water obstacle course, and just about everything an outdoor waterpark has - the only difference is this one keeps you warm when it is oh-so-cold outside. So if you are ready for a day of fun in the artificial sun, there is no better choice than the one and only Kalahari Indoor Water Park.


@amandajohnson7483embedded via

@tim_mckeenembedded via


Where: E 1st St, Bethlehem

@steelstacks_paembedded via

Celebrate Pennsylvania's questionably favorite marshmallow candy, PEEPS, at none other than PEEPSfest! This annual 2-day New Year's Eve festival draws in a crowd from all over the country to partake in the exciting festivities like the Chick Drop – a 4-feet, 9-inches tall, 400-pound lit PEEPS Chick that descends at 5:15 p.m. on Dec. 31 to commemorate the beginning of the new year. If you consider yourself a Pennsylvanian then you can't miss out on this sweet celebration.


@rosaduartetvembedded via

@kaybee0705embedded via

Arctic Paws Dog Sled Tours

Where: 1 Manor Drive, Pocono Manor

@lainyloo25embedded via

Admit it, after the release of Balto you have always wanted to go dog sledding. Well, now you can fulfill your childhood dream and explore the snow-covered Pocono Mountains via a dog-pulled sled! And you thought dog sledding was only a thing in Alaska... Oh, and remember to give your team of good puppers some lovin' afterward.


@steffi927embedded via

@cmsmith6842embedded via

Ice Fishing 

Where: Presque Isle, Lake Erie

@teampikestuffembedded via

Presque Isle State Park is many Pennsylvanian's beach getaway in the summer - and in the winter it becomes a winter wonderland for sportsmen because this is one of the best places in the tristate area for ice fishing due to the shallow waters and abundance of fish. So this winter when you get the itch to go fishing before the waters thaw, Presque Isle will be awaiting your arrival.

@exploraborealisembedded via

@tango_india_alphaembedded via

Phipps "Let It Glow" Light Festival

Where: 1 Shenley Drive, Pittsburgh

@phippsconservatoryembedded via

Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh puts on one of the most spectacular light displays for the holiday season. The colorful lights are perfectly paired with their flower and glass exhibits, making it a truly magical "walk in the park." It is no wonder that many couples end up getting engaged during this event - I mean seriously, think of the uniquely romantic scenes perfect for engagement photos!


@adam_michaelsembedded via

@phippsconservatoryembedded via

The Nutcracker

Where: 237 7th St, Pittsburgh

@studiolarissaoliembedded via

Nothing says it's Christmas quite like The Nutcracker - and that is exactly why this should be the year you go to see the live performance at the Pittsburgh Benedum Center. There are plenty of dates to choose from and tickets start at only $28! Take it from me, this is a show you won't forget.


@yoshisan927embedded via

@gabriela_isabel_mediciembedded via

Seven Springs Mountain Resort

Where: 777 Water Wheel Dr, Champion

@7springspaembedded via

If you just want to have a good old fashion time playing in the snow, Seven Springs is the place to do it. No matter if you choose to competitively ski down the slopes, ride the ski lift, start a snowball fight, or just relax in the lodge with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, there is something here to keep you busy every moment of the day when the ground is covered in the chilly white stuff.


@7springspaembedded via

@7springspaembedded via

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Where: 101 S Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia

@blue_cross_riverrinkembedded via

With an Olympic-sized skating rink, Christmas trees decorated in tens of thousands of lights, and plenty of eggnog to keep you warm, this Philadelphian riverfront park turns into a true winter wonderland for the holiday season. You can even skate during the New Year's Eve celebration, watching the fireworks from the skating rink for a truly amazing start to the New Year.


@blue_cross_riverrinkembedded via

@blue_cross_riverrinkembedded via

Reading Fire & Ice Festival

Where: Penn Square, Reading

@bclmagembedded via

While ice sculptures are the main attraction of this event, the Reading Fire & Ice Festival offers so much more than art to gawk at! There are both indoor and outdoor activities to partake in, and everything outside is free while those inside have nominal entry fees. Taste the different chili cook-off samples, dance the night away at the Snowball Ball, watch the fire performances, listen to live music, eat a pancake breakfast or enjoy the concession stand food, and witness the professional ice-carvings.


@marie320embedded via

@holistic_skateshopembedded via

Warren County Winterfest

Where: 4790 Chapman Dam Road, Clarendon

Via Facebook

Crafters, vendors, dog sled races, horse-drawn carriage rides, a cardboard box derby, ice fishing, and a Polar Bear Plunge, there is no shortage of family-friendly winter-weather activities going on during the Warren County Winterfest.


Via Facebook

Via Facebook

Coudersport Ice Mine

Where: 176 Ice Mine Rd, Coudersport

@emilylwembedded via

This is one of those Pennsylvanian oddities that you just have to experience at least once in your life. The Ice Mine is a roadside attraction in Coudersport, boasting an opening in the ground that is icy during the summer and thawed during the winter. Seems like it should be the other way around, right? It's a phenomenon that has baffled visitors for many years and likely will continue to do so for many years to come. The mine would be a great pit stop during your holiday travels!


@smoschembedded via

@mlmpittembedded via

Groundhog Day 

Where: Gobbler's Knob, Punxsutawney

@topher7777embedded via

Every year we rely on Punxsutawney Phil's shadow to tell us if we will have an early spring or not, but this year you do not need to wait to hear the news when you can instead witness it as it happens during the annual Groundhog Day Ceremony in Punxsutawney. While there is not much purpose to the ceremony since we all know that Phil's shadow doesn't really predict the weather, much like PEEPSfest, this is a Pennsylvanian tradition that is not going anywhere anytime soon - after all, you do not need science to have a good time.


@martinemcdonaghembedded via

@higherinfogroupembedded via

Ligonier Ice Fest

Where: Downtown/Historic District Ligonier

@pawolffembedded via

Ice sculptures are impressive, so an entire event dedicated to this art is bound to be electrifying. The Ligonier Ice Fest is no mediocre event either - it features some of the best ice sculpting artists around, in addition to the other festivities like horse-drawn carriage rides, craft and food vendors, live music and entertainment, and much more.


@where_the_wifi_endsembedded via

@missamyjfrompaembedded via

Pittsburgh Light Up Night

Where: Downtown Pittsburgh

@pghphotos.veeembedded via

A full day of winter events in downtown Pittsburgh is wrapped up with a Christmas light finale - coinciding with the unofficial start of the Winter holiday shopping season. There will be ice for skating, a holiday market for shopping, and plenty of live entertainment for enjoying.


@rcmori81embedded via

@madhumitamarichiembedded via

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort 

Where: 1001 Lafayette Dr, Farmington

@robinmarie_33embedded via

Treat yourself and spend a weekend in style at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort - the one and only pet-friendly Pennsylvania resort that has a casino, winter weather activities, a spa, and indoor and outdoor entertainment. This is the ultimate resort when you are craving a little well-deserved rest, relaxation, and of course, amazing food.


@caseylpfundembedded via

@matthewcgale36embedded via

Stay Informed
Get Philadelphia's latest and greatest stories every day straight to your inbox.