Blue Cross River Rink Winterfest
The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
This rink in the past two years has really stepped up its game. The rink is right on the river and is the closest one to our house. If you are concerned that ice skating might not exactly go well for your family don’t worry because there are plenty of other distractions. We usually skate for about an hour then the boys love the arcade. There is food, s’mores and plenty of space for the kids to hang out and run around. I have to apologize in advance for the photos. The boys love the rink and I had my hands full with keeping up with them.
Here are the things you need to know:
When you arrive you will go over to the rink and go to the outside ticket window. You will show the person your pre-purchased tickets or roll the dice and see if you can get tickets for the next session.
From there you can go inside and rent your skate or put your skates on. They do have lockers there to put your stuff in but they are old and can be a pain. To use the lockers you have to put a quarter in every time you want to open it. Take a bunch of quarters in case you mess up and because the lockers are small. I just fits my winter boots and my bag and the boys shoes if I cram everything in. From there you will head out to the ice where they check your wristband and off you go. You skate around, grab the sides for support, and try to get around the laughing groups of people that hold hands 4-6 people wide and try to pretend like they are not totally screwing everything up. All of that is fun and part of it. There are also staff members skating around. They offer help and tips on how to ice skate. Sometimes it is nice and sometimes it is a little annoying but their heart is in the right place. You can get off the ice at anytime you want. There are plenty of people bailing out to the sideboards at all times. There are couples who thought this would be a cute date and little kids shuffling and zipping around the ice. Basically there is every skill set you could possibly imagine.
• Parking is expensive. The Penn’s Landing parking lots are high all year round. I find the $17 -$20 flat fee for parking painful. If you go during the week or a little early in the day you should be able to find parking on the Penn’s Landing bridge at a meter. Sometimes we Uber there. It all depends on what we have going on that day.
• Cost: It is free to get into Winterfest.
- Cost for skating is $3.00
- Skating at the rink is by timed tickets. You should always get tickets before you go. That way you don’t have to worry about a session being sold out.
- All Independence Blue Cross cardholders and employees get free skating admission plus admission for three guest
- Cost for skate rental is $10
- You can bring your own skates to avoid that fee
- Toddler size 8 to Men’s size 14. Double blades available for the kids.
- I grabbed skates for my youngest at Village Thrift in Camden for $5.00. You can get them at any sports store, on-line or Wal-Mart.
- Arcade: My kids love to take a break in the arcade. This is also a great spot if your little one is not taking to ice skating.
The Lodge (outside)
The Lodge (inside)
The Lodge is a great place to take a break, grab a bite to eat and something to drink. There are both adult and kids drinks available. The space is giant and filled with picnic tables, TV’s and couches.
New this year (2015) are the warming rooms. These are three wall rooms that have each been decorated to resemble a different elaborate living room. They are cozy and adorable. I can see how on a busy night you would wait for one of these like you have to wait for the hammocks in the summer at Spruce Street Harbor.