Philadelphia winters can be harsh, with bone-chilling winds and slippery slushy sidewalks, which makes us the experts on getting warm and staying cozy. Don’t let the cold deter you from exploring this historic city. The City of Brotherly Love will keep you warm.
Get your heart rate pumping with a race around the rink at Dilworth Park's Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink (Broad & Market streets, west side of City Hall, 215.440.5500), through Feb. 23, 2020. During the month of February admission is free (free admission tickets available at the Capital One Cafe-Rittenhouse). For prime views of the waterfront and winter fun, head to the Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn’s Landing (201 S. Columbus Blvd., 215.925.7465), open through March 8, 2020, an Olympic-sized public ice rink overlooking the Delaware River. After a cheery and chilly night of ice-skating at the RiverRink, gather around a fire pit with friends and family during the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest.
Belly up to the bar at South Philly’s gastropub Devil’s Den (1148 S. 11th St., 215.339.0855) on a cold day for fireside-appropriate comfort food and a wide variety of ales and lagers. If you’re on a hunt for a room with a view, look no further than XIX at the Hyatt at the Bellevue (200 S. Broad St., 215.790.1919) a bar and restaurant on the 19th floor of the luxurious hotel. The top floor of this historic landmark boasts stunning architecture, a 19-foot chandelier and floor-to-ceiling windows. Sit back and enjoy a drink and brasserie-style cuisine at XIX in front of an inviting fireplace with views of the Philadelphia skyline.
Philadelphia provides a bevy of spas brimming with refreshing treatments for soothing the mind and body from strenuous days battling the winter’s cold. Devote a day at The Rittenhouse Spa & Club at the Rittenhouse Hotel (210 W. Rittenhouse Square, 215.790.2500), where guests escape from a frosty day by dipping into the heated indoor pool, kicking back in one of the spa’s luxurious steam rooms, or indulging in a citrus drench body treatment. Drawing on a healthcare background and inspired by historic Roman practices, the founders of Spa Terme di Aroma (32 N. Third St., 215.829.9769) mix therapeutic and aromatheray elements in every service. Help ward off winter colds in just 30 minutes plus relieve dry scalp with their Aromatic Scalp Treatment, featuring massage, pressure point therapy and eucalyptus oil. After your treatment lounge with hot apple cider in the warmth of the glowing terracotta rooms.
Craving hot chocolate? Hit up Rim Café (1172 S. Ninth St., 215.465.3515) in South Philadelphia’s famous Italian Market for a one-of-a-kind hot chocolate tasting experience. Go for the “Volcano,” a hot chocolate drink that you need to see to believe, and listen to owner Rene play his bongo drums or catch him making his chocolate masterpieces. Enjoy creations by chocolate alchemist Robert F. Campbell, Jr. at Sazon (941 Spring Garden St., 215.763.2500). This Venezuelan restaurant has an extensive menu of hot chocolate drinks with a twist. Stick with the classic, laden with five different cacao beans; or try the Bebe Kong, made with Gran Cru cacao and topped with queso fresco and mascarpone cream.
Find solace on a draining windy day at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in the Butterflies! Exhibit (1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 215.299.1000), an enclosed tropical garden, kept at a balmy 85 degrees, filled with plants and butterflies from all over the world. Up to 150 butterflies inhabit the space and can be found flittering around the room, resting on plants and at eating stations, or even museum guests that stand very still. It may be winter but at Longwood Gardens (1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, 610.388.1000) visitors can see hibiscus, orchids and other lovely flowers in bloom at the Conservatory. The outdoor gardens also offer their own winter beauty.
What better way to beat the cold than getting lost in the crowded bookshelf aisles of a local bookstore? Don’t be fooled by the size of Joseph Fox Books (1724 Sansom St., 215.563.4184), a shoebox-shaped store with a carefully curated book selection. Their well-stocked children’s section overflowing with classics is the perfect place to bring wily kids. Hidden away in a brownstone in University City is House of Our Own (3920 Spruce St., 215.222.1576), with books tucked into every nook and cranny of the charming home, even the closets. Old City-bound bibliophiles flock to The Book Trader (7 N. Second St., 215.925.2080), a used bookstore that is quite literally floor-to-ceiling covered in novels, DVDs, VHS tapes and any other book related paraphernalia you could think of.
Warm your fingers and your belly with a spicy hot toddy. At Southgate (1801 Lombard St., 215.560.8443) patrons sip and savor a "Soojungway Hot Toddy" concocted with Four Roses bourbon, cinnamon and star anise. The Assembly Rooftop Lounge (1840 Benjamin Franklyn Pkwy, 215.783.4171) serves their "Hot Dotty" made with Monkey Shoulder scotch, lemon, honey, Laphroaig mist and fresh ginger.