<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=280995018926808&amp;ev=PageView%20&amp;noscript=1">
Winter Activities in Your Neck of the Woods

By: Amy Dajczak on December 7th, 2023

Print/Save as PDF

Winter Activities in Your Neck of the Woods

In the Community

Home is where the heart is. But, after a few days avoiding the outside elements, every family itches to get out.  You can only bake so many batches of cookies, and you already cleaned up the living room WWE smackdown twice today. Who gave your children that slime kit and realistic volcano anyway? Let’s find a few activities around the state that the whole family can get out and enjoy!

East Side

crtsy-blue-cross-riverrink-winterfest-above-2200x1237pxFestivals: Enjoy ice skating, firepits and private cabins at Philadelphia’s WinterFest.  This takes place through February at the Independence Blue Cross RiverRink. The Clarks Summit Festival of Ice is January 26th-28th this year.  You can ride a horse drawn carriage and view a wonderful parade. In nearby Bethlehem, you can attend the legendary “PEEPSFEST.” Snag some tasty treats and watch a 400 pound, 4 foot tall Peep descend for the new year.

The Ambler Theater will present Peter Pan for a very reasonable price on December 28th.  Disney’s Frozen: The Musical will be on stage at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia starting March 21st.  The State Theater Center for the Arts in Easton will present Pinkalicious the Musical on March 9th.


e_DSC_1317-1536x864Experiences:  Watch the amazing reenactment of General George Washington cross the Delaware on December 25th in historic Washington’s Crossing. Enjoy the winter scenery on a few different train rides through the area.  You can take an excursion along the Lackawaxen River with the Winter Wonderland Express on the Stourbridge Line Train. The New Hope Ivyland Railroad is also a relaxing ride through historical parts of Bucks County. In Jim Thorpe, children can enjoy a winter character train ride on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway.  The Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton also offers rides and experiences.

Let the kids make a mess in a new space!  You can let them explore the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, or the New Hope Children’s Museum. You can also head to East Stroudsburg to explore the Schisler Museum of Wildlife and Natural History along with the McMunn Planetarium.  Take a stroll around the unique Scranton Aquarium.


e671570aeece7c04deb562bce36c1a00PA Virtual Events and Outings: PAVCS students will be contributing to the community through a series of service learning outings on December 8th.  In King of Prussia, students will support others while enjoying winter games and displays. They will also make donations while exploring the Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum in Horsham. In Delaware county, students will bowl and collect blankets for the homeless at Playhouse Lanes. Service events in Philadelphia include a Holiday Service Food Program and Health Adventure.


Central Pennsylvania

Lititz_Fire_and_Ice_Festival_2023_8ef7ea6302ebfbef14fae837bb7b9c7dFestivals: I say winter, you say ice! You can catch a lot of ice festivals around PA this time of year.  Lititz will hold its annual Fire and Ice Festival February 16-25th. Enjoy both a chili cookoff and amazing ice sculptures around the picturesque town.  The streets of Chambersburg will also be lined with ice sculptures this season.  Enjoy Icefest from January 25th to 28th. Trying not to think of the cold? Yeah I get it.  Mythicon: Midwinter Festival takes place in Gettysburg February 16-18th.  It’s a unique blend of renaissance, music and folklore festivals in one cumulative event. 

images-2Shows: Allow your children to embrace the arts at one of the many child friendly venues in central Pennsylvania. The Dutch Apple Dinner Theater will perform a musical form of The Adams Family from February 23rd to March 30th. Also in Lancaster, The Fulton Theater is performing Peter Pan through December 23rd. For our animal lovers, The American Music Theater is hosting the comedic dog show, Puppy Pals live! Don’t forget, the iconic 108th Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg will run from January 6-18th.

https___starsandsticks.com_wp-content_uploads_getty-images_2017_07_1131478028Experiences:  Love sports? Don’t let that cold weather get in the way. Head to a Hershey Bears game at The Giant Center.  Hershey is also hosting the Harlem Globe Trotters February 25th. Perhaps you’re a Penn State Fan! Make your way to a mens or womans hockey game and perhaps a basketball game.  The Strasburg Railroad knows how to support your train loving kiddo.  Visit the museum, ride the train or attend a lunch and learn this winter.  


Science-is-Amazing-2016-2587Museums: There are so many opportunities to learn through play.  The Lancaster Science Factory includes many hands-on experiences and an opportunity to climb to the roof!  In neighboring Harrisburg, children can also apply their love of all things science at the Whitaker Center.  More interested in animals? Check on the animals at Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland in Allenwood. Travel a little further north and let your little slugger explore the World of Little League Museum in Williamsport. 


cc8c0bc7df17ca7d69041ec97412a645PA Virtual Events and Outings: Enjoy crafting? Students at PAVCS will create holiday cards for senior citizens at the Degenstein Community Library Sunbury on Friday, December 8th. They will also support the Central Pennsylvania Horse Rescue in Lewisberry, PA on December 8th. In Berks county, students will contribute to the Freedom Center for Animal Life and support animals in the shelter.  


West Side

Get ready to explore ice sculptures, skating and twinkling lights on Mulberry Street in Pittsburgh! On December 16th, you can enjoy this “Winter Wonderland” from 3-7pm. Interested in new and vintage toys? The Butler Area Toy Show will take place at the Clearview Mall on January 27th from 10am-4pm. Cheer on students in the Pittsburgh area during the Science Bowl! 


download (1)-2
Enjoy the arts in Erie! Visit the Erie Playhouse to see Lyle The Crocodile on March 9th and 10th. Do you have a dog lover at home? Check out the Erie Kennel Club All Breed Show on January 28th at the Bayfront Convention Center.


  Lights are a wonderful way to brighten up these dark days.  Head over to the Phipps conservatory to see the Winter Flower Show and Light Garden through January 7th. Cheer on the Erie Otters Hockey Team through March. Enjoy Pittsburgh from above on the Duquesne Incline.


The Pittsburgh area is the perfect place for your train loving kiddo.  Check out this link to see the numerous railroad excursions you can embark on. Make your way to the Erie Maritime Museum for interesting sights and educational opportunities!   Pittsburgh is full of educational, indoor opportunities.  Check out one of the many museums including The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Science Center.  The Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium will have their “Zoo lights” on display through December 30th. You can also check out their many educational classes and camps! Do we have any high scoring pinball players? Explore the Pinball PA Arcade Museum in Alquippa this winter.  You may even run into some PAVCS students attending an outing on January 19th!

PA Virtual Events and Outings:
Who likes to bowl? PAVCS students will be bowling in Butler and Pittsburgh for the Toys for Tots Drive on December 8th. Students in this region will also get together for the Fire and Ice Festival in Somerset.  They can get some of that energy out and reconvene at the Skyzone in Monroeville on January 23rd.



Take some time this winter to embrace all that your area has to offer.  There are many educational opportunities right outside your door that the whole family can engage in.  If you are interested in learning more about PA Virtual Charter School, feel free to attend one of our outings and meet a few of the wonderful teachers and staff.