Pennsylvania is an amazing state year round but some of it’s unique beauty can only be found during winter. Nothing is more amazing than witness thousands of people converge on a small Pennsylvanian town to watch a groundhog predict the weather (better than the weatherman). Or realizing that you can find dog sled races outside of Alaska.
You can find just about anything you want to do in PA in the Winter. Want to hit up a water park and lose those winter blues? Guess what you can do that. Want to hit the slopes and snow tub with the whole family? Yep, Pennsylvania has you covered on that too.
There are so many things to do in PA in the winter, the hardest thing is finding the time to do it all. Here are 5 things to do in Pa in Winter.
WARREN COUNTY WINTERFEST
Warren County Winterfest claims to be the biggest winter event in the Pennsylvania wilds. We tend to agree. We haven’t found one that is longer yet.
There are so many activities for everyone in the family you’ll wonder why you haven’t gone before. If you are crazy or hairy like a bear, take a dip with the polar bear plunge. Or stand cheering on the side lines for your favorite dog sled team.
That’s right I said dog sled team. Who said you need to travel to Alaska to see a dog sled race. All you need to do is head out to Chapman State Park in Clarendon, Pennsylvania. This state park is about 5 and a half hours from Philadelphia and 2 and a half hours from Pittsburg.
Some of the other winter time activities you can enjoy include a sledding hill, cardboard box derby and even an ice fishing derby. Booths are also set up selling a variety of items from crafts to food. Grab some kettle corn and a hot beverage and enjoy the winter time fun.
Each year on February 2nd the town Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, explodes to a crowd of around 40,000 people. That is nearly 8 times as large as its year round population.
People start gathering around 6am on the morning of the 2nd awaiting the beloved groundhog Phil. Around 7:25am Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his hole and predicts 6 more weeks of winter or an early spring.
If you plan to attend check out what is happening in Punxsutawney from February 1st to 3rd. You will find something for everyone. It is advised however, that young children stay at home on the morning of the 2nd. It gets very busy and is standing room only.
BLUE CROSS WINTERFEST
Every year from mid November to early March the Delaware Waterfront down along Penns Landing in Philadelphia is transformed into a winter wonderland. After a day of exploring all the free things to do in Philly. Come relax at the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest in one of the “cabins” that has the look and feel (on the inside) of a cozy ski lodge.
Strap on some ice skates and take a few laps around their world class ice skating rink. There is nothing better than skating along the riverfront on a nice crisp winter evening. Be sure to dress warm. This rink is outside.
After your skate stay away and enjoy one of the fire pits while enjoying s’mores and some hot chocolate. If hot chocolate isn’t your thing you can try many different regional craft beers. They really help out washing down those delicious crab fries from Chickie and Pete’s.
SKIING, TUBING, SNOWBOARDING
With 19 different ski resort throughout the state, there are plenty of places to hit the sloops. Personal favorites of mine include Jack Frost/Big Boulder and Camelback both located in the Pocono Mountains.
Jack Frost is great for families. They offer great lessons for beginners. So this is a great place to take your kids to when they are first learning the basics. Come and Enjoy one of their 20 slopes ranging from beginner to black diamond.
Big Boulder is great for the snowboarder in the family. With 16 trails to choose from the hardest thing you have to do is decide which one you want to try.
If skiing at night has been a dream of yours. Make sure you check out Camelback in the Poconos. With 38 trials all illuminated at night, you are bound to find your favorite one. This is also the best place to go snow tubing in all of Pennsylvania.
Forget heading up to Vermont or out to Colorado to do a little skiing and snowboarding. Pennsylvania is the place to go if you want to hit the slopes this winter.
GREAT WOLF LODGE
Is the cold winter weather making you feel blue? Head over to Great Wolf Lodge where it is always 84 degrees. Enjoy a day at this huge indoor waterpark. Splash the day around with the whole family. Don’t worry though even when you are done at the water park there is more to do.
There are many activities that your kids will love. From indoor mini golf, bowling, arcades and more. It won’t be hard keeping everyone entertained for hours.
Stay the night or enjoy a day pass. Either way, a day here will keep those winter blues away for a little while. But I don’t want to hear you complaining come summertime that it is too hot.
Planning on taking a trip to PA this winter? Are you going to head to any of these locations? Try out skiing at one of the many ski resorts all throughout the state. Even if you have never done it before they offer lessons for both young and old.
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