It’s February. Its 50 degrees outside – temperatures Philadelphia has enjoyed for several weeks now. Daffodils and snowdrops are budding, Spring is definitely on the way. But, we can still ice skate.
That’s right, the Department of Parks & Recreation operates five ice rinks throughout the city, all which have public skating sessions that are free to the lovely citizens of Philadelphia. Skates can be rented as each Ice Rink for a small fee of three to five dollars. In addition to skating, each rink is more of a rec center, offering other activities to community members:
- The Laura Sims Skatehouse is located in the Cobbs Creek part of the city at 200 North 63rd Street. The Skatehouse’s ice-related activities include public skate, skating lessons, and school skating. In the off-season, the Skatehouse offers basketball and soccer programs.
- Rizzo Ice Rink under I-95 at Washington and Front Streets in South Philly has been promoting hockey as a way of life since 1979. Rizzo offers instructional hockey, lessons, and public sessions in the Winter, and lacrosse in the warmer months.
- Scanlon Ice Rink is located at J and Tioga Streets. The Ice Rink’s skate program includes lessons, leagues, and public skating. Scanlon offers a year-round after school program, swim lessons in the Summer, arts and crafts, day camps and tee ball in the Spring.
- Simons Ice Rink is in the northwest located at 7200 Woolston Ave. Being an ice rink is only one of the many programs and classes offered on a long list of fun, including a year-round after school program, sewing, spoken word, art, baseball, basketball, chess, cooking, dance, Spring-Summer day camps, evening fitness, gymnastics, lacrosse, a mentoring program for men, movie nights, soccer, and wiffleball.
- Last but not least is Tarken Ice Rink at Frontenac & Levick Streets. Tarken covers it all too with dance, day camps and after care, football, martial arts, soccer, softball, and yoga. In addition to open skating, there are enrollment-based ice hockey and lessons available.
The Ed Snider Youth Foundation operates in each of the rinks, providing full equipment, ice time and experienced coaching to kids who kids who qualify. The Foundation’s programs include a school day program where kids go to the rink for an hour as part of their physical education during the school day and after school and weekend programs. While all activities are open to girls and boys, there is a Girls Program offered in partnership with the Women’s Sports League.
Thanks to the Department of Parks and Recreation, we can revel in playing basketball on the courts in the middle of winter AND still have some winter fun. So bundle up and enjoy the ice!