While we may have enjoyed some mild spring-like days here in the Burgh recently, Mother Nature almost certainly has some surprises left for us this winter. Fortunately, when the inevitable snow comes, you’ll have plenty to do when you visit the 10 best winter destinations in Pittsburgh (and a bit beyond).
1. Schenley Park Ice Skating Rink - 10341 Overlook Drive Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Okay, so, technically you don't need snow to go ice skating at Schenley Park. It does add a bit more ambiance to the experience, however, wouldn't you say? Schenley Park Ice Rink hosts skating sessions every day with times varying daily and several special events throughout the season, including the upcoming Valentine's on Ice skating, slated for February 14, 2017 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
2. Seven Springs - 777 Water Wheel Drive, Champion, PA 15622
Discover a magical winter oasis at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, just a little over an hour from downtown Pittsburgh. Fall in the snow and make snow angels. Or, hit the ski slopes. Go snow tubing. Or, head inside the cozy resort which features a pool, hot tubs, roller skating, bowling, and mini golf.
3. Boyce Park - 790 Center Road, Plum, PA 15239
Hit the slopes on skis or an inner tube at Boyce Park in Plum, a convenient alternative to Seven Springs Mountain Resort. The sprawling park, which offers winter hiking and snowboarding as well, will host the Boyce Park Snow Fest on January 28 and 29. Most of the festival's activities are free and include face painting, demonstrations of ice carving, a photo booth, a wandering magician, and live entertainment.
4. Wildwood Highlands - 2330 Wildwood Road, Wildwood, PA 15091
Wildwood Highlands provides an idyllic setting for outdoor and indoor winter fun. Embrace the snow by zooming down the groomed hills on a snow tube. Or, head indoors for some old-fashioned fun that includes laser tag, an arcade, and a tantalizing snack bar.
5. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort - 1001 Lafayette Drive, Farmington, PA 15437
Embark on a unique adventure when you visit Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, less than an hour and a half from downtown Pittsburgh. One of the highlights of winter at the resort is the opportunity for guests to take a traditional dog sledding tour. A team of huskies will take you on a whirlwind 30 minute ride (preceded by a half an hour tour of the kennel). Nemacolin Woodlands also offers skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, cross country skiing, and snow shoeing.
6. Moraine State Park - 225 Pleasant Valley Road, Portersville, PA 16051
Journey just 45 minutes outside of downtown Pittsburgh to one of the area's most spectacular state parks. Moraine State Park transforms into a winter wonderland each year with an abundance of activities, including hiking, ice boating, ice fishing, ice skating, cross country skiing, sledding, and snowmobiling. Plan to visit Moraine State Park during the Annual Winterfest, slated for Feburary 4, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guests will enjoy such outdoor activities as ice carving, wagon rides, cross country skiing, and hiking.
7. Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens - 1 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Enjoy a burst of spring anytime of the year when you visit Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Plan, however, to visit on a Friday evening, between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., by February 10, 2017 to experience a winter tradition: Winter Lights. Stroll through the outdoor gardens, illuminated by spectacular LED lights.
8. Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium - 7340 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Watch - and snap photos - as the adorable penguins of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium march along the zoo's pathway, much to the delight of the zoo's guests. But, hurry, the penguin marching season only lasts through February 26, 2017. The penguins strut their stuff every Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting, at 11:30 a.m.
9. McConnells Mill State Park – Portersville, PA 16051
Just 45 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, McConnells Mill State Park turns into an outdoor lovers dream every winter. Bring your sled along to enjoy some of the area's best sledding. Pack your hiking gear and hit the trails on a picturesque winter hike. Or, tour the old grist mill.
10. Dependable Drive-In - 549 Moon Clinton Road, Moon, PA 15108
Catch a double feature - yes, even in the winter! - at Dependable Drive-In. Wrap yourself in cozy blankets, sit back, and watch two movies for the price of one all winter long. Of course, no trip to the drive-in is complete without a visit to the snack bar to stock up on such goodies as popcorn, hot dogs, burgers, onion rings, nachos, cotton candy, and ice cream treats.
These are among the best winter destinations in Pittsburgh (and a bit beyond). What else would you add to the list? If you enjoy the outdoors, you’ll also want to lace up your boots and embark on the
eight best winter hikes in the Burgh.