Outdoor Winter Recreation in Pittsburgh

Outdoor Winter Recreation in Pittsburgh

Explore a blizzard of fun activities for the whole family!

Pittsburgh is stunning every season, but there is something so magical that winter brings. While snow frames the trees, buildings and hillsides, the beauty of the season will leave you in awe. 

Pittsburgh winters also provide some of the best opportunities for outdoor family fun! Whether in the exciting urban environment in the city or out in the beautiful countryside, winter sports can be some of the most fun you can have in the Pittsburgh area. 

Hike the City with Venture Outdoors

Embracing the tagline ‘Not all classrooms have four walls,’ Venture Outdoors is keeping the community motivated and moving through the winter. A variety of hikes for all ages are being offered through the new year from woodland trails at Frick Environmental Center and Riverview Park to a ‘Dahntahn Holiday Cheer’ version. Young adult events feature snowshoeing and urban area hikes, some with tasty coffee and hot chocolate treats to stay warm during the journey. 

Sledding, Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing

If you’re seeking a brisk, wintry walk with a quick commute, check out Riverview, Schenley and Frick parks as easily accessible options. A little more space for peace and quiet can be found at the more expansive Raccoon Creek and Hillman parks to the west or Moraine and McConnells Mill to the north. They all provide plenty of open space for winter wildlife hikes, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and finding that perfect hill for sledding.

Ice Skating 

If you like your winter sports in the city, the The Rink at PPG Place is the ideal spot to get your skate on. The rink is two-thirds the size of a standard National Hockey League rink and has plenty of room for any ice skating parties, date night and teaching the kids to skate.

North Park and South Park each have outdoor ice skating rinks perfect for beginning skaters taking to the ice for the first time or seasoned pros ready to get their winter game on. For hockey fans, open stick time is also available on select days and times. No matter your style of winter fun, this is a great spot to visit when the temperature drops.

Snow Tubing and Downhill Skiing

Boyce Park is the spot to go when you want to do some downhill skiing across 20 acres of slopes, trails and two terrain parks and snow tubing in Allegheny County. Located just 20 minutes from Downtown and encompassing 1,096 acres, Boyce Park offers beautiful natural terrain to explore and a ton of winter adventures just waiting for you.

Cinema in the Snow 

In keeping with the ‘outside, but inside’ idea, when was the last time you went to a drive-in movie in winter? With an appropriate name for entertainment, Dependable Drive-In, located just outside Pittsburgh in Coraopolis, shows films on their outdoor big screens year-round. Grab some extra blankets with your popcorn, and check out their upcoming winter showtimes to support the last remaining drive-in theater in Allegheny County.  

Go on a Wintry Safari

One of the biggest hidden gems in Pittsburgh during the winter is Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium! The Zoo transforms during the winter months as cold climate animals are more active than ever, making this a completely new experience than a summer visit.

Once the temperatures start to dip below 45, don't miss Penguins on Parade each weekend at 11:30 a.m. as the penguins stretch their flippers and walk outside the aquarium right past guests lining the route.

Festivals of Lights

Phipps Conservatory has their annual indoor/outdoor Holiday Magic! Winter Flower Show and Light Garden with this year’s arctic adventure of dazzling lights, holiday trees and more than 1,600 poinsettias. Pittsburgh Botanic Garden is showcasing their seasonal event, Dazzling Nights!, an immersive winter light experience throughout their garden grounds. 

Wander Kennywood's paths for an uncommon amusement park experience during the holiday season with over 2 million holiday lights, live entertainment, and some rides still open for children. Find more holiday lights here for winter fun from November through January.

Seven Springs Mountain Resort

Nearby in the Laurel Highlands, Seven Springs Mountain Resort that will have you crossing your fingers for more snow. The largest of Pennsylvania's winter resorts, Seven Springs is the perfect place to take a family vacation. They've got downhill skiing, snowboarding, terrain parks, snow tubing and lessons for all ages and abilities. When you're done, enjoy fine dining at Helen's and Slopeside or an escape into luxury at the Trillium Spa, all without ever leaving the resort.

Hidden Valley Resort

This resort is also located in Laurel Highlands and is a great spot for beginners to find their ski legs. They've got a wide variety of slopes that range from easy to intermediate to advanced. Snow tubers, skiers and snowboarders are all welcome to explore the 26 slopes and trails as well as the two Terrain Parks. And if you take advantage of the Epic Pass, you can get access to Seven Springs, Hidden Valley, and Laurel Mountain in our region, plus resorts around the US, all with no blackout dates or limitations.