Not only does Philly look especially charming in winter, but there’s a world of fun to be had in and around the city in the months leading up to spring. Here’s a look at the tropical flowers, restaurant crawls, and family-friendly outings that will keep your group entertained – and warm.
Out to Lunch – and Dinner
If trying out new dining options is on your group’s New Year’s resolution list, Philly Restaurant Week the ideal opportunity to kick-start 2019. With hundreds of restaurants – ranging from classics like Butcher and Singer and Pub & Kitchen to newcomers Giuseppe & Sons – you can enjoy $20 lunches and $35 dinners all over the city from January 13–25. Consider making a week of it by booking tables in advance and reserving a room at the centrally located DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Center City.
Every year at the beginning of March, the Philadelphia Convention Center is transformed from a blank slate into a wonderland of flora for The Philadelphia Flower Show. This year’s theme, Flower Power, draws inspiration from the psychedelic side of nature, highlighting the harmonious hues of horticulture. Those staying at the recently renovated Hampton Inn by Hilton Philadelphia Convention Center can book an early-morning tour of the Flower Show and sneak in before the crowds. And at the end of the day, treat yourself to a show at the Walnut Street Theater, which is also close by.
Hunting for Gold
Every year on St. Patrick’s Day, the quaint borough of Narberth hosts a family-friendly Leprechaun Hunt for kids of all ages. The free event sees groups of family and friends scouring the town in search of the bearded fairies of Irish folklore, who, once they’re spotted, give gifts of gold (gold-coated chocolate, that is). Families interested in this seasonal scavenger hunt can book at room at the DoubleTree by Hilton – Valley Forge and steer clear of rowdier St. Patrick Day revelers.
It’s not often that mascots make national headlines, but the new face of the Philadelphia Flyer has won plenty of hearts with his fiery mane, googly eyes, and bouncy belly. While Gritty has made plenty of appearances on late-night TV, not to mention in many a meme, the best way for your group to meet Philadelphia’s favorite superfan is to head to his home turf on March 11 when the Flyers will be facing off against the Ottawa Senators. Bonus points for dollar hot dogs from local deli dynasty, Dietz & Watson, and the fact that the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel –Philadelphia Airport is less than 10 minutes away.
From modern masterworks to medieval treasures, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is home to a timeless permanent collection. This season, the PMA is also hosting an exhibition focusing on a more approachable art form. Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now takes a look at the evolution of feminine apparel with iconic ensembles from Balenciaga, Oscar de la Renta, and so many more. If the exhibit leaves you and your group with an itch to do some shopping, the museum is a short Uber ride to Rittenhouse Square’s best boutiques. And when you’re all shopped out, you can bed down at The Inn at Penn.
Those looking for a new perspective on Philadelphia (or a once-in-a-lifetime adventure) will be pleased to know that Downingtown is home to the area’s one-and-only hot-air balloon launch site. Groups of up to 10 people can reserve a ride in one of Above and Beyond‘s colorful fleet of balloons and float above the city for up to two hours at a time. After touching down, the groups can enjoy a champagne toast before heading back to the nearby Home2 Suites by Hilton Philadelphia.
Even during the chilliest days of winter, there’s nothing like the promise of a few glasses of wine to get the motivation flowing. Book a room at the Hampton Inn in Bridgeport, New Jersey, and you’ll find yourself within ten minutes of four of South Jersey’s welcoming wineries. Wagonhouse, Salem Oak, DiBella, and Cedarvale wineries all offer weekend tastings that are ideal for a quick wine tasting getaway. And on your way back to Philly, stop by for a touch of history at Battleship New Jersey, the most decorated battleship in the United States.