Things to do in Philly to Get Out of Your Dorm or Apartment

With the temperatures getting increasingly chilly, it can be tempting to spend an entire weekend in the comfort of your dorm or apartment, enjoying the luxuries of a warm bed and quality time with your favorite shows. While none of that is necessarily a bad thing (in fact, it sounds pretty nice), every now and then winter can feel limiting in that it becomes much harder to get out and enjoy the aspects of the city that are more accessible during the warm, summer months. Keeping that in mind, here are some fun, winter-friendly activities to do in Philly during these chilly months that’ll get you outside, even with the temptation of a warm house beckoning you to stay in.

  1. 1. Go Ice Skating at Dilworth Park

    This one is a must for the holiday season; it’s a great way to get out and enjoy the company of good friends -- and nothing screams holiday spirit like watching each other try (and likely fail) at ice skating. Plus if you get too cold, you can always take a break in the Cabin area and enjoy warm hot cocoa, pastries and other snacks that will make you glad you decided to leave the house after all. Plus this event runs from November 8 all the way through February 23, so you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy all of these activities long after the holidays have passed.

  2. 2. Christmas Village at Love Park

    In need of some gifts for your loved ones? Regardless of the holidays you celebrate, the Christmas Village at Love Park is truly just too cute to miss. This pop-up holiday shopping hub is held from November 28 until December 24 and offers handmade items, seasonal gifts, plenty of food and drinks, and a variety of musical performances that’ll warm up even the chilliest of nights. Bring your friends and this event could easily be made into the picture-perfect “getting-in-the-holiday-spirit” outing that will get you excited for all things festive.

  3. 3. Visit a Museum

    If holiday activities aren’t your thing, visiting a museum offers a great way to get out and do something that’ll make you feel accomplished and while still having a great time and sparing yourself from the brutal winter temperatures. The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation are both great starting points -- and if you tell them you’re a Tyler student you can get in for free or discounted! While going to a museum may seem boring in the eyes of many, I’ve really enjoyed my visits to both of these museums and I’m not a major art buff by any means. I find it’s totally enjoyable to just peruse from exhibit to exhibit while putting no pressure on myself to read every single plaque- just taking in the art that I like is plenty to make even the gloomiest of winter days feel productive and fun.

  4. 4. Have a change of scenery in a cafe or coffee shop

    While studying in the library, the tech or your room are all great options, sometimes just a simple change of scenery can totally uplift your mood and put you in a productive mindset, even when the winter weather has you feeling lethargic. I find that making the hike to a cafe or coffee shop in a cute area of the city is enough to make me feel like I actually did something, even if that something was only eating a bacon egg and cheese and working on some homework. My personal favorite spot for this is Tela’s Market on Fairmount Ave. They’ve got great produce, a delicious breakfast and lunch menu, and a relaxed environment that’s perfect for when you need to get stuff done. Plus, they play good music!

  5. 5. Schedule a brunch date!

    In the spirit of cute cafes and coffee shops -- this one is a personal favorite. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and to me, there’s no cozier activity than a Sunday brunch with friends at your favorite spot. Plus, with the weather being as cold as it is, I find myself constantly craving warm, homestyle cooking and the company of people I care about. This is also a super-easy way to just break out of a tired routine and mix things up a little without straying too far from your comfort zone, all while enjoying a delicious meal that’ll get your day started right.

  6. 6. Visit Fairmount Park

    Although sometimes even the walk to class can feel impossible in the cold, visiting Fairmount Park may be a worthy reason to bundle up. Even without the colorful fall foliage, the park offers an expansive open, green space that makes for the perfect way to get out of the bustling city and do something physical. I find that even after a 15 or 20-minute walk, I feel much more relaxed and my mood improves simply because I was able to move my body, which can be a difficult thing to find motivation for when you need to bundle up every time you go outside. With that being said- be brave and give this one a try!

  7. 7. When in doubt --go shopping

    I know the one thing I can count on as motivation to leave the house is a little retail therapy. Even in these colder months, shopping is a great year-round activity that’s bound to put you in a good mood. Whether it’s treating yourself to a new clothing item, gift shopping for family and friends, or even just window shopping -- everytime I set out on a shopping spree of any kind I always leave feeling like I’ve gained some new inspiration for my personal style and added about 1 million things to my wishlist (good thing the holidays are around the corner!). If indoor shopping is more your speed, make sure to check out the Fashion District in Center City for all things food, entertainment and hundreds of shopping ideas.

There’s really no way to sugar coat it -- winter can sometimes be a big bummer, and there are plenty of times when the cold has left me with little motivation to do anything. But, it’s easy to forget how lucky we are to live in a city that offers us so many fun, inexpensive and accessible activities and destinations that don’t stop when the temperatures fall, and sometimes it’s necessary to just bundle up and get out there. 

With these ideas in mind, don’t be afraid to take Philadelphia by storm -- even with the comfort of your bed to tempt you into staying in.