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Photos: Dilworth’s Park ice skating rink, winter maze is now open

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Plus: Watch a video tour of the winter maze

It’s still more than a month from the start of the winter season, but festivities are already underway at Dilworth Park in Center City. Today marked the grand opening of the ice skating rink and a new winter garden maze in front of City Hall.

As part of the opening day occasion, veterans and military members can take a free spin on the Rothman Institute Ice Rink as a salute to Veterans Day.

While it’s the third return for the rink, it’s the first for the America’s Garden Capital Maze, which has taken over a patch of grass on the south side of Dilworth Park. Designed by Groundswell, the new addition to the winter festivities features topiary sculptures donated by Longwood Gardens and other plants and foliage from more than two dozen gardens in the greater Philadelphia region.

Center City District Foundation’s executive director Nancy Goldenberg says that in addition to simply being a nice place to visit during the winter season, the maze is meant to be educational for visitors, too. In addition to ice-skating, Greater Philadelphia Gardens will host horticultural events at the maze, including build-your-own terrarium classes.

“It’s a demonstration that gardens are beautiful 365 days a year. Not just in the summer and the spring,” says Goldenberg. “Gardens can be equally beautiful and unique in the winter.”

Although the maze just opened today, Goldenberg says its already created a micro-environment in the heart of Center City, attracting birds and other wildlife to the garden.

The maze and ice skating rink are open through February 26. Check Dilworth Park’s website for winter hours.