Looking to keep the kids occupied on that oh so long winter break? Or maybe you need some fresh ideas for entertaining out of town holiday guests? Or perhaps you’re just looking for a fun date night or night out during the busy holiday season? Well, any way you look at it, we’ve got you covered.
There are some spectacular holiday themed events in and around the Philadelphia are every year. From new favorites, to traditional holiday classic events, there is sure to be something for everyone this time of year. So get out and enjoy the beauty and magic of the holiday season, as only Philly can offer it.
The Comcast Holiday Spectacular– A free 15 minute show featuring an incredible holiday light show cast as a backdrop to the dancers of The Pennsylvania Ballet performing to The Nutcracker. It runs at the top of very hour from 10 a.m- 8 p.m beginning Thanksgiving Day and running until January 3, 2016. 1701 JFK Blvd. Philadelphia.
The Franklin Square Holiday Festival & Light Show- This year Franklin Square is featuring Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show. Showcasing a spectacular light show set to holiday music and a giant lighted kite. The festival also features holiday train rides, visits from Santa and carousel rides. The light show runs every half hour from 4:30-8:30 pm. It runs now through December 31st. Franklin Square 6th st and Race st. Philadelphia.
The Christmas Village- Set up like an old German style holiday village the Christmas Village at Love Park is a Philadelphia holiday staple. You can shop for Christmas crafts and ornaments, enjoy seasonal themed food and beverages, and pose for a classic holiday photo in front of Philly’s famous LOVE sign. The Village is set up now and remains up until December 27th at Love Park 1500 Arch St. Philadelphia.
The Macy’s Christmas Light Show– Macy’s in Center City has been turning out the holiday spirit with it’s renowned light show since 1956. The show, a holiday tradition for many local families features a huge 3 story light show featuring 100,000+ LED lights all set to the sound of the famous Wanamaker organ. Julie Andrews narrates the story as the lights deliver the show. The show has been delighting Philly families for 60 years. The show runs from now until December 31 with shows at 10am, 12, 2, 4 6 and 8 pm every day but Christmas Day. 1300 Market St. Philadelphia.
Dickens Village– If you’re already at Macy’s enjoying the light show, why not take a trip up to the third floor to check out Dicken’s Village. The show consists of 100+ animated characters in individual displays acting out scenes from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The lines are usually long, so arrive early if you can. A personal warning: firsthand experience has shown me (after waiting an hour in line) that some smaller children find the animated figures a little creepy. Just a thought from one mom to another who might be considering it.
Winterfest at the Blue Cross River Rink– Situated at Penn’s Landing along the Delaware River, Winterfest features an olympic sized ice skating rink for the whole family to enjoy. Outdoor seating, fire pits, festive holiday decor, and a huge heated tent for warming up and maybe a snack are set up all around. A variety of holiday treats and eats are available including food from Garces Group restaurants (from legendary chef Jose Garces). Perfect for a family day out or a cozy date night. Winterfest is open now and will remain up until March 6, 2016 at the Blue Cross River Rink, Columbus Blvd at Market St. Philadelphia.
The Holiday Railroad at Reading Terminal Market- The Reading Terminal Market is always a fun favorite for a huge variety of yummy foods from around the area and around the world. If you happen to be a train buff, or just love the look of those beautiful elaborate train and village sets at Christmastime, this is a perfect stop for you. Miniature scenery and buildings line up next to a 500 square foot holiday railroad display set up on a track a third of a mile long. A treat for the young and old train lover. The display is up now through December 31. Reading Terminal Market is located at 12th & Arch Streets, Philadelphia.
Longwood Gardens Christmas Display– If you’re familiar with the beautiful grounds of Longwood Gardens, you’ll be delighted to see it in its full holiday splendor. The grounds are set up with over half a million lights- yes half a million. Trees, shrubs, and fountains are fully around in twinkling beauty. Even if you have never seen Longwood before, now is the perfect time to see it for the first time. The display remains up until January 10, 2016. 1001 Longwood Rd. Kennett Square, PA.
ShadyBrook Farm’s Holiday Light Show– ShadyBrook Farm becomes a festive holiday mecca when it is draped in over 3 million holiday lights each year! They start setting up the lights in August for this truly magical display. Drive through and enjoy the view or hop out of your car and hitch a ride through on a tractor drawn wagon. When the ride is over, keep the spirit going by having your picture taken with Santa! The lights will be up until January 10, 2016. ShadyBrook Farms is located at 931 Stony Hill Rd. Yardley, PA.
Christmas at the Adventure Aquarium– Located on the Camden water front, the aquarium is always a big family draw. At Christmastime the huge aquatic attraction transforms into a holiday wonderland. Kids will delight in appearances by Rudolph, Bumble the Abominable Snowman and the now famous Scuba Santa (yes, it is what you think it is). The aquarium is adorned with twinkling lights, and traditional holiday decor making it a festive outing for everyone. You can catch Scuba Santa and more now through December 31st. On the waterfront at 1 Riverside Drive in Camden NJ.
Washington Crossing Reenactment– Join thousands of reenactors and spectators as they line the banks of the Delaware River at Washington Crossing Historic Park to present the annual reenactment of George Washington leading the troops across the Delaware in a pivotal moment of the American Revolution and of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania history.
Christmas Day. The crossing event is from 1-3 p.m with the actual river crossing at 1 pm. It is free. 112 River Rd. Washington Crossing.
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The National Museum of American Jewish History invites people from all backgrounds to the museum Christmas Day for a day of family fun. You are invited to fill in the blank any way you choose. You can enjoy the museum and special events all day. Admission $12 adults $5 kids. 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. 101 S. Indepenence Mall East (Corner of 5th & Maket) Philadelphia.
If you’re looking for something to do once the gifts are open but the holiday dust hasn’t quit settled yet, we’ve got an answer for that too.
Sugar House Casino’s New Year’s Eve on the Waterfront– Spend New Year’s Eve at Penn’s Landing with a pair of spectacular showings of their holiday fireworks. Join thousands of onlookers as they ring in the New Year with the breathtaking beauty of a waterfront fireworks display. 6 pm & Midnight. Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia.
The Mummer’s Parade. Now known as the Sugar House Casino Mummer’s Parade, this festive albeit slightly unusual New Year’s Day celebration has been a Philadelphia tradition for over a hundred years. The parade is an event that families in the area have joined together to enjoy for generations. With string bands, and paraders adorned in costumes ranging from elaborate and fantastical to truly must be seen to be believed, parade goers line the streets to catch a glimpse and enjoy the show. Teams (or brigades) parade and compete in various categories such as Fancy and Comics. If you have never seen a Mummer’s Parade, are not from this area, or are asking yourself right now, “what the hell is a Mummer?”, then this is the place for you this New Year’s Day. The parade starts at City Hall and marches south down Broad Street to Washington Ave. in Philadelphia. Parade starts at 10 a.m.
Whatever you do this year, One Unified wishes you a fantastic holiday season!