By Melissa Kaufman

Grab your warmest coat, scarf and mittens and prepare for one of the most enchanting holiday seasons the city of Philadelphia has ever offered! Whether you’re a fan of a traditional holiday complete with all the trimmings or looking to celebrate the season high in the sky in a festive Ferris Wheel, Philadelphia is bound to offer a season full of surprises and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Prepare for a packed schedule this holiday season (if you choose!) or enjoy a relaxing one in the city filled with twinkling lights. Whichever path you choose, follow the trail of offerings detailed in this guide of holiday cheer:

Christmas Tree Lightings

Where to Buy a Live Tree in Philly

Holiday Celebrations

Sights to See

Christmas Tree Lightings

Philadelphia Museum of Art (Photo from Facebook)

Tree Lighting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

When: Wednesday, November 27, 2019; 5-7pm (Tree Lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. and Pay what you wish admission is open from 5 to 8:45 p.m.)

Where: East Terrace of the Art Museum; 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130

  • Enjoy the start to the holiday season at one of Philadelphia’s most renowned and celebrated museums. Watch the 55-foot-tall white fir tree become aglow in hundreds of bright lights on November 27. Delight in the warm melodies of Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Nine and the Sister Cities Girl Choir as their voices fill the air throughout the tree lighting ceremony and festivities.
  • The evening of the tree lighting ceremony is also “Pay what you wish,” to enter the museum that evening from 5-8:45pm, during or after the tree lighting. With lights, esteemed artwork and music, it is bound to be a great start to the holiday season in the city.

Rittenhouse Tree Lighting

When: Tuesday, December 3, 2019; 5-7 p.m.

Where: 210 W. Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA 19103

  • Held annually and organized by The Friends of Rittenhouse Square, bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to CBS3’s annual Toy Fest campaign while watching a 30-foot-tall tree illuminate the town! Adorning the surrounding streets with globe park lights, shoppers and visitors can explore the historic charm in the festive glow of the holidays.
  • Enjoy the sounds of the season as the tree is lit with musical performances featuring The Philly POPS, Mummers Greater Overbrook String Band, plus more!

Philly Holiday Tree Lighting at Philadelphia City Hall

When: Wednesday, December 4, 2019; 5-7 p.m. (Pre-show begins at 5pm, followed by the tree lighting ceremony, 5:30-7 p.m.)

Where: City Hall; 1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19107

  • Usher in the holiday season by enjoying one of Philadelphia’s most renowned and regarded tree lighting ceremonies! Join Mayor Jim Kenney, City Representative Sheila Hess and other prominent guests as the 65-foot tree which sits aloft a custom steel base of more than 7 ft, weighing roughly 40,000lbs is proudly lit.
  • Representing 30 Philadelphia neighborhoods, the tree is a cultural melting pot, displaying images of Philadelphia’s architecture and neighborhood distinctions.
  • Prior to the tree lighting ceremony, warm up to the sounds of pre-show entertainment at 5pm.

Historic Holidays Tree Lighting Ceremony & Community Menorah Lighting

When: Thursday, December 5, 2019; 5:30-7:30 p.m. (Tree Lighting); Sunday, December 22, 2019; 4:30 p.m. (Community Menorah Lighting)

Where: Betsy Ross Courtyard; 239 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

  • Celebrate the holiday season at Old City’s Third Annual Historic Holidays Tree Lighting! Enjoy holiday music performances while sipping seasonal beverages and small bites!
  • Designed by Petit Jardin en Ville, a Parisian florist and garden designer located in Old City, the tree will be “dressed to impress.”
  • In weeks following the tree lighting ceremony, join the community on December 22, as the Community Menorah is lit to celebrate the arrival of Hanukkah!

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Tree Lighting

When: Friday, December 6, 2019; 6-8 p.m.

Where: Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest; 101 S. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19106

  • Strap on your skates or relax by the fire and delight in the seasonal Winterfest’s tree lighting celebration! Enjoy numerous musical performances while keeping warm with seasonal sips and brews or taking in seasonal fare and treats.
  • Watch in awe as the tree lighting ceremony concludes with a Fireworks Display and visit from Santa!

Where to Buy a Live Tree in Philly

Philly Christmas Trees

For the 2019 Christmas season, this 35-year-old tree farm will operate from two locations:

Spring Gardens; 1834 North Street, Philadelphia, PA

November 23-December 15, 2019 (Saturdays&Sundays: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fridays & Mondays: 3 p.m.-8 p.m.)

Lemon Hill Mansion; 1 Lemon Hill Drive, Philadelphia, PA

November 22-December 15, 2019 (Friday, November 22: 12 p.m.-6 p.m.; Saturdays & Sundays: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.)

The Christmas Tree Stand

Regarded as prime Christmas tree rental, delivery, setup and removal company in the city, having a Christmas tree in Philly has never been easier! Conveniently visit their website or visit one of their “pop-up stands:” (Fishtown & Spring Garden Street are both SOLD-OUT for the season!)

Pop-Up Stands:

  • Christmas Village: 1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19102; Monday-Thursday: 11am-7pm; Friday & Saturday: 11am-8pm; Sunday: 11am-7pm.
  • Cherry Street Pier: 121 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19106; Open ONLY on Saturdays: 12 p.m.-7 p.m.
  • Morrisville: (Outside the city in Bucks County, PA) 375 W. Trenton Avenue, Morrisville, PA 19067; Monday-Friday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday &. Sunday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • West Chester:(Outside the city) 62 E. Street Road, West Chester, PA 19382; Monday-Friday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Holiday Celebrations

The holidays are now in full-swing in the city of Philadelphia and there’s never been a better time to ring in the holidays with these limited-time, exclusive festivities:

(Photo from Facebook)

Santa Express at Dilworth Park

When: Friday, November 29, 2019; 10:30 a.m.-Noon (Santa’s arrival is 10:45 a.m.)

Where: City Hall; 1 S. 15th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (Dilworth Park – Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink)

  • Continue the holiday fun after the turkey and pie are long gone the next morning on the grounds of the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink for the 29th annual Santa Express!
  • Hop aboard one of the 8 trains designated as “Santa Express,” (Trains are offered at Media/Elywyn Line; Lansdale/Doylestown; Fox Chase; Manayunk/Norristown; Market/Frankford Line and Broad Street Line.
  • Cheer on Santa and his elves, as they make their grand entrance aboard SEPTA trains donning festive holiday décor! After the ride’s conclusion, be sure to enjoy live entertainment and music from B101.1, as a joyful parade led by Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elves march around the rink. Top off the morning with skating, as Santa himself takes the ice!
  • Games, prizes and performers from the Walnut Street Theatre will round out the fun-filled morning.
  • NOTE: All are welcome to join Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elves at the parade (no train rides are required!)

Parade of Lights

When: Saturday, December 7, 2019; 1 p.m.-6 p.m. (Holiday Festivities) 5:15 p.m. (Parade begins)

Where: Independence Seaport Museum; 211 S. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (Tickets: Adults, 18-64 = $18 plus $2.73 fee; Children, 3-17 = $14 plus $2.48 fee; Seniors, 65+ = $14 plus $2.48 fee; Military&College Students with valid ID = $14 plus $2.48 fee)

  • Start off the afternoon in the festive atmosphere of the Independence Seaport Museum with the festivities hosted by CBS3 anchor, Jan Carabeo. Enjoy and choose from an array of activities prior to the twilight parade; everything from face painting, to visiting Santa’s “Workshop on the Water,” to learning how to make monkeyfists and even decorate a gingerbread boat ($5 plus a $1.94 fee).
  • The fun continues throughout the afternoon with opportunities to check out Makerspace featuring activities including laser-cut ornaments to color and take home as a souvenir!
  • Flaunt your biggest smile and be sure to snap an LED holiday card to commemorate the day – but hurry, cards are first-come, first-serve, in limited capacity ($5 plus $1.94 fee).
  • Throughout the afternoon, be on the lookout for Santa, as he’ll be traversing his way throughout the museum!
  • Keep your eyes on the water as the day culminates at 5:15 p.m., with the parade showcasing local working boats in sparkling lights on the river!

CultureFest! Celebrations Around the World

When: Saturday, December 7, 2019; 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: Penn Museum (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology); 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (This event is included with paid museum admission)

  • Experience the excitement of the holidays from abroad without ever leaving Philadelphia!
  • Upon arriving at the museum, visitors will receive their “passports” detailing their lists of activities for the day. Visitors will be able to delight in and learn about holiday traditions which include (Diwali, The Dragon Boat Festival, Eid-al-Fitr and Ramadan)
  • Enjoy your cultural, holiday adventure as holiday performances take the stage in the museum’s Rotunda!
  • Have your face-painted or channel your inner artist by creating a special craft and showcase your best moves by learning Indian dances and sari-wrapping.
  • Flaunt your best penmanship by designing your own Rangoli or Arabic calligraphy.
  • Fuel up in between activities with hot chocolate and/or sphinx cookies in the café!

Philly POPS’ Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia Holiday Celebration

(Featuring The Harlem Nutcracker with special guests, Randy Brecker&Jeff Hamilton)

When: Saturday, December 14, 2019; 8 p.m.

Where: Perelman Theater (Inside the Kimmel Center); 300 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (Ticketed event, $35-99, by level seating)

  • For one night only, join the renowned Philly POPS’ Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, led by Terell Stafford as they perform their 6th presentation of The Harlem Nutcracker.
  • The holidays come to life in string-instrumental form, as the orchestra performs Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s The Nutcracker.

A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage!

When: Friday, December 20, 2019 – 7pm & Saturday, December 21, 2019 – 1:30pm & 5:30pm

Where: Merriam Theater; 250 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (Ticketed event, $33-103, by level seating)

  • Enjoy the favorite TV special as it comes to life on the small stage with Peanuts characters moving, grooving and singing beloved holiday carols! Offered as a two-day only, limited-time engagement, adults and children alike will be amazed as the classic characters evokethe magic of the holidays, live on stage!

Cirque Dreams: Holidaze

When: Thursday, December 26, 2019: 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.; Friday, December 27, 2019: 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.; Saturday, December 28, 2019: 11 am, 3pm & 8pm; Sunday, December 29, 2019: 3pm

Where: Merriam Theatre; 250 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (Ticketed event, $40-99, by level seating)

  • Offered as a part of the Broadway Philadelphia series, this holiday-focused, limited-run Cirque Dreams: Holidaze performance offers over 300 unique costumes, 20 acts and singing and dancing for over two hours!
  • Complete with the acrobatics of the Cirque franchise is well-noted for, this performance provides an elaborate take on the holidays, in live form!
  • Sip on “Cirque Cider,” a spiked spiced cider, as the show’s official cocktail, offered at $9 in the concessions stands.

Sights to See

The much-anticipated Holiday season in Philadelphia welcomes the return of numerous holiday markets and shopping destinations, skating rinks, as well as several new Light Shows and other festive attractions. Enjoy a season filled with these special offerings, as all are at least one month long:

Luminature at the Philadelphia Zoo (Photo by Michelle Reese)

LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo

When: Wednesday, November 20, 2019-January 5, 2020

Where: The Philadelphia Zoo; 3400 W. Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA (Timed, Ticketed Event; Adults (12+): $24; Children (2-11): $19; Children (Under 2): FREE

  • Deck the season in accompaniment with your favorite animals in the dark! Embark on a special voyage through 600,000 lights and sounds for the first time. In the works for two years, this light show makes its first appearance ever, this holiday season! The show features 12 experiences including: hundreds of illuminated penguins & flowers, a 21-foot-tall snake, giant cat eyes glowing in the darkness and even a 25-foot-tree formed by flocks of flamingoes!
  • Fuel your appetite after or while enjoying the illuminations with hot cocoa, sweet or savory treats, seasonal brews and other cocktails.
  • The excitement magnifies even further with live performers; it’s the zoo after dark in ways once only dreamt of!

Made in Philadelphia Market (photo provided by Aversa PR)

Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market & City Hall Christmas Carousel

When: Saturday, November 23, 2019-January 1, 2020; SundaysThursdays: 11am-7pm; Fridays&Saturdays: 11am-8pm; Thanksgiving Day (11/28/19): 9am-5pm; Black Friday (11/29/19): 9am-8pm; Christmas Eve (12/24/19): 11am-5pm; Christmas Day (12/25/19): CLOSED

Where: Dilworth Plaza; 1 S. 15th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (Outside of City Hall)

  • Marvel in the transformation of Dilworth Plaza as it fills with over 50 festive tents topped with Herrnhut Stars. As an open-air market now in its 5th year, this year’s market features its most vendors than ever before with locally made and handcrafted offerings! Surprise a loved one, friend, or even treat yourself to unique apparel, decorations, home goods and more!
  • Not only a shopping destination, the market will offer live crafting demonstrations and artists engaging in their craft. Fuel up while shopping and browsing with hot cocoa, hot cider or seasonal brews, in addition to traditional Philly pretzels, French macarons, cannolis and even cheesesteaks, as the market’s signature sandwich.
  • Pause your shopping to take a ride aloft the Christmas Carousel! ($3 per ride) Sit atop one of the 15 wood-carved horses, five special reindeer and a new Christmas Sleigh! No matter your age, this whimsical carousel is sure to please the inner child in all of us, this season.

(Photo provided by Aversa PR)

Christmas Village in LOVE Park

When: First Day: November 28, 2019; Last Day: December 24, 2019; SundaysThursdays: 11am-7pm; Fridays&Saturdays: 11am-8pm; Thanksgiving Day (11-28-19): 9am-5pm; Christmas Eve (12-24-19): 11am-5pm

Where: LOVE Park; 1500 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

  • Heralded as Philadelphia’s premier and top Christmas attraction, Christmas Village proudly returns to LOVE Park and new location – City Hall, this year, in celebration of its 12th season!
  • As an open-air German Christmas Market, Christmas Village offers visitors a plethora of local and international gifts, ensuring unique gifting occasions to please even the most refined and elegant tastes.
  • Satisfy a sweet tooth with rich hot cocoa, fresh-made waffles and fresh-baked gingerbread cookies. Be sure to wash down those sweet treats with mulled wine (German Gluhwein) or a German draft beer.
  • Leave room for the many savory German delicacies cooked made to order (many as you watch, firsthand!). Enjoy Kasespatzle (soft cheese egg noodle made in a cast-iron pan with onions), Belgian fries and of course, authentic German sausages cooked on a vast outdoor grill.
  • While shopping and snacking, snap a photo with the original Christkind from Nuremberg (who in Germany brings Christmas gifts to children and follows suit, here at the market!) on December 1, 2019, as she recites her prologue and takes her traditional walk through the market.
  • Not solely a shopping destination, Christmas Village also offers regular entertainment, wine & beer tastings, dancing and parades.
  • Gaze in awe at “The Present,” Christmas Village’s centerpiece, which debuted last year and returns this year for an encore appearance this season. At 27 feet, the glowing, walk-through holiday gift box features a 4-foot bow and is adorned in 24,500 feet of red and white LED lights! It is truly the “crown-jewel” of the village!
  • Stop by for a HoHo Happy Hour featuring discounted drinks and eats, while settling into “The Alm,” a brand-new outdoor seating area.
  • New this year, Christmas Village expands and now features Wawa Holiday Plaza, located around the Municipal Christmas Tree of the City of Philadelphia on North Broad on City Hall. Enjoy Christmas “in the air,” from 65 ft high, as a brand-new Christmas Village Ferris Wheel ($4 per ride) dazzles the village within Wawa Holiday Plaza. Enjoy views of the market and city, while airborne.
  • After their feet touch the ground following a ride on the Ferris Wheel, children can hop aboard the brand-new Christmas Village Holiday Train ($3 per ride). Continue the fun in motion with a ride on the Christmas Village Carousel inside the City Hall Courtyard for a festive spin around the village.

(Photo by Michelle Reese)

Winter Fun in Dilworth Park

(Rothman Orthopaedic Ice Rink & Cabin; Wintergarden on the Greenfield Lawn & Deck The Hall Light Show at City Hall)

Located in Center City in and around City Hall, Dilworth Park is once again bustling and bursting with holiday cheer in all forms! Whether it’s holiday skating under the glistening lights or a stroll around a winter garden featuring crimson poinsettias, there is sure to be an activity and holiday offering to please the tastes of all!

Dilworth Plaza Ice Rink (Photo by Michelle Reese)

The Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink & Cabin

When: November 8, 2019-February 23, 2020; MondaysThursdays: 12 p.m.-9 p.m.; Fridays: 12 p.m.-11 p.m.; Saturdays: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sundays: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Thanksgiving Eve: 12 p.m.-11 p.m.; Thanksgiving Day: 12 p.m.-8 p.m.; Black Friday (11-29-19): 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Christmas Eve: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Christmas Day: 12 p.m.-8 p.m.; Holiday Break (12-22/12-30): 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; New Years Eve: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; New Years Day: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Where: Dilworth Park; 1 S. 15th Street (West Side of City Hall), Philadelphia, PA 19102 (Admission: Adults (11+): $5; Children (10 and younger): $3; Skate Rental: $10)

  • Enjoy ice skating in the heart of the city of Philadelphia and amongst the sights, sounds and tastes of the holiday season.
  • Both warm and fuel up at the Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin by the glow of a firepit! Delight in mugs of spiked hot cocoa or even a cocktail made of bourbon and apple flavors.

Wintergarden on the Lawn (Photo by Michelle Reese)

Wintergarden on the Greenfield Lawn

When: November 8, 2019-February 23, 2019; Chadds Ford Winery On-Site, MondaysFridays: 5-8pm; Saturdays&Sundays: 12pm-8pm.

Where: Dilworth Park; 1 S. 15th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

  • Explore this festive, wintertime garden, free of charge! Take in elegant and unique plantings and topiaries honoring the holiday season while sipping special, warm spiked beverages.
  • Offered for the first time, Chadds Ford Winery will be serving (for $7 in a souvenir mug), “Holiday Spirit” (a Pennsylvania-made, German mulled wine) or “Spiced Apple,” (made with pressed apple wine). It’s the “sweetest” way to enjoy the gardens, holiday-style!

Deck the Hall Light Show at City Hall

When: Monday, November 25, 2019-January 1, 2020; nightly: 5:30-8:30pm; Opening Night (11/25/19 – every 30 minutes); November 26-December 21 (SundaysThursdays: Every hour; Fridays&Saturdays – every 30 minutes); December 22-January 1 (Daily, every 30 minutes)

Where: City Hall; 1 S. 15th Street (West Side of City Hall), Philadelphia, PA 19102

  • Making its coveted return, the Deck the Hall Light Show offers onlookers technicolor projections which dance in synchrony to holiday tunes. The western façade of City Hall is transformed into a holiday spectacle!

12 Days of Christmas Pop-Up Holiday Bar

When: Friday, November 29, 2019-Sunday, December 22, 2019 (every Friday: 5 p.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday&Sunday: 12 p.m.-2 a.m.)

Where: 12 South 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (rooftop of Farmer’s Keep)

  • Enjoy the many tastes of the season in drink-form at this special, pop-up holiday bar, situated at the new, outdoor rooftop area of the restaurant, Farmer’s Keep!
  • With festive Christmas décor, including a traditional Christmas tree, enjoy a warm or chilled beverage in the warmth of space heaters while outdoors.
  • Sip to the season with one these festive drink specials: Christmas Coquito – spiced rum, coconut, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg & vanilla; Claus Fireside Cider – apple cider, Fireball whiskey, brown sugar, ginger & lemon; Peppermint Dream – vanilla vodka, crème de cocoa, peppermint schnapps & pomegranate grenadine; or The Red Wreath – cherry vodka, rosemary, cloves, pomegranate & pear.

(Photo by Michelle Reese)

The Christmas Light Show, Dickens’ Village & Wanamaker Organ Concert at Macy’s

When: Friday, November 29, 2019-December 31, 2019, closed on Christmas Day; (Light Show offered every two hours, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., & 8 p.m. – store closing); Dickens’ Village offered DAILY: 10 a.m.-7 p.m., November 29-December 31, closed on Christmas Day)

Where: Macy’s Center City; 1300 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

  • As a Philadelphia tradition originating in 1956, the Macy’s Light Show symbolizes the beginning of the holiday season in the city. Located inside the historic Wanamaker Building, the Christmas Light Show awes visitors as it illuminates the Grand Court with 100,000 LED lights and the holiday music of the Wanamaker Organ.
  • Also delight in the Macy’s Magic Christmas Tree which appears during the show, donning 34,500 LED lights in 6 colors!
  • Be sure to visit the enchanting Dickens’ Village on the third floor! Offered as an homage to the Charles Dickens’ Christmas book, A Christmas Carol, the town comes to life as a 6,000 square foot walk through! Following your free village tour, be sure to meet and snap a photo with Santa!

(Photo from Facebook)

Blue Cross RiverRink WinterFest

When: Friday, November 29, 2019-Sunday, March 8th, 2020; MondaysThursdays: 1 p.m.-11 p.m.; Fridays: 1pm-1am; Saturdays: 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sundays: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Holiday Hours (December 22-January 1): MondaysSundays: 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Christmas Eve: 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Christmas Day: 1 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; New Years Eve: 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; New Years Eve Parties: 5 p.m.-8 p.m., then 10 p.m.-1 a.m. – tickets required

Where: 101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19106

  • Lace up your skates and enjoy Philadelphia’s, “Winter Wonderland,” as WinterFestarrives for its 26th season! Offered as a free event to the public, all can enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of the holidays and winter season.
  • Skate alone or with friends/family, then be sure to warm up at the on-site heated Lodge! With lots of comfortable seating and holiday decorations, enjoy comforting eats from Philadelphia establishments, such as Chickie’s and Pete’s and Garces! Wash down those savory bites with a hot cocktail or craft beer from the Lodge Bar!
  • Indulge your sweet tooth before or after skating with a visit to The Franklin FountainConfectionary Cabin! Stocked with homemade hot cocoa, hot fudge sundaes, and s’mores kits for on-site fire-pit grilling and more, it’s the sweetest way to warm up while outdoors!
  • Choose to warm up privately for two (or more, all available for rent, online) in a warming cabin – two themes are available to choose from – a Snowman Cabin or Skate Cabin. All cabins come stocked with blankets, pillows, games, fireplaces and more!
  • Children of all ages will be entertained both on and off the ice as a Kids Lodge is offered! Decorated with fun and interactive décor, the Kids Lodge features arcade games, small rides, pinball machines and air hockey!

Comcast Holiday Spectacular & Holidays at Comcast Technology Center with Gift Market

When: Thursday, November 28, 2019-January 1, 2020 (Holiday Spectacular – shows play daily, every hour, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., except at 5 p.m. on weekdays, visit with Santa on Saturdays & Sundays at 11 a.m. & 4 p.m.; Holidays at Comcast Technology Center – December 2-December 31: open daily, except on Christmas Day.

Where: The Comcast Center; 1701 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19103; Comcast Technology Center (Gift Market & additional Holiday Programming); 1800 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

  • Beginning this year on Thanksgiving and running through the New Year, The Comcast Holiday Spectacular ushers in the season with their annual 15-minute light show and sing along spectacular.
  • Dazzling visitors since 2008, it is one of the world’s largest high-resolution LED displays at a whopping 2,100 square feet! Enjoy sing-alongs and a flying sleigh-ride over the city of Philadelphia, all broadcast on the Comcast Experience Video Wall!
  • Enjoy holiday music favorites as hits like Carol of the Bells, Jingle Bell Rock, The Twelve Days of Christmas and The Pennsylvania Ballet’s, The Nutcracker, as they accompany the light show.
  • Brand-new for 2019, enjoy Holidays at The Comcast Technology Center as it features a curated gift marketplace offering pop-up shops, live performances and other holiday festivities. Also stop by the Universal Sphere, located in the upper lobby as a free, movie-like experience where visitors can delight in “the power of ideas,” in a visual spectacle developed by Steven Spielberg and movie studios.

Christmas in Fairmount Park: A Very Philly Christmas 2019 at The Historic Houses of Fairmount Park

When: December 5-December 29, 2019 (with special New Years Week Open Days – 12/30, 12/31, & 1/1 at Cedar Grove & Mount Pleasant Holiday Houses; hours vary by house and day)

Where: Fairmount Park’s 6 Historic Houses:

Cedar Grove: 1 Cedar Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19131

Historic Strawberry Mansion: 2450 Strawberry Mansion Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19132

Laurel Hill: 7201 N. Randolph Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19121

Lemon Hill: Sedgeley& Lemon Hill Drives, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Mount Pleasant: 3800 Mount Pleasant Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19121

Woodford: 3400 West Dauphin Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19132

  • Celebrating its 48th year, the Christmas season takes its reign over the historic houses of Fairmount Park. With each of the 6 houses decked out in the most sophisticated and opulent décor of the holiday season, visitors can delight in numerous special events at each of the houses which all combine music, seasonal fare and drink, as well as socializing.
  • For those wishing to explore on their own, single entry tickets can be purchased for $8 plus $1.40 fees per person, per house or purchase an “All-House Pass,” for $30 plus $2.50 fees per person, permitting entry to all 6 historic homes.

Franklin Square (Photo from Facebook)

Franklin Square Holiday Festival & Electrical Spectacle Holiday Show

When: November 14, 2019-December 31, 2019; every evening at 4:30pm on SundaysThursdays: every 30 minutes until 8pm and until 9pm, on Fridays&Saturdays.

Where: Franklin Square; 200 N. 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

  • With the night sky as backdrop, watch in amazement as bright colors and holiday décor take flight at this annual spectacular. Since 2013, the Electrical Spectacle Light offers more than 80,000 lights and musical accompaniment. Watch in awe as a giant illuminated kite soars through the sky!
  • Enjoy holiday shopping, special events such as Saturdays with Santa, rides on the holiday train and carousel, as well as savory and sweet seasonal delicacies (a Winter Beer Garden, SquareBurger restaurant & Ben’s Sweets and Treats!)

Historic Holidays in Old City & Photo Pop’s Winter Wonderland

When: November 14, 2019-December 31, 2019 (Photo Pop’s Winter Wonderland – November 15-January 5th)

Where: Old City District; 231 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (at various locations throughout the District); Photo Pop’s Winter Wonderland – The Bourse (across the street from the Liberty Bell); 111 S. Independence Mall, Phila, PA 19106

  • Regarded as the most historic square mile in the U.S., the Old City District of Philadelphia does not take its title lightly. All holiday season long, enjoy a step back in history while taking in elaborate holiday windows on display as apart of the annual Holiday Window Decorating Contest (November 30 at 11 a.m. through December 15 at 5 p.m.). Be sure to cast your vote for your favorite display for the chance to win an Old City Prize Pack!
  • Prior to and/or during your visit, download a FREE Historic Holiday Pass offered on and enjoy numerous discounts for Old City attractions, shops & restaurants! There’s never been a better time to relive history in Old City!
  • Take in unique murals, art pieces and enjoy photo opportunities across the street from the Liberty Bell from November 15-January 5th as Photo Pop’s Winter Wonderland returns to Old City. Taking over the recently renovated food hall, The Bourse, the event offers virtual reality experiences, surprises and immersive holiday displays. As a ticketed event, first week pricing is as follows: adults 11+ are $15, while children 5-10 are $10 and children under 5 are FREE. Starting November 23rd, regular prices take effect at $20 for adults and $12 for children; those under 5, remain free.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

When: December 6-31, 2019

Where: Academy of Music; 240 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

  • Featuring the Pennsylvania Ballet, this annual holiday event/performance once again, as it has for decades, graces the stage of The Academy of Music.
  • Paired with Tchaikovsky’s infamous musical score, delight in the dancing, décor and magic of The Nutcracker.

Holiday Light Show at Fashion District Philadelphia

When: November 14, 2019-December 31, 2019, every 30 minutes from 4 p.m. until closing (8pm)

Where: Fashion District; 901 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

  • Newly opened in September 2019, this chic space celebrates its first holiday season with a holiday light show! A prime shopping and entertainment venue, the light show follows suit with a 45-foot tall floating tree adorned with giant ornaments choreographed to Philly POPS’ music!
  • Offered every 30 minutes from 4pm until the 8pm closing, the show runs 5 minutes long, providing a fun dose of holiday cheer and festive lights to jazz up any shopping excursion.
  • Complete your holiday visit to the Fashion District with a visit from Santa from November 27-December 24th

A Very Philly Holiday at One Liberty Observation Deck

When: November 21, 2019-January 1, 2020 (Observation Deck open 10 a.m.-8 p.m.)

Where: One Liberty Observation Deck; 1650 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (General Admission: Adults (12+): $15; Youth (3-11): $10

  • Located atop a Philadelphia landmark skyscraper on the 57th floor at 360 degrees, this special holiday event proudly honors Philadelphia New Year’s Event – the Mummers Parade, as well as costumes and history of The Nutcracker and the lights of Miracle on South 13th Street, all from the convenience of one location!
  • Tour the grounds on a holiday tour (10 a.m.-6 p.m., Fridays through Sundays, at a variety of times for FREE with paid general admission)
  • Also be sure to stop by on December 15th at 1 p.m., for the Art in the Sky Holiday Craft Bazaar! Enjoy a visit with Santa, in addition to seasonal treats, craft beers and shopping with local vendors.
  • Enjoy other special events such as a Candy Cane Hunt with the Sugar Plum Fairy (December 2, 10am-noon, tickets required); Meet & Greet with The Grinch (December 16, 2-4 p.m.); and Bar 57’s Ugly Sweater Party (December 19, 6-8 p.m., tickets required)

The Miracle on South 13th Street Light Show

When: November 30, 2019-January 1, 2020, nightly, 5 p.m.-midnight (approximately)

Where: 1600 Block of South 13th Street, between Morris and Tasker Streets, South Philadelphia, PA

  • Located deep in the heart of South Philadelphia, this decades-long spanning neighborhood light show is comprised of approximately 50 homes all dressed to the nines in their season’s best!
  • This unique spectacle even earned Travel & Leisure Magazine’s Best Christmas Lights in Pennsylvania. With some homes boasting elaborate blow-up Christmas characters and hundreds of lights, this South Philadelphia block truly takes the reigns of the holiday season. Throughout it’s run, be sure to check in for pop-up Santa appearances!

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