Christmas in Philadelphia

By Swathi Ramaswamy on May 08, 2018
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The great city of Philadelphia, which once witnessed the declaration of Independent America, is not only a place of historic sites and memorabilia. Come November; it decks up with lights and streamers all-over the city, and festivities wash over the streets like the tide.

PC: Wikimedia Commons

By the time December rolls around, Philly looks like your own dreamland to explore. Here are some of the best Christmas events in Philadelphia for you to enjoy.

1. Enjoy Christmas at the Longwood Gardens

It doesn’t really feel like Christmas in Philadelphia until you visit the 1000-acre spread of the Longwood Gardens. During the typical year-end, a million dazzling lights welcome you to the fascinating outdoor stroll and occasional pits of fire set up by the local craftsmen keep you warm along the way. All the trees on the green stretch, along with the mini shrubs are strung up with lights that twinkle like stars, and the whole scene makes for a brilliant spectacle to share with your loved ones on the most special night of the year. If outside is too cold for you, the indoor conservatory also has scented seasonal trees decorated with lights.

2. Visit the Christmas Village at the Love Park

The Christmas Village is a quintessential shopping fest during Philly Christmas. Earlier it was held at Dilworth Plaza, but now it has been relocated to the Love Park right in the heart of the city. The Christmas Village is a German-inspired market that stretches long and wide all-over the park, selling everything from sweet treats to trinkets to mulled wine. More than 80 wooden stable-like booths turn up all dazzled in lights and enjoyment to entertain you on your Christmas Eve shopping spree. This Christmas market in Philadelphia would compel you to shop till you drop. 

3. Enjoy Rothman Ice Rink skating at City Hall

Rothman Institute Ice Rink returns to the Dilworth Park in front of the façade of the looming City Hall. The white on the floor and on the walls of the building makes the whole place look like a snapshot from Frozen. If you are good with the skates, you can hire one for a reasonable rate and go swishing around the rink under the lovely Christmas lights – just try not to hit someone. If that is not your forte, you can simply enjoy the Winter garden and feast on the variety of cocktails, beers and wines. Keep an eye out for the happy hours and go light on your pockets in the festive season.

4. Visit The Franklin Square Holiday Festival

The Franklin Square Holiday Festival is one of the most popular and picturesque Christmas shows in Philadelphia. The main attraction of the fest is the light show that takes place at the centre, in the fountain of the square. Though the show lasts only for ten minutes, it is enough to soak in the festive spirit with thousands of bright and colourful lights dancing on water in rhythm to Christmas music. When the light and sound show is over, you can go around the park, shopping or eating from the many tents that have been set up for the occasion.

5. Witness the Comcast Holiday Spectacular at the Comcast Center

The giant 2,100 square foot wall of the Comcast Center turns into a live singing and dancing winter experience when the projector displays various Christmas scenes from movies, music videos, and animated cartoons throughout the day. If you hang around for long enough, you might even spot some animated penguins skating on ice or a snowman laughing all by itself.

6. Enjoy skating at The RiverRink Winterfest at Penn’s Landing

Skating makes a return to the list with the BlueCross RiverRink Winterfest. Facing the lovely Delaware River, the RiverRink at Penn’s Landing is where you should be if ice skating is one of your hobbies. When the legs give out, the numerous eateries, confectioneries, and nightclubs will cater to all your entertainment and refreshment needs for the rest of the night. If it gets too loud for you, spare your eyes and ears a bit and take in a great view of the New Jersey side of the river as well.

7. Witness the Macy’s Christmas Light Show

The Macy’s Christmas Light show is not just an event; it is an emotion. For more than half a decade, the giant display curtain has been telling the story of Santa, his Rudolph, Frosty the snowman, and the Nutcracker. This festive light show is a part of Christmas tradition in Philadelphia, and it would be a great miss if you do not pay a visit. After-all, it is one of the best Christmas events in Philadelphia. 

8. Enjoy the Holiday Garden Railway at Chestnut Hill Horticulture

Philadelphia has no dearth of experiences that you can have during Christmas. If all the hustle-bustle of the popular and crowded places is not your idea of celebration on Christmas Eve, then take a round to see the Holiday Garden Railway at Chestnut Hill Horticulture. In the Morris Arboretum, they decorate the quarter-mile-long mini rail line for the occasion and an equally small train toots around the track through the mini-village, decorated with tinsels, lights, and wreaths. The place is open for visitors every Friday in December after sundown – take your little ones along to enjoy a different and fun Christmas. If you are lucky, you might run into some carolers trying to make it an even better experience.

Christmas in Philadelphia is all about lots of fun and frolic and even more food and drinks. These Christmas Eve events have all of that, and some more.

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