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22 Ways to Have Safe and Festive Holiday Season in Philadelphia

By Audrey Jaber | December 8, 2020 | Culture

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The fountain show at Longwood Gardens

From the city to the suburbs, here are some festive holiday happenings that should not be missed.


CITY

Stag and Doe Nights

Take part in Chestnut Hill’s longstanding holiday tradition of Stag and Doe Nights every Wednesday throughout December. Finish your holiday shopping with extended store hours and holiday specials, hop on a horse-drawn carriage, or stop by AR Workshop for a “Make and Take” ornament class. Through December 23, chestnuthillpa.com

Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Every year, Dilworth and Love Park transform into a European inspired open-air Christmas market with over 60 vendors offering an array of international gifts and goodies (think ornaments from Egypt, sweaters from Irelands, and handbags from Morocco). Through December 24, North 15th and Arch Streets, philachristmas.com

Founding Footsteps Holiday Light Tour

This trolley tour will take you by the most festive spots in the city (including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and South Philadelphia’s Smedley Street) and give you the chance to explore Philly in an entirely new way. Through December 31, foundingfootsteps.com

Morris Arboretum Holiday Garden Railway

The miniature winter wonderland features a quarter mile of track where bustling model trains travel through tunnels and over bridges. Keep an eye out for iconic Philly landmarks—like the replica of Independence Hall made of pinecones, acorns and twigs—in the scaled-down seasonal landscape. Through January 3, 100 E. Northwestern Ave., morrisarboretum.org

Deck the District

Aside from seasonal savings, Philly’s fashion district is celebrating the holidays with a dazzling light show featuring a 45-foot floating tree, over 1,600 lights and music from the Philly POPS. Through December 31, 901 Market St., preitmarketing.com

Old City Window Decorating Contest

Wander the historic streets of Old City and admire the wonderful window displays put on by local shops, restaurants, galleries and more. Don’t forget to vote for the winning display online! Through December 13, oldcitydistrict.org

Winter at Dilworth Park

From ice skating at the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink to unbeatable photo ops in the whimsical winter garden, there is so much to do at Dilworth Park this holiday season. Stop by the Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin to grab a warm mulled wine or pick up some handmade gifts and treats at the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market. Through February 28, One S. 15th St., visitphilly.com

Winter in Franklin Square

Play a round of Chilly Philly Mini Golf or take a ride on the Parx Liberty Carousel. Every 30 minutes the square will come to life as the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show commences and over 100,000 lights shimmer and shine to a soundtrack of holiday classics. Through December 31, 200 N. Sixth St., historicphiladelphia.org

Winter on Broad Street: A Holiday Light Spectacular

The first ever holiday light show on Broad Street features 193 larger-than-life light displays and an enchanted forest of over 45 illuminated trees. As you walk through the glowing tunnels and pathways, stop by the numerous dining kiosks for a tasty treat or a festive cocktail (try the Gingerbread White Russian or Irish Eggnog). Through January 2, 3601 S. Broad St., wellsfargocenterphilly.com

The Hip Hop Nutcracker at Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Get comfy on your couch and stream The Hip Hop Nutcracker, a reimagined contemporary performance of the classic ballet. Aside from Tchaikovsky’s timeless music, expect to see innovative visuals, all-star break dancers and rapper MC Kurtis Blow. December 12, kimmelcenter.org

Walnut Holiday Market

If you’re looking to add a new holiday tradition, head to FMC building’s Walnut Street Café as it transforms into a European holiday market. Grab a warm cocktail to-go as you purchase some presents from an array of local businesses (like Felt + Fat and Eat This Yum) and pick up a bottle of specially curated wine from the pop up bottle shop. Through December 19, 2929 Walnut St., walnutstreetcafe.com

SUBURBS

A Longwood Christmas

It’s never truly the Christmas season without a visit to Longwood Gardens. Brilliant red poinsettias and gorgeous evergreens are on display inside the four-acre conservatory; or head outside to stroll through the shimmering tunnel of lights. Through January 10, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Sq., longwoodgardens.org

Autograph Brasserie Gingerbread House Decorating Event & Picture-Perfect Brunch


Enjoy a tasty two-course brunch while the kids have some festive fun decorating personal gingerbread houses. While you eat, don’t forget to schedule a mini photo session with Norma Jean the Vintage Machine: a completely restored '69 VW van decked out for the season with wrapped presents and holiday decor galore. December 13, 503 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, autographbrasserie.com

Holidays in the Village at Peddler’s Village

As you wander through the enchanted village under a million twinkling lights, go for a ride on the 1920s carousel; check off your holiday shopping list at the 60 specialty shops and boutiques; or admire the winning displays from this year's gingerbread house competition. Through January 10, 100 Peddler’s Village, New Hope, peddlersvillage.com

Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farm

Take in the acres of illuminated lights from the comfort of your own car, or go for a ride on an open air wagon and sing along to some iconic holiday tunes. Through January 10, 931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley, shadybrookfarm.com

Wild Lights at the Elmwood Park Zoo

If you’re an animal lover, the Elmwood Park Zoo is the perfect place to celebrate the holiday season. Each night of Wild Lights features gorgeous light displays, live entertainment, exciting animal encounters and even a chance to meet Santa. Through December 30, 1661 Harding Blvd, Norristown, elmwoodparkzoo.org

Herr’s Christmas Lights Display

From dusk to dawn, drive through the snack factory’s annual holiday light display, featuring more than 600,000 dazzling lights. Through January 2, 271 Old Baltimore Pike, Nottingham, herrs.com

The West Chester Griswolds

For 22 years, the Plummer family has been putting on a spectacular holiday light display and every year they continue to up their game. This holiday season expect to see over 100,000 lights, some of which will even sing to you. Through January 3, 304 Dutton Mill Road, West Chester, westchestergriswolds.com

Christmas on the Farm at Linvilla Orchards

Cut down your own Christmas tree, visit the animals in the barnyard and pick up some poinsettias, mistletoe and Christmas roses in the Garden center. On your way out, make sure to stop by the Farm Market bakery for a famous Linvilla pie or fresh cider donut. Through December 23, 137 W. Knowlton Road, Media, linvilla.com

Holiday Magic at Brandywine

Since 1971, the Brandywine Railroad—a mini train track that travels a thousand feet through a small village—has been a holiday family favorite. This year’s display will also include a six-room dollhouse made by artist and composer Ann Wyeth McCoy. Through January 10, One Hoffman's Mill Road, Chadds Ford, brandywine.org

The North Pole Express & Santa’s Steam Train Ride at New Hope Railroad

Hop aboard a vintage train for a cheerful holiday ride along the 150-year-old New Hope Railroad line. As you admire the passing scenery and sing along to live holiday music, enjoy a steaming cup of hot chocolate best complemented by freshly baked cookies. Through December 30, 32 W. Bridge St., New Hope, newhoperailroad.com

Holiday Rally for Ardmore Restaurants and Retail

Back in April, The Rally for Ardmore generated over $10,000 for Ardmore small businesses, and this holiday season they intend to break that record. If you shop, dine or order takeout from a small business in the Ardmore Business District during December, make sure to send a photo of your receipt to info@ardmoreinitiative.org for a chance to win exciting prizes. Through December 23, Ardmore, destinationardmore.com



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Photography by: J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® / EDITORIAL AND ADVERTISING USE APPROVED; ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®