Christmas is a time of magic, wonder and good cheer, and the city of Philadelphia has become a national icon of the holiday season thanks to the wide array of activities available for young and old during the happiest time of the year. So grab a cup of cocoa and follow me through the wondrous world of Christmas fun, lights, and sounds to be found throughout Philadelphia this year.
Welcome To Wonderland
- Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show at Franklin Square – Bringing Benjamin Franklin’s imagination to life in a colorful display of over 50,000 lights, the light show at Franklin Square features a lighted kite, together with holiday garlands and seasonal music for a wondrous visual experience nobody should miss. Shows take place every half hour between 4:30 and 8 p.m. Once you have enjoyed the lights, mosey on down to Franklin Square’s Lightning Bolt Holiday Express and take a ride around the square, or pay a visit to Santa on Saturdays, as you enjoy an environment full of holiday music, surprises, and much more!
- Waterfront Winterfest – For those who enjoy holiday shopping, great beer, and warm food, the Waterfront Winterfest is the place to be this holiday season. Featuring a 500 person tent located next to the Blue Cross RiverRink, this brand new attraction offers a lively environment to spend some time during the holiday season. Open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., visitors can also enjoy a 3-D light show called “Bright Lights, Big Santa”, together with music, and much more. Take some time off after skating at the rink and enjoy everything the Waterfront Winterfest has to offer.
- Rittenhouse Square Christmas Tree Lighting – Nothing speaks of Christmas in Philly as the lighting of the Christmas Tree at Rittenhouse Square. Enjoy the festive atmosphere provided by over 5,000 bulbs as you take a walk around Rittenhouse Row where you can get some shopping done. Once you have finished, head on over to the center of the square and enjoy a nice cup of hot cocoa and the beautiful voices of the carolers who start singing at dusk, or have a nice meal and a drink at one of the many restaurants and lounges located throughout the square. Regardless of what you choose to do, keep an eye out for Santa, you never know when he might show up!
- Morris Arboretum’s Holiday Garden Railway – Enjoy a miniature village, thousands of lights, and a train track almost a quarter of a mile long at the Morris Arboretum. The railway has been set up to include seven loops and tunnels, as well as fifteen different rail lines, cable cars, and nine bridges, one of which can be walked under. All the materials used to build the set up are natural and have originated in the arboretum, including moss, leaves, twigs, logs, and flowers, giving the scenery a wonderful realistic appearance. The display will be available until January 5 and can be visited free with admission to the garden.
- The Enchanted Colonial Village at the Please Touch Museum – An attraction like no other, this colonial village recreates a time of yore, in which a blacksmith, a baker, a toymaker and many other characters built a village a long time ago. This beautiful attraction can be enjoyed throughout December together with other singular exhibits and attractions at the Please Touch children’s museum. For hours and other information, please click here.
With the start of the holiday season, Philadelphia becomes a winter wonderland in a most original and traditional manner, making it one of the most enjoyable places to be. From delicious food, to lively music, together with thousands upon thousands of lights and tons of holiday cheer, Philadelphia offers a world of Christmas time activities that are sure to please young and old alike.