Philadelphia boasts a huge range of holiday things to do during this time of year. Christmas in Philadelphia is a magical time, filled with glittering lights, warm drinks, lazy ice-skating, and plenty of cheer to go around. For those of you who will be spending your Christmas in Philadelphia this year, we’ve got a handy round-up of the best things to do for the 2019 holiday season. Ranging from some of the most beautifully-bedecked historic homes you can imagine to the perennially popular kids’ events around the city, there’s something for everything to delight in. Our festive Christmas events in Philadelphia include:
- A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens
- Wintergarden at Dilworth Park
- Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market
- Christmas Village
- Franklin Square Holiday Festival
- Holiday Light Show at Fashion District Philadelphia
- Holiday Tours at One Liberty Observation Deck
- LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo
- Christmas Underwater at the Adventure Aquarium
- Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
- And more!
A Longwood Christmas at Longwood GardensNovember 22, 2019 - January 5, 2020 The expansive conservatory at Longwood Gardens becomes transformed into a magical wonderland bursting with color and scent. Four acres of heated space is filled with poinsettias, Christmas trees, and bursting beautiful flowers. Outside of the conservatory, plenty of trees and other flora are bedecked with more than 500,000 twinkling lights. There's even a fire pit and a few gorgeously restored historic fountains to enjoy—also decorated for the holidays.
Wintergarden at Dilworth ParkNovember 8, 2019 - February 23, 2020 The wintertime in Dilworth Park is practically perfect. Alongside a cheerful outdoor ice rink for the whole family, adults can enjoy the Wintergarden—a holiday pop-up in the middle of the Center City District. Stroll through charmingly sculpted topiaries while sipping delicious mulled wine from a collectible mug—refillable for just $7. Admission to the Wintergarden is free.
Made in Philadelphia Holiday MarketNovember 23, 2019 – January 1, 2020 Also located in Dilworth Park, this is one of our favorite holiday markets in the country. Nearly 50 of the best local artists and craftspeople will come together to offer their wares to a discerning group of holiday shoppers. You can find a variety of unique gifts from original works of art to jewelry to stationery to home goods. Also available is a selection of food and drink for purchase. Admission to this market is free.
Christmas VillageNovember 28 - December 24, 2019 Right across the street from Dilworth Park and its Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market, the German-inspired Christmas Village complements your well-rounded Philadelphia Christmas shopping experience. Expect traditional wares from both local and international vendors here, ranging from handmade toys to lovingly crafted apparel and more. Be sure to sample the German food and drink, too.
Franklin Square Holiday FestivalNovember 14 - December 31, 2019 This historic part of Philly comes to life in a show of beautiful lights. It’s bedecked with over 75,000 bulbs that blink in time with pre-set Christmas music each night. Families can also enjoy a visit with Santa on Saturdays, the opportunity to take a ride on the holiday train and carousel, a few rounds of mini-golf, and sweet treats. For the adult crowd, visitors can also opt to enjoy local craft beer and delicious fare.
Holiday Light Show at Fashion District PhiladelphiaNovember 14 - December 31, 2019 The brand-new Fashion District Philadelphia is going all out for its first Christmas season. While this retail and entertainment mecca is a top destination year-round, this season they’ll offer a massive, 45-foot-tall floating tree decorated with glittering ornaments. You can also enjoy a light show timed to music by the Philly POPS. While you’re enjoying the show be sure to get in some holiday shopping at the designer shops and boutiques found here.
Holiday Tours at One Liberty Observation DeckNovember 15 – December 30, 2019 (select dates) Enjoy special seasonal tours at one of the best places in Philly to soak up the holiday spirit. One Liberty Observation Deck offers 360-degree views of the city below, which are extra special this time of year with all the festive Christmas decorations that abound. Tours run during the day on the weekends. You’ll also be able to stroll around an inside holiday craft bazaar featuring local vendors and a periodical guest appearance by the big man himself.
LumiNature at the Philadelphia ZooNovember 20, 2019 – January 5, 2020 (select dates) A phenomenal immersive display of lights and music, this art installation at the Philadelphia Zoo reimagines the zoo’s already-exciting daytime spaces as a glittering field of magical lights after dark. Lighted figures of plants and animals dot the landscape alongside a 25-foot-tall tree, making for a cheerful atmosphere for the whole family. Enjoy seasonal treats, live music and singing, and beverages for kids and adults.
Christmas Underwater at the Adventure AquariumNovember 29 – December 30, 2019 There are few places in the world where you can enjoy a visit with Scuba Santa, and the Adventure Aquarium is one of them! Say hi to Santa and them marvel at the world’s tallest underwater Christmas Tree, which his decorated in true undersea fashion with all sorts of marine décor. It’s also accompanied by a number of littler trees (including the adorable world’s smallest underwater tree), all decorated by Santa’s scuba Elf helpers.
Blue Cross RiverRink WinterfestNovember 29, 2019 - March 8, 2020 An exciting holiday event for all to enjoy, the RiverRink Winterfest [we usually work with them so add the link in when that goes live again on the Go Philly site] boasts a bevy of seasonal activities. From the titular skating rink—which is delightful for the entire winter season—to series of family-friendly entertainment including a real arcade, the Winterfest could entertain anyone for hours. Adults will love cozying up in Lodge Restaurant and Bar, and everyone will enjoy the chance to indulge their sweet tooth at the Franklin Fountain Confectionary Cabin.
More Festive Things to Do in Philadelphia
- Partake in holiday festivities at the National Museum of American Jewish History
- Head out to Buck’s County to enjoy Shady Brook Farm’s festive lights show
- Scope out the Macy’s Christmas Lights show at the historic Wanamaker Building
- Watch the model trains zip around the tracks at the Morris Arboretum
- See the beautiful tree outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Enjoy the Pennsylvania Ballet’s moving production of The Nutcracker
- Gawk at the illuminated historic houses of Fairmount Park
- Marvel at the Comcast Center’s high-tech Christmas spectacular & new market
- Watch the Parade of Lights at the Independence Seaport Museum (December 7)
- Get some unique Christmas gifts during Museum Store Sunday
- Find special presents along Rittenhouse Row
- Visit the official Philadelphia Christmas Tree at City Hall
- Check out the community Menorah Lighting at the Betsy Ross House (December 22)