15 Ways to Celebrate the Holiday Season in Philly: Deals, Virtual Events, and More

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This has been a semester unlike any other (to say the very least). Let’s get right into the good stuff. Below, you’ll find some ways to get into the holiday spirit this year in Philly—whether you’re near or far—featuring must-buy holiday gifts from local shops, virtual ways to celebrate the season, socially distanced in-person events, and more!

Please note: Some of the events listed below and on the Campus Philly Events Calendar may have been cancelled or shifted to virtual due to new restrictions by the City. Be sure to confirm details and availability on the organization’s website before attending an event, and follow CDC guidelines for physical distancing and mask-wearing when in public.

1. Virtual Historic Holidays Tree Lighting Ceremony

Photo credit: Betsy Ross House

The What: The festivities continue online this year with the fourth annual Historic Holidays Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Betsy Ross House.
The Where: Streaming virtually via Old City District’s Facebook page
The When: Dec. 3 from 6:15-6:30 P.M.
The Deal: Free

2. Deck the Hall Holiday Lights

Photo credit: Center City District Parks

The What: The newly redesigned illumination will feature continuous, uninterrupted projections, with sound effects on the west façade of City Hall.
The Where: City Hall
The When: 5-9 P.M. Sunday-Thursday and 5-11 P.M. Fridays and Saturdays. This unique experience will continue through January 1, 2021!
The Deal: Free

3. Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Photo credit: Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

The What: General admission to Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest is free; ice skating, games, and rides are pay-as-you-go. 
The Where: Blue Cross RiverRink
The When: Hours vary from Nov. 27 through March 7. Click here for details!
The Deal: Free with pay-as-you-go activities

4. Historic Holidays at Home

Photo credit: Old City District

The What: Enjoy Historic Holidays in Old City at home! Businesses are offering a taste of Old City with DIY kits, gift sets, virtual programming, and more. For a complete list, click here.
The Where: Virtual
The When: Varies. Click here for hours.
The Deal: Campo’s Cheesesteak DIY Kit, Old City Coffee, Oui Pastries, and The Wellness Refinery offer varying deals to enjoy the holidays from home. See the price range here!

5. Wintergarden on the Greenfield Lawn

Photo credit: Center City District Parks

The What: Wintergarden on the Greenfield Lawn returns this season with whimsically crafted reindeer topiaries, seasonal plantings, and an open-air layout. Visitors are welcomed with festive twinkling lights, a new rustic arbor, and generous seating throughout the garden. 
The Where: Dilworth Park
The When: Varies. Click here for hours.
The Deal: Free

6. Elfreth’s Association Decks the Alley From a Distance

Photo credit: Elfreth’s Alley

The What: The Elfreth’s Alley Association invites the public to a virtual festival spread across November and December, all delivered to your inbox!
The Where: Virtual
The When: Nov. 10 through the end of the year
The Deal: Free—just sign up for their newsletter!

7. Small Business Saturday

Photo credit: @OldCityPhilly / @InBetweenRivers

The What: Support our local business community and shop small on Small Business Saturday!
The Where: Old City District
The When: Nov. 28
The Deal: Free to attend; pay-as-you-go

Campus Philly Tip: Missed the event? Support local Philly businesses, restaurants, and shops by gifting a loved one with a gift card this holiday season!

8. Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Photo credit: Christmas Village

The What: Christmas Village in Philadelphia is happy to announce its return to LOVE Park and City Hall to once again transform Center City into a festive winter wonderland.
The Where: LOVE Park
The When: Nov. 26 through Dec. 24. Hours vary.
The Deal: Free to attend; pay-as-you-go

9. Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink

Photo Credit: Center City District Parks

The What: The rink offers wintry fun for all ages, with a full slate of programs—all in accordance with city, state, and CDC guidelines.
The Where: Dilworth Park
The When: Nov. 6 through Feb. 28. Hours vary.
The Deal: $10 skate rental

10. Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market

Photo Credit: Center City District Parks

The What: Support local, small businesses by browsing and buying handmade gifts, treats, and crafts galore! 
The Where: Dilworth Park
The When: Nov. 21 through Jan. 1. Hours vary.
The Deal: Free to attend; pay-as-you-go

11. Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin

Photo credit: Center City District Parks

The What: The Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin features the best elements for outdoor relaxation, including a new, open-air layout and warm heat lamps.
The Where: Dilworth Park
The When: Nov. 6 through Feb. 28. Hours vary.
The Deal: Free to attend; pay-as-you-go

12. Macy’s Christmas Light Show

Photo credit: Macy’s Santaland

The What: Wonder of seasons past with these beloved traditions at Macy’s Center City in Philadelphia. Watch how the spirit of A Christmas Carol has lived on in Dickens Village and see classic holiday tales as they’ve come to life in lights at Macy’s Christmas Light Show.
The Where: Virtual
The When: Available now
The Deal: Free

13. The Franklin Square Fountain Show

Photo credit: Photo by Jeff Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

The What: The free light show illuminates and dazzles the Square every 30 minutes nightly with over 100,000 lights (more than ever before) that shimmer, dance, and illuminate to a soundtrack of holiday classics.
The Where: Franklin Square
The When: Nov. 19 through Dec. 31 from 5-9 P.M.
The Deal: Free

14. Chilly Mini Golf in Franklin Square

Photo credit: Photo by Jeff Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

The What: New for 2020, Chilly Philly Mini Golf presented by IBEW Local 98 transforms Center City’s only miniature golf course for socially distanced winter fun both daytime and evenings. Updated with COVID-related safety standards, the course is complete with lights, holiday music, and larger-than-life wintertime friends throughout the course. The 18-hole game features reproductions of Philadelphia icons and landmarks.
The Where: Franklin Square
The When: Nov. 19 through Dec. 31 from 10 A.M. to 9 P.M.
The Deal: $10 per person

15. Miracle on 13th Street

Photo credit: Miracle on South 13th Street Holiday Light Display

The What: The 1600 Block of South 13th Street (between Tasker & Morris) becomes the Miracle on South 13th Street. Take a stroll down and enjoy Philadelphia’s favorite community holiday display!
The Where: South 13th Street
The When: Lights are on nightly from Thanksgiving to New Years, 5-10 P.M.
The Deal: Free

Looking for more things to do this holiday season? Check out our Campus Philly Calendar for free & discounted events, and follow us on Instagram for the latest Philly updates and socially distanced experiences!

Stay up-to-date on the latest student events, deals, and ideas this semester.