It’s that time of year again and we’ve compiled a list of things you must do in Philly this holiday season. Put on your winter jacket and get ready to be festive this winter with holiday markets, restaurants, light shows, ice skating, and more to experience.
In the heart of Center City, Dilworth Park has opened all its attractions for this holiday season. Explore their free Wintergarden, a picturesque and whimsical outdoor sanctuary, and relax under the twinkling lights with their playful reindeer displays.
Or, go ice skating at the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink! Every Thursday night from 5:30-9:00pm, they hold College Nights where college students are invited to ice skate at the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink for only $3. You just have to show a valid student ID to claim the discount.
Photo Credit: @centercitydistrict
While you’re at Dilworth Park, support local small businesses at the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market by perusing more than 40 vendors and purchasing a variety of goods like handmade gifts, treats, and crafts.
There’s just so much to do at Dilworth Park!
Photo Credit: @visitphilly
LumiNature is a stunning light display of 14 one-of-a-kind illuminated zones at the Philadelphia Zoo. Check out their breathtaking sights, sounds, and surprises while experiencing a magical journey celebrating the wonders of wildlife.
Highlights will include a brand new Penguin Prismatic show featuring a 40 ft. tall penguin, plus a new coral and under-the-sea holiday tree, a new 15-foot tall glowing blue gorilla, a 100 ft-long aquarium tunnel, and so much more.
Tickets are on sale from November 17 till January 6, and general admission prices range from $20-$28.
Photo Credit: @philadelphiazoo
Longwood Gardens is hosting its showcase of extraordinary displays of floating floral designs, festive trees draped in gilded garland, and gardens of bold blooms through their Longwood Christmas. The event starts November 17 and ends January 7, and tickets for college students are priced at $27.
Photo Credit: @longwoodgardens
Winter in Franklin Square is featuring their Electrical Spectacle Light Show presented by PECO Benjamin Franklin’s discovery with a giant kite and key that will be on display from November 16 to February 25.
The free light show runs every 30 minutes from 5pm until closing. Purchase tickets to play 18 holes of their Chilly Philly Mini Golf featuring reproductions of famous Philadelphia landmarks. Sit by their outdoor fire pits located throughout the Square, too!
Photo Credit: @historicphilly
Winterfest is one of Philadelphia’s favorite winter traditions on the Delaware Riverfront Waterfront. Winterfest is free to enter and open to the general public, while amenities like ice skating, cabins, and firepits require reservations in advance.
Skate your heart out at their Blue Cross RiverRink on November 24, 2023!
Admission costs $5 and skate rental costs $12. Enjoy seasonal foods and beverages like funnel cake, s’mores kits, fried Oreos, hot dogs, hot cocoa, cider, and more at the outdoor concession stand Skelly’s Amusements Concessions.
Photo Credit: @blue_cross_riverrink
6. Festive Food Spots
You can’t forget about the signature holiday foods!
Philly has so many pop-up bars and restaurants that are holiday-themed. Notable mentions include Tinsel, a Christmas Pop-up Bar, that has Christmas-themed drinks like their snow globe cocktails, candy cane shot glasses, and their fun Campbell’s-themed cans that the drinks come in. Truly deck out in holiday decor and cheer. My favorite addition is their Santa Gritty.
For an inside look at the space, check out this awesome video from Philly Food Ladies on Instagram!
Another Christmas pop-up you gotta check out is Craftsman Row Saloon, a restaurant and bar known as Philadelphia’s most festive sit-down restaurant. From the kitchen, look for a brand-new Christmas Dinner burger with everything you would want from grandma’s Christmas table, including savory stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato fries and more.
They also serve festive beverages like huge decked-out milkshakes.
Photo Credit: Main Line Today Website
On Wednesday, December 13, shops around the Old City area will stay open late for special shopping hours from 5-8pm. With purchases at any participating location, you’ll be able to receive a free Old City tote bag. Plus, check out the Farmers Market at Christ Church Holiday Pop-Up Market that runs from 3-7pm.
Photo Credit: @oldcityphilly
Located at Love Park and City Hall is the Christmas Village in Philadelphia held from November 18 to December 24.
Experience an authentic German Christmas Market while strolling along to visit their 110-plus vendors and delicious European food specialties like their traditional raclette sandwich, a freshly melted Alpine Cheese on a crispy baguette, bratwurst, and so many more delicacies. Support vendors from all around the world by buying gifts from decoration, fashion, beauty, arts, and crafts for the holiday season. They have fun amusement park attractions like their double-decker carousel in the middle of the City Hall Courtyard and their 65 ft. high Ferris Wheel.
Photo Credit: @philachristmas
Northern Liberties will host its Annual Holiday Pop-Up Market this season, on December 9-10. More than 35 vendors will be present with their crafts and handmade goods, so support them by checking them out or purchasing products for this holiday season for yourself or your loved ones. Plus, rather than taking a photo with Santa this winter, Northern Liberties offers you to take a photo with Krampus, the popular European legend that is half-goat and half-demon that punishes naughty children during Christmas time.
Photo Credit: Aversa Website
Ring in 2024 by attending the annual Mummers Day Parade on New Year’s Day! The Mummers Parade is a family-friendly celebration that has delighted visitors from Philadelphia and beyond for more than 120 years. Beginning at City Hall and ending at Washington Ave, this completely free event is the BEST (and most iconic) way to end the holiday season in Philadelphia.
Photo Credit: The Independence Vistor Center