Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad
51 N. 12th St.
Friday, Nov. 23 – Monday, Dec. 31
Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Reading Terminal’s Holiday Railroad, a Philly tradition, is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face—no matter your age. Watch as twelve working train lines chug through Center City, a Christmas village and the snow-covered countryside—all in miniature, of course!
Macy’s Holiday Light Show & Dickens Village
Macy’s Center City
1300 Market St.
Light Show: Friday, Nov. 23 – Sunday, Dec. 23; 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. (every hour on the hour)
Monday, Dec. 24: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (every hour on the hour)
Closed Christmas Day
Wednesday, Dec. 26 – Saturday, Dec. 29: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. (every hour on the hour)
Sunday, Dec. 30: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (every hour on the hour)
Monday, Dec. 31: 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. (every hour on the hour)
Dickens Village: Friday, Nov. 23 – Sunday, Dec. 23; 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 24: 10 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Christmas Day
Wednesday, Dec. 26 – Saturday, Dec. 29: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 30: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 31: 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
It wouldn’t be Christmas in Philly without the Macy’s Holiday Light Show, an annual event since 1956. More than 34,500 LED lights bedeck the gigantic tree, and 65,000 more act as a glittering backdrop for the show, which is narrated by Mary Poppins, aka Julie Andrews. And in addition to being a veritable feast for the eyes, the light show is also one for the ears—the sounds of the Wanamaker Organ accompany the journey through classic holiday tales like Frosty the Snowman and The Nutcracker.
Finished watching the light show a couple times? Walk through the other Macy’s holiday attraction, the Dickens Village. Located in the 3rd floor’s “Egyptian Room,” the animated 1840s village is a 6,000-square-foot walk-through tour of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, complete with everyone’s fav grump, Scrooge.
Peddler’s Village Grand Illumination & Christmas Festival
Routes 202 & 263
Friday, Nov. 16: 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 1 – Sunday, Dec. 2: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Santa switches on the Christmas lights at 6:15 p.m. sharp during the Peddler’s Village Grand Illumination. Sip on free cider and toast marshmallows as you pay tribute to the start of the most wonderful time of year.
Then, Santa Claus is coming to town…in the Peddler’s Village Christmas parade, that is! Keep warm with hot chocolate and apple cider and watch as the man in the big red suit strolls in on the red brick road. Post-parade, grab a funnel cake (or some roasted chestnuts if you like that sort of thing) and stroll through quaint Peddler’s Village, which will be decked out in Victorian splendor—complete with old school fruit wreaths and garlands of greenery.
Philadelphia’s Christmas Village
1500 Arch St.
Thursday, Nov. 22 – Monday, Dec. 24
Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Pretend you’re in Europe at the Philadelphia version of a German Christmas market. The month-long outdoor event includes more than 50 wooden booths selling traditional European food, sweets and drinks; plus artisans and retailers peddling ornaments, jewelry and quality arts and crafts. And if that—plus a hot mulled wine or two—doesn’t amp up your holiday cheer, you might as well start practicing your “bah, humbug” now.
Oh, and don’t forget to attend the Love Park Christmas Tree Lighting on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 5 p.m., when Mayor Nutter flips the switch on the city’s official Christmas conifer.
10th Annual Latkepalooza
UArts, Hamilton Hall
320 S. Broad St.
Sunday, Dec. 9: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Everyone loves potato latkes, and at this annual event, you can feast ‘til you’re fit to burst! Sample potato pancakes from the city’s hottest restaurants (Bar Ferdinand, Sabrina’s and Talula’s Garden, to name just a few) while listening to the sounds of The West Philly Orchestra. And new this year, there will be a holiday bazaar—ideal for finding enough presents for all eight nights of Hanukkah.
Comcast Holiday Spectacular
1701 JFK Blvd
Thursday, Nov. 22 – Sunday, Jan. 1: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., every hour (except 5 p.m. on weekdays)
Take an incredibly realistic magical sleigh ride through the Pennsylvania countryside while listening to the sounds of a 64-piece orchestra. The world’s largest 4 mm LED display, located inside the lobby of the Comcast Center, is a site to behold on its own, but with the added factor of lights, snowflakes and the Christmas spirit, it’s truly magical. And FYI – this year’s Spectacular also includes all-new scenes from George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, performed by the PA Ballet.
A Longwood Christmas
1001 Longwood Rd.
Kennett Square, Pa.
Gardens: Thursday, Nov. 22 – Sunday, Jan. 6: Click here for times
Organ Sing-a-longs: Friday, Nov. 23 – Sunday, Jan. 6: Click here for times
While every season is beautiful at Longwood, there’s none as beautiful as the Christmas season. Get your fill of candy, gingerbread, lights, decorations, and of course, beautiful and rare flora at Longwood’s 40 indoor and outdoor gardens, before heading into the Conservatory for an organ concert or sing-a-long.
Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn’s Landing
Columbus Blvd at Market St
Friday, Nov. 23 – Sunday, Mar. 3
Click here for times
Admission is $9, skate rental is $4, parking is $12; children under 4 skate for free
Ice skating on the brain? You know where to go! Philly’s only outdoor public ice rink reopens for its 19th season on Black Friday. Slip on a pair of skates and glide around the rink, then head indoors to the heated snackbar for hot chocolate and snacks. On Dec. 9th, kids can “Skate with Santa” from 1 – 5 p.m., get their faces painted and make Christmas crafts. And if you’re in town on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, the RiverRink is offering special skating sessions with extra holiday cheer.
Adventure Aquarium’s Christmas Celebration
1 Riverside Dr
Nov. 23 – Jan. 1
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Adults $23.95, Children $17.95
What’s more fun than twinkling lights, snow, Christmas trees…and Scuba Santa? Nothing! Add more than 8,500 adorable animals to the mix, and you’ve got a foolproof recipe for inducing that holiday spirit. Bring the whole family and you’ll enjoy character meet-and-greets, Gill’s Holiday dance party, photo opps with Scuba Santa and much more, as well as visits with all of the aquarium’s creatures at this festive time of year.