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Top Holiday Attractions In Philadelphia

November 13, 2013 8:00 AM

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(Credit: Matthew Lloyd, Getty Images)

(Credit: Matthew Lloyd, Getty Images)

Feeling more like the Grinch than Cindy Lou Who this year? Up your levels of holiday cheer at these local seasonal events. – Chelsea Karnash
(Credit: Chelsea Karnash/CBSPhilly.com)

(Credit: Chelsea Karnash/CBSPhilly.com)

A Longwood Christmas
Longwood Gardens
1001 Longwood Rd.
Kennett Square, Pa.

Gardens: Thursday, November 28–Sunday, January 12: Click here for times

Organ Sing-a-longs: Friday, Nov. 29 – Wednesday, January 1: 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.

(credit: credit: menalto.com)

((credit: menalto.com)

A Very Furry Christmas At Sesame Place
100 Sesame Road
Langhorne, Pa. 19047

Friday, Dec. 6, 13, 20: 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays: 1-8 p.m.
December 26: December 30: 1-8 p.m.
December 31: 1-6 p.m

A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place opens on November 23rd and runs through December 31st. Sesame Place calls it a “one-of-a-kind family-friendly celebration with everyone’s favorite furry friends.” It offers three special Christmas shows, dry rides, music and holiday lights. Plus, the streets glow at night with an illuminated Neighborhood Street Party Christmas Parade! Afterward, the fun continues with a special Christmas menu, super holiday shopping and of course, a visit with Santa. On New Year’s Eve, there are fireworks.

(credit: Adventure Aquarium)

(credit: Adventure Aquarium)

Adventure Aquarium’s Holiday Celebration
Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Dr
Camden, NJ

Through Wednesday, Jan. 1

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.

The big screen in the lobby of the Comcast Center shows the 2012 Holiday Spectacular. (Credit: Steve Tawa)

The big screen in the lobby of the Comcast Center shows the 2012 Holiday Spectacular. (Credit: Steve Tawa)

Comcast Holiday Spectacular
Comcast Building
1701 JFK Blvd
Philadelphia, Pa.

Thursday, Nov. 28 – Wednesday, Jan. 1: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., every hour (except 5 p.m. on weekdays)

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. This year, Olympic-caliber ice skaters and performers from the Walnut Street Theatre star in the 15-minute show.

Franklin Square’s Holiday Light Show
Franklin Square
6th & Race Sts
Philadelphia, Pa.

Thursday, Nov. 14 – Dec. 31
Daily, starting at 4:30 p.m. and running until 8 p.m. (weather permitting)

Franklin Square is bringing a healthy dose of holiday cheer to the city with its new electrical light show. Starting with a special Grand Illumination on Nov. 14 at 4 p.m., this dazzling light show features a ten-foot-tall kite and key lit by 50,000 LED bulbs and spotlighting Ben Franklin’s discovery. The show is programmed to winter-themed music recorded by the Philly POPS and runs every half-hour from 4:30 to 8 p.m. (eight shows). Plus, every evening at 4:30 p.m., one lucky guest will be chosen from the audience to “ignite” the first show!

 (Credit: Hershey Park/Facebook)

(Credit:Hershey Park/Facebook)

Hersheypark Christmas Candylane
27 W. Chocolate Avenue
Hershey, Pa. 17033

Fridays: 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
Saturdays: 12 p.m.-10 p.m.
Sundays: 12 p.m.-9 p.m.
Monday-Thursday: 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
(excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas)
December 31: 12 p.m.-5 p.m.

Feel the magic of the holidays at Hersheypark Christmas Candylane. It features two million lights, rides, festive decorations, and Hershey’s Product Characters dressed in their holiday best. There’s something for everyone, including a Christmas show and Santa’s reindeer!

The Macy's light show has been a Philadelphia Christmas tradition since 1955. (Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

The Macy’s light show has been a Philadelphia Christmas tradition since 1955. (Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

Macy’s Holiday Light Show & Dickens Village
Macy’s Center City
1300 Market St.
Philadelphia, Pa.

Light Show:Friday, November 29 through Tuesday, December 31, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Christmas Day: Closed
Wednesday, December 26–Saturday, December 29: 10 a.m.– 7 p.m.
Sunday, December 30: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Monday, December 31 – New Year’s Eve: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Dickens Village: Friday, November 29 – Tuesday, December 23: 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Tuesday, December 24 (Christmas Eve): 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Christmas Day: Closed
December 26–December 28th: 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Sunday, December 29: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Monday, December 30: 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Tuesday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve): 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.

Peddlers Village (credit: davidhanauer.com)

Peddlers Village (credit: davidhanauer.com)

Peddler’s Village Grand Illumination & Christmas Festival
Routes 202 & 263
Lahaska, Pa.

Grand Illumination:
Friday, November 22 – 6 p.m. -10 p.m.

Christmas Festival:
Saturday, December 7 – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, December 8, 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.

(Credit: Mike Dougherty)

(Credit: Mike Dougherty)

Philadelphia’s Christmas Village
JFK Plaza
1500 Arch St.
Philadelphia, Pa.

Thursday, Nov 28th – Wednesday, Jan 1st
Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day (11/28/13): 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Christmas Eve (12/24/13): 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Christmas Day (12/25/13): Closed
New Year’s Day (01/01/14): 11 a.m. to 5 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. 4 at 5 p.m.

train display 3

Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad
51 N. 12th St.
Philadelphia, Pa.

Friday, November 29 – Tuesday, December 31
Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Christmas

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!

Storybook Land: Christmas Fantasy With Lights
6415 Black Horse Pike
Egg Harbor Township, NJ.

Saturday, November 23rd – Monday, December 30
Park Hours: 2 p.m.- 9 p.m.

Holiday magic for all ages! At 5 p.m., Santa Claus arrives in his chimney, waves his wand and will light the park’s over 1 million lights! All of the rides, attractions, and snack bars are open through the holiday season, and Santa will be in his home until December 23rd.

Ice skaters at the Blue Cross RiverRink on Black Friday. (Credit: Cherri Gregg)

Ice skaters at the Blue Cross RiverRink on Black Friday. (Credit: Cherri Gregg)

Waterfront Winterfest at the Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn’s Landing
Columbus Blvd at Market St
Philadelphia, Pa.

Winterfest: Friday, Nov. 29 – Jan. 1
Daily, 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Special hours on Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
Admission is $3, skate rental is $10
SPECIALS: Admission is FREE Monday – Thursday before 5PM (December 2 – December 19)
Parking: Thursday, $12; Friday – Saturday, $15

Ice skating on the brain? You know where to go! Philly’s only outdoor public ice rink reopens for its 20th season on Black Friday. Slip on a pair of skates and glide around the rink, then head indoors to the heated snack bar for hot chocolate and snacks.

And this year, the RiverRink is going all-out with a pop-up “Winterfest” in honor of its 20th anniversary. In addition to an old-school light show, a 400-person warming tent made from recycled materials and a holiday market from Art Star, a pop-up restaurant is scheduled to open on the premises that will be run by the same company that manages Drinker’s, Morgan’s Pier and Union Transfer. Expect a number of scrumptious cold-weather goodies, as the temporary eatery will be helmed by acclaimed Philly chef George Sabatino.

(credit: Gershman Y)

(credit: Gershman Y)

11th Annual Latkepalooza
600 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, Pa.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Gershman Y’s signature event is back with a new lineup of chefs, a wonderful wine tasting, and a special program made just for kids and their families. Located this year at the upscale venue Vie.

 (Credit: John Ostapkovich)

(Credit:John Ostapkovich)

2014 Mummers Parade
Parade Begins North Up Broad Street To JFK Boulevard.
Philadelphia, Pa.

Begins at 10 a.m. on January 1, 2014

A yearly tradition that should not be missed! The Mummers Parade features men and women dressed in colorfully lavish costumes as they perform, dance and twirl up Broad Street. An undeniably wild tradition, but the performances promise fun for the whole family.

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