(credit: Adventure Aquarium)

The holiday season is filled with magic and wonder – not just for the little ones but children of all ages, too! Check out these top holiday attractions this season for making merry and enjoying the holiday season with the whole family!

Enjoy this wintertime tradition in Philadelphia by taking the whole family to the Blue Cross River Rink on Penn’s Landing for some ice skating fun along the beautiful Delaware River. Plus enjoy special holiday skate events like the Skate with Santa on December 11th Admission $8. $9 for Friday and Saturday 8:30 and 11pm sessions. Skate rental is $3. Parking $10.

Head to Philly’s historic Franklin Square this season for some historic holiday fun including visits with Santa, holiday music, a wintery ride on the Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel, some Philly-themed putt-putt and even candy cane shakes and other holiday themed treats from Square Burger. Open weekends and select days through January 2nd.

Linvilla Orchards in Media, PA is truly a country winter wonderland this holiday season as the Farm is decorated in its holiday best and even the animals have on their Christmas coats! And take the family for Christmas Caroling hayrides (runs weekends in Dec. through the 17th) at 5 and 6:30pm. And if you haven’t gotten your tree yet, there is always “Cut Your Own Tree” where you can take a hayride out to select your tree. Entrance to Linvilla is free. Hayrides and other attractions are ticketed.

This free family festival will take place in downtown Narberth on Saturday December 10th from 12 noon – 4pm and sees the borough of Narberth transformed into 1840s London as Ebeneezer Scrooge and all the characters from Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol roam the streets for an afternoon of holiday fun. This free event for all ages features a scavenger hunt for the kids as well as crafts, music, food, ice sculpting, horse and carriage rides, Victorian carolers, a free showing of A Muppet Christmas Carol, entertainment and more.
Menorah Lighting Ceremony at Suburban Square

Head to Suburban Square in Ardmore, PA for the first and second nights of Hanukkah on Tuesday December 20th and Wednesday December 21st at 6pm to celebrate the lighting of the Menorah and a Hanukkah Wonderland Celebration that will take place each night after the lighting to include music, food and crafts. Free.

If you’re up for a little bit of a drive, you and the little ones will not be disappointed at Koziar’s Christmas Village in Bernville, PA. Awarded one of the Top Ten Pennsylvania Attractions and Best Outdoor Christmas Display in the World, this amazing outdoor display features a decorated Christmas village with over a half a million lights and new this year will feature a hand crafted outdoor train display. Runs Mon-Friday 6-9pm and Sat/Sun 5:30—9:30pm through January 1st. Tickets are $8 for ages 13 and up, $6 for kids ages 6-12 and 5 and under free.

Children will cherish this 90 minute journey on the heated Santa Express decorated train through the Chester Creek Valley accompanied by Santa and Mrs Claus who join passengers at the Market Street Station and travel along until the Glen Mills stop. Enjoy unique photo opportunities aboard the train with Santa and a special treat upon returning to West Chester. Runs weekends in December through the 18th. Adults $20. Children ages 2-12 $12.50 and toddlers 9 months to 23 months $5.00.

A Very Furry Christmas is underway at Sesame Place running weekends now through December 23rd and the entire week after Christmas. Don’t miss this one of a kind family friendly celebration with three special Christmas shows, holiday music and unique holiday décor featuring twinkling lights, 300 Christmas trees, fantastic holiday food and shopping, visits with Santa and wrapping up with the illuminated Neighborhood Street Parade. One day Christmas Ticket is $19.99 for ages 2 and up.

Families should not miss the extraordinary Adventure Aquarium this holiday season with multiple character appearances featuring the one and only Scuba Santa as he dives inside the 550,000 gallon Shark Realm exhibit. Breakfast with Scuba Santa runs December 3rd and 4th and 10th and 11th from 8:30-10:30am and includes breakfast hosted in the Aquarium’s Currents Ballroom with unique views of the Shark Realm Exhibit, arts and craft activities, Free Parking, and a photo opportunity with Scuba Santa and free photo plus admission to the Aquarium. Tickets $33.95 for adults and $29.95 for children.

Let the kids celebrate the New Year without keeping them up late at the Please Touch Museum’s annual “Countdown to Noon” celebration. Countdowns will take place at noon and 1 p.m. , and there will be special performances by Louie Miranda and Fandango, art and storytelling activities and a family dance party. The party is happening on Saturday, December 31st from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and is free with museum admission.

Jennifer Oxenford is a mother of two and the founder of phillyfun4kids http://www.phillyfun4kids.com your place to find free and mostly free things to do with your kids in and around this great city of motherly love. You can also follow phillyfun4kids on twitter at twitter/phillyfun4kids.