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Photo Credit: Delaware River Water Front

Photo Credit: Delaware River Water Front

The Lodge at Winterfest
101 South Columbus Boulevard,
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Let’s be honest with ourselves for a minute. Who really, genuinely enjoys the holidays? Ok, maybe big dudes with long white beards and huge beer bellies, because this is the only time of year they actually make any money. But besides that, all you hear from everyone is “I’m stressed about this” or “I can’t wait to get drunk and block out the family cheer.” Maybe you all just need a reminder of why the holidays are so awesome.

Enter your holiday savior: Winterfest.

This winter wonderland is filled with joy in the form of a skating rink and ecstasy in the form of peanut butter S’mores (no rock stars, this isn’t a new form of E). After a few falls on the ice, just admit you can’t skate. Go directly to The Lodge where you’ll discover what home for the holidays really means.

More: E.S.P. Eat. See. Play. Philadelphia

Entering the ski-chalet-esque heated tent, you may notice the walls are cleverly constructed from recycled shipping containers or the festive sparkly holiday lights setting the atmosphere aglow. But one thing you are sure to notice is the cheer radiating from the people around the room (and that’s not just because they’re drunk). Follow these 3 simple steps and you’ll be filled with cheer too, we swear.

First things first: choose you’re spot. Are you going to kick it inside on the fun bales of hay (down by the bay, I just may… oh sorry) next to the fireplace and ping-pong tables, or outside by the fire pit and Christmas tree? Either option allows you to enjoy winter as it was meant to be—with a hot drink in hand (spiked or not).

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Which brings us to step two: choose your beverage. With choices like the alcoholic (or not) cider, hot chocolate with (or without) Absolut vanilla vodka or the obvious Victory Winter Cheer, you will definitely start to feel that tickle of cheer creeping into your bones.

In the final step, you get to choose your food. Do you want savory or sweet? Hey, it’s the holidays; why not go for both? Garces Events Executive Chef, Adam DeLosso cooks up the Lodge Special Burger with caramelized onions, truffle mushrooms and cheddar. If you go for something sweet, you can head to the Fireside Café and grab one of those S’mores kits or choose from an assortment of cupcakes like you never got when you were a kid. After all, you can’t cheat yourself out of a New Year’s diet resolution.

And there ya have it folks. That weird feeling in your gut? No, that’s not the sugar, that’s the cheer.

By Amanda Blum

Amanda Blum writes and edits E.S.P. Eat. See. Play. lifestyle content for Philadelphia.