The holiday season in Philadelphia is the perfect combination of old traditions and new celebrations.
Christmas Village, relocated across the street from
its usual setting at City Hall, brings a traditional German market to the city every
November. Dozens of vendors offer food, hot drinks and holiday gifts to
passers-by in Philadelphia’s Center City neighbourhood. Admission is free, and
booths are open from 11 am to 7 pm Sunday to Thursday, and until 8 pm on Fridays
and Saturdays. The market closes on Christmas Eve.
Philadelphia’s most honoured Christmas tradition is the entertainment duo of
the Wanamaker Organ and the Macy’s light show. The 55-year-old annual event uses
a five-storey interior wall as the backdrop for a unique music-and-light driven
performance held every hour on the hour, from 10 am to 8 pm daily until
Christmas Day. After the holiday season, organ recitals are held twice daily from
Monday through Saturday at Macy’s.
are willing to take a day trip outside the city limits can best spend their
time at Longwood Gardens, a 1,000–acre estate that is transformed into
a sea of lights for the holidays. Various choirs perform regular concerts as
visitors stroll through the gardens and admire the gingerbread versions of
Longwood landmarks. If you plan on visiting, buy tickets for a specific arrival
skating is also a popular way to celebrate the cold weather, and Philadelphia
offers a number of locations to lace up: Rizzo Rink, the University of
Pennsylvania’s Penn Ice Rink at the Class of 1923
Arena and the
Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn’s Landing.
The RiverRink is the city’s most popular and sees the largest crowds on
alternative is to take in the Comcast Holiday Spectacular, a 15-minute video shown on the
video wall at the Comcast Center, Philadelphia's tallest
building. This year’s
theme includes scenes from the Pennsylvania Ballet’s performance of The
Nutcracker, music from a 64-instrument orchestra and a
simulated sleigh ride. The video is shown every hour on the hour (except 5 pm
weekdays) from 10 am to 8 pm daily, until New Year’s Eve.