Christmas Activities in Philadelphia

Philadelphia turns into a magical city for Christmas. It’s full of holiday activities and pop up entertainment. Jay and I have a free Hyatt night to use, so we’re planning to spend one December weekend in the city. Obviously I want to fit in as many Christmas-y activities as possible, so here are a few of the options we might check out!


Blue Cross River Rink Winterfest – Blue Cross sponsors an outdoor ice skating rink at the Delaware waterfront. Last year for my Christmas present, Jay booked a New Years Eve time slot at the ice rink! We skated most of the evening and then watched the fireworks over the river at midnight. The ice rink is tons of fun in itself, but it’s also surrounded by a mini village full of food, drinks, and gifts for purchase.

Open: November 24, 2017 

Tickets: General Admission to Winterfest is FREE!

Ice Rink Admission – $3

Skate Rental – $10

Macy’s Christmas Light Show – A friend introduced me to this longstanding Philly tradition the first year I moved to South Jersey. The Macy’s store in center city features an adorable light show set to organ music that’s played in store.

Open: November 24, 2017

Tickets: Free!

Comcast Holiday Spectacular – Not to be outdone by Macy’s, the Comcast building more recently started showing a 15 minute Christmas video on their massive LED display wall. 

Open: November 23, 2017 – January 1, 2017

Tickets: Free!

Christmas Village at Love Park – If you won’t be traveling to Europe for their famous Christmas markets, you can experience a taste of one in Philadelphia. Located in the courtyard around City Hall, this event is a charming collection of booths that sell homemade crafts, mulled wine, and delicious food. 

Open: November 23, 2017 – December 24, 2017

Tickets: Free!

Reading Terminal Market Holiday Railroad – Locals and tourists alike adore Reading Terminal Market for it’s seemingly endless selection of eats. It’s particularly worth a visit during the holidays to see their train display. The scene features 17 working train lines and miniature versions of center city and the surrounding countryside. 

Open: November 24, 2017 – December 31, 2017

Tickets: Free!

Bonus: A Longwood Gardens Christmas – If you’re willing to travel outside of downtown, Longwood Gardens is a must-see. The grounds are decked out with more than 500,000 twinkle lights. You can also delight in the colorful fountain shows set to Christmas music. 

Open: November 23, 2017 – January 7, 2018:

Tickets: Peak Days – All Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, Nov 24–Dec 24, 2017 & every day Dec 26, 2017–Jan 1, 2018

$30 (Adults) and $16 (Children 5-18 yo)

Non Peak Days – Mondays–Thursdays, Nov 23–Dec 25, 2017 & every day Jan 2–7, 2018

$23 (Adults) and $12 (Children 5-18 yo)

One Comment

  1. Ah Philly. Still my hometown at heart. I go back every Christmas and have taken part in everything you’ve listed except for the Love Park Christmas Village. I’ll try to check that out when I visit this year. Wishing you a lovely Philly weekend full of soft pretzels, cheesesteaks, hoagies, and loads of Christmas cheer. P.S. I highly recommend the Mummers Day parade (not quite like it was a few years ago with 24 hours of revelry but still great fun).

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