Christmas in Philadelphia
Visiting Philadelphia at Christmas!
Visiting Philadelphia area around the Christmas holidays? Check out some incredible activities while you are there! Fun filled parades, Christmas and holiday displays, sports games, musical and theatrical entertainment, fireworks, shopping, and all kinds of extra excitement!
Read about enjoyable Christmas season activities ~ some of which I have done with family and friends, and others that are on my wishlist to do!
Philadelphia Photo from Wikipedia
Start the holidays
at this historic parade!
"The oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade in the country!"
The Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade was the first Thanksgiving parade annually and continually held in the United States. It gets bigger and better each year from it's start in 1920 with a variety of marching bands, singers, dancers, floats, balloons, and famous guests.
The main route runs along Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Center City, Philadelphia from approximately 8:30 - 12:00 a.m.
Longwood Gardens Christmas Display
Where can you find thousands of holiday poinsettias, holly plants, decorated trees, wreaths and swags, and tons of other botanical wonders? Longwood Gardens in nearby Kennett Square features their famous Christmas display November - January!
Holiday concerts, ice skating shows, and special events dazzle in the indoor conservatory decorated for Christmas while their 500,000 outdoor lights shine extra bright throughout the numerous gardens and fountains.
Charles Dickens ~ A Christmas Carol
The Walnut Street Theatre will be presenting the Charles Dickens classic story, A Christmas Carol in December.
Or, take a step back in history with a stroll through Dickens' Village at Macy's on Market Street where the story "comes to life with more than 100 fully animated figures reenacting 26 of the story's most memorable moments". The display will be active from the end of November - December 24.
Another treat at Macy's ~ enjoy seasonal concerts on the famous "Wanamaker Grand Organ" while watching the Holiday Light Show of over 100,000 LED lights from November - December 31!
Outdoor Ice Skating!
Imagine gracefully gliding over the ice with friends and family outside by the pretty waterfront along the Delaware River. Holding hands, giggling, and taking in the fresh crisp air of winter is so refreshing at the River Rink at Penn's Landing. Special events happen all through the seasons, but you don't want to miss skating during the New Year's Eve Parties! All the festivities plus a fantastic view of the New Year's Fireworks while you are enjoying a little recreation!
While you are in Penn's Landing, look for the variety of museums, activities, and events in the area such as: Military and pleasure boat museums, boat rides, ferry rides to the Camden aquarium, Seaport Museum, the boardwalk, and 'Old City' (historic) Philadelphia within walking area.
Watch two holiday favorite performances!
What is the holiday season without seeing the classic ballet, The Nutcracker? Enjoy this annual event with the Pennsylvania Ballet in December at the Academy of Music.
Enjoy excellent theater productions at the Walnut Street Theatre yearlong!
Visit the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on Broad Street ~ "The Avenue of the Arts" ~ for information about all of the performing arts programs. With all these wonderful groups and popular visiting artists, there is always something incredible happening at one of the Kimmel Center's theatres and stages! If for nothing else, go to the Kimmel's beautiful roof top garden for a breathtaking view of the city!
The Philadelphia Museum of Art
If you prefer paintings, sculptures, and cultural displays, the Philadelphia Museum of Art houses all those things and more! You may want to consider visiting its permanent and seasonal displays over the holidays!
Holiday Sports Games
Philadelphia Sports Teams Stuff!
Reading Terminal Market
One of many cool places to shop for the holidays!
The Reading Terminal Market is a place you do not want to miss! Known as the "Best, Freshest, and Liveliest Public Market Since 1893", this historic marketplace has incredible merchants selling baked goods, beverages, dairy products, farm produce, plants and flowers, gifts for the home, books, arts and crafts, meats, seafood, restaurants, and unique foods served in Philly and Pennsylvania Dutch styles! The market was shown in the movie "National Treasure" as well as movies and publications. You will also enjoy viewing the Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad ~ "Twelve working train lines rumble through this exciting model railroad display that features miniature scenery including Center City Philadelphia, a Christmas village, a Lincoln Log town, and snow-covered countryside."
Christmas Village at Dilworth Plaza (near City Hall) has a special outdoor shopping market from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve selling specialty gifts, tasty treats, and artisan crafts! Beautifully decorated everywhere with lights, the official Philadelphia Christmas tree, and a Santa station, the Christmas Village makes a wonderful place for performances of local musicians and groups.
A list of Philadelphia's Best Shopping Locations consists of hot shopping places in Chestnut Hill, Manayunk, Old City, Rittenhouse Square, and South Street.
Washington Crossing the Delaware
What a cool historic event to attend ~
um, make that cold event!! (Bundle up!)
Relive this important turning point of the Revolutionary War on Christmas morning at
Costumed actors help you feel like you were at the original event!
Jesus Christ's Birth
the true meaning
of Christmas ~
The Birth of Jesus
who came to become
our Lord and Savior
for anyone who believes!
Places of Worship
USA Church helps you to search for Christian churches by entering your preference of denomination, church name, area, distance, attendance, and specific ministry. This is a great way for you to find a place of worship for Sunday mornings and Christmas eve and day services.
You may want to worship at Christ Church of Philadelphia. The historic church and it's congregation were founded in 1695 as the first Church of England in Pennsylvania and the "birthplace" of the Episcopal church in America. Christ Church was the place of worship for many of America's founding leaders and famous persons throughout the centuries.
Visitors have come from around the country to explore the cemetary grounds where Benjamin Franklin and others are buried. Others have come to study geological records and historic artifacts that have been preserved. Tours of the church and cemetary are given daily for very little cost.
New Year's Eve Celebrations!
Spirit of Philadelphia Cruise!
Depart from gorgeous Penn's Landing for an exquisite dinner cruise on the "Spirit of Philadelphia". Join one of their everyday cruises or special parties for the season ~ especially New Year's Eve!
New Year's Eve Fireworks Display
Two New Year's Eve Fireworks Displays will be shown at 6:00 and12:00 in Philadelphia along the Delaware River at Penn's Landing area of the city.
Many locations within view of the fireworks will be having special parties and events throughout the evening. Some of them require advance reservations, while others are open to the public.
I have never been able to see this live, but have watched it multiple years on television where it appears to be absolutely beautiful!
New Year's Day!
The Mummers Parade on New Year's Day!
Something you won't forget!
Start out your new year with the
The what parade? The Mummers! Mummers are lively entertainers who wear the most elaborate costumes imaginable decorated with bright, bold sequens and feathers. Since the late 1600's, Mummer groups have been ushering in the new year in Philly! The city has officially supported the parade since 1901 offering contests and prizes for the best costumes, music, and overall shows. The Mummers organization has changed and grown over the years, but the excitement and pagentry has always been there! This all day event starts early morning with the "Comics" Division of Mummers, followed by the Fancy Division, Fancy Brigades, and my favorite, the String Bands!!
These Mummer String Bands consist of an original Philly sound mix of mostly banjos and saxophones. Yes, you read that right, banjos and saxophones! Viewers enjoy lively music, dancing, and entertainment along the route, with the finale being in front of City Hall where the bands perform themed shows including large elaborate scenery, toe tapping music, fancy dancing drills, and fun stories acted out. The best part is anticipating what surprise the group will spring out at the audience, and watching the captains of the brigades who seem to have tireless energy!
If you are not in Philly on New Year's, you may still enjoy the unique sound. The bands frequently perform at other area parades and events throughout the year, or you may visit the Mummer's Fest during the week between Christmas and New Year's, or may enjoy the Mummers Museum anytime of the year! So, enjoy this Philadelphia tradition by putting on your "Golden Slippers" and doing the "Mummer's Strut" down Broad Street on New Year's Day!!