Rothman Institute Ice Rink filled with ice skaters. Credit: J. Fusco / Visit Philly

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From Visit Philly

Celebrating the winter holidays in Philadelphia just feels right. As temperatures drop in the history-rich, tradition-steeped city, a festive spirit spills from shops, theaters, restaurants, parks and stadiums. This year promises the return of the city’s very own Christmas Village and grand, live tree to a fully renovated LOVE Park, along with citywide celebrations. The most wonderful way to enjoy Philly in winter: the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, offering overnight guests free parking and more perks.

Here are some highlights of the winter holidays in Philadelphia:

Holiday Traditions

Christmas Village

The German-style market and city’s live tree make glorious returns to a restored JFK. Plaza, also known as LOVE Park. For the 10th year, 80 wooden booths of local and international merchants sell Käthe Wohlfahrt ornaments, Hernhut Stars, wintry apparel and all manner of edible and drinkable treats, while entertainment keeps things festive. Nov. 23-Dec. 24, 15th Street & John F. Kennedy Boulevard

City Hall

Dilworth Park’s fountains give way to the twinkling Rothman Institute Ice Rink, the cozy Rothman Institute Cabin, the magical America’s Garden Capital Maze and the local artisan-filled Made In Philadelphia Holiday Market. City Hall’s grand Courtyard receives its own, to-be-announced holiday activation for the most wonderful time of the year. Ice Rink and Garden: Nov.10-Feb. 25; Market: Nov. 18-Dec. 24.

Christmas Light Show

The Grand Court of the historic Wanamaker department store—now Macy’s—offers a free show of dancing lights, set to the famed Wanamaker Organ. Performances every two hours during store hours starting Nov. 24. 1300 Market St.

The Comcast Holiday Spectacular

The Comcast lobby’s super high-res LED display combines the Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker, a magical sleigh ride over the city—with a bird’s-eye view of the new Comcast Technology Center—and a sing-along in 15 minutes of fun. Daily, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (except 5 p.m. on weekdays), Nov. 23-Jan. 1. 17th Street & John F. Kennedy Boulevard


The auditorium of the Gershman Y invites hundreds to partake in the 15th annual celebration of the potato pancake, as created by 10 esteemed restaurants. Dec. 10. 401 S. Broad St.

Outdoor Fun

Franklin Square Holiday Festival featuring the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show

Amid 50,000 lights, park-goers visit Santa, ride a carousel and miniature train, play mini golf, snack, and — if so desired — have a local beer or two. Nov. 9-Dec. 31 at Sixth & Race streets

A Longwood Christmas

Thousands of poinsettias, Christmas trees and flowers transform a heated four-acre conservatory; 500,000 lights glitter in trees; and spectacularly restored fountains and fire pit flames dance to winter music, including live carols. Nov. 23-Jan. 7. 1001 Longwood Rd, Kennett Square

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Winter wonderland along the Delaware River features fire pits, a game room, a chalet-style lodge and 12 days of Christmas movies—all centered around a regulation skating rink with a view of the Ben Franklin Bridge. Nov. 24-March 4; tree lighting Dec. 1. Columbus Boulevard at Market Street

New Year Celebrations

SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront

This annual pyrotechnics extravaganza blasts beautifully over the Delaware River in two shows—one at 6 p.m. and another at midnight. The RiverRink gets in on the action with entertainment, favors, outdoor seating and great views. Dec. 31. Columbus Boulevard at Market Street

Mummers Parade

This New Year’s Day procession along Broad Street features feathers and sequins, music and merriment from City Hall to Washington Avenue. Indoors, clubs perform fantastical routines at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in the Fancy Brigade Finale. Jan. 1. Tickets for bleacher seating at City Hall and for the Fancy Brigades available at the Independence Visitor Center, Sixth and Market streets or online.