5 things to do in Philadelphia during the holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Philly! With store fronts decked out in all their Christmas glory and beloved traditions taking place throughout the month of December, the city’s Christmas spirit is on full display all season long. If you’ll be spending some time here this holiday season, check out our 5 recommended Philadelphia Christmas events to add to your schedule.

1. Take a small-group holiday tour of Center City

Christmas lights in Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia.
Credit: marc.cappelletti on Flickr

Let a local expert lead the way as you soak in the festive atmosphere of Center City. This three-hour tour will give you time to explore some of Philadelphia’s most popular downtown attractions, including the iconic Reading Terminal Market, Rittenhouse Square, and LOVE Park. Extra perks include a free LED-screen holiday show atop one of the city’s skyscrapers and a little Christmas shopping at the annual outdoor Christmas Village.

To enhance your experience, each tour is limited to 12 people. Book your small-group holiday tour tickets now to ensure your spot is saved.

2. Get really into the holiday spirit at a Philadelphia tavern

A festive holiday cocktail is one way to get the spirit of the holidays in Philadelphia.
Credit: StockSnap on Pixabay

Raise a glass of yuletide cheer as you get a holiday lesson in pagan folklore and magic. Relax in the warmth of an old-time tavern and sip on a seasonal cocktail as you learn all about the history of Christmas Viking and Saturnalia lore. R-rated professors of Grim will regal you with tales of some of the city’s most historic holiday traditions as you toast to Philadelphia’s ghosts of Christmas past. As the weather gets colder and colder, this is one way to warm up and get into the holiday spirit in Philadelphia.

Tickets to the Christmas traditions tavern experience are available through the end of January 2020. Snag them now before they’re sold out.

Book top Philadelphia holiday activities with PlacePass

3. Stroll the Christmas Village at LOVE Park

Shoppers at Christmas Village in LOVE Park in Philadelphia.
Credit: Christmas Village on Wikimedia

One of the best Philadelphia Christmas markets takes place at LOVE Park from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve and features over 80 vendors from all over the world. Grab a traditional European snack as you explore the booths selling handmade ornaments, arts and crafts, and authentic German delicacies. Be sure to check the Christmas Village Philadelphia 2019 schedule for daily performances, wine and beer tastings, and themed weekends. LOVE Park, officially known as John F. Kennedy Plaza, is located in Center City.

4. Check out Winter at Dilworth Park

Clothespin at Philadelphia City Hall at Christmas.
Credit: Kevin Burkett on Flickr

Soak in the Christmas spirit as you skate and shop your way through Dilworth Park. Lace up for a spin around Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink and cozy up with a hot chocolate (spiked, if you’re so inclined) and light snack in the adjoining cabin. Next, check a few gifts off your list at the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market featuring local designers, artists, and crafters. Finally, top your festive day off with a touch of holiday magic at the nightly Deck the Halls Light Show.

Winter at Dilworth Park runs through February 2020. Check the schedule of events for more information on all of the park’s holiday-inspired exhibits.

5. Adventure to LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo

Taking picture of Christmas lights on phone at LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo.
Credit: Max Pixel

Set off on a whimsical adventure as you explore Phildelphia Zoo’s LumiNature exhibit. Every Christmas, the Philadelphia Zoo is transformed into 12 illuminated experiences, each with its own unique wildlife theme. The multi-media light shows, strolling performers, and musical extravaganza will immerse you in the holiday spirit. Grab a hot chocolate and some seasonal fare to enjoy Philadelphia’s version of a winter wonderland.

LumiNature at Philadelphia Zoo runs until January 5, 2020. Tickets are on sale now.

There’s nothing quite like Christmas in Philadelphia. If you’ll be spending some time in the city during the holiday season, PlacePass can help you find the best holiday experiences so you can plan the perfect itinerary.

Traveling to another city this holiday season? Check out our holiday activity guides in Chicago, Boston, New York City, and Los Angeles.

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