Top Holiday Activities in Philadelphia

December 16, 2022

Philadelphia is home to one of the largest Christmas markets in the nation, multiple must-see holiday light displays, and dozens of festive things to do. If you’re in Philadelphia for the holidays, add these seasonal activities, attractions and experiences to your 2022 holiday itinerary.

Philadelphia Christmas Village

People sitting on red chairs by red tables surrounding a tall holiday tree with white huts around it where vendors are selling goods to customers
Photo courtesy of Christmas Village in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Christmas Village – the city’s authentic German Christmas market – features more than 100 local artisans and makers selling hand-crafted goods out of traditional German wooden shopping stalls. Feast at a food court or sip mulled wine or seasonal craft beer from local breweries at the beer garden. A carousel, Ferris wheel, and Kids Train are a few of the family-friendly activities.

Dates: November 19 – December 24, 2022
Neighborhood: Center City
Address: LOVE Park (Arch St.) and the north apron of City Hall (1400 JFK Blvd.)

Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market

Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market. Photo by C. Kalff.

Get some holiday shopping done at the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market, where more than 40 makers from across the region are selling holiday-inspired crafts, gifts, and other goods. Enjoy food, confections, and local beer from stands set up throughout the market.

Dates: November 19, 2022 – January 1, 2023
Neighborhood: Center City
Address: Dilworth Park (1 S 15th St.)

The Miracle on South 13th Street

The Miracle on 13th Street. Photo by J. Ryan for PHLCVB.

An annual tradition where residents team up to create a stunning holiday display for visitors of all ages to enjoy. Over 300,000 lights are strung along the street, crossing from house to house overhead while each building features their own unique holiday theme. Visitors are welcome to drive through The Miracle on South 13th Street or walk along the block to admire each house in greater detail.

Dates: On view Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve
Neighborhood: East Passyunk
Address: 1600 block of S 13th St.

Deck the Hall Light Show

Deck the Hall Light Show. Photo by M. Stanley for Center City District.

A series of festive projections on a continuous, evening-long loop illuminate City Hall’s western façade for the Deck the Hall Light Show. The beautiful digital projections seem to animate the historic building’s columns, windows, and sculptures in various holiday patterns and themes.

Dates: November 21, 2022 – January 1, 2023
Neighborhood: Center City
Address: Dilworth Park (1 S 15th St. west side of City Hall)

Winter in Franklin Square

Philadelphia's historic Franklin Square is decked out for the holidays with bright lights and garland. Lights descend down from the kite at the center of the fountain with festive garland hanging down from the giant key attached.

Winter in Franklin Square. Photo by J. Fusco.

Celebrate every holiday this season in one of William Penn’s original squares. Winter in Franklin Square celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and more with special events and activities. This season’s festivities include Hanukkah Celebration with Old City Jewish Arts Center (December 18, 6-7 pm), Jingle and Mingle with Santa (Saturdays, December 3, 10, and 17, 5:30 – 7:30 pm), and Kwanzaa Celebration with the African American Museum in Philadelphia (December 29 and 30 from 5:30-7:30 pm). Or stop by anytime and share a smile under the glistening light show.

Dates: November 16, 2022 – February 26, 2023
Neighborhood: Old City
Address: Franklin Square, 6th and Race Streets

LumiNature at Philadelphia Zoo

Guests huddled around small fire pits with lights hanging overhead at LumiNature at Philadelphia Zoo
LumiNature at Philadelphia Zoo. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo.

More than a million lights create dozens of illuminating, animal-themed displays that are spread throughout the grounds of the nation’s first zoo during LumiNature. Experience different themed zones, each filled with whimsical and wonderous holiday light fixtures, light shows, and holiday activities.

Dates: November 17, 2022 – January 7, 2023
Neighborhood: West Philadelphia
Address: Philadelphia Zoo (3400 W Girard Ave.)

A Longwood Christmas

A Longwood Christmas 2021. Photo by H. Davis, Longwood Volunteer Photographer.

Experience the spectacular seasonal wonderland that is Longwood Gardens during A Longwood Christmas. Stroll the 1,000+ acre property of Longwood Gardens outdoors to admire beautifully decorated trees and other holiday light displays or relax and warm up beside one of several fire pits. Visit in the evening to see the entire property glow with half-a-million carefully strung holiday lights.

Dates: November 18, 2022 – January 8, 2023
Neighborhood: Kennett Square
Address: Longwood Gardens (1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square)

Holiday Attractions at Macy’s

A group of people stand, looking up at a large Christmas tree surrounded by lights for the Macy's Christmas Light Show inside of a historic building. Two red decorative banners hang on either side

Macy’s Christmas Light Show 2022. Photo by J. Ryan for the PHLCVB.

A Philadelphia tradition since 1956, Macy’s Christmas Light Show in the historic Wanamaker Building features whimsical holiday scenes made of over 100,000 LED lights — including a 34,500-LED tree — that dance along to classic tunes from the Wanamaker Organ (the largest playable instrument in the world). The show is back multiple times a day. Click here for show times.

Macy’s Dickens Village is a 6,000-square-foot walk-through experience featuring 26 scenes from Charles Dickens’ holiday classic, A Christmas Carol.

Dates: November 25 – December 31, 2022
Neighborhood: Center City
Address: Macy’s (1300 Market St.)

Philadelphia’s Holiday Tree

Philadelphia's Holiday Tree decked out in ornaments and lights standing tall next to City Hall

Holiday Tree. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Each year, the City of Philadelphia’s holiday tree stands tall on the northern apron of the historic municipal building, featuring thousands of colorful, twinkling lights and an assortment of Philadelphia-themed ornaments and decorations. More than 4,000 lights are strung around the 50-foot tree.

Don’t miss the tree lighting celebration on Thursday, December 1, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.

Dates: Through December
Neighborhood: Center City
Address: City Hall (1400 JFK Blvd., north apron)

Visit Philadelphia Holiday Parade

Colorful float, with red lanterns hanging from it, celebrating the Lunar New Year driving down Market Street in front of large holiday tree in front of City Hall

Visit Philly Holiday Parade 2021. Photo by D. Nichole.

Back for its second year, the Visit Philadelphia Holiday Parade will feature local marching bands, dance groups, cold air balloons, and floats representing Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and the Chinese New Year. The parade will kick off at 5:00 p.m. at 2nd and Market Streets, proceed down Market Street, and end at City Hall.

Date: December 3, 2022
Neighborhood: Center City
Address: Starts at 2nd and Market Streets, proceeds down Market Street, ends at City Hall (1400 JFK Blvd.)

Menorah Lightings

Menorah outside of Betsy Ross House
Photo courtesy of Betsy Ross House.

Menorah Lighting at the Betsy Ross House

Celebrate the first night of Hanukkah at the Betsy Ross House. Along with the Old City Jewish Arts Center, the House will host a community menorah lighting. Festivities will feature traditional treats like latkes and jelly donuts. Children will be given dreidels and menorahs, while supplies last.

Date: December 18, 2022
Neighborhood: Old City
Address: Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch St.

Menorah Lighting at the Singing Fountain

To mark the first night of Hanukkah and celebrate the Festival of Lights, The South Philadelphia Shtiebel will lead a menorah lighting at the Singing Fountain. The community is welcome to come and enjoy music and fun, starting at 3:00 p.m. The menorah will be lit at 5:00 p.m. and then again each night for the duration of Hanukkah.

Date: December 18, 2022
Neighborhood: South Philadelphia
Address: Singing Fountain, 11th and Tasker Streets

Menorah Lighting in Rittenhouse Square Park

Head to Rittenhouse Square Park for the community’s Annual Menorah Lighting. Organized by Friends of Rittenhouse and B’nai Abraham Chabad, the event is free to attend and open to the public.

Date: December 21, 2022
Neighborhood: Rittenhouse
Address: Rittenhouse Square Park, 1800 Walnut St.

Christmas Underwater at Adventure Aquarium

Fish tank inside of an aquarium with Scuba Santa appearing underwater putting his hand up to the glass to interact with a young girl standing on the other side, peering into the tank. A shark appears over Santa's shoulder to the left, behind Santa is a Christmas tree decked out in sea-themed ornaments

Santa greets a guest during Adventure Aquarium’s Christmas Underwater. Photo courtesy of Adventure Aquarium.

Home to the largest collection of sharks in the Northeast, Adventure Aquarium’s Christmas Underwater special event features “sea”-sonal fun, such as appearances by Scuba Santa, who dives daily among the sea turtles, sharks, and stingrays and poses for selfies. Awe at the world’s largest underwater Christmas Tree, and, new and improved for 2022, take a winter stroll through Snowtunda, where the Aquarium sprinkles with in snow-like flurries.

Dates: November 25 – December 24, 2022
Neighborhood: Camden, NJ
Address: Adventure Aquarium (1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ)

Kwanzaa Celebrations

A woman stands in a colorful outfit lighting red and green candles in celebration of Kwanzaa at the African American Museum in Philadelphia

The African American Museum in Philadelphia celebrates Kwanzaa with crafts, music, performances and, of course, a lighting of the kinara, representing the holiday’s seven core principles. Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Celebrate Kwanzaa at the African American Museum

The African American Museum in Philadelphia is celebrating Kwanzaa with a week of family-friendly virtual and in-person activities. Throughout the week, the museum will be hosting arts and crafts, interactive workshops, and community discussions. Guests can visit the current “Vision & Spirit: African American Art, Works from the Bank of America” exhibition and attend a special event sharing commissioned poems written for the exhibit.

Dates: December 26, 2022 – January 1, 2023 
Neighborhood: Old City
Address: 701 Arch St.

Celebrate Kwanzaa at Boathouse Row

The 19th-century boathouses of Philadelphia’s iconic Boathouse Row will be aglow in red, green, and yellow in celebration of Kwanzaa.

Dates: December 26, 2022 – January 1, 2023 
Neighborhood: Fairmount
Address: Boathouse Row, 1 Boathouse Row

Celebrate Kwanzaa at the Please Touch Museum

Families with little ones can head to the Please Touch Museum  for a special event celebrating Kwanzaa. The event will feature interactive performances, storytelling, drumming, and dancing. Karen “Queen Nur” Abdul-Malik, a nationally renowned storyteller and teacher, will lead the group. The festivities are included in regular museum admission.

Dates: December 30, 2022
Neighborhood: Fairmount Park
Address: Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic

WeVenture Holiday Lights Driving Tour

Philadelphia's iconic, red LOVE sculpture stands tall in front of a holiday tree, decorated with twinkling and colorful lights for the holidays

Holiday Lights Driving Tour. Photo courtesy of WeVenture Philadelphia.

View festive light displays around Philadelphia by joining WeVenture’s Holiday Lights Driving Tour. This private tour is customizable, allowing your group to decide the pick-up and drop-off locations within the city’s limits (some locations outside the city may also be arranged). Depending on your group’s interests, budget, and timeline, the tour can last between two to three hours.

Dates: Ongoing
Neighborhood: Throughout the city

Founding Footsteps Holiday Light Tour

Group of people having fun on a trolley that is decorated for the holidays with ornaments and lights.

Photo courtesy of Founding Footsteps.

Join local musicians on Founding Footsteps’ trolley-based BYOB Holiday Light Tour (also available as a private tour). Travel to some of the most festive locations in the city while singing along to holiday music. New for 2022, the tour will end at a surprise location, where a professional photographer will be waiting to capture holiday memories for you and your group.

Dates: Varies
Neighborhood: Throughout the city

Live Holiday Shows

Artists of Pennsylvania Ballet George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®. Photo by A. Iziliaev.

Throughout December, Philadelphia’s performing arts organizations will celebrate the season with holiday-inspired productions. Don’t miss The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Children’s Holiday Spectacular, The Muppet Christmas Carol in Concert, and The Glorious Sound of Christmas. Keep the holiday merriment going at A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season or enjoy a timeless tale as the Philadelphia Ballet brings The Nutcracker to life on stage.

Holiday Pop-up Bars

Craftsmans Row Saloon, Holiday 2021. Photo by Society Hill Films.

Several bars, restaurants and beer gardens in downtown Philadelphia are embracing the holidays by sporting seasonal décor and offering festive, themed experiences and menus. Sip on seasonal spirits at one of Philadelphia’s festive pop-up bars, including Tinsel, Craftsmans Row Saloon, and Uptown Beer Garden. Each bar will be decked out in holiday décor, each with its own theme.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

New Year's Eve Fireworks at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Welcome 2023 in spectacular fashion by observing one of several fireworks displays in Philadelphia. On New Year’s Eve, fireworks will illuminate the skies over the Delaware River and are best viewed at multiple vantage points along the Delaware River Waterfront, such as Penn’s Landing and Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest.

Date: December 31, 2022 (New Year’s Eve)
Neighborhood: Old City
Address: Delaware River Waterfront, 101 South Columbus Blvd.

Mummers Parade

Three rows of Mummers dressed in colorful costumes perform and play musical instruments during the annual Mummers Parade. The Mummer in the middle is dressed in mainly white, blue, and pink with a fake white horse's head with pink hair on their head. The Mummers on either side are dressed in purple and gold with what appear to be tickets on their persons.
String Bands perform during the 2020 Mummers Parade. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Named Best Holiday Parade in the nation by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice for 2021 and one of Philadelphia’s most unique annual traditions, the Mummers Parade is a must-see holiday event held each New Year’s Day in downtown Philadelphia. With thousands of costumed Philadelphia residents representing more than 40 clubs within five different divisions, the parade marches from City Hall to South Philadelphia along Broad Street. Along the way, each club stops to perform a short skit — with some brigades delivering Broadway-caliber song and dance routines with props and special effects — as they are judged on costumes, musicianship, presentation and more. The day is capped by show-stopping performances by the Fancy Brigades at a ticketed finale inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Date: January 1, 2023
Neighborhood: Throughout Center City
Address: Starts at City Hall (1400 John F Kennedy Blvd.), ends in South Philadelphia

Need a ride?

PHLASH Holiday Shuttle. Photo by M. Pearson for IVCC.

Move from one holiday attraction to another by riding the Philly PHLASH Downtown Loop, which offers affordable rides around downtown Philadelphia for only $2 per ride or $5 per day. Enjoy Free PHLASH Fridays for all riders from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. with service every 15 minutes from November 25 through December 30, 2022. The PHLASH will operate with Friday-Sunday service 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through December 30, 2022 (no service on Christmas Day). Get some holiday shopping done with the Philly PHLASH Shopping Loop which spans four neighborhoods and stops at more than 20 Black- and Brown-owned businesses every Friday from November 25 through December 23, 2022.

For more holiday activities, check out the 2022 Fall/Winter Philadelphia Official Visitors Guide™ or Visit Philly’s Holiday Guide.

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