23 Events & Attractions in Philadelphia This Holiday Season | Philly Views
November 14, 2017

23 Events & Attractions in Philadelphia This Holiday Season

Written by Jamie Walsh

In Philadelphia, Christmas spirit and holiday cheer are alive and well through November, December, and into the New Year. There are so many things to do and see during the holiday season that it can be hard to catch them all.

To help you get the holidays started early, Philly Views has organized these into two separate categories: family-friendly attractions, which means that everyone can attend regardless of age; and boozy holiday events, which are for the 21-and-up crowds. Each of these sections are in chronological order, so you can follow along as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years approach.

Here’s the list.

Family-Friendly Attractions & Events

Franklin Square Holiday Festival & Light Show

November 9 to December 31

50,000 lights make up the spectacular views that take over Franklin Square Park this Christmas. Santa can even be seen making his way around the park. All ages have something to enjoy, from the carousel and mini train ride to the winter beer garden.


Rothmans Ice Rink at Dilworth Park 

November 10 to February 25

For the fourth year in a row, Philadelphians have the opportunity to go ice skating at William Penn’s feet. Enjoy the views of Center City as you skate at City Hall.


Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade 

November 23

The nation’s oldest Thanksgiving parade floats down the streets of Philadelphia. Grab a seat at on the steps of the Art Museum and enjoy the parade as it fills the streets for 1.4 miles.


Comcast Holiday Spectacular 

November 23 to January 1

Between 10 am and 8 pm, every hour on the hour for fifteen minutes, the state-of-the-art screen located in the Comcast Center displays a festive musical journey.


Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad

November 23 to December 31

Over 80 vendors fill the historic Reading Terminal Market, making it easy to find something you enjoy while admiring the interactive scenes of the railroad riding through the terminal. The set displays historic scenes of the Reading Terminal Market, the Reading Railroad, and much more.


Macy’s Christmas Light Show

November 24 to December 31

Since 1956, The Grand Court located in the National Historic Landmark Wanamaker Building has hosted the Christmas light show. Every two hours during Macy’s store hours, visitors have the chance to see the amazing light show for free.


Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

November 24 to March 4

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest transforms Penn’s Landing into a winter wonderland for all ages. With an olympic size skating rink, a ski-style lodge restaurant and bar, and a kid’s lodge stocked with an arcade and mini-rides, it’s the perfect place to spend a day with the entire family or your significant other.


Christmas Tree Lighting in Rittenhouse Square

November 28 at 5 pm

A Philadelphia favorite, Rittenhouse Square is lit up by a thirty-foot tree covered from top to bottom in white globe lights. Come enjoy the carolers and endless hot chocolate as Santa leads the ceremony and lights up the Christmas tree.


Winter Fountains on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

December 1 through March

Four large fiberglass domes display dream-like video projections created by Jennifer Steinkamp. Her inspiration was by Ben Franklin’s electrical research and the Parkway institutions.


A Philly POPS Christmas

December 1 to 19

The Philly POPS Festival Chorus, the Philadelphia Boys Choir, and award winning African Episcopal Church Choir come together to create an all new arrangement of musical talent. With roughly 300 performers on stage, holiday classics are given a more robust voice.


Greensgrow Holiday Bazaar

December 2

Greensgrow Farms will be selling local, handmade gifts for holidays. This festive neighborhood favorite offers everything from Christmas trees to fine art, crafts, and jewelry. Come out and support local Philadelphia artists.


The Nutcracker – The Pennsylvania Ballet

December 8 to 31

Join members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia Boys Choir, and the Pennsylvania Ballet as they perform their jaw-dropping performance of The Nutcracker.


Mummer’s Parade 2018

January 1

Nearly 10,000 men, women, and children can be seen in lavish, colorful costumes as they make their way down Broad Street. This 120-year tradition brightens up the streets of Philadelphia every New Years’ Day.


Boozy Christmas Events & Attractions

Black Friday Comedy Marathon 

November 24 to 26

During this 40-hour long comedy experience, you have the opportunity to experience hilarious performances from everybody ranging from Philly stand-ups to improvisors, and even a few a clowns. BYOB.


Christmas Village Wine Tasting

November 28- December 21

Chaddsford Winery is teaming up with Philadelphia food vendors to bring something new to the Christmas Village at City Hall. Taste a variety of wines in the coziest Christmas setting in the city.


The Ugly Sweater Run

December 16

It’s time to rummage through your closet and find the ugliest Christmas sweater you own and join thousands of runners in Fairmount Park for the most festive 5k ever. Warm up at the end with some hot chocolate or even a Kahlua cocktail.


Triage Holiday Bash

December 16

The band Triage returns to Fergie’s Pub from 9 pm to 1am for a “seasonal soirée of beer gut proportions.”


Nightmare Before Christmas Dance Party

December 23

If Santa isn’t really your thing, here’s your chance to party with Jack Skellington. Costumes, naughty or nice, are encouraged, and the special drinks, decorations, DJ, and photo booth will help kick off the party.


NYE Live!

December 31

Join one of the biggest New Year’s Eve celebration in Philadelphia at XFINITY Live. You’ll have access to five different bars and clubs, all found under the same roof.


Paddy Whacks’ New Year’s Eve Celebration

December 31

Everything you need to ring in the new year the right way, all in one spot. General admission gets you two floors of music, a food buffet, craft cocktails, and party favors.


Sugarhouse Fireworks on the Waterfront 

December 31

Sugarhouse Casino is putting on two free fireworks shows with an amazing backdrop. While enjoying the Blue Cross Winterfest at Penn’s Landing this New Years Eve, you have the opportunity to see the fifteen-minute display over the Delaware River.



Located on the 51st floor at Three Logan Square, this beer garden in the sky has your holiday fix coming up. SkyGarten’s hot chocolate bar lets you choose between Fireball, Peppermint Schnapps, and Bourbon Cream to help top off your hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream.

#SkyLodge is back for season two! Did someone say spiked hot chocolate? Thanks @metrophilly

A post shared by SkyGarten (@skygartenphilly) on


Rothman Cabin

After spending the night ice skating in the city, stop in the Rothman Cabin to warm up in the heated tent located at the tip on the rink. Enjoy spiked hot chocolate, craft beer, and a festive list of food options.

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