Christmas time in Philly
It's less than ten days until Christmas and you can't deny the holiday feel in the air! Christmas time in Philly is an especially magical time in the city. There is so much to do and so much to see. While the city is definitely a little more packed than usual, it's worth it to move along with the crowds to soak in the holiday spirit. There are a few places I love to go in the city and in the suburbs that are so much fun around the holidays. And the best part? Most of them are free!
Christmas time in the City
The Christmas Village in Love Park
I generally avoid Love park most of the year but I like to sneak down there around this time to check out the Christmas Village. Small stands are arranged around the perimeter and sell everything from wooden toys to homemade jams to glass ornaments. It gets packed but grab a cup of hot cider or snack on some traditional German food and relax.
Made in Philly Holiday Market, Dilworth Park
Head across the way to the new Made in Philly Holiday Market at Dilworth Park. This market features many artisans, crafters, and designers from the Philadelphia area. If you're looking to #shoplocal, this new market makes it easy!
Rothman Ice Rink and the Rothman Cabin, Dilworth Park
While you're doing a little shopping at those holiday markets, why not lace up a pair of skates and twirl around the pop-up ice rink? Admittedly, it's been a little warm around here but some skating will definitely get you in the holiday spirit. If you're not a skater but want to hang out while your kids or your friends are on the ice, there's the new Rothman Cabin. It's got food from the always delicious Garces Events and hot chocolate too.
The Shops at Liberty Place, 1625 Chestnut Street
Hopefully you've finished your holiday shopping but if you haven't, you might want to take a walk over to the Shops at Liberty Place. Besides having great stores like J.Crew and the newly opened Bloomingdale's Outlet, they always have the most gorgeous tree right underneath their domed skylight. Pop in on the weekends and you might be treated to an instrumental concert of holiday tunes.
Franklin Flea Holiday Market, the historic Strawbridge building
Again, for my last minute shoppers out there, if you still need to check off a few more people from your shopping list, head over to Market Street and the old Strawbridge building for the Franklin Flea Holiday Market. It's a haven for vintage collectors and shoppers who are looking for something just a tad bit different. You can also grab a lobster roll from Luke's Lobster or a fresh baked cupcake from Milk and Sugar when you get hungry from all that shopping.
Franklin Square, 200 6th Street
Franklin Square is fun for families all year round but at the holiday time is when it really shines. The park is adorned with more than 50,000 lights and they are dazzling the Electric Spectacle Holiday Light Show that happens every half hour. You can grab food and a beer at the little stand and the park wouldn't be complete without its own holiday market.
South Philadelphia streets
For this Christmas sight, I can't give you an exact address because there isn't just one spot to catch great holiday decorations in South Philly. My favorite thing to chow down on a Geno's cheesesteak and then wander around. Philadelphia's streets are truly magical during the holidays.
Christmas time in the Suburbs
A Longwood Christmas, Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA
If you've never been to Longwood Gardens, this is the time to go. Longwood really does it up for the holidays and not a single part of the gardens is left untouched. The Orangery (the enormous greenhouse) is warm and cozy with lush trees all over, lights, and gingerbread houses. I love the Pierce-duPont House which is decorated for the 19th century. Because of how spectacular the gardens are, you must purchase a timed ticket in order to go. They sell out pretty fast for the evening since you can stroll the grounds when they are lit up in hundreds of thousands of lights BUT it is equally magical during the day time. A must if you're able to head out to the 'burbs this season! And bonus: if you head just down the road, you can visit the magic that is Terrain at Styers!
Shady Brook Farms Light Show, 931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley, PA
Love seeing holiday lights but don't know where to go? Rather than trying to map out a route and hope there are some good lights, make it easy on yourself and head to Shady Brook Farms. This local farm right off I-95 in Yardley has a two mile or so stretch of holiday lights that you can drive through in the comfort of your own car. It's a bit pricey so pack the car with friends and family. We usually whip up a batch of hot chocolate in travel mugs and pack a container of cookies to snack.
Feeney's Nursery, 1134 Bustleton Pike, Feasterville, PA
This isn't your typical holiday attraction but it is so much fun and so local. This nursery is transformed into a winter wonderland with trees decorated with ornaments for sale, train sets galore, and Santa's tucked away in the garden for photos. There are benches hidden away beneath archways covered in fake snow so you can sit and just watch everything going on around you and listen to that fantastic Christmas music.