Celebrate the holidays in Philadelphia. Philadelphia is full of holiday spirit with wonderful festivals, holiday lights, family traditions and a plethora of family fun activities. See our rundown of the top Philly Christmas time events.
A Longwood Gardens Christmas: November 24, 2011 - January 8, 2012: Half a million brilliant lights strung with over 39 miles of cord, lit trees that soar 75 feet, a 4.5-acre heated indoor Conservatory, featuring a giant Art Nouveau tapestry made from pink poinsettias and ferns, and the richest floral displays imaginable, including amaryllis, artemesia, begonias, cyclamen, hybrid lilies, kalanchoes, paperwhites, red berried plants and many more. This is what you'll see at the Longwood Gardens Christmas.
Christmas in the Colonial Capital Tour: November 26 - December 17, 2011: Edward Mauger, author of Philadelphia Then and Now and USA Today's Best Tour Guide in America, has put together this tour to help you celebrate the holidays in the birthplace of America's Christmas.
Christmas Village Philly at LOVE Park in Center City: November 24 - December 24, 2011: Vendors in more than 50 wooden booths offer European food, sweets and drinks as well as international holiday gifts, ornaments and high quality arts and crafts. Thousands of lighted trees and booths will illuminate Love Park and set the tone for the Holiday Season.
Franklin Square Holiday Celebration: November 25 - December 24, 2011: Franklin Square lights the night as festive holiday decorations bring alive the spirit of the season! The Franklin Square Holiday Celebration with Santa Claus will take place November 25th, November 26th - December 18th on Saturdays & Sunday, and then December 24th, 2011.
Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farm: November 25 - December 30, 2011: The Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farm runs from November 25th - December 30th, 2011. Experience the magic of millions of lights illuminating acres of farmland during the Holiday Light Show!
Reading Terminal Market Holiday Railroad: November 25 - December 31, 2011: Kids and adults alike will delight in the Reading Terminal Market's interactive 500 square foot train display featuring 17 working train lines that rumble through a multitude of miniature scenery including Center City Philadelphia, a Christmas Village, and a snow-covered countryside.
South Street Headhouse District Presents Winter Wonderland: November 21 - December 31, 2011: Kick off the 2011 winter season with a spectacular arrangement of winter activities, including a window decorating contest, in the South Street Headhouse District.
Adventure Aquarium's Christmas Celebration: November 25, 2011 - January 2, 2012: Adventure Aquarium will be transformed into a holiday wonderland under the sea, featuring larger-than-life decorations, twinkling lights, glowing trees, gently falling snow and of course, appearances from the Aquarium’s beloved Scuba Santa (and his elf helpers!), who will delight children all ages as he dives the 760,000-gallon Ocean Realm exhibit among rare sharks, gigantic sea turtles, hundreds of schooling fish, massive stingrays and more.
Gingerbread House Competition and Display in Peddler's Village: November 18, 2011 - January 7, 2012: The Gingerbread House Competition and Display in Peddler's Village will be open for viewing from November 18th, 2011 through January 7th, 2012.
Comcast Center Holiday Spectacular: November 24, 2011 - January 1, 2012: Shown on the world's largest 4 mm LED display in the Comcast Center lobby (1701 JFK Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA), this year's show is sure to delight people of all ages.
Morris Arboretum's Holiday Garden Railway Display: November 20 - December 31, 2011: The Morris Arboretum’s popular Garden Railway Display returns the day after Thanksgiving as the Holiday Garden Railway display.
Christmas Light Show at Macy's in Center City: November 25 – December 31, 2011: During the light show, more than 100,000 bright, energy-efficient LED lights combine to create fantastic holiday images. The lighting display is accompanied by festive music from the world-renowned Wanamaker Grand Organ.
Christmas at Linvilla Orchards: December 1 - 24, 2011: The Farm at Linvilla Orchards is decorated for Christmas from December 1st - 24th, 2011. See their Christmasland display and visit with the animals in their winter coats.
Noël and Gertie at the Walnut Street Theatre: November 22 - December 31, 2011: The Walnut Street Theatre presents Noël and Gertie by Sheridan Morley from November 22nd - December 31st, 2011
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol at the Walnut Street Theatre: December 3 – 21, 2011: The Walnut Street Theatre is proud to present Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, running from December 3rd - 21st, 2011. The holiday magic begins when a troupe of actors appear at the historic Walnut Street Theatre to set up and perform the heartwarming tale of Ebenezer Scrooge.
Center City District Shopping Saturdays: November 26, December 3, 10, 17, 2011: During four Saturdays in November and December, duck into the unique stores and boutiques that only Philly has to offer, and be a part of the holiday spirit exclusively found downtown. Center City District's Shopping Saturdays are scheduled for November 26th, December 3rd, 10th & 17th, 2011.
Holiday Tours of the Historic Fairmount Park Houses: December 1 - 11, 2011: Plan your visit to the Historic Houses of Fairmount Park for their annual Holiday Tours, running from December 1st - 11th, 2011. For two weeks only, six renowned Fairmount Park Houses put on their holiday finery and open their doors to the public for tours and special events.
Holiday Open House at Chaddsford Winery: December 3 - 4 & 10 - 11, 2011: See Chaddsford Winery in its seasonal finery and get in the holiday mood with live carolers entertaining with your favorite holiday songs, tantalizing hot mulled wines and holiday sweets, wine tastings in the Chaddsford cellars, plus the introduction of our new 2011 gift basket selections and plenty of unique wine gifts and accessories that will be appreciated by everyone on your holiday list.
Stag & Doe Nights in Chestnut Hill, A Holiday Shopping Event: December 7, 14 & 21, 2011: On Wednesday nights in December (December 7th, 14th & 21st, 2011) Chestnut Hill's one-of-a-kind shops open their doors and welcome you with wonderful gift ideas, refreshments and personalized, friendly service.
Brandywine Ballet's The Nutcracker: December 9 - 18, 2011: Brandywine Ballet’s traditional presentation of The Nutcracker runs December 9th - 18th, 2011 at the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall in West Chester, PA (all performance days and times are listed below).
Nutcracker: A Tale of Sugar Plum Fairies Presented by the Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus: December 9 & 10, 2011: Nutcracker: A Tale of Sugar Plum Fairies presented by Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus will take place Friday, December 9th & Saturday, December 10th, 2011 at Prince Music Theater.
Greensgrow Farms Holiday Bazaar: December 10 - 18, 2011: Looking for local, handmade gift ideas from some of the neighborhood's most talented crafters and artists? Make a dent in your Christmas shopping at Greensgrow's Holiday Bazaar, taking place December 10th & 11th, and 17th & 18th, 2011 from 11am - 4pm.
Santa Days at the Philadelphia Zoo: December 10 - 11 & 17 - 18, 2011: Join Santa at the Philadelphia Zoo to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with the animals! Santa Days at the Philadelphia Zoo runs for two weekends: December 10th & 11th, and December 17th & 18th, 2011.
Running of the Santas Festival and Pub Crawl in Philly: December 10, 2011: The World's Naughtiest Pub Crawl and Festival returns on Saturday, December 10th, 2011 in Philadelphia - Running of the Santas Festival.
Holiday Open House at Grumblethorpe: December 10, 2011: Get in the holiday spirit and get a picture with Santa Claus at the Holiday Open House at historic Grumblethorpe on Saturday, December 10th, 2011 from 1 to 4pm. In addition to a visit with Santa, visitors will have the opportunity to create a holiday craft.
George Balanchine's The Nutcracker by the Pennsylvania Ballet: December 10 - 31, 2011: Be enchanted by the Philadelphia region's most beloved holiday tradition, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, running from December 10th - 31st, 2011.
Manayunk Presents The 2nd Annual Santa On Ice Carving Demo: December 10, 2011: The Manayunk Development Corporation presents “Santa On Ice,” where world-class ice carver Peter Slavin (founder of the “Fear No Ice” performance troupe), will carve huge blocks of ice into a throne of ice for Santa Claus on Saturday, December 10th, 2011 at Canal View Park at Main & Cresson Streets in Manayunk. Santa will post for photos from 11am - 2pm.
Narberth Dickens Festival: December 10, 2011: The Narberth Dickens Festival is a free family event held each December on the streets of downtown Narberth. The upcoming festival will take place on Saturday, December 10th, 2011 from noon to 4pm. It draws thousands to Narberth every year, and it has become the fastest-growing holiday festival in the Philadelphia area.
Punk Rock Flea Market, Holiday Edition W/300+ Vendors: December 11, 2011: The Holiday Edition of the Punk Rock Flea Market will take place Sunday, December 11th, 2011. This is the biggest one yet featuring 300+ tables of vendors selling old records, clothes, art, music, food, junk, bicycles, stereo equipment, instruments, automobiles, tools, posters, furniture, computers, skateboards and lots of other stuff.
8th Annual Latkepalooza and Holiday Bazaar: December 11, 2011: The 8th Annual Latkepalooza and Holiday Bazaar will take place on Sunday, December 11th, 2011 at UArts from 2-4pm.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Holiday Pop-Up Shop at the Comcast Center: December 12 - 16, 2011: The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will launch its first-ever Holiday Pop-Up Shop this year at the Comcast Center, in Center City Philadelphia. It will be located in the lower lobby and will be open from December 12th through 16th, 2011 from 8am to 2:30pm daily.
Mad Elf Ugly Sweater Party at City Tap House: December 17, 2011: On Saturday, December 17th, 2011 from 7pm-10pm, City Tap House and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society invite you to the Ultimate Ugly Sweater Party sponsored by Troegs Brewing Company!
The Philadelphia Independent Craft Market's Famous Holiday Show: December 17, 2011: The Philadelphia Independent Craft Market's Famous Holiday Show is set for Saturday, December 17th, 2011 from 1-8pm at 2424 Studios.
Free TubaChristmas Concert at the Kimmel Center: December 17, 2011: Toot your own horn at the annual TUBACHRISTMAS Celebration in the Kimmel Center's Commonwealth Plaza, as part of the Kimmel Center's 10th Anniversary.
Crafty Balboa Holiday Market: December 17, 2011: The Crafty Balboa Holiday Market takes place on Saturday, December 17th, 2011 from 11am to 5pm at the Broad Street Ministry. The market features 40 local vendors selling crafts, clothing and other unique gifts.