ABOVE PHOTO: Shoppers in winter gear browse vendors in wooden booths at the annual Christmas Village in Philadelphia in Love Park Shoppers in winter gear browse vendors in wooden booths at the annual Christmas Village in Philadelphia in Love Park — Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
Travel Responsibly: As the region recovers from COVID-19, safety guidelines have evolved at attractions, restaurants, shops and hotels. Philadelphia requires masks or proof of vaccination at all indoor public spaces. Advance tickets or reservations remain recommended or necessary at many spots. Your best bet: Check online or call ahead.
Find everything on your holiday shopping list — and treat yourself as well — at Greater Philadelphia’s awesome retail destinations, creative pop-up shops, independent boutiques, charming main streets, and top-rated shopping malls.
You’ll find amazing deals and holiday specials — and, best of all, there’s no sales tax on most wearable goods like clothing and shoes in Philadelphia (some exceptions apply). Plus, shopping in-person provides an alternative for supply-chain delays that may slow down online orders.
Of course, residents and visitors are always encouraged to shop Black and Brown-owned businesses during the holiday season and beyond — an effort that’s reinforced by the City of Philadelphia through the second year of its Shop Black Business Friday initiative, taking place each Friday in December of 2021. Introduced by The Honorable Cherelle L. Parker, the resolution aims to support the jobs, revenue and economic impact generated by these vital businesses.
Lastly (and just in time for the holidays), fans of the art featured in the new Love + Grit Storefronts Project can enter the Love + Grit Sweepstakes, giving them a chance to win a $2,000 prize package with more than 20 gifts curated from some of Philly’s best Black- and Brown-owned stores — many of which are featured in the exhibit. Among the prizes: beauty and wellness products from A Man’s Cave and Ursula’s About Phace Rittenhouse Makeup Studio, clothes from The Modern Republic and Harriett’s Bookshop, and homewares from YOWIE and Roberto Lugo Studio. Participants can enter the sweepstakes here or through the QR code featured on each of the store windows. The contest is open through December 30, 2021.
Of course, the holidays in Greater Philadelphia are still a bit different this year. Businesses and attractions in Philadelphia require proof of vaccination or mask-wearing at all indoor public spaces, while guidelines and requirements vary in the surrounding Greater Philadelphia region. And while most shops are open, look online or call ahead to see what to expect.
Mount Airy Art Garage Holiday Market
Through December 19, 2021 (Saturdays & Sundays only)
In lieu of a one-day event, this Mount Airy art hub welcomes artists to sell their goods over the course of five weekends from late November to late December. In previous years, artists have sold original paintings, photography, paper cuttings, sculptures, and many other artistic media.
Mount Airy Art Garage, 7054 Germantown Avenue
Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market at Dilworth Park
Through January 1, 2022
Find the perfect something for that perfect someone at the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market, back for the season as part of this year’s Winter at Dilworth Park programming. Dozens of local artisans, designers and small businesses from the Philly region offer handmade crafts, gifts and treats inside white, festively lit tents scattered throughout the park. Don’t forget to check out the dazzling carousel at the City Hall courtyard, and the Visit Philadelphia Holiday Tree and Ferris wheel on the north apron. Find more shopping in nearby LOVE Park during Christmas Village in Philadelphia.
Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th Street
Christmas Village in Philadelphia at LOVE Park
Through December 24, 2021
The European wonderland that is Christmas Village in LOVE Park returns with glowing Herrnhut stars decorating the tops of the wooden booths of over 100 different vendors. On offer: local and international gifts such as Käthe Wohlfahrt ornaments, three-dimensional house stars, wintry apparel and more. Additional vendors also set up on the north apron of City Hall and in the City Hall courtyard, where the new double-decker Holiday Carousel sits. Also new: a German food court in the City Hall courtyard. Bonus: Get a discount when you park at the LOVE Park Garage, located directly under Christmas Village.
Various locations including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Stag and Doe Nights in Chestnut Hill
December 1-22, 2021
Chestnut Hill shops stay open late on Wednesdays in December, offering holiday specials and refreshments during Stag and Doe Nights. Outside, the sounds of carolers and a brass quartet fill the air while Santa struts down Germantown Avenue. Those feeling especially festive can take a whimsical horse-drawn carriage ride.
North Bowl, 909 North 2nd Street
Christmas in Kensington at Philadelphia Brewing Company
December 10-19, 2021
Kensington beer purveyors Philadelphia Brewing Company (PBC) and gift shop Old Kensington Boutique team up to bring an outdoor art market to PBC’s beer garden. With 25 local artists to shop from, plenty of craft beer, food, a gift-wrapping station and live music, the fair is a one-stop shop for all things holiday.
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