ABOVE PHOTO: The popular traditional German-style holiday market Christmas Village returns to the newly renovated LOVE Park this season. November 23 – December 24, 2017 (J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)
Make the most of the holiday weekend, through Sunday, November 26
Get ready for a ton of holiday fun!
The long Thanksgiving weekend officially kicks off a season of nonstop festivities in Philadelphia, starting with the 98th annual Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade — the oldest parade of its kind in the nation. The 1.4-mile-long celebration down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway features gigantic balloons, celebrity appearances, local performers and festive floats.
Other activities to look forward to over the extended weekend include the opening day of multiple major holiday attractions, including:
- Comcast Holiday Spectacular (opens Thursday, November 23
- Christmas Village (opens Thursday, November 23)
- A Longwood Christmas (opens Thursday, November 23)
- Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest (opens Friday, November 24
- Christmas Light Show at Macy’s (opens Saturday, November 25)
From ice skating to shopping ops galore to tree lighting ceremonies, plenty awaits to fill your holiday weekend this year. Read on for our official guide to all of the fun happening during Thanksgiving week in Philadelphia.
Ongoing and Multi-Day Events
Franklin Square Holiday Festival featuring the Electrical Spectacle Light Show
The Franklin Square Holiday Festival featuring the Electrical Spectacle Light Show makes this park twinkle, with free shows every 30 minutes between 4 and 8 p.m. on weeknights and 4 and 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Among the 50,000 lights set to music are a giant, illuminated kite and key. Festivities include #FranklinSquareFridays; Saturdays with Santa; Seasonal Sounds on Sundays; rides on the holiday train and carousel; treats such as make-you-own s’mores, hot doughnuts, local beer and hot beverages — served in a warming tent or around fire pits in a beer garden; and mini-golf.
Rothman Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Park
Located in Dilworth Park, the outdoor Rothman Institute Ice Rink & Rothman Institute Cabin offer ice-skating, skate rentals, twinkling lights and indoor space to warm up and fill up on snacks, beer and hot drinks.
America’s Garden Capital Maze
The magical America’s Garden Capital Maze returns to Dilworth Park for a second season this fall and winter. The pop-up maze-meets-delightful-garden — created in partnership with Greater Philadelphia Gardens — features tons of twinkling lights and seasonal plants that showcase more than 30 public gardens, arboreta and historic landscapes located within 30 miles of Philadelphia.
Christmas at Peddler’s Village
Let the Gingerbread Competition and Display at Peddler’s Village get your own creative juices flowing as you admire more than 50 sugar-laden holiday houses on display. The showcase is free to view and serves as the perfect activity to enjoy in between shopping at the 65 boutiques and specialty shops that make up Peddler’s Village and admiring the more than one million holiday lights set up around the shopping destination.
Made In Philadelphia Holiday Market
Just steps away from Christmas Village, the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market outside of City Hall features all-local artisans, designers, crafters and homemade treat vendors selling a variety of gifting ideas and holiday foods in festively lit tents.
A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place
Elmo, Abby, Oscar and friends — including, new this year, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Clarice and Bumble — iare part of the ultimate little-kid theme park’s A Very Furry Christmas. Wee ones tour the Twiddlebugs’ Gingerbread Cookie Factory, meet Lightning, the reindeer from “Elmo Saves Christmas,” take in holiday productions such as the 1-2-3 Christmas Tree Show, and snag spots for the Neighborhood Street Party Christmas Parade.
Christmas Village in Philadelphia
The German-style Christmas market returns to a restored JFK Plaza, also known as LOVE Park. For the 10th year, 80 wooden booths of local and international merchants display and sell Käthe Wohlfahrt trimmings, wintry apparel, handmade toys and all manner of edible and drinkable treats, while entertainment keeps things festive. The LOVE statue makes its triumphant return in February 2018.
Friday, November 24, 2017
Holiday Shopping in Philadelphia
With Philly’s tax-free policy on most clothing and shoes, what better destination to get your holiday shopping complete? Take advantage of the city’s Black Friday deals, including those at brand-name retail destinations in Center City, charming craft bazaars and pop-up shops, independent boutique shops and top-rated shopping malls. The day after Thanksgiving brings a ton of once-a-year sales and also the start of many Philadelphia holiday pop ups.
Friday marks the opening day of the Christmas Light Show at Macy’s, Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest and more.