ABOVE PHOTO: A perfect family outing, the Christmas Light Show and Wanamaker Organ Concert at Macy’s is a Philadelphia tradition that dates back more than half a century. (Photo: WIDMAN FOR VISIT PHILADELPHIA)
Holiday happenings in the City of Brotherly Love 2015
By Suzanne Rowan Kelleher
The holiday season is a wonderful time to visit Philly with kids. Beginning in mid November, the City of Brotherly Love is transformed into a festive holiday destination, including a popular German-style Christmas Market at Love Park and the Reading Terminal Market’s well-loved holiday railroad.
Here’s a lineup of don’t-miss events and activities in Philly happening during the holiday season in 2015.
Christmas in Philadelphia 2015
Franklin Square Holiday Festival: This holiday light show at Franklin Square features a 10-foot-tall kite made of lights along with lights throughout the square, accompanied by tunes recorded by the Philly Pops. The late-afternoon show runs several times every day during the season. Kids can also visit with Santa, ride on the holiday train and carousel, and even play mini-golf with warming stations.
Morris Arboretum’s Holiday Garden Railway: Discover a miniature winter wonderland complete with a quarter-mile of model-train track; 15 different rail lines; cable cars, bridges and model trains that chug past scaled replicas of historic monuments; and Philadelphia-area landmarks adorned with thousands of twinkling lights for the holidays.
Reading Terminal Market Holiday Railroad: Philly’s indoor food market sets up an impressive 500-square-foot holiday railroad in its main court. Every holiday season, you can admire over the 12 working train lines and miniature scenery of Center City and the countryside.
Christmas Village at Love Park: This German-style Christmas Village is a favorite tradition for holiday shoppers, who can peruse more than 50 decorated booths selling international seasonal gifts, traditional German Christmas ornaments, jewelry and high-quality arts and crafts. Hot mulled wine, gingerbread and bratwursts are also available.
Comcast Holiday Spectacular: This film experience is shown on one of the largest LED screens in the world, featuring enchanting holiday scenes and computer generated animations. Located in the lobby of the Comcast Center in Center City.
Macy’s Christmas Light Show: A Philadelphia tradition since 1956, this Christmas show at Macy’s in Center City illuminates a large wall inside the Wanamaker building, a National Historic Landmark, with almost 100,000 LED lights that dance to the sounds of the Wanamaker Organ. Performances at the top of the hour, every two hour.
Waterfront Winterfest: The Blue Cross RiverRink offers ice skating at Penn’s Landing in its 20th season, along with a whole new look that comes in the form of a pop-up holiday winter garden and village featuring shops, fire pits, music and food.
Rittenhouse Square Christmas Tree Lighting: Philly’s holiday season officially lights up with this annual event, where thousands gather every year for the lighting of the the 35-foot tree, which then shines all holiday season to greet shoppers as they walk through the square. After the lighting, stick around the neighborhood for happy hour, dinner and some holiday shopping.
Deck The Alley: Elfreth’s Alley, America’s oldest continuously residential street, celebrates the holiday season with its annual holiday event, when residents of the historic homes deck the halls with Christmas trees, holiday lights and decor. In addition to home tours, look forward to seasonal treats, carolers, fireside holiday stories, historical talks, a visit from Benjamin Franklin and much more.
Washington Crossing the Delaware River: History buffs can witness Washington Crossing the Delaware River, a free, annual reenactment staged at 1 PM on Christmas Day at Washington Crossing Historic Park.