Skip to content
Things To Do
Link copied to clipboard

When Christmas and other holiday events start in Philly

These holiday events and traditions are opening in Philly this Thanksgiving weekend.

Longwood Gardens Christmas
Longwood Gardens ChristmasRead moreMorgan Horell

Now that Thanksgiving week is finally upon us, it only means one thing — Christmas is right around the corner. It's time for mugs of hot chocolate and mulled wine at Christmas Village in LOVE Park, light shows at Macy's, ice skating at Dilworth Park and more. Here are all the holiday-themed attractions opening this weekend in Philly.


Christmas Village at LOVE Park

The beloved German-style Christmas market returns on Thanksgiving this year, and will feature more than 80 vendors. Purchase glass ornaments from Europe for your tree and artisan crafts for your loved ones before stopping for a cup of hot mulled wine and a tasty bratwurst to keep you warm. The market will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and then from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve. 1500 Arch St.;

The Comcast Holiday Spectacular

The video wall at the Comcast Center will be lighting up with the Comcast Holiday Spectacular, a 15-minute show blending singalongs to "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and "Jingle Bell Rock," as well as a snippet of the Pennsylvania Ballet's The Nutcracker. Featuring one of the largest high-resolution video displays in the world, the festive display starts at the top of the hour daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., excluding 5 p.m. on weekdays, through Jan. 1. 1701 JFK Blvd.

A Longwood Christmas

Longwood Gardens decks out its Conservatory each year with crystal ornaments, holiday-themed topiaries, poinsettias, mirrors, and wreaths to evoke the magnificence of  Versailles. This year, the garden has reimagined its Christmas tree, suspending festive firs from above. The fountains outdoors are paired with holiday music, and half a million lights twinkle enchantingly around the garden. "A Longwood Christmas" opens this year at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving, and will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily until Jan. 6. Timed ticket reservations are needed to visit. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square;


Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Philly's largest outdoor ice rink returns. Skate rentals and admission are free this year on opening day. This seasonal favorite also includes warming cabins, a ski chalet-inspired restaurant and bar, and arcade games for the kids. The Franklin Fountain Confectionery will also return with hot chocolate, ice cream sandwiches, and s'more kits for grilling at the fire pits. The park opens its doors for an opening celebration at 1 p.m. Friday. 101 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.;

Christmas Light Show at Macy’s

The Christmas Light Show and Wanamaker Organ Concert has been a tradition at Macy's for more than 50 years. During the light show, more than 100,000 LED lights sparkle in the shapes of ballerinas, reindeer and snowmen above the Grand Court atrium. Shows happen every two hours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.  For the show at noon, the finale is accompanied live by the Wanamaker Grand Organ. 1300 Market St.

>> READ MORE: You never forget your first Macy's Christmas Light Show

Dickens Village

While you're at Macy's, check out Dickens Village, a 20-year-old Philadelphia holiday tradition where Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol comes to life through animatronic displays. You can even sit on Santa's lap at the end. The display is located on the third floor of the store and can be viewed through Dec. 31. 1300 Market St.

Morris Arboretum’s Garden Railway

Morris Arboretum is opening its holiday miniature railway on Black Friday, where you'll be able to check out rustic, miniaturized versions of Philly's most famous buildings — all made from natural materials, many of them gathered in the garden itself. 100 East Northwestern Ave.;

Brandywine Museum of Art’s Holiday Railroad

Brandywine Museum of Art has been running their holiday railroad since 1972. A beloved tradition for visitors in the area, the railroad consists of more than 2,000 feet of track and more than 1,000 pieces, including people, buildings and locomotives. 1 Hoffman Mills Road;


Manayunk Tree Lighting

The official Manayunk tree-lighting ceremony takes place at 5:30 p.m. at Canal View Park. There will be musical performances, photo-ops with Santa, and plenty of shopping deals from local businesses. 4430 Main St.;

And don’t miss…

Dilworth Park

The Rothman Institute Ice Rink next to City Hall is now open (and will be on Thanksgiving Day) through Feb. 24. Drop by the Rothman Institute Cabin for seasonal cocktails or hot cocoa after an afternoon on the ice, and don't forget to explore the holiday-themed garden maze. There is also a light show that will be projected onto City Hall every hour on the half hour starting at 5:30 p.m. 1 S. 15th St.;

Franklin Square Holiday Festival

More than 50,000 lights light up the square to a holiday soundtrack every 30 minutes, from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. There's also a holiday train, a heated tent where you can enjoy festive treats, and a winter beer garden. Plus, head to the square on Saturdays to meet Santa himself. (The display is closed on Christmas Day and runs through Dec. 31.) 200 N. Sixth St.;

Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market

More than 40 local designers and artisans transform Dilworth Park into the perfect spot to pick up uniquely Philadelphian presents for your loved ones. You'll be able to find everything from handmade pottery to art prints to Philly-themed books. The market is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 1 S. 15th St.;