Philly comes to life during the holidays, from light shows to ice skating to markets. We rounded up some of the city's holiday favorites, with a few new additions.
The Christmas Village has been displaced by construction at LOVE Park, but the market will take over the City Hall Courtyard and Northern Apron with a new carousel as the centerpiece, in addition to the traditional shops and . There will also be themed nights, like student discounts on Tuesdays and happy hour on Wednesdays. Another new tradition: a bratwurst-eating competition on Dec. 21 to tie in the German roots.
11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun.-Thur., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., through Dec. 24, City Hall Courtyard and Northern Apron, 1400 JFK Blvd., free admission.
New this year at the Penn's Landing skating extravaganza are an expanded lodge area and five winter warming cottages individually styled with electric fireplaces, chandeliers, rustic furnishings, and heaters for families, groups of friends, or small parties. The cabins may be reserved in advance for $50 for 90 minutes in a single cottage or $100 for 90 minutes in a double.
For the first time, the Independence Seaport Museum extends the Parade of Lights, so decorated boats will sail past Winterfest Dec. 10 at 5:30 p.m.
Winterfest opens this weekend with family-friendly events featuring characters from Frozen on Black Friday and characters from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The official holiday-tree lighting at Winterfest is on Dec. 2 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will include figure skaters and musical performances.
1-10:30 p.m. Mon.-Thur., 1 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Fri., 11 a.m.-12:30 a.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sun., Nov. 25 through Mar. 5, Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, 101 South Columbus Blvd., free general admission, $3 skating, $10 skate rental, 215-925-RINK.
The latest addition to the park, which includes a lodge and ice skating rinks, is America's Garden Capital Maze, made of donated greenery from gardens around the region and adorned with twinkle lights.
Leading up to the holidays, there will be Cocktails and Cold Ones in the cabin on Wednesdays (think winter Sips), Symphony Sundays, and College Nights on Tuesdays. Guests can look forward to ice skating and garden workshops throughout January and February when the holidays are over.
Maze: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun., Nov. 11-Feb. 26, free admission.
Rink: 12-9 p.m. Mon.-Thur., 12-11 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun., Nov. 11 through Feb. 26, Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St., $3 children, $5 adults, $10 skate rental, ccdparks.org.
The Macy's Christmas Light Show has been a Philadelphia tradition for more than 50 years. More than 100,000 LED lights tell the stories of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Frosty the Snowman, narrated by Julie Andrews, in the Grand Court atrium in the historic Wanamaker Building.
The third floor of Macy's is also turned into "Dickens Village" for the holiday season, bringing Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol to life with more than 100 animated figures in a 6,000-square-foot village.
Every two hours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Nov. 25 through Dec. 31, Macy's Center City, 1300 Market St. free, 215-241-9000.
Visitors are welcome in the lobby of the Comcast Center for the 15-minute Comcast Holiday Spectacular, a musical celebration featuring Carol of the Bells, Jingle Bell Rock, The Twelve Days of Christmas and a snippet from The Nutcracker performed by the Pennsylvania Ballet.
Top of each hour, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (excluding weekdays at 5 p.m.), through Jan. 1, Comcast Center, 1701 JFK Blvd., free, 215-496-1810.
The 1600 block of South 13th Street just a few blocks off of East Passyunk Avenue dresses up each year for the holidays. The neighborhood homes have become one of the biggest holiday-light destinations in Philadelphia.
Nov. 28 through Jan. 1, 1600 block of South 13th Street between Tasker and Morris Streets, free admission.
The holiday music-inspired display features organ sing-alongs, carolers, and performances throughout the outdoor gardens and inside the Music Room. Colorful fountains and twinkle lights among seasonal plants dance to holiday music throughout the gardens.
This year, there will be three fire pits around the grounds, at the Hour Glass Lake Pavilion, Peirce-du Pont House Plaza, and Dogwood Plaza. Many daily performances and events are free with admission.