Top 6 Things To Do At Christmas In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Updated 2024

things to do in philadelphia at christmas
Tina S.
Tina S. 
Contributing Writer
Updated
| 3 min read

Philadelphia celebrates Christmas in a grand way and is full of activities and attractions that add to the festive spirit. Wintergarden on Greenfield Lawn is adorned with reindeer topiaries to welcome the festival and provides the perfect spot to click some great pictures. All vendors from the metro converge at the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market in this park beside Christmas Village. Meanwhile, consumers can shop and skate at Dilworth Park near the City Hall.

For some high-end shopping, drop by Macy’s where the Christmas Light Show awaits its shoppers. And if you feel like donning your skates, there is Blue Cross RiverRink, an Olympic-size rink. The city comes alive with lights and you can do some pub crawling, visit the parks, or attend Chestnut Hill’s traditional Stag & Doe event. To know more about the top things to do at Christmas in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, scroll down below.

1. Evoke the Christmas spirit by visiting city bars

Philadelphia has its unique ways of awakening the Christmas spirit. One such experience is this one-of-a-kind guided bar tour in the historic district that takes you on a fun journey filled with alcoholic spirits, games, giveaways, and snacks. Revel in the colorful history of Christmas, Viking lore, and the ancient Roman festival, Saturnalia, as you drop by each bar.

The tour starts at 6:30 pm and you can score some special drinks if you arrive early at Zento Sushi Restaurant and Sake Bar, which is the tour’s starting point. It ends at the revolutionary City Tavern Restaurant where American Founding Fathers such as George Washington used to hang out.

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Christmas Traditions Tavern Experience of Philadelphia

Duration: 3 hours

24 reviews

2. Embark on a guided Christmas walking tour (from USD 225.0)

If you want an intimate tour of the city, why not hire a guide to accompany you? For an hour and a half, you will have a guide walk you through the city while briefing you about the interesting historical significance of each location. You also get to view Love Park’s Christmas Village and the German traditions that go with it, the lovely store displays of Macy’s, the Christmas Tree at City Hall, and much more.

You can cover the entire stretch of 0.70 km (0.43 mi) and complete the tour at a leisurely pace. The tour is suitable for people with mobility issues as the route is wheelchair accessible.

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Philadelphia: Christmas Lights Private Walking Tour

Duration: 75 to 90 minutes

3. Revel in festivities in the German-style Christmas Village

DSC_0079
Source: Photo by Flickr user Opeyemi used under CC BY 2.0

Christmas Village is a yearly outdoor marketplace held at Love Park in the courtyard of City Hall. The event takes place in the core of the city’s holiday district and was modeled after traditional German Christmas markets.

The make-shift stalls and booths sell authentic German food and beverage. Enjoy a traditional German beer at The Beer Alm while munching on German sausages, raclette cheese sandwiches, and Belgian fries. There are enough seats for 100 diners who can enjoy an authentic German meal while enjoying the festivities. For activities, a double-decker carousel, a Ferris wheel, and a kids’ train are available. The latter provides free rides to children below the age of 12.

Christmas Village

Address: Love Park, 1500 Arch St. Philadelphia PA, 19102

Website: Christmas Village

Opening hours: Nov 19th - Dec 24th, 2022 : 11am - 7pm daily; November 26th, 2022 : 9am - 5pm; December 24th, 2022 : 11am - 5pm

Price: Admission is free. Food, drinks, shopping, and rides attract applicable charges.

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4. Enjoy a musical Christmas evening at A Philly POPS Christmas

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

What is Christmas without some good music? Make your holiday in Philadelphia complete by attending a Christmas-special concert by Philly POPS, the largest standalone pop orchestra in the United States, at Verizon Hall in Kimmel Cultural Campus. American music director and principal conductor David Charles Abell will conduct this dazzling annual concert.

It features the beautiful voices of guest artists Mandy Gonzalez and Jordan Donica of Broadway and Hamilton fame. Together they will sing with 300 other musical talents such as The Philly POPS Festival Chorus, St. Thomas Gospel Choir, and The Philadelphia Boys Choir.

A Philly POPS Christmas

Address: 300 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102, United States

Website: A Philly POPS Christmas

Opening hours: December 3 & 4 (Sat & Sun): 3pm; December 7 & 9 (Wed & Fri): 8pm; December 10 & 11 (Sat & Sun): 3pm; December 14 (Wed): 8pm; December 16 & 17 (Fri & Sat): 3pm

Price: From 35 USD

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Philadelphia Tour Guide

Annie Leguennec

Annie Leguennec

My name is Annie. I am a local Tour guide based in Philadelphia enjoying fully what the city has to offer with its deep history, street arts, murals, architecture, traditional food, black history, Farmer Markets, green space, a melting pot of neighborhoods and its great locals. I am looking for to welcome you and show you this incredible city where you will gain a better understanding of the ci... Read more

Tours by Annie

Philadelphia Tour Guide

Stephanie Eley

Stephanie Eley

I'm a graduate of ITMI, International Tour Management Institute and 17 years as a licensed Tour Director and Program Director. My expertise began in NYC and Washington, DC where I'm a licensed guide and has expanded to Europe, South America, Cuba and the Western / Southwestern National Parks of the US. I'd love to introduce you for a day or a week to Denver, Colorado and the 4 corners region of... Read more

Tours by Stephanie

Philadelphia Tour Guide

Vance Lehmkuhl

Vance Lehmkuhl

Tour operator and tour guide for American Vegan Center in historic Old City Philadelphia, administering walking tours focusing on Philadelphia's "veg history" - the vegans and vegetarians through history that started the US vegetarian and vegan movements in this city. Author of "Eating Vegan in Philly" (2016) and also "V for Veg: The Best of Philly's Vegan Food Column," a collection of my colum... Read more

Tours by Vance

5. Glide into the festive spirit at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Love the warm and inviting atmosphere of Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest? We’re excited to carry out that traditional...

Posted by Delaware River Waterfront on Friday, November 5, 2021

The annual Winterfest will commence on the Delaware River Waterfront on November 25 with the opening of the Blue Cross RiverRink. Penn’s Landing is transformed into a winter-themed riverfront park where people gather to skate on the National Hockey League-sized skating rink.

Enjoy skating in a winter wonderland surrounded by twinkling lights with panoramic views of the Delaware River. Fun games for the young and old alike and sumptuous food and drinks can be enjoyed around the rink. Moreover, cozy cabins, outdoor fire pits, and a ski-chalet-style lodge are available for those looking to relax for a while. A giant Christmas tree in the winter garden adds to the festive mood.

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Address: 101 S Christopher Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Website: Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Opening hours: November 25th, 2022 - March 3rd, 2023: Mon - Thu: 1 pm - 11 pm, Fri: 1 pm - 1 am, Sat: 11 am - 1 am, Sun: 11 am - 11 pm; December 24, 2022 - January 2nd, 2023(Holiday week): December 24th & 25th, 2022: 1 pm - 8:30 pm, December 26th, 2022 - December 30th, 2022: 11 am - 1 am, December 31st, 2022: 10 am - 2 pm, January 1st, 2023: 11 am - 1 am, January 2nd: 11 am - 11 pm

Price: Ice Skating Admission: 5 USD; Ice Skate Rental: 12 USD

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6. Experience a Christmas-special ballet with a twist

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Experience the classic Christmas story, The Nutcracker by E.T.A Hoffman, as never before. Solo show performer and comedian, Chris Davis, humorously portrays all the characters in this one-of-its-kind ballet by Theatre Philadelphia. The program is open to all audiences and the venue has wheelchair access. The show is 60 minutes long and is directed by Mary Tuomanen.

One-Man Nutcracker

Address: Theatre Exile 1340 S. 13th Street Philadelphia, PA 19147

Website: One-man Nutcracker

Opening hours: December 20th - December 23rd, 2022 and December 29th, 2022 - January 2nd, 2023 : 7pm; December 26th - December 28th, 2022 : 12pm (No shows on December 25th, 2022 and January 1st, 2023)

Price: From 15 USD

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Cheerful Christmas in Philly

Philadelphia sure knows how to celebrate a merry Christmas. The city lights up with decorations and the variety of its shops, bars, parks, and skating rinks uplift the Christmas spirit. Remember to include all the top things to do in Philadelphia when making travel plans for the holidays.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Tina is a free-spirited writer and traveler. She likes to experience unfamiliar places, cuisines, and scenery. She prefers beaches to mountains though as she is afraid of heights. Visiting museums,...Read more

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