Things to do in Philadelphia During the Winter Season

Although the weather may be cold in Philadelphia during the winter season, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of its biggest holiday events in the City of Brotherly Love. The city lights up and spirit spills from shops, restaurants, theaters and parks. Whether you’re visiting Philadelphia or a local resident, you won’t want to miss out on these festivities! 

Every must-do holiday list includes these attractions, so be sure to check them out this 2021 holiday season!

Winter at Dilworth Park

There are many pop-ups in Center City’s Dilworth park that include: 

  • Wintergarden on the Greenfield Lawn, an open-air wonderland of lights, topiaries, and rustic décor perfect for capturing pictures with your loved ones. 
  • Cheer and cruise around the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink. 
  • Relax in the Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin and enjoy festive cocktails and food. 
  • Shop the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market that sells handmade trinkets, treats and crafts made by the local makers. 
  • Watch the free Deck the Hall Light Show synchronized and projected throughout City Hall. 

Visit the City’s Holiday Tree 

Powered by NRG, this beautiful 45-foot-tall Christmas tree is standing tall at the Wawa Holiday Plaza and around the corner from Dilworth Park and all of the winter festivities! Take a close look at the designs representing Philadelphia’s historical landmarks, the city’s skyline, and Philadelphia’s diverse neighborhoods. 

LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo

LumiNature finally returns to the Philadelphia Zoo where you can walk through dozens of illuminating and interactive experiences including 500 colorful illuminated flamingos, over 200 illuminated penguins, and 21-foot-tall colored snakes. Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance. 

Winter in Franklin Square 

Presented by Citizens, the Electrical Spectacle Light Show presented by PECO twinkles this area with more than 150,000 lights for viewers until February 2022. The shows are every 30 minutes from 5-9 p.m. with additional performances on Fridays and Saturdays until 10 p.m. Other features include, comfort food, local beers, hot beverages, outdoor fire pits with tents, mini-golf course, and even a carousel. 

A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens 

Kennett’s Square Longwood Gardens transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. This year displays the contrast between fire and ice with flocked trees, a waterfall, icicles, and more. This attraction is so beautiful you won’t want to miss out, so be sure to plan ahead and grab tickets in advance! 

Macy’s Holiday Light Show 

This iconic seasonal performance occupies the building it resides in for many years. Generations of children and adults have enjoyed this show every year and continue to do so. The show features more than 100,000 bright, energy-efficient LED lights which combine to illuminate the holiday season. The Wanamaker Organ is the center of the show and is the largest playing pipe organ in the world. The show is completely free and lasts for 15 minutes starting from the day after Thanksgiving until the end of the year. 

Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular

This brand new event is located at the Fairground at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks. Guests are invited to walk through a winter wonderland of light sculptures and displays including illuminated recreations of historical landmarks like the Liberty Bell with over 1 million bulbs. Other events include ice skating, photos with Santa, shopping, and seasonal treats and drinks.

Holidays in the Village at Peddler’s Village 

Peddler’s Village has the perfect charm and beautiful, festive decorations to help ring in this holiday season. With more than 60 specialty shops this is the perfect spot to get some holiday shopping done. Also, The Gingerbread Competition & Display returns with more than 70 entries and families can watch Santa parade through the Village during Holly Jolly Weekend (December 4-5, 2021).

Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farm

This three-million Holiday Light Show is located in Bucks County at Shady Brooks Farm in Yardley. This 2-mile show is great for you and your family to cruise through whether that’s in your car or if weather permits, ride in the wagons provided. Be sure to grab your tickets in advance. Guests are also able to cozy up near the campfire and visit Santa. 

Holiday Performances on the Kimmel Cultural Campus

Shows include: 

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas – December 4, 2021
  • A Philly POPS Christmas – December 4-18, 2021
  • The Glorious Sound of Christmas – December 16-21, 2021
  • Family Christmas Favorites – December 18-25, 2021
  • Messiah – December 22-23, 2021

Boathouse Row Festival of Lights 

In honor of multicultural holidays, Philadelphia celebrates and lights up Boathouse Row with colors for Hanukkah (November 28-December 6, 2021), Christmas (December 20-25, 2021), and Kwanza (December 26, 2021-January 1, 2022). These beautiful lights overlook the Schuylkill river just off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Leave a Reply