Top 14 Things to Do for the Holidays in Center City
It is the holiday season and you are probably looking for fun things to do with your family and friends. Center City Philadelphia is a hub of holiday cheer every year and this year is no different.
Check out the top 14 things to do for the holidays in Center City:
1. Comcast Holiday Spectacular
Running from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, the Comcast Holiday Spectacular is a 15-minute show on the lobby’s LED display in the Comcast building in Center City. Bring the children down and they will love seeing dancers from the Pennsylvania Ballet as well as Santa’s sleigh all in the lights. Get more information here.
2. A Longwood Christmas
Not far from Center City, Longwood Gardens in Delaware County brings in the holidays with their large Christmas trees and over 500,000 twinkling lights. Inside their heated Conservatory they also offer wreaths, poinsettias, Christmas fruit as well as holiday music and performances. The holiday displays will run until January 6, 2019 so make sure you don’t miss it. There will be breakfasts with Santa in the Terrace Restaurant. Get more information here.
3. Christmas Light Show at Macy’s
Delighting families for generations, Macy’s downtown still holds its Christmas Light show in National Historic Landmark Wanamaker Building on Market Street in Philadelphia. Narrated by Julie Andrews, the show included dancing sugarplum fairies and snowmen and even Rudolph and Santa make an appearance. Performances are free and run every two hours during the hours of the store. It is a family tradition for many families and a great experience to share with those you love.
On the second floor, you can also stop by the Dickens Village where you can revisit a time of old. Opening November 23, it runs until December 24, 2018. Get more information here.
4. Franklin Square’s Annual Holiday Festival
From November 15 through December 31, 2018, Franklin Square on North 6th St. in Center City is home to the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show with its festive display of holiday lights and music. There will be free shows between 4 and 8 p.m. during the week and 4 to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. There will also be Saturdays with Santa and rides on the holiday train and carousel. Get more information here.
5. A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place
If you have little ones, you won’t want to miss the Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place in Bucks County. You and your family will get to tour the Twiddlebugs’ Gingerbread Cookie Factory and meet Lightning, the reindeer from Elmo Saves Christmas as well as see some holiday shows and stay for the Neighborhood Street Party Christmas Parade. Get more information here.
6. South Philly Neighborhood Lights
If you love to just drive around in different neighborhoods looking for the best Christmas lights, then don’t forget to stop by South Philadelphia which is always known for lighting up the night sky with festive spirit. One particular block, the 1600 block of 13th Street has received national attention for the way each rowhome is decorated with such detail.
The 2700 Block of Smedley Street between 16th and 17th streets and Moyamensing and Oregon avenues in South Philly is another great spot for lights. You will get to enjoy everything from trees covered in glowing color-shifting lights to gigantic blow-up Santas.
7. Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum
Until December 31, 2018, the Morris Arboretum will showcase the Holiday Garden Railway with its mini winter wonderland with 15 rail lines and model trains traveling across Philadelphia landmarks decked out in holiday lights. On certain nights there are special showings.
8. Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farm
Not far away in Bucks County, you can get into the holiday spirit at Shady Brook farm. They are holding their annual Holiday Light Show where you can drive through a veritable wonderland of holiday displays. You can also take the kids to visit with Santa, enjoy some cocoa by the bonfire and some holiday shopping.
9. Deck the Hall Light Show at City Hall
The Center City District in partnership with 6abc is hosting its Deck the Hall Light Show which is presented by Independence Blue Cross. This is a free nightly light show designed by the firm KLIP Collective will be projected on City Hall every hour on the hour on weekday nights and more frequently on weekend nights through January 1st.
10. Holiday Lights at Boat Row
Philadelphia’s Boathouse Row along the Schuylkill River will also be lit up for the holidays. Bundle up and enjoy a winter walk along Martine Luther King Jr. Drive or near around the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It can be a fun night to go for a warm, snug drive and soak in some beautiful displays.
The holidays are also a great time to visit museums and art galleries as well and an added bonus is that they are warm and toasty inside.
11. Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has over 200 galleries of painting, artifacts and architecture from all over the world and from different time periods that you can enjoy. Ask about museum tours to experience the museum to the fullest. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located at 26th St. and Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
12. Franklin Institute
At the Franklin Institute, you and your kids can climb up in the giant heart and learn about space exploration and other cool medical and scientific advancements. There are plenty of live shows and hands-on exhibits to keep everyone enthralled. Also be sure to check out the IMAX, planetarium and 3D theater. The Franklin Institute is located at 221 North St. in Philadelphia.
13. Academy of Natural Sciences
Not far from the Franklin Institute is the Academy of Natural Sciences where you can learn more about creatures of our present and past including dinosaurs. Your kids will love digging for fossils and all the other special hands-on activities held there. The Academy of Natural Science is located at 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
14. Please Touch Museum
The Please Touch Museum is completely hand-on for your kids’ enjoyment. There are two floors of interactive exhibits including a kid-size supermarket, hospital and construction zone. And there are always special exhibits going on as well. The Please Touch Museum is located at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park, 4231 Avenue of the Republic in Philadelphia.