December Philadelphia Events: Ho-Ho-Home for the Holidays in Philly!

Come ho-ho-home for the holidays to Philly! Celebrate the season with a wide variety of wonderful local traditions and exciting events over the holidays in the Philadelphia area. From Love Park to Longwood Gardens, Philly glows in December!

As the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” and there is a wide and truly wonderful variety of Philadelphia events that celebrate this special season! Don’t let the occasional snowflake stop you — bundle up and head on out to sample the holidays, Philly style!

The fabulous Christmas markets of Germany are justly famous, but you needn’t fly Lufthansa to experience one — it’s right here in Love Park! Multiple vendors offer their wares daily through December in a sparkling and festive setting, nestled in the heart of center city. In the mood for an indoor spectacular? Nothing beats one of the longest-running and best-loved December Philadelphia events: the Macy’s Christmas Light Show, featuring the world’s largest pipe organ, the Wanamaker Organ. While still in Macy’s, after you have marveled at the Light Show’s 100,000 twinkling LED lights and heard “Deck the Halls” played on the spectacular organ in the Grand Court, ride up to the third floor and enjoy the charm of Victorian England with the breathtaking fully-animated figures of the Dickens Village display.

Treat yourself and loved ones to another of the many beloved seasonal Philadelphia events, tea with the Sugarplum Fairy, followed by a stellar performance of Balanchine’s The Nutcracker by the famed Pennsylvania Ballet at the celebrated Academy of Music. Feeling outdoorsy? Pull out those ice skates and show off your double axel at the River Rink, featuring winter warming cottages, firepits, and delicious food — along with a GREAT patch of ice!

Before departing center city, take a spin on Kelly Drive and take a look at the Schulykill River’s beautiful Boathouse Row, all lit up for the holidays!

A short distance from Philadelphia, more holiday fun awaits! To the north, check out the amazing Gingerbread Display in Bucks County’s Peddler’s Village. Right nearby, another Bucks treat is a ride on the North Pole Express (also known as the New Hope-Ivyland Railroad). To the South, Longwood, the crown jewel of gardens, delights with an illuminated Italian water garden, gorgeous fountains, and almost-daily concerts. Also south of Philly, visit lovely Linvilla Orchards, where you can cut your own tree and enjoy a caroling hayride and hot cider.

Philadelphia is a 365-day-a-year wonder, but holiday time in the region is always extra special. If reading about all of these terrific Philadelphia events excites you, you may be ready to become a “Fabulous Philadelphian” yourself! Welcome home to Philly!

Image Source: Flickr/Kevin Burkett

Elise Seyfried is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, PA. She is the author of two books of humorous spiritual essays, and a playwright (co-author of 15 plays for children). Her work regularly appears in the Chestnut Hill (PA) Local and The Word in Season (devotional). She has also written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Lutheran Digest, Guideposts magazine, Metropolis and The Wittenburg Door. Elise was the lyricist for the Stanley Drama Award-winning musical Flight, based on the life of Howard Hughes. Elise has served as publicist for the Lewes (DE) Chamber Music Festival, as well as the Atlantic Music Festival in Waterville, ME.She is the mother of five children, and her family life is prominently featured in her writing. Elise's topics to date have included children/parenting issues, humor and spirituality. An avid cook, Elise also enjoys writing about food and dining. Since 2002, Elise has been Director of Spiritual Formation at Christ's Lutheran Church in Oreland, PA; previously, she worked for years as an actress. She blogs at

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