Releases: Expanded View
Celebrate The Holidays In Philly, Where Old & New Traditions Meet
Fun & Affordable Festivities Include Lights, Tours, New Year’s Eve Fireworks Shows & Mummers
In Philadelphia and The Countryside®, families partake in old and new traditions— many of which are free or low-cost—to make happy holiday memories. Parents who remember standing in awe of the Enchanted Colonial Village at Lit Brothers department store can take another peek inside the busy bakery, the village store and the seven other restored scenes with their own children at the Please Touch Museum®. Or, they can start a new holiday tradition when they catch The Comcast Holiday Spectacular on the world’s largest four-millimeter LED screen inside the 57-story Comcast Center. On New Year’s Eve, revelers ohhh and ahhh during two fireworks displays, and on New Year’s Day, the fanciful Mummers strut their stuff up Broad Street during the only-in-Philly Mummers Parade. These and other classic Philly customs make the region a must-do during the holiday season.
A Historic Twist:
- From November 20-January 6, visitors to historic Pennypacker Mills enjoy guided tours of the richly decorated mansion. And on select Saturdays, they can learn how to make Christmas wreaths and see how Victorian candy was made, among other activities. 5 Haldeman Road, Schwenksville, (610) 287-9349, historicsites.montcopa.org/pennypackermills
- A Philadelphia tradition since 1956, the Christmas Light Show at Macy’s in Center City illuminates a large wall inside the Wanamaker building, a National Historic Landmark, with almost 100,000 LED lights and finishes with sounds from the Wanamaker Organ, November 23-December 31. 1300 Market Street, (215) 241-9000, wanamakerorgan.com
- At Pottsgrove Manor from November 23-January 6, guided Twelfth Night Tours enable visitors to experience the historic mansion when it’s dressed in its traditional English holiday best. Then, on December 9, costumed 18th-century “residents” lead candlelight holiday tours through the manor. 100 W. King Street, Pottstown, (610) 326-4014, historicsites.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor
- Old City gets into the holiday spirit with Deck the Alley, an annual holiday tradition on Elfreth’s Alley, the nation’s oldest residential street. Taking place on December 1, the event gives visitors a chance to explore the historic homes all decked out for the holiday season, tour the museum or enjoy the sounds of carolers. 2nd Street & Elfreth’s Alley, (215) 574-0560, elfrethsalley.org
- Every year, the East Fairmount Park Mansions (Laurel Hill, Lemon Hill, Mount Pleasant, Strawberry Mansion, Sweetbriar and Woodford) are adorned in holiday finery for yuletide tours. Visitors can wander through one or all of these architectural masterpieces the first two weekends of December (December 1-2 and December 8-9). Mount Pleasant and Woodford will also be open most days from December 11 to December 31. (215) 763-8100, fairmountpark.org
- History buffs get into the spirit of the season in their own way when they witness Washington Crossing the Delaware River, a free, annual reenactment staged at 1:00 p.m. on Christmas Day at Washington Crossing Historic Park. A day of family-friendly activities accompanies the full dress rehearsal on December 9 beginning at 11:00 a.m. Routes 32 & 532, Washington Crossing, (215) 493-4076, ushistory.org/washingtoncrossing
- The holidays go red, white and green at Longwood Gardens during A Longwood Gardens Christmas, taking place Thanksgiving Day through January 6. Visitors can wander through half a million glowing lights to see thousands of poinsettias, vibrantly decorated trees and dancing fountains, which brighten the gardens’ vast grounds and conservatory. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, (610) 388-1000, longwoodgardens.org
- Morris Arboretum debuts its Holiday Garden Railway display on November 24. This miniature winter wonderland amid the evergreens features a quarter-mile of model-train track with twinkling lights, seven loops and tunnels with 15 different rail lines, cable cars, bridges and trains that cruise past scaled replicas of historic monuments and Philadelphia-area landmarks made from all-natural materials. 100 E. Northwestern Avenue, (215) 247-5777, morrisarboretum.org
- Linvilla Orchards looks more like the North Pole from December 1-24. The decorated farm features a Christmasland display and petting zoo, while the market section is stocked with all-things holiday and crafts for younger guests. Santa makes an appearance every Saturday and Sunday in December, and on select afternoons, visitors can sing along during Caroling Hayrides, marshmallow roasting and apple cider. 137 W. Knowlton Road, Media, (610) 876-7116, linvilla.com
It Takes A Village:
- The traditional German Christmas Market runs from November 3-December 31 at Byers’ Choice. In the village-like setting, shoppers can find gingerbread houses, advent calendars and handcrafted toys, plus workshops, live animals and a nativity scene. On December 15-16, guests can also enjoy A Christmas Carol, a one-man show performed by Charles Dickens’ great-great grandson, Gerald Charles Dickens. 4355 County Line Road, Chalfont, (215) 822-6700, byerschoice.com
- Please Touch Museum® presents the Enchanted Colonial Village Supported by The Philadelphia Foundation, with intricately restored Colonial scenes depicting the Bakery, Blacksmith Shop, Toymaker, Tailor Shop, Watchmaker and others. Open November 16-January 2, the village first made its home at the Lit Brothers department store from 1962 until 1975. 4231 Avenue of the Republic, (215) 581-3181, pleasetouchmuseum.org
- While holiday shopping at Peddler’s Village, visitors can check out the Annual Gingerbread House Competition and Display, November 16-January 5. Participants compete in a variety of categories, including traditional, authentic reproduction of a significant building and unusual 3-D creation. The start of the competition also brings the debut of the Grand Illumination Celebration on November 16 and the Merchants’ Open House, a weekend of holiday gift previews and festivities hosted by the Peddler’s Village shops, November 16-18. A parade with Santa on December 1 kicks off the weekend-long 2012 Christmas Festival, which transforms the village into a Victorian-style wonderland with fruit wreaths and greenery, plus hot mulled cider, toasted marshmallows and roasted chestnuts. Mr. Claus visits on weekends through December 23. Route 263 & Street Road, Lahaska, (215) 794-4018, peddlersvillage.com
- Outside at Love Park, the fifth annual Christmas Village invites shoppers to browse the holiday goods displayed in more than 50 decorated booths, which form a medieval village selling European food, sweets and drinks, as well as international seasonal gifts, traditional German Christmas ornaments, jewelry and high-quality arts and crafts. Shoppers visiting this outdoor market may also enjoy hot mulled wine, gingerbread and bratwursts, as well as thousands of twinkling lights and the city’s giant holiday tree. The shopping wonderland runs November 22-December 24. 16th Street & John F. Kennedy Boulevard, (215) 820-5149, philachristmas.com
’Tis The Season For Shows:
- The Keswick Theatre keeps the holiday season humming all month long. The lineup includes: Rockin’ Holiday Celebration with The Duprees, Shirley Alston Reeves and many others, December 1; The Pink Martini Holiday Show, featuring vocalist China Forbes singing classics from Hollywood musicals from the1940s and 50s, December 2; The Irish Tenors’ holiday celebration, December 6; Home for the Holidays, starring beloved singer/songwriter Judy Collins and legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb, December 7; Vegas icon Wayne Newton, performing classic hits and holiday favorites, December 11; Manhattan Transfer Holiday Show, December 13; Philly Nutt Crak-Up, a fun and funny holiday dance spoof, December 15. 291 N. Keswick Avenue, Glenside, (215) 572-7650, keswicktheatre.com
- A beloved holiday tradition, the Pennsylvania Ballet presents the 25th-anniversary production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, December 8-30, at the Academy of Music. Audiences can follow Marie and her prince through a glistening snowy forest into the kingdom of the Sugarplum Fairy, while enjoying the sounds of The Philadelphia Boys choir. Broad & Locust Streets, (215) 893-1999, paballet.org
- This year’s holiday calendar at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Merriam Theater and the Academy of Music is chock-full of old-fashioned favorites. Highlights include: Holiday Spectacular by the Philadelphia Orchestra, December 1; The Rock School’s Nutcracker 1776, December 1; A Celtic Christmas at the Kimmel, December 2; and Holiday POPS! by Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, December 7-22. Kimmel, Broad & Spruce Streets; Academy, Broad & Locust Streets; Merriam, 250 S. Broad Street, (215) 790-5800, kimmelcenter.org
- Those in the mood for a magical holiday musical can stop by the Walnut Street Theatre, the oldest theater in the country, to catch a one-hour, kid-friendly adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol, December 1-22. Also on stage, Plaid Tidings, featuring 1950s tunes and holiday gems, November 20-December 30. 825 Walnut Street, (215) 574-3550, walnutstreettheatre.org
More Holiday Fun:
- It’s year five for Philadelphia’s high-tech holiday show, The Comcast Holiday Spectacular, at the 58-story Comcast Center. Onlookers stand in awe of the original holiday imagery set to the music of a 64-piece orchestra and shown on the world’s largest four-millimeter LED screen in the building’s lobby. The free 15-minute show occurs at the top of the hour, 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. (except 5:00 p.m. on weekdays), from Thanksgiving to January 1. 17th Street & John F. Kennedy Boulevard, visitphilly.com/comcast
- A Brandywine Christmas takes over the Brandywine River Museum from November 23-January 6. On view: a display of trees featuring “critters” and all-things natural, a Victorian dollhouse, a model railroad with more than 2,000 feet of track and exquisitely crafted jewelry inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s paintings. Handcrafted natural critter ornaments made by volunteers are on sale December 1-2. U.S. Route 1, Chadds Ford, (610) 388-2700, brandywinemuseum.org
- Starting on November 23, the picturesque Franklin Square lights up to brighten the season—literally—and provides a holiday backdrop for visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus on select weekends. 6th & Race Streets, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
- On December 15 at 5:00 p.m., the Independence Seaport Museum hosts the third-annual Parade of Lights. Children can visit with Santa, then the event moves outdoors, so that revelers can watch lighted and decorated tugboats and other vessels float along the Delaware River. 211 S. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 413-8655, phillyseaport.org
Other Seasonal Celebrations:
- During the Penn Museum’s Peace Around the World: Passport to Cultures on December 2, visitors receive an itinerary that takes them to galleries where speakers share holiday traditions of their home countries. The afternoon also features international music and dancing, children’s choirs, exotic face painting, balloon art and crafts. 3260 South Street, (215) 898-4000, penn.museum
- Fried potato pancakes take center stage at the Gershman Y’s annual Latkepalooza, where local restaurants whip up their take on the classic for guests to nosh. Music and games add to the Hanukkah fun on December 9. 401 S. Broad Street, (215) 545-4400, gershmany.org
- A tongue-in-cheek twist on Jewish Christmas activities (going to movies and eating Chinese food), the Gershman Y presents its annual Moo Shu Jew Show, an evening of stand-up comedy and an eight-course dinner, at Chinatown’s Ocean Harbor Restaurant on December 24. 1023 Race Street, (215) 545-4400, gershmany.org
- On December 25, the holiday spirit goes beyond Christmas at the National Museum of American Jewish History, which presents its annual day of family fun with music, games, children’s activities and more. 101 S. Independence Mall East, (215) 923-3811, nmajh.org
- The African American Museum in Philadelphia hosts a Kwanzaa Celebration for the whole family with jam-packed afternoons of celebratory activities, December 29-30. There’s free admission for those who bring a canned-good donation for Philabundance. 701 Arch Street, (215) 574-0380, aampmuseum.org
Ring In The New Year:
- This year, partiers along Penn’s Landing ring in 2013 two times, with SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront, illuminating the night sky at 6:00 p.m. and midnight. Along Columbus Boulevard, delawareriverevents.com
- Holiday visitors to the National Constitution Center can play a part in the New Year’s Show, where they’ll discover the origins of New Year’s Eve and explore traditions from around the world. Seasonal Karaoke adds to the holiday fun as visitors belt out favorites like “Winter Wonderland” and “Let it Snow.” 525 Arch Street, Independence Mall, (215) 409-6600, constitutioncenter.org
- Please Touch Museum® celebrates 2013 early with Countdown to Noon on December 31. The museum opens at 9:00 a.m. and holds “Noon Year” party activities with music and confetti. Countdowns take place at 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. 4231 Avenue of the Republic, (215) 581-3181, pleasetouchmuseum.org
- Those with early bedtimes can still enjoy an evening New Year’s Eve party at Franklin Square’s Kids’ New Year’s Eve Countdown, featuring a 6:00 p.m. “square” drop and topped off with a great view of the early fireworks show at Penn’s Landing. 6th & Race Streets, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
- Maritime merriment abounds on New Year’s Eve when the Independence Seaport Museum stays open late for the Annual Family Fireworks Viewing Party (4:00-6:30 p.m.) on the museum’s second-floor balcony, complete with a sparkling cider toast and panoramic views of the sparkling sky. 211 S. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 413-8655, phillyseaport.org
- Winter sports enthusiasts celebrate at the Blue Cross RiverRink’s New Year’s Eve Party on Ice, a family-friendly affair that boasts one of the best views of the city’s breathtaking fireworks displays over the Delaware River at 6:00 p.m. and 12:00 midnight. Skaters can catch both of the sparkling shows during the early (5:00-7:00 p.m.) and late (11:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m.) parties. Columbus Boulevard & Market Street, (215) 925-RINK, riverrink.com
- 2012 comes to a close with a splash aboard the Spirit of Philadelphia’s New Year’s Eve dinner cruise on the Delaware River. This New Year’s bash includes dinner, premium open bar, live DJs, a champagne toast at 12:00 midnight and a terrific view of the fireworks. Families can opt for the 4:00 p.m. early-bird cruise with prime views of the 6:00 p.m. fireworks. 401 S. Columbus Boulevard, (866) 455-3866, spiritofphiladelphia.com
- For a Philadelphia experience that’s as traditional as cheesesteaks, a pilgrimage to the Mummers Parade on New Year’s Day is a must. Dating back to 1901, the only-in-Philly celebration is a lively and colorful parade of costumed men, women and children who practice all year to strut, dance and play music up Broad Street. The parade begins at 10:00 a.m. at the intersection of Broad Street and Snyder Avenue and proceeds to City Hall, followed by a ticketed competition at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Spectators should purchase tickets ahead of time to sit in the judging stand or get there early to find a spot along the parade route. Convention Center, 12th & Arch Streets, phillymummers.com; tickets for bleacher seating outside City Hall available at the Independence Visitor Center, 6th & Market Streets, (215) 965-7676, independencevisitorcenter.com; tickets for the competition at the Convention Center available at (800) 298-4200, comcasttix.com
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.
For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit visitphilly.com or uwishunu.com, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to HearPhilly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.
- Cara Schneider, (215) 599-0789
New Year’s Day is about celebrating, and there’s no better place to fete than at the Philadelphia’s Mummers Parade, a 113-year-old tradition in which 10,000 men and women dressed in colorfully lavish costumes twirl, sashay, pirouette and strut up one of the city’s main streets. An unforgettably wild ritual, the parade and subsequent performances are all family friendly, yet exciting enough to entertain everybody. While a carnival-like atmosphere welcomes anyone who decides to stop by at the last minute, a little advance preparation guarantees a clear view. Better still, spending the night in the city ensures an early start to...
From Christmas until New Year’s Day, school vacation and a typically slow work week provide perfect excuses to grab the family or a loved one and head to action-packed Philadelphia. Some highlights: festive events like A Longwood Gardens Christmas and SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront with two showings; performances such as George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and the Philadelphia Orchestra’s New Year’s Eve Concert and blockbuster exhibitions such as the Prohibition-focused American Spirits.
One of the highlights of the week is always the sparkling, feathered and festive Mummers Parade, a day-long extravaganza that sends thousands of men, women...
Art lovers, garden enthusiasts, film connoisseurs and sports fans keep coming back year after year for festivals, athletic events, art shows, parades and cultural events in Philadelphia. Here’s what’s going on in the region in 2013*.
- Thousands of decorative strutters kick off the New Year by marching up Broad Street in the festive day-long Mummers Parade that ends with the Fancy Brigade Finale at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. January 1, 2013. phillymummers.com
- The region gets revved up in the 2013, thanks to the Philadelphia Auto Show. The Pennsylvania Convention Center transforms into a car lover’s dream, with 700
Happy New Year! Happy New Year! It’s twice the fireworks, twice the fun as Philadelphia rings in 2010 with two dazzling pyrotechnic displays along the Delaware River waterfront at 6:00 p.m. and 12:00 midnight. Restaurants, hotels and attractions in Philly and South Jersey are ensuring that revelers have a clear view of the colorful displays by hosting lavish celebrations for adults and kid-friendly fetes for pint-sized partiers—the details of which are below. And for those who want a great view of the fireworks and clear access to the musical soundtracks that accompany them, Camden’s Wiggins Waterfront Park is a best...
Philadelphia is going all out for the New Year’s four-day weekend, making it the perfect destination for families who want a kid-friendly celebration and for adults ready to party into the wee hours of 2010. After New Year’s Eve kicks off with Countdown to Noon at Please Touch Museum®, “Happy New Year!” will echo throughout the city twice when two colorful fireworks shows dazzle onlookers on both sides of the Delaware River. On New Year’s Day, the Mummers strut their stuff for cheering crowds along Broad Street, while the Fancy Brigade entertains inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center. And with tons...
This is a Delaware River Waterfront Corporation press release.
Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today that the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) will produce not one but two fireworks shows this New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2009. In addition to the traditional show at Midnight, there will now be an earlier show at 6:00 PM now promising twice the fireworks, twice the fun! Both shows will be choreographed to unique soundtracks and launched from barges in the middle of the Delaware River with clear views from both Philadelphia and Camden.
“This New Year’s Eve there will be twice the fireworks...
The Christmas season really is the most wonderful time of the year in Philadelphia and The Countryside®, where families partake in old and new traditions to make happy holiday memories. Parents who remember standing in awe of the Enchanted Colonial Village at Lit Brother’s department store can take another peek inside the busy bakery, the bustling village store and the seven other restored scenes with their own children at the Please Touch Museum®. Or, they can start a new holiday tradition when they catch The Comcast Holiday Spectacular on the 2,000-square-foot LED screen inside the 57-story Comcast Center. On New...
The following itinerary is available on gophila.com/holidays.
LOCATION: Center City, Penn’s Landing, South Philly, Kennett Square
TRANSPORTATION: Foot, taxi or car
DURATION: Two days and two nights
Holiday time is family time, but too often, busy schedules and bustling activities have everyone running in different directions. In 2008, start a new holiday tradition. Head to Philadelphia for a weekend of memory-making, affordable family fun. With the Philly Overnight® Hotel Package available at more than 30 hotels, parking is free so you’re already up to $75 ahead.
A Show of Lights, Please
5:00 p.m. – After you’ve checked
It doesn’t take a holly, jolly budget to have a holly, jolly holiday—especially in Philadelphia and The Countryside®, where even Ebenezer Scrooge would be impressed with all the budget-conscious ways to celebrate the season. Here are 25 entertaining reasons to make merry in 2008—all while keeping the tab under $25 per person*. Find these experiences on the interactive map on gophila.com/holidays along with plenty of other reasons to get festive in Philly this year.
*Events are free unless otherwise noted.
- Thanksgiving Day Parade – Ring in the season during a grand parade featuring marching bands, performances and