Holiday season in Philadelphia: Events, light shows and more

Originally posted on CBS PHILADELPHIA


NOVEMBER 16, 2022 / 5:48 PM 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The most wonderful time of the year is quickly approaching — and who doesn’t love exploring holiday events with family and friends. From Center City to South Jersey, we’ve created a list of Christmas markets, light shows and holiday events for you to check out this holiday season. 

Winter at Dilworth Park

Winter season at Dilworth Park is underway. It’s open through March 26, 2023. Visitors can enjoy the Wintergarden on the Greenfield Lawn, ice skate at Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink, cozy up in the Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin, shop at the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market and enjoy the Deck the Hall Light Show. 

The Holiday Tree at City Hall was installed on Nov. 9 and a tree-lighting celebration will take place on Dec. 1.

Winter in Franklin Square

Center City’s Franklin Square turns festive for the 2022 holiday season. From Nov. 16 through Feb. 26, there will be free nightly light shows set to a soundtrack of seasonable tunes which run every 30 minutes from 5 p.m. until close. Visitors can also play a round at the Chilly Philly Mini Golf, grab a bite to eat at Square Burger or ride the Parx Liberty Carousel. 

Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Back for its 15th season, the Christmas Village is transforming Love Park into a holiday wonderland. It’s the perfect place to find a unique gift, enjoy raclette cheese sandwiches, spiced wine, apple cider, strudels and other seasonal treats. More than 110 vendors will open at the village from Nov. 19 through Christmas Eve. 

LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo

Grab the kids, or make it a date night at the Philadelphia Zoo this winter. More than 1 million holiday lights will light up the zoo for the LumiNature event. It runs from Nov. 17 through Jan. 7. 

There will be new displays for 2022, including a 15-foot tall glowing blue gorilla and an under-the-sea inspired holiday tree. 

You can also find seasonal foods, live performers, hot chocolate and adult beverages. Tickets are required. 

Cut-your-own Christmas tree

Are you interested in cutting down your own tree, but not sure where to go? We’ve created a list of five Christmas tree farms in the Philadelphia region.

2022 holiday shopping hours

Online shopping has become extremely popular over the holiday season, but some people still like buying gifts the old fashion way. Check out the holiday hours for malls across the Delaware Valley

Wild Lights at the Elmwood Park Zoo

The Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown also offers a holiday light show from Nov. 18 to Dec. 30. The walk-through experience features light displays and live entertainment during the evening hours. Tickets are required. 

A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens

This one is a holiday season classic. “A Longwood Christmas” at the world-renowned Longwood Gardens is located in Kennett Square. 

The holiday show has a new theme each year. This year it’s called “The Art of Christmas.” It features floral displays, dozens of holiday trees draped in gilded garland, enchanting treehouses and outdoor light displays. 

It’s extremely popular, so be sure to secure your tickets. 

Holidays at Peddler’s Village

A million lights will cover Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, Pennsylvania starting on Nov. 18. Visitors will also be able to check out the free gingerbread competition and display. There is also a Holly Jolly Weekend Dec. 3 and 4 where families can watch Santa parade through the village. 

Seasonal Celebrations at Sesame Place

Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pennsylvania will shine bright with millions of lights for A Very Furry Christmas. The Bucks County theme park celebrates Hanukkah with a Menorah-lighting ceremony and Kwanzaa with a Kinara-lighting ceremony. 

Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farm

Grab a cup of hot chocolate and head out to Shady Brook Farm in Yardley, Pennsylvania for the Holiday Light Show with Dashin’ Thru the … Lights. It’s a two-mile attraction that requires a ticket. Visitors can either drive through from the comfort of their vehicle, or ride in wagons past after-day displays. Admission also comes with a walk-through Candy Cane Lane light show.

The Comcast Holiday Spectacular 

This free holiday light show will be back at the Comcast Center in Philadelphia beginning Thanksgiving day and runs through New Year’s Day. The 15-minute light show runs at the top of every hour from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. There are also sensory-friendly shows every Thursday and Friday at 2:30 p.m. and upon request. 

Holiday Garden Railway and Holiday Garden Railway: Nighttime Express at Morris Arboretum

Get your tickets to explore the Morris Arboretum’s quarter-mile railway track display. The train chugs along loops, through tunnels and under bridges. On select Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings throughout the display’s run, guests will enjoy the railway surrounded by thousands of lights as part of the after-hours Holiday Garden Railway: Nighttime Express programming.

Macy’s Christmas Light Show 

This is another Philadelphia holiday classic. The Macy’s Christmas light show is located in the Grand Court in the National Historic Landmark Wanamaker Building in Center City. The Christmas Light Show has been hosted there since 1965. 

Free performances take place on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. and then Friday through Sunday at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. 

Visitors can also register to visit Macy’s Dickens Village, where intricate animated dolls and sets retell Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular at Greater Philadelphia Expo Center Oaks

Tinseltown is back for its second year at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks. More than 1 million light bulbs will twinkle for visitors at the Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular this season. It will begin on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and runs through Dec. 31. In addition to the sparkling lights, the winter wonderland will also include an ice skating rink and a 2-lane ice slide. The Flyers mascot Gritty also makes an appearance on select nights. Tickets are required.

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Bundle up and bring your ice skates! Winterfest at the Blue Cross RiverRink in Philadelphia returns Nov. 25 through March 6. Ice skating is the perfect outdoor activity this holiday season. A tree lighting ceremony for the festive holiday tree is set for Dec. 3. It’s free to enter Winterfest, but tickets are required for ice skating, cabins and fire pits. 

Visit Philadelphia Holiday Parade

For the second year, the Visit Philadelphia Holiday Parade returns to the streets of Philadelphia. On Dec. 3, the city will celebrate all winter holidays including Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and the Chinese New Year. There will be cold-air balloons, marching bands, floats, dancers and more. 

PHestivaL of Trees at the King of Prussia Mall

Shopping and winter fun mix perfectly together. Phestival of the Trees is a two-day event at the King of Prussia Mall on Dec. 3 and 4. It features hundreds of holiday trees decorated for the season by local florists, designers, artists and more. You can skip the line by purchasing a ticket ahead of time. Proceeds benefit local animal shelters and rescues. 

George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music

Another way get into the holiday spirit with family or friends is by watching a show. The Nutcracker will be performed at the Academy of Music during the Philadelphia Ballet’s annual holiday production from Dec. 9 to 28. 

Vintner Wonderland at Renault

Looking to get cozy by an outdoor fire with your favorite drink? Renault Winery turns into a Vintner Wonderland. The winter festival features an ice skating rink, culinary and wine experiences, local artisans and live entertainment from Nov. 18 through Feb. 27. Visitors can reserve fire pits, igloos and cabin space ahead of their visit. 

Medford Dickens Festival

Holiday family fun awaits in Medford, New Jersey on Dec. 3. The Medford Dickens Festival is held on the first Saturday in December annually. Main Street is transformed into a Winter Wonderland filled with Christmas carolers, food, hot chocolate, live presentations, magic, comedy and juggling. Admission is free and there is also free parking, making it the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. 

Historic Smithville, New Jersey

If you’re looking to find unique gifts, Smithville is the place to shop. The little village of shops turns into a winter wonderland throughout the month of December offering various family-friendly holiday events. More information on holiday events is available on Smithville’s website.

Candlelight shopping in Haddonfield, New Jersey

On Friday nights in Haddonfield from Nov. 25 through Dec. 16, shoppers will experience live Christmas carolers and live music, horse-drawn carriage rides, visits from Mrs. Claus, and extended shopping hours. 

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

End the year with a bang! Philadelphia’s New Year’s Eve firework shows will happen at 6 p.m. and midnight this year. More information will be released closer to New Year’s Eve.

Mummers Parade

Kick off the new year with Philadelphia’s infamous Mummers Parade. A tradition passed down from generations of Philadelphians. More than 10,000 costumed marchers will strut down Broad Street. Many of the marchers practice all year for this one-day parade. They will stop at three performance areas along the parade route. After the march, the Fancy Brigades head inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center for performances that are judged in a number of categories. The day ends with a party along 2nd Street in South Philadelphia.