Here are some highlights of the winter holidays in Philadelphia:
- Thanksgiving Day Parade – Christmas kicks off in this band- and balloon-filled circa 1910 procession, sponsored by 6ABC and Dunkin Donuts. November 24. 20th Street & John F. Kennedy Boulevard to Eakins Oval on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 6abc.com/parade
- Christmas Village – Philadelphia City Hall transforms into holiday central, adding to its grounds a German-style market with live entertainment.In adjacent Dilworth Park, there’s a new setup for the live, 38-foot Christmas tree (lighting November 26), Rothman Institute Ice Rink and cabin, a new-this-year planted Wintergarten, and the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Marketof local artists, crafters, designers and food vendors.ChristmasVillage and Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market open throughDecember 24. 15th and Market Streets. Christmas Village, (215) 268-7606, philachristmas.com; Holiday Market, dilworthpark.org
- The Comcast Holiday Spectacular – One of the world’s highest resolution LED displays combines projections from Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker and a magical sleigh with a sing-along in 15 minutes of fun. Daily, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (except 5 p.m. on weekdays), November 24-January 1. 17th Street & John F. Kennedy Boulevard, visitphilly.com
- Christmas Light Show – The Grand Court of the historic Wanamaker building—now Macy’s—offers this free exhibition of dancing lights set to the famed Wanamaker Organ. Performances every two hours during store hours. November 25-December 31. 1300 Market Street, (215) 241-9000, wanamakerorgan.com
- Franklin Square Holiday Festival – Amid 50,000 lights ofthe Electrical Spectacle, park-goers visit Santa, ride a carousel and miniature train, mini golf and snack. Through December 31. Franklin Square, 6th & Race Streets, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
- A Longwood Christmas – Thousands of poinsettias, Christmas trees and flowers transform a heated four-acre Conservatory; 500,000 lights glitter in trees; fountains dance to music. November 24-January 8. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, (610) 388-1000, longwoodgardens.org
- Penn’s Landing Winterfest – Winter wonderland along the Delaware River features fire pits, cozy cabanas, artisan vendors, a game room, a chalet-style lodge—surrounding a regulation skating rink with a view of the Ben Franklin Bridge. Sponsored by Blue Cross. Opens November 25; tree lighting, December 2. Columbus Boulevard at Market Street, (215) 925-7465, riverrink.com
- New Year’s Eve Fireworks – SugarHouse’s annual pyrotechnics blast—in two shows—over the Delaware River, at 6 p.m. and at midnight. The RiverRink hosts Holiday Parties on Ice with entertainment, favors, outdoor seating and great views. December 31. Columbus Boulevard at Market Street, (215) 925-7465, delawareriverwaterfront.com
- Mummers Parade – Circa 1901 procession along Broad Street features feathers and sequins, music and merriment from City Hall to Washington Avenue. Indoors, clubs perform fantastical routines at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in the Fancy Brigade Finale. Tickets for bleacher seating at City Hall and for the Fancy Brigades available at the Independence Visitor Center, 6th & Market Streets, (215) 965-7676, phlvisitorcenter.com
On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages.
Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools.
Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers.
Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.