Now that Halloween has passed and Thanksgiving is right around the corner the holidays are quickly approaching. It is almost socially acceptable to start decorating your home and playing Christmas music. The build up to the holidays is arguably as enjoyable as the actual day itself. Philadelphia offers many family friendly holiday activities to entertain you and your family before Santa arrives on Christmas.
Thanksgiving Day Parade:
Early on Thanksgiving Day, the city of Philadelphia hosts its Thanksgiving day Parade. A massive production, on the same scale as the Macy’s Day Parade, this event starts on 20th street and JFK and finishes its 1.4-mile route at Philadelphia museum of art This parade, the oldest of its kind, has huge balloons of kids characters, marching bands, clowns, and of course the man himself, Santa. People gather to watch this parade no matter the temperature, but bring blankets to stay warm while you sit and watch. The parade is aired on local tv once the performers get to the art museum but seeing it in person is definitely the route to go.
A beautifully decorated park that brings Victorian architecture and the holidays together. A popular spot during the holidays, start during daytime and enjoy the flowers in the gardens and the Christmas carols playing in the music hall. As the sun sets the property is glowing with Christmas lights that guide you throughout the massive grounds. A pleasing site for the eyes and ears, this activity is sure to get you in the holiday spirit! A great place for all ages, kids can run around freely and climb the treehouse, while others can grab a hot chocolate and sit down for a light show. A must do, the 500,000 lights brighten up the holidays. The gardens transform into a winter wonderland on November 24th until January 8th.
Macy’s Christmas Light Show
Located at Macy’s in Philly at the formerly known Wanamaker building, a light show accompanied by holiday music should be on anyone’s list. The show takes place several times throughout the day inside the department store. A tradition since 1956 in the city of Brotherly Love this spectacular is that any age will love. An array of lights with the Wanamaker organ playing Christmas music, what could be better? Perhaps the fact that it is free? A must do for anyone downtown starting in December.
Macy’s Dickens Village
Beginning in December, another free event offered by Macy’s is Dicken’s village, a walking tour inspired by Charles Dicken’s a Christmas Carol. This Victorian set is located inside Macy’s on 13th and Market, and takes you from today back to the 1800’s through the eyes of Dickens. You can leisurely walk through to meet the ghosts of past, present, and future. A beautiful and long going tradition is a wonderful experience to get you in the holiday spirit. This and the Macy’s Christmas light show can both be done on the same day.
Still have some shopping to do and want to find unique gifts? Christmas village is the place. This newer tradition in Philadelphia, located at City hall for 2016 is an avenue for locally crafted gifts and some good eats. Be aware this event is outside so if you plan on going bundle up. Stop by here for locally crafted gifts and local food vendors. This event runs from November 24 until Christmas Eve.
Ice Skating 101
Philadelphia has two big ice skating rinks that you and your family can enjoy. The first is Rothman Ice Skating Rink located at Dilworth Park near city hall. Grab your skates and take in the beautiful city views while performing your triple axels (or holding onto the edge of the rink for dear life). Another option for skating is at Penns Landing. The Blue cross RiverRink hosts a massive ice skating rink across from the Delaware river. Both rinks have places to go and warm up at their heated lodges which offer food and drinks. You cannot go wrong with either rink, each offering views of the city and a festive environment. Rothman rink is already open to the public and RiverRink unveils its ice on November 25th.
Philadelphia is not one to shy away from holiday traditions, and you and your family shouldn’t either. The city is a wonderful place to get you into the holiday spirit without breaking the bank. So get your letters ready for Santa at the Thanksgiving parade, polish off those ice skates, and get your belly ready for hot chocolate overload. The city of Brotherly Love has put on its holiday hat.