Holiday Family Fun in Phildelphia

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Holiday Family Fun in Philadelphia: Check out some of the mostly FREE fun family events happening in Philadelphia this holiday season.


Comcast Holiday Spectacular 

November 24, 2016 – January 1, 2017

Shown on the state-of-the-art Comcast Experience video wall at The Comcast Center, The Comcast Holiday Spectacular is filled with sights and sounds of the season. Since its debut in 2008, more than 1.6 million people have experienced the wonderful must-see holiday show in the Comcast Center lobby.

Now an annual holiday tradition, the 15-minute Comcast Holiday Spectacular takes visitors on a festive, musical journey featuring classic family favorites like Carol of the Bells, Jingle Bell Rock, and The Twelve Days of Christmas. The show also includes a snippet of The Nutcracker performed by the renowned Philadelphia Ballet.

Adding to the experience, the family friendly show features a magical sleigh ride from the Philadelphia countryside to high above the city skyline, made all the more breathtaking by the massive Comcast Experience video wall.

Showtimes: Daily at the top of each hour, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (excluding weekdays at 5 p.m.) through December 31 and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on New Year’s Day

Cost: FREE



Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad

Friday, November 25-Saturday, December 31, Open Daily at 10am

Location: Piano Court
Reading Terminal Market
51 North 12th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Cost: FREE
Kids and adults alike will delight in this 500 sq.f. model railroad display with seventeen working train lines running on almost a third of a mile of track!


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Christmas Village in Philadelphia City Hall

Experience the magic of an authentic German Christmas market right here in Philadelphia!
Located at City Hall from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve in 2016
1400 JFK BLVD.

Cost: FREE admission- Activities, Food, and Shopping pay as you go
Christmas Village will feature over 80 vendors selling authentic European food, ornaments and arts & crafts from all over the world!

Christmas Village will be running from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, that’s Nov 24th through December 24th in 2016 with a special preview on Saturday, November 19 and Sunday, November 20.

Those are the hours for the 2016 Holiday season:

Sun’s – Thur’s: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm

Fri’s – Sat’s: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm

Thanksgiving Day: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Black Friday: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm

Christmas Eve: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm



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Macy’s Christmas Light Show

The Grand Court at Macy’s
(215) 241-9000

Light Shows Runs from the day after Thanksgiving through December 31.
Showtimes: 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm. The Store is closed Christmas Day.

Cost: FREE

Macy’s is located inside The Wanamaker Building: 1300 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Basic store Information: 215-241-9000.



Macy’s Dickens Christmas Village
Third Floor Holiday Lane (walk toward the Magic Christmas Tree for escalators)
The Grand Court at Macy’s
(215) 241-9000
The day after Thanksgiving thru December 31 (Closed Christmas).
Open daily: 10am-7pm

Cost: FREE 

A Philadelphia tradition for more than 20 years, the third floor of Macy’s is transformed into “Dickens Village” for the holiday season. The 6,000-square-foot Village on the 3rd floor of Macy’s Center City brings Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol to life with more than 100 fully animated figures reenacting 26 of the story’s most memorable moments. The Village is open daily, excluding Christmas.

Macy’s is located inside The Wanamaker Building: 1300 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Basic store Information: 215-241-9000.

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Blue Cross River Rink Winterfest

Blue Cross River Rink Winterfest transforms Penn’s Landing into a winterized riverfront park.
A cold-weather version of the rollerskating oasis Blue Cross River Rink Summerfest, Winterfest houses an Olympic-size skating rink overlooking the Delaware River, a ski chalet-style lodge and winter garden with a majesticly lit holiday tree (over 100,000 LED lights!), an outdoor seating area with fire pits, cozy warming cabins, a kids’ lodge with arcade games and more.

Now in its 23rd year as an outdoor ice skating rink and fourth season as Winterfest, Blue Cross RiverRink is the only outdoor regulation-sized rink in Philadelphia. The experience of Winterfest as a whole is an annual favorite among those of every age, offering plenty of special events throughout the season as well as daily entertainment, food and drinks.

Warm up at The Lodge Restaurant and Bar, an onsite, ski chalet-style tented area offering indoor fireplaces, comfy couches, arcade games and plenty of heated warmth amdist a rustic atmosphere.  The Kids Lodge, has a variety of interactive arcade games and a selection of small rides. With a floor carpeted in rubber mats, kids can partake in a game of pinball, Skee-Ball, air hockey and more without ever having to take off their skates. Franklin Fountain’s Confectionery Cabin brings a ton of sweet treats to Winterfest this season as well.


Admission and Hours

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest is open seven days a week, including all holidays, from November 25, 2016 to March 5, 2017.

Cost: General admission to the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest is FREE. Skate rental and admission is not included.

Note: Sponsored by Independence Blue Cross, all Independence Blue Cross cardholders receive free admission to the skating rink. Click the button below for hours, admission prices and skate rental prices to the Blue Cross RiverRink.

(215) 925-RINK



The Rothman Ice Rink

Three months of ice skating right next to City Hall

The Rothman Ice Rink 

1 S. 15TH ST
(215) 440-5500

November 11, 2016 – February 26, 2017

As the weather cools, action at cold-weather attractions heats up in Philadelphia. On Friday, November 11, the Rothman Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Park will reopen for its third year of seasonal skating.

Those looking to ice skate in the heart of Philadelphia can pack up their cold-weather gear and head to the rink at Dilworth Park, where skyline views await just outside of City Hall. the Rothman Cabin will once again offer a heated tent, located at the tip of the ice rink. Enjoy hot, seasonal cocktails, a variety of craft beer and a food menu from Air Grille by Brûlée Catering, including hearty items like poutine and chili.

COST: Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 10 and under. Those who do not have their own ice skates can rent a pair for $10.



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Franklin Square Holiday Festival & Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show

November 10-December 31, 2016 (except Thanksgiving and Christmas)

(215) 629-4026


Festive lights, winter treats and holiday cheer will fill historic Franklin Square all season long for its all-ages (and completely free!) holiday festival and light show.

With the spectacular Electrical Spectacle light show as its main feature — the show employs more than 50,000 (!) twinkling lights and dynamic holiday soundtrack — the seasonal outdoor attraction rounds out the ongoing festivities with a winter beer garden, holiday shopping, themed events and more.

Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show

The free holiday light show at Franklin Square returns with more than 50,000 lights set to a soundtrack of holiday tunes including those by the Philly Pops. The centerpiece of the shows is a 12-foot tall kite that serves as an ode to Benjamin Franklin’s famous kite-and-lightning experiment, hovering 16 feet above the square’s centerpiece fountain. LED lights dance to music all along the kite, spreading holiday glow throughout the park.

Show Times: Two alternating shows take place every 30 minutes will take place each night beginning at 4:30 p.m. and continuing until 8 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays and 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.



The festival will feature nearly seven weeks of attractions, activities and more. Read on for more info.

Franklin Square kicks off its festival November 10, 2016 at 5 p.m. with Taste of the Holiday Season, a night where Benjamin Franklin and characters from both Star Wars and Frozen will make an appearance alongside musicians from The Philly POPS set to play into the evening.

Ben’s Sweets and Treats and Other Edible Eats + Winter Beer Garden: New this year, Ben’s Sweets and Treats invites visitors to come out and watch homemade fudge be created on-site, decorate holiday cookies and garner tips on how to assemble the perfect gingerbread house. Fresh donuts will also be whipped up each evening, and a Candy Trail welcomes kids of all ages to fill a bag with treats.

A heated tent will serve up seasonal favorites like hot chocolate, warm cider and egg nog for you to keep warm in between shows, and SquareBurger will offer a menu of burgers, hot dogs, fries (including cheesesteak fries!), vegetarian options and other family friendly eats. The signature Cake Shake blended with Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets® will continue to delight tastebuds, along with a changing shake-of-the-month (i.e., Candy Cane Shake). Pair it with the burger-of-the-month (i.e., Holiday Turkey Burger) for a true holiday treat.

Warm seasonal additions to SquareBurger’s menu include chicken noodle soup, mac and cheese, churros and more, made specially for the Franklin Square Holiday Festival.

Alongside SquareBurger is the Winter Beer Garden, where you can relax in the warmth of outdoor fire pits and enjoy a variety of seasonal beverages, local craft beers, wine and specialty cocktails.

Sculpting in the Square: A special, seasonal popup event will take place this year in celebration of Franklin Square’s 10th birthday. Light up your Thursday evening on December 8 with a live ice carving ice sculpture display going down from 5:30–7:30 p.m.

Weekends at the Square: Santa Saturdays and Seasonal Sounds Sundays: On Saturdays from November 26 – December 17, 2016 from 4-5 p.m., Franklin Square invites the entire family out to enjoy milk and cookies with Santa as he tells some of his favorite stories inside the heated Franklin Square Pavilion. Tickets are $10 per person. Then, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m, Santa will make his way outdoors to the fountain where he’ll pose for photos with those on his “nice” list.

A special pup-oriented photo event will take place on Saturday, December 10 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., inviting you to bring your favorite four-legged friend out for a photo with Santa. You’re encouraged to wear your best holiday outfit or ugly sweater for the Santa Paws event, where artists from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts will also be onsite to draw free holiday pet portraits.

On Sundays (November 13 – December 18, 2016 from 4 -8 p.m.), Franklin Square hosts Seasonal Sounds, featuring choir songs, sing-a-longs, dance performances and more during select Electrical Spectacle intermissions. Check the square’s website for official times and performer details.

Other Festival Events

Guests of the Holiday Light Show can lookout for a ton of other events taking place all throughout the holiday season. See below for highlights of this year’s schedule.


Nutcracker Night: (Friday, November 18, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.) The Pennsylvania Ballet’s acclaimed The Nutcracker bring both the Sugar Plum Fairy and Mouse King characters to the square for a meet-and-greet and a night of crafting.

Santa’s Arrival: (Friday, November 25, 5 p.m.) Santa arrives for a special Friday night photo-opp. After snapping a Santa selfie, stick around for free crafting activities.

Frozen Night: (Friday, December 9, 5:30-7:30 p.m.) Come in costume and join Frozen‘s Elsa and Anna and WXPN Kids Corner host Kathy O’Connell and producer Robert Drake for a special night of fun.

Star Wars Night: (Friday, December 16, 5:30-7:30 p.m.) Chat with characters from Star Wars, before which you can join in on the ticketed Jedi Training (4-5 p.m.; $10), where attendees learn how to fight the force of Darth Vader and partake in other activities at the Franklin Square Pavilion.

Hanukkah Celebration: (Friday, December 23, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.) The night before Hanukkah begins, celebrate with dreidel games, latkes and more in celebration of the Festival of Lights.

New Year’s Eve Countdown Night: (Friday, December 30, 5:30-7:30 p.m.) Create New Year’s Eve crafts and partake in other festivities in preparation for New Year’s Eve

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Photo Credit:  Visit Philly check them out for lots more fun Philly events.

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