Kids Seasonal

Must-Do Holiday Activities in Philadelphia


There’s something magical about a city around the holidays. The crisp air, twinkling lights, buzz of the traffic – Philadelphia comes alive over the holiday season. There’s plenty of family-friendly activities for all ages – these are some of my favorite that are little-kid friendly. We’ve done most of these and make it a tradition to return every year. 

Center City

Comcast (photo cred Comcast) | Christmas Market | Macy's | East Passyunk (photo cred Visit EPA)

Comcast (photo cred Comcast) | Christmas Market | Macy’s | East Passyunk (photo cred Visit EPA)

It might be a crazy day, but you can pair up a few (or all!) of these to really get your city parking dollar’s worth. A few of my favorite nearby restaurants are: Reading Terminal Market, Bru, and El Vez. All of these are stroller friendly, but Macy’s will require the use of an elevator to get up to Dickens Village.

Comcast Holiday Spectacular
Nov 24 – Jan 1 | 1701 JFK Blvd

FREE daily light show – runs about 15 minutes. Sing along with the largest display of LED HD lights in the world. This is a quick stop, so would be great to pair with the Christmas Village or Macy’s! Read more here.

Christmas Village
Nov 25 – Dec 24 | City Hall

My absolute favorite for the holiday season. It’s previously been held in LOVE park, but since the park is under construction, has moved across the street to City Hall. A German Christmas Market inspired setup – small pop-up shops of the city’s best vendors. Food, Gifts, Clothes, and more – you can’t go wrong! Plus, browse while sipping mulled hot cider or wine. *NEW* this year – a carousel, train rides, and garden maze for little kids! Read more here.

Macy’s Light Show + Dickens Village
Nov 25 – Dec 31 | 1300 Market St.

Great for little kids – the light show is FREE and about a half hour. Over 100,000 lights and music displayed at the center of the Center City Macy’s store. Coordinate to visit Dickens village (FREE) either before or after – you can even get a picture with Santa (picture packages starting at $18). The line is really long on the weekends, but well worth the wait. If you can get to it during the work week, even better. Read more here.

Franklin Square Holiday Festival
Nov 10 – Dec 31 | 200 6th St.

With tons of holiday activities all in one place, this is a GREAT option for little ones. Enjoy the light show, train rides around the square, music, food, and beer garden. There’s also an awesome playground with sections for toddler through big kid. You can easily spend an entire afternoon enjoying this one. Read more here.

Artic Ave + Holiday Second Saturday
Dec 10 | East Passyunk Crossing

East Passyunk Ave, home to a mix of over 25 shops and businesses, will host live ice sculpture demonstrations starting at 11am with complimentary refreshments. Look for deals and discounts at the shops, pictures with Santa, live music, and more! Last ice sculpture demonstration starts at 7:30pm. Added bonus – free meter street parking! Full details here


Greater Philadelphia Area

Top Holiday Activities for Families - Philadelphia

Longwood Gardens (photo Longwood Gardens) | Johnson’s Farm (photo Johnson’s Farm) | Shadybrook Farms (photo Jeff Goldberg) | Sesame Place

Johnson’s Farm
Starts November 25 | 133 Church Road, Medford NJ

Light Show Hayrides, pictures with Santa, crafts and activities for the entire family. You can even pick up your freshly cut Christmas tree!

Linvilla Orchards Christmasland
Nov 19 – Dec 23 | 137 W Knowlton Rd, Media PA

Shop for Christmas decor and more in their garden center. Hayrides to cut down Christmas trees, and Santa on the weekends. More info here

A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens
Nov 24 – Jan 8 | 1001 Longwood Rd, Kennett Square PA

Stunning display of Christmas lights and foliage. Holiday music, fire pits, and more. Great for the whole family! Tickets $23 for adults, $12 for kids, and FREE for 4 and under. More info here

Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farms
Nov 19 – Jan 8 | 931 Stony Hill Rd, Yardley PA

Drive through in your own car, or take a wagon ride to see over 3 million Christmas lights. Their farmers market is open and offering hot chocolate, pictures with Santa, and more. $25 per car, more info here

A Very Furry Christmas 
Nov 19 – Jan 1 | Sesame Place, Langhorne PA

We loved this last year! Perfect for little kids, Sesame Place decorates and even has some rides open. There’s a main street parade with Santa and all of the Sesame Street characters. $27, kids under 2 FREE. More info here

Holiday Activites in Philadelphia

Do you have any great holiday must-sees near Philly? Be sure to share below!

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  • Reply Emily November 23, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    My husband is from the Philadelphia area! Gosh we would love to go visit with our little one year old! Especially during the winter. Thanks for the great tips! xx

    Emily Lindsey |

  • Reply Why it's Easy to be Thankful (Plus Holiday Giveaway!) - Growing Up Zee November 22, 2016 at 10:28 am

    […] past weekend we took a short trip into the city and I was quickly reminded how lucky I am to wake up every day and tackle this thing we […]

  • Reply Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog. November 21, 2016 at 8:51 am

    I have family in Philadelphia and have yet to visit them during the winter! These activities look like so much fun!

  • Reply Melissa November 21, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Thank you for sharing this great list of activities! Philadelphia is just a short train ride from us in Washington, DC so it would be great to get up there for a day or two to do some of these things.

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