What's Christmas without a Christmas tree? Before you make your tree plans, be sure to reference our guide to the best bets, below. (Credit: Shutterstock)
It’s that time in the holiday season when shopping for the perfect Christmas tree is just as important as shopping for the gifts that go underneath it.
And if you’re looking to go au naturale, then this roundup is for you. Whether you like to cut your own, pick your own, or have it delivered and mounted, we’ve got the top spots for local fresh trees.
Picking the perfect pine is only half the fun; these festive farms are decked out in all the trimmings, holiday light shows, live reindeer, wagon rides and warming spicy ciders.
So bundle up the kids, crank up the Christmas tunes and take a ride to any of these Philadelphia-area farms for a full day of merrymaking and memories.
• Shady Brook Farm: After you pick the perfect Christmas tree from their vast selection and get a picture with Santa, stick around for a whimsical evening, when the many acres of the farm become aglow with millions of lights during their Holiday Light Show. For a truly unforgettable time, ride through the light show in a horse-drawn wagon with hot cocoa in hand.
• Linvilla Orchards: Start a family tradition and take a merry little hayride to the Christmas tree fields filled with fragrant Douglas Firs and chop down the tree of your choice (or pick-your-own in the brand new Christmas Shop). While the farm hands wrap it and tie it to your car, gaze at the Christmasland display, visit Santa and the animals in their winter coats, sing carols and sip hot apple cider.
• Schmidt’s Christmas Tree Farm: Fraser, Concolor, Canaan, Douglas Firs and Colorado Blue Spruces thrive on the farm’s magical 30 acres and are primed for the Christmas season. Saws and wagon rides are provided as well as free coffee and hot chocolate to toast the “timber!” And no visit is complete without showing a little love to Nordmand and Noble, the two resident reindeer.
• Maple Acres Farm: Head to Maple Acres Farm for the real deal and all your holiday trimmings. Their pre-cut local Christmas trees and hand-made holiday wreaths will leave your neighbors green with envy.
• Greensgrow Farms: Green thumbs can pick holiday greens at Philly’s own neighborhood farm featuring freshly cut sustainable Christmas trees wrapped in biodegradable netting and removal bags. And if you’re looking for locally made gifts to go under the locally sourced tree, plan on shopping at their Holiday Bazaar during the December 8 or December 15 weekend.
• Laurel Hill Garden Tree Shop: Walk the hill in Chestnut Hill to find your Christmas tree this year. The crackling of the bonfire at Laurel Hill Gardens will lure you in and the free tree delivery to Chestnut Hill residents will seal the sweet piney deal. Select from Fraser firs, Douglas firs and Concolor trees. Top the day off with a visit to Bredenbeck’s Bakery for red velvet peppermint cake or build-your-own gingerbread house.
• Urban Jungle: This East Passyunk garden center helps keep Philadelphia green year-round. This time of year you’ll find fresh wreaths, garland and of course, Christmas trees. Plus, their urban gardening gurus will answer any Christmas tree questions. Tip: snap a photo in front of the Passyunk Fountain — it’ll make for a great Philly Christmas card.
Bonus: For Christmas ornaments as unique as your tree, look no further than Love Park’s Christmas Village. With more than 60 vendors in more than 90 wooden booths, you’re sure to find festive ornaments for every branch.
And if a real tree just isn’t in the cards this year, there are plenty of tree lightings and holiday light shows happening all over the city in the coming weekends that are sure to bring glee to all, and to all a good night.
Leave your go-to Christmas tree shopping spot in the comments and check back after the holidays on how to recycle your tree in Philadelphia.