Time is up for numerous holiday attractions across the city, be sure to catch them before they're over for the season. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)
The Christmas holiday is just two days away, and iconic attractions like the Macy’s Christmas Light Show and Christmas Village in Love Park make Philadelphia a prime place to celebrate.
It’s the final stretch for some of the city’s most popular holiday traditions, though, so be sure to get out there and take in the experience.
From the countryside to Center City, the region is buzzing with holiday spirit.
Read on for holiday attractions that are set to close for the season very soon.
• The Pennsylvania Ballet Presents George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker: Through December 29, Broad and Locust streets. A beloved holiday tradition, the Pennsylvania Ballet presents George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music. Audiences can follow Marie and her prince through a glistening snowy forest into the kingdom of the Sugarplum Fairy, while enjoying the sounds of The Philadelphia Boys Choir.
• Macy’s Christmas Light Show: Through December 31, 1300 Market Street. A Philadelphia tradition since 1956, the Christmas Light Show at Macy’s in Center City illuminates a large wall inside the Wanamaker building, a National Historic Landmark, with almost 100,000 LED lights that dance to the sounds of the Wanamaker Organ. Performances take place at the top of the hour, every two hours, from 10 a.m to 8 p.m.
• Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show at Franklin Square: Through December 31, 6th and Race streets. This year, Ben Franklin’s namesake park unveiled a brand-new holiday light show, Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show. The show features a 10-foot-tall kite made of lights that sparkle and spread the glow to lights throughout the square and tunes recorded by the Philly Pops, and runs every 30 minutes between 4:30 and 8 p.m., weather permitting. Other festivities include visits from Santa, rides on the holiday train and carousel, seasonal treats at SquareBurger and even mini-golf with warming stations to keep even the littlest players cozy. Activities and special events celebrate everything from Hannukah to Christmas to Kwanzaa. Take note, Franklin Square is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
• Reading Terminal Market Holiday Railroad: Through December 31, 51 N. 12th Street. Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia’s indoor haven for all things food, sets up a super impressive 500-square-foot holiday railroad in its main court beginning. Every holiday season, guests ooh and aah over the 12 working train lines and miniature scenery of Center City and the countryside.
• Comcast Holiday Spectacular: Through January 1, 1701 JFK Boulevard. Prepare to be impressed by the Comcast Holiday Spectacular, a festive film experience on one of the largest four-millimeter LED screens in the world featuring enchanting holiday scenes and computer generated animations. Located in the lobby of the Comcast Center in Center City, the shows run every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (no shows at 5 p.m. during the week).
• Christmas Village at Love Park: Through January 1, 1599 JFK Boulevard. Opening on Thanksgiving Day, the German-style Christmas Village has become a favorite tradition for holiday shoppers, who can peruse more than 50 decorated booths selling international seasonal gifts, traditional German Christmas ornaments, jewelry and high-quality arts and crafts. Hot mulled wine, gingerbread and bratwursts are also among the offerings. This year, visitors have even more time to shop and enjoy the entertainment as the village extends its season for the first time ever.
• The Enchanted Colonial Village at the Please Touch Museum: Through January 2, 4231 Avenue of the Republic. The Please Touch Museum presents the Enchanted Colonial Village Supported by The Philadelphia Foundation, with intricately restored colonial scenes depicting the bakery, blacksmith shop, toymaker, tailor shop, watchmaker and others. The village first made its home at the Lit Brothers department store from 1962 until 1975.
• Annual Gingerbread House Competition and Display at Peddler’s Village: Through January 4, Routes 202 & 263, Lahaska. While holiday shopping at Peddler’s Village, visitors can check out the Annual Gingerbread House Competition and Display. Participants compete in a variety of categories, including traditional, authentic reproduction of a significant building and unusual 3-D creations. During the season, visitors can also enjoy one million jewel-colored holiday lights, weekend visits with Santa at Giggleberry Fair and other special events.
• A Brandywine Christmas: Through January 5, 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford. A Brandywine Christmas takes over the Brandywine River Museum with a display of trees featuring critter ornaments, a Victorian dollhouse, rare antique dolls and one of the largest O-gauge model railroad displays in the country.
• Morris Arboretum’s Holiday Garden Railway: Through January 5, 100 E. Northwestern Avenue. Set amid the evergreens, Morris Arboretum’s Holiday Garden Railway showcases a miniature winter wonderland complete with a quarter-mile of model-train track; seven loops and tunnels; 15 different rail lines; cable cars, bridges and model trains that cruise past scaled replicas of historic monuments; and Philadelphia-area landmarks adorned with thousands of twinkling lights for the holidays.
• Longwood Gardens Christmas: Through January 12, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square. The holidays go red, white and green at Longwood Gardens during A Longwood Gardens Christmas, featuring 500,000 glowing lights, thousands of poinsettias, vibrantly decorated trees and dancing fountains throughout the vast grounds and conservatory.