Roundup: A Guide To The Top Christmas Tree Lighting Celebrations In Neighborhoods Throughout Philadelphia This Holiday Season

Rittenhouse Tree
Christmas trees are popping up at popular locations throughout the city and bringing a slew of tree lighting celebrations in tow.
(Photo by K. Ciappa for Visit Philadelphia)

Make merry this holiday season by attending a festive Christmas tree lighting celebration in a number of neighborhoods throughout the city.

Bundle up, grab some friends and watch hundreds of twinkling lights illuminate trees at public spaces like Rittenhouse Square, Love Park, Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, Citizens Bank Park and the Singing Fountain in East Passyunk.

Read on for our guide to Christmas tree lighting celebrations in Philadelphia.

Christmas Tree Lighting in Rittenhouse Square

Monday, December 1, 5 p.m. During the holidays, Rittenhouse Square boasts one of the largest Christmas trees in the city. Every year, locals and visitors pack the popular park for the ceremonial lighting of the Rittenhouse Square Christmas Tree, which is typically more than 30 feet tall. Throughout the season, the park is aglow with 5,000 colorful globes making a cheerful sight for holiday shoppers amongst the popular stores along Rittenhouse Row. MORE INFO

City Hall Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting Spectacular

Wednesday, December 3, 6 p.m. With the recent completion of the brand new Dilworth Park, City Hall’s tree lighting celebration moves to its courtyard for 2014. This year’s tree, a 35-foot-tall Norway spruce, was harvested at Linvilla Orchards in Media and will be on display starting November 24. At the tree lighting ceremony on December 3, light entertainment starts at 6 p.m. followed by the official program at 7 p.m. MORE INFO

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Tree Lighting

Friday, December 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m. The popular Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest on the Delaware River Waterfront goes all out in lighting its 43-foot-tall tree on December 5. Look forward to performances from the Philadelphia Youth Ballet and Philadelphia Symmetry Synchronized Skating as well as the awesome sight of an ice-skating Santa Claus. MORE INFO

Waterfront Winterfest
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest illuminates its trees at a celebration on Friday, December 5.
(Photo courtesy Delaware River Waterfront Corporation)

East Passyunk Tree Lighting Party

Thursday, December 4, 5-7 p.m. Philadelphia’s East Passyunk neighborhood will be decking the avenue during the annual Tree Lighting Party at the Singing Fountain. Join festive carolers, student musicians and local businesses for the celebration leading up to Santa lighting the tree. Be sure to visit the stores and businesses along East Passyunk Avenue for great holiday sales and treats. MORE INFO

Holiday Tree Lighting at the Shops at Liberty Place

Tuesday, December 2, 6-8 p.m. Returning for a second year, The Shops at Liberty Place host a towering Christmas tree in its Rotunda. Look forward to holiday performances from The Philadelphia Dance Academy and The Liberty Strings Orchestra, complimentary apps and beverages and a chance to get a photo with Santa Claus. MORE INFO

M Restaurant at the Morris House Hotel Tree Lighting

Saturday, December 13, 5 p.m. Ten trees in the courtyard garden of the M Restaurant at the Morris House Hotel will be lavishly decorated, and the hotel will be decked out to look like a set from a Dickens book for the holiday season. Swing by on December 13 to visit Santa Claus, peruse antiques and crafts from the Philadelphia Flea Market and try some food and drink specials. And, if you’re looking to adopt a puppy this holiday season, Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) will be on hand as well. MORE INFO

More, below.

Chestnut Hill Circle of Trees

Saturday, November 22. Celebrate the beginning of the holiday season in Chestnut Hill at Woodmere Art Museum’s Circle of Trees event. The free annual tree lighting will be followed by live music, hot chocolate, cookies and a special guest. MORE INFO

Tree Lighting in Mt. Airy

Friday, December 5, 4:45 p.m. Mt. Airy celebrates the season with a tree lighting at Lutheran Seminary complete with a visit from Santa and more. The tree lighting is slated for 4:45 p.m. MORE INFO

Love Park Christmas Tree
Christmas Village at Love Park celebrates the season with a dazzling Christmas tree surrounded by booths selling holiday gifts, decor and more. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

South Street Headhouse Winter Wonderland

Sunday, December 7. South Street Headhouse District welcomes the return of Winter Wonderland with free family fun, a tree lighting and a holiday market on December 7. Look forward to free horse-drawn carriage rides, the appearance of Santa Claus on a fire truck, mulled wine and other treats from Brauhaus Schmitz and performances by Philadelphia Dance Academy and Society Hill Dance Academy. The official tree lighting commences at 6:30 p.m., and stick around afterward to peruse the holiday displays at more than 30 nearby businesses. MORE INFO

Citizens Bank Park Tree Lighting

Saturday, December 6, 5 p.m. Support the home team while celebrating the holiday season at Citizen Bank Park’s Christmas Tree — and ballpark — lighting. Enjoy holiday tunes from carolers, meet and greets with Phillies ballgirls and even an apperance by the ever-popular Phanatic. MORE INFO

Manayunk Tree Lighting

Saturday, November 29, 5-7 p.m. Manayunk will be home to holiday festivities of all sort on Saturday, November 29, including a Christmas tree lighting in Canal View Park. Before the tree lighting celebration, which runs from 5 to 7 p.m., guests are invited out to the park for Christmas carols and pictures with Santa Claus. MORE INFO

Seaport Parade of Lights

Saturday, December 13. Head to the Delaware River waterfront for the 5th annual Seaport Parade of Lights, a lighting celebration unlike any other in the city. This boat parade features both pleasure boats and working vessels decked out in fabulous decorations and lights. Before the parade, head to the Independence Seaport Museum, which is hosting the parade, for holiday activities and festivities. (Tip: The best view for the parade is from the second floor balcony of the museum.) MORE INFO

Bumble Lights the Tree at the Adventure Aquarium’s Christmas Celebration

November 28-January 1. There are tons of tree lightings this year, but there’s only one that features a friendly snow creature. Join Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster from the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV special to light the larger-than-life Christmas tree at the Adventure Aquarium’s Christmas Celebration. Stick around to see Bumble conjure up snow inside the aquarium. MORE INFO

Tree Lighting at Glen Foerd Mansion

Saturday, December 6, 5 p.m. Glen Foerd Mansion hosts a full day of Christmas festivities on December 6, including a tree lighting celebration at 5 p.m. featuring a Christmas carol sing-a-long and a visit from Santa Claus. Before the tree lighting, guests can expect crafts, performances and more. MORE INFO

South Street Headhouse District's annual Winter Wonderland invites folks of all ages out for a day of holiday shopping, seasonal performances, a tree lighting celebration and more. (Photo courtesy South Street Headhouse District)
South Street Headhouse District’s annual Winter Wonderland invites folks of all ages out for a day of holiday shopping, seasonal performances, a tree lighting celebration and more. (Photo courtesy South Street Headhouse District)

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