Where To Celebrate Hanukkah And More In And Around Philadelphia

Light the candles, spin the dreidel and enjoy loads of fun around the city...

Tuesday, December 12 marks the beginning of Hanukkah, when Jewish communities all over the world celebrate the eight-day Festival of Lights.

Museums, parks, restaurants and other sites throughout Philadelphia will honor the holiday with festivities ranging from food tastings to do-it-yourself crafts, menorah lightings to dreidel games.

Read on for our top picks of Hanukkah-related events in and around the city, arranged chronologically.

Hanukkah Celebration at Franklin Square

Franklin SquarePhoto by Jeff Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

Where better to celebrate the Festival of Lights than amidst 50,000 dancing bulbs? Franklin Square offers an unforgettable — and free! — evening of holiday fun during its Franklin Square Holiday Festival, offering like dreidel games, crafts and latkes.

Hanukkah Celebration at Franklin Square

When:Friday, December 8, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Where:Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street
Cost:Free

www.historicphiladelphia.org

Latkepalooza

Photo by Mario Manzoni for The Gershman Y

Popular restaurants like Mission Taqueria, Sabrina's Cafe and Jones embrace the Hanukkah spirit during the 15th annual Latkepalooza at the Gershman Y. Attendees are invited to eat their way through the event, as tickets include a sampling from each of the participating eateries. The event is known to sell out, so fried goodness fans are recommended to snag a ticket ASAP. 

Latkepalooza

When:Sunday, December 10, 2-4 p.m.
Where:Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad Street
Cost:$20, adults; $12, kids 2-12; free for kids under 2

gershmany.org

Light Up the Mall for Chanukah at Plymouth Meeting Mall

Head to Plymouth Meeting Mall for a Hanukkah-tastic afternoon of music, crafts, candle making, improv games and more. Activities are geared towards kids ages three to 10.

Light Up the Mall for Chanukah at Plymouth Meeting Mall

When:Sunday, December 10, 3-5 p.m.
Where:Plymouth Meeting Mall, 500 W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting
Cost:Free

www.jkidphilly.org

Hanukkah on Boathouse Row

One of Philadelphia's most iconic attractions will be turned into a giant menorah to celebrate Hanukkah this year. Each night at sundown starting on December 12, a different house on Boathouse Row will be lit white or blue in honor of the Jewish holiday, with all nine buildings being lit by December 19. The city will host a Hanukkah Lighting and Celebration — complete with traditional prayers and songs — to kick off the lightings on Tuesday, December 12 at the Fairmount Fish Ladder on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.

Hanukkah on Boathouse Row

When:Hanukkah Lighting and Celebration: Tuesday, December 12, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Hanukkah on Boathouse Row: December 12-19
Where:Boathouse Row, 1 Boathouse Row
Cost:Free

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Federal Donuts Hanukkah Minis

Chow down on mini jelly doughnuts, a traditional Hanukkah treat, from Federal Donuts, made especially for the holiday. Boxes can be pre-ordered online starting on Monday, December 4 and picked up at the chain's North Philadelphia and Center City locations anytime after 9 a.m. each day of Hanukkah (Tuesday, December 12 through Tuesday, December 19).

Federal Donuts Hanukkah Minis

When:December 12-19
Where:Federal Donuts, 1632 Sansom Street

www.federaldonuts.com

Chanukah Wonderland at the Please Touch Museum

Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Enjoy a daylong program of Hanukkah-related activities for kids of all ages at the Please Touch Museum, including dreidel games, holiday cardmaking, storytime, holiday foods, live entertainment and more.

Chanukah Wonderland at the Please Touch Museum

When:Wednesday, December 13
Where:Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic
Cost:Free with museum admission ($19 per person)

www.pleasetouchmuseum.org

Hanukkah Dinner at Abe Fisher

James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Solomonov invites guests to munch on a sumptuous Hanukkah meal at Abe Fisher, where the $50 per person price tag includes courses like potato latkes, braised chicken, smoked trout crudo and apple cider doughnuts.

Hanukkah Dinner at Abe Fisher

When:Wednesday, December 13
Where:Abe Fisher, 1623 Sansom Street
Cost:$50 per person

www.abefisherphilly.com

Cocktails and Candle Lighting at the National Museum of American Jewish History

Join the Young Friends of NMAJH for a Hanukkah celebration filled with holiday lights, Hanukkah-inspired hors d'oeuvres, specialty cocktails, DIY crafts, live entertainment and a silent auction. Tickets cost $25 for Young Friends members and $35 for non-members, and ticket packages including a Young Friends membership go for $60 and $100.

Cocktails and Candle Lighting at the National Museum of American Jewish History

When:Thursday, December 14, 7-10 p.m.
Where:National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall East
Cost:$25-$100

www.nmajh.org

Rittenhouse Square Menorah Lighting

Hanukkah PhiladelphiaPhoto courtesy Friends of Rittenhouse Square

Organized by the Lubavitch of Center City, the menorah lighting at Rittenhouse Square includes traditional prayers and songs. Arrive early at 3:30 p.m. for a kid-friendly party at the Ethical Society, complete with a juggling show and holiday treats.

Rittenhouse Square Menorah Lighting

When:Sunday, December 17, 5 p.m.
Where:Rittenhouse Square, 18th and Walnut Streets
Cost:Free

www.friendsofrittenhouse.org

9th Annual Moo Shu Jew Show at Ocean Harbor Restaurant

Across the country on Christmas, Jewish celebrants partake in the unofficial tradition of Chinese food and a movie. The Gershman Y's popular Moo Shu Jew Show offers an alternative, where guests can enjoy all of the Chinese food and live performances from comedians Moody McCarthy, Marla Schultz and Brad Zimmerman.

9th Annual Moo Shu Jew Show at Ocean Harbor Restaurant

When:Sunday, December 24, 6-10 p.m.
Where:Ocean Harbor, 1023 Race Street
Cost:$82 in advance; $92 at the door

www.gershmany.org

Being [] at Christmas at the National Museum of American Jewish History

National Museum of American Jewish HistoryPhoto by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

The National Museum of American Jewish History invites families to fill in the blank during Being [ ] at Christmas. The annual event welcomes those from all backgrounds for a day of music, games, children's activities and more. 

Being [] at Christmas at the National Museum of American Jewish History

When:Monday, December 25, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Where:National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall East
Cost:$12, adults; $5, kids 12 and younger; free, members

www.nmajh.org

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3 comments

  1. Thank you Philly for sharing this information so we can partake , in some of these wonderful, joyous & tastey latkes ,at some of these Hanukkah events! I wish everyone a happy, safe & fun filled Hanukkah!I wish you lots of “Gimmels” when you spin the dreidel at your Hanukkah parties !🕎👁🖖🏼🇺🇸🇮🇱🍷🍷🍩✡️
    Thank you Mayor Kenney for making this all possible , & the US Constitution allowing for “Freedom of Religion” for all, in the USA!!!🇺🇸

  2. I’m happy that you posted some of the Hanukkah things to see and do in Philadelphia. But because I have issues of people absorbing Hanukkah traditions within the Christmas holiday traditions, I wish you had used a different photograph of Boathouse Row. The one you used was obviously a view of the boathouses lit up like candy canes – a Christmas treat. There are pictures you could have used showing the boathouses lit up in blue and white lights with the center house of the nine houses lit in white lights to symbolize the ninth candle on the menorah that lights the other candles. Hopefully you can change that photo! And please note that my comment is not meant to be negative, but rather informative. Thank you for reading!

  3. Thanks very much for the feedback. We greatly appreciate reader input and have updated the post to include an Instagram of this year’s Boathouse Row Hanukkah lights.

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