Hot Holiday Happenings In 2011

Holidays in Philadelphia
Holidays in Philadelphia (Courtesy of Camardella Jr.)

‘Tis the season to spread the L.O.V.E., see the sights and hit the ice. Whether you’re hype about hitting up the shops for fly gifts, warming up with your boo over some hot chocolate or checking out the light shows brightening up the city, Philly’s doin’ it big this holiday season. Need a few suggestions? We’ll hook you up with our top picks:

Shop ‘Til You Drop

KDP Lifestyle

1310 South Street

Philadelphia, PA 19147

Philly-based entrepreneur Keven Parker recently opened this innovative new home store and he’s certainly showing off his incredible sense of style. If you’re looking for some unique finds, you’ll definitely want to hit up this shop. And, when you spend $50 in KDP Lifestyle, you’ll be treated to a slammin’ soul food appetizer at Ms. Tootsie’s for FREE! The offer is good from December 12 through December 31, 2011.

Insider tip: Have you seen Keven’s fabulous new renovations at Ms. Tootsie’s? One word—breathtaking!

Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Through Saturday, December 24

Love Park (JFK Plaza)

1500 Arch Street

Philadelphia, PA 19102

Christmas Village returns to Love Park this year with tons of goodies. The shops are open until Saturday, December 24, so make sure you stroll through.

PHS Holiday Pop-Up Shop

Monday, December 12 – Friday, December 16

Comcast Center

1701 John F. Kennedy Blvd.

Philadelphia, PA 19103

Looking for some festive stocking stuffers? The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (the geniuses behind the Philadelphia Flower Show) will have its very first Pop-Up Shop this year, and it will be full of floral-inspired gifts.

Holiday Gift Wrapping

Monday, December 12

Shops at Liberty Place

1625 Chestnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19103

For those of you who can’t seem to wrap it up right, make sure you stop by the Shops at Liberty Place to have your gifts beautifully wrapped for you. Proceeds will support the Ronald McDonald House.

Turn On The Lights

Christmas Light Show

Macy’s Center City (Grand Court)

1300 Market Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107

This annual phenomenon has been brightening up the holidays in Philly for more years than we can count. With a display of more than 100,000 LED lights, and the original sounds of the profound Wanamaker organ, it’s no wonder why this light show is a must-see every year. And, it’s free!

Insider tip: Don’t forget to take the kids to Dickens Village after the show. It’s tradition!

Comcast Holiday Spectacular

Comcast Center (Lobby)

1701 John F. Kennedy Blvd.

Philadelphia, PA 19103

The Comcast Holiday Spectacular is back for its fourth year and it’ll definitely get you in the holiday spirit. In 15 minutes, prepare to be amazed with the incredible sights and sounds of the season, and scenes from The Nutcracker on the Comcast Experience Video Wall. They don’t call it a spectacular for nothin’!

Longwood Gardens Christmas

Longwood Gardens

1001 Longwood Road

Kennett Square, PA 19348

With over 400,000 twinkling lights and dazzling fountain shows, Longwood Gardens is always one of the most beautiful highlights of the season. From sparkling trees to starry snowflakes, it’s a sight you won’t want to miss.

Insider tip: Don’t worry about the weather. Longwood Gardens has 20 heated “rooms” to keep you warm.

Christmas Tree Lighting in Rittenhouse Square

Rittenhouse Square

18th and Walnut Streets

Philadelphia, PA 19103

Rittenhouse Square is amazing all year round, but it really comes to life during the holidays. It transforms into the perfect winter wonderland as Philadelphia’s largest Christmas tree brightens up the park with 5,000 brilliant, multi-colored globes and lights.

Insider tip: While you’re in the Square, make sure you hit up the boutiques on Rittenhouse Row.

The Holidays at Franklin Square

Franklin Square

6th and Race Streets

Philadelphia, PA 19103

Prepare to be dazzled all-month long as Franklin Square lights up the strip with its Holiday Lighting Ceremony. It definitely sets the mood for the season—and a romantic date night, too.

Jams and Performances

Jazz with UArts

Saturday, December 10 & Saturday, December 17

12 – 1 p.m.

The Shops at the Bellevue

200 S. Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19102

Jam during your lunch break as students from the University of the Arts take over The Bellevue Food Court. It’s a great way to mellow out after an intense shopping trip.

The Christmas On The Move Tour

Monday, December 12

8 p.m.

Warmdaddy’s

1400 S. Columbus Blvd.

Philadelphia, PA 19147

If you’re in the mood for some inspirational sounds, then you’ll want to check out Christmas On The Move. Get a taste of Philly’s gospel music scene and hear the sweet sounds of up-and-comer Leah Smith.

Shout out: Congrats to Lyn Brown Music Group for putting together another great show!

Carols In Color

Saturday, December 17 – Sunday, December 18

3 p.m. & 7 p.m.

The Kurtz Center of the Performing Arts

3000 W. School House Lane

Philadelphia, PA

The Eleone Dance Company tear up the stage this holiday season with their vibrant dance musical, Carols In Color. Based on Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity, this brilliant and passionate work will definitely lift your spirits.

The York Street Hustle Holiday Spectacular

Thursday, December 22

9 p.m.

World Café Live

3025 Walnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104

When The York Street Hustle hits the stage, they perform a selection of throwbacks that has the crowd groovin’ all night. The Philly-based ensemble is known for adding their own contemporary flavor to classics from artists such as the Temptations and Marvin Gaye. This time they’ll be thowing in some holiday tunes from Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder and more!

Woodmere Art Museum Friday Night Jazz

Fridays through December 23

6-8 p.m.

Woodmere Art Museum

9201 Germantown Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19118

The Woodmere Art Museum will host weekly jazz concerts to liven up your Friday nights this holiday season. Make sure you check it out!

Outdoor Festivities

DJ Sessions at the RiverRink

Through March 4, 2012 (Fridays & Saturdays)

9 p.m. to midnight

Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn’s Landing

Chestnut St. & S. Columbus Blvd.

Philadelphia, PA 19106

Festivities at the RiverRink are better than ever. Not only can you show off your skills on the ice, but you can jam on it, too. This year, glide across the ice while listening to some of your favorite beats by DJ Hollywood.

Insider tip: The Blue Cross RiverRink also provides skating lessons for all, and sled lessons for the disabled.

Horse & Carriage Ride

`76 Carriage Company

5th & Chestnut Streets

Philadelphia, PA 19106

This one’s for the lovers! Plan a day for you and your boo to take a Horse & Carriage ride around the city. Trust us, it’ll be unforgettable.

Kwanzaa

Cinema Sepia, Kwanzaa Edition: The Black Candle

Wednesday, December 28

3-4:30 p.m.

African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP)

701 Arch Street

Philadelphia, PA 19106

The Black Candle, a documentary that brilliantly highlights the African American experience, kicks off the Kwanzaa celebration at AAMP. Narrated by the renowned poet Maya Angelou and directed by award-winning author and filmmaker M.K. Asante, Jr., this is an extraordinary must-see.

Kwanzaa Celebration

Saturday, December 31

12-3 p.m.

African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP)

701 Arch Street

Philadelphia PA 19106

If you’re looking to get your culture fix, AAMP has what you’re looking for. The museum will host a Kwanzaa celebration full festivities to celebrate African American culture. And, it’s free!

For an even bigger list of holiday festivities, make sure you check out our sister site, Visitphilly.com. Happy holidays!

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