December 2010 Things To Do In Philadelphia – Light Show and Dickens Village

December 2011 Philadelphia Events Update – The Vast Majority of These December Events Still Take Place, With the Exception of the Army-Navy Game

Most of the exact dates have shifted, with different days of the week, but you can still enjoy all of these December 2011 Philadelphia Events (Fortunately, the Army-Navy Game - which is in Washington, DC, this year - will be back here in 2012, where it should be!) Each of the standalone event pages has its updated December 2011 schedule. Once we have some more time, we’ll officially re-list everything with the new dates. In the meantime, enjoy!

Some New for December 2011 Philadelphia Events

Christmas in the Colonial City - Holiday Tour including Powel House and Elfreth's Alley

Come out and experience the holiday season with a tour of Historic Philadelphia, including Powel House and Elfreth's Alley.

Tours will begin at Powel House at 1:00 and will conclude at Elfreth's Alley at 2:30, where refreshments will be served.

Tour Dates are:

Saturday, December 10

Saturday, December 17

$20 per Adults/$10 per student/$50 per family of four

Book Release Party

Join The Philadelphia Society of the Preservation of Landmarks to celebrate the release of George Boudreau's new book, Independence: A Guide to Historic Philadelphia

December 10 at 4:00

Powel House

244 South Third Street

Philadelphia, PA 19106

Boudreau, now a history professor at Penn State Harrisburg, began researching what eventually grew into this book while he was Site Manager at the Powel House!

This historic guide will take readers through the sites and sounds of Philadelphia from its founding as an outpost of the Swedish Empire into the years when the city flourished and became the first capital of the United States. Beautifully illustrated with pictures and maps, the narrative will take readers on a journey through the streets and events of Philadelphia to tell the story of how its diverse people created a new nation.

Refreshments and light snacks will be served.

All proceeds from book sales at this event will benefit Landmarks.

Please RSVP to If you are interested in reserving your copy of Independence, please include how many copies you would like in your e-mail.

New Year's Eve Ghost Tour: Toast with a Ghost

$25 per person

75 minute tours begin at 8pm (additional tour times added as needed

For more information & reservations go to

Ring in the New Year in a most unusual way with a candlelight Ghost Tour of Philadelphia's Society Hill mansions and a champagne "Toast with a Ghost." Discover the enchantment of a bygone era inside the Powel House and Physick House with ghostly tales of merriment, misadventure and resolutions gone awry!

Mark the passing of 2011 in a unique and memorable fashion, and celebrate the arrival of 2012 with a Philadelphia "Toast with a Ghost!"

Many - although not all - December 2010 Things to Do in Philadelphia involve Christmas celebrations. This page is comprehensive, but we will always be adding more December 2010 events and things to do. So please check back for more content, as December draws closer...

December 2010 Things to Do in Philadelphia - Two Grand Philadelphia Christmas Traditions at Macy’s in Center City – the Former John Wanamakers

Both of these beloved Christmas traditions can now be found under one roof - Macy's Center City Philadelphia location, at 13th and Market Streets - the long-time, beloved John Wanamaker Department Store.

The Macy’s Holiday Light Show - A Christmas Tradition Since 1956

The Macy's Holiday Light Show is one of the most cherished Christmas traditions in Philadelphia, since its opening in 1956. Its magical lights emerge for the first time on Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving – and you can see it every hour, on the hour, from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM (with the exception of Christmas Day, itself, of course).

The Macy’s Dickens Village – A Life-Size Recreation of Victorian London, Where You Can Walk Through and Imagine Yourself in Charles Dickens’ Beloved Classic, A Christmas Carol

The Macy's Dickens Village - A Christmas Carol is significantly younger than the Macy’s Holiday Light Show. It didn’t begin, until the mid-1980s - 1985, to be exact. Another difference is that it actually was sponsored by Strawbridge and Clothier, the major rival to John Wanamakers, that was located at 8th and Market Streets (which regrettably, is now closed to the public and awaits an uncertain fate).

Fortunately, Macy’s stepped up to the plate. After Strawbridge's closed permanently in 2006, Macy's adopted the Strawbridge’s Dickens Village, moved it five blocks west on Market Street, and combined it with its Holiday Light Show, for the Christmas 2006 season.

Although it’s not as much fun as it was in Strawbridge’s, even we traditional Philadelphians must acknowledge that the 21st-century version of these Philadelphia Christmas traditions is more convenient, with both traditions now located in the same building, at 13th and Market Streets.

The schedule for Macy’s Dickens Village is the same as that for the Macy’s Holiday Light Show – namely, it begins on Black Friday, and is open every day in December 2010, except Christmas Day. (The only difference is that the Dickens Village closes an hour earlier, at 7:00 PM, as opposed to 8:00 PM for the Holiday Light Show.)

However, one major difference in format, is that the Macy’s Dickens Village doesn’t operate on a fixed schedule – i.e., you don’t have to appear at the top of the hour to enjoy it – you can go whenever you’d like.

The Christmas Village in Philadelphia At City Hall, Inspired By Traditional German Christmas Markets, Returns For Its Third Christmas Season

The Christmas Village in Philadelphia, which debuted for Christmas 2008, is back for its third holiday season.

Based on the traditional Christmas markets in Germany, it provides festive entertainment throughout December 2010 - and is conveniently located at Philadelphia City Hall, one block from Macy's, and only a couple of blocks from the Comcast Building, where you can see the next Christmas event - namely...

The Comcast Holiday Spectacular - Which Also Debuted in 2008 - Is All-New in 3-D, For December 2010

The Comcast Holiday Spectacular joined the two Macy's events for the first time, in the Christmas season of 2008. December 2010 will mark its third appearance at the Comcast Center, and this year, it will be bigger than ever, with 3-D being added to the presentation.

You'll be able to see the Comcast Holiday Spectacular at the top of every hour, from November 25, 2010, through January 2, 2011. The show is about 15 minutes long, but try to get there early, in order to stake out the best vantage points. It is located in the lobby of the Comcast Center, which is at 1701 John F. Kennedy Boulevard - the intersection of 17th Street and JFK Boulevard.

It is conveniently located next to Suburban Station, and is only a five block walk from Macy's, so you can easily catch all three shows in a single day.

UPDATE: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - President's House Exhibit in Historic Philadelphia Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony To Take Place; The Date Has Been Pushed Back to December 15

(The previously announced date had been - Monday, December 6, 2010 - President's House Exhibit in Historic Philadelphia To Open To Public)

A major addition to the Philadelphia historic district will open to the public for the first time, as the President's House Exhibit will throw open its doors, on Wednesday, December 15, 2010. Eight years in the making, it has been a long-awaited addition to the rich history in America's most historic square mile.

We'll have more information on the President's House, as it gets closer to opening day and ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 15.

New Year's Eve 2010 Free Events, Fireworks over Penn's Landing and Upscale Parties, and the Mummers Parade on New Year's Day 2011

New Year's Eve 2010 in Philadelphia - We've Separated This Into Two Guides - One is Family-Friendly Events Like the Fireworks at Penn's Landing; The Other Is Upscale New Year's Eve 2010 Parties For Adults

The first of these pages, focusing on events like the two spectacular fireworks shows at Penn's Landing, can be found at this link: Philadelphia New Year's Eve 2010 Events

The other, which focuses on the many upscale New Year's Eve 2010 Parties for adults, can be found at:

Philadelphia New Year's Eve Parties 2010

Finally, there is the ancient, long-standing, and traditional Mummers Parade, down Broad Street on New Year's Day. On the preceding link, you'll find a complete guide, including information on both the outdoor and indoor parade, ticketing information, which parts of the parade are free, the parade route and schedule, etc.

There's so much to do in and around Philadelphia on New Year's Eve / New Year's Day, that we're still continually placing additional events on these pages, so please check them for more content...

December 2010 Things to Do and Events That Are One-Time, So to Speak

Friday, December 3, 2010 - The Monthly First Friday In Old City Philadelphia, As the Neighborhood's Art Galleries Host Open Houses For the Public - 215.625.9200

On the first Friday of every month, the many art galleries in Old City Philadelphia open their doors to the public, in this free event, as a mass open house. In this case - Friday, December 3, 2010 - it's going to be cold, but don't let that keep you from enjoying the considerable charms of Old City Philadelphia at Christmas time.

Saturday, December 4, 2010 - Historic Elfreth's Alley Throws Open Its Doors to Holiday Revelers For "Deck the Alley" Celebration

Elfreth's Alley, the oldest continuously occupied residential street in the nation, will throw open its doors to the general public on Saturday, December 4, 2010, for Deck the Alley 2010, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. (This is a unique opportunity, because most of the homes on Elfreth's Alley remain private residences, and aren't generally open to the public.)

Ticket prices vary, depending upon advance purchase. We'll have more details on Elfreth's Alley's Deck the Alley, as we grow closer to the date.

Saturday, December 4 - Sunday, December 5, 2010 - Peddlers' Village in Lahaska, Bucks County, Offers Christmas Festival

As you'll read if you click the following link, Peddler's Village, in Lahaska, Bucks County, has many ongoing events in both November and December 2010. In this case, the Christmas Festival lasts just two days, the weekend of December 4 - December 5, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, both days.

Saturday, December 4, 2010 - The National League East Champion Philadelphia Phillies Host Christmas Tree and Citizens Bank Park Lighting Ceremony With Shortstop Jimmy Rollins, the Phillie Phanatic, and Others; Events on Sunday, December 5, 2010, As Well

It's a Happy Halladay season from the four-time defending NL East Champion (we still can't believe we're typing that!) Philadelphia Phillies, despite our disappointment about the loss to the eventual World Champion San Francisco Giants in the NLCS.

Jimmy Rollins and the Phillie Phanatic will be lighting not just the Citizens Bank Park Christmas Tree, but all of Citizens Bank Park itself, for the Christmas 2010 season.

Schedule of Events for Saturday, December 4

10:00 AM - Majestic Clubhouse Store Opens

10:30 AM - 4:30 PM - Various and sundry Phillies book autograph signings by Phillies writers and broadcasters

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM - Have your picture taken with the Phillie Phanatic (who will, of course, be dressed as Santa, known as Phanta Claus!)

5:00 PM - Rollins and the Phanatic flip the switch to illuminate Citizens Bank Park and its Christmas Tree

Sunday, December 5, 2010

10:00 AM - Majestic Clubhouse Store Opens

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM - Have your picture taken with Phanta Claus

12 noon - 1:30 PM - More autographs and book signings

3:00 PM - Majestic Clubhouse Store closes

Sunday, December 5, 2010 - Santa and Friends Make Their Annual Appearance at Penn's Landing, at the Blue Cross RiverRink, From 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

At Penn's Landing, Santa - accompanied by many other Philadelphia mascot friends - will be making his annual visit to the only public ice rink in the city, Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn's Landing, from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Thursday, December 9, 2010 - 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM - The Franklin Institute Hosts Its December Night Skies Presentation - "Holiday Celebrations: Why This Month?" - With Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts

On Thursday, December 9, 2010, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, the Franklin Institute will host its monthly Night Skies in the Observatory presentation - which always takes place on the second Thursday of each month.

This month, Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts offers a fascinating glimpse, as to the astronomical reasons why all of our holidays are concentrated in late November, December, and early January. Admission is $5.00 / person, and free for Franklin Institute members.

Saturday, December 11, 2010 - The 111th Army/Navy Game Will Take Place at Lincoln Financial Field, Kicking Off at 2:30 PM - But There Is An Entire Weekend of Events

Philadelphia has always been the traditional home of the Army/Navy Game, one of the most significant rivalries in the history of college football.

The 2010 Army Navy Game - the 111th in the history of the rivalry - will kick off at 2:30 PM on Saturday, December 11, 2010. It will do so at Philadelphia's top-of-the-line football-specific stadium - Lincoln Financial Field - at 11th and Pattison Avenues, in South Philadelphia.

We would strongly recommend that you take public transportation to the game - check out our comprehensive Guide to Taking SEPTA to Lincoln Financial Field, which fully discusses the various options. This would be particularly helpful to you, if you are attending the game, and visiting Philadelphia from out of town.

In addition to the game itself, there are plenty of Army/Navy Game events around the city, beginning on Friday, December 10. We'll have a more detailed schedule, once we get closer to the 2010 Army Navy Game Weekend.

Sunday, December 12, 2010 - Bank of America Sponsors Free Admission to Everyone at the National Constitution Center

In honor of the 2010 Army Navy Game, the following day - Sunday, December 12 - admission to the National Constitution Center is free for everyone - courtesy of sponsor Bank of America.

Some Saturdays and Sundays in December 2010 - Franklin Square Offers Families a Chance to Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus

Franklin Square - generally closed after Halloween, for the season - will reopen for visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus on certain Saturdays and Sundays in December 2010. The Square will also be illuminated for the holiday, back on November 30, 2010. The visits are free - call 215.629.4026 for more information.

On each date, the event lasts from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM. The dates:

Saturday, December 4 - Sunday, December 5
Saturday, December 11 - Sunday, December 12
Saturday, December 18 - Sunday, December 19

December 2010 Things to Do in Philadelphia - Events in Bars, Nightlife, and Other Parties for Adults

Thursday, December 2, 2010 - Russian River Floods the Kite and Key on Callowhill Street

The Kite and Key, on Callowhill Street, will be hosting a Russian River event from 5:00 PM to 2:00 AM.

Friday, December 10, 2010 - 2nd Annual Christmas Beer Festival at Kite and Key, Featuring Christmas Beers

The Kite and Key will be hosting its 2nd Annual Christmas Beer Festival, also known as its Christmas Spectacular, from 5:00 PM to 2:00 AM.

Thursday, December 16, 2010 - Chifa's Jose Garces Teams Up With Troeg's For Troeg's and Chifa's Holiday Dinner Pairings

Chifa - located at 707 Chestnut Street - will have its Iron Chef winner, Jose Garces, joining the folks from the Troeg's microbrewery, for a four-course dinner that evening, from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Cost is $65/person, and advance reservations are strongly recommended. Call Chifa at 215.925.5555 (easy to remember...)

Saturday, December 18, 2010 – The Running of the Santas in Northern Liberties Is An Event Booming in Popularity, From Finnegans Wake to the Electric Factory

A newly popular, annual event is the Philadelphia Running of the Santas 2010, which takes place in the trendy Northern Liberties section on Saturday, December 18, 2010.

The Running of the Santas originally began in Philadelphia, but has now spread nationwide.

Tickets are available at Ticketmaster, and are $23/person if bought in advance. The Running of the Santas will start at Finnegans Wake, the official border of “NoLibs”, and wind up at the Electric Factory, a concert venue a couple of blocks away. We’ll have more information on this event, as it draws closer.

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