Philadelphia Black Friday 2010 Events and Things to Do


Spending Black Friday 2010 in Center City Philadelphia

Although we have no personal interest in enduring throngs of shoppers the day after Thanksgiving, we recognize that to many of you, Black Friday is a cherished Thanksgiving Friday tradition, so here's how to make it as memorable as possible:

The Macy's Holiday Light Show - The Former John Wanamakers Holiday Light Show

Macy's Philadelphia - formerly John Wanamakers, at 13th and Market Streets - will be opening its doors, before the sun rises over the Ben Franklin Bridge - the horrific hour of 5:00 AM.

And if you're there that early, you should make time to enjoy two of the most popular and beloved Philadelphia Christmas traditions - the Macy's Holiday Light Show and the Dickens Village.

The Macy's Holiday Light Show has been a fixture since 1954, when it was still John Wanamakers. Generations of Philadelphians of all ages delighted in the illuminated pageantry in the Grand Hall. During the 1990s, after Wanamakers was taken off the store name in favor of first Lord & Taylor, and now Macy's, there was concern that the Holiday Light Show wouldn't survive the corporate changes. But fortunately, it has.

For Black Friday 2010, it will run at the top of every hour. At this point, we're not sure if that means it'll be running at the crack of dawn, at 5:00 AM (we'd guess that it won't be) but bottom line is that it's going to be running at the top of the hour for the vast majority of the day).



The Macy's Dickens Village - A Christmas Carol

The Macy's Dickens Village - A Christmas Carol actually owes its heritage to the long-time Wanamakers rival, five blocks down Market Street, the regrettably defunct Strawbridge and Clothier, located at 8th and Market Streets. The building remains, but is currently vacant.

Dickens Village was created in 1985 by Strawbridge's, and when it eventually closed in 2006, there was deep concern that the Dickens Village might go with it. But Macy's stepped up and took it under its aegis during that year, and so now they're both located under the same roof at 13th and Market Streets.

Dickens Village offers the unique opportunity to immerse yourself and your family in Victorian London, walking through a life-sized version of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, and it's great for families.

We would add the caveat that if we personally were going to Macy's on Black Friday, we probably would choose to see the Dickens Village at some other time - it'll be there till New Year's, and the crowds on Black Friday will be ungodly. But if it's your only time in town, it's worth waiting in the lines. (And, maybe you like crowds - perhaps you think it's more fun that way, more lively, more excitement in the air.)

You can also enjoy the Comcast Holiday Spectacular - which takes place at the Comcast Center, located at 17th and Arch Streets. It's a short walk from Macy's over to the Comcast Center - about five blocks or so (or you can take a cab, it's not expensive, if you're cold and/or carrying a lot of bags).

And the Comcast Holiday Spectacular - which debuted in 2008 - has a new feature this year - it's presented in 3-D, for the first time.

We'd Recommend That You Have Lunch at Reading Terminal Market, While Enjoying The Elaborate Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad, Which Kicks Off on Black Friday

After your busy morning and early afternoon, we'd strongly recommend that you get lunch at the nearby Reading Terminal Market, which is located at 12th and Arch Street, a two block walk from Macy's (and only about five blocks from the Comcast Center).

While the food is delicious and offers something for everyone, you can also enjoy the increasingly elaborate Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad. A great free Black Friday event for those of all ages, this 500-square-foot model railroad will be traveling on twelve different lines. The model trains will be meandering through - among other things - snow-covered countryside, a Christmas Village, and Center City Philadelphia itself. It will be open on Black Friday from 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM (i.e., standard Friday hours for the Reading Terminal Market). It also has a slightly different location for 2010 - the Piano Court in the Market.

You Can Also Spend Black Friday in the Suburbs at the King of Prussia Mall, the Largest Mall in the Philadelphia Region, Near Historic Valley Forge - The Mall Opens At 5:00 AM and Closes at 10:00 PM

There is no other mall in the Philadelphia region - or the entire East Coast - like the King of Prussia Mall, located in King of Prussia, PA, near Valley Forge.

Divided into the King of Prussia Plaza and the King of Prussia Court, it is so vast - it's the largest mall on the East Coast - that one can easily get lost in it. But it also has something for literally everybody, more stores than you could possibly explore, and plenty of good restaurants and bars.

Also, going to the King of Prussia Mall at Christmas time is a tradition in its own right, in Greater Philadelphia. In addition, the throngs of shoppers, the hustle and bustle, the sales, the constant hum of commerce... they all do really get you in the mood for Christmas.

And obviously, there is no other Christmas shopping day, like Black Friday. So King of Prussia is a highly valuable alternative to Center City, if you're so inclined.

On Black Friday, the King of Prussia Mall will be open at the very uncivilized hour of 5:00 AM, before the first rays of dawn - and will close at 10:00 PM - this provides you with 17 hours to spend your money wisely. (Don't be too disappointed that King of Prussia isn't opening at midnight on Thanksgiving Day/Night.)

Be cognizant, though, that unlike Center City, the King of Prussia Mall is not easily reached by SEPTA. You can get there via SEPTA if you absolutely have to, but it's not convenient, at all. If you're heading to King of Prussia, whether on Black Friday or any other day, you really need to drive.


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