Philadelphia Christmas 2010 Things To Do and Special Events
Christmas 2011 Philadelphia Events Update – The Vast Majority of These Christmas Events Still Take Place For You To Enjoy, This Year
Most of the exact dates have shifted, with different days of the week, but you can still enjoy nearly all of these Christmas 2011 Philadelphia Events. Most of the standalone event pages have their own updated Christmas 2011 schedule. Once we have some more time, we’ll officially re-list everything with the new 2011 dates. In the meantime, enjoy!
There are so many Philadelphia Christmas 2010 Things to Do, that we've had to create a separate Guide for them all.
But since not all December events in Philadelphia are Christmas-related, we've also created a complete guide to all events in Philadelphia in December - December 2010 Things to Do in Philadelphia Guide... This Guide contains both Christmas and non-Christmas December events in Philadelphia...
Another key factor, was that many of the ongoing Philadelphia Christmas 2010 Things to Do actually start in November, not December - they start on Black Friday, November 26, 2010...
In contrast, this page is dedicated solely to Philadelphia Christmas 2010 Things to Do... so let's get started!
Philadelphia Christmas 2010 Things To Do – The Cherished Christmas Traditions Now At Macy’s at 13th and Market Street, in the Former John Wanamakers Building
The two most beloved ongoing Christmas events in Philadelphia are – by far – the Macy’s Holiday Light Show, which has run since 1956, and the Macy’s Dickens Village - A Christmas Carol, which has delighted visitors since 1985.
The Macy’s Holiday Light Show
The Macy’s Holiday Light Show is staged at the Grand Court in Macy's Center City Philadelphia store, which is located in the former John Wanamaker Department Store at 13th and Market Streets.
Completed in 1911, the Wanamakers Building is an incredibly beautiful architectural achievement, and worth visiting for that alone. John Wanamaker and his department store were one of the innovators in the department store industry, nationally, and Wanamaker himself was very dedicated to civic causes.
In 1956, the Wanamaker’s Light Show illuminated the Grand Court for the first time, and crowds have been flocking to it, each Christmas in Philadelphia, for over half a century.
When Wanamakers was eventually swallowed up by Lord & Taylor in 1995, the fate of the Holiday Light Show was one of the foremost fears on the part of Philadelphians. But Lord & Taylor – which, in turn, was displaced by Macy’s, the current occupant – continued the show, and so has Macy’s, to the present day.
It runs from Black Friday through New Year’s 2011, from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Showings are at the top of the hour, and last only about 15 minutes. You can refer to our dedicated Macy's Holiday Light Show Guide, for more information.
Macy’s Dickens Village - A Christmas Carol
The Macy's Dickens Village - A Christmas Carol originally began in 1985 at the sadly closed Strawbridge and Clothier's department store, at 8th and Market Streets, five blocks east of Macy's. It is an incredible attraction, as it is literally a life-sized version of the 1843 Christmas classic, by the British author Charles Dickens. When you walk through it, you feel like you're back in Victorian London at Christmas-time.
When Strawbridge's closed permanently in 2006, Macy's agreed to move the popular Christmas attraction under its roof. And since the 2006 Christmas season, Macy's Dickens Village - A Christmas Carol has occupied the third floor at Macy's. This makes it very convenient to visit both on the same day, since they are now both in the Wanamaker Building at 13th and Market Streets.
The hours are the same as for the Macy's Holiday Light Show, except that Macy's Dickens Village - A Christmas Carol closes at 7:00 PM, an hour earlier. Another important note: you have to see the Macy's Holiday Light Show at the top of every hour. In contrast, the Macy's Dickens Village - A Christmas Carol can be entered at any time, as it is self-guided.
For more information, just take a look at our Macy's Dickens Village - A Christmas Carol Guide...
The Comcast Holiday Spectacular at the Comcast Building Is All New in 3-D for Christmas 2010, Its Third Christmas Season
One of the two newest ongoing Christmas events in Philadelphia, is the Comcast Holiday Spectacular. It was first staged during the Christmas 2008 season, in the brand-new Comcast Building at 17th and Arch Streets. This year, 2010, the Comcast Holiday Spectacular has been amped up considerably, as it will now be in 3-D.
It will run every day, from Black Friday to New Year's 2011, from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM, except for Christmas Day and New Year's Day. It will take place at the top of the hour, but with one important exception - there will be no show at 5:00 PM on weekdays, due to the PM rush hour. For more information, check out our Comcast Holiday Spectacular Guide.
Christmas Village in Philadelphia, at Dilworth Plaza at City Hall, Is Inspired By Traditional German Christmas Markets, And Provides Entertainment For All Ages
The other major ongoing Christmas event, that first appeared for the 2008 holiday season, is Christmas Village in Philadelphia. It is inspired by the traditional German Christmas markets, and is a great addition to the already impressive Philadelphia Christmas scene.
Christmas Village in Philadelphia is set up in Dilworth Plaza, in front of Philadelphia City Hall. It opens Thanksgiving weekend, and remains open throughout December, with various special events, musical performances, and other entertainment.
All Four of the Above Christmas Events Can Be Seen on the Same Day - And All Are Free of Charge
With Macy's located at 13th and Market Streets, City Hall at Broad and Market Streets, and the Comcast Building, at 17th and Arch Streets, just seven blocks away from Macy's - you can easily hit all four Christmas events in one day. And all four are free of charge - leaving you extra money to buy Christmas gifts!
The Reading Terminal Market hosts the Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad, a 500 Square Foot Model Train Set, Throughout Christmas 2010
There's no place better to eat, during the course of the Christmas 2010 things to do in Philadelphia, than the Reading Terminal Market, located at 12th and Arch Streets, right next to Market East Station at 11th and Market Streets.
And, in a gesture to the former glory of the Reading Railroad, there is the Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad, a pleasant Christmas diversion for those of all ages. It has 12 separate train lines and will run through a model Center City Philadelphia, a Christmas Village, and snow-drenched countryside, among other things. It is open during the same hours as the Reading Terminal Market, and will run from Black Friday through New Year's 2011. And it's free of charge.
Throughout the Christmas 2010 Season, Franklin Square Offers Many Opportunities to Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, As Well as Symbolic Christmas Lighting of the Square on November 30
During Thanksgiving Weekend 2010 - Friday, November 26, through Sunday, November 28 - Franklin Square provides families with the chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM each day.
On Saturday, November 30, at 5:00 PM, Franklin Square will commence its official Christmas Lighting of the Square, as it does each Christmas season. Santa, Christmas treats, and carols will all be part of the celebration.
On three weekends in December 2010, Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be available for visits, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, on the following weekend days:Saturday, December 4, Sunday, December 5
Saturday, December 11, Sunday December 12
Saturday, December 18, Sunday December 19
For all of the above events, just call 215.629.4026 for more information.
Tuesday, November 30, 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM - Rittenhouse Square Hosts Its Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony - the Largest Christmas Tree in Philadelphia
In a bit of holiday irony - on the same date and time as the aforementioned tree lighting over in Franklin Square, diagonally across the street grid on the other side of City Hall-
Rittenhouse Square will be hosting its annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. And it's free of charge, also.
There will be over 5,000 lights, on the most gigantic Christmas tree, to be found in the city of Philadelphia. In addition, there will be free elf hats, hot chocolate, cookies, and other Yuletide-themed entertainment, as the Christmas Tree is lit. Rittenhouse Row merchants will also be offering specials. And you can cap off your evening with a meal and/or a drink at the many fine bars and restaurants engulfing Rittenhouse Square.
Saturday, December 4, 2010 - Fort Mifflin, on the Delaware River, Hosts "Soldiers' Christmas 2010", With First-Person Re-Enactors From Many Era, From the Revolutionary War through the Korean War
On Saturday, December 4, 2010, Fort Mifflin will be hosting a unique Christmas event - Soldiers' Christmas.
Visitors can meet first-person re-enactors, portraying both soldiers and civilians, celebrating Christmas, throughout all the eras that Fort Mifflin - which saved America during the Revolutionary War - served the nation. Different buildings will have different period Christmas decorations, and visitors can try some food from the different eras - and ask the re-enactors about the sundry Ghosts of Christmas Past that may inhabit the Fort.
The hours are 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM, then a two-hour break, and the event resumes from 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM. (We recommend that you dress warmly!) You can call 215.685.4167, for more information.
Saturday, December 4, 2010 - 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM - Historic Elfreth's Alley, in Old City Philadelphia, Throws Opens Its Doors For "Deck the Alley" Celebration
On Saturday, December 4, 2010, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Elfreth's Alley, located in Old City Philadelphia, hosts a unique Christmas 2010 event: its annual "Deck the Alley" celebration.
Elfreth's Alley is the oldest continuously occupied residential street in America. During Deck the Alley, residents throw open their doors to all comers, Christmas refreshments are served, there is Christmas caroling in the Alley, and there are tours of some of the historic houses, among other things.
Tickets are tiered, depending upon when they are purchased. If purchased in advance, the price is $20.00 for adults, $10.00 for students and children (6-18), $60.00 per family (i.e., two adults, and two students).
If purchased on December 4, 2010, at the door, the prices jump to $25.00 for adults, $15.00 for students and children (6-18), $80.00 per family (i.e., two adults, and two students).
All of the money goes to the Elfreth's Alley Association, for its preservation of the rich heritage of Elfreth's Alley, and its educational programs.
Saturday, December 4, 2010 - Noon to 5:00 PM - American Swedish Historical Museum Hosts Luciafest, Its Traditional St. Lucia Christmas Celebration - 1900 Pattison Avenue in South Philadelphia, Near Citizens Bank Park - 215.389.1776
South Philadelphia isn't only for Phillies, Flyers, and 76ers sporting events, concerts, or cheesesteaks. The Swedes were actually the first European settlers in what is now Philadelphia. And the Swedish Historical Museum at 19th and Pattison Avenues - founded in 1926, it is the oldest Swedish museum in the nation is one of the city's most overlooked historic museums.
Each December, the Swedes honor Saint Lucia with the Lucia Celebration, known Luciafest, a traditional Swedish Christmas celebration, in which a young woman portrays St. Lucy. This year, there will be two St. Lucy processions over the course of the afternoon, along with traditional Swedish food and delicacies, and Swedish vendors. Tickets are $7.00 for adults, $4.00 for children 4-12, others free.
(And it's only eight blocks from Citizens Bank Park at 11th and Pattison!)
And speaking of Citizens Bank Park....
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
Certainly, 2010 marks a Happy Halladay season for the four-time defending NL East Champion (and we still can't believe we're typing that!) Philadelphia Phillies. Our disappointment about the loss to the eventual World Champion San Francisco Giants in the NLCS, notwithstanding, it's been a Golden Age...
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 For Christmas Shoppers
10:30 AM - 4:30 PM - Various and sundry Phillies book autograph signing sessions, by Phillies writers and broadcasters
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM - The Phillie Phanatic (who will, of course, be dressed as Santa, known as Phanta Claus!, along with Mrs. Phanta Claus) will be providing photo opportunities.
5:00 PM - The Phanatic and Rollins flip the switch, to formally illuminate both Citizens Bank Park and its Christmas Tree
Sunday, December 5, 2010
10:00 AM - Majestic Clubhouse Store Opens
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM - A unique opportunity to have your picture taken with Phanta Claus!
12 noon - 1:30 PM - Still more book signings and autograph sessions
3:00 PM - Majestic Clubhouse Store closes for the day
Sunday, December 5, 2010 - 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM - Santa - Accompanied By Many Philadelphia Mascot Friends - Makes His Annual Appearance at the Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn's Landing
On Sunday afternoon, December 5, 2010, from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Santa - joined by many of his Philadelphia mascot friends - will be making his annual appearance at the Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn's Landing, the only public ice rink in the region.
Tuesday, December 14 - 7:00 PM - Swedish Museums Singers Christmas Concert, at the American Swedish Historical Museum at 19th and Pattison, 215.389.1776
Along with the aforementioned Luciafest celebration, the Swedish Museum Singers Christmas Concert will take place at the American Swedish Historical Museum, at 7:00 PM, on Tuesday, December 14, at 19th and Pattison. Admission is free. They will be performing some Swedish Christmas favorites, along with some traditional American carols. Glögg (mulled and spiced wine, a traditional Swedish drink at Christmas time) and gingerbread will be served.
And they will also be performing at Christmas Village in Philadelphia, at City Hall, on Saturday, December 18, at 2:00 PM - with admission also being free.
Philadelphia Christmas 2010 Things to Do - The Suburbs
The King of Prussia Mall Is the Largest in the Greater Philadelphia Region, And A Christmas Tradition In Its Own Right
Out near historic Valley Forge, just off Interstate-76 (the Schuylkill Expressway), is the King of Prussia Mall, a monument to commerce that genuinely has to be seen to be believed. Its vast size requires it to be divided between the Court at King of Prussia and the Plaza at King of Prussia, and at Christmastime, shuttle vans actually circle the parking lots, ferrying weary shoppers laden down with gifts, to their cars.
Accordingly, if you really want the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season in Philadelphia, the King of Prussia is the place for you.
Peddler's Village in Lahaska, Bucks County Transforms Itself Into a Bucolic Winter Wonderland, With Many Christmas 2010 Events
Peddler's Village is located in Lahaska, Pennsylvania, in Bucks County, the northern suburbs of Philadelphia.
Although Peddler's Village is a great place for families at any time of year, it's particularly cool at Christmas time, as there are many events, and there are extended shopping hours at the many quaint shops, in this replica of an idyllic rural village in the English countryside.
Friday, November 19 - The Grand Illumination Takes Place, with Santa Claus Present, And Peddler's Village Is Lit Up For the Christmas Season
The lights come on at 6:15 PM, when Santa flicks the switch. The event lasts from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, and the shops are open until 10:00 PM.
Friday, November 19 through Saturday, January 1, 2011 - Gingerbread House Competition and Display
The results of the remarkably creative minds that put together these gingerbread houses - many of which look professionally done - is a highly entertaining activity for all ages. Gingerbread houses are created on various themes, all assembled in a heated gazebo in the midst of Peddler's Village.
Friday, November 19, through Thursday, December 30, 2010 - Extended Holiday Shopping Hours Throughout Peddler's Village
From Friday, November 19 - the date of the Grand Illumination, through Thursday, December 30, 2010 - the shops will be open for extended Christmas 2010 shopping. Their hours will be 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Monday through Saturday; 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Sundays. (The shops will be closing at 4:00 PM on both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. They will be closed entirely on Christmas Day, but will be open on New Year's Day from noon to 6:00 PM.)
Saturday, December 4 and Sunday, December 5 - Christmas Festival, From 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, both weekend days
For more information about Peddler's Village and Lahaska, you can call 215.794.4000.
Historic Skippack Village in Central Montgomery County Offers Quaint Shops and Ambience - The Lighting of the Christmas Tree is on November 26th, at 6:00 PM
On Black Friday, November 26, Historic Skippack Village - located in central Montgomery County in the suburbs - will be staging its annual Lighting of the Skippack Village Christmas Tree. The festivities will commence at 6:00 PM on Friday, with Christmas carolers. At 6:30 PM, there will be a Dance Centre of Skippack performance, and the event culminates with the Tree Lighting, per se, at 7:00 PM. Santa Claus will also be making an in-person appearance at 7:00 PM.
Skippack Village is a great place to visit, with over 80 shops and restaurants, that you can walk around and enjoy.
An Ongoing Event, From Black Friday Through December 22, Is Illuminaire Nights at Skippack Village, on Wednesday and Friday Nights, with the Village Illuminated by Candlelight, and Participating Shops Open Till 9:00 PM Those Nights
An ongoing event, from late November until early December, is Illuminaire Nights, which run from Friday, November 26 (Black Friday) through December 22. During Wednesday and Friday nights only, during that period, you can see Skippack Village illuminated by candlelight. Participating shops and vendors will remain open with extended hours until 9:00 PM, during the Wednesday and Friday evenings of Illuminaire Nights.
For more information on any of these Christmas events, you can call Historic Skippack Village at 610.584.6004.
Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Chester County, Hosts The Extremely Popular Christmas Attraction Known As "A Longwood Christmas" - So Popular, In Fact, That Timed Tickets Are Required For Entry - 610.388.1000
Each Christmas season, Longwood Gardens - located in Kennett Square, in bucolic Chester County, about 30 miles west of Philadelphia - hosts "A Longwood Christmas". Longwood Gardens itself describes it as an "incomparable Christmas display", which it indubitably is. Although the mileage sounds daunting, it's mostly highway, and it's well worth the trip.
The dates for A Longwood Christmas, for the 2010 Christmas season, are Black Friday, November 25, 2010, through Sunday, January 9, 2011. Timed tickets are required for entry. To accommodate the hordes of visitors, Longwood Gardens has extended hours during "A Longwood Christmas", with timed ticket entry starting at 9:00 AM and extending all the way to 9:00 PM.
Longwood Gardens strongly recommends, that if at all possible, that you visit during weekdays, and prior to Christmas Eve, as during the time between Christmas Eve and its closing on January 9, it is far more crowded.
Tickets for Longwood Gardens in general (which include "A Longwood Christmas") are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, $8 for students of any age, children age 4 and under, free.
Note: This is only a partial list of Philadelphia 2010 Christmas Things to Do and Events; this is as of mid-November, 2010, and so we will continue to be adding additional events, throughout November.)
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