Philadelphia Christmas Date Ideas – Romance For the Holidays

Philadelphia Christmas Date Ideas are plentiful, given the bountiful number of Christmas celebrations, as well as other December Things to Do in Philadelphia, throughout the city and region.

But if you’re looking for particular ideas, of where and when you can spend some time with your significant other, under the proverbial mistletoe, here are some of our recommendations…

Philadelphia Christmas Date Ideas - City

Macy’s, 13th and Market Streets, Center City Philadelphia – See the Macy’s Holiday Light Show and the Macy’s Dickens Village - A Christmas Carol - As They Are Now Both Under One Roof

The first choice would be Macy's Center City Philadelphia location at 13th and Market Streets. Formerly the beloved John Wanamaker Department Store, it briefly became a Hecht's, then a Lord & Taylor’s, before transforming once more, into Macy’s.

However, the famous Wanamakers Christmas Light Show – now officially named the Macy's Holiday Light Show – has entertained Philadelphians of all ages, since 1956.

You can see it at the top of every hour, from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM, from Black Friday, November 26, 2010 up to and including New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2010.

You can then head upstairs to the third floor, and walk through the life-sized rendition of A Christmas Carol, the timeless 1843 classic by British author Charles Dickens. It is formally known as Macy's Dickens Village - A Christmas Carol.

Created in the mid-1980s for the equally beloved - and now regrettably closed – Strawbridge & Clothier Department Store at nearby 8th and Market Streets, it moved permanently to Macy’s, for the 2006 Christmas season. (And as a couple, you can pay particularly close attention to Ebenezer Scrooge and his relationship with his girlfriend, Belle, during the Ghosts of Christmas Past section of the display.)

And both the Macy's Holiday Light Show and the Dickens Village - A Christmas Carol, are free of charge.

After the Holiday Light Show and Dickens Village - A Christmas Carol, there is no scarcity of restaurants in and around Macy’s, for the two of you to continue your date. One of the most convenient places is the casual McGillin’s Olde Ale House, which predates the Civil War, and is located just a stone’s throw from Macy’s, at 1310 Drury Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107. And if you can’t find it – since Drury Street is a small alley and easy to miss – you can call McGillin’s at 215.735.5562.

Christmas Village in Philadelphia Evokes the Traditional Christmas Markets in Germany, With the Perennial Favorite of the City Hall Christmas Tree

Christmas Village in Philadelphia made its debut for the Christmas season in 2008, by a German-American organization, which wanted to establish a German-style Christmas Market, which is traditional in their country.

Located on Dilworth Plaza, right next to City Hall, and its gigantic Christmas tree, it offers plenty of vendors, food, and entertainment every day. Christmas Village in Philadelphia also hosts special events, most often on weekends.

The Comcast Holiday Spectacular Is All New in 3-D For 2010, And Is Conveniently Located Next Door to Suburban Station – You Don’t Even Have To Go Outside!

The Comcast Holiday Spectacular made its debut during the Christmas season of 2008. In its third year, it has made a great leap forward, as it premieres its 3-D version for Christmas season 2010.

It is located at the lobby of the new Comcast Center, located at 17th and Arch Streets, attached to Suburban Station. Details on the logistics can be found in our Comcast Holiday Spectacular Guide. It's also free.

The Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn’s Landing Is A Public Ice Rink, One Perfect For Couples on a December Day or Night

The Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn’s Landing has opened its doors for the 2010-11 season, on Black Friday, November 26, 2010.

With such a convenient location at Penn's Landing, it’s a great way for couples to skate outside (and help each other up after falls!) during the Christmas season. It’s also inexpensive – just $8/person per skating session, plus $3 for skate rental, if you don’t bring your own.

Naturally, after a challenging skating session, with some bumps and falls, you might want to relax for the rest of the evening, in a warm environment. There are tons of bars and restaurants in Penn’s Landing and Old City Philadelphia.

But we’d recommend The Plough and the Stars in Old City, just a couple of blocks away - on 2nd Street, between Market and Chestnut Streets - to warm yourselves up, after the chilly night air. This upscale Irish pub and restaurant has great food and a cozy ambience. You can contact The Plough and the Stars at 215.733.0300.

Take Your Significant Other to See the Rittenhouse Square Christmas Tree - the Largest in the City of Philadelphia - And Then To A Casual Bar or Restaurant Around Rittenhouse Square

The Rittenhouse Square Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place on Tuesday, November 30, at 5:00 PM. And on any day after that, you and your significant other can stroll through Rittenhouse Square, and admire the incredible luminosity of the tree. Over 5,000 lights are adorning the tree, rending Rittenhouse Square even more beautiful than it already is.

(Of course, we'd recommend that this stroll be right after nightfall, because it'll start to get cold, and you're probably getting hungry, by then, right?)

There are countless places in and around Rittenhouse Square to eat and drink. For you and your significant other, we'd like to recommend the Irish upscale pub known as The Bards, located at 2013 Walnut Street - directly on Rittenhouse Square - and you can call them at 215.569.9585. Even if you aren't Irish, this is a great place to take a date. There are small intimate booths in this tiny bar, ideal for whispering after a chilly walk through the Christmastime air of Rittenhouse Square.

For a more casual ambience, there is also The Irish Pub, located at 2007 Walnut Street - literally, right next door to The Bards - and which has superb chicken fingers. You can call The Irish Pub at 215.568.5603.

Philadelphia Christmas Date Ideas - Suburbs

Even if you both live in the city, don't forget about the suburbs and the countryside, when trying to think of Philadelphia Christmas Date Ideas. The suburban counties offer plenty of historic homes to tour, quaint villages in which to shop, and great restaurants for any couple's date, whether it's the first date or the fiftieth.

Peddler's Village in Lahaska, Bucks County, Is Beautifully Illuminated at Christmas Time, With Quaint Shops, Gingerbread House Contests, Holiday Ambience, and Great Restaurants

We can't say enough about Peddler's Village in Lahaska, in suburban Bucks County. It's located well north of Center City, but it's all highway (and if you're coming from other suburbs, it's not too far, either). Also, the highway doesn't take you as the crow flies - it's not as far as the mileage trip would indicate.

Peddler's Village is intended to evoke the ambience of a romanticized, idealistic rural market village in Britain, and it succeeds completely in presenting that image.

Each Christmas season in Lahaska, the Grand Illumination takes place in mid-November, and Peddler's Village is adorned with a dazzling display of Christmas lights - the best setting in the Greater Philadelphia region for Christmas spirit.

There is a heated gazebo in the center of Peddler's Village, where the entrants in the Gingerbread House competition are put on public display. Creativity for Christmas 2010 includes gingerbread version of the White House, Independence Hall, the Phillie Phanatic, and countless others. You'll spend a lot of time in the gazebo asking each other, "Did you see this one?"

And you can walk up and down the gentle hills of Peddler's Village, entering whatever of the quaint shops interest you, while enjoying the beautiful illumination of the trees, the water wheel in the center, and the stores themselves.

Skippack Village in Central Montgomery County Also Offers Quaint Shops And Places to Walk Around, As Well as Restaurants

Historic Skippack Village, located in Skippack, Pennsylvania, in central Montgomery County, also offers many of the same advantages of Peddler's Village. On selected Wednesdays and Friday nights during the Christmas season, the Illuminaire Nights take place, where Skippack Village itself, and participating merchants, light their establishments by candlelight. It's a great place to walk around, browse through the shops, and enjoy a meal.

Distance-wise, it is about 35 miles northwest of Center City, but most of it is highway, as with Peddler's Village.

We particularly recommend the pizza at casual Basta Pasta, right in the middle of Historic Skippack Village. You can take a look at our Historic Skippack Village guide, linked above, for complete information about events there.

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