Philadelphia Christmas Shopping – Macy’s and Liberty Place
Philadelphia Christmas shopping provides plenty of malls and retailers, where you can spend money, throughout the Christmas season, both in the city and the region. (Please be patient, as this page is still under construction, and we’ll constantly be adding more content!)
In the meantime, let’s look at some of the most prominent places:
Philadelphia Christmas Shopping – Center City Philadelphia
Macy’s Philadelphia – 13th and Market Streets – 215.241.9000 - You Can Shop, and Also See Two Timeless Philadelphia Christmas Traditions – The Macy’s Holiday Light Show and Dickens Village – A Christmas Carol
Macy's Center City Philadelphia location, at 13th and Market Streets, is located in a historic building, that was originally occupied by the beloved John Wanamaker Department Store.
Macy’s carries on the tradition of high-prestige, high-end department store shopping that John Wanamaker, himself, helped to pioneer. Also, its central location at 13th and Market Streets means that you have convenient SEPTA Regional Rail access from Market East Station, which is just two blocks away, at 11th and Market Streets.
It also has great entertainment, for when you’re too tired to shop any longer and you grow weary of carrying the heavy bags. In between searching for the perfect Christmas gifts, you can see two beloved Philadelphia Christmas traditions.
The first is the Macy's Holiday Light Show, which began in 1956 as the John Wanamakers Christmas Light Show, and which has delighted visitors of all ages since the Eisenhower administration. It takes place every hour at the top of the hour, and you can easily see it in the Grand Court, from any vantage point.
The second is the Macy’s Dickens Village – A Christmas Carol, which is up on the third floor.
While not as old as the Macy’s Holiday Light Show, it is equally beloved, as it has been retelling the classic tale by British author Charles Dickens since 1985. Accordingly, an entire generation has now grown up, with fond memories of being taken through the life-sized streets of Victorian London. You find yourself literally immersed in the story, as you can walk through the entire city, with animatronic versions of the characters and scenes.
One tip for Philadelphia Christmas shopping – we’d recommend that you go to Macy’s Dickens Village – A Christmas Carol, prior to buying merchandise. You’re not going to feel like dragging all of your purchases through Dickens Village, as there’s some walking involved, and you’re also going to bump into other patrons.
In contrast, with the Macy’s Holiday Light Show, you can just stake out a vantage point, put your bags down, and relax and chill while you watch the show. Accordingly, we’d recommend that before you do any shopping, that you go through Dickens Village. Then shop, and then if you want to, take a break with the Macy’s Holiday Light Show.
For Upscale Philadelphia Christmas Shopping - The Shops at the Bellevue - Broad and Walnut Streets, on the Avenue of the Arts - 215.875.8350
The Shops at the Bellevue are located on the ground floor of the former Bellevue Stratford Hotel, at the intersection of Broad and Walnut Streets, on the Avenue of the Arts. This Beaux Arts building, completed over a century ago in 1904, is home to extremely high-end retail, such as Tiffany, Williams-Sonoma, and the like.
It's also convenient to the Christmas Village in Philadelphia, on Dilworth Plaza at City Hall, two blocks north, at Broad and Market Streets. It's also a relatively short trip to Macy's at 13th and Market, for its aforementioned Christmas attractions.
The Shops at Liberty Place - 1625 Chestnut Street - 215.851.9055 - Over On the Other Side of Broad Street
The Shops at Liberty Place are also a fine choice for Philadelphia Christmas shopping. Although they don't offer as wide a range of Christmas entertainment as Macy's, they usually have some sort of Christmas-themed display in the central atrium, which is very beautiful. There is plenty of marble and brass everywhere, too, which provides a superb ambience for the quality retailers it houses.
Like Macy's, there is also easy SEPTA Regional Rail access. However, unlike Macy's, your best bet is to take your SEPTA Regional Rail train to Suburban Station, located at 16th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard, instead of Market East Station.
From Suburban Station, it is an easy, two-block walk down to 16th and Chestnut Streets, where the Shops at Liberty Place are located.
Finally, both the Shops at the Bellevue and the Shops at Liberty Place are convenient to the Comcast Holiday Spectacular in HD, in the lobby of the Comcast Building, at 17th and Arch Streets. It's a longer walk to the Comcast Building, from the Shops at the Bellevue, at Broad and Walnut - about five blocks. But it's right down the street from the Shops at Liberty Place, about a two block walk.
For More Downscale Philadelphia Christmas Shopping - The Gallery at Market East - Market Street, between 8th Street and 11th Street
The Gallery at Market East Station, unfortunately, has gone somewhat downscale nowadays. It was originally anchored at 8th and Market Streets, by the beloved Strawbridge and Clothier Department Store, the main rival to John Wanamakers. However, when Strawbridge's closed in 2006, the stately building in which it resided has been vacant.
Although the downscaling trend at The Gallery had existed for some time, the closing of Strawbridge's made commerce at its eastern end less viable.
Of course, this isn't to say that you can't get anything nice there. Far from it. It's just that the atmosphere is a lot different than at the Shops at Liberty Place, or the King of Prussia Mall in the suburbs, which we'll eventually be discussing, at the end of this page.
The Gallery at Market East has perfect access via both SEPTA Regional Rail and regular SEPTA service. Its western end is literally attached to the aforementioned Market East train station.
Also, you can reach it via two SEPTA Blue Line (also known as the Market-Frankford Line and "the el") stops - 11th Street Station at its western end, and 8th Street Station at its eastern end, right where Strawbridge's used to be. It also has two food courts - a large one, in the center of the three block subterranean mall, and another one, right at the Market East train station.
If You're Looking For Philadelphia Themed Souvenirs and Memorabilia, You Can Try the Bourse at Independence Mall - 215.625.0300
The Bourse at Independence Mall is located on 5th Street between Market and Chestnut Streets - which is to say, right in the heart of Historic Philadelphia. The Bourse is a grand old Philadelphia building with a great location, and has been reinvented to cater to travelers to Philadelphia.
Their most prominent merchants include Best of Philadelphia, Destination Philadelphia, and Greetings From Philly - a good sampling of what the Bourse has to offer the Christmas shopper.
So, if you happen to be sightseeing and would like to take back some souvenirs about your visit to Philadelphia, the Bourse's specialty shops are a great place to look, as they emphasize meeting the needs of visitors. (And they have a good food court with a broad selection, as well.)
Philadelphia Christmas Shopping - The Suburbs
The King of Prussia Mall in Montgomery County - the Largest Mall on the East Coast - Is the Mecca For Philadelphia Christmas Shopping Each Year
So large that its free Christmas shuttle service - when it's running, on selected days and nights - requires nine stops, so big that it has to be subdivided into The Court and The Plaza... Basically, the King of Prussia Mall is the mecca for Philadelphia Christmas shopping, and has been for many years.
You can find the complete Christmas 2010 schedule on our dedicated King of Prussia Mall page, linked above.
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