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Holiday Happenings

December 8, 2021

Phil blog

Tis' the season! There's nothing quite like the holiday season in the City of Brotherly Love. With so much to do in the city, we put together a handy guide of some of the biggest events going on - and how to get there on SEPTA. For more events - including events beyond the city - check out our Local Happenings page!

Winter at Dilworth Park

Located directly in the heart of Philadelphia is City Hall and Dilworth Park. It's home to the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink, the Visit Philly Christmas Tree, the Made In Philadelphia Holiday Market, and the Deck the Hall Light Show. And don't forget - you've got Perks! Get $1 off the price of admission to the Ice Rink when you flash your SEPTA Key! Dilworth Park is a staple of the holiday season in the city and is a great starting point if you're venturing into the city from the suburbs, especially because of how easy it is to get here! Hop the Market-Frankford Line or Trolley Routes 10, 11, 13, 34 & 36 to 15th Street, the Broad Street Line to City Hall, Bus Routes 2, 17, 33, 38, 44, 48, 124 or 125 or Regional Rail to Suburban Station. 

Christmas Village at Love Park

Running now through Christmas Eve, the authentic open-air holiday market sells all sorts of gift-able items right in the heart of Center City. Shoppers find more than 100 vendors set up in dozens of wooden booths and ventilated tents, all offering a wide range of international holiday gifts, ornaments, jewelry, handmade toys, high-quality arts and crafts, wintry apparel, and edible and drinkable treats. Live entertainment adds to the festive atmosphere. Across the street - by the Dilworth Park attractions - is a two-story Ferris Wheel as well as a kiddie train - brought to you by SEPTA! Get here on SEPTA! Hop the Market-Frankford Line or Trolley Routes 10, 11, 13, 34 & 36 to 15th Street, the Broad Street Line to City Hall, Bus Routes 2, 17, 33, 38, 44, 48, 124 or 125 or Regional Rail to Suburban Station.

SEPTA Festive Bus and Jolly Trolley Emporium

This Saturday - 12/11 - head to the Trolley Portal Gardens at 40th and Baltimore for some holiday cheer! Take a tour, take some pictures, and get into the holiday spirit! This event coincides with the West Philly Favorites Saturday pickup. If you're looking to do some holiday shopping on Baltimore Avenue, keep an eye out for the festive "Jolly Trolley." Starting at 10am, the Jolly Trolley will run on the 34 line, making stops between 40th and 61st on Baltimore Avenue approximately every 45 minutes. All passengers on the holiday Jolly Trolley will ride for free from 10a to 3p. Please note, all other trolleys will require a standard fare. Hop Trolley Lines 11, 13, 34, or 36 to get there!

LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo

After last year’s hiatus, LumiNature returns to transform the Philadelphia Zoo into a nighttime winter wonderland. Occupying the zoo’s entire footprint, LumiNature features over a dozen illuminating and interactive experiences, including a menagerie of 500 colorful illuminated flamingos, a 25-foot-tall flamingo holiday tree, over 200 illuminated penguins and a 21-foot-tall colored snake. Timed tickets must be purchased in advance. Get there on SEPTA Routes 15 or 38.

A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season

All the glitter and warmth of Philly’s favorite holiday tradition is back for another dazzling season! It’s Philly’s favorite holiday tradition — this year featuring Music Director and Principal Conductor David Charles Abell, West End & Broadway star Scarlett Strallen, and Philadelphia native and Broadway legend Hugh Panaro - from 12/4 thru 12/18. Get here on SEPTA. Hop Routes 4, 12, 27, 32 or the Broad Street Line to Walnut-Locust. 

Winter in Franklin Square

During Winter in Franklin Square, the Electrical Spectacle Light Show makes this historic square twinkle, with free shows featuring more than 150,000 lights dazzling viewers through the end of February 2022. Get there on SEPTA: it's a short walk from 5th Street/Independence Hall Station on the Market-Frankford Line!

The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music

The Sugar Plum Fairy, the King of Mice and others leap and twirl across the stage at the Academy of Music during the Philadelphia Ballet’s annual holiday production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker - from 12/10 thru 12/31. Audiences of all ages will recognize whimsical melodies in Tchaikovsky’s score. Take Regional Rail to Suburban Station, the Broad Street Line to Walnut-Locust, the Market-Frankford Line to 15th Street, or Routes 4, 9, 12, 21, 27, 32 or 42. 

The Christmas Light Show at Macy's

The Grand Court in the National Historic Landmark Wanamaker Building has hosted a Christmas Light Show since 1956. Macy’s continues the tradition of twinkling snowflakes, dancing snowmen and more with a 100,000-light show narrated by Julie Andrews and accompanied by the famed Wanamaker Organ. Get there on SEPTA! Hop Regional Rail to Suburban or Jefferson Station or take the Market-Frankford Line to 13th Street Station!

Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn's Landing

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest — one of Philly’s favorite winter traditions — once again brings the holiday spirit to the Delaware River waterfront. The winter wonderland offers guests a chance to go skating at the city’s largest outdoor ice rink, cozy up at one of the warming cabins and fire-pit stations (plus, s’mores kits!), and gaze at the twinkling lights and holiday tree — all while overlooking the Delaware River. Also on site: a 60-foot-tall Ferris wheel, carnival games and new-for-2021 food offerings from Black Iron BBQ. Get there on SEPTA. Hop the Market-Frankford Line to 2nd Street or Bus Routes 12, 21, 25, 42, 17, or 33. 

So leave the driving to SEPTA when you come into the city to shop, skate, and play! Plan your trip today! And check out our Local Happenings page to see more things to do in the city and beyond!

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