Feel like there’s no things to do in Philly this weekend — or the holiday week beforehand? Christmas and Hanukkah are over, but Kwanzaa’s just started, as have all the winter-time activities: ice skating, street curling, Mummers Parade going …
This is the place to find all the winter holiday fun in Philadelphia, from free light shows to ice skating rinks to Kwanzaa events.
Seeking something off the wintry menu? Check out:
⛸️ ICE SKATE AT CITY HALL AND WANDER A WINTERGARDEN: Wintergarten, City Hall’s evergreen garden of topiaries and lights that twinkle occupy the south side of Dilworth Park, through March 26, 2023. On Dilworth Park’s other side, the Rothman Ice Skating Rink stays open through February 26, 2023. The garden is free to enter. Skating is $8 per adult, $5 per child age 10 & under; $10 to rent skates, reservations recommended. 1 S. 15th Street.
⛸️ ICE SKATE THE RIVERINK. The Delaware River Waterfront welcomes back ice skaters (and cabin sitters) through March 5. Views can’t be beat. Entry is free; $5 to skate, $12 to rent skates. 101 S. Columbus Boulevard.
⛲ LIGHTS, FOUNTAIN, ACTION IN FRANKLIN SQUARE. The nighttime Electrical Spectacle — a fountain, lights and holiday music show — turns on, on the half hour from 5pm through February 26. Franklin Square also has a warming tent for cocoa, cookies and … cocktails, along with a carousel ($3.50) and mini golf $12-$15). Free. 200 N. 6th Street.
💡 MIRACLE ON 13TH STREET. The 1600 block of S. 13th Street, to be exact. This South Philly block goes all out through January 1. Parking can be tricky; driving-through can be timely. Nightly from dusk. Free.
⛄ CHRISTMAS ON COLORADO & SMEDLEY STREETS. The OG-est South Philly holiday displays are tucked into two quiet residential blocks, each surrounding a square packed with inflated snowmen, manger scenes, candy cane lanes, Christmas music, etc. Don’t miss the houses’ basement-to-bay window displays. Through January 1. 2700 S. Smedley Street and Colorado Street between 17th and 18th streets. Free.
🧝 GREEBY STREET. South Philly doesn’t hold a monopoly on over-the-top Christmas displays. Tacony works hard to keep the Great Northeast’s head above red-and-green water with this block-long residential display in the sloping front yards. Through New Year’s. 4200 Greeby Street. Free.
💡 BASK IN BULBS AROUND THE PHILADELPHIA ZOO. LumiNature, the Zoo’s annual walk-through display of animals, tunnels, and trees made of colorful lights, goes on while the animals sleep, through January 7. There are snacks and kid- and adult beverages too. $25-28 per adult, $20-23 ages 2-11; parking is $17. 3400 W. Girard Avenue.
✨ CITY HALL GETS LIT. It’s not the display at Saks Fifth Avenue, but the Deck the Hall holiday light show makes one-seventh of the Dilworth Park (west) side of Philadelphia City Hall colorful, nine minutes at a time. The display is on the hour through January 1, 5 – 9pm. Free. 1 S. 15th Street.
🏢 COMCAST CENTER LIGHT SHOW. The lobby of the original Comcast Center turns into a screening room at the top of every hour (except at 5pm), 10am – 8pm, through January 1. The 15-minute Comcast Holiday Spectacular includes Nutcracker performances from the Philadelphia Ballet. Sensory friendly showing Thursdays and Fridays at 2:30pm. Free. 1701 JFK Boulevard.
⛄ RIDE JOLLY ON A HOLIDAY TROLLEY. Tour group Founding Fathers charters wooden trolleys five nights a week, through December 31 to take riders holiday light sightseeing — accompanied by live music. The two-hour tour starts on N. Delaware Avenue and spends most of its time in South Philly: Dickinson Square Park, Smedley Street, 13th Street, etc. The event is all ages and BYOB, within limits. By reservation. $55-$65.
❄️ FRANKLIN FROST. The Franklin Institute gets into the holiday act with Franklin Frost, upping the ante on its train displays, adding a “frost maze,” Christmas tree, card-making factory and festive selfies, December 26 through 31, 9:30am – 5pm. $23, $19 ages 3-11, $2 ACCESS cardholder. 222 N. 20th Street.
🪘UNITY CELEBRATION & SHOWCASE. AAMP celebrates the first day of Kwanzaa by lighting the kinara to represent umoja, or unity. There will be open mic poetry and a drum circle. December 26, 6:30 – 8:30pm. $10-$14. 701 Arch Street.
🛍️ MARKET & MAKING. A Black-owned business night market and paper quilt-making workshop represent the principle of ujamaa, cooperative economics. December 29, 4:30 – 8:30pm. $10-$14. 701 Arch Street.
🖌️ PURPOSE THROUGH VISION & SPIRIT. AAMP honors nia, purpose, with a tour of the exhibition Vision & Spirit: African American Art, a vision-board / collage-making workshop, and a guided paint party (limited seating available). December 30, 4:30 – 8:30pm. $10-$14. 701 Arch Street.
🩰 THE NUTCRACKER. Written by Tchaikovsky, perfected by Balanchine, danced by the Philadelphia Ballet, under the direction of Angel Corella, in the regal Academy of Music. Through December 28. $25-$255. 240 S. Broad Street.
🧒🏻 DISNEY ON ICE: FROZEN & ENCANTO. The Wells Fargo Center brings Mickey, Minnie, Anna, Elsa, Mirabel, Isabela, et al to South Philly for the winter break, from December 25 through 31, times vary. $26-$185. 3601 S. Broad Street.
🥌 STREET CURLING. That winter sport that looks more like sweeping than a sport come to Franklin Square, sans ice, through February 24. Two rinks accommodate 30-minutes sessions for up to 8 players per rink of two. $40 per session. 601 Race Street.