This Christmas in Philadelphia article was sponsored by Visit Philly. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely our own.

The historic city of Philadelphia is known as the birthplace of democracy and it’s home famous landmarks like The Liberty Bell, The Philadelphia Museum of Art and those famous “Rocky Steps,” and of course – the renowned Philly Cheesesteak. Whenever we visit Philly, we always come to celebrate, but the city truly comes alive during the holiday season. From the Philadelphia Christmas Village market to the festive celebrations at the Longwood Gardens, the 160-foot ice slide at Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular to the musical light show at Franklin Park, the holidays are the best time to Visit Philly.


Where to Stay in Philadelphia

If you want to Visit Philly during the holidays, we’ve got you covered! Look no further than the Element Philadelphia Downtown. Located at the corner of 15th and Chestnut, this location is in the heart of Center City, walking distance to all the main attractions in the city. The well-equipped rooms provide in-room kitchens, and the hotel offers free breakfasts.

Kid-Friendly Holiday Activities in Philadelphia

  • Christmas Village at Love Park: Christmas Village is your ticket to an authentic European-style Christmas market – no passport required! It is the country’s top open-air market and one of the best German-themed Christmas markets in the United States. Located in Love Park and City Hall, this market is a must visit for any family looking to get in the ho-ho-holiday spirit! You can Christmas shop in the wooden huts, sip on mulled wine, visit a German beer garden with German beer steins, and dine on raclette and German bratwurst. Just steps away, you can also ride a 65-foot tall, illuminated Ferris Wheel and a kid’s train, all with a view of scenic City Hall. If you visit Philly during the holiday season, this is an absolute must.

Cost: Free to enter!


Exploring a Longwood Christmas at the Longwood Gardens

  • Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular: If you’re looking to meet Santa this holiday season, Tinseltown is the place to do it! This outdoor winter wonderland for all ages is located at FDR Park. In addition to Santa Claus, there’s a a 160-foot ice slide, an ice-skating rink, a lodge that serves warm food and tasty adult beverages, a Mrs. Claus Reading Room, a Mistletoe Marketplace, and over 350 light sculptures to explore. We absolutely loved Tinseltown and it was the highlight of our trip to Philadelphia!
  • Longwood Gardens: The Longwood Gardens are one of the most iconic botanical gardens in the United States. During the holiday season, the Longwood Gardens transform into A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens. The stunning grounds are decorated with half a million twinkling lights and there are fountain shows paired with holiday music.

Cost: Adult tickets cost $30, senior tickets cost $27, Youth 5-18 cost $16, kids under 5 are free. Tickets run on timed increments.

Hanukkah Makers Market at the Weitzman National Museum of Jewish History: This museum hosts a Hannukah Market with local artisans and creators.

Cost: Free

  • Winter in Franklin Square: Experience the magic of Christmas at historic Franklin Square where hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights and a lively Christmas soundtrack transform the square into a winter wonderland. In addition to a musically themed light show, families can enjoy mini golf, street curling, and a carousel. There are also fire pits where families can enjoy s’mores, light bites, and cocktails.

Cost: Free, but the Mini Golf, Curling, and Carousel have a small cost


The Kid Train at Christmas Village

Other Kid-Friendly Activities in Philadelphia:

  • Wondrous Space at The Franklin Institute: The Franklin Institute is one of the best year-round kid-friendly activities in Philadelphia. The Wondrous Space exhibit is an outer space exhibit with over 7,500 square feet of immersive simulations.

Cost: Adults: $25, $21 for Children 3-11, Children under 3 are free

Best Places to Eat in Philadelphia:

  • Reading Terminal Market: If there is one place you go to eat in Philadelphia when you Visit Philly, it must be Reading Terminal Market. Opened in 1893, Reading Terminal Market is one of the best public markets in the United States. Choose from the endless options of foods like Philly cheesesteaks, traditional Pennsylvania Dutch fare, French food, chicken and waffles, deli fare, alcohol, ice cream, and more. 
  • Parc: Parc is one of our favorite restaurants in all of Philadelphia. This authentic French bistro and perfect people watching place serves delicious French cuisine and cocktails. We highly recommend the Onion Soup, escargots, and salmon! 

Parc on Rittenhouse Square is a must visit restaurant in Philadelphia!

  • Royal Boucherie: This French restaurant in Old City is an absolute must on any trip to Philadelphia. Be sure to order oysters from the raw bar, the duck confit, and pair it with a French 52 (sparkling rosé, Bluecoat gin, lemon, rose water and sugar).
  • Bolo: This vibrant restaurant in Rittenhouse Square creates delicious Puerto Rican cuisine and hand-crafted cocktails. We highly recommend the Manchego croquetas, lamb empanadillas, and Vaca Frita (braised beef).