Ringing in the Holidays in Philadelphia

With December 1 on the horizon and remnants from the first snow still on the ground, Swarthmore is starting to feel quite festive. As you walk through the streets of the Ville, houses have put up twinkling lights and waving Santas and Sharples even has the Christmas tree up! With finals coming up, it’s often difficult to take time to celebrate the  holiday festivities, but nevertheless, it’s important! Make sure to check out these fun Philadelphia holiday events that are only a SEPTA ride away…

McGill Walk after the first snow of the academic school year

1. Visit Dilworth Park Winter Garden
I recently visited Dilworth’s Park Winter Garden with my friends and it was definitely worth the trip! Located right outside of Independence Hall in the bustling center of Philadelphia, Dilworth Park is a must-see destination during the holiday season. Festive holiday lights are wrapped around the park and numerous lit statues of reindeer garnish the area as well. After walking around the park (free entrance) and taking cute holiday photos, Dilworth Park also boasts an ice skating rink. Throughout the holiday season, the park will host fun events like The Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market, College Nights, and Quizzo.

2. Roam around South 13th Street
Philadelphia’s South 13th street (between Tasker and Morris) is known for its extravagant holiday decorations. The lights are all residential and are up daily until New Year’s Day from 5pm to 12am.

3. Climb up the PMA’s steps like Rocky to see the giant tree
The famous Philadelphia Museum of Art has an absolutely enormous Christmas tree on display for the holiday season. Stop by on Wednesday nights throughout the holiday season to view the tree and visit the newest exhibitions at a pay-what-you-wish rate!

Giant Christmas tree outside of the PMA (photo courtesy of The Philly Voice)

4. Stop by Rittenhouse Square to see the giant menorah lighting
Each winter, the giant menorah in Rittenhouse Square is lit up! This year, the lighting ceremony will be held next week on December 6 – stop by the park after sundown at 5:30 to join in.

5. Take a stroll by Boathouse Row
From December 2-December 9, Philadelphia’s famous Boathouse Row will be adorned with blue and white lights – it will resemble a huge menorah along the Schuylkill River. A ceremony will be held on December 3 where officials lead prayers and songs before revealing the light show.

Light show on Boathouse Row (photo courtesy of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation)


6. Try a Hanukkah mini donut from Federal Donuts
Last but certainly not least, try a festive mini jelly-topped Hanukkah donut from Philadelphia’s famous donut shop, Federal Donuts. The sweet treats are inspired by the traditional sufganiyot, a spice cake donut with lemon glaze and raspberry jam. Located in Rittenhouse Square, Federal Donuts is the perfect stop on your way back to campus from the city; pick up a box of 15 for $15 to share with your friends!

Hanukkah mini-donuts (photo courtesy of Federal Donuts)

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