Philadelphia Holiday Attractions

During the holidays, Philadelphia lights up. A festive holiday spirit spills from shops, restaurants, theaters and parks, where halls are decked, trees are trimmed and tables are set to celebrate the season. Experience the holidays in Center City Philadelphia and stay at Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square. Located in the heart of downtown, a scenic short walk from the city’s favorite holiday attractions. Book the VisitPhilly overnight parking and received FREE overnight valet parking and explore the city easily and conveniently on foot when staying at 18th and Market streets. Hotel amenities include:

  • Centrally located steps away from the upscale and popular Rittenhouse Square neighborhood including favorite restaurants, shopping, nightlife and museums
  • 439 spacious, redesigned rooms and suites
  • ArtBar for weekend Grab N Go breakfast and weekend bar service
  • 24-hour onsite fitness center
  • In-room safe
  • In-room refrigerator
  • Wireless high-speed internet access
  • In house restaurant, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square is a proud hotel sponsor of the authentic German Christmas Village of Philadelphia! Free and open to the public, the Christmas Village in Philadelphia is an outdoor Holiday market event in Center City Philadelphia, which is modeled after the traditional Christmas Markets in Germany.

Vendors in wooden booths will set up shop during the Holiday season to sell a wide variety of international holiday gifts, ornaments, jewelry and high-quality arts and crafts, as well as traditional European food, sweets and drinks.

The unique atmosphere with thousands of lights and the delicious smell of waffles, gingerbread, bratwurst and mulled wine will bring you and your family into the perfect Christmas spirit.

Christmas Village Operating Hours

Open November 25th - December 24th, 2021
Sunday - Thursday: 11AM - 7PM
Friday - Saturday: 11 AM - 8PM
Thanksgiving Day: 9AM - 5PM
Christmas: 11AM - 5PM


Additional Favorite Holiday Attractions

See the list of additional favorite holiday attractions that are a quick walk or Uber away from Sonesta Philadelphia:

  • Embrace the holiday cheer by cruising around the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink, offering timed, 90-minute skating sessions (November 5, 2021 - February 27, 2022). Only a 3 block walk from the hotel - and ask the front desk for a free hot chocolate voucher!
  • Next door to the Ice Rink, relax in the Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin, where seasonal cocktails and food await in a ski chalet-inspired setup (November 5, 2021 - February 27, 2022)
  • Shop the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market, selling handmade trinkets, treats and crafts galore created by local makers (November 20, 2021 - January 1, 2022)
  • Take in the free Deck the Hall Light Show, where stunning technicolor projections - synchronized to sound effects and played continuously on a nonstop loop - animate the western façade of City Hall nightly for another holiday season (November 22, 2021 - January 1, 2022). A 3-block walk from the hotel!  
  • Winter in Franklin Square, presented by Citizens, the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show presented by PECO makes this historic square twinkle, with free shows featuring more than 100,000 lights (more than ever!) dazzling viewers every night through December 31, 2021.
  • LumiNature returns to transform the Philadelphia Zoo into a nighttime winter wonderland for a second year. 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. Dates are November 18, 2021 - January 9, 2022.

Holiday Performances on the Kimmel Cultural Campus

The venues that comprise the Kimmel Cultural Campus — including the Merriam Theater and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts — host a slew of holiday performances for 2021.

  • A Magical Cirque Christmas: Cirque performers dazzle and delight to a soundtrack of holiday tunes (November 20, 2021).
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas: Your favorite Peanuts characters come to life onstage when Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and Linus learn the true meaning of Christmas (December 4, 2021).
  • A Philly POPS Christmas: West End and Broadway star Scarlett Strallen and Philadelphia native and Broadway legend Hugh Panaro join the Philly POPS for an all-new program of holiday songs (December 4-18, 2021).
  • The Glorious Sound of Christmas: The Philadelphia Orchestra continues its 60-year tradition, playing magnificent renditions of Christmas classics (December 16-21, 2021).
  • Leslie Odom, Jr. The Christmas Tour: The Grammy and Tony Award winner — and Philly-bred performer — returns for a hometown show full of holiday melodies (December 18, 2021).
  • Family Christmas Favorites: This virtual show from The Philadelphia Orchestra is available for the week up to and including Christmas, featuring sweeping family-friendly performances of holiday favorites (December 18-25, 2021).
  • Messiah: George Frideric Handel’s oratorio is a holiday staple, performed over two days by The Philadelphia Orchestra (December 22-23, 2021).

6abc/Dunkin' Thanksgiving Day Celebration

Thursday, November 25, 2021 | 8:30 AM
Back on the Parkway after a virtual 2020 celebration, the 6abc/Dunkin' Thanksgiving Day Parade - the oldest parade of its kind in the country - marks the official start to the holiday season. Marvel at floats, bands, dancers, balloons, and of course, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus

Christmas Light Show and Dickens' Village at Macy's

November 26 - December 31, 2021
The Grand Court in the National Historic Landmark Wanamaker Building has hosted a Christmas Light Show since 1956. The department store 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. Free performances of the light show take place once daily: at 10:30 a.m. beginning December 1-24, 2021 and 11:30 a.m. from December 26-31, 2021. Before or after the show, visitors can tour the third floor’s vintage Dickens’ Village, where intricate animated dolls and sets retell A Christmas Carol — and each free walkthrough ends in a chance to meet and get photos with Santa. Plan ahead: Visits to Dickens’ Village are by advance reservation only.

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

November 26, 2021 - March 6, 2022
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest — one of Philly’s favorite winter traditions — 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 rink, cozy up at one of the warming cabins and fire-pit stations, and gaze at the twinkling lights and holiday tree — all while overlooking the Delaware River. Plus, there are carnival games and holiday markets on select dates.

Miracle on South 13th Street

November 27, 2021 - January 1, 2022
A homegrown South Philly tradition with national traction, the Miracle on South 13th Street brings neighbors along the 1600 block of South 13th Street together to decorate their homes with holiday lights and over-the-top decorations, which turn on each evening, beginning the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Drivers should know to expect traffic, especially on weekend nights.

For a full list of attractions click here. Extend the holiday fun by booking the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, which includes buy-one-get-one-free tickets to 33 Philly museums and attractions, as well as free hotel parking (worth up to $100).


***When you’re out and about this holiday season, remember that businesses and attractions in Philadelphia require proof of vaccination or mask-wearing at all indoor public spaces, while guidelines and requirements vary in the surrounding Greater Philadelphia region. Advance tickets or reservations remain recommended or necessary at many spots. Your best bet: Plan ahead. Read more right here: