Holiday Event Guide for the Philadelphia Area 2015

Our comprehensive listing of holiday events lets you and your family fully embrace all of the holiday spirit available in Delaware County and the surrounding areas. Please click on each link for the full detail on the cost and specifics of each event

Happy Holidays from Fun Things.

On Going Holiday Events

Yuletide at Winterthur Museum
November 21–January 3

The beauty and inspiration of these traditions continue today at Winterthur with our treasured Yuletide tour. Glimpse into Yuletides past and be inspired to create your own spectacular celebrations. From sparkling trees to stunningly decorated rooms, there’s something for everyone. Join us to tour Henry Francis du Pont’s home decorated in holiday style!

Christmas at Hagley
November 27th  through January 3rd

This year Hagley returns to its historical roots during the holiday season. Our exhibits, events, and programs will feature early du Pont family holiday celebrations and traditions based on New Year’s and Twelfth Night. We hope you enjoy the new interpretation as much as we enjoyed creating it!

A Brandywine Christmas at Brandywine River Museum
November 27 - January 3

The museum celebrates the season with fabulous holiday displays including an extensive O-gauge model railroad, an elaborate Victorian dollhouse, and thousands of whimsical "critter"ornaments on holiday trees.

The Farm is decorated for Christmas. See our Christmasland display and visit with the animals in their winter coats. The Farm Market features wreaths, freshly cut trees, greens & holly, decorations, fruit and gift baskets, Christmas gifts, hot mulled cider & children's crafts.

Choo Choo Barn’s Holiday Display

Choo Choo Barn is celebrating the season with an enhanced holiday display from November 27th through January 3rd. Look for 51 hidden Santas and watch as Santa’s sleigh flies above the gigantic model train display. Enjoy the holiday decorations throughout the display including holiday lights and the snow-covered landscape. Plus, take a close look at the zoo animals in Traintown to see how they’re getting into the holiday spirit! Choo Choo Barn is open daily from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Closed Christmas Day). 

Night Before Christmas Train
November 27th
December 4th, 11th, and 18th

This very unique train recreates the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Eve. A reader dressed in a Victorian nightshirt and cap will read Clement Clarke Moore's classic poem, The Night Before Christmas, as passengers enjoy cookies and milk as the train rolls along. After the train ride, children are also treated to storybook readings of holiday classics aboard our Caboose (stationary) and visitors of all ages can enjoy a ride aboard the Tinsel Trolley, a self-propelled motor car.

Santa’s Paradise Express
November 27th - December 19th

Santa himself will climb aboard and visit with families as they travel down the tracks to Paradise, PA and back.

November 27 - January 3: 10:00am - 4:00pm

Closed December 24, 25, and January 1

Visitors of all ages will be wow-ed by a quarter mile of track featuring seven loops and tunnels with fifteen different rail lines and two cable cars, nine bridges (including a trestle bridge you can walk under), and bustling model trains, all set in the lovely winter garden of the Morris Arboretum. The display and buildings are all made of natural materials – bark, leaves, twigs, hollow logs, mosses, acorns, dried flowers, seeds and stones – to form a perfectly proportioned miniature landscape complete with small streams. Each building, while an exact replica of the original, is unique in its design. Philadelphia-area landmarks such as a masterpiece replica of Independence Hall are made using pinecone seeds for shingles, acorns as finials and twigs as downspouts.

Special Holiday Events
Wassailing Caroling Hayrides
Saturday Evenings in December at 5:30 pm

Celebrate the ancient tradition of Wassailing and singing Christmas Carols around the campfire! Enjoy roasting marshmallows and apple cider. 

Narberth Dickens Festival 
Sunday December 6th  Noon – 4 pm
Location: Downtown Narberth, Forrest & Haverford Ave, Narberth, PA

Radnor Hotel’s Holiday Tea
Saturday, December 5th 
1 - 3 p.m
Children's Saturday Afternoon Tea at The Radnor
Bring your little ones to enjoy a themed Afternoon Tea!
Ideal for children ages 3-8.

Advanced Ticket Purchase Required
Please call 610-341-3191

November 27th - December 27th

This heartwarming attraction includes a delightful ride on one of our sound equipped hay wagons, through the rolling hills of Arasapha Farm, which has been transformed into a winter wonderland filled with huge light displays, decorated trees and buildings, bridges and brooks. Come face to face with real, live Reindeer and see a beautifully animated Santa’s workshop. The hayride last about 20 minutes and is choreographed with all the favorite songs of the season. After the hay ride, relax by our bonfires or warm up with a cup of cocoa. This all new holiday hayride is perfect for all ages. Have your picture taken with Santa, and get an up close look at our famous live nativity scene that features real animals and actors. Choose from hundreds of beautiful, fresh cut Christmas Trees.

Philadelphia Zoo Noel

December 5 & December 6

December 12 & December 13

December 19 & December 20

Philadelphia Zoo transforms into a winter wonderland as Santa travels to exotic places around the globe for a holiday celebration! Embark on a scavenger hunt around the Zoo, encountering unique scenes of Mr. Claus exploring the world. The adventure will take you to the rainforest, the Outback, the Arctic, on safari, and home on the farm. Stop by the Treehouse to get your picture taken with Santa Claus himself,* and be sure to visit the Hot Chocolate Bar and Little Elves' Gift Shop. Enjoy crafts and activities, and take home a special gift!

Hanukkah Events

Lansdale Menorah Lighting
December 6th  at 6:00 in the Railroad Plaza (West Main & Green Streets).
The public is invited to Railroad Plaza on the first night of Hanukkah for the annual lighting of the Menorah.

Menorah Lighting at Suburban Square 
Sunday, December 6  at Sundown

Celebrate the beginning of Hanukkah with our annual menorah lighting and celebration.

Santa Events

December 19th 4-6pm

Fun for the whole family!! $15 admission for Skating, Marple Mountain, and Inflatables!
Santa will be on hand to take FREE photos with the family!
Who wouldn't want to come out and see Santa and his Elf on roller skates! It is sure to be a hoot!
Tickets can also be purchased in advance at our website under the online registration tab!

Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting in Kennett Sq.

Friday, Nov. 27th.

Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting on Friday, Nov. 27th. This year along with Santa and Mrs. Claus

Saturday, December 5th 10:00 AM

Along Lancaster Avenue & ending at the Wayne Hotel
Featuring Radnor High School Marching Band & Cheerleaders &
Valley Forge Military Academy Field Music Group
Visit with Santa on the Veranda of Wayne Hotel until 11:30 AM
Enjoy Fresh Baked Cookies and Hot Chocolate compliments of Paramour

Phoenixville Parade & Tree Lighting
December 4th

Join us for the annual Christmas Parade at 7pm.
The parade will take place between the 100 - 300 blocks of Bridge Street.
The tree lighting is around 8pm.

Friday December 4th

This annual West Chester tradition, hosted by the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, will kick off Friday, December 4th at 7:15 pm! The parade promises to provide a seasonal mix of traditional elements with a modern twist—local schools, businesses, volunteer fire companies, and other service organizations will join the many marching bands, floats, and antique vehicles that have cemented themselves as mainstays in the Old-Fashioned Christmas experience.

December 5th

The 2015 Coatesville Christmas Parade will march down Lincoln Highway in Coatesville Pennsylvania on Saturday December 5th at 10 AM.

December 12 

The Christmas Committee is working hard to bring you the best Christmas celebration ever. Come join us on Saturday, December 12 when Lancaster Avenue comes alive with the sights and sounds of Christmas! The Christmas Parade will be begin at 3:00 pm traveling from west to east along Lancaster Avenue.

December 13th

Parkesburg VFW Post 4480 hosts their 3rd annual Christmas parade, on December 13th at A. Duie Pyle. The parade steps off at 2pm, traveling down 1st Ave to the Parkesburg Fire House.

Friday November 27th at 5:00 PM

Santa arrives @ 6pm at the Court House
Makin' Music from 5-6pm

Santa's Parade & Fun Run/Walk in Downtown Media
Sunday November 29th at 5pm

Media's 2nd Annual Santa's State Street Fun Run & Walk will begin the festivities! It's open to all participants, no matter your age or ability. Dress up in your favorite holiday gear - as Santa, an elf, a Christmas tree, even light yourself up! Here's the best news, the event is FREE for everyone! Just bring either an unwrapped toy for the Toys For Tots drive OR canned goods for the Food Bank. The run will be followed by The 2nd Annual Santa's Parade. Dozens of magical floats and musical entertainment will get us all into the true Christmas spirit. And you know who will be our special guests, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, of course! 

Saturday, November 28th
at 10:30 am

Holiday Fun at Glen Eagle

Take a break from your Thanksgiving leftovers to join us for our annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 28th From 5:30–8:00 pm, spread the cheer with Santa, toy soldiers, music, food and more!

Santa Trades in his Sleigh for a Helicopter
December 12th

American Helicopter Museum

Come see Santa arrive by helicopter at 11:00 a.m.  to greet and meet with children.  Bring your own camera!  

Visit Santa at Santa's Village in Media

Location: Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union (FMFCU)

Skip the mall lines and visit Santa at Santa's Village located at Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union of Media. The dates are December 14th-23rd. Weekdays the times will be from 3 to 7 pm, weekends from 12-4pm, and an additional evening time of Saturday December 13th (2nd Saturday) from 6 to 9pm.

Breakfast With Santa

Breakfast with Santa at St Pius School
December 12th

Have breakfast with Santa and then visit the craft fair. 

Breakfast with Santa at the Brandywine Zoo
December 12th & 13th

Everyone knows Santa loves reindeer but many don’t know how much he loves the Brandywine Zoo animals. This breakfast event is extra special because you’ll get to dine with Santa! Breakfast is provided by Janssen’s Market and Brew Ha Ha. Share your holiday wishes and take your photo with Santa, make decorations and enjoy a few up-close animal encounters all before the zoo opens. Finish the morning by strolling through the zoo at your leisure to watch our zoo keepers work and see the animals eating their breakfast! Space is very limited for this event, so register early to reserve your spot!

Breakfast with Santa at Chester County Historical Society
December 5th

Two seating's: 8:30 am & 10:00 am
Must register for this event!

For more information, please contact the West Chester Parks and Recreation Department at 610-436-9010.

Brunch with Santa at the Springfield Country Club

December 13 & December 20th

Enjoy a yummy brunch with Santa.  Reservations required 

December 18th & 19th

The Upper Darby Summer Stage Shooting Stars – a performance group featuring the region’s most talented teens – brightens the holiday season with the family show.

Audiences of all ages will enjoy the Shooting Stars as they light up the stage with the annual Holiday Show


The Philadelphia Dance Academy’s Nutcracker is an expertly choreographed and beautifully executed masterpiece that is as family friendly as it is unique. This “Children’s Nutcracker” showcases the breadth of talent being cultivated within the studios of the academy, with soloist and semi-soloist roles being played by pre-teen and teen ballerina’s in training.

There will be four performances that will take place at the Mandell Theater at Drexel University Philadelphia, PA

Friday December 18th 7:00pm
Saturday, December 20th 12:30pm, 3:00pm and 6:00pm

December 11 10 a.m.
December 12 12 p.m. & 4 p.m.
December 13 6 p.m.
December 17 10 a.m.
December 19 12 p.m. & 4 p.m.
December 20 2 p.m.

Performance are at The Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, West Chester University

A magical tea time with the cast!

Sat, Dec 12th, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Sat, Dec 19th, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Sun, Dec 20th, 2015 at 12:30 pm

Join Clara, The Sugar Plum Fairy and many other characters of The Nutcracker for a special pre-performance tea party full of delights! Enjoy tea sandwiches, fruit tray, cookies, favors and don't forget to bring your camera! The Tea is held at The Philips Memorial Library. Simply walk downstairs to the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall for the performance of The Nutcracker!

December 11th - 31st

Be enchanted by the Philadelphia region's most beloved holiday tradition,George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™. For 45 years, families have created yuletide memories with Pennsylvania Ballet's production of this classic tale. The simple story of a girl, a gift, and a fanciful dream is made magical by opulent sets and costumes by Peter Horne and Judanna Lynn and the impassioned artistry of Pennsylvania Ballet dancers. The renowned Philadelphia Boys Choir raises their voices with the magnificent Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra to bring Tschaikovsky's unforgettable score to life.

Tea with the Sugarplum Fairy
Join the star of Philadelphia's most anticipated holiday tradition for a magical afternoon of tea and tutus. Enjoy a delectable buffet and photo opportunity with the Sugarplum Fairy and experience a captivating matinee performance of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™! .

Sunday, December 13 at 2:30 pm

Saturday, December 19 at 12 pm

Theater/ Holiday Shows

December 4th -27th

This year marks our 23rd annual presentation of the classic Dickens tale about the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge from miser to man who honors Christmas in his heart, as adapted by internationally known playwright Nagle Jackson. Come find out why this has become a Delaware Valley holiday tradition.

Murray the Elf and the Case of the Terrifying Tinsel
December 18th - 27th

Act II Playhouse in Ambler presents the world premiere of Murray the Elf and the Case of the Terrifying Tinsel, a new comedy for kids and their families, from Dec.18-27

Jack Frost at the Media Theater

November 21st - January 3rd

Father Winter retires and little Jack Frost has to make sure the holiday comes. But everything he touches turns to ice. Will he be able to bring Christmas to town? For ages 4 and up. Songs include "Christmastown Countdown", "Rompin' Reindeer", and "Gifts Are For Giving"

December 24th - January 4th
Grab your Mickey ears and get ready for the ultimate Disney experience at Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt! Be charmed by a cast of over 50, with Mouse-ter of Ceremonies Mickey Mouse, sweetheart Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Disney Princesses including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White and Tiana. Relive the magic of Disney’s Frozen with Anna, Elsa and the hilarious Olaf as they discover that true love is the greatest magic of all. Sing-along to over 30 unforgettable songs including “Let It Go,” “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” and “Hakuna Matata.” Exciting moments from Disney Pixar’s Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Disney’s The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdinand more will leave the whole family with memories to last a lifetime. Show off your moves at the Disney Magic of Healthy Living dance-along pre-show inspired by the Disney Healthy Living commitment as the celebration of the century skates into your hometown!

Train Rides With Santa

Santa’s Paradise Express
November 27th - December 2oth

Santa himself will climb aboard and visit with families as they travel down the tracks to Paradise, PA and back.
November 27, 28, 29
Dec 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20
11AM, 1PM, 3PM
Additional 5PM departures on 12, 13, 19, 20
All aboard Santa's Express! Join Santa for a 90 minute journey on our heated decorated train through the Chester Creek Valley. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be greeting everyone at Market Street Station and then going along for the ride to Glen Mills. Once at Glen Mills passengers can disembark and explore the historic station. There are plenty of photo opportunities on Santa's lap inside the station. Remember your cameras! Upon return to West Chester, all passengers receive treats from Santa!

The Polar Express on The Delaware River Railroad
Inspired by the run-away hit movie produced by Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. and the award winning book by Chris Van Allsburg, this holiday favorite comes to life as you and your family take a ride on The Polar Express.
Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, families are sure to enjoy their trip complete with hot chocolate and cookies served on board the train. Passengers will then be entertained by a reading of the Polar Express. Santa will greet the children and each child will receive their own sleigh bell, just like in the movie, to those who BELIEVE.
Experience the joy of singing songs with our roaming hobos, be amazed at our Juggling Chef and make your wishes in person to Santa himself!

Saturdays & Sundays between Thanksgiving & Christmas 

Why stand in line at the mall and wait to see Santa, when you can ride our train and have Santa come to you? The Jolly Old Elf himself rides the train and greets everyone on board, and gives all children a chocolate treat. Be sure to bring your camera and have Santa pose for pictures with your child during this 1½-hour round-trip to Ashland.

Ice Skating

Blue Cross River Rink
Opens November 27th

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation is proud to continue to present a wintertime tradition in Philadelphia, as the Blue Cross River Rink will re-open for a 21st season on November 27th .
The Blue Cross River Rink at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia’s only outdoor public ice rink, is located on Columbus Boulevard at Market Street.

Call 215-925-RINK for current rink and weather conditions

Christmas Lights

Rose Tree Park Festival of Lights
The Festival of Lights runs 5:30-9:30 pm nightly Dec. 5 through Jan. 3 in Rose Tree Park, Route 252, in Upper Providence.  Free admission. For information contact the Department of Parks and Recreation at 610-565-7410

Christmas at Longwood Gardens
November 26th - January 10th

Half a million outdoor lights and holiday magic await you during Longwood's incomparable Christmas display. Enjoy dazzling trees and seasonal concerts. The Music Room hosts a special, themed holiday display. Kids of all ages will delight in a miniature Garden Railway decked out for the holidays. Thousands of poinsettias accented with amaryllis, artemesia, begonias, cyclamen, hybrid lilies, kalanchoes, paperwhites, red-berried plants and many other flowers flourish inside acres of heated glass conservatories. Living wreaths, swags and live floral trees adorn rooms throughout the Conservatory. Included in Gardens admission.

Holiday Light Show and Dickens Village Macy's Center City

THE 2015 CHRISTMAS LIGHT SHOW runs hourly from the day after Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve day check website for times. The DICKENS VILLAGE (Floor 3) is open continuously during the same period from 10am to 7pm.

November 24, 2015 – January 3, 2016
Daily, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
15-minute shows at the top of each hour
(Shows are not presented on weekdays at 5:00 p.m.)

The magic of the holidays come alive in “The Comcast Holiday Spectacular,” a must-see holiday tradition in Philadelphia, entertaining people of all ages and spreading holiday cheer.

Herr's Christmas Snacktacular

December 12-19
Take a ride in the comfort of you car and drive through the beautiful light displays on the Herr's property.

Franklin Square Holiday Festival
Experience the magic of the holidays and celebrate traditions new and old at the Franklin Square Holiday Festival. From November 12 - December 31, dazzle in the lights of the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show; warm up with comfort food, local beers, and hot beverages at Ben's Bites & Brews; and shop for handmade, artisanal gifts at the Holiday Market.

Seaport Parade of Lights
December 12th

Independence Seaport Museum annual Parade of Lights returns to the Delaware River on December 12 at 5:30 p.m. The lighted boat parade features our working port, with tugboats and other vessels decorated in lights. Before the parade, spend the day inside the Museum for holiday activities and entertainment. Museum visitors will get the best view of the parade from the 2nd floor balcony overlooking the Delaware River.

Malvern's Victorian Christmas
December 4th & 5th

Get in the holiday spirit with caroling, a puppet show, a jazz ensemble, bake sale, Santa visit, tree lighting, horse and carriage rides, hayrides, gingerbread house making and much more

2015 Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farm
Open EVERY NIGHT from Nov. 21 through Jan. 10
5 pm to 10 pm

Experience the magic of more than 3 million lights illuminating acres of farmland at the Shady Brook Farm 2015 Holiday Light Show!
Encounter whimsical holiday displays and familiar characters.
Drive through in the comfort of your own car or enjoy the show on an open air wagon ride (weather permitting).
Warm up with a cup of hot cocoa and and cook up some s’mores at a toasty bonfire (cocoa, marshmallows, and more treats available for purchase in the Farm Market).

Amusement Parks

Sesame Place A Very Furry Christmas

November 21st - December 31st

A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place! For a one-of-a-kind family-friendly celebration with everyone's favorite furry friends. The fun starts with 3 special Christmas shows, awesome music and twinkling lights all around. Plus, you'll find more than 300 Christmas trees, including a huge celebratory tree decorated Sesame Street-style. The street will glow with festivities and come to life at night with our illuminated Street Party Parade. And the fun continues with a special Christmas menu, super holiday shopping and, of course, a visit with Santa.

Dutch Winter Wonderland

November 21st - December 30th

Dutch Winter Wonderland offers themed rides, games, and holiday entertainment under thousands of twinkling lights! Indoor activities include cookie decorating, voting for your favorite gingerbread house, and sharing holiday wishes with Santa. 

Hershey Park Christmas Candyland

November 13th - December 31st

The magic of the holidays comes to life at Hersheypark Christmas Candylane. With two million twinkling lights, rides for all ages, festive decorations, and Hershey's Product Characters decked out in their holiday best, there is something for all to enjoy! 

Christmas Candylane features many attractions for guests of all ages including over 30 rides including the family-favorite, Twilight Express