Holiday Event Guide for the Philadelphia Area 2019


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

November 23–January 5

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!

 November 23rd  through January 1st

The 1803 du Pont family ancestral home, Eleutherian Mills, will feature holiday decorations and interpretation of the French traditions of exchanging gifts on New Year’s Day and the celebration of Twelfth Night. Experience the du Pont ancestral home decorated for the holidays and "The Magic of Miniatures” exhibition, featuring a whimsically detailed dollhouse inhabited by miniature teddy bears!

A Brandywine Christmas at Brandywine River Museum
November 29th - January 5th

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 and holly, decorations, fruit and gift baskets, Christmas gifts, hot mulled cider & children's crafts.

November 21st -December 3oth

Starting November 21, search for 57 hidden Santas (one for each year we have been open) and watch as Santa’s sleigh flies above the 1,700 square foot model train extravaganza, including 150 hand-built animations and 22 moving trains. 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.

November 29th - December 31st

Visitors of all ages will be wowed 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 pine cone seeds for shingles, acorns as finials, and twigs as downspouts.

Special Holiday Events

Caroling Hayrides
Saturday Evenings in December  (7, 14, and 21) 

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

Narberth Dickens Festival 
Sunday, December 8th  Noon – 4 pm

The Narberth Dickens Festival is a free family event held each December on the streets of downtown Narberth. It draws thousands to this little borough every year, and it has become the fastest-growing holiday festival in the Philadelphia area. In this Dickens-themed event, the town of Narberth is transformed into 1840's London, as Ebenezer Scrooge and all the characters from A Christmas Carol roam the streets for an afternoon.

November 29th- December 23rd

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 lasts about 20 minutes and is choreographed with all the favorite songs of the season. After the hayride, 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.

Santa Events and Parades

Friday, Nov. 29th at 6:00pm

Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting. 

December 6th and 7th

Pictures with Reinder and Winter Carriage Rides 
Santa arrives and Tree lighting – 7:30pm.

Santa Parade along Lancaster Avenue and ending at Wayne Hotel – 10:00 am
Santa rides into Wayne with the Radnor Fire Co. and meets with children on the veranda of the Wayne Hotel until 11:30 am

Santa's Parade and Fun Run/Walk in Downtown Media
Sunday, December 1st at 5pm

Media's 6th Annual Santa's State Street Fun Run and Walk will begin the festivities at 3pm! 

The run will be followed by The 6th 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!
The parade begins at 5 sharp!

Saturday, December 7th
at 11:00 am

Calling all Good Girls and Boys!  Be at Suburban Square when Santa and Mrs. Claus make a grand entrance in a horse-drawn carriage.  Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on their throne from 11:30 am to 4:00 pm to learn all about your wish list.  You and your family will be entertained by a balloon artist, and magician from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  You will receive a complimentary printed photo taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus to keep and treasure for years to come.  And there's more!!!!!  Kids' Crafts, a candy cane girl, and hot chocolate, a musical performance by the Lower Merion High School Jazz Band.  Santa will be waiting for you!   And it's all FREE!

Holiday Fun at Glen Eagle
Saturday, Nov. 30th at 5:30pm

Glen Eagle Square welcomes the community to join us for our annual holiday event and tree lighting on Saturday, November 30th, from 5:30 - 8:30. Be there early to see Santa’s arrival on the fire truck and catch our first annual pet parade. The tree will light-up at 6:00 pm. Bring an unwrapped gift for a child (age 3-6) in need and get a complimentary photo with Santa. There will be food, drinks, live music, carriage rides around the center, a stilt walker, face painter, magician, balloon artist, and a face sketcher! 

December 14th
at the American Helicopter Museum

The Museum brings Santa via helicopter and Mrs. Claus to West Chester for its annual SantaFest on Saturday, December 8, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Santa lands at 11 a.m. to greet good girls and boys, hear wish lists and distribute goodie bags. He visits each one in his colorful workshop in the museum.

Friday, December 6th

This annual West Chester tradition, hosted by the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, will kick off Friday, December 6th 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.

Covenant's Polar Express Milk & Cookies Pajama Party with Santa

Sunday, December 8th, 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM
All Aboard Covenant’s Polar Express, if you believe. Please join us for Milk & Cookies, Pizza, crafts, fellowship, and a visit from St. Nicholas himself. Professional photographers will be on hand to capture the moments at no charge. Photos can be taken of your children on Santa’s lap as well as at our Polar Express backdrop.

Polar Espresso with Santa in Havertown
December 21st at 10:00 AM

FREE Event. No ticket required. Bring the little ones for story readings and holiday songs—photos with Santa. New Avenue Cafe will be open with coffee, tea, and a light brunch menu. Doors open at 10:00 am. Santa arrives at 11:00. Parking in Oakmont Municipal lot behind Kelly Center off Darby Road. Polar Espresso with Santa 

Breakfast With Santa

Breakfast with Santa at the Brandywine Zoo
December 14th and 15th

Celebrate the holidays by enjoying a pancake breakfast with Santa. Share your holiday wishes with Santa and bring your camera to take photos. Make decorations and enjoy a few up-close animal encounters, all before the zoo opens. Plus, watch a few animals get their breakfast! Space is minimal for this event, so please register early.

Breakfast with Santa at Chester County Historical Society
ecember 7th

Enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast with Santa! Children get to sit with Santa, share their Christmas lists, and of course, take photos.
Must register for this event!

Brunch with Santa at the Springfield Country Club

December 8th, 10am and 2pm.

December 15th, 10am and 2pm.
December 22nd, 10am and 2pm.

Enjoy a yummy brunch with Santa.  Reservations required 

Saint Pius X Annual Christmas Bazaar And Breakfast with Santa

December 7th

Save the date for the 2019 Christmas Bazaar and Breakfast with Santa at Saint Pius! Over 45 crafters and vendors will be sharing in our event this year, and of course, Santa Clause himself will be making his debut!

Eastern Pennsylvania Robotics Alliance hosts Breakfast with Santa.
Saturday, December 21, 9 AM – 12 PM

Celebrate the season with a visit with the big man himself before he starts the hard work of delivering presents around the world!

Enjoy breakfast, robot demonstrations, hands-on STEM activities, and lots of holiday cheer.

Feel free to take your own holiday photos!

Holiday Concerts

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.


Upper Darby Performing Arts Center presents The Nutcracker Performed by PA Academy of Ballet Society.

November 22 at 7PM
November 23 at 11 AM and 3 PM
November 24 at 1:30 PM and 5:30 PM

The classically trained dancers of the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet Society offer a professional-level production of The Nutcracker that is popularly priced for all family members to enjoy. The ninety-minute performance is ideal for young audience members ages 4 to 94! Take a journey with Marie to the kingdom of snow and the sweet land to meet fascinating citizens from throughout the world! From a family holiday party to an exciting battle with toy soldiers and mice, to dancing snowflakes, and even a Sugar Plum Fairy, this affordable yet finely produced production of The Nutcracker, featuring the beautiful music by Tchaikovsky, will be the ideal way to kick-off the holiday season! Performances take place the weekend before Thanksgiving.

The Philadelphia Dance Academy’s Nutcracker
December 14th and 15th 

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

December 13 - 10 a.m.
December 14 - 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
December 15- 2 p.m.
December 19 - 10 a.m.
December 21 - 12 p.m. and 4p.m.
December 22 - 2 p.m.

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

What would the holidays be without George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®? Whether it’s your first or thirty-first time seeing Pennsylvania Ballet’s production of the classic, watching the timeless story brought to life is always a delight. From a festive family party to the exciting battle between the Nutcracker and the Mouse King and the delectable journey through the Land of Sweets, Marie’s magical story is thrilling for the young – and young at heart.

Tea with the Sugarplum Fairy

Sunday, December 14th at 2:00 pm

Saturday, December 15th at 2:0 pm

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™!

December 14th and 15th at 2pm

Description:'Tis, the season for magic, family, and fun as the beauty and joy of the Nutcracker Ballet comes alive once again at the beautiful 300-seat Fred P. Meagher Theatre at Neumann University in Aston, PA. International Ballet Classique presents two full-length performances, and a Sensory Friendly Abridged on December 8th at 11am

Theater/ Holiday Shows

November 29th - December 24th

This year marks our 28th 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.

Jack Frost at the Media Theater
Sundays at Noon from Nov. 24 through Dec. 29

The rollicking, merry, and heartfelt musical is all about a unique boy because everything he touches turns to ice. Jack Frost appears out of a snowbank and meets four humorous animals: a rabbit, a polar bear, a penguin, and a raccoon. He then escapes from the North Pole and finds himself in a ‘mistaken identity’ situation. 

December 27th - January 5th

Exciting twists and turns await as Mickey, Minnie -- and you -- embark on a wild ride to your favorite Disney destinations.  See the world from the rooftops of London, travel to the sun-soaked Motunui, set off on a safari to the Pride Lands, and play at a larger-than-life carnival with Woody and Forky.  Join us for a fun-filled getaway jam-packed with unexpected hijinks and up-close character interactions — right in your hometown!

On one remarkable Christmas Eve, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts who show him the past, present—and possible future. You and your favorite kids are in for a treat with a special hour-long musical adaptation for kids that uses traditional songs to highlight Dickens’ magical story. Deck the halls as our holiday spirits travel beyond the footlights, right into your very own heart.

Fairytales collide in our brand new holiday panto — Robin Hood is dead, his merry men are in hiding, and Nottinghamshire is taken over by a greedy villainess. (Gasp!) Can a new hero, or heroine, emerge from Sherwood Forest and save the day? Set in the 1940s with a medieval dash, this hilarious, musical mashup is our most inventive panto yet.

Train Rides With Santa

Night Before Christmas Train

December 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 18th, 19th, 20th,21st, and 22nd

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 23rd - December 22nd

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

Nov 23, 24, 29, 30
Dec 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22
11AM, 1PM, 3PM
                                                      Additional 5PM departures: Dec 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22
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!

Trips run November 23,24,25, 30 
December 1,2,7,8,9,14,15,16

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 motion picture soundtrack sounds, 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 and Sundays November 29th  - December 23rd

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, 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 Winter Fest
Opens November 29th- March 8th

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 the 25th season on November 23rd.
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

Winter at Dilworth Park
November 8, 2019 – February 23, 2020

Come to ice skate at the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink, relax with a warm seasonal beverage at the Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin, stroll through the seasonal plant arrangements in the Wintergarden, view the dazzling Deck the Hall Holiday Light Show, and shop for gifts at the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market.

Christmas Lights

Rose Tree Park Festival of Lights
The Festival of Lights runs 5:30-9:30 pm nightly December 6th through Jan. 1st in Rose Tree Park, Route 252, in Upper Providence.  Free admission. For information, contact the Department of Parks and Recreation at 610-891-4455

Christmas at Longwood Gardens
November 22nd - January 5th

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, artemisia, begonias, cyclamen, hybrid lilies, kalanchoes, paperwhites, red-berried plants, etc 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 2019 CHRISTMAS LIGHT SHOW runs hourly from the day after Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve day; check the website for times. The DICKENS VILLAGE (Floor 3) is open continuously during the same period from 10am to 7pm.

November 22nd  – January 1st
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 Lights

November 27th- January 2nd

Take a ride in the comfort of your car and drive through the beautiful light displays on the Herr's property.

Franklin Square Holiday Festival
November 14th- December 31st

Experience the magic of the holidays and celebrate traditions new and old at the Franklin Square Holiday Festival. From November 9 - December 31st, 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 7th

Independence Seaport Museum's annual Parade of Lights returns to the Delaware River on December 7th. The lighted boat parade features our working port, with tugboats and other vessels decorate within 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.

Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farm
Open EVERY NIGHT from Nov. 23 through Jan. 5
5 pm to 10 pm

Experience the magic of more than 3 million lights illuminating acres of farmland at the Shady Brook Farm 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 cook up some s’mores at a toasty bonfire (cocoa, marshmallows, and more treats available for purchase in the Farm Market).

LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo
November 20 - January 5
Wednesdays and Thursdays

LumiNature, a fantastical new winter light experience set to transform the Zoo, will take guests on a magical journey of illuminations, music, sound, and surprises.

Amusement Parks

Sesame Place A Very Furry Christmas

November 23rd - January 1st

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 23rd - 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 15th - January 1st

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!