2020 Holiday and Christmas Events Guide for the Philadelphia Area


Our comprehensive guide of holiday and Christmas events lets you and your family fully embrace all of the holiday spirit available in Delaware County and the surrounding area. Please visit the website of the place you would like to visit before leaving home for cost and COVID guidelines. Visitor capacity is often limited, and most locations require you to purchase tickets in advance. The list below is just suggestions, please use your own discretion to decide what is best for your family during these unusual times.

Happy Holidays from Fun Things.

On-Going Holiday Events

November 21–January 3

This year, one of the Brandywine Valley’s most spectacular holiday showcases will dazzle you indoors and outdoors. Warm yourself by the fire pit and enjoy some s’mores; watch our 3D light show* displayed on the outside of the house (December 1–12); hop on our Kids' tram and take in the festive outdoor decorations; and explore the Conservatory and entertaining rooms on the fifth floor of the house with a self-guided tour, where you can revel in the breathtaking trees and dazzling room displays.

And that’s just the beginning! There will be many exciting programs and events throughout the season to make this an exceptional holiday. Winterthur will be open on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Purchase tickets online using the Reserve Now buttons under the events below or call 800.448.3883. 

 December 4 through January  3

Visit Hagley this holiday season and see the property decked out for the holidays and enjoy various activities.  Including Hagley's annual Gingerbread House Competition, Santa visits, and much more.
Holiday Magic Brandywine River Museum
October 31- January 10 (Temporarily Closed till 1/4/21)

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.

We transform the Garden Center into a Winter Wonderland, featuring Santa and his Elves, handmade wreaths, greens and holly, and a sea of poinsettias. Shop an enormous selection of timeless holiday decorations, children’s toys, and collectibles you won't find anywhere else!

November 27th - 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.

November 26 - December 24

Christmas Village in Philadelphia is an outside Holiday market event in Center City Philadelphia, which is modeled after the traditional Christmas Markets in Germany.

Vendors in more than 60 wooden booths will sell traditional European food, sweets, and drinks. They will also offer a great shopping experience with international holiday gifts, ornaments, jewelry, and high-quality arts and crafts.

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.

Santa Events and Parades
December 5th

Welcome the Holiday Season in Wayne
Join the Wayne Business Association as we welcome Santa to town! We hope you and your family will join us for our Annual Christmas in Wayne 2020 Edition!FREE Take Your Own Socially Distant Santa Pictures

Santa's Stroll Through Downtown Media
Sunday, November 29th, 4-5pm

Before we know it, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be upon us! Of course, we can't plan our traditional Santa's Parade in Media this year, but that doesn't mean you won't see lots of holiday cheer! Your Santa's Parade Committee is planning an extraordinary, socially-distant, drive-by event throughout the entire Borough! The star of the show, of course, Santa Claus! 

November 28th
at 11:30 am-4pm

Join Santa and Mrs. Claus for a day of live music and pre-booked, socially-distant photo experiences! Things will be a little different this year, but the holiday magic remains the same.

Dec 12th – Dec 13th

As we approach the holiday season, we wanted to announce that the Garden City Fire Company will be continuing tradition and hosting our annual Christmas Float! This year’s float will be hitting the streets on December 12th and 13th! As hectic as this year has been, Santa is very excited to see everybody again this year! 

Holiday Concerts and Shows

Dates to be announced
Virtual Event

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.

December 8- January 3rd
Virtual Event

A stellar ensemble of local artists join forces for a joyous, music-filled celebration of Charles Dickens' beloved classic. Hosted by renowned actor Ian Merrill Peakes, this filmed concert event features performances of newly arranged 19th-century English carols, original music, and readings of excerpts from Dickens' novella.


$20 Streaming “Ticket” Fee per streaming link; fees may apply

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 to the land of the sweets to meet fascinating citizens from throughout the world! From a family holiday party to an exciting battle with toy soldiers and mice, 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! 

The Philadelphia Dance Academy’s Nutcracker

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 semi-soloist roles being played by pre-teen and teen ballerina’s in training.

Sunday, December 13 at 12 PM

Description: Virtual Nutcracker 2020!
Classical ballet variations and II act of the Nutcracker.

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.

Train Rides With Santa

December 4th, 11th, 12th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th,21st, and 22nd

All aboard for Strasburg Rail Road's Night Before Christmas Train! Passengers aboard this train enjoy the childlike anticipation of Christmas Eve, recall the old-fashioned nostalgia of Christmas past, and delight in the magic of an authentic steam train during the holidays.

Santa’s Paradise Express

November 21st- December 24th

Santa Claus welcomes you and passengers of all ages aboard America's oldest operating railroad for a truly magical steam train and Christmas experience!

December 4th -23rd

Santa is stepping out of his busy workshop to take an extraordinary trolley ride aboard the Strasburg Rail Road this Christmas season! Make your child's visit with Santa an especially unique memory to be cherished for a lifetime.

Nov 21, 22, 27, 28, 29
Dec 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20
11AM, 1PM, 3PM
Additional 5PM departures: Dec 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20
All aboard Santa's Express! Join Santa for a 75-minute journey on our heated decorated train through the Chester Creek Valley. Santa will be greeting everyone at Market Street Station and then going along for the ride to Glen Mills and return. Santa will be visiting all passengers while on the train. Make sure you bring your holiday lists with you so Santa can check them twice! Passengers will also enjoy live entertainment onboard from Greg Wright and friends!

Trips run November 27, 28, 29
December 4,5,6,11,12,13,18,19,20

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 and Sundays November 27th  - 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 27th- March 7th

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 26th 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

Winter at Dilworth Park
November 6th – February 28

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

PHestivaL of Trees
November 27, 28 and 29
Philly Expo Center

Festive holiday drive-thru family event featuring 200 uniquely decorated holiday trees, a live nativity scene, Hanukkah menorah, Kwanza imagery, 40 feet live decorated tree, drone light show, and Santa himself. 

The Festival of Lights runs 5:30-9:30 pm nightly December 4th 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 2oth - 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, 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

Since 1861, generations of children have enjoyed the magic of a visit with the one-and-only Santa Claus at Macy’s. That cherished holiday tradition will continue this year in a new way through Macy’s Santaland® at Home. Beginning Friday, November 27 through Thursday, December 24the magic of Macy’s Santaland will be transformed into an interactive, virtual experience for the first time ever. for the first time ever To safely bring the wonder of this cherished holiday tradition to families nationwide, Macy’s Santaland’s in-store experience will be available through an immersive and whimsical digital-only engagement available at macys.com/Santaland

Herr's Christmas Lights
November 25th- January 2nd

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

West Chester Griswolds
November 26 - January 3rd

 The lights will start on Thanksgiving night (November 26).    We will run through at least January 3, 2021.  We look forward to seeing everyone and have some exciting new stuff planned for this year.  We will also accept letters to Santa again this year (There may be some minor changes due to COVID).

Winter in Franklin Square 
November 19th- December 31st

Winter in Franklin Square presented by Citizens featuring the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show presented by PECO brings sparkling lights and winter magic.
Residents and visitors alike can enjoy the magic of the holidays with health and safety protocols, expanded seating, and plenty of fresh air to enjoy new and old traditions.

November 20 - December 30

Elmwood Park Zoo’s favorite family tradition, Wild Lights, returns this holiday season! With new lights and decorative attractions and more animals on exhibit, this year’s Wild Lights is sure to be brighter than ever! Take a stroll through “Oh” Christmas Tree, and be surrounded by a glistening forest, or visit with our big cats in Trail of the Jumping Jaguar. Each night of Wild Lights features live entertainment, unique animal encounters, performances, holiday music, and a chance to see Santa himself.

Virtual Seaport Parade of Lights
December 12th

Join Independence Seaport Museum (virtually) on Saturday, December 12 at 5:30 p.m. for Parade of Lights' return!  While it won't exactly be what you are used to, this virtual presentation will be sure to put you and your family in the holiday spirit.

Debuting on our social media platforms (and YouTube) at 5:30 p.m., the video will include fun holiday activities that can be done at home, cocktail (and mocktail!) recipes for everyone in your household, and, of course, a pre-recorded parade of boats decked out in their holiday finest parading along the Delaware River. 

November 27 - January 3

Feel the glow of holidays past and present as you step into an illuminated escape with your friends, family, and loved ones. Sprung just steps from Wells Fargo Center, Winter on Broad Street: A Holiday Light Spectacular! Presented by Dietz & Watson welcomes you to find the magic of the season as you meander through 193 larger-than-life light sculptures and displays. Indulge in yuletide confections and fill your senses with your favorite holiday traditions.
With seasonal surprises along the path, every inch of this twinkling wonderland comes to life for winter lovers of all ages.

Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farm
Open EVERY NIGHT from Nov. 21through 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 Holiday Light Show! Encounter whimsical holiday displays and familiar characters.
Drive through in the comfort of your own car or enjoy the show in a private open-air wagon ride (weather permitting).

November 19th - January 10th

This year, Peddler’s Village will celebrate the holiday season with a million lights on display in the Village, holiday shopping, food, and beverage specials. Also at Peddler’s this year: The Gingerbread Competition & Display returns with more than 70 creative entries (November 19, 2020 – January 9, 2021), and families can participate in Elf on the Stealth, an outdoor walking tour where visitors join Mrs. Clause in search of a missing elf (November 20, 2020 – January 10, 2021, weekends only).

Rockwood Park Display
December 4-6, 6-9 p.m.

Festive drive-through holiday light displays at Rockwood Park
Featuring colorful twinkling lights, holiday decorations, Santa sightings, and delightful surprises all from the comfort of your car on selected nights! All ages. FREE

Lights will remain on for drive-throughs following opening weekend for continued enjoyment.

This 1.5-mile journey through Old Mill Stream Campground is the perfect way to experience the magic of the season! Take in whimsical scenes, hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights, and special surprises all from the comfort of your car.

Want to extend your visit? After you exit Old Mill Stream Campground, stop by the Dutch Wonderland castle for some holiday shopping, a cup of hot cocoa, and a socially-distanced photo with Santa! Plus, included with your admission, take a ride aboard Dutch Wonderland's famous Wonderland Special train!

The holiday season comes to life as you drive your car through the Winter in Wilmington Light Show on Wilmington’s Riverfront. Thousands of lights make up this dazzling show. Dash through this electric trail in your one-horse open sleigh as there is so much to see! Your family will love the animated installations, interactive music, and holiday cheer. Create a new family tradition this year with The Grand’s Winter in Wilmington Light Show! Pay by the carload at $25 per vehicle*.

Starting November 27 10am-8pm, every day 
Visit our FREE Holiday Lights Walk
Christmas Trees, Wreaths, Poinsettias, and Holiday Decor for sale 
And don’t forget to bring your letters to Santa!!

Amusement Parks

Sesame Place A Very Furry Christmas

November 21st - January 3rd

A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place® is a festive, family-friendly celebration with everyone’s favorite Sesame Street® friends. The park is transformed into a one-of-a-kind Christmas wonderland with millions of twinkling lights and festive decorations all around.
At the center of our 1-2-3 Christmas Tree show is a 30-foot fully-illuminated pixel-based tree that will project festive animated images. At the same time, guests can dance along to a festive holiday soundtrack – all making for the ultimate light show experience!
Sing along at two special Christmas shows and take a train ride tour through the Twiddlebugs’ Gingerbread Cookie Factory on the Sesame Place Furry Express!

Hershey Park Christmas Candyland

November 13th - January 3rd

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! 

Fun Things to Do With Kids is not responsible for and can not be held liable for any of the events or activities posted on this blog. Events and activities are posted for informational purposes only. We do not guarantee the accuracy of the times, dates, or locations of activities and events. We also do not guarantee that you and your kids will have fun, but we hope you will.


All the contents on this website and all social media platforms are provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is intended to offer guidance regarding venues and businesses that are reopening. The ultimate judgment regarding any specific activity is yours. We do not take any responsibility for any decision you make with the information provided on this website and on our social media platforms. We are not medical doctors or professionals, nor do we have any medical or scientific training, education, or experience. You should follow government guidelines for safe practices for yourself and your family members before making any decisions relating to any activities that are outside your home.