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Christmas is one of the best times of the year in Philadelphia. There are so many fun things to do for the holidays. Our favorite part of the season is checking out the Philadelphia Christmas lights. Some spots have become an annual tradition while new, amazing displays are added each year. We love seeing them all.
We’ve put together this list of some of the best Christmas lights in the city and beyond—from the top attractions to spectacular displays at private homes.
Dilworth Park puts on a great free show at the holidays. From November 21, 2022 through New Year’s Day, the Deck the Hall Holiday Lights projection lights up the western side of City Hall.
Synchronized to sound effects, the free show is an engaging event that stops passersby in their tracks every year. It runs from 5pm -9pm daily with a full show beginning at the top of every hour. Location: City Hall, 1 S. 15th Street
Between November 19 and Christmas Eve, LOVE Park transforms into the Christmas Village, a traditional German Christmas market complete with bratwurst, mulled wine, nutcrackers, and other German-inspired elements.
There are vendors whose chalets are lit for the season—both with regular lights and with glowing Herrnhut (Moravian) stars. Between the sights, music, and tastes of the market, the whole experience is pretty magical. It’s one of the most fun ways to spend Christmas in Philadelphia. Location: LOVE Park, 1501 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
For over 60 years, the Macy’s Christmas Light Show has been a tradition in Center City. The show takes place in the Grand Court, the main area of the Market Street department store. Thanks to the size of the display, the lights are visible from every floor, so you don’t have to crowd the main floor to see it.
During the show, over 100,000 multicolored LED lights dance to the music in the form of holiday characters. The Wanamaker organ—the largest pipe organ in the world—offers the soundtrack with songs like Frosty the Snowman, The Nutcracker, and Deck the Halls. Seeing the show is one of the best free things in the city at Christmas.
The show runs November 25-December 31, 2022. Location: Macy’s, 1300 Market St.
Peddler’s Village takes on a special glow during the holidays. As soon as the sun goes down, its 1 million lights come on. Across the shopping center, the trees, gazebo, and buildings are lit along with special displays for the season. One of the best lights displays in Bucks County, they turn on November 18, 2022 and stay through January 8, 2023. Location: Peddler’s Village, Routes 202 & 263 in Lahaska
Every night from November 16, 2022 through January 8, 2023, the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show lights up Franklin Square on the hour and half-hour from 5:00 to 9:00pm. The more than 100,000 lights are set to seasonal music, which makes the show even more engaging.
During the 15-minute show, the lights dance and weave their way across the square. In the center is a 12-foot-tall, illuminated kite, a tribute to the square’s namesake Ben Franklin and his famous kite electricity experiment. The scene never disappoints. (The show continues with limited hours January 12 through February 26, 2023.) Location: Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street
Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular
From November 25, 2022 to December 31, 2022, the grounds of the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks transform into a winter wonderland. From an ice-skating rink to a seasonal pub and even a market, there are lots of fun holiday experiences.
The centerpiece of the Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular is the lights. A massive, illuminated tunnel and hundreds of sculptures are lit with more than 1 million Christmas lights in a display you have to see to believe. Location: The Fairground at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Ave. in Oaks
Blue Cross RiverRink
At Blue Cross RiverRink’s Winterfest, you can be as active as you want to be. Lace up your skates and take a spin around the rink or hang out by the fire with a snack underneath thousands of sparkling lights. Either option is a great way to enjoy the winter activities.
Guests can enjoy the Christmas tree decked out in lights and light-strewn cozy cabins that are available by reservation. Winterfest is happening November 25, 2022 through March 5, 2023. Location: Penn’s Landing, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.
Shady Brook Farm
There’s nowhere quite like Shady Brook Farm at Christmas. This 100-year-old farm has over 3 million lights in its drive-thru Holiday Light Show. With tunnels and every Christmas character imaginable from dancing reindeer to the Grinch, a visit here is a highlight of the season in Bucks County. Tune to 90.7FM to enjoy holiday music along with the lights.
Visitors can drive their own vehicle or join a wagon ride to see the light trail. Visits with Santa, s’mores kits, snacks, and adult beverages are also available. The festivities run November 19, 2022 through January 28, 2023. Location: Shady Brook Farm, 931 Stony Hill Road in Yardley
Rittenhouse Square Park
Take a break from shopping to enjoy the lights of Rittenhouse Square Park. The trees are filled with white lights and floating orbs that give everything a magical glow. Don’t miss the beautiful Christmas tree at the center of it all. Location: Rittenhouse Square Park, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square
Boathouse Row Festival of Lights
Iconic Boathouse Row lights up in the colors of the season celebrating different traditions beginning on December 18, 2022. The first display for Hanukkah continues through December 23. December 24 and 25 feature the colors of Christmas, and Kwanzaa colors shine December 26 through to January 1, 2023. Location: Best viewed from Fairmount Water Works or just across the river at the Fairmount Fish Ladder
Longwood Gardens is one of the most popular places in the area to see Christmas lights for good reason—it’s gorgeous. With thousands of poinsettias, flowers transformed into sculptures, and trees that look like they’re made of light, Longwood Gardens at Christmas has acres and acres of things to see.
Outside, 500,000 lights drip from branches and encircle tree trunks while sculptures light up along walkways. The frequent fountain shows with water and lights moving in time with the music are also a highlight. Visitors can make their way through a shimmering tunnel, warm up over a fire pit, and lose themselves in the elegant trees and creations of the heated Conservatory.
Timed tickets are required. The event runs November 18, 2022 to January 8, 2023. Location: 1001 Longwood Road in Kennett Square
Christmas on Kimball
One of the newer displays in the city, Christmas on Kimball enters its fifth year as a neighborhood favorite. With lights, projections, and lots of inflatables, it’s a great addition to any night looking at Christmas lights in Philadelphia. Location: 800 block of Kimball Street
Miracle on South 13th Street
Miracle on South 13th Street is pure joy. For years, this group of neighbors has coordinated to light up their block in epic style. With displays, decorations, and all things holiday kitsch, it’s one of the most fun places to go at Christmas. The lights come on November 26, 2022. Location: 1600 block of South 13th Street. Read our detailed article about Miracle on South 13th Street.
Smedley Christmas Lights Spectacular
For over 50 years, the Smedley Christmas Lights Spectacular has been a highlight of Christmas in South Philly. The whole street pitches in to illuminate the 2700 block of Smedley with lights, inflatables, and light sculptures.
The fun display is located on a grassy spot in the middle of the street, so visitors can drive by or walk around to see all the details up close. Location: 2700 S Smedley St, between 16th and 17th Streets and Moyamensing and Oregon Avenues
Greeby Street Christmas
If you’re in Northeast Philly, don’t miss the display by the enthusiastic neighbors who turn their Tacony block into a carnival of lights every holiday season through December 31. Each year since 1997, Greeby Street Christmas has gotten bigger and brighter.
An incredible 40+ homes participate in making sure Greeby Street is one of the most festive places around in December. In addition to spreading the holiday spirit through their lights, the neighbors also collect toys for Toys for Tots and offer occasional visits with Santa. Check their Facebook page for specifics. Location: 4200 block of Greeby St.
Hundreds of creative creatures and more lights than you can count create a dazzling environment at the Philadelphia Zoo. The nighttime exhibit known as LumiNature combines larger-than-life illuminated animals with light shows, projections, and numerous other features. From giant jellyfish in an underwater seascape to a Christmas tree made entirely of bright flamingos, the 14 different zones of Philadelphia Zoo lights are packed with things to see.
Lots of food and warm beverages are available, too. The event runs November 17, 2022 through January 7, 2023. Location: Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Avenue
American Heritage Credit Union
One of the largest free light displays in the area, American Heritage Credit Union includes over 400,000 lights around its campus in Northeast Philadelphia. From November 27, 2022 until New Year’s Day, guests can see the buildings, trees, and decorations. There is ample free parking. Location: 2060 Red Lion Road
Chestnut Hill’s oldest tradition, Stag & Doe happens November 30 as well as every Wednesday in December leading up to Christmas. The historic neighborhood is filled with holiday spirit. A brass quartet performs, stores stay open late to allow for extended shopping hours, and restaurants offer seasonal treats. Just strolling up and down Germantown Avenue is beautiful thanks to all the lit storefronts, trees, and light poles.
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Santa who will be strolling the Avenue, too. Location: Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill
Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum
The Holiday Garden Railway is a highlight of the season at Morris Arboretum. For one-quarter mile, the G-scale model train passes through tunnels and over bridges in a winter garden. Along the way, it snakes by miniature Philadelphia landmarks and town scenes lit with twinkling lights for Christmas.
See it during the day and select nights from November 25 through December 30, 2022. Location: 100 E. Northwestern Ave.
West Chester Griswolds
Reindeer, snowmen, Snoopy, Mickey, and more grace the yard of the Plummer family in Chester County. The “West Chester Griswolds,” as the family calls itself, take a page from the National Lampoon movies with their elaborate display.
More than 130,000 lights cover their front yard, and the display even extends into their backyard. If you tune your radio to 87.9FM, you can see the lights moving in time with the music approximately every 15 minutes starting at 5:00pm every night. As a bonus, kids can leave their letters for Santa in a mailbox by the driveway. A visit here near Christmas is one of the most fun things to do in West Chester. Location: 304 Dutton Mill Rd. in West Chester
A yard full of light sculptures is complemented by animated figures and music at the Chrostowski home in Hatboro. From an ice fishing penguin to elves decorating a tree, there is lots to see. Location: 28 Saint Dunstans Road in Hatboro
What are your favorite holiday light displays in the Philadelphia area?