It’s going to be pretty easy to get into the holiday spirit throughout the region this season.
As the weather turns colder and Santas start popping up on every corner, here are some new, some re-imagined and some old-fashioned holiday events.
Manayunk Gets LIT
Holidays in Manayunk will feature five weeks of festivities that will have you thinking you stepped right into a Hallmark Movie.
Manayunk Gets LIT weekends lights up Main Street as 40 businesses compete to see who has the most impressive lighting along Main Street. The fun will include live entertainment, visits from Santa and the free Jolly Trolley.
In one of the more festive and uber-decorated pop-up Christmas events, Taqueria Amor transforms itself into Señor Grinch for the fourth year in a row, with thousands of lights and decorations outside, and a head-to-toe make-over inside.
Santa Paws is back Dec. 2 with pet photos. The 9th Annual Rudolph Run is Dec. 9. To register for the popular 5K: https://runsignup.com/Race/PA/Philadelphia/2019RudolphRun.
For more about these and many other happenings for Holidays in Manayunk, visit https://manayunk.com/events/holidays-in-manayunk.html.
“Manayunk is simply the best place in Philadelphia to see holiday magic in action,” said Manayunk Development Corporation Executive Director Gwen McCauley. “Our holiday programs have grown organically over the years as our local community continues to support the district, particularly in a post COVID/Hurricane Ida world. Our pedestrian scale Main Street is festooned with hundreds of thousands of lights that, altogether, create an exciting and free holiday activity for people of all ages to enjoy. Our holiday programs bring together the best of the urban experience and the small town charm that distinguishes Manayunk from other districts and neighborhoods in the city of Philadelphia.”
Manayunk Celebrates Hanukkah with Eight Crazy Nights of Instagram giveaways from Dec. 7-15. During the Festival of Lights, on December 7, 8, 9 and 14, riders on the Jolly Trolley during the Festival of Lights can get Hanukkah Gelt and goodie bags.
Yuletide at Devon
Yuletide at Devon is new this year, turning the Devon Horse Show and Country Fairgrounds into an enchanting winter festival from Nov. 24 to Dec. 31.
“Yuletide at Devon transcends typical holiday experiences,” said festival producer Rob Bickhart. “It will be an immersive journey where new traditions take root and timeless memories are forged. We warmly welcome families and friends to come together and revel in this most wonderful and special time of the year.”
Yuletide at Devon blends the essence of a traditional European Christmas market with the thrill of a top-tier music festival and gourmet farm-to-table food experience.
From chart-topping artists to local sensations, Yuletide at Devon promises an unforgettable musical journey.
Opening weekend will feature international acts Jamie Miller and Smith & Thell. The star-studded line-up for subsequent weekends includes national touring artists like Fly By Midnight, Young Rising Sons, Dan Bremnes, Sanctus Real, Josh Wilson, The Afters, Anthem Lights, Caleb & Kelsey, Clayton Mullen, Adam Doleac, and a New Year’s Eve special performance with country superstar Chris Lane.
There are gourmet culinary delights led by chef Chris Nguyen of Philadelphia’s Strother Enterprises. Visitors can treat taste buds with our farm-to-table culinary delights paired with craft cocktails that help embody the spirit of the season.
Yuletide at Devon features 4 million LED lights, creating an ethereal ambiance perfect for a winter evening out. Including an Enchanted Forest featuring over 900 real and artificial Christmas trees that will transport anyone to the steps of Santa’s Ski Chalet where guests can enjoy free photos with Santa.
Children of all ages will enjoy free rides from the majestic Ferris wheel to the classic carousel and the thrilling Himalaya, experience endless amusement rides that resonate with the joy of the season.
Finish off your holiday shopping list with our selection of 35 high-end retail shops from stocking stuffers and vintage ornaments to custom embroidered leather goods.
For more information, schedule details, and ticket bookings, visit www.yuletidedevon.com.
Christkindlmarkt in West Chester
Families and people of all ages can experience holiday magic this December at the fourth annual Christkindlmarkt, Dec. 9-10 in downtown West Chester.
This free holiday market, which has become an annual tradition for those in Chester County, will feature over 75 vendors offering individually handcrafted and locally designed products. The event is free to the public and held at our new location in West Chester’s Gay Street, between Matlack and Darlington Streets. Four blocks will be filled with the perfect holiday gifts for everyone on your list.
“We are thrilled to ring in the holiday season with our friends and neighbors with the return of our Christkindlmarkt, the largest one that we have ever hosted,” said Laurie Moran, Artist Liaison of The Chester County Art Association. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the holidays than to open our doors to the greater West Chester community during this fun, family-friendly weekend.”
Guests who attend will be able to shop local this season and support artists while doing it.
Vendors located throughout downtown West Chester will sell art, ceramics, jewelry, homewares, food and much more. Additionally, guests will be able to purchase gourmet chocolates, soaps, candles, fresh cocktail mixes, and other ideal seasonable gifts.
Holiday tunes will fill the air, featuring live music by Dub C on Dec. 9. from 1 to 4 p.m. and the Lenape Brass Band on Dec. 10 from noon to 1 p.m.
For more information, visit www.downtownwestchester.com/christkindlmarkt
Old City Christmas
Celebrate the season in America’s most historic square mile with Historic Holidays in Old City, Philadelphia.
Festivities run all the way through December in Old City District, with something for everyone on Santa’s list.
Festivities kickoff with the Holiday Window Decorating Contest starting Nov. 25 at 18 locations throughout the business district, including Amina, Damari, Independence Visitor Center, Museum for Art in Wood, Petit Jardin en Village, Plough and The Stars, Shan Confectionary and many more. Visitors are invited to cast their vote for their favorite, with one lucky shopper enjoying a $150 gift card as a prize.
Next is Small Business Saturday, Museum Store Sunday and Cyber Monday at participating businesses.
Deck the halls with the Historic Holidays Tree Lighting Presented by the Ryland on Nov. 29 at the Betsy Ross House with Betsy Ross, Santa, music, dance and other surprises. Historic Philadelphia Lighting and Hanukkah Celebration will take place Dec. 10 from 4 to 5 p.m. at Betsy Ross House.
The Old City Shopping Stroll returns Dec. 13 from 5 to 8 p.m. Participating stories will extend their hours and shoppers will receive a free Old City tote bag with any purchase, while supplies last.
Old City restaurants celebrate the Feast of the 7 Fishes with special menus at Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti, The Olde Bar by Chef Jose Garces, Spasso Italian Grill and others. Chef Jose Garces serves up a Christmas Eve Prime RIb Roast at Amada.
For holiday cruises, head out on the water for a festive experience with City Experiences for Christmas and New Year. For New Year’s Eve, start the day with the first-ever Positano Coast New Year’s Eve Day Vibe Brunch. For New Year’s parties and dinners, look for celebrations at Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti, The Olde Bar, Amada, Plough and the Stars and many others.
Full details on all the festive and delicious happenings in Old City are all found at www.oldcitydistrict.org/things-do/historic-holidays-old-city
Retro Christmas as Longwood
Experience a radiance of retro, a bevy of bright, and numerous nostalgic moments during A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens. This year’s celebration of all things retro spans indoors and out, and features vibrant color at every turn.
From a life-size vintage Christmas street scene, to a midcentury holiday party, to a vintage truck lovingly refurbished to its 1960s splendor, holiday magic and half-million lights await.
A Longwood Christmas is on view through Jan. 7. Admission to the holiday display is by timed admission ticket, with tickets purchased in advance at longwoodgardens.org.
Christmas at The Cauldron Philly
Embrace the holiday enchantment at The Cauldron Philly with the debut of its Magical Hot Chocolate Experience and Limited Edition Christmas Activities, including the Christmas edition of its potions experience, setting the stage for an immersive winter wonderland adventure.
Magical Hot Chocolate Experience Highlights include:
• Magic Wand-Poured Mocktail: Guests start with a mesmerizing mocktail, poured using magic wands from our resident unicorn.
• Build-Your-Own Hot Chocolate: Craft a personalized hot chocolate, choosing base, chocolate type, and flavorings in a cast iron cauldron.
• Interactive Tastings: Indulge in mini hot chocolate flights with flavors like peppermint, s’mores, and gingerbread.
• Unlock the Magic: Unveil a treasure-trove of festive toppings with magic wands from a locked wizard chest, including candy canes, sprinkles, shavings, marshmallows and candy cane garnish.
• Magical Atmosphere: Don wizard robes and Santa hats to dive into the whimsical setting.
Tickets for the 45-min Hot Chocolate Experience start at $24.99 per person, including mocktail, hot chocolate flights, an adorned hot chocolate, a Santa hat souvenir, and a winter arts & crafts activity.
It opens Dec 1 and tickets can be purchased at https://thecauldron.io/philly/hotchocolate.
Wild Lights at Elmwood Park Zoo
The popular Wild Lights at is back for another year of festive fun.
Debuting in 2018, Wild Lights transforms the zoo into a bright winter wonderland, with over a million lights adorning the trees, exhibits and buildings throughout its 16 acres.Tickets are on sale now at epzwildlights.com.
In addition to all-new light installations and a few returning favorites from last year, each night of Wild Lights will feature additional entertainment and attractions, such as unique animal greetings, performances, character appearances, holiday music, photos with Santa, carousel rides and more.
The evening events are scheduled for 5 to 9 p.m. on select dates, through Jan. 5. Prices range from $14 for adults to $9 for children.
Yearly zoo members can purchase Wild Lights tickets for $12 for adults and $7 for children. Children age 2 and under are free.
Source: Berkshire mont