Philadelphia Christmas Tree Lightings, Events and Attractions 2014

South Street's Christmas tree at the historic Headhouse Square Shambles
South Street's Christmas tree at the historic Headhouse Square Shambles

In the city of Philadelphia, various neighborhoods and landmarks have hung their holiday decorations and invited Santa to stop by and flip the switch on the dazzling displays. With numerous Christmas tree lightings, Macy's famous light show and Dickens Village, RiverRinks' Winterfest (where even Claus himself will be ice skating!) and Love Park's Christmas Village, Philly's 2014 holiday events and attractions will leave revelers with the joy of the season and visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads.

We are updating this list of holiday activities as new tree lighting ceremonies and events are announced; check back often.

Christmas Village at Love Park, Saturday, November 29 through Sunday, December 28: This year, over 550,000 people are expected to visit Christmas Village for eating and shopping with the 65 local and international merchants selling their wares in decorated tents and wooden houses, all against a backdrop of twinkling lights, the LOVE Park Christmas Tree, live music, children’s activities and more. 15th and JFK Boulevard; for more info visit
UPDATE 12/10: The Love Park Christmas Village Lantern Parade and associated performances scheduled for Thursday, December 11 have been cancelled. Organizers cite traffic concerns and the possibility of logistical issues after Love Park was announced as a potential location for protests on December 11.

Macy's Holiday Light Show and Dickens Village, Friday November 28 through December 31: For decades (and through several different store names and owners), families have gathered around the Wanamaker Building's famous Eagle statue to watch the four-story-high holiday light show. The presentation is narrated by Julie Andrews (taped) and features over 100,000 lights in the shapes of snowflakes, reindeer and ballerinas. The show runs every two hours beginning at 10 AM; the noon show's finale is accompanied by live music from the world-renowned Wanamaker Grand Organ; the last show begins at 8 PM; no show on Christmas Day. Macy's also presents Dickens Village, a walk-through experience housed in the Egyptian Room (3FL) with 26 scenes from Scrooge. 1300 Market Street; for more info visit:

Rittenhouse Square Tree Lighting, Monday, December 1, 5:00 PM: This event will be hosted by Kate Bilo of CBS3, with Santa stopping by to light the tree at 5:30 PM. The festivities include a performance from Mary Poppins by the Walnut Street Theatre, giveaways, and more. CBS3 and CW Philly Joy of Sharing campaign will be collecting unwrapped toys to benefit the Salvation Army. 18th and Walnut Streets, for more info visit

Devil's Den Annual Fireplace Lighting, Monday, December 1, 7:00 PM: This popular South Philly bar and restaurant will usher in the holidays with its 6th annual Fireplace Lighting, and as part of the celebration they'll be tapping a limited selection of smoked and wood aged beers. This will be the first time they light their double-sided fireplace this season! 11th and Ellsworth Streets; for more info visit

The Shops at Liberty Place Tree Lighting, Tuesday, December 2, 6:00-8:00 PM: For it's 2nd annual lighting ceremony, Liberty Place once again has Philadelphia's largest tree. Patrons will enjoy complimentary cocoa, face painting, and performances by The Philadelphia Dance Academy and The Liberty String Orchestra. 1625 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA; for more info visit

City Hall Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting Spectacular, Wednesday, December 3, 6:00 PM: This year's official tree lighting ceremony will take place City Hall Courtyard – the tree is a 35-foot-tall Norway spruce – and features live entertainment. Broad and Market Streets; for more info call 215.686.2840.

East Passyunk Avenue Tree Lighting, Thursday, December 4, 5:00-7:00 PM: The month-long Deck the Avenue celebration kicks off with a tree lighting ceremony at the Singing Fountain featuring a visit from Santa Claus, carolers from Alphabet Academy, and live music from the Andrew Jackson School and the Joe King Trio. Unwrapped toys will be collected to benefit local youth. Extended shopping hours with retail and restaurant specials will continue along the avenue throughout December. The Singing Fountain is at Tasker Street and East Passyunk Avenue; for more information stop by

Mt. Airy Tree Lighting at the Lutheran Seminary, Friday, December 5, 4:45 PM: This tree lighting ceremony will feature live music from the Salvation Army Brass Band and a community caroling session. There will be free cider, cookies and candy canes, and Santa will be available for photos from 6:00-8:00 PM at Rothe Florists. Lutheran Seminary, 7301 Germantown Avenue; Rothe Florists, 7148 Germantown Avenue. For more information visit

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest on the Delaware River Tree Lighting, Friday, December 5, 6:30-8:00 PM: In addition to Winterfest's seasonal events, food and shopping, the RiverRink will light its 43-foot-tall tree, showcase performances by the Philadelphia Youth Ballet and Philadelphia Symmetry Synchronized Skating, and delight patrons with an ice-skating Santa Claus. Admission is free, skating is $3, skate rental is $10. 101 South Columbus Boulevard; for more info visit

Glen Foerd Mansion Tree Lighting, Saturday, December 6, 1:00 PM: Celebrate a Gilded Age Christmas at this historic mansion with a stunning view of the Delaware River. Festivities include musical and dance performances from Settlement Music School’s Kardon Northeast Branch, children's crafts, and Santa will arrive at 5:00 PM. Events continue throughout the season with a traditional holiday tea on December 13 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM (call or visit the website for fees and reservations) and a month-long art exhibition, “Shear Beauty: The Paper Cut Artistry of Margarethe Von Glehn Luther." 5001 Grant Avenue, 215-632-5330, for more info visit

South Street Headhouse District Winter Wonderland and Tree Lighting, Sunday, December 7, 3:00-7:00 PM: Festivities at the historic Headhouse Square Shambles include Santa arriving on a fire truck, live performances by the Philadelphia Dance Academy and Society Hill Dance Academy, the Headhouse Holiday Market (art, crafts, food) in conjunction with PHAIR, free horse-drawn carriage rides, and 30+ businesses competing in the Window Wonderland Storefront Challenge. 200 Pine Street; for more info visit

M Restaurant Tree Lighting, Saturday, December 13, 5:00-10:00 PM: M Restaurant at The Morris House (one of our favorite eateries) will celebrate its 3rd annual holiday tree lighting in its courtyard with 10 trees, a flea market, a visit from Santa, pet adoptions from PAWS, and food and beverage specials. 231 S 8th Street; for more info visit

South Street photo courtesy of Aversa PR

Posted on Monday, December 1, 2014