50 Ways to Celebrate the Holiday Season in Center City

Across Center City, over 1,500 retailers, restaurants, and service providers call Center City District home. And this holiday season, you won’t want to miss all the excitement across our neighborhoods! Check out a range of ideas for your plans this holiday season, and don’t forget to see what programs we have at Dilworth Park this winter

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Midtown Village 

Year-round, Midtown Village is home to a unique blend of locally owned and operated businesses along 13th Street and surrounding blocks. And during the holiday season, the neighborhood becomes a hot spot for shoppers looking for unique goods that can’t be found anywhere else and for meals that the family will remember for years to come. For a brief highlight of a day in Midtown Village, check out last year’s itinerary, or read below for everything you won’t want to miss this holiday season! 

1. Macy’s Center City 
📍1300 Market Street  
🔗 Website 
Macy’s Center City transforms during the holidays into a retail and holiday extravaganza! While you shop across all three floors, get in the spirit of the season with their Christmas Light Show, performances on the famed Wanamaker Organ, and the animatronic retelling of A Christmas Story in Dickens Village. 

2. Tinsel 
📍116 S 12th Street  
🔗 Instagram 
With Christmas-themed drinks, the go-to spot for your holiday season photo-op is back!  

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3. McGillin’s Olde Ale House 
📍 1310 Drury Street 
🔗 Website 
The nation's oldest continuously operating tavern is in Midtown Village. This holiday season, the bar is decked out like a winter wonderland with 3,000 lights, 300 ornaments, bows, and more, along with a pop-up shop less than a block away

4. The Cauldron 
📍 1305 Locust Street 
🔗 Website 
Who said the holiday season was all jolly snowmen and sugarplum fairies? Christmas at the Cauldron is a mashup that blends the holiday spirit with spooky fairytales.  

5. Cork & Candles 
📍 1315 Walnut Street 
🔗 Website 
Everyone can give a candle, but why not give an experience? Cork & Candles offers a BYOB candle making experience, featuring more than 60 scents in their scent bar and endless options. 

Interested in other unique gifts to give this season? Check out our new gift guide, highlighting unique offerings from more than 20 businesses across Center City! 

6. Milkboy 
📍 1100 Chestnut Street 
🔗 Website 
Part restaurant and bar, part concert venue, and always a good time! With local and nationally recognized musicians on the setlist this season, check out their calendar for upcoming performances. 

7. Fat Ham at Wilma Theater 
📍 265 S Broad Street 
🔗 Website 
Called “a hilariously yet profound tragedy smothered in comedy” by The New York Times, the Pulitzer Prize-winning—and Tony nominated—Fat Ham blends a southern BBQ with Hamlet at the Wilma Theater until December 23.  

8. Lucky Strike 
📍 1336 Chestnut Street 
🔗 Website 
Need a “spare” plan? Visit Lucky Strike with friends and coworkers for bowling on their 24 lanes, along with party-ready plates and drinks. 

9. Cockatoo  
📍 208 S 13th Street 
🔗 Linktree 
Every Saturday in December, stop by for drag brunch with guest performers, special cocktails and more. 

10. SEPTA Gift Store 
📍 1234 Market Street 
🔗 Website 
Not only does SEPTA get you where you’re going, but they also have gifts ranging from apparel to home goods for the transit fan in your life. 

11. Time 
📍 1315 Sansom Street 
🔗 Website 
There’s live music every week at this whiskey bar and restaurant. On the calendar for December is the Ikechi Onyenaka Quintet (Dec. 2 & 16), pianist James Santangelo (Sundays) and more.  

12. Joseph Anthony Retreat Spa and Salon 
📍 1200 Market Street 
🔗 Website 
Nestled inside the Loews hotel, Joseph Anthony Retreat Spa and Salon will refresh you for the New Year thanks to their range of body treatments, body massages, facials and more. 

13. Open House 
📍 107 S 13th Street  
🔗 Website 
Open House is the first shop opened by Safran Turney Hospitality, located in the heart of Midtown Village. Stop by for unique Philly-themed gifts or visit their nearby shop Verde for more women’s apparel and gift inspiration. 

14. Morton Contemporary Gallery 
📍 115 S 13th Street 
🔗 Website 
The current exhibition at this local art gallery is "The Peter Miller Story: A Forgotten Woman of American Modernism,” a highlight of 40 pieces by artist Henriette “Peter” Myers.

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Jewelers’ Row 

Known for being the nation’s oldest diamond district, today Jewelers’ Row has a diverse array of retailers, dining destinations, and experiences you won’t find anywhere else. For a brief highlight of a day in Jewelers’ Row, check out last year’s itinerary, or read below for everything you won’t want to miss this holiday season! 

1. Walnut Street Theatre 
📍 825 Walnut Street 
🔗 Website 
The nation’s oldest operating theater is located just steps from Jewelers’ Row! This holiday season, catch their musical production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, a classic tale for the whole family. 

2. Lore’s Chocolates 
📍 34 S 7th Street 
🔗 Website  
Two generations of chocolatiers create all kinds of mouthwatering chocolate treats, perfect as gifts for coworkers, friends, and family. 

Lore’s Chocolates is one of many unique retailers that you’ll only find while shopping in Center City. Check out our new gift guide for several others you’ll want to stop by this holiday season! 

3. Body + Beauty Lab 
📍 834 Chestnut Street 
🔗 Website 
After a day spent in the city, treat yourself to a visit to the med spa for services like a HydraFacial, wellness shots, and more. 

4. Craftsman Row Saloon 
📍 112 S 8th Street 
🔗 Website  
Get in a holly jolly mood with festive drinks! Signature seasonal milkshakes, like the “All I Want for Christmas” with eggnog and crushed cookies, will put you in the holiday spirit. 

5. Silver Linings Playbook Lights 
📍 700 Sansom Street 
More than just the diamonds are twinkling on Jewelers’ Row! Their signature light display, popularized in the film Silver Linings Playbook, is a perfect photo moment while you window shop on Sansom Street.

6. Red Rum Theater  
📍 601 Walnut Street 
🔗 Website 
Philadelphia’s only whodunit event venue is hosting A Dickens of a Murder, an investigation by Sherlock Holmes into the death of Scrooge, throughout the holiday season.  

7. Concierge Ballroom  
📍 30 S 7th Street 
🔗 Website 
Grab your dancing shoes and get ready to learn! Concierge Ballroom hosts dance classes for all skill levels. 

8. The Morris 
📍 225 S 8th Street 
🔗 Website 
All decked out for the holidays, stop by the Morris, one of Center City’s 2023 openings, for lunch or dinner and enjoy favorites like their mushroom pot pie.  

9. Time & Peace  
📍 36 S 7th Street  
🔗 Website 
Now celebrating their one-year anniversary, stop by this cozy café for locally roasted organic coffee or for their new events, including a performance by folk duo The Morning Doves on December 22.  

10. Safian & Rudolph 
📍 701 Sansom Street 
🔗 Website 
For a shining gift this season, stop by jewelers like Safian & Rudolph to see what’s in style this season — like their Eagles cuff links featured in our Holiday Guide

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West Market Parkway District 

While remembered as Center City’s core office district, the West Market Parkway District is now home to a diverse blend of mixed-use properties, including residential apartments, hotels, restaurants and shops. For a brief highlight of a day in the West Market Parkway District, check out last year’s itinerary, or read below for everything you won’t want to miss this holiday season! 

1. Comcast Holiday Spectacular 
📍 1701 John F. Kennedy Boulevard 
🔗 Website 
Back for the 15th year, the Comcast Holiday Spectacular is a can’t-miss festive video featuring performances, singalongs, and a holiday journey from around the world right into Center City.  

2. The Universal Sphere 
📍 1800 Arch Street 
🔗 Website 
This free immersive experience was designed by a star-studded team including Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Animation and encourages guests to find inspiration in “The Power of I.”  

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3. Christmas Village at LOVE Park
📍 1500 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
🔗 Website 
Over 110 vendors call LOVE Park home for the holiday season! From local crafts to Bavarian holiday items from Kathe Wohlfahrt, you’ll find something for everyone on your list this season.  

4. Assembly Rooftop Lounge 
📍 1840 Benjamin Franklin Parkway 
🔗 Website 
Get warm and cozy with warm cocktails and treats while overlooking the Parkway as you visit the Alpine Heights transformation at Assembly.  

5. Shops at Liberty Place 
📍 1625 Chestnut Street 
🔗 Website 
While you shop the 35+ vendors in the Shops at Liberty, make a pit stop in the Rotunda for photos at their Christmas tree and, on December 9 & 16, to grab selfies with Santa and the Grinch!  

6. Concourse Dance Bar 
📍 1635 Market Street 
🔗 Website 
Stop by Philadelphia’s only Ice Room, featuring 20 ice sculptures, while enjoying cocktails, mocktails, and more.  

7. Christmas Village at City Hall  
📍 1400 John F. Kennedy Boulevard 
🔗 Website 
Use the 50-foot holiday tree as a beacon to guide you toward the fun at City Hall, including a carousel and Ferris wheel for the family. 

8. The Franklin Institute 
📍 222 N 20th Street 
🔗 Website 
Wondrous Space, the newest exhibit at the Franklin Institute, takes visitors on a journey through the cosmos right on the Parkway. 

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Rittenhouse Row 

Luxury retailers, leading restaurants, and arts and culture destinations are just a few of the spaces that call Rittenhouse Row home! For a brief highlight of a day in Rittenhouse Row, check out last year’s itinerary, or read below for everything you won’t want to miss this holiday season. 

1. Rittenhouse Square 
📍 1800 Walnut Street 
Every holiday season, Rittenhouse Square is lit up with twinkling orbs across the park! After strolling around, sit and enjoy a breath of fresh air while admiring the holiday tree and menorah.

2. Academy of Music 
📍 240 South Broad Street 
🔗  Website 
The Philadelphia Ballet presents George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, a holiday classic beloved by generations, all December long.

3. Uptown Beer Garden 
📍 1500 John F. Kennedy Boulevard 
🔗 Website 
December marks the transformation of Uptown Beer Garden into the Uptown Express, an outdoor bar that pays homage to a range of classic holiday films like Home Alone and How the Grinch Stole Christmas

4. Rescue Spa 
📍 1811 Walnut Street 
🔗 Website 
New year, new you! Celebrate the end of the year by getting pampered or get the perfect spa experience for anyone on your list with a gift card! 

5. Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market 
📍 1 S 15th Street 
🔗 Website 
Over 40 local vendors call Dilworth Park home for December, bringing one-of-a-kind gifts to Center City. 

6. Wintergarden at Dilworth Park 
📍 1 S 15th Street 
🔗 Website 
In the middle of the hustle and bustle in Center City, the Wintergarden on the Albert M. Greenfield Lawn offers a peaceful reprieve, featuring whimsical topiaries based on different garden pollinators and a Chaddsford Winery Kiosk offering warm mulled wine.  

7. Vernick Wine  
📍 2029 Walnut Street 
🔗 Website 
From the award-winning Chef Greg Vernick, the wine shop next to his restaurant carries nearly 100 bottles of wine spanning natural, orange, and classic old-world styles.  

8. Walnut Garden 
📍 1708 Walnut Street 
🔗 Website 
Still looking for a fresh tree for your home? Walnut Garden has transformed from an outdoor cocktail garden into a Winter Wonderland that sells Christmas trees! 

📍 117 S 13th Street 
🔗 Website 
The Philadelphia-based distillery (with a second location in Midtown Village) works with distillers across the country. Current highlights include the Bird Gang Spirits series bourbon and vodka, created in collaboration with the Philadelphia Eagles

10. Vinyl 
📍 215 S 15th Street 
🔗 Website 
Grab your friends or coworkers and head over to Vinyl for festive cocktails and live performances every week! 

11. Barnes & Noble 
📍 1708 Chestnut Street 
🔗 Website 
From the newest books to stocking stuffers for anyone in your life, check out the newly opened location of Barnes & Noble

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Market East 

Shopping at big-box stores, the Fashion District mall, and the family-favorite Reading Terminal Market make Market East a retail destination this holiday season. For a brief highlight of a day in Rittenhouse Row, check out last year’s itinerary, or read below for everything you won’t want to miss this holiday season! 

1. Chestnut Walk 
📍 1100 Market Street 
🔗 Website 
After a day of shopping, stop along Chestnut Walk to relax on a swing and take in the festive Christmas tree and seasonal lights.  

2. Jefferson Plaza 
📍 1115 Chestnut Street 
🔗 Website 
Wednesdays and Thursdays until Christmas, Jefferson Plaza hosts carolers, hot chocolate and more, culminating with a fire and ice festival on December 21. 

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3. Reading Terminal Market 
📍 1136 Arch Street 
🔗 Website 
Reading Terminal Market is home to more than 70 shops and even more memories from friends, families, and visitors stopping by since its opening in 1893. During December, don’t miss Gingerbread Lane 

4. Fashion District 
📍 901 Market Street 
🔗 Website 
From now until Christmas, Santa is stopping by the Fashion District! Pop in or pre-book your visit today

5. City Winery 
📍 990 Filbert Street 
🔗 Website  
Why not treat yourself to a show this holiday season? Enjoy a seasonal selection of shows at City Winery, including Jon McLaughlin’s 2023 Holiday Tour (December 17), A Very Tammy Faymous Christmas (December 22), and Dar Williams Almost New Year's Shows (December 30). 

6. Wonderspaces 
📍 27 N 11th Street 
🔗 Website 
Grab a drink and take the perfect photo with friends at Wonderspaces, the ever-changing interactive art show! 

7. City Fitness 
📍 11 S 12th Street 
🔗 Website 
Get ahead of your New Year’s resolution and sign up for a complementary workout experience at City Fitness! 

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