31 Must-Attend Holiday Events

From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, a complete guide to finding the holiday spirit on and around the Main Line.

Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, take time to discover the wonderful lights and cheer this time of year with these goings-on in and around the Main Line.

Editor’s note: This article is from 2015. To view our most recent holiday events guide, click here

1. Franklin Square Holiday Festival & Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show

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Nov. 12 – Dec. 31

With more than 50,000 lights, this display celebrates one of the area’s most significant figures, Benjamin Franklin, set to a soundtrack by The Philly POPS.

6th and Race streets, Philadelphia. Visit www.historicphiladelphia.org.

2. Hersheypark Christmas Candylane

Nov. 13 – Dec. 31

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Sweet tooths will delight in this holiday fun. Featuring over four million holiday lights and four roller coasters, the chocolate-themed park will provide plenty of fun for all ages. Open on select dates.

100 W. Hersheypark Dr., Hershey. Visit www.hersheypark.com.

3. Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park

Nov. 13 – Feb. 28

Strap on some skates and cruise downtown. Classes are also available on select dates.

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1 S. 15th St., Philadelphia. Visit www.ccdparks.org.

4. Christmas at Peddler’s Village

Nov. 20 – Jan. 2

This quaint Bucks County town turns into a full-blown holiday delight. The shops and trees are adorned with ample twinkling lights. Bundle up and shop in the afternoon, then stay for the lighting. Stop by on Dec. 5 and 6 for their Christmas Festival, which will feature a parade with Santa, live entertainment and plenty more. Check out the gazebo, filled with the delicately- and artfully-decorated gingerbread houses for their annual competition.

Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska. Visit www.peddlersvillage.com.

5. A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place

Nov. 21 – Dec. 31

Kids love Sesame Place during the warm months, but they’ll enjoy it just as much when it’s decked out in holiday lights and decorations. There will be special Christmas-themed shows, food, holiday shopping and parades. Open on select dates.

100 Sesame Road, Langhorne. Visit www.sesameplace.com.

6. Christmasland at Linvilla

Nov. 21 – Dec. 23

This local favorite orchard transforms into a winter wonderland with holiday lights. Cut your own Christmas tree, or, for the less adventurous, buy one from the shop along with wreaths and other decorations. Hop on one of the caroling hayrides, which are available on Saturday evenings, as well.

137 W. Knowlton Road, Media. Visit www.linvilla.com.

7. Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Nov. 21, 22, Nov. 26 – Dec. 27

Looking for unique holiday gifts? Head to the Christmas Village, situated in the beautiful Love Park at JFK Plaza in downtown Philadelphia. In full view of the Christmas tree and city hall, these outdoor shops create a whole market unto itself featuring European and local food and sweets, ornaments, jewelry, arts and crafts. With over 60 vendors, there is plenty of opportunities for browsing and shopping. 

1500 Arch St., Philadelphia. Visit www.philachristmas.com.

8. North Pole Express at New Hope & Ivyland Railroad

Nov. 21 – Jan 3.

Join Santa and Mrs. Claus on a Christmas-themed train ride through scenic Pennsylvania. This hour to hour-and-a-half long ride includes hot chocolate and cookies, carolers and Santa doling out a present to each child on board.

32 W. Bridge St., New Hope. Visit www.newhoperailroad.com.

9. Shadybrook Farms Holiday Light Show

Nov. 21 – Jan. 10

This drive-through holiday light show has grown to epic proportions over the years. With over three million lights on the farm, find everything from the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song to the Grinch, who, evidently, didn’t steal Christmas. Lines to get in are typically long, so plan ahead. It makes a great stop on the way home from Peddler’s Village.

931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley. Visit www.shadybrookfarm.com.

10. Yuletide at Winterthur

Nov. 21 – Jan. 3

Enjoy the elegance, opulence and history of H. F. du Pont’s house, decorated for the holidays. There will be special events in addition to performances.

5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, Del. Visit www.winterthur.org.

11. Comcast Holiday Spectacular

Nov. 24 – Jan. 3

This 15-minute show beautifully showcases the city of Philadelphia and holiday sites on an enormous video wall in the Comcast Center’s lobby.

1701 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Philadelphia. Visit www.corporate.comcast.com.

12. A Longwood Christmas

Nov. 26 – Jan. 10

This holiday display is legendary, with the entire garden transforming into a winter wonderland. Wander the outdoor, artfully-decorated gardens or meander through the cozy, warm 4-acre conservatory, which will feature blue and white lights this year. Listen to holiday music set to a fountain light show and discover the other wonders tucked away all throughout. Advanced ticketing required.

1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square. Visit www.longwoodgardens.org.

13. Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade

Nov. 26

Partake in the nation’s oldest Thanksgiving Day parade as floats take to the 1.4-mile route traversing the city. Can’t make it? The parade will be broadcast between 8:30 a.m. and noon on ABC.

20th and Market streets. Visit www.abclocal.go.com.

14. A Brandywine Christmas

Nov. 27 – Jan. 3

View the amazing 2,000 feet of track that the O-gauge model train runs over, the impressive Christmas tree display and antique dolls dressed in period clothing, among much more.

1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford. Visit www.brandywine.org.

15. Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum

Nov. 27 – Jan. 3

The annual quarter-mile long display will delight all ages. Watch as cars make their way through the impressive displays made of natural materials adorned with holiday lights.

100 E. Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia. Visit www.morrisarboretum.org.

16. Macy’s Christmas Light Show

Nov. 27 – Dec. 31

A Philadelphia tradition since 1956, this light show has shoppers stopping every two hours to look up at Macy’s expansive walls to take in the sights and sounds of Christmas. Nutcrackers and snowmen dance across it, set to the sounds of the Wanamaker Organ. Show times are 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., daily.  

1300 Market St., Philadelphia. Visit www.wanamakerorgan.com.

17. RiverRink Winterfest

Nov. 27 – March 6

Penn’s Landing transforms into a skating rink for the winter, complete with a winter garden, food and spectator seating. Skating is free and rentals are available.

101 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia. Visit www.delawareriverwaterfront.com.

18. Concord Township Tree Lighting

Dec. 4

Join Santa as he helps light the Concord Township tree to kick off the holiday season.

Concord Community Center, 45 S. Thornton Road, Glen Mills. Visit www.townshipofconcord.com.

19. Santa Comes to Town

Dec. 4

Join Santa as he rides into town on a Bryn Mawr Fire Company truck to light the tree. There will be carols, hot chocolate and cookies. 7-9 p.m.

Gazebo behind Ludington Library, 5 S. Bryn Mawr Ave., Bryn Mawr. Visit www.brynmawrpa.org.

20. Old-Fashioned Christmas in West Chester

Dec. 4-5

Celebrate the 35th annual parade, televised on Christmas Day. Other festivities will include breakfast with Santa, a holiday bazaarfeaturing handmade baked goods, jewelry and other itemsa holiday home tour of 10 area homes and more. See the complete guide to the weekend’s events here.

Downtown West Chester. Visit www.downtownwestchester.com.

21. Wayne Hotel’s Old Fashioned Christmas

Dec. 4-5

Once again, the charming streets of this town will transform into full-blown holiday fun. Extended shopping hours accompany the lighting and Santa Parade.

Downtown Wayne. Visit www.waynechristmas.com.

22. Phoenixville Candlelight Holiday Tour

Dec. 5

Take a tour of beautifully-decorated area homes and places of worship and enjoy music and light refreshments. 3-7 p.m.

Parkside United Church of Christ, Phoenixville. Visit www.phoenixville.org.

23. Zoo Noel at the Philadelphia Zoo

Dec. 5-20

Santa is swapping his suit for overalls as he takes a trip around the exotic world of animals. Visitors can get their photo taken with Santa, enjoy the hot chocolate bar and go on a scavenger hunt, which features replicas of Santa around parts of the zoo. Select dates.

3400 W. Girard Ave., Philadelphia. Visit www.philadelphiazoo.org.

24. Hanukkah Extravaganza

Dec. 6

Join the Kaiserman JCC for their annual party, leading up to the holiday. The event will be held from 12-2 p.m.

45 Haverford Road, Wynnewood. Visit www.phillyjcc.com.

25. Holiday Horse Drawn Carriage Rides

Dec. 6, 13, 20, 27

Enjoy a ride through downtown Kennett Square for a quintessential winter experience with the family.

101 E. State St., Kennett Square. Visit www.historickennettsquare.com.

26. Latkepalooza

Dec. 6

Get your fill of the potato pancake favorites symbolic of this time of year at the Gershman Y in Philadelphia. Now in its 13th year, the event will feature 10 area chefs putting their own take on the latke. There will also be live music and entertainment for children.

401 S. Broad St., Philadelphia. Visit www.gershmany.org.

27. Narberth Dickens Festival

Dec. 6

Step back in time to 1840s London. This festival gives a nod to “A Christmas Carol” with Scrooge and company wandering the streets. There will be carriage rides, dancing and period food.

Downtown Narberth. Visit www.narberthonline.com.

28. Stag and Doe Nights

Dec. 9, 16, 23

Chestnut Hill becomes a holiday wonderland to rival Santa’s workshop with fresh pine trimmings, decorations and caroling. Enjoy extended shopping hours on Wednesdays.

Chestnut Hill. Visit www.chestnuthillpa.com.

29. National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum’s Holiday Open House

Dec. 11

Stroll through an embellished historic site while listening to carolers and delighting in the train display.

50 S. First Ave., Coatesville. Visit www.steelmuseum.org.

30. Holiday Cookie Tin

Dec. 12

Join local chef Chiwishi Joy Abney for a baking extravaganza. Bring a tin to fill up and bring back home.

Wayne Art Center, 413 Maplewood Ave., Wayne. Visit www.wayneart.org.

31. Kwanzaa Family Celebration at the Johnson House

Dec. 27

Celebrate Kwanzaa and African American culture with stories, arts and crafts, cultural food and more.

6306 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia. Visit www.johnsonhouse.org.

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