Bright Lights in the City

5 philly neighborhoods to visit this christmas

copyright Kevin Burkett-Flickr

Last week we told you about some of the festive activities taking place this holiday season in Philadelphia.  We love being active and seeing all the city has to offer during the holidays – but if you’re looking for a more low key way to get into the holiday spirit, we recommend exploring some of these famous neighborhood light displays.  Get some hot chocolate to go and take a stroll with family to see the spectacular shows these Philadelphia neighborhoods are known for.

South Philadelphia

South Philadelphia Christmas

copyright PlanPhilly-Flickr

South Philadelphia is best known for cheese steaks and the Italian Market.  But during the holidays, 13th Street & Smedley Street turn their South Philadelphia neighborhoods into the North Pole.  Known as the Miracle on 13th Street, located on the 1600 block of South 13th Street, this residential display has been a destination for more than a dozen years.  The 2700 block of Smedley Street is another area in South Philly where neighbors come together to create a truly spectacular site for locals and visitors alike.

Boathouse Row

Boathouse Row Christmas

copyright Michael Murphy-Flickr

One of the more famous light displays in the city, Boathouse Row and the surrounding neighborhood is iconic during the holidays.  From post cards to tshirts, Boathouse Row is a popular image of Philadelphia tourism.  Year round the area is packed with runners, bikers and those who simply want to take in the view.  The 19th century boat houses glisten at night as the twinkle lights outlining the homes bounce off the water.

Rittenhouse Square

Rittenhouse Square Christmas

copyright Marc Cappelletti-Flickr

In the middle of everything, Rittenhouse Square is the host to the annual tree lighting ceremony.  Surrounded by Center City restaurants and shopping, this beautiful park is decorated with hundreds of Christmas lights and ornaments.  End your day of holiday shopping and relax on one of the many benches while you take in the holiday spirit in Rittenhouse.

Christmas Village

Christmas Village

copyright Opeyemi-Flickr

Even if your holiday shopping is done, Christmas Village in LOVE park has become a holiday destination for locals and visitors. Designed as a traditional German Christmas market, small wooden booths sell high quality gifts like arts & crafts and ornaments.  The large decorated tree and sparkly decor paired with gingerbread and mulled wine create a warm, inviting atmosphere.

Jewelers Row

Jewelers Row Christmas

copyright CJD-Flickr

Located between 7th & 8th Street on Sansom and on 8th street between Chestnut and Walnut lies Jewelers Row.  Built in the 1800s, it is the oldest diamond district in America and home to more than 300 retailers.  During the holidays, Jewelers Row sparkles even more than usual with twinkle lights.

Looking to venture outside the city?   Peddlers Village, Longwood Gardens and Ambler, PA are a few of many local destinations for day trips or overnight adventures.

peddlers village

Peddlers Village Christmas

copyright Tom Ipri-Flickr

longwood gardens

Longwood Gardens - November 2011

copyright Sugargliding-Flickr


Ambler Christmas

copyright Richard Owens-Flickr