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Be Outside and Safely See Philly's Holiday Lights

The pandemic means this holiday season is different from past years. Fortunately, you can still get in the holiday spirit and safely enjoy some of the best outdoor holiday lights displays in Philly with GoPhillyGo. Philadelphia’s neighborhood holiday spirit is in full swing and chances are that wherever you travel, you will encounter festive window displays or a rowhouse donned with elaborate lights that brighten up the way. 

A few neighborhoods even team up to transform entire city blocks into holiday lights displays. GoPhillyGo can help you and your warm beverage of choice plan transit, walking, or biking trips to the outdoor holiday lights displays around the city.

It’s more important than ever to follow the latest CDC guidelines when you are out to see the holiday lights. Wear a mask and maintain at least six feet of social distance so everyone can feel comfortable as they take in the displays. 

We made a list of some great places where you can spread out and safely enjoy festive light displays. You don’t need a car to see these lights, so plan a walking, biking, or transit trip with the GoPhillyGo Android app or mobile site, and get in the holiday spirit. Happy holidays from GoPhillyGo!

Miracle on 13th St

The entire street between Tasker and Morris is covered in lights and decorations with many hanging from house to house. It’s a very popular place to visit, so traffic backs up down Morris Street as people turn onto 13th. Don’t get caught in the jam. Walk, ride your bike, or take the Broad Street subway to the Tasker-Morris station. From there it’s one block to this amazing holiday display. Click here for directions!

Festival of Lights 

Boathouse Row lights up this month to celebrate Hanukkah (last night is tonight, 12/17), Christmas (12/19 to 12/25), and Kwanzaa (12/26 to 1/1) with the Festival of Lights. The lights are at Boathouse Row, but the best places to see them are the grounds outside the Fairmount Water Works and the Fish Ladder along MLK, Jr Drive which is closed to motor vehicle traffic.

Click here for directions to the Fish Ladder

Click here for directions to the Fairmount Water Works

Mayfair Christmas Decoration Contest

In the true spirit of Clark Griswold, the Mayfair Civic Association holds an annual Christmas Decoration Contest. Neighbors throughout Mayfair and the surrounding neighborhoods compete to see who can put up the most elaborate display for the holidays. The end product is a walkable network of over 300 houses and local businesses, fully decorated with lights and decorations of all sizes. Nine winners in three categories are nominated by their neighbors, then judged by a small panel. More details and a complete map of all the participants will be available on the Mayfair Civic Association website in the coming weeks. The network is centered around the very SEPTA accessible intersection of Frankford and Cottman Avenues. Click here for directions to get there!

2700 Smedley St - South Philly

The grassy median dividing the roadway on this unique residential street makes it perfect to set up tons of holiday decorations. Neighbors on each side create elaborate displays of holiday themed decorations. Many of the neighbors also have intricate holiday displays in their front windows, so make sure you take a look at the houses on your visit. Smedley St is near the Oregon Station on the Broad Street subway. Click here for directions to 2700 Smedley St.