We love the holiday spirit in Philadelphia, but we really love the fact that all the best holiday lights displays are easily accessible from public transit. Taking SEPTA to “The Miracle on 13th Street” in South Philadelphia and Christmas Village in LOVE Park keeps pollution from cars out of our air, saves you money, and lets you enjoy the holiday spirit without worrying about your car and where to park it.
This year, the City stepped up their game, and added a full size ferris wheel decked in holiday lights next to the giant Christmas tree at Dilworth Park. “The Present” is back across the street at Christmas Village as well, but these aren’t the only places to find holiday cheer. People all across the city decorate their houses, and some even team up with their neighbors to create amazing neighborhood displays.
We made a list of our favorite holiday light displays with directions to get there without a car. All are minutes from SEPTA and will definitely get you in the holiday spirit. Don’t waste time stuck in traffic this holiday season. Leave the car behind and use the GoPhillyGo mobile site and Android app, available in the Google Play Store, to help you get to all the best holiday light displays this season.
Winter at Dilworth Park
Winter at Dilworth Park is back with live music, food, drink, and this year a full size ferris wheel decked with holiday lights. Take a ride and get a great view of the City Hall Christmas Tree and all the festivities below. City Hall is accessible from all SEPTA modes. Click here for directions.
LOVE Park - The Present
This year, Christmas Village at LOVE Park is centered around a 27 foot tall gift box illuminated by red and white holiday lights. Visitors can walk through the giant holiday gift for a unique experience. Stroll through more than 80 vendors selling crafts, food, and drinks too! Click here for directions!
Miracle on 13th St.
These neighbors team up and create one of the greatest neighborhood holiday lights display around. The entire street is covered in lights and decorations with many hanging from house to house. It’s a very popular place to visit, and so traffic backs up down Morris Street as people turn onto 13th. Don’t get caught in the jam. 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!
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 around 140 houses, 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 at 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!
Old City Community Menorah Lighting @Betsy Ross House
The House will join the Old City Jewish Arts Center to host a community menorah lighting celebrating the first night of Chanukah, complete with traditional foods like latke, doughnuts, and more. The OCJAC plans holiday-related children's activities and a nightly menorah lighting during the Jewish holiday. Sunday, December 22, 2019, 4:30 p.m.
Click here for directions.
Boathouse Row Kwanzaa Lighting Ceremony
Starting December 26, Philly’s iconic Boathouse Row on the Schuylkill River will be illuminated in blue and green to celebrate the start of the Kwanzaa holiday. On the first night, the roof of one of the middle houses will be lit yellow to signify the black candle of the Kinara. One house will be lit each following night until all seven are green and blue to honor the seven principles of Kwanzaa. The celebration starts at 5:30pm across from Boathouse Row at the Fish Ladder along MLK drive. You can also view this display from Fairmount Water Waterworks. Click here for directions to the fish ladder!
Smedley Street Christmas Spectacular
The grassy median dividing Smedley Street create a perfect place to set up tons of holiday decorations. Houses are adorned with lights and elaborate window displays of holiday themed decorations. Smedley Street is a few blocks from Oregon Station on the Broad Street subway, and you are sure to pass a few other neighbors with serious holiday spirit along the way. Click here for directions to the Smedley Street Christmas Spectacular!