Philadelphia is full of holiday spirit this time of year and you don’t need a car to enjoy it.
Every holiday season, the city and its residents show off their festive pride by decorating parks and houses with lights and brightly colored ornaments. Some neighbors even coordinate and transform entire city blocks into holiday wonderlands!
Places like “The Miracle on 13th Street” in South Philadelphia and Christmas Village in LOVE Park are extremely popular and draw hundreds of visitors. These areas are congested with traffic and driving in circles looking for parking is no fun. Fortunately, the best places to see holiday lights are transit friendly.
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.
The Present - Love Park
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!
Holiday Lights Walk 2018 with Feet First Philly
Meet outside Macy’s at 13th and Market streets, and explore a number of great holiday light displays in Center City before ending at Rittenhouse Square. This is an all ages walk and tickets are required. Click here to purchase tickets!
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!
Miracle on 13th Street - (13th Between Tasker and Morris)
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!
2700 Smedley St & 2700 Colorado Street
The grassy medians dividing the roadway on these unique residential streets makes them perfect places to set up tons of holiday decorations. Neighbors on each block create an elaborate display of holiday themed decorations including Frosty the Snowman, giant candy canes, and a life sized Santa complete with a sleigh and reindeer. Many of the neighbors have intricate holiday displays in their front windows too, so make sure you take a look at the houses on your visit. These streets are only a couple blocks apart, and many houses between them are decorated too. Both are very close to the Oregon Station on the Broad Street subway. Click here for directions to 2700 Smedley St and here for 2700 Colorado St.
4200 Greeby Street
This street has loads of holiday spirit, and every year the neighbors put on one of the best holiday displays in Northeast Philadelphia. The houses are decorated on both sides of the street with lights and giant blow up decorations. Santa and Mrs. Claus make regular weekend evening visits. Septa bus routes 66 and 88 will get you there, so be sure to plan your trip on GoPhillyGo. Click here for directions!
Mayfair Christmas Decoration Contest - (Frankford Ave and Cottman Ave)
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. Winners are nominated by their neighbors, a complete map of all the participants will be available at the Mayfair Civic Association website after this weekend. The network is centered around the very SEPTA accessible intersection of Frankford and Cottman Avenues. Click here for directions to get there!
Whatever and however you’ll be celebrating this year, GoPhillyGo wishes you happy holidays, and we hope you’ll be getting around safely without a car!