Three Winter Food Day Trips Within 90 Minutes of Philly
Where to go on a winter Saturday when eating, drinking, and ogling holiday lights are your top priorities.
There are lots of ways to access the holiday spirit in Philly — you could check out a decked-out bar, stroll down South 13th Street, or go to Dilworth Park. But to unlock the purest expression of winter coziness, getting out of the city is a must. Here are three afternoon itineraries for destinations within 90 minutes of Philly. These wineries, walking areas, and pubs aren’t too far from the city, but they’ll essentially transport you to a Hallmark movie set.
Where to go: Peddler’s Village
What to do: Look at Christmas lights, eat steak frites, drink beer.
Peddler’s Village is kind of like the Stars Hollow of the Philadelphia region in that it’s always having a quaint festival. Their seasonal display for Christmas is no exception — it covers the whole town in colorful, over-the-top lights. The displays are not particularly involved, but they truly frost the town in them, which gives the whole place a magical feel. (These displays remain up through January 8th.) In addition to the lights, Peddler’s Village hosts a gingerbread competition and other wintery events through the month of December. Whenever you’ve had enough of Christmas displays, grab a beer at Free Will Brewing Company or visit Peddler’s Pub for a hearty lunch of Bavarian pretzels, pub cheese, and pulled pork sandwiches. If you want a slightly more upscale meal, check out Earl’s New American for oysters, steak frites, seasonal pastas and classic cocktails.
The Inn at Grace Winery feels about a million miles away from Philly. But the reality it only takes about 35 minutes to drive there from Center City. Set on a wooded property just outside Glen Mills, the Inn has seven rooms, a restaurant and a tasting room, which is where you should be headed. Sit inside the renovated barn and drink some of Grace Winery’s wine, snacks, and charcuterie and cheese pairings. If the weather holds, go sit by the fire and enjoy the winter sun. Make a day of it by hitting Arasapha Tree Farm, where you can choose your own tree, take a holiday hay ride, roast s’mores and sip hot chocolate.
Longwood Gardens’ holiday display is a Philly classic. And if you’ve never been, it’s worth considering the drive. In addition to the 400 acres of beautiful, walkable gardens (plus a large, indoor conservatory that stays warm year round), the staff puts together a seasonal display involving plants and approximately a million Christmas lights, as well as huge fire pits, organ music and more. Even if you can’t get tickets for the evening lights programming, the winter is an exceptionally good time to visit Longwood, since you might feel somewhat starved for plant life and outdoor time. Before or after your Longwood Gardens experience, spend the afternoon at the nearby Galer Estate Winery. Their tasting room has a fireplace and huge stained-glass windows, all of which pairs nicely with sparkling Gruner veltliner, Bordeaux-style reds, plus cheese and crackers. If you want a larger meal, you can bring your own picnic.