9 Philadelphia Holiday Festivities to Indulge in Right Now

From light shows to tipple to tasty treats, here's how to get in the holiday spirit.

Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks. / Photograph by Shannon Rostick via Comcast Spectacor

Everything Is Illuminated

The Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular, presented by Dietz & Watson, runs at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks and boasts 1.2 million light bulbs, shopping, dining, an eco-friendly ice-skating rink, photos with Santa, and Gritty Claus appearances (through January 2nd). The Philadelphia Zoo’s “LumiNature” nighttime zoo experience is back, this time with more than a million lights, including 500 twinkling flamingos and a 100- foot-long aquarium tunnel (through January 9th). If you live near Hamilton in Jersey, the after-hours experience “Night Forms” at the Grounds for Sculpture promises vibrant art viewing (through February 27th).


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Get Tipsy at Tinsel

Sip a snow-globe-shaped cocktail at this over-the-top pop-up bar that takes over Midtown Village this month. This year’s Tinsel decor is influenced by the Nutcracker and features custom artwork by local artist Scott Johnston, who pays tribute to Christmas villains like Krampus and Jack Skellington (through December 31st). Check out the Yule Lodge, a back-patio winter wonderland at Rittenhouse’s Butcher Bar where you can indulge in “Moose Milk” cocktails with vodka, Fernet-Branca and Irish cream. Or taste spiced mulled-wine cocktails at Brauhaus Schmitz on South Street.

Indulge in Holiday Sweets

You can’t beat Isgro Pastries in South Philly for cannoli and a platter of the best-selling ricotta cookies ( Head to Chestnut Hill for a yule log from Night Kitchen — a delicious light sponge cake with dark chocolate icing and fondant snowmen. And for a touch of nostalgia, visit Shane Confectionery, the oldest candy store in the U.S. There, you’ll find classic confections, seasonal goodies, and arguably the best hot chocolate in the city, made with their ethically sourced house chocolate.

Published as “Know-it-All Guide: Joyful Jaunts” in the December 2021 issue of Philadelphia magazine.