It’s Finally Back: LOVE Park’s Christmas Village Opens on Thursday

Here's your first chance to step foot in the park since it closed for construction last year.

love park christmas village

Philadelphia Christmas Village | Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Let’s face it: Dilworth Park just can’t stack up to LOVE Park when it comes to hosting our annual Christmas Village.

It’s nothing against Dilworth: it’s just that some things are meant to be, and LOVE Park’s Christmas Village is one of them.

That being said, we’re thrilled to announce that the open-air holiday market will return to its rightful home this year, starting at 9 a.m. on Thursday – Thanksgiving Day. Don’t expect the attraction in all its glory, though: construction on the park has yet to wrap up, so the village will look at little different than it has in previous years.

For starters, the market will be enclosed in a fenced area on the north side of the park, and construction will resume outside the fence. (According to 6ABC, some vendors are angry that the park won’t be completely accessible, as they were originally told it would be.) Still, at least 80 vendors will set up shop, including the classic European food booths, ornament shops, wineries and more.

The village will operate through Christmas Eve during the following hours:

Thanksgiving Day: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday to Thursday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Christmas Eve: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Anyone who visits the market this weekend will likely be in for a treat – there are a plethora of opening festivities planned for the village.

To start, kids can pose for pictures with Santa during scheduled hours. And you can expect performances at 3 p.m. on Thursday, as well as at noon (with the Philly POPS Festival Brass) and 3 and 5 p.m. on Black Friday.

The village will celebrate its first Saturday in business with a jam-packed schedule, including performances every hour from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., as well as a “kids corner” from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Then, on Sunday, the OFFICIAL opening ceremony will take place. That’ll include a sing-a-long to holiday selections by the Camden Catholic High School Band, as well as the appearance of the Nuremberg Christkind (who brings Christmas gifts to kids in Germany) in a horse-drawn carriage. Speakers and performances – which begin at 3:45 p.m. – include City Representative Sheila Hess and Christmas Village founder Thomas Bauer.

For those getting to the market by car, the city has released an interactive map to help visitors find parking in advance. You can search the day and time you plan to visit and reserve a place through SpotHero.

LOVE Park’s official reopening is slated for spring – a year behind schedule. A number of issues (like unexpected underground obstacles) have prompted delays since the park first closed for its $16.5 million facelift in February of 2016.