There’s a Giant Ferris Wheel Coming to City Hall for the Holidays
Also new this year at the Christmas Village in LOVE Park and Dilworth Park: a holiday train.
This year, Philly is really spreading (out) the holiday cheer.
For the first time ever, the city’s beloved Christmas Village will extend beyond LOVE Park not only to Dilworth Park, but also to City Hall’s north apron. And that’s not all: We’ll also get a 65-foot Ferris wheel, which you’ll be able to ride for $4 a pop. And a holiday train!
The new expansion — the Wawa Holiday Plaza, because Wawa — will feature new vendors, twinkling lights, hot cocoa, and more. From the top of the wheel, you’ll have a bird’s eye view of the holiday festivities, including the city’s forthcoming municipal Christmas Tree. (Although if it’s anything like last year’s 70-foot white fir from upstate New York you’ll still have to crane your neck a little to see the top.)
A number of amenities will return to City Hall this year, including “ACME Winter Memories” in the City Hall Courtyard, which includes a carousel, as well as last year’s giant, walk-through gift box, known as “The Present,” at LOVE Park. And of course, expect all the usual vendors, including the cheese sandwich man. (Everyone’s favorite.) There will also be plenty of other German and European food, as well as mulled wine and cold beer, and lots of twinkling lights surrounding you while you munch and shop away.
The Christmas Village Holiday Train, located near the Ferris wheel, will loop around the Wawa Holiday Plaza. Rides on the train will be $3 each.
The Christmas Village will open on Thanksgiving Day, which falls on November 28th this year. Its kickoff will coincide with the city’s annual Thanksgiving Parade. You’ll be able to visit daily through Christmas Eve.
Hours will be Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thanksgiving Day hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Christmas Eve hours will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can ride the Ferris wheel, holiday train and carousel during those times.
“Christmas Village is so thrilled to announce our largest expansion ever in our 12 years of being in Philadelphia,” Christmas Village president (what a title!) Thomas Bauer said. “Each and every year Christmas Village has grown, from the early days around the outside of City Hall, to over the years to the brand-new LOVE Park, to taking over the City Hall Courtyard, to now taking over North Broad. The holiday vibes will be unlike anything you have experienced before.”