A Guide to the Holidays in Franklin Square
Light shows, mini golf, cozy drinks, Santa visits and more to celebrate all season long.
Beginning November 16th, Franklin Square is all holiday, all the time. Winter will bring sparkle through the New Year (and beyond), fun things to do, holiday events, and plenty to eat and drink. Here’s what the Center City park has planned for the season.
Electrical Spectacle Light Show
Every night from November 16th through February 26th, more than 200,000 lights will shine throughout Franklin Square for the Electrical Spectacle. Through January 8th, the lights will dance, synchronized to a soundtrack of holiday classics (Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You,” selections from The Nutcracker, plus some songs performed by the Philly POPS). There are two alternating shows every 30 minutes beginning at 5 p.m. daily and running throughout the night’s activities until 9 p.m. If you stay a while, you can catch them both. Beginning on January 10th, the holiday soundtrack will be replaced by Johnny Mathis’s “Winter Wonderland” for each show through February 26th.
Fun and Games
Franklin Square’s Philly-themed mini golf gets a holiday makeover with giant decorative animal friends, lights and music to become “Chilly Philly Mini Golf.” Golf tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for kids at night; during the day the price drops to $12 and $10, respectively. (Golf is free for children under 2.) Come February, the theming changes to “Philly Mini Golf with Love” for Valentine’s Day.
The playground and carousel remain open every day. The carousel will play holiday music and glow up at night with the rest of the square. Tickets for the carousel are $3.50 for ages 3 and up. Kids shorter than 42 inches must be accompanied by an adult. The playground is always free, and is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Food and Drink
In addition to Franklin Square’s year-round SquareBurger stand, which will operate during daytime and evening hours, Ben’s Sweets and Treats will be operating evenings through January 8th. Here, you’ll find hand-crafted cocktails, hot chocolate (both regular and boozy), seasonal beers and wine in an indoor heated tent. Kids can also decorate holiday cookies and grab s’mores kits and other treats. Take your goodies outside to enjoy around the fire pits.
Special Events and Celebrations
The season kicks off with Santa on the evening of Black Friday, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. He’ll also be there the next night, November 26th, at the same time. If you miss him on Thanksgiving weekend, Santa will be back for “Jingle and Mingle” evenings on December 3rd, 10th and 17th, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Franklin Square is also planning celebrations for Hanukkah with Old City Jewish Arts Center, and Kwanzaa with the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Stay tuned for those dates and more details.
To close out the year, Franklin Square is reprising its free Kids’ New Year’s Eve Countdown on December 31st from 5 to 6 p.m. Enjoy music and crafts before the “Square Drop” from atop SquareBurger at 6 p.m. and stay to watch the fireworks over the waterfront from the square.
Finally, Queen Elsa and her princess friends will host winter’s final event at Franklin Square, with Ice Princess Weekend on January 20th and 21st.
Franklin Square’s holiday festivities run from November 16, 2022, through February 26, 2023. Entrance and the light show are free. Mini golf, carousel rides, and food are pay-as-you-go. Franklin Square is located at 6th and Race streets, and is accessible via SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line, which stops at 8th and Market streets.