Hanukkah Celebrations Around Philly
Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly party, a young-professionals gathering, or just an opportunity to eat a pile of sufganiyot, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the Festival of Lights in Philly.
Hanukkah begins December 18th this year, and whether you’re looking for a family-friendly party, a young-professionals gathering, or just an opportunity to eat a pile of sufganiyot, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the Festival of Lights all holiday long. So, brush up on your dreidel-spinning skills, and mark your calendars.
Menorah Lightings and Family-Friendly Events
Philly Car Parade and Celebration
This one is amazing, and I’m so glad it’s back. On the eve of the holiday, cars outfitted with giant menorahs drive down the Parkway and end at Independence Mall, where the world’s largest menorah will be lit. The celebration includes crafts, treats, a gelt drop, music, face-painting, a fire juggler and more.
Free; December 17th, parade at 7 p.m. on the Parkway, celebration from 8-10 p.m. at 5th and Market streets.
Media Chanukah Village
State Street in Media will transform into a holiday village with activities like candle making, story time, doughnut decorating, Lego dreidels, treats and more. Pick up your map at the courthouse and stroll around the neighborhood beginning at 2:30 p.m. Then, at 4:30 p.m., return to the courthouse for the grand menorah lighting and the gelt drop. The event is free, but RSVP is required online.
Free; December 18th, 2:30-5 p.m., Media Courthouse, 201 West Front Street, Media.
Yardley Chanukah Village
Main Street in Yardley will also transform into a festive village with activities, giveaways and treats at participating vendors and a party at Buttonwood Park. First, at 3 p.m., grab a map and stroll down the street for fun activities for all ages. Then, at 4:15 p.m., gather at the park for a grand menorah lighting, music and treats. The event is free, but RSVP is required online.
Free; December 18th, 3-5 p.m., Main Street and Buttonwood Park, Yardley.
Betsy Ross House Menorah Lighting
Join the Betsy Ross House and Old City Jewish Arts Center for the community menorah lighting celebrating the first night of Hanukkah. In addition to the lighting, you can celebrate with latke and jelly doughnuts.
Free; December 18th, 4:30 p.m., 239 Arch Street.
Hanukkah at Franklin Square
Following the Betsy Ross lighting (above), Old City Jewish Arts Center partners with Historic Philadelphia for a Hanukkah celebration at Franklin Square. OCJAC will distribute menorahs, dreidels and goodies for the children. While you’re there, stick around for the semi-hourly light show around the fountain and other holiday festivities.
Free; December 18th, 6-7 p.m., Franklin Square, 200 North 6th Street.
Chanukah on the Avenue 2022
Celebrate the first day of the festivities with music, games, candle-lighting, kids’ activities and more at the Singing Fountain on East Passyunk.
Free; December 18th, 3-5:30 p.m., the Singing Fountain, Passyunk and Tasker avenues.
Ice Menorah Lighting at Suburban Square
Chabad Main Line brings in the holiday with a menorah lighting, live ice sculpting, prizes, crafts and other kid-friendly activities on the lawn of Suburban Square.
Free; December 18th, 4 p.m., Suburban Square, Ardmore.
Hanukkah Celebration at Kol Tzedek
West Philly synagogue Kol Tzedek is turning 18, so it’s marking the occasion with a hybrid (in-person and on Zoom) celebration featuring kid-friendly activities, food, cocktails, shopping, dancing and much more. Tickets available online.
$36 suggested donation; December 18th, 4:30-8 p.m., Kol Tzedek, 707 South 50th Street.
Menorah Lighting with Brandon Graham at LOVE Park
Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham will be present at LOVE Park’s first menorah lighting, which will also feature klezmer music, sufganiyot and chocolate gelt, free menorahs and candles, and a nine-foot menorah.
Free; December 19th, 5-6 p.m., LOVE Park, 15th and Arch streets.
Rittenhouse Square Menorah Lighting
Come to the square on the third night of Hanukkah for a community lighting and celebration with Center City Kehillah. Pre-registration is requested to help them estimate the amount of holiday treats to bring, so do that here.
Free; December 20th, 5 p.m., 210 West Rittenhouse Square.
Main Line Menorah Parade
If you Main Liners missed the city parade of cars topped with giant menorahs, you’re in luck! Chabad of the Main Line hosts their own version on the third night of Hanukkah. Meet at 5:45 p.m. to get your car menorah, then start the parade at 6 p.m. At 7 p.m., gather for a menorah lighting, food and activities at Giant in Wynnewood. Sign up for your own car menorah online.
Free; December 20th, 6 p.m., starts at Chabad of the Main Line (625 Montgomery Avenue, Merion Station), with celebration at Giant (50 East Wynnewood Road, Wynnewood).
The Great Gelt Drop
Chabad Penn Wynne hosts a lighting and celebration at the fire station. Following yet another car and fire truck menorah parade at 4 p.m., meet at the firehouse at 5 p.m. for a menorah lighting, crafts, treats, fire-safety activities (makes sense for a holiday centered around lighting candles and frying oil every night) and, of course, the main event: the gelt drop. Catch and collect chocolate coins dropped by firefighters from 25 feet up in the air.
Free; December 21st, 5 p.m. (parade at 4 p.m.), 1440 Manoa Road, Wynnewood.
Menorah Lighting at the Headhouse Shambles
South Street Headhouse District will be hosting a menorah lighting with rabbis from Society Hill Synagogue, B’nai Abraham Chabad, and Congregation Kesher Israel. Candle lighting will begin at 4:45 p.m., and a short service will follow at 5 p.m. with light refreshments.
Free; December 22nd, 4:45 p.m., 2nd and Pine streets.
“Shine a Light” at the Weitzman
Jewish Federation, jkid4all and the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History are hosting a family event to highlight the history and customs of both Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. The event will include the lighting of both the kinara and the menorah, and attendees with get a take-home holiday craft.
Free, pre-registration required; December 26th, 3:30-5 p.m., 101 South Independence Mall East.
For the Grownups
8 Crazy Nights at Taqueria Amor
Taqueria Amor is all tricked-out for the holidays, but for the week of Hanukkah they’re having eight days of giveaways, too. While you’re there, grab a “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel” marg made with silver tequila, blue curaçao, allspice-pineapple puree and lime with a cinnamon-sugar rim.
Pay-as-you-go; December 18th-25th, 4410 Main Street.
Complete with a dance floor, photo ops, snacks, and “all the alcohol you couldn’t have at your own high school prom,” this black-tie event is as fun as its pun-tastic name.
$5; December 19th, 7:30 p.m. Kahal Kadosh Mikveh Israel, 44 North 4th Street.
Fire and Ice: YJP Philadelphia Happy Hour at Blue Cross RiverRink
Young Jewish Professionals Philly hosts a happy hour at the RiverRink with a giant menorah lighting, food and drink, and skating.
$20-$360; December 21st, 5-7 p.m., Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 South Columbus Boulevard.
Latke Tasting Bar
Mamash! Chabad hosts a delicious event in Philly. Enjoy a wide variety of latkes with assorted toppings prepared by local chef Ryan Horowitz, along with an open bar. Pre-registration is required online.
$5; December 21st, 8-9:30 p.m., Mamash! Chabad, 1601-03 Lombard Street.
One Crazy Night
Hundreds of young professionals and grad students gather at World Cafe Live for the largest adult Hanukkah party in the city. The night includes live music, dancing, an ugly sweater contest, menorah lighting, and festive food and drink. Tickets available online and at the door.
$10-$20; December 22nd, 7:30 p.m., World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street.
Latkes & Vodkas Shabbat
Mamash! Chabad hosts their annual Hanukkah Shabbat extravaganza with a four-course dinner, shabbat service, an open bar, and endless simcha.
$13-$25; December 23rd. 7-10:30 p.m., Mamash! Chabad, 1601-03 Lombard Street.