The Best Places to See Holiday Lights Around Philadelphia
Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show
Franklin Square’s Holiday Festival is in full swing, with beer, hot chocolate, fire pits, and so on. But the highlight of course is the high lights of the Electrical Spectacle, bathing the park in a warm, wintery glow.
Through December 31, 200 N. Sixth St.
Deck the Hall Light Show
The western face of City Hall will blink and twinkle with this high-tech light show every night from now until the end of the year. Click here for show times. (Hey, while you’re there, why not check out Wintergarden? It’s open through February 23.)
Through January 1, Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St.
Miracle on South 13th Street
Every year the residents of this lovely little South Philly block string up the lights and plug in the bobbing reindeer for a group-effort Christmas display that pleases the eye (and probably raises the PECO bill). Drive through slowly and bask in its homespun glory.
Through January 1, South 13th Street between Tasker & Morris streets.
Boathouse Row Festival of Lights
All month, the always-pretty houses along Boathouse Row have been getting festive with coordinated light displays. The color-scheme will change from Christmas (through December 25) to Kwanzaa (December 26) to Chanukah (December 29).
Through January 1, Boathouse Row, along the Schuylkill River, best viewed from MLK Drive.
Eating and drinking costs money — as does ice skating and playing the arcade games — but being merry is free of charge. Put on a scarf and stroll the grounds of this riverside winter wonderland with a sweet view of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
Through March 8, 101 S. Columbus Blvd.
Greeby Street Christmas
Like the aforementioned Miracle on South 13th Street, this holiday tradition in Tacony is as much a display of neighborly cheer as it is of watts and lumens. You might need to drive through a couple times just to take it all in. (NOTE: The Facebook page hasn’t been updated but we’ll assume this is still happening unless we hear otherwise.)
Through December 31, 4200 Greeby St.
Shady Brook Farm
Every winter a real live working farm in Yardley sets up a two-mile stretch of illuminated holiday attractions. Drive yourself through or hop in the back of an open air wagon. Then pull over for cocoa and s’mores.
$30 per car; $15 for a wagon ride, through January 5, 931 Stony Hill Rd., 931 Stony Hill Rd, Yardley, PA.
Smedley Street Christmas Light Spectacular
An otherwise unassuming block in Southwest Philly becomes a Christmas Street every year around this time, thanks to the many light-up attractions large and small that pop up along the median. Cruise through or bundle up and walk (but keep off the grass).
Through January 7 (we think), 2700 Smedley St. (between 16th & 17th streets, Moyamensing and Oregon avenues).
If for some reason a collection of exotic animals from all over the fricking world isn’t enough for you, perhaps this winter-themed light show will tickle your fancy. LumiNature features “12 different illuminated experiences” throughout the zoo.
$19-$24, continues through January 5, Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Ave.
West Chester Griswolds
Taking a cue from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the Plummer family likes to go extra, extra large with their light displays. We’re talking about 103,000 bulbs, many of which are synched up for maximum bedazzlement.
Through January 4, 304 Dutton Mill Rd., West Chester, PA.