What’s Open on Christmas Day in Philly?

Whether you celebrate or not, here’s what’s happening around Philly on December 25th.

open on christmas day philadelphia weitzman museum

“Being _____ at Christmas” event at the Weitzman / Photograph by Mario Manzoni

Whether you need something to do after the presents are opened or you don’t celebrate Christmas, it’s hard to find something to do on December 25th. Movies and Chinese food will always be there for you (never a bad option, especially with the Foobooz Chinatown guide), but if you want a change of pace this year, we’ve got you covered. So clean up that wrapping paper some other time: Here’s what’s open on Christmas in Philly.

“Being ___ at Christmas” at the Weitzman

After years of pandemic hiatus, this annual celebration is back in person! The Weitzman National Museum of Jewish American History is open on Christmas Day and goes all out with family-friendly performances and activities. Kids can do make-and-take crafts, enjoy story time, and then head to the fifth floor for high-energy musical performances and workshops: kids’ music with Lolly Hopwood, a Chinese lion dance demonstration by the Philadelphia Suns, a drumming workshop led by Joseph Tayoun, and hip-hop dance workshop by Movemakers Philly. If the little ones need a break, head to the sensory-friendly play zone, which has a foam floor, Legos, blocks and puzzles. Kids’ activities last from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. But the entire museum will be open until 5 p.m., including their re-opening exhibition, “The Future Will Follow the Past,” so you can also use this day as an opportunity to visit, shop, and take a pic with the OY/YO sculpture.
$10-$15 in advance, $20 at the door, free for museum members; 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 South Independence Mall East.

“Christmas Underwater” at Adventure Aquarium

Christmas Underwater at Adventure Aquarium / Photograph by Laura Swartz

Not only is the aquarium open on Christmas — it’s decked out in holiday cheer! Though Scuba Santa will have returned to the North Pole by Christmas (catch him through December 24th), the aquarium’s unique oceanic spin on seasonal decor — including the “World’s Tallest Underwater Christmas Tree” in Shark Realm — will still be on display throughout the animals’ homes. Where else are you going to see an 18-foot-tall coral sculpture with sharks swimming around it? Plus, all the rest of the aquarium is up and running, so stop by to wish all the sea life a merry “Fishmas.” The aquarium has reduced hours on December 25th, so plan to be out of there by 3 p.m.
$27-$43; 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Adventure Aquarium, 1 Riverside Drive, Camden.


Skating at Blue Cross RiverRink/ Photograph by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Both the Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn’s Landing and Rothman Rink at Dilworth Park are open on Christmas Day. While the hours are shortened (check their websites), there’s plenty of time for afternoon skating that (hopefully) won’t be too crowded. Both spots are also highly photogenic and have cozy après-skate cabins with warm drinks and comfort food, too. So stick around and make some memories.

Dumpling Academy

Learn how to make your own dumplings, guided and taught by Yin, the “Dumpling Queen.” You’ll learn how to make your own filling, fill either pre-made or hand-made wrappers, cook them, and enjoy your creations — be sure to bring a container so you can take home the leftovers. You’ll also have assorted dim sum and snacks upon arrival, and the workshop is BYOB! The workshop is open to both adults and children, and advance tickets are required.
$50-$95; 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 2401 Walnut Street, suite 102.

Disney on Ice

Disney on Ice / Photograph courtesy of Feld Entertainment

You know the drill, parents: Get the kids into their most glittery princess costumes to watch a couple hours of figure skating set to their favorite Disney movie soundtracks. This year, Encanto joins the lineup, so feel free to sing along to “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” because, be honest, you know all the words. Also, Frozen, because Disney knows where its bread is buttered. Buy the $30 light-up wands and commemorative cups while you’re at it. For even more magic, book a pre-show meet-and-greet with Elsa and Mirabel for an extra $70.
$26-$140; 4 p.m., Wells Fargo Center, 3601 South Broad Street.

Holiday Lights

holidays christmas lights philadelphia

A stretch of lighted rowhouses on the 1700 block of South 13th Street is affectionately known as the “Miracle on 13th Street.” / Photograph by K.Kelly for Visit Philadelphia

While lots of holiday attractions are closed, others stay merry and bright on Christmas. Open-air wagon rides and other attractions aren’t running at Shady Brook Farm, but if you want to drive through the two-mile stretch of light displays in Yardley, tickets are available for Christmas. Or head to an elaborately decorated stretch of the city like Smedley Street or Miracle on South 13th Street — if you haven’t seen it yet, December 25th is as good a day as any. And since Dilworth Park is open for skating, the Deck the Hall light show will also be running.

Longwood Gardens

The holiday experience is already sold out at night, so while you can’t see the gardens lit up, you can still catch the festive displays and stroll the gorgeous grounds during the day — though get tickets in advance, because that might not be true for much longer, either.
$16-$30; 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square.