PHILADELPHIA — FYI Philly hosts Ducis Rodgers and Alicia Vitarelli check out last-minute shopping ideas, light shows for the holidays.
Philadelphia’s Holiday Tree Powered By NRG at City Hall
The massive Concolor White Fir that now sits lit at City Hall was grown at Yule tree Farms, a third-generation family farm in western New York.
It’s the centerpiece of City Hall’s north apron, dubbed for the season the Wawa Holiday Plaza. There’s a Ferris wheel, a trackless train, food vendors, and the NRG House, where you can learn about NRG products and deals.
There’s a carousel in the City Hall courtyard, and if you venture around to Dilworth Park on the west side, you can take a spin on the Rothman Rink then warm up and refuel in the cozy Rothman Cabin with its menu full of hearty comfort foods, cocktails and hot chocolate and cider.
The Dilworth Park Wintergarden has become a popular selfie spot with thousands of twinkling lights, a reindeer topiary and a huge overhead arbor.
Santa is coming to the Wintergarden on Dec. 3, the same day as the Visit Philadelphia Holiday parade.
It’s a lighted parade with illuminated floats, cold-air balloons and marching bands from eight states.
It will kick off at 2nd and Market Streets and make its way west to City Hall.
1 S 15th St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
West Philadelphia pop-up gives minority businesses a boost
“There’s so much talent in our community, we really wanted to highlight that,” said Daria Williams, senior director of The Enterprise Center, which recently opened the Black Holiday Pop-Up store at 52nd and Ludlow streets.
The Enterprise Center owns the building. As a nonprofit, the center focuses on supporting small minority-owned businesses. Those are the types of businesses featured at the pop-up, which The Enterprise Center is operating for the very first time.
“The shop hosts over 40 Black-owned businesses ranging from jewelry to art to clothing to candles,” said Williams.
All of the vendors are local, and they now get to sell their wares in the heart of West Philadelphia.
The pop-up sits along the once-thriving 52nd Street corridor.
“It’s been a historically Black business-owned corridor,” said Williams. “Some of our hope and our work is to bring that back to 52nd Street.”
The Enterprise Center sent out a call for vendors to apply earlier this fall. More than 80 applied, and just over 40 got spaces in the pop-up shop. Those vendors don’t have to pay rent for the space.
“It’s free to them to participate,” said Williams. “They get the majority of the proceeds and we take a small portion for the operating costs.”
The shop uses a barcode system to ring up each item vendors provide. Those items vary but the goal of the pop-up shop is the same: to give dozens of minority-owned businesses a “home” for the holidays.
The Black Holiday Pop-Up shop is open Tuesday through Sunday at 52nd and Ludlow street. Hours are as follows:
Tuesday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m to 5 p.m.
Decked Out Dining: Tinsel, Craftsman Row, Taqueria Amor
Tinsel in Center City is fast becoming an annual tradition.
It’s a pop-up bar decorated from floor to ceiling with holiday knickknacks. Everywhere you look, you’re going to see something different.
The space is purposefully designed to be photographed.
This year, there’s a new augmented reality projection designed to be a stained-glass window with a constantly moving display of holiday iconography.
While the eye candy is a big part of the experience, Tinsel is a bar and there are 12 themed cocktails to choose from.
116 S. 12th St. Philadelphia, PA 19107
Craftsman Row Saloon on Jeweler’s Row is decorated with more than 2,000 hand-glued ornaments, along with thousands of yards of garland.
Known for its over-the-top milkshakes, the “All I Want for Christmas” shake has eggnog, Bassett’s ice cream and gingerbread mixed in, with a decorated cookie, lollipop, green and red sour strip, and crushed peppermint on top!
There are also 10 themed cocktails on the menu, each featuring a different spirit.
The “Mistle-Toast” is brandy infused with rosemary, spiced rum, cinnamon, and vanilla.
The “Blue Holiday” is tequila-based with pineapple, blue curacao, lime, and a rosemary tree with powdered sugar to resemble snow.
The food will get you in the spirit too, with appetizers like brussels sprouts and pigs in a blanket.
The “Christmas Dinner Burger” is an entire Christmas dinner served sandwich-style. It’s two beef patties, sweet potato fries, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and cheese layered on a potato roll.
112 S. 8th St. Philadelphia, PA 19107
Taqueria Amor in Manayunk has transformed into “Señor Grinch’s” with throwback Christmas-themed sections.
Along with the nostalgia-inducing décor, there’s a projector that plays clips of classic Christmas movies.
The “Home Alone” themed “Wet Bandit Bar” features nine holiday cocktails, available in single glass and pitcher sizes.
The most popular margaritas are the “Grinch-A-Rita” and the “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Margarita”.
The “Cindy Lou’s Spiked Yoo-Hoo” is Taqueria Amor’s take on a white Russian with vodka and a splash of Kahlua mixed with the classic childhood favorite Yoo-Hoo.
You can also enjoy Mexican favorites like fish tacos, chicken taquitos, and nachos.
There’s also a Philly cheesesteak quesadilla on the menu.
4410 Main St. Philadelphia, PA 19127
Christmas at Longwood Gardens features 39 miles of lights, holiday fun
A Longwood Christmas is a stunning display of botanical splendor, which is the theme of this year’s show.
There are 550,000 lights, which public relations officer Patricia Evans says would stretch 39 miles if laid end to end.
Inside the tropical conservatory, you can bask in two acres of gardens with towering trees glimmering with botanical ornaments and 3,000 poinsettias.
The music room has been transformed into a floral shop with floral couture dresses designed by students from Drexel. There’s live organ music every evening and living works of art throughout.
When the sun sets, the grounds are transformed into a dazzling spectacle of lights with fountains dancing to holiday music, more than 150 lit trees, and a new light tunnel.
1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, Pa. 19348
Through January 8; Tickets are timed.
Holiday Light Shows around Philadelphia
If you’re looking for a holiday light show for the family, we have three must-see displays around the city.
200 N 6th St, Philadelphia, PA
Show runs until February 26, 2023
3400 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Show runs until January 7th, 2023
1 S 15th St (West Side of City Hall), Philadelphia, PA 19102
Show runs until January 1st, 2023
“Blue Man” comes to town for the holidays
The holidays are always a big time for Broadway.
The kids are out of school so people come to the city to shop, dine and see a show.
That’s why you’ll always find a family-friendly favorite playing the week between Christmas and New Year.
This year, it’s “Blue Man Group”.
We headed North to the Big Apple to catch them in action.
250 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
The Fairgrounds at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks have been transformed into a winter wonderland with 1.2 million lights.
There’s a mistletoe marketplace for holiday shopping, Tinsels Lodge and Pub for a cup of holiday cheer and a light-up dance floor for the kids to burn off a little energy.
Santa and Mrs. Claus are here nightly and Gritty makes special appearances too. Wagon Wednesdays are dedicated to the dogs. Plus, there’s an ice rink with real ice and a 160-foot ice slide.
Through December 31st
Fairgrounds at Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
100 Station Avenue, Oaks, Pa. 19456
During the holiday season, Chestnut Hill’s more than 125 independent shops stay open late on Wednesdays as part of the neighborhood’s annual Stag and Doe nights.
At the bookstore, booked., you can give the gift of reading in more ways than one.
The shop has partnered with Tree House Books in North Philadelphia to launchBranching Out With Books. For every board book bought, booked. will donate a board book to a child in need.
Shoppers can also donate a gently-used board book and get 15% off their purchase.
While on the Hill, you can also stop in at the Morris Arboretum Holiday Garden Railway
It covers a quarter acre with 11 Train loops and seven trolley lines and miniature versions of some of Philadelphia’s historic buildings created out of plant material.
8511 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, Pa. 19118
Through December 30th
10am-4pm daily, 430-8pm, December 18 & 23rd
100 E. Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19118
For the first time ever, Disney On Ice inviting families to step inside the magical adventures of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen and Encanto.
You can sing along to your favorite songs while watching your friends from Arendelle and a mountain town in Colombia perform world-class ice skating and astounding aerial acrobatics.
Wells Fargo Center, 3601 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19148