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Published November 3, 2023

Philadelphia's Ultimate 2023 Winter Bucket List

The best places to ~chill~ in Philly this winter. ❄️🧣🎄 

by Philadelphia Bucket List


Philadelphia is magical in the wintertime. The historic buildings come alive with twinkling lights, the cobblestone streets look stunning covered in snow, and the brisk air makes the fire pits that much more cozy.

From ice skating to holiday light events to special shopping experiences and unique pop-ups, we’ve gathered all of the best winter activities in Philly and wrapped them up with a pretty bow — just for you! Here’s your ultimate Philadelphia winter bucket list.

20 Things to Add to Your Philly Bucket List This Winter 

Make the Most of Winter in Dilworth Park

Dilworth Park is your one-stop shop for fun activities all winter long. Whether you’d rather coast along the open-air skating rink, sit by the fire near a chalet with a cup of coffee, or take a walk through the winter garden, there’s plenty to keep you coming back all season long.

Where: 1 S. 15th Street, Philadelphia, PA
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Explore the Philadelphia Christmas Village

Be transported to Germany by visiting this adorable European-inspired Christmas market. An evening at the market comes complete with vendors to shop, delicious food to try, rides to enjoy, and even spirit tastings. 

Where: 1500 Arch Street, Philadelphia PA
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See George Balanchine's The Nutcracker® at the Academy of Music

Yuval Cohen and Artists of Philadelphia Ballet with Students of School of Philadelphia Ballet in "George Balanchine's The Nutcracker®," choreography by George Balanchine, The George Balanchine Trust. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker® is back at the Philadelphia Ballet with Character Meet and Greets, Nutcracker Tea, Instagram-worthy backdrops, and a special Sensory Friendly Performance. You'll journey through exciting battles, sugar-filled dreams, enchanting winter forests, and more. From the dazzling costumes and sets to the beloved music and beautiful performances, this is the perfect place to get your fill of magic and holiday cheer. Running from December 8 through 30!

Where: 240 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA
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Feel the Nostalgia at A Longwood Christmas

The Longwood Gardens become a retro holiday paradise from November 17 to January 7. Wander the tree-lined paths to view vintage-inspired decorations with a cup of cocoa in hand. If you're a DIY lover, they also offer workshops to make your own wreaths, floral displays, and more. And, of course, don't miss the colorful illuminated fountains!

Where: 1800 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA
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See the Deck the Hall Light Show

If you’re looking for an easy, free activity to fill you with holiday cheer, look no further than the annual Deck the Hall show at Philly City Hall. Every night from 5pm to 9pm on the hour, the western side of the building will be aglow with an illuminating show.

Where: 1400 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA
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Go Ice Skating at Blue Cross RiverRink

Winterfest at the river rink offers a fun place to strap on some skates or chill at the rinkside lounge while taking in the views of the Delaware River. If that’s not your thing, you can always take a ride on the illuminated Ferris wheel or grab a delicious seasonal snack.

Where: 101 South Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA
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Shop the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market

Shop all of Philly’s best local vendors in one convenient place at the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market. Browse local artisans, designers, crafters, and jewelers, and get all of your holiday shopping done in one spot. Admission is free!

Where: 1 S 15th St, Philadelphia, PA
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Warm up With a S'mores Hot Chocolate

Looking for a low-key way to spend an afternoon? Visit The Goat Rittenhouse and cozy up with a luscious and delicious s’mores hot chocolate for a tasty treat. With toasted marshmallows, graham crackers, and rich chocolate, it's essentially a campfire in a cup.

Where: 1907 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA
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Chill at Chestnut Hill on Ice

Mark your calendar because one of the most unique events of the year is only around for two days. On January 27 and 28, world-renowned ice sculptor Peter Slavin will be carving creatures out of ice in Chestnut Hill. The free event also has curling, live music, and restaurant specials.

Where: 10 East Springfield Ave, Philadelphia, PA
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Check out LumiNature at the Philly Zoo

See the Philly Zoo in a whole new way this winter! LumiNature features a train ride, a scavenger hunt, and more than one million twinkling lights for you to walk through. The only thing to keep in mind is that the animals will be sleeping, so it’s not the best time for a cheetah sighting.

Where: 3400 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA
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Visit Tinseltown at FDR Park

This outdoor walkthrough is one of the most magical in the city. Slide along an ice trail, skid down the massive ice slide, and take photos with the Clauses. Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular is the perfect event for little ones, but don’t forget you need a ticket!

Where: 1500 Pattison Avenue & S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA
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Donate Time or Money to a Worthy Cause

Nothing feels better than doing good for others around the holidays. Whether you’re looking to donate your time or your money, some great options are the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, Girls on the Run, the Coalition Against Hunger, or Mighty Writers.

Where: Various locations


Experience the Grand Illumination Celebration at Peddler's Village

The Peddler’s Village Grand Illumination is back for its 23rd year. Santa and Mrs. Claus will kick off the 2023 holiday season when they turn on the lights 6:15pm. The rest of the night is chock full of Santa sing-alongs and performances from local singers and dance groups. While you're there, make sure to check out the impressive gingerbread houses for the Peddler’s Village annual competition, too!

Where: 2400 Street Road, New Hope, PA
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Drive Through the Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farms

Be dazzled by millions of holiday lights from the comfort of your own car — or an open-air wagon ride if you can handle the cold! Shady Brook Farms’ annual event is a family favorite for its amazing displays and cheerful scenes with familiar characters.

Where: 931 Stony Hill Rd. Yardley, PA
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Visit Sparkling Pink for the Holidays at The Ritz-Carlton

Add a little pink to your holidays at this exclusive nestled within the original bank vault at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia. Sip a festive welcome cocktail or mocktail and complimentary light bites as you take in the lavish decorations—think floor-to-ceiling pink tinsel, glittering garlands, and an array of dazzling ornaments!

Where: Exclusive Entrance: 1400 South Penn Square Doors at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia
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Eat and Shop During Stag & Doe Nights at Chestnut Hill

Every Wednesday night between Thanksgiving and Christmas, take a stroll through Chestnut Hill for the beloved Stag & Doe nights. Restaurants offer specials, bars offer deals, and stores stay open late. If you’re lucky, you’ll see Santa or hear the sweet songs of carollers, too!

Where: Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA
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Ring in 2024 at the Philly Resolution Ball

2023 is winding down, and whether you're sad to see it go or can't wait to put it behind you, it's time to figure out your NYE plans. Dress your best and head to the Philly Resolution Ball to celebrate in elegance and style. Held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, The Resolution Ball is Boston's largest and longest-running New Year’s Eve bash for the past 20 years, and now it's coming to Philly! Enjoy party favors, a photo booth, and a midnight countdown.

Where: Philadelphia Marriott Downtown: 1200 Filbert St, Philadelphia, PA
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Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, 1200 Filbert St, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
Philly Resolution Ball
Starting at $44

Book now


Check Out the Rides at the Philadelphia Auto Show

Get out of the snow and into a luxurious new vehicle at the Philadelphia Auto Show. Check out some of the hottest, fastest, and most unique cars at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from January 13 through 21.

Where: 12th & Arch Streets, Philadelphia PA
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Celebrate the Lunar New Year

There’s no better way to ring in the Lunar New Year than the parades in Chinatown. Check out lion dancing, drum performances, and firecrackers at one of four (two-day and two-night) events at 10th and Spring Street.

Note: 2024 dates are TBA.

Where: 210 N 10th St, Philadelphia, PA
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Celebrate Turkey Day at the Thanksgiving Day Parade

Move over, Macy’s! Did you know the Thanksgiving Day parade in Philly is the oldest in the country? See marching bands, floats, and giant balloons soar over Center City and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Turkey Day!

Where: Starts at 20th Street & John F. Kennedy Boulevard and ends at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA 19103
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