Even with the weather getting colder and the days getting shorter, there are still plenty of events to attend in the Philadelphia area this month and into 2022. Close out the year with festivals, Chanukah celebrations and a brand-new parade downtown.
Dilworth Park in front of City Hall transforms into a winter wonderland all season. The Rothman Orthopaedic Institute Ice Rink is now open for outdoor ice skating. The Wintergarden is a nice place to sit among twinkling lights, and the Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin is serving seasonal dishes and cocktails.
Winter in Franklin Square
200 N. Sixth St., Philadelphia
Just a mile east of Dilworth Park sits Franklin Square, which is also decked out for the season. Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle Light Show presented by PECO features a free nightly light show accompanied by songs, and there is also a mini-golf course and an open-air cocktail lounge. The Old City Jewish Arts Center will host a Chanukah Dreidel Giveaway on Nov. 28 as part of the square’s seasonal festivities.
Rittenhouse Square Candle-lighting
Dec. 1, 5:15 p.m.
Rittenhouse Square, S. 18th and Walnut streets, Philadelphia
Center City Kehillah is hosting a community candle-lighting on the fourth night of Chanukah at Rittenhouse Square that will be perfect for the whole family. Celebrate with the Center City community at this downtown spot.
Boathouse Row Lights
Nov. 28–Dec. 6
1 Boathouse Row, Philadelphia
Boathouse Row will be illuminated for Chanukah. The City of Philadelphia in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia will lead a virtual program on Dec. 5 at 4 p.m.
The Gardens After Dark
Dec. 3, 10 and 17, 6:30-9 p.m.
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, 1020 South St., Philadelphia
The beautiful mosaicked labyrinth of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens will be illuminated with lights every Friday night through Dec. 17. Admission will grant you access to both the outdoor sculpture garden and indoor galleries. Tickets are timed and limited so be sure to reserve your spot early to experience one of these special evenings.
Valley Forge Beer and Cider Festival
The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Ave., Oaks
This year will be the 10th annual Valley Forge Beer and Cider Festival. Get your tickets early to be able to get drinks from the most popular local breweries and cideries, as well as producers from across the country. There also will be an assortment of local food trucks to satisfy your hunger while you’re there.
The Visit Philadelphia Holiday Parade
Dec. 4, 5 p.m.
From Second and Market streets to City Hall
This brand-new event aims to honor a multitude of traditions, celebrating Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and the Chinese New Year. The parade will include floats, lights, balloons and a marching band running from Second and Market streets to City Hall.
Chanukah on the Avenue
Dec. 5, 5:30 p.m.
The Singing Fountain, E. Passyunk Avenue and S. 11th Street, Philadelphia
Celebrate Chanukah in South Philadelphia with a community event co-hosted by The South Philadelphia Shtiebel and East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District. There will be a menorah lighting, live music and other festivities.
The Crossing Re-enactment
Dec. 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Dec. 25, noon-3 p.m.
Washington Crossing Historic Park, 1112 River Road, Washington Crossing
The public has two chances to watch the re-enactment of George Washington’s famous crossing of the Delaware River in December. The first crossing will be performed on Dec. 12 and the second on Dec. 25. The events will include Colonial-era activities and demonstrations, several hundred re-enactors and speeches.
Conversation With Michael Twitty
Dec. 16, 1 p.m.
Virtual, hosted by the National Museum of American Jewish History
The National Museum of American Jewish History will host a virtual conversation with the James Beard Award-winning culinary historian and food writer Michael Twitty. Tune into NMAJH’s Facebook page to hear about Twitty’s third book “Koshersoul,” which focuses on Jewish and Black food traditions. Twitty also will discuss his roles as an educator in the Washington, D.C., Jewish community and his recent appearance on Netflix’s “High on the Hog.”