Ten Things to Do Over the Winter (Aside From Vacationing in Florida)

DIlworth Park. Courtesy of Historic Philadelphia

The warm temperatures that lingered into the first part of November are gone – and 70-degree days seem unlikely again until probably March, but that doesn’t mean you have to hibernate.

Aside from the usual Chanukah festivities, there are plenty of things to do before spring rolls around. Here are a few. Do note that as of press times, a few regular events, such as the Chanukah Lights on Boathouse Row, the Chanukah Car Menorah Parade and Chanukah on the (Passyunk) Avenue haven’t been finalized.

Philadelphia’s 6abc Dunkin’ Thanksgiving Day Parade
Nov. 24, 8:30-noon
Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

You may be aware that the local Thanksgiving parade is the nation’s oldest, dating to 1920. The floats, marching bands and dancers will be joined by R&B legends The Spinners, C+C Music Factory (“Everybody Dance Now”), Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Philadanco, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” star Carson Kressley and the enigmatic Blue Man Group.

Winter at Dilworth Park
Now-March 26
Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St., Philadelphia

Dilworth Park in front of City Hall serves many roles during the year, but it transforms into a winter wonderland in the colder months. Outdoor skating is available at The Rothman Orthopaedic Institute Ice Rink, and the adjacent Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin is “where seasonal cocktails and food await in a ski chalet-inspired setup.” There’s also a nightly light show, a holiday market with more than 40 vendors and a Wintergarden on the Greenfield Lawn with lights, topiaries and a Chaddsford Winery kiosk with mulled wine.

Winter in Franklin Square
Now-Feb. 26
200 N. Sixth St., Philadelphia
Franklin Square is just a mile east of the aforementioned Dilworth Park; it, too, is decked out for the season. There are “free nightly light shows inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s legendary kite and key experiment,” in addition to food, drinks, miniature golf and the Parx Liberty Carousel.

LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo. Courtesy of Zoofacebook.com/philadelphiazoo

LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo
Now-Jan. 7
3400 W. Girard Ave., Philadelphia
The zoo shines with more than 1 million lights spread over 14 zones. New this year is a 15-foot-tall glowing blue gorilla; it joins a 21-foot-tall snake and a 100-foot-long aquarium tunnel.

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
Opens Nov. 25
101 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia
If you can’t get your fill of skating at Dilworth Park, another option is the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest. Aside from a large-scale skating rink, there are fire pits and a cabin for warming up with a hot beverage.

Rittenhouse Square Candlelighting
Dec. 20, 5 p.m.
Rittenhouse Square, S. 18th and Walnut streets, Philadelphia
There are a lot of candlelighting events in December, but one of the more prominent gatherings is put on by the Center City Kehillah in Rittenhouse Square, which is a great place to visit any time of the year.

The Visit Philadelphia Holiday Parade
Dec. 3, time TBA
Location TBA
This second-year event honors a multitude of traditions, celebrating Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and the Chinese New Year. The parade will include floats, lights, cold-air balloons and marching bands.

New Year’s Eve fireworks. Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront
Dec. 31, 6 p.m. and midnight
The city will shoot off fireworks twice to celebrate the end of 2022 and the start of 2023 at this increasingly popular event. The fireworks can be seen from throughout much of the city, although Penn’s Landing will offer the best views.

Mummers Parade
Jan. 1, 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Broad Street, Philadelphia
No list of Philadelphia events would be complete without a nod to the Mummers. The annual parade still draws a crowd, as 10,000 costumed marchers travel down Broad Street. Root for your favorite comic, fancies, string bands, fancy brigades and wench brigades.

The Philadelphia Auto Show
Jan. 28-Feb. 5
Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St., Philadelphia
Whether you’re in the market for a new car or truck or are just browsing, the auto show has become a popular annual event, with thousands attending. Aside from the newest offerings, the classic cars on display are always a hit, such as a van tricked out to look like the Mystery Machine from “Scooby Doo.”


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