Things to Do This Winter in Philadelphia

New Year’s Eve Fireworks. Courtesy of Visit Philadelphia

Stephen Silver

The winter season is on the way, and with it colder temperatures and shorter days — and this year, an earlier-than-usual Chanukah.

There are plenty of events throughout this winter here in the Philadelphia area, and here are some of them:

Winter in Franklin Square
Now through Feb. 24
Franklin Square (200 N. Sixth St.)
There will be daily fun at Franklin Square all winter long, including an Electrical Spectacle Light Show, Chilly Philly Mini Golf and street curling, in addition to seasonal food and drink.

Dilworth Park. Courtesy of Visit Philadelphia

Winter at Dilworth Park
Now through Feb. 25
Dilworth Park (1 S. 15th St.)
Over in Center City, near City Hall, the usual fun is back at Dilworth Park. The Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink will offer skating, alongside the Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin and the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market. In addition, College Nights and Cocktails and Cold Ones events are scheduled to take place throughout the winter.

The 6abc Dunkin’ Thanksgiving Day Parade
Nov 23, 8:30 a.m. to noon.
Benjamin Franklin Parkway
The nation’s longest continually running Thanksgiving Day parade returns for another year. Aside from the usual guests, this year’s parade will include Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Mr. Potato Head, Strawberry Shortcake and Smurfette, as well as members of the cast of “Dancing With the Stars,” PHILADANCO and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Human guests include Eagles tackle Jordan Mailata and original “Queer Eye” host Carson Kressley. The Commodores will also perform.

Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular
Nov. 27- Jan. 1
FDR Park
This exhibition, featuring 2 million lights, was previously based at the Philadelphia Expo Center fairgrounds in Oaks, but this year it moves to FDR Park in South Philadelphia near the stadiums. The Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular is ticketed and, in addition to the lights themselves, features food, drink and special vendors.

Community Menorah Lighting and Chanukah Celebration
Dec. 10, 4 to 5 p.m.
The Betsy Ross House (239 Arch St.)
The Ross House, along with Old City Jewish Arts Center, will hold its annual menorah lighting ceremony, with latkes and jelly donuts included. Afterward, participants are encouraged to head over to nearby Franklin Square.

Chanukah Village in Media
Dec. 10, 3-5 p.m.
State Street, Media
Chabad of Delaware County will transform the main drag of Media into a holiday village, complete with cookie decorating, latkes, gelt, donuts and other activities, leading up to a menorah lighting at the Media Courthouse. The event is free, but participants are asked to register.

Tribe 12 Chanukah Celebration
Dec. 11, 6 p.m.
The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History
101 S. Independence Mall East
Tribe 12, the local organization aimed at bringing together area Jews in their 20s and 30s will hold a Chanukah party, both to mark the group’s 25th anniversary and to honor both the late founder Annabel “Rusty” Lindy and founding Executive Director Ross Berkowitz. The event will feature dinner, latkes and drinks.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront
Dec. 31, 6 p.m. and midnight
Delaware River waterfront
The annual ringing-in of the new year will feature two different fireworks shows — one at 6 p.m. for the kids and another at midnight for adults.

Mummers Parade. Courtesy of Visit Philadelphia

Mummers Parade
Jan. 1, 9 a.m.
Along Broad Street
As always, the first big event of the year is this only-in-Philadelphia folk parade, in which comics, wench brigades, fancy brigades, fancy and string bands will stroll up Broad Street in the most colorful costumes you’ve ever seen.

2024 Philadelphia Auto Show
Jan. 13-21
Philadelphia Convention Center
1101 Arch St.
The annual auto show, featuring the newest in car innovations and other special exhibitions, comes back to Philadelphia in the latter half of January. The question, as at the last few auto shows, is whether the big car companies can find a future with electric vehicles and close the gap with market leader (and usual auto show no-show Tesla.)

Stephen Silver is a Broomall-based freelance writer.


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