How to Celebrate Hanukkah in Philadelphia This Year

Latke feasts, menorah lightings, and so much more.

Hanukkah is almost here, and with it come a slew of festivities around the city. From family-friendly activities and community menorah lightings to boozy parties and holiday feasts, there’s no shortage of celebrating (and eating) well this holiday. Whether you’re looking for an epic block party or the perfect latke, we’ve got you covered. Take a look at 14 ways to celebrate Hanukkah in Philadelphia this year.

Ongoing
East Passyunk
Be a holiday hero by bringing home some of the city’s very best sufganiyot. Essen Bakery is offering jelly and rum-custard doughnut options for pre-order now through December 24. Pick-up slots are filling up fast, so make sure to order ahead and reserve yours.
Cost: Varies

Ongoing
Rittenhouse
For another option that takes the leg work out of holiday dinner, Devil’s Alley offers a $45 package with all the fixings: challah rolls with honey butter, matzo ball soup, winter salad, and your choice of entree between braised brisket with manischewitz, apricot-glazed chicken, salmon with couscous, or vegetarian lentil loaf. Round it out with apple cake or bread pudding for dessert, and make sure to add on half dozen latkes for an extra $8. Orders require 48-hour turnaround time.
Cost: Varies

Ongoing
Boathouse Row
In honor of Hanukkah, the famous lights on Boathouse Row are getting a seasonal makeover, so make sure to take in the free spectacle when the sun goes down. Fairmount Water Works and the Fairmount Fish Ladder are both A+ places to check out the sparkling view.
Cost: Free

Sunday, December 18

Rittenhouse
To celebrate the first night of Hanukkah, stop by Abe Fisher for a special dine-in tasting menu or take the feast home with a to-go package for four available for pickup at Lilah. Dinner includes sweetie spice challah, latkes, matzo ball soup, coffee-braised brisket, and olive oil semolina cake, all from one of the best restaurants in the city.
Cost: Varies

Sunday, December 18
Old City
Celebrate the start of Hanukkah at the Betsy Ross House, where the Old City Jewish Arts Center will host a community menorah lighting. Bundle up and enjoy latkes, doughnuts, and family-friendly programming.
Cost: Free

Sunday, December 18
East Passyunk
The South Philadelphia Shtiebel is celebrating its annual Hanukkah Menorah Lighting right in the heart of the East Passyunk Avenue district. Festivities begin at the Singing Fountain at 5 pm, where they’ll light the first candle for Hanukkah.
Cost: Free

Tuesday, December 20
Rittenhouse
The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and Center City Kehillah are hosting a community candle lighting in the newly bedazzled Rittenhouse Square Park, so take in the festivities and enjoy some free food and music. The party continues nearby at Misconduct Tavern, where guests are invited to meet and mingle following the candle lighting.
Cost: Free

Wednesday, December 21
Penn’s Landing
YJP Philadelphia is hosting a Hanukkah Happy Hour at Penn’s Landing, complete with a fire-and-ice themed latke bar, sufganiyot, and two free drinks per ticket. Guests will each receive a menorah kit to take part in the giant menorah lighting at 6:30 pm.
Cost: Tickets start at $20

Thursday, December 22
University City
Come party at the World Cafe Live for One Crazy Night: Hanukkah Fest, a 21+ night of live music, chocolate gelt, and doughnuts. Be sure to don your ugliest Hanukkah sweater (or onesie) to take home top prize during the ugly sweater contest. Tickets are available for purchase here.
Cost: $10 in advance, $20 at the door

Thursday, December 22
Fishtown
The gorgeous new event space from the team behind Zahav is hosting the return of its popular Jewish Christmas event. Celebrate with a four-course Zahav dinner, including dim sum, peking duck, and toasted sesame sugar doughnuts. Doors open at 6 pm before a 6:30 pm screen time for a surprise movie.
Cost: $150 for two

Friday, December 23
Rittenhouse
Mamash! Chabad has a ton of Hanukkah programming coming up, including its annual four-course Latkes & Vodka Shabbat dinner. The night includes an open bar and tons of gourmet food.
Cost: Suggested donation of $13 or more

Now through Friday, December 23
Avenue of the Arts
Pick up a Garces-powered dinner package that takes care of everything, including family-style portions of matzo ball soup, latkes, Manischewitz-braised brisket, roasted haricots verts, and cinnamon orange bundt cake. The package goes for $55 per person (sold in increments of two) and is available for pickup at Volvér, in the Kimmel Center Campus.
Cost: $55 per person

Saturday, December 24
Graduate Hospital
Head over to 1432 Catharine Street between Broad and 15th Streets for a block party like none other. There will be plenty of Chinese food buffet to keep you warm, plus a giant Menorah lighting at 7:45 pm. This event is free to attend, just make sure to RSVP online and come hungry.
Cost: Free

Sunday, December 25
Independence Mall
For the first time since 2019, the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History is hosting its annual “Being ___ at Christmas” event live and in person. On December 25, the museum will stay open for a festival-like open house featuring family-friendly activities including musical performances, storytime, movies, and more. The event, originally called “Being Jewish at Christmas,” now welcomes people of all faiths and beliefs on a day when many businesses are closed.
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door

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Marielle Mondon is a writer from Philadelphia. Follow her @MarielleMondon on Twitter and Instagram.