Events

Everything You Absolutely Must Do in Philly This Winter

Published On 12/01/2016 Published On 12/01/2016
Franklin Square Electrical Spectacle
Franklin Square Electrical Spectacle | Jeff Fusco

It’s winter in Philadelphia, which means you will either be bundled up against windy weather or experiencing the intermittent, strangely misplaced sunny temperatures for months to come. While we can’t offer any peace of mind when it comes to the confusion outdoors, we can offer plenty of distractions in the form of holiday lights, unique food pairings, ice skating, and tons of other things to do as Philly (mostly) sets in for our yearly chill.

December
One Liberty Observation Deck
360 Degree View from the One Liberty Observation Deck | Courtesy of One Liberty Observation Deck

December

Thursday - Sunday
Dec 1-Mar 5
Penn’s Landing
Everyone’s favorite pop-up winter cabins are back in full swing on Penn’s Landing, where you can imbibe bourbon hot cider and marshmallow vodka-spiked cocoa. It’s up to you if you’d like to take to the ice before or after enjoying your drinks. Either way don’t forget to stop by the arcade and all of the foodie storefronts there, too.
Thursday - Saturday
Dec 1-31
Fairmount Park
The historic houses of Fairmount Park (including the Strawberry Mansion and Laurel Hill Mansion) will undergo their yearly transformation, this time under the theme “A Very Philly Christmas.” There are tons of ways you can see all of the decorations: take a candlelit tour, a trolley tour, or hop on the PHLASH to see what all this tradition is about.
Thursday - Saturday
Dec 1-31
Franklin Square
This year, Franklin Square will roll out an expanded Winter Beer Garden at the ongoing Holiday Festival, where you can try tons of great food (including homemade fudge and goods from Square Burger) from local vendors, master the art of mini golf, and see many, many twinkly lights as part of the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show.
Thursday - Saturday
Dec 1-31
Observation Deck
The One Liberty Observation Deck, 57 floors into the sky, is open year-round, but with the code PHILLY, you can get $5 off of your tickets when you buy online in advance for the month of December.
Thursday - Sunday
Dec 1-Jan 8
Tequilas
Inspired by the Museum of Arts’ current exhibit, “Painting the Revolution: Mexican Modernism 1910-1950,” Tequilas will offer a special three-course, $45 meal, with each menu option tied to a piece of history.
Thursday - Sunday
Dec 1-Feb 26
Dilworth Park
For winter skating smack dab in the middle of Center City, Rothman Rink has a beautiful outdoor rink right in front of City Hall. When you want to warm up head to the nearby pop-up cabin for food and drink, and if you’re a little shaky on the ice try an adult skating class, with two sessions taking place throughout the season.
Saturday
Dec 10
Rittenhouse Row
The Rittenhouse Row fashion crawl is free and open to the public, so enjoy making your wishlist by perusing the goods from local vendors and sampling a healthy smattering of holiday cocktails from nearby bars like Ranstead Room and Bar Volver. There will also be dogs from PAWS available for adoption at some stores along the crawl.
Saturday
Dec 10
Urban Farmer
If you’re looking for a way to rev up your perhaps lackluster culinary skills this holiday season, do as the French and create your very own Buche de Noel at Urban Farmer. The $55 afternoon session includes holiday refreshments, pastry samples, and take home recipes to try all season long.
Wednesday
Dec 14
Garage Philly
For a festive bar crawl to warm you up, head to Passyunk and try drink specials at 11 local bars with your $5 crawl ticket (which will also gift you a santa or elf hat). In addition to a hefty buzz, you could also head home with $275 worth of gift certificates.
Saturday
Dec 17
Fairmount Park
The Ugly Sweater Run is coming to Philly where you can reward yourself post-5K with a festive holiday cocktail -- you’ll already be dressed the part. If the endorphins get you really high, take a ride on the mechanical reindeer.
January
Big Philly Beerfest
Big Philly Beerfest | Big Philly Beerfest

January

Friday - Saturday
Jan 13-14
Pennsylvania Convention Center
The Big Philly Beerfest takes over the Convention Center for not one, but two days, giving you ample time to try over 350 craft beers from 125 breweries all over the country.
Sunday
Jan 15
XFINITY Live!
Phantogram and Grouplove headline a day of live music at Radio 104.5's rain-or-shine outdoor show, which means it’s time to bundle up and get very friendly with your neighbors if you want to avoid getting a cold.
Saturday
Jan 28
World Cafe Wilmington
Local beer and high-end grilled cheese concoctions find each other at this glorious comfort food tasting. Try dishes like an Old Bay cheddar on brioche with crab alongside a Yards saison, and save room for many sweet dessert pairings that sound just as delectable together.
February
the fat ham
Philly Cooks | Vanessa Beahn/The Fat Ham

February

Wednesday
Feb 8
Sheraton Downtown
Fifty of Philly’s very best restaurants will be serving bites of their signature dishes at Philly Cooks, including The Fat Ham, Pub & Kitchen, Garces Trading Company, and Townsend. Be sure to check out the dessert lounge and speakeasy, the latter of which will include a cocktail competition from Philly’s top bartenders.

Sign up here for our daily Philly email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

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

close

Learn More