Philadelphia: For a Holiday Day Trip, Weekend, or More, There’s Much To Do

Holiday season invites plenty of fabulous opportunities to enjoy Philadelphia with festive destinations galore. Woman Around Town enjoyed an overnight excursion to the City of Brotherly Love and explored many wonderful options that we want to share with our readers. Enjoy top accommodations, entertainment, the arts, culture, a vibrant culinary scene, just for fun spots, shopping, and history while being delighted by exquisite holiday ambiance all around the city. With so much to do, you can also make Philly your destination for 2022!

Book Your Stay at Sofitel Philadelphia – Relax and luxuriate. From gracious, efficient guest services and beautifully appointed rooms to delectable dining and a stylish bar and lounge area, Sofitel Philadelphia has it all. Centrally located on 17th Street, just off Market Street, the hotel is perfectly situated for touring, shopping, and the theatre. During your stay at the Sofitel, you can easily take a stroll to many of Philly’s favorite destinations such as City Hall, Franklin Institute Science Museum, Rittenhouse Square, and the Kimmel Center. We think that once you visit, you’ll not only extend your stay but be planning to return very soon.

Stop by U-Ville, the Uptown Beer Garden Pop-Up –For the very first time, Uptown Beer Garden at 1500 JFK Boulevard has been transformed into U-Ville. a whimsical holiday wonderland beautifully lit with seating for all size parties. You’ll be wowed by the holiday-esque cocktails like the Teddy Lou Who with Titos, orange jalapeno simple, champagne and orange juice or the Reindeer Fuel with Bluecoat Gin, chai tea, crème de menthe, candy cane and star anise.  And of course, there’s a top selection of beer and food faves to enjoy. Get cozy in a private booth, relax at one of the bars, or discover your own space while taking in a spectacular view of City Hall.  U-Ville is just right for celebrating in the upcoming weeks. 

Appreciate rich heritage at Independence National Historical Park – You don’t have to be a history buff to be completely engaged by Philadelphia’s fascinating background. Plan to visit Independence National Historical Park.  It is a free federally protected historic district that preserves sites associated with the American Revolution and America’s founding. Here you can see the Liberty Bell, tour Independence Hall, and relax on the beautiful grounds. All ages can have fun while learning about the birth of our nation.  

Dine at Dim Sum House by Jane G’s – This is the dim sum of your dreams with two area locations, one on Chestnut Street in the Rittenhouse neighborhood and another in University City. We visited the Chesnut Street restaurant for a delectable luncheon. It has indoor dining, year round outdoor dining with heated booths, and a full service bar. Guests savor food selections that are freshly made to order such as light fluffy scallion pancakes, the best Soup Dumplings you’ll ever have, Truffle Edamame dumplings, and tender Roast Pork Bao. Dim Sum House also serves seafood entrees, meat entrees, noodles, vegetable, vegan, and gluten free selections. The beverage program pairs beautifully with menu items and the service is excellent.   

Submergence by Squidsoup at Wonderspaces Philadelphia – Photo by Alison Narro

Visit Wonderspaces – Located in the heart of the Fashion District, and very convenient to transit lines, this intriguing state-of-the-art museum will captivate guests of all ages with visually stunning exhibits. When we were there, families with young children, couples, and people going solo were enjoying the venue. The museum takes modern artistry to a new level with exhibits that are interactive, thought provoking, and unique. Currently there are eight individual installations that include Submergence by Squidsoup, Body Paint by Memo Akten and On a Human Scale by Matthew Matthew. Make Wonderspaces a part of your Philadelphia itinerary. Wander and enjoy.

The Garbologists at Philadelphia Theatre Company, Credit: Mark Garvin

Take in a Show at Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC) – The 2021-2022 season has kicked off with the highly acclaimed production of a new play, The Garbologists, written by Lindsay Joelle, directed by Estefania Fadul, starring Steven Rishard and Ngozi Anyanwu.  PTC’s upcoming shows will include Choir Boy and the world premiere of Where We Belong. This is one of the best places to see professional live theatre in the city.

LumiNature, Credit: Courtesy of the Philadelphia Zoo 

Philadelphia Zoo LumiNature – Your holiday visit is not complete without a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo. It is home to over 1,300 animals and right now the zoo is featuring their seasonal light display, LumiNature for guests to stroll through. There are over 600,000 twinkling lights, 45 custom LED displays, and 200-plus illuminated penguins. You’ll love the 25-foot tree made entirely of lit flamingo lawn ornaments and the 21-foot tall brilliant colored snake. It’s great wintertime fun with seasonal fare, strolling performers, hot chocolate and warming adult beverages. This impressive and imaginative display is exciting for all ages and totally Instagrammable. Gather your group and head for the zoo. 

Candytopia – Courtesy of Candytopia

Candytopia Presents “Sweet Holiday Wonderland” – Your sweet tooth and desire for all types of candy will be completely satisfied when you visit Candytopia, conveniently located on Market Street in Philly’s Fashion District. Your ticket entitles you to access of the “candy museum” where you can sample some of your favorite sweets. There are great photo ops everywhere you look with special ones that have been created for the holidays. Be sure to get some shopping done for all the candy connoisseurs you know. 

Christmas Village by Bank America, Courtesy of Christmas Village by Bank America

CHRISTMAS VILLAGE for Holiday Shopping and More – Christmas Village in Philadelphia presented by Bank of America makes its annual return to LOVE Park and City Hall for the 14th consecutive season. Through Christmas Eve, Christmas Village will transform Center City into an authentic open-air German Christmas market. Holiday sights and sounds featuring thousands of twinkling lights, festive Christmas decorations, delightful eats, theme weekends and live music are waiting to entertain you while you shop.  

Don’t just pass Philly on the Acela! Get off and enjoy all this city has to offer for the holidays.

Photo Credits as indicated

Top photo: U-Ville Credit: 1 Society Hill Films

About Marina P. Kennedy (67 Articles)
Marina Kennedy began her writing career when her four children were grown and she returned to college to study in the humanities. She is delighted to be a contributor for Woman Around Town. The majority of her articles focus on the culinary scene, theatre, and travel. Marina and her husband Chuck enjoy the rich cultural experiences of the New York metro area and beyond. She hopes that readers like reading her articles as much as she enjoys writing them.