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Philly2Philly's Top Christmas Holiday Events in Philadelphia

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Tis the season for fun holiday parties, selecting the best tree on the lot, strolling through Rittenhouse tree lighting. Photo: http://c0472851.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/rittenhouse-square-holiday-tree-lighting-587.jpgRittenhouse square to check out the twinkling lights, wearing sexy Santa hats (and other garments), and spending time with loved ones, family, and friends. There are always a ton of great holiday happenings in the city to check out whether you’re single or not.

Here are my top 10 must things to do during the next month to partake adequately in the Philly holiday spirit.

1. Holiday Light Show at Macy’s  and Dickens Village: This is one of my favorite holiday traditions dating back to when I was a little girl. My mom, a West Philly native, would take my brothers and I to the light show and Dickens Village  every holiday, usually on Christmas Eve. There is something about this free massive display of lights and organ music that makes tons of people and families crowd the floor of Macy’s (once Wanamaker’s) in the jewelry and shoe department. This is certainly a top pick of mine and always brings a smile to my face each holiday.

2. Ice skating at the River Rink at Penns Landing: Now I am not the best ice skater, but I sure love to bundle up and head down to Penns Landing to do some ice skating and cocoa sipping with a significant other or friends. After a few times around, one forgets the cold and wind as you whip around the rink listening to music and holding hands (or holding each other up). You never know who you'll find at ice skating at Penns Landing. Photo:http://templehonors.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/mascotskate.jpg I will be braving the cold to ice skate this week!

3. Longwood Gardens: Let the holiday light displays consisting of over 400,000 lights, fountain shows, floral displays, and nightly choral performances at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA put you in the holiday spirit. I checked this out years ago and is definitely a must see.

4. Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker  and other Holiday shows: For those of us who enjoy more theatrical or cultural holiday events, there is the Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker (which runs from Dec. 4th through 31st) at the historic Academy of Music. A few other events include Philadanco’s Xmas Philes  at the Kimmel Center  from Dec. 10th to 12th, Peter Nero’s Holiday Pops!  concert also at the Kimmel through Dec. 22nd, White Christmas at the Walnut Street Theatre from Nov. 9th to Jan. 9th, A Christmas Story at The Colonial Theatre on Dec. 11th (one of my favorite holiday movies!) and Handel’s Messiah at the Church of the Holy Trinity on Dec. 10th.

5. Various tree lightings/displays: Although many of the tree lightings at Rittenhouse Square and City Hall have already taken place earlier in the month, these are certainly fun gatherings full of fun family events that kick off the holiday season in the city. Definitely a must pick for next year and something to be seen all month long after.

6. The Christmas Village at Dilworth Plaza: With so much media hype and controversy over the taking down and putting back up of the words “Christmas” next to the “Village” sign, one must check out this display of various unique international gifts and displays modeled after similar ones in Germany presented by the German Historical Society. Holiday Season Lights Up at Peddler’s Village.If anything else, the controversy has surely peeked my interest in checking this out. This runs until Christmas Eve.

7. Peddler’s Village: And for a more unique display of holiday gifts and old time Christmas magic, there is Peddler’s Village in beautiful Bucks County. Step outside of the city and experience unique shops, Santa arriving on a horsedrawn carriage, and unique gingerbread creations. A definite must see for families to get into the holiday spirit. A fun memory for myself years ago included a trip to the Chaddsford Winery wine shop for some wine tasting and hostess gifts for holiday dinners and parties.

 

8. The Comcast Holiday Spectacular: Experience holiday sights and sounds on Comcast’s video wall which is the largest four millimeter LED screen in the world. This free show runs every hour on the hour and lasts for about 15 minutes. Come and see Santa circle Philly on his sleigh and land on the steps of the famous Philadelphia Art Museum. I’ll be checking this out for the first time this year.

 The Comcast Holiday Spectacular photo: Dennille Varney, Ceisler Media.

9. Holiday shopping in center city (not to mention free parking on Saturdays): There is something about running around in the city and doing some holiday street shopping in the cold while making appropriate pit stops at Starbucks and other coffee shops to warm up. There is also nice indoor shopping at Liberty Place, the shops at the Bellevue/Hyatt Hotel, and the Gallery for those who like to shop in the warmth. So come and shop and save some money parking by enjoying free city parking after 11am on Saturdays. What a deal!

10. Various holiday bar crawls: And for those of you who like to partake in some holiday events involving alcohol (in moderation) and dressing up in some fun festive gear, there are a few bar crawls such as The Running of the Santas on Dec.18th and the 13th Annual Reindeer Romp in Fairmount on Dec. 16th. Whether single or attached, there is something about putting on a Santa suit or some antlers (mine have lights on them) and having a few drinks with old and new friends to get into the holiday spirit.

Along with checking out these fabulous holiday activities, please be sure to attend our Philly2Philly Holiday Party  at Fieldhouse on Dec. 17th from 7-10pm. Myself and the staff at Philly2Philly would like to show our appreciation for a great year of keeping Philly well informed with various articles, movie and event previews, tons of gorgeous singles to gaze at and potentially meet at our fabulous happy hours throughout the city, and basically, just keeping it real.

There will be great drink and food specials as always. And for every $5 donation or toy for Toys for Tots, a ticket will be given for a chance to win an authentic signed baseball by star Phillies pitcher, Cole Hamels and gift certificates for Fieldhouse. And who wouldn’t like to receive a fabulous gift like that under their Christmas tree?! So please come out and join our staff and awesome singles from this past year at this event at Fieldhouse. Hope to see you there and happy holidays!

Ex-Bachelor star and winner Helene Eksterowicz is also a co-writer of a dating/self help book called "Nobody’s Perfect" featured on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble  a few years ago. Drawing from her reality show dating experience, her background in psychology, and her belief in true love and relationships, Helene is setting out to bring some love back to Philly and help spotlight some eligible singles in order to hopefully find some love matches for others.

You can contact Helene at helene@philly2philly.com