Philadelphia gets into the holiday spirit with free tree lighting ceremonies across the city and surrounding suburbs through December. Some tree lightings have been traditions for centuries, while others are new annual affairs. Many on the list include Santa appearances, some feature winter treats, and one even has puppies. Here is a roundup of the opening celebrations starting on Friday, Nov. 27.
Santa will ride through town to flip the switch on the annual tree lighting. Once the tree is lit up, he will make his way to the corner of State St. and Hamilton St. where his Christmas Cottage is located. Children can get pictures with Santa there, or visitors can enjoy hot cider, cookies, or Christmas songs from carolers.
Doylestown, PA 18901
Rittenhouse has one of the largest decorated trees in Philadelphia. (K. CIAPPA/Visit Philadelphia™)
Rittenhouse Square will be illuminated by 5,000 brilliant, multicolored globes. These holiday lights will join Philadelphia’s largest Christmas tree — located in the center of the Square — to make Rittenhouse one of Center City’s most festive public spaces for the holidays. The official tree-lighting ceremony will take place on Dec. 1 but the lights will be up through Dec. 31.
Tuesday, Dec. 1
5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The annual tree lighting is accompanied by various performers each year. (Shops at Liberty Place/PhillyVoice)
This is the 3rd annual tree lighting at Liberty Place. There will be complimentary hot cocoa, face painting and crafts. The Liberty Strings Orchestra and the Philadelphia Dance Academy will also perform. Santa will also be available for pictures.
Tuesday, Dec. 1
One of the biggest tree lighting events in the city takes place each year at City Hall. This year Philly-born, Grammy-nominated R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan
will perform at Philadelphia's holiday event. Other local, musical acts will also perform, including Bobby Hill who performed on the Parkway for the Papal visit.
The ceremony will start at 7 p.m. but the tree lighting will begin at 8 p.m. It will also be broadcast live on 6ABC for those that can't make it in person -- or don't want to face the cold.
Thursday, Dec. 3
7 p.m.City Hall1401 John F Kennedy Blvd
Bridge Street, Phoenixville’s main thoroughfare, hosts the town’s annual Christmas parade and tree lighting. The parade, which starts at 7 p.m., will include a visit from Santa Claus. The tree will be lit at 8 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 4
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
100-300 Bridge Street
Phoenixville, PA 19460
Philadelphia's East Passyunk neighborhood hosts an annual Tree Lighting Party at the famous Singing Fountain. The free celebration will include carolers, student musicians, a visit from Santa, and holiday treats. The Joe King Trio will also play holiday tunes along the Avenue to keep the party going, even after Santa lights up the holiday tree.
Thursday, Dec. 3
5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
1904 E. Passyunk Ave.
Winterfest is decorated with festive trees both inside and outside. (M. Fischetti/Visit Philadelphia™)
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest has become a popular venue for cold-weather fun. On Dec. 4, the venue will host a tree lighting ceremony with live music and performances, arts and crafts, giveaways and more.
Wayne’s Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 4 is an all-evening affair. Start with some First Friday perusing at Wayne’s shops, then pause to listen to strolling carolers as they make their way down North Wayne Avenue. Decorate ornaments at the Radnor Fire House or take a horse-drawn carriage ride, then head to the Wayne Train Station for the official Christmas tree lighting led by 6ABC Action News Reporter Vernon Odom.
Friday, Dec. 4, 2015
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Wayne, PA 19087
This event runs all day with a Phillies shopping sale, the Phillie Phanatic dressed as Phanta Claus, and a tree lighting. It's a free, fun event for fans to get into the holiday spirit.
Saturday, Dec. 5
Santa makes an appearance at the tree lighting event. (M Restaurant at the Morris House Hotel/Facebook)
Visitors can see 15 decorated trees through the hotel and courtyard. The hotel and restaurant will also be decorated to look like the set of a Charles Dickens movie. Head over to the event to visit with Santa Claus, shop antiques and crafts from the Philadelphia Flea market, play with PAWS puppies or join the holiday cocktail party. Guests can purchase $3 food tickets for various apps and dishes or enjoy happy-hour priced holiday drink specials.
231 S. 8th St.