What To Do In Philly Over Winter Break

After a long semester and an awkward two weeks in between Thanksgiving break and finals, it’s almost time for a proper winter break. Thousands of Penn Staters will return to the Delaware Valley this holiday season, and there’ll be plenty to do while you’re off from school.

Because of this, we sought to compile a list of some of the highlighted attractions to enjoy in and around Philly this holiday season.

Events & Festivals

LumiNature At The Philadelphia Zoo

This holiday season, the Philadelphia Zoo will light up for the annual LumiNature festival. The event features interactive experiences, festive lights, and all of the classic zoo attractions that you enjoy. Tickets are available online and will cost $20 for anyone 12 and under or $25 for anyone over the age of 12.

Christmas Light Show & Dickens’ Village At Macy’s

The historically significant Christmas Light show at Macy’s is back for 2021, featuring a daily show at 10:30 a.m. from December 1-24, and 11:30 a.m. from December 25-31, 2021. Additionally, the classic “Dickens Village” walk through the recreation of various scenes from Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” is back on a reservation-only status running through December 31.

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest & Fireworks

On the banks of the Delaware River, the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest offers seasonal attractions for people to enjoy all winter long. The event runs through March 6, 2022, and features the largest outdoor ice rink in the city, fire bowls, and holiday treats.

Additionally, on New Year’s Eve, there will be two showings of fireworks, one at 6 p.m. and the other at midnight. The show is visible from various points around the city, but the RiverRink Winterfest is a popular viewing destination.

The Arts

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with a classic Christmas ballet? The Nutcracker is back in Philadelphia and is showing at the Academy of Music. Tickets are available online for showtimes that range from December 10 through December 31.


The international percussion hit Stomp will be in Philadelphia for a weekend during winter break. The tour will offer eight shows between December 28 and January 2 with tickets available online for the showings, which will take place at the Merriam Theater.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra was just in State College for a show at the Bryce Jordan Center, but in case you missed them, they will be back in Philadelphia during winter break. As a part of their Christmas Eve and Other Stories Tour, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra will be performing at 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center. Tickets are available online.


Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles love to break toy with fans’ hearts. The team showed promise against the Saints and Jets in recent weeks, but with losses to low-ranked teams like the Giants, who knows if they’ve still got a shot at a playoff spot?

If you want to see how things unfold for the Eagles, tickets are on sale online for the following home games that take place over the break:

  • Eagles vs. Football Team — 1 p.m.Sunday, December 19
  • Eagles vs. Giants — 1 p.m. Sunday, December 26
  • Eagles vs. Cowboys — 1 p.m. Sunday, January 9th

Philadelphia 76ers

Ever since the Union got eliminated from the playoffs due to some unforeseen COVID-19 circumstances, Philadelphia sports have been yearning for the next team to step up. Will that be the Sixers? Probably not, but at least Joel Embiid is back. 

Tickets are available online for the following Sixers games that take place over winter break:

  • Sixers vs. Pelicans — 8 p.m. Sunday, December 19
  • Sixers vs. Hawks — 7 p.m. Thursday, December 23
  • Sixers vs. Rockets — 7 p.m. Monday, January 3
  • Sixers vs. Spurs — 7 p.m. Friday, January 7

Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers are a disaster right now. The team is currently on a nine-game losing streak, and after recently firing their head coach, it’s tough to say where it’ll go from here. That being said, maybe firing the coach will help the team regroup and go on a run to break their losing streak.

Tickets for the following home games are up for grabs on the Wells Fargo Center’s website:

  • Flyers vs. Devils — 7 p.m. Tuesday, December 14
  • Flyers vs. Senators — 7 p.m. Saturday, December 18
  • Flyers vs. Capitals — 7 p.m. Tuesday, December 21
  • Flyers vs. Penguins — 7 p.m. Thursday, January 6
  • Flyers vs. Sharks — 7 p.m. Saturday, January 8

Outside the City

Christmas At Peddler’s Village

One of Bucks County’s most popular tourist attractions, Peddlers Village is exciting all year, but no season beats Christmas. Then, the village lights up with over a million twinkling lights, adorning buildings, trees, and more. The village also boasts a rebound gingerbread house competition. While the village features over 60 shops, it is free to visit and walk around to see the Christmas festivities.

Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens is back this year with “A Longwood Christmas,” their annual event that features tens of thousands of dazzling lights both inside and outside of their lush greenhouse exhibits. The event runs through January 9th, and tickets are available online that will cost around $30, with student discounts available.

Holiday Light Show At Shady Brook Farms

Shady Brook Farm’s famous Holiday Light Show is back this year, featuring over three million lights. Drive through in your own car or take a wagon through the show, then stop for some holiday treats at their market. To drive through yourself, tickets available online are $40 to $50 at the gate. Wagon rides are $15 a person Monday through Thursday and $18 a person Friday through Sunday.

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About the Author

Mikey DeAngelis

Mikey DeAngelis is a junior majoring in film production who is also serving as one of Onward State's visual editors. During his free time, he enjoys making content for his YouTube channel. Mikey loves Philly sports, traveling and hiking in National Parks, and watching movies. To reach Mikey, feel free to reach out on Twitter (@mikey_deangelis) or by email ([email protected]).

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