Philadelphia Welcomes Three New Holiday Traditions in 2019
Philadelphia is well known for its wintertime holiday traditions—lots of them. The season begins with America’s oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade—enjoying its momentous 100th running this year. But this year, three newcomers get an early start on the holidays. These include a vast, immersive, evening light display—LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo—a seasonal selfie station at The Bourse—Photo Pop Philly: Winter Wonderland—and a massive floating tree, with a sound and light show, at the center of the just-opened Fashion District Philadelphia.
The most wonderful way to enjoy wintertime (and anytime) in Philly: the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, offering overnight guests free parking and more perks, bookable at visitphilly.com.
Here is what’s new for the 2019 winter holidays in Philadelphia:
- Fashion District Philadelphia – At a month old, the Fashion District is already demonstrating a deep knowledge of what Philly loves best: great local art, amazing bargains, delicious drinks—and a holiday light show. Designer Matthew Schwam, known for putting big, bright red bows and dazzling lit-up snowflakes on significant city buildings, has promised a magical, 45-foot tall floating tree featuring 600 mirrored, stainless steel orbs for the center of the complex. Every half hour from 4 p.m. until closing, the tree will host a free light show featuring the festive sounds of the Philadelphia POPS. November 14-December 31, 2019. 901 Market Street, (215) 925-7162, fashiondistrictphiladelphia.com
- Photo Pop Philly: Winter Wonderland – The ultimate selfie station, located inside the historic Bourse building (now a modern food hall), invites ticketed guests through a series of artist-envisioned, purposefully Instagram-able rooms featuring virtual reality, a photo booth and lots of snow-filled backdrops, just in time for holiday card-making. Select days,November 15, 2019-January 5, 2020. 111 S. Independence Mall East, (215) 925-7900, photopopphilly.com
- LumiNature at Philadelphia Zoo – Two years in the making, a new, immersive display transforms the zoo’s day-scape into a nighttime multimedia light and music spectacle. Dancing lights, sounds (even talking trees) throughout furnish illusions of animals coming to life. A flock of flamingos forms a 25-foot-tall tree; an enormous polar bear broadcasts the magnificence of our planet; all four seasons host their very own party. Seasonal fare, live performers, hot chocolate and adult beverages promise to spark the winter spirit. Timed tickets. November 20, 2019-January 5, 2020. 3400 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 243-1100, philadelphiazoo.org
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On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.comand uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.