Philadelphia December 11, 2017
8 Weird And Wacky Holiday Traditions You’ll Only Get If You’re From Philadelphia
The Holiday season is here, and it’s time for Philadelphians to do what we do best! These holiday traditions have been a part of Philly life for decades, and now that the first snow has fallen and the Christmas music is taking over the radio, it’s time to break out our best holiday cheer.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Flock to Termini Bros, because during the holidays, calories don't count.
Every winter, we head to South Philly (or Reading Terminal Market) for Christmas cookies and cannoli from the famous Termini Bros. After all, I think it's actually a crime to go an entire holiday season without at least one pignoli.
Address: 1523 S. 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
2. Party in Line at Isgro Pastries.
If you live on the same block as Isgro's, you know the rules: don't park in front leading up to Christmas. Gus Isgro’s classic bakery opens at 6:30 a.m. each morning during the week before Christmas, and the long lines turn into a party! Elves (employees) hand out coffee and sweets while their customers wait for ricotta cookies and more at this Italian Market bakery.
Address: 1009 Christian St., Philadelphia, PA 19147
3. Check out the Moo Shu Jew Show.
The Gershman Y is continuing its ongoing tradition at Ocean Harbor in Chinatown. Jewish themed comedy combines with Asian food to honor the Chinese-food-on Christmas tradition. If you plan on attending, you'll need reservations.
Address: 1023 Race Street. Call (215) 545-4400 for reservations.
4. Gather friends and family for the Nutcracker Ballet.
Every year, Philadelphians pretend to be cultured theater enthusiasts as we bring our families to watch the Nutcracker Ballet at the Academy of Music. The performance is impressive, and we're always left with the thought of attending more of these incredible performances... but for most of us, Christmas is the only time of year where we attend a ballet.
For ticket information, click
5. Sing along with the lights while we shop.
The Wanamaker Building has hosted a Christmas Light Show since 1956. Sing along with the dancing snowmen as you finish up your Christmas shopping. The show goes off every two hours, and you can also enjoy a stroll through the stores at Dickens Village, where Santa himself waits for eager children to tell him their Christmas wishes.
Address: 1300 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107
6. Drink with a Red Coat Soldier.
Step back in time to the Winter of 1777, when the British were occupying Philadelphia. Tour the city's historic pubs with a Red Coat soldier and get a new perspective on Philly's winter history. You'll want to book this in advance, as this is one new Philadelphia tradition that's sure to catch on.
Address: 239 Arch Street. For tickets, click
7. Get put on Santa's nautical list.
Christmas at Penn's Landing features lights, crafts, history, and more. Enjoy ice skating or meet the crew of the tall ships that dock here.
8. Ring in the New Year with the Mummers.
When you think of Philadelphia holiday traditions, the Mummers Parade is one of the first things to come to mind. Every New Years' Day, we wake up early and drag ourselves to Broad Street, where thousands of men, women and children dress up with feathers, makeup and sequins to parade and dance from City Hall. Root for the Comic, Comic Wench, String Band mummers and celebrate when the parade's top division is announced. The Fancy Brigade final competition happens at the Convention Center, and you'll enjoy Broadway inspired dance routines.
Tickets for bleacher seating at City Hall and for the Fancy Brigades are available at the Independence Visitor Center.
If you aren’t finished with your holiday shopping yet, be sure to visit the
Authentic German Christmas Market Right in the Heart of Philadelphia for one of a kind holiday gifts.