With the holidays and the new year just around the corner, December is one of the busiest times of the year for Philadelphia. Whether you’re in the mood for holiday festivities or something more casual, there’s something fro everyone to enjoy this December. Read on to find out the best plans for the month!
1-3. Enjoy the soothing sounds of classical music by candlelight
Calm your mind and experience classical music in a whole new light with these sensational concerts located in magical venues in Philadelphia. Throughout this winter, the Candlelight Concert series will feature a wide variety of themed concerts, from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to the Beatles, plus an extra-special holiday program! Hosted at the ONE North Broad Masonic Temple, the venue will be illuminated with flameless candles, creating an absolutely unforgettable ambiance. Highlights of the concert series this month include:
- Candlelight: From Bach to the Beatles
- Candlelight Holiday Special featuring “The Nutcracker” and More
- Candlelight: Vivaldi Four Seasons
4-5. …or enjoy jazz standards by candlelight
If jazz is more to your taste, there’s a Candlelight concert for you! This December, the candlelight jazz series at ONE North Broad Masonic Temple will feature a selection of jazz music celebrating Amy Winehouse and Billie Holliday, plus a special holiday concert featuring standards such as “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “Let It Snow!” With the venue bathed in flickering candlelight, it’s a musical experience you won’t want to miss. Featured concerts this month include:
- Candlelight Jazz: Celebrating Billie Holiday and Amy Winehouse
- Candlelight: Holiday Jazz Special Featuring Ella Fitzgerald and More
6. Tumble down the rabbit hole at the Mad Hatter’s Gin & Tea Party
This December, Philadelphia will be home to a very special tea party, with guests coming all the way from Wonderland. The Mad Hatter’s (Gin &) Tea Party will send you down the rabbit hole as you enjoy delicious concoctions (spiked with a bit of gin!) during your teatime. Your host, the Mad Hatter, will go above and beyond to entertain you with jokes and songs as you explore the surreal atmosphere of Wonderland, decorated with extravagantly ludicrous decor and a kaleidoscope of colors! Tickets are selling out quickly, so act fast to get a seat at the tea party.
7. Grab your tickets for the Dining in the Dark experience
Studies show that 80 percent of people eat with their eyes. But when you take the sense of sight away, the theory goes that your other senses are even stronger. Interested in testing this theory? Then grab your tickets fast for the ultimate tasting experience coming to Philadelphia this winter: Dining in The Dark, a blindfolded dinner experience unlike anything you (haven’t) seen before. With dietary options including vegan, seafood, or meat, this mysterious dining experience is sure to surprise you and your taste buds! Don’t miss your chance to get tickets—join the waitlist today!
8. Experience Van Gogh’s masterpieces in a whole new light
The Tower Theatre is currently hosting a unique 4D experience that surrounds you with artistic masterpieces of Vincent Van Gogh on all sides. As opposed to gazing at just one painting from afar in a museum, you’ll be able to walk inside a comprehensive selection of Van Gogh’s greatest works at this exhibit. The vibrant colors and masterly brushstrokes swirl around you as you experience these post-impressionist works at a surreal scale. You can get tickets to this mesmerizing experience here.
9. Save your spot on the Viva Las Vengeance waitlist
You won’t want to miss this immersive VR experience based on the Netflix original film Army of the Dead. This limited-run VR experience lets you fight your way through hordes of zombies in mixed reality with the latest technology that feels shockingly real. Ready to destroy some zombies? Reserve your spot on the waitlist here.
10. Enjoy a wine or spirits tasting at the German Christmas Village
This time of year, the LOVE Park transforms into an extensive, European-themed outdoor market, featuring traditional food, sweets, and drinks. With over 110 local and international vendors, this charming holiday market also has a great variety of potential holiday gifts, from ornaments and jewelry to high-quality arts and crafts. With so much to enjoy, this wine or spirits tasting is the cherry on top of a perfect winter day – your ticket allows you to go on a tasting experience that come with food pairings and a souvenir.
11. …Or if beer is more your style, you can enjoy a flight at the German Christmas Village
In the true spirit of a European market, you can enjoy a flight of beers, plus a pretzel and bratwurst, at the German Christmas Market this year! This flight features 4 samples from local breweries Brewery Techne and Mainstay Brewery, plus some classic German snacks. With the gorgeous Christmas atmosphere surrounding you, this beer sampling is a great way to spend a wintertime afternoon or evening in Philly.
12. Take an R-rated ghost tour of Downtown Philly
This adult-only night tour covers all the raunchy topics that your normal walking tour of Philadelphia wouldn’t dare to mention. Developed by a local university professor well-versed in the dark side of Philadelphia, this tour covers vampires, sex, ghosts, and more, all while sightseeing the classic Philly historical spots like Alexander Hamilton’s home, The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and more.
13-14. Have some action-packed fun at King of Prussia
Take a break from the stressful king of Prussia holiday shopping and have some fun at the mall this year! This December, you can play an epic escape game, with three storylines to choose from, or experience what it’s like to skydive indoors. If you’re looking for an unforgettable, action-packed experience, you’ve come to this right place.
15. Enjoy new movies on the big screen (at last!)
With theatres being closed for so long, we can’t wait to see the newest movie releases on a screen bigger than a laptop. And this fall, there are plenty of anticipated films, including Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, and Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. Get your tickets to the hottest films in Philly here with an exclusive discount.
16-20. Enjoy 5 different attractions at Dilworth Park this year
Dilworth Park is a full blown winter wonderland right now, and they have plenty of festive activities to participate in this time of year. This years highlights include:
- stroll through the gorgeous reindeer topiaries and seasonal plantings in the Wintergarden on the Greenfield Lawn
- ice-skate on the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink (November 5, 2021 to February 27, 2022)
- snack on some food and drink in a mini ski-chalet at the Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin (November 5, 2021 to February 27, 2022)
- shop for the perfect holiday gifts at the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market (November 20, 2021 to January 1, 2022), and
- watch the free Deck the Hall Holiday Light Show at City Hall (November 22, 2021 to January 1, 2022).
21. Watch The Nutcracker at the Philadelphia Ballet
It’s a classic! The Philadelphia Ballet is once again performing a dazzling rendition of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker all throughout the holiday season. Whether you’re seeing it for the first time or you come back year after year, it’s a performance that everyone young and old can enjoy.
22. Wander through the enchanting Longwood Gardens’ Christmas display
In addition to Longwood Gardens’ impressive botanical gardens—consisting of over 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows—their holiday light display highlights the beauty of their grounds fabulously. With three fire pits outdoors, plus an impressive indoor display, it’s a magical venture outside of the city.
[featured image: Shutterstock]