7 Christmas tree lighting celebrations to attend in Philly

The City Hall Christmas tree lighting ceremony takes place on Dec. 4.
Photo by C. Smyth for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

It’s officially time to be jolly.  Your favorite neighborhood districts, parks and more are planning festive parties complete with visits from Santa, music and free treats to celebrate the holiday season. Here are seven Christmas tree lighting ceremonies to attend this week.

South Street Headhouse District

Get ready for an evening of snacks, entertainment and shopping to help kick off your December on day one. Make your way over to Head House Square to watch as it transforms into a winter wonderland just off South St. Have you been naughty or nice this year? The South Street Headhouse District invited Santa to collect wish lists and take photos. Parents should bring their own cameras to capture the memory. 

Dec. 1, 4 p.m.-6 p.m., Head House Square, 200 Pine St., southstreet.com

‘Twas an Evil Christmas at Evil Genius Beer Company

Evil Genius knows how to start the most wonderful time of the year. Their annual party includes a seasonal beer release, Christmas cookies and photos beside the Christmas tree. Don’t miss having the first chance to try their seasonal Santa! I Know Him! saison brewed with black currants, a Belgian candi syrup and rose hips.

Dec. 3, 7 p.m., Evil Genius Beer Company, 1727 N Front St., evilgeniusbeer.com

Rittenhouse Square

Celebrate the magic of the season in one of the city’s most romantic parks. Count down to lighting the 30-foot Christmas tree with music, a visit from Santa and family-friendly activities. Make sure you catch the Philly POPS performance and try free treats from the iconic restaurant Parc. In addition to enjoying all the entertainment, bring a new unwrapped toy to contribute to CBS3’s annual Toy Fest campaign

Dec. 3, 5 p.m., Rittenhouse Square, 19th and Walnut streets, friendsofrittenhouse.org

City of Philadelphia

Welcome Christmas right in the middle of the city during the annual Christmas tree lighting at City Hall. It’s an evening of onstage music, entertainment and enough joy to go around as City Hall officially lights up for Christmas. Afterward, take a ride on the brand new ferris wheel to get a good view of Christmas Village and don’t miss seeing the Deck the City Hall Light Show.

Dec. 4, 5 p.m.-7 p.m., City Hall, JFK Blvd. and N Broad St., phila.gov

Craft Hall

Enjoy an indoor tree lighting party at this beer hall and maker space in Northern Liberties. The massive hall turns into a cozy and festive space with music and decorations to match all month long. Toast the start of the season with food and drink specials, enjoy family activities at the indoor playground and take a free tour of Lost Bread Company and Mainstay Brewing Company.

Dec. 4, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Craft Hall, 901 N Delaware Ave., crafthallphilly.com

East Passyunk

Kick off the festive season in South Philly with the annual tree lighting at Singing Fountain. Enjoy an evening of carols with singers from Alphabet Academy, a visit from Santa and free sips and nibbles from businesses along E Passyunk Ave. After the tree lighting, follow the String Band Mummers to take advantage of extended shopping hours to find decor for your holiday parties, presents and more.

Dec. 5, 5 p.m.-7 p.m., Singing Fountain, E Passyunk Ave. and Tasker St., visiteastpassyunk.com

Old City

Old City’s historic district gets even more charming during the holidays. Old City District presents their third annual Historic Holidays Tree Lighting with a party in the Betsy Ross House courtyard. Florist and garden designer Petit Jardin en Ville (134 N 3rd St.) designed the tree that will be lit during the ceremony. Grab a few bites at the celebration before doing a little window shopping. Businesses in the district compete with a holiday window decorating contest every year.

Dec. 5, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch St., oldcitydistrict.org

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