The spectacular Franklin Square Holiday Festival has a very special event this week

Franklin Square Holiday Festival
The month of December is a festive time in Franklin Square Park PHOTO: Jeff Fusco

During the holiday season, Franklin Square park transforms into a magical lit-up wonderland full of festive activities, treats and of course Santa himself. This week the holiday celebrations are extra special, Mayor Jim Kenney and Councilman Mark Squilla will be overseeing the festivities for the Franklin Square Holiday Festival and will be getting into the holly jolly spirits themselves. 

The spectacular Franklin Square Holiday Festival has a very special event this week 

This Wednesday (Dec. 12) Mayor Jim Kenney will be sporting his best Buddy the Elf costume while Councilman Mark Squilla will be dressed as Kris Kringle himself. Buddy and Santa will ignite the Franklin Square Electrical Spectacle at 5 p.m. for the evening and kick off all of the fun. The visit to the Franklin Square Holiday Festival presented by CHASE from Mayor Kenney and Councilman Squilla continues an annual tradition that began with the first year of the Electrical Spectacle in 2013.

The dazzling light show features 75,000 lights choreographed to seasonal music, the first show of the evening begins at 4:30 p.m. and continues every 30 minutes until 8 p.m. The Franklin Square Electrical Light Show is free and open to the public through Dec. 31. 

The light show is just the start, while at Franklin Square Park guests can also check out a beer garden with cozy fire pits and indulge in Ben’s Sweets & Treats (located inside a heated tent) that include s’mores and a gourmet hot chocolate station. 

Franklin Square Holiday Festival

Special holiday events will be happening throughout the month as well including Santa Paws (Dec.15 4 p.m.- 5 p.m.) where guests can bring their four-legged friends to take a picture with Santa and have them pose for a free holiday pet portrait done by artists from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The next two Saturdays also bring Milk & Cookies with Santa (Dec. 15 and 22, 4 p.m.- 5 p.m.), Kris Kringle will be available to tell stories, take pictures and snack on some cookies and milk with families in the heated Franklin Square Pavilion. Tickets are required ($20). 

There is also the Jingle & Mingle event with Santa, the big man in red will be strolling around the park and will even take pictures with holiday-lovers for free on select days (Dec. 15 and 22, 5:30- 7:30 p.m.)

Franklin Square Holiday Festival

The final night of the Franklin Square Holiday Festival will be a very special night full of family-friendly fun. The evening will feature music and crafts beginning before the Square Drop from atop SquareBurger at 6 p.m., and Sugar House’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront will be viewable from the Square that night as well. That’s not all, the indoor Franklin Square Pavilion will also host a Kids’ Dance Party until 8 p.m. for the final Electrical Spectacle of 2018. All of these events on the final night are free for all Philadelphians.

If you go: Now- Dec.31, Franklin Square Park, 200 N 6th St., Philadelphia, historicphiladelphia.org

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