For more than a decade, the Christmas Village in Philadelphia has allowed visitors to experience a traditional European Christmas Market in the City of Brotherly Love. And it’s done so with a decidedly German focus and feeling. Starting in late November each year, LOVE Park transforms itself with dozens upon dozens of huts selling a variety of gifts, food, and drink. Plus there are live musical performances and visits with Santa Claus. The Christmas Village Philadelphia is a uniquely festive way to spend an afternoon or evening and one of the city’s most popular holiday attractions.
Christmas Village Philadelphia Returns to LOVE Park
After some location shuffling over the past few years as LOVE Park underwent renovations, the Christmas Village Philadelphia is back home for 2018 and beyond. And the wait was well worth it. In the new LOVE Park, the Christmas Village feels more open and spacious, modern and fresh. These aren’t narrow alleyways lined with stalls but an urban oasis of festive feelings that encourages exploring. You never know what you’ll find around the bend. And there are also more benches that encourage you to stick around and spend some time. For families, it makes for a better day out and provides an opportunity for pauses and snack breaks.
The Tastes of Christmas Village in Philadelphia
Among the additions for 2018 is the Alm, a Biergarten selling local craft brews, including some more traditional beers and others with distinctly seasonal flavors. The Alm also has a large area of picnic tables that makes the whole market more inviting. Nearby is a grill stand selling German foods like Currywurst, sausages on rolls, goulash, and pork Schnitzel.
Elsewhere you’ll find stands selling Döner kebab and strudel both savory and sweet. And, of course, just as though you were visiting any Christmas market in Germany, you can warm yourself with a hot beverage in a keepsake holiday mug.
The Sights & Shopping of Christmas Village in Philadelphia
In Germany and other countries with the lively Christmas market tradition, you’ll find each market is a unique experience. Some have carnival rides. Others specialize in handmade crafts or local sweets. The Christmas Village Philadelphia has to be everything to everyone. And with over 80 vendors this year, there’s a real mix of what’s on offer.
Undoubtedly my favorite part of the Christmas Village is those that have the most German flavor. World-famous ornament seller Käthe Wohlfahrt from Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the Bavarian town popular for its fairy tale storybook appearance, is a long-standing tradition at the Christmas Village in Philadelphia. Although their shop is generally packed with shoppers, try and take your time when you visit. The carefully crafted ornaments and decorations are to be appreciated as much for their beauty as for their quality. Some are classic traditional ornaments while others are more humorous and lighthearted. Get a Christmas pickle for your tree or a nutcracker in Bavarian Tracht for your mantle.
More Fun with the Made In Philadelphia Holiday Market
The holiday spirit spreads beyond LOVE Park. The courtyard at City Hall might be compact but it’s being put to good use! The courtyard is home to more than a dozen more stands this holiday season. The stalls are selling snacks as well as gifts like jewelry, toys, and clothing. There’s also a carousel where you can go for a spin.
Outside City Hall is also a busy location that’s always home to many Christmas traditions that Philadelphians and visitors return each year for. Along with the annual traditions of the winter garden and Rothman Institute ice rink, there’s a Made In Philadelphia Holiday Market. Nearly 50 stalls sell items from local artisans, designers, and crafters.
The Christmas Village in Philadelphia celebrates the holiday season by giving you a special spot. Meet with family and friends or explore solo. Warm yourself with a hot Glühwein or hot chocolate. Find the perfect gift for something special. Savor the season.
The Christmas Village in Philadelphia is located in LOVE Park (1501 JFK Boulevard near 16th Street and Arch Street) and is caddy corner to Dilworth Plaza and City Hall.
The Christmas Village does not have its own parking lot. Street parking in the vicinity can be difficult to come by. There are parking garages nearby if you’re driving.
SEPTA’s Suburban Station is conveniently located across the street on the corner of 16th Street and JFK Boulevard. There are also a number of nearby SEPTA bus, trolley, and El stops.
Thank you to the Christmas Village in Philadelphia for hosting a tour of the market. All opinions, as well as all photos, are my own.