Ready to feel festive? Well, by the time you get to the end of this post you will be ready to celebrate the season, no matter how you want to do it! It is that time of the year to make the holiday season merry with the giant list of holiday celebrations, winter festivals, and Christmas events in Philadelphia and across the region for 2021!
As we all slowly return to “normal” life and the year comes to a close, there is so much to celebrate. This year for the winter holiday season, there are far more options than last year. But even if you’re not quite ready to fully jump back into the social season, there are possibilities for you to enjoy. From Hanukkah to Christmas in Philadelphia and everywhere in between, it’s time to deck the halls and countdown to the New Year!
Here are more than 60 of the best, most unique, and fun holiday and Christmas events in Philadelphia and across the region plus New Year’s Eve events, too!
If you had to come up with a list of things to see in Pennsylvania or day trips from Pittsburgh, a visit to Fallingwater certainly would top that list. Designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the home from the late 1930s has stood the test of time with its remarkable architectural flair. It’s also stood the test of that waterway that runs directly under the house.
While many “must-see” attractions are mostly just hype, Fallingwater lives up to expectations. For me, it far exceeded what I was expecting. Balanced just atop a waterfall, Fallingwater has to be seen to truly be believed. Photographs simply don’t do it justice. The wooded surroundings of mature trees and opportunities for hiking help to transport visitors away from the busy world and daily life of distractions where we all seem to live. You’ll leave Fallingwater wishing you could spend the night. If only!
Anyone who has been to Pittsburgh could be easily fooled into thinking this former industrial city was a major metropolitan. Although it’s the second-largest city in the state of Pennsylvania, it sure doesn’t feel like it: it seems much bigger. The city has a lot to offer. It is a mix of world-class museums, fantastic architecture, and acclaimed educational institutions. But with delicious and unfussy food options, it never feels too big for its britches.
A Pittsburgh weekend getaway is urban fun but without all the stresses one normally associates with city travel. The city’s downtown area is relatively compact and accessible for exploring on foot. But if you want to see more of the city, having a car at hand doesn’t hurt. With a car or public transit, you can explore more of this sprawling city with its many distinct neighborhoods.
Pittsburgh also has a small-town feel where people greet you and, no joke, warn you when you’re approaching broken glass on a bridge. Seemingly no matter where you go in the city, it feels personable and welcoming.
With its miles of rolling farmland, small towns, and Amish community, Pennsylvania‘s Lancaster County has become a popular destination for day trips and long weekends. And Lititz, PA, is rich in that small-town charm. Sitting less than a dozen miles from the city of Lancaster, downtown Lititz is a world away and ideal for exploring on foot. Visitors can gawk at the more than hundred-year-old buildings of exposed stone and wood that dot Main Street. And beyond that, there are further enticements like antique stores, coffee shops, and even an authentic British pub. There are enough things to do in Lititz, PA to keep you busy for several day trips.
It is undoubtedly the chocolate and the amusement park that usually draws visitors to Hershey, Pennsylvania. And who could blame them? But, if you’re looking for more fun things to do in Hershey, Hershey Gardens is a charming and relaxing way to spend several hours. It goes without saying that the gardens are sugar-free and thrilling in a much more low-key way.
The 23-acre botanical garden and arboretum are modest but just the right size to comfortably see in a single visit. And the magic of gardens is that they are always changing: there’s never a bad time of the year to visit as each season brings something special.
Last year’s Flower Show in 2020 was held on the verge of the pandemic. Despite that, it was still one of the best in years. For a while, it seemed questionable whether there would be a Philadelphia Flower Show 2021. But, oh, what a difference a year makes — and those vaccines aren’t half bad, either. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) has truly embraced the challenges in front of them with the Philadelphia Flower Show 2021. For the first time in the show’s nearly 200 year history, it is being held outdoors. And that’s not all that’s different.
In any normal year, the Philadelphia Flower Show is a sure sign that spring is coming. But, as we all know: things are a little different this year. But don’t fret, you will still be able to attend this inspiring East Coast tradition in 2021. Forget Memorial Day, the unofficial kickoff to summer will be the Philadelphia Flower Show 2021. Titled “Habitat: Nature’s Masterpiece” and running from June 5th through the 13th, it will be held outdoors for the first time in its 193 year history.
But with all these changes, the expectations are sky-high for the flower and plant festival. Will the Flower Show live up to the hype? I’ll be attending the Flower Show and will share a follow-up. But until then, here are all the details of what you can expect, what I’m anticipating, and how to plan your visit.
(Update: The outdoor venue really added a lot of new energy to the show, although it still needs some additional tweaks. Read more in my full review.)
There is little I like more than a good cup of tea and a scone. Maybe a pot of tea. And some pastries. And some sandwiches. What can I say, I love afternoon tea! And no matter what you call it, high tea or afternoon tea in Philadelphia is a delightful experience. While the city isn’t saturated in tea spots, there are a few doing it really well and in a special way to suit your style. You can enjoy the formal afternoon tea experience or have a simpler, more relaxing tea time.
Here are five favorite spots for afternoon tea in Philadelphia!
Let’s not mince words: Summer in Philadelphia is hot and humid. While many Philadelphians will spend the hot summer months going “down the shore,” the city still has a lot going on. There are countless activities, events, and festivals you can enjoy outside in the City of Brotherly Love while temperatures slowly cool off and the sunset takes a leisurely pace. You can certainly expect the historic sites and museums to be full of tourists, but don’t let it put you off. Summer in Philly can be so rewarding!
“April showers bring May flowers,” as the old saying goes. And any visitor wanting to experience spring in Philadelphia will take heed from the proverb. But don’t let a little rain scare you off, there is so much on offer!
After months bundled up inside, worrying about the possibility of snow and ice, Philadelphia awakens in spring. Warming weather brings gardens across the region to life. Philadelphia in spring means lots of festivals taking advantage of the outdoor weather, including a Philadelphia cherry blossom festival.
Oh, yes, there is so much to enjoy in the City of Brotherly Love come spring!
There is no surer sign that spring is approaching than the arrival of the Philadelphia Flower Show. For nearly two centuries, the world’s largest indoor flower show, and the country’s oldest, has acted as a bit of an oasis for those suffering from the winter doldrums. And this year is certainly no different. The 2020 Philadelphia Flower Show celebrates a Riviera Holiday theme that inspires with visions of luxurious Mediterranean vacations spent relaxing by the pool or along the waterfront while enjoying the sweet smell of nearby fresh plants and flowers.
There is never any shortage of things to do in Philadelphia, and that includes during the colder times of the year. If you aren’t afraid of bundling up, crowds are less at historic sites within the City of Brotherly Love. Add to that some of the city’s biggest and most popular events and festivals. Needless to say, winter isn’t much of an “off-season” in Philadelphia. Here are what you can expect and the best things to do in Philadelphia in winter!