28 Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Philadelphia (And Nearby)

Last updated November 28, 2017
Travel

28 things to do and see to celebrate Christmas in Philadelphia!

The holidays are here and Christmas in Philadelphia offers all the cheer, shimmer and joy that you would expect. Kids of all ages will feel that festive thrill when they explore the holidays in Philadelphia. No matter what gets you feeling festive, there is something for everyone. I’ve put together a list of 28 things to see and do during Christmas in Philadelphia (and the surrounding area)!

Many of these things to see and do are winter activities in Philadelphia aren’t limited to Christmas just the holiday season. There are lots of fun things to do this winter, no matter what holidays you are or aren’t celebrating!

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Christmas in Historic Odessa with Tradition and Charm

Last updated November 27, 2017
Travel

Christmas tree and gingerbread house in the Wilson-Warner House in Historic Odessa, Delaware.

Christmas in Historic Odessa, Delaware captures all of the charm and tradition of the holiday season. It’s not over-commercialized reindeer or cartoony men in red suits. It’s far more innocent and heartfelt. The town captures a yuletide feeling that hardly seems to exist anymore these days. The small town of historic homes put on its holiday finest each year to awe, inspire, celebrate and welcome visitors. My husband and I made a trip to Odessa, Delaware to experience the holiday cheer and the historic homes in person.

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Old Masters Now: Philly’s Johnson Collection Turns 100

Last updated November 2, 2017
Travel

Old Masters Now highlights the Johnson Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The classics never go out of style. Just ask Paul McCartney’s accountant. And those classics come in all styles and forms. Take art, for example. Philadelphia lawyer and art collector John G. Johnson fell in love with the Old Masters and you can’t get much more classic than that. Johnson collected the Old Masters and then some. He acquired everything from Renaissance masterpieces to impressionist classics. And now through February, art lovers can visit a special exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art dedicated to the collection, which is celebrating its centennial. I recently got a peek at the splendid exhibition as part of the museum’s members preview.

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Checking In: Historic & Luxurious Hotel Du Pont

Last updated October 22, 2017
reviews, Travel

Two double beds in a Hotel Du Pont room.

For over a century, HOTEL DU PONT in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, has been hosting guests. From presidents to kings and queens, HOTEL DU PONT has been THE place to stay, dine and be entertained. But it’s also the ideal place to stay if you’re discovering the region along the Pennsylvania-Delaware border that’s peppered with museums and history (Longwood Gardens, Nemours Mansion & Estate, Winterthur, Brandywine River Museum of Art). Recently my husband and I checked in at Hotel Du Pont for the night and it was the perfect place to unwind and relax.

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Valley Forge Park Travel Guide & Dog Friendly Tips

Last updated October 14, 2017
Travel

A wooden cabin at Valley Forge.

The City of Brotherly Love gets much of the attention when it comes to the history of the United States’ founding. True, Philly did serve as the capital and the location of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. And today, you can get up close to the Liberty Bell or visit the Museum of the American Revolution. But the surrounding suburbs of Philadelphia played an important role, too. Crucial battles were fought in some of these areas. But it was the battle of a different kind that makes Valley Forge Park worth visiting.

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Washington, DC Dog Friendly Day Trip

Last updated October 11, 2017
Travel

Dog friendly day trip to Washington DC at the National Mall with the Washington Monument and the African American Museum of History and Culture.

In many respects, Washington, DC is a traveler’s paradise. The city is full of world class museums, many of which are free to visit. There’s a large park full of notable monuments to explore. And the architecture and history in the city is difficult to fathom. But traveling to Washington, DC with a dog offers lots of possibilities! Traveling can be difficult but it shouldn’t be because your best friend can’t come along. My husband and I recently took a day trip to DC with George, our mini schnauzer. And all members of the pack had a lot of fun. Here are some ideas for a Washington, DC dog friendly day trip!

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Brauhaus Schmitz Brings Oktoberfest to Philadelphia

Last updated October 6, 2017
Food, Travel

Brauhaus Schmitz Oktoberfest at the 23rd Street Armory in Philadelphia.

Earlier this week, after 18 days of rowdiness, revelry and more beer than you can shake a stick at, the original Oktoberfest celebration in Munich, Germany came to a close. But most of us can’t make it over to Bavaria to celebrate. Philadelphia‘s Brauhaus Schmitz has come up with the next best thing: an Oktoberfest celebration to entice partiers from around the region. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at Brauhaus Schmitz Oktoberfest, which runs Friday, October 6th through Sunday, October 8th, 2017.

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Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies Light Up Philly Parkway

Last updated September 24, 2017
Travel

Riding in Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies pedicab in Philadelphia.

As Philadelphia‘s Benjamin Franklin Parkway kicks off its 100th anniversary, the city is spending the next year celebrating. And right now Fireflies are pedaling up and down the boulevard that is home to so many fantastic museums: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rodin Museum, Barnes Museum, Franklin Institute and more. That’s right — pedaling. Each Firefly is a pedicab covered in cheery Chinese-style lanterns. It’s all part of an art installation by artist Cai Guo-Qiang. And until October 8th, visitors can get involved by taking a free Fireflies ride!

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Smith Island: The Epitome of Slow Travel

Last updated September 20, 2017
Travel

Seafront shack in Ewell on Smith Island.

Admittedly it was The Cake that lured me to Smith Island. But the prospect of visiting Maryland’s only inhabited island seemed like the ideal day trip. And there would be fresh crab cakes. I mean, 8-layer cake and crab cakes: what more could you want?

While Smith Island is only about twelve miles off the coast of Maryland, once there, it’s easy to feel even more isolated. If you’re looking to escape our hectic always-on society, then a trip to Smith Island is in order.

What I ended up finding on Smith Island was a fiercely loyal and welcoming community just looking to sustain their way of life. And if that means sharing some seafood and a slice of cake, well then the more the merrier. My husband and I recently made the trip to get to know Smith Island.

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Smith Island Baking Company Takes the Cake

Last updated September 20, 2017
Food, Travel

A classic Smith Island Cake from Smith Island Baking Company.

Anyone who has driven along US Route 13, anywhere from about Delaware to Virginia, has likely seen the signs. Amidst the signs for farm fresh produce and crabs are banners that shout “Smith Island Cakes.” They pop up all along the eastern shore. But what is a Smith Island Cake? I recently traveled to visit the Smith Island Baking Company in Crisfield, Maryland, to find out.

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