Christmas Village is back
Christmas Village has returned to LOVE Park and City Hall for its 14th consecutive season. Through Christmas Eve, Christmas Village transforms Center City into an authentic open-air German Christmas market. Holiday sights and sounds featuring thousands of twinkling lights, festive Christmas decorations, theme weekends and live music are waiting to bring you all the Christmas-time feels. Visit philachristmas.com for details, but here are a few things that you’ll want to check out.
Get ready to take in a view of the Christmas magic from on top of the tallest Christmas attraction in Philadelphia. Christmas Village will again feature a 65-foot high Ferris Wheel presented by T-Mobile on the North Apron, keeping watch over the City of Philadelphia Christmas Tree, and facing down North Broad Street. The Ferris Wheel will be open from Friday to Saturday 11am to 8pm and from Sunday to Thursday from 11am to 7pm.
The Christmas Village Carousel
Look for a special two-tiered Christmas Village Carousel this year, located in the middle of City Hall Courtyard, surrounded by a new food court. This old school carousel is great fun for the whole family with its horses, carriages and reindeers to ride on. The carousel will be open from Friday to Saturday 11am to 8pm and from Sunday to Thursday from 11am to 7pm.
New Food Court and Beer Garden
The most exciting new upgrade for Christmas Village this year is the transformation of the City Hall Courtyard into a German-style food court and beer garden. Step through City Hall’s majestic stone passageways to the Courtyard and travel from Philadelphia to the streets of Munich. The old layout and vendor tents have been replaced with an all new layout, the addition of the charming and signature wooden booths from LOVE Park, the addition of outside seating, and a new beer garden. Cheese lovers will now also have the opportunity to purchase the popular cheese sandwich from Raclette Chalet in this new location.
Sweet Treats from Ritter Sport
This year, the rides at Christmas Village are twice as sweet as usual: Every ride on the Christmas Village Carousel, the Ferris Wheel and the Kids Train comes with a sweet surprise from Ritter Sport on top. If you can’t get enough of German chocolate, you have the chance to run into brand ambassadors every weekend as they stroll through the market and hand out free chocolate bars, or you can also visit the Ritter Sport Hut in the City Hall Courtyard.
Family Sunday with A Moment of Magic
Dec. 5 is family day at Christmas Village. Come celebrate the bonds of family and celebrate with your little ones with University of Pennsylvania’s nonprofit organization A Moment of Magic. With the help of lovingly detailed dresses, students transform into the children’s movie heroes and heroines, making their hearts beat faster. The characters will visit the Christmas Village on Family Sunday, Dec. 5, giving children the opportunity to meet them at the market. Together with Christmas Villages mascot Phil the Reindeer, they can either be watched on stage for two hours starting at 3pm, or before and after their performance during a walk through the market.
Choo choo, all aboard the Christmas Village Kids Train presented by SEPTA. This classic ride rides into town with a new design ready to bring joy to the market’s littlest visitors.The train will be located with great views of the Ferris Wheel and the Christmas Tree – plus all of the festivities and vendors around the North Broad Section of Christmas Village. The Kids Train will be open from Friday to Saturday 11am to 8pm and from Sunday to Thursday from 11am to 7pm.
German American Weekend
To celebrate Philadelphia’s rich German American heritage, Christmas Village is welcoming all visitors to the annual German American Weekend on Dec. 11 and 12. Enjoy traditional German dance performances by the local Schuhplattler Dancers from GTV Almrausch, where performers stomp, clap and strike the soles of their shoes, thighs and knees with their hands held flat. Wash down a delicious Bratwurst with some beer to embrace the full authentic German experience on this side of the Atlantic.
German Games at German American Weekend
On Dec. 12 from 4pm to 6pm, Christmas Village will host its German Games competition again. Contestants can put their skills to the test in three exciting disciplines, like a beer stein holding competition and other traditional Bavarian games. The winners will receive a gift package containing a variety of Christmas Village products. Interested in participating? Sign-up by sending an email with your name and contact details to email@example.com.
Christmas time is also time to make wishes that come from the heart. Together with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley, visitors will have the chance to donate by buying a hanger for the Wish Wall, which can be purchased at the events info-booth at LOVE Park. After writing their personal wish on it, the heart-shaped message can be hung up on the Wish Wall to be seen by everyone. One dollar of each sold heart will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley to support their goal.
Every Wednesday at 11am, the Free Library of Philadelphia will once again bring storytimes to Christmas Village. A variety of seasonal and holiday books will be read to children of all ages. Seating will be provided for kids and parents to ensure a comfortable cozy experience. On Dec. 8 Mayor Kenney will join for a special holiday reading.
Dog Adoption Events with PAWS
Once again, the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society will be coming back to Christmas Village with their furry friends. PAWS is a nonprofit dedicated to saving Philadelphia’s homeless, abandoned, and unwanted animals. Come meet homeless dogs that need a forever home on Dec. 3 and Dec. 17 from 5pm – 7pm.
Made in Philadelphia Market at Dilworth Park
Until Jan. 1, Christmas Village in Philadelphia will be accompanied by the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market (across the street in Dilworth Park). More than 50 local artisans, designers, crafters and confectionaries will offer unique selections for gifts and special holiday foods in white, festively lit tents topped with original Herrnhuter Stars. In contrast to the authentic German Christmas Village with international vendors, the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market offers a wide variety of arts and crafts from local vendors from the greater Philadelphia area.
Live music to your ears
Philly’s stages will come alive with music in the coming days and weeks. Here are some shows that you’ll want to catch.
Gold-selling and three-time Grammy-nominated hard rock heavyweights Killswitch Engage will embark on their rescheduled headline tour for winter 2022. The Atonement Tour is making its way to the Franklin Music Hall on March 12. The tour returns with the same powerful lineup, and includes Lancaster, Pennsylvania’s August Burns Red as main support, and Light the Torch as the opening act. As fans are more than well aware, LTT frontman Howard Jones served as KsE’s singer from 2002 through 2012. Bowerypresents.com
Tweed + Jimkata
Philly’s own electro-rock quintet Tweed makes their homecoming at Ardmore Music Hall on Dec. 4 alongside Ithaca, New York’s Jimkata. Tweed is known for their disco-tinged dance parties and the band recently added a violinist to the lineup. ardmoremusichall.com
The Weather Station
“Ignorance,” the new album by The Weather Station, begins enigmatically; a hissing hi hat, a stuttering drum beat. A full minute passes before the entry of Tamara Lindeman’s voice, gentle, conversational, intoning; “I never believed in the robber.” Hear it for yourself on Jan. 29 at World Cafe Live. worldcafelive.com
Silverstein will play TLA on Dec 7. The legendary post-hardcore outfist just celebrated 20 years together, marking two decades of relentlessly pushing themselves from their underground roots to becoming one of the most influential bands in their scene. This show was initially part of their worldwide 20th Anniversary Tour which, like so many others, was postponed due the pandemic. venue.tlaphilly.com
Catch Jason Boland on Dec. 14 at City Winery. Boland is a cult singer-songwriter and has a Shooter Jennings-produced existential country concept record dropping Dec. 3 about a time-traveling alien abducted cowboy. No, we’re not making that up. Citywinery.com
Holidays with WXPN
WXPN is your home for holiday music. Check xpn.org for details, and listen to WXPN in greater Philadelphia at 88.5 FM. Meanwhile, here are a few things that caught our attention.
WXPN’s annual one-of-a-kind, 24/7, uninterrupted holiday music channel curated by DJ Robert Drake is the hand-selected, eclectic holiday music mix that creates the perfect workday backdrop and makes the holidays extra enjoyable. Through Jan. 1. Listen live worldwide at XPN2.org.
2,021 All-Time Greatest Albums
WXPN’s popular year-end countdown this year will be its biggest yet: the albums selected by listeners as the 2,021 All Time Greatest Albums, starting with No. 2,021 and going straight to No. 1. Listen to hear how many of your favorite albums made the final list. All special programming will be preempted during the countdown. Starts Dec. 2 at 6am.
Breaking the Thermometer to Hide the Fever
Presented as part of WXPN’s year-long Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms and the Music of New Orleans project, the original production Breaking the Thermometer to Hide the Fever combines storytelling, dance, video projection, and audio clips in a multidisciplinary performance that explores the legacy of Radio Haiti-Inter, set to new music by Haitian-American singer-songwriter Leyla McCalla and directed by Kiyoko McCrae. There will be two free performances at FringeArts. Dec. 10 and 11.
Home For the Holidays 2021
WXPN’s annual live holiday concert presents some favorite artists sharing holiday music cheer at xpn.org: Strand Of Oaks, Carsie Blanton, Ben Arnold, Mondo Cozmo, Queen of Jeans, Secret American, Hoochi Koochi, Kuf Knotz & Christine Elise, Jello Vibes, Lizdelize and more, with special holiday messages from WXPN on-air hosts. Dec. 21, 8pm, with a re-broadcast on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25.
For the 29th consecutive year, DJ Robert Drake hosts 24 hours of live, nonstop, eclectic holiday music on Christmas Eve. Interact with Robert and all the #XPNNightBefore fans at the show’s page at XPN.org/hohoho and join the Night Before XPN community on Facebook.
End of the year happenings
On New Year’s Eve starting at 7 pm, catch Rockin’ New Year’s Eve. Host Dan Reed says bye to 2021 and welcomes the musical spirit of the new year in rockin’ XPN style. Then, on New Year’s Day from 10am to 5 pm, catch the Top 100 Most-Played Songs of 2021. Listen to the songs that most captured our ears during 2021.