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Weekend Getaway: Philadelphia

Dec 10, 2013 03:35PM ● By Cate Reynolds
By Lisa A. Lewis

It’s a time-honored tradition in Annapolis: Every December, football fans head to Philadelphia to cheer on the Midshipmen in the much-anticipated Army vs. Navy game. But the fun doesn’t have to end when the game is over and you leave Lincoln Financial Field on December 14. In fact, December is a wonderful time of the year to visit Philly and get in the holiday spirit. Holiday festivities abound, so check out some of the city’s popular annual events, which will be in full swing when you’re in town for the game.

If you love holiday lights, you won’t want to miss Macy’s Christmas Light Show in which a large wall inside the Wanamaker Building is illuminated with nearly 100,000 LED lights. A Philadelphia tradition since 1956, this festive show culminates with the sounds of the Wanamaker Organ. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the season during the Comcast Holiday Spectacular, a high-tech holiday show at the Comcast Center. This awe-inspiring show features holiday imagery set to the music of a 64-piece orchestra, which is displayed on the world’s largest four-millimeter LED screen in the building’s lobby. Or visit Morris Arboretum, and marvel at the Holiday Garden Railway. This magnificent model train display features a quarter mile of track with loops, tunnels, rail lines, cable cars, and bridges, all set in a veritable winter wonderland that includes miniature replicas of Philadelphia-area landmarks.

If you need to catch up on some last-minute holiday shopping, you’re in luck. Philadelphia offers a variety of shopping districts, where you’re sure to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. An added bonus: Every neighborhood in Pennsylvania offers tax-free shopping on clothes and shoes.

When it’s time to grab a bite to eat, indulge in delicious food the way only Philly serves it. While it’s no secret that Philly is renowned for its cheesesteaks, make sure you also treat yourself to some of the city’s other delicacies. From fish tacos to spinach gnocchi, the entrees are sure to delight. And if you’re just in the mood for a side dish, a sandwich, or a beer, you won’t be disappointed.

So come to Philly for the game, but stay for the festivities. Perhaps you’ll even start a new holiday tradition. For more information about holiday events in Philadelphia and to plan your trip, visit

Special thanks to Cara Schneider, Media Relations Director, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp.