Holiday Cheer: Free and Affordable Fun to Do in, Around and Outside Philly for Dec. 6 to 8

We have you covered for free or affordable fun this weekend from Philly to the suburbs

What to Know

  • We have you covered for free or affordable fun this weekend. And, it isn't too soon to get in the holiday spirit.
  • Get out and enjoy these events from tree lightings to breakfasts with Santa.

Philadelphia and its surrounding counties always have something going on. Deck the Halls because Philadelphia is officially in the holiday spirit!

With a tree lighting, Christmas parades, festive-light boat parades, decorated house tours and breakfasts with Santa, this weekend is filled with holiday cheer. We’ve found the top free (and affordable) choices of what to do this weekend, Dec. 6 to 8, in Philly and New Jersey.

Have a cheerful weekend.

What: Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Holiday Tree Lighting

Get in the holiday spirit and maybe get out on the ice skating rink at Penn's Landing. NBC10 News morning personalities will be flipping the switch at the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Holiday Tree Lighting Powered by PECO. About 30,000 lights will shimmer on the tree. Singer Jackie Verna from NBC10's "The Voice" and others will be there to entertain. You can also relax rinkside or in the lodge with food and drink.

Where: Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia

When: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

What: Greater Wildwood Jaycees Christmas Parade

Floats, fire trucks and Santa will parade through Wildwood to the tree lighting at Byrne Plaza

Where: Wildwood, NJ

When: Friday at 6:30 p.m. Tree lighting is at 7:30 p.m. Rain Date: Sunday

Cost: Free

What: Chestnut Hill Christmas Holiday House Tour

Tour several of Chestnut Hills most historic houses when they are fully decorated for the holidays.

Where: Various locations in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia

When: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: $50

What:  Independence Seaport Museum’s Parade of Lights

Watch the boats decorated with holiday lights and more, float down the Delaware River during this winter water parade.

Where: Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia

When: Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

Cost: Free to watch the parade

What: Penn Museum's CultureFest Celebration Around the World

The Penn Museum will be celebrating cultures from around the world through dance, craft-making, storytelling and musical performances.

Where: Penn Museum, 3260 South St., Philadelphia

When: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free with museum admission, which starts at $11 for children, $16 for adults

CultureFest is coming to Philadelphia’s Penn Museum for one day only as they celebrate cultures from around the world.

What: The Wildwoods Christmas on the Plaza

Kick off the holidays at this craft bazaar featuring live music, fire pits, ice skating and food.

Where: Byrne Plaza, 3400 Pacific Avenue, Wildwood, NJ

When: Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free admission

What: Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tour

Take this self-guided tour of homes, inns, hotels, churches and more all decorated for the holiday season in Cape May. There will be strolling musicians and caroling and holiday treats.

Where: Downtown Cape May

When: Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $40 for adults

What: Pinch the GrYnch Boardwalk 5K Run

This holiday boardwalk 5K run and one-mile walk is for all ages.

Where: Wildwood Convention Center, 4501 Boardwalk, Wildwood NJ

When: Saturday at 10 a.m., rain or shine

Cost: $30 to run or $15 along with a donated unwrapped toy

What:  Feminist Flea Market and Craft Fair

Browse and shop from more than 100 vendors selling vintage clothing, jewelry, art pieces, home goods and more.

Where: Bok, 1901 S. 9th Street, Philadelphia

When: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: $5

What: Hand-crafted Holidays and Ornament Crafts

Enjoy clay ornament making, demonstrations, shopping discounts and food at this creative event.

Where: The Clay Studio., 139 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia

When: Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Cost: Free

What: Breakfast with Santa in Cape May

Enjoy breakfast and story time with Mr. and Mrs. Claus!

Where: Cape May Ferry Terminal, 1200 Lincoln Blvd., North Cape May, NJ

When: Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Cost: $21 for adults, $14 for children, children under 2 are free

What: Breakfast with Santa in Cherry Hill

Enjoy pancakes with the big guy in the red suit! There will be songs, story time and Santa of course. Pre-registration is required and seating is limited.

Where: Garden State Discovery Museum, 2040 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill, NJ

When: Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: $20

What: Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Experience this authentic open-air European Christmas Market right in Philadelphia. There are more than 80 vendors selling crafts, clothing, food and more.

Where: Love Park, 15th and JFK, Philadelphia

When:  through Dec. 24

Cost: Free to attend

Christmas is more than a month away but Philadelphia is already getting into the holiday spirit thanks to a major expansion at Christmas Village. NBC10’s Tim Furlong takes a look.

What: Holiday Garden Railway

This model train set is not to be missed with 12 rail lines, seven loops and tunnels, two cable cars and nine bridges, all lit up for the holidays. All aboard!

Where: Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Avenue, Pa.

When: through Dec. 31

Cost: Free with admission

What: Macy’s Christmas Light Show

This free show of dancing lights and music in the Grand Court of the historic Wanamaker building (now Macy’s) has been a holiday favorite for years.

Where: Macy’s, 1300 Market Street, Philadelphia

When:  through Dec. 31

Cost: Free

What: Franklin Square Holiday Festival

Twinkling lights, holiday music, food, beer and hot chocolate fill this ongoing holiday festival. The switched has been turned on for the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show presented by PECO that features more than 80,000 lights shimmering to holiday music.

Where: Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street, Philadelphia

When: through Dec. 31 at 4:30 p.m. daily

Cost: Free

What: Deck the District Holiday Light Show

This first holiday season in the newly opened Fashion District Philadelphia. The 5-minute show, running every 30 minutes until close, features lights timed to holiday music, floating trees and decorations everywhere.

Where: Fashion District Philadelphia, 901 Market Street

When: through Dec. 31 at 4 p.m. daily

Cost: Free

You have family coming to visit this holiday season, but aren’t sure where to take them. Never fear! Visit Philly’s Jeff Guaracino has plenty of unique holiday fun ideas for you to start an adventure with your family and out-of-town guests.

What: Comcast Holiday Spectacular

This holiday tradition continues in the lobby of the Comcast Center with the super high-resolution LED holiday display. Watch the Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker, a sleigh ride through the city and enjoy a sing-along.

Where: Comcast Center, 1701 JFK Boulevard, Philadelphia

When:  through Jan. 1

Cost: Free

What: Brandywine Christmas

Check out the Christmas trees, model train displays and ornament sales.

Where: Brandywine River Museum of Art, 1 Hoffmans Mill Rd., Chadds Ford, Pa.

When:  through Jan. 5

Cost: $18, children under 5 are free

What: Photo Pop Philly: Winter Wonderland

This pop-up art exhibit is interactive and photo friendly. There are snow-filled backdrops and more to create an Instagram-worthy winter wonderland.

Where: The Bourse Food Hall, 111 S. Independence Mall East, Philadelphia

When: through Jan. 5

Cost: $20 for adults, free for children under 5

Photo Pop Philly has a Winter Wonderland-themed interactive exhibit at the Bourse in Philadelphia. If you are in the Christmas spirit, you have now until Jan. 5 to check it.

What: LumiNature

Visit the Zoo at night for this new walk-through light and sound display. More than 600,000 lights illuminate the zoo in 12 massive light displays that include penguins, big cat eyes and a 21-foot-tall snake. 

Where: Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Ave., Philadelphia

When: through Jan. 5

Cost: From $19, children under 2 are free. Time tickets required, limited availability.

LumiNature is taking over the Philadelphia Zoo with bright lights around every corner.

What: A Very Furry Christmas

Sesame Place transforms into a festive wonderland complete with lights, special Christmas shows, visits with Santa and Sesame Street characters and more.

Where: Sesame Place, 100 Sesame Rd., Langhorne, Pa.

When:  through Jan. 1

Cost: From $36

What: Holiday Light Show Ride

More than 3 million lights will illuminate the farm. Families can drive through the magical displays or take a ride in the open-air wagon.

Where: Shady Brook Farm, 931 Stony Hill Rd., Yardley, Pa.

When: through Jan. 5

Cost: $30 per car load, $15 per person wagon ride

What: A Longwood Christmas

Thousands of poinsettias, Christmas trees, flowers and lights fill the indoor garden for the holidays. Seasonal music and the fountain dance outdoors is not to be missed either!

Where: Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, Pa.

When:  through Jan. 5

Cost: Varies. Timed tickets required.

What: Dinosaurs Around the World

Visit with dozens of animatronic dinosaurs as you discover and learn about things like volcano activity and fossils.

Where: The Academy of Natural Sciences

When: Through Jan. 20

Cost: From $7 in addition to general admission 

The Dinosaurs Around the World exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is now open for all ages.
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