What's Open on Christmas Day in Philly: 20 Things to Do with Kids

See more than a million lights on Christmas Day at LumiNature t the Philly Zoo. Photo by Georgi Anastasov.
See more than a million lights on Christmas Day at LumiNature t the Philly Zoo. Photo by Georgi Anastasov.
12/15/23 - By Maureen Rayburn

We’ve rounded up what’s open on Christmas Day near Philly for those who don’t celebrate the Christmas holiday or just find themselves getting restless once the gifts are unwrapped. Getting out on Christmas Day in Philly has its perks--traffic is light and spots that are normally crowded are virtually empty. If you’ve ever been greeted with a ticket on your windshield and wished the Philadelphia Parking Authority would take some time off, guess what? It does exactly that on Christmas. Parking isn’t all that’s free on our list, so keep reading to learn about places that are open on Christmas in Philadelphia near you, like these spectacular light shows and skating rinks.

For more ways to keep the kids entertained while school’s out, don’t miss 35+ Fun Things to Do Over Winter Break in Philly with Kids, and browse our Guide to Holiday and Christmas Events.


Open Christmas Day in Philly: Smedley Street Christmas Spectacular.
For a Christmas day activity visit a light display like Smedley's Street Christmas Spectacular. Photo courtesy of the venue

Places Open On Christmas Day Near Philly

1. Residential Light Displays––Multiple Locations

Head to South Philly for The Miracle on South 13th Street or the Smedley Street Christmas Spectacular. To see lights in the Philadelphia suburbs, pay a visit to the West Chester Griswolds or find another bedazzled location on this list.

2. Weitzman Museum Family Festival––Old City

The Weitzman's annual family program "Being _______ at Christmas" is in person this year, with winter movies, improv, percussion performance, art making, a sensory-friendly play zone, and more. 

3. Shady Brook Farm Holiday Light Show––Yardley

Shady Brook Farm's drive-thru Holiday Light Show is open from 5pm–10pm. Over 3 million lights make up this remarkable Bucks County display.

4. Outdoor Ice Skating––Philadelphia

Bring the kiddos ice skating at an outdoor rink. Both Blue Cross RiverRink and Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink are open with limited hours.

Open on Christmas in Philly: Longwood Gardens.
Holiday cheer meets botanical splendor at Longwood Gardens. Photo courtesy of the gardens

6. A Longwood Christmas––Kennett Square

Tour Longwood Gardens' beautiful Christmas displays which include an Open Air Theatre Fountain Show, Garden Railway, Organ Sing-a-longs, and a half-million decorative lights.

7. Koziar's Christmas Village––Bernville

Take a ride to Koziar's Christmas Village to see the spectacular light attraction, train displays, and Winter Wonderland showcase.

8. Festival of Lights––Media

From 5pm–10pm, visitors can stroll through the glimmering walkways to view the peaceful beauty of this annual light display.

RELATED: Where to Take Pictures with Santa Near Philly

Open on Christmas in Philly: Sesame Place
Ernie and company help celebrate the holidays at A Very Furry Christmas. Photo courtesy of Sesame Place

9. A Very Furry Christmas––​Langhorne

Come out for a few hours with your favorite furry friends, all decked out for the holidays. Don't miss the 1-2-3 Christmas Tree Show, sing-a-longs, "Elmo's Christmas Wish", Rudolph's Winter Wonderland, holiday photos, a visit with Santa in his Furry Workshop, and much more.

10. Adventure Aquarium––Camden, NJ

Scuba Santa swims back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve, but the aquarium and the rest of its sea life are open on Christmas Day from 11am-3pm. Plus, see the world's largest underwater Christmas tree!

11. Washington Crossing the Delaware––​Washington Crossing

Witness the reenactment of George Washington's historic crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas Day, 1776, at Washington Crossing Historic Park. The actual crossing begins at 1pm.

RELATED: 30 Must-Do Holiday and Christmas Events Near Philadelphia in 2023

A glowing angel is part of the display at Herr's Snack Factory. Photo courtesy of Herr's

12. Herr's Snack Factory Christmas Lights––Nottingham

Load up the car and drive through the Herr's Snack Factory property to view the 600,000 twinkling lights on display from dusk until dawn.

13. The Comcast Holiday Spectacular––Philadelphia

Stroll through the city and make time for this Philly favorite tradition that brings the magic of the holidays to life for 15 minutes at the top of the hour, 10am–8pm, with sensory-friendly shows daily at 2:30. 

Chilly Philly Mini Golf in historic Franklin Square.
Play a round of Chilly Philly Mini Golf in historic Franklin Square. Photo courtesy of Historic Philadelphia

14. Winter in Franklin Square––​Philadelphia

Celebrate the holiday season day and night, with mini golf, fire pits, and 200,000 twinkly lights.

15. LumiNature––​Philadelphia

Visit the zoo after the animals' bedtimes, take a selfie with a giant illuminated butterfly, check out two new areas, Shimmer River and LumiNature Lane, and more. 

16. Crayola Experience––Easton

It will be a "Colorful Christmas" at the Crayola Experience, which is open from 12pm–6pm. A themed adventure, a story-telling snowman and tree friends, a life-sized snowglobe, and gift crafting await visitors. 

17. Local Movie Theaters––​Multiple Locations

Visiting the movie theater is often a go-to choice when it comes to things to do on Christmas Day. Start a new family tradition in front of the big screen!

18. Go out to eat!––​Multiple Locations

We've rounded up restaurants open on Christmas all over the area, so make your reservations now. 


This article has been updated for 2023 by Hillary Moses Mohaupt.

Places featured in this article: