Philadelphia is full of cheer this time of year, with building boasting grand Christmas trees and holiday festivities happening throughout the city. Perhaps the most festive among these is the Christmas Village located at City Hall, a celebration of German Christmas traditions that erupts in Center City beginning on Thanksgiving and running until Christmas Eve.

The Basics

Lucy Gilak

The outdoor market, which is easily accessible from several Septa stops, features more than 80 vendors selling arts, crafts and other gifts as well as traditional European food and beverage. From wooden nativity sets to clay ornaments and handmade shoulder bags to artwork from Nepal, the shopping scene at the Christmas Village is sure to fulfill your every gift need this season.

The Food

cake, jam, bread, flour, sweet, dough, pastry
Shannon Peters

Enjoy delicious, fresh food as well! Try fresh-made crepes from Crepes and German Sweets, sweet or savory Belgian waffles from Wandering Waffle, or chocolates and candies from a number of sellers. Need a heartier meal? Grab a German Bratwurst from the German Grill vendor or some jerky meat from The Jerky Hut! Whatever your mood, you'll find authentic, traditional holiday food at City Hall while immersing yourself in European Culture.

The Activities

Sarah Pilger

Besides shopping and eating, the Christmas Village offers several opportunities for entertainment. Take a ride on the beautiful carousel, enjoy live music and wine tastings, and snap a family photo with Santa! The Rothman Ice Rink is also stationed in front of City Hall, and visitors can skate for $5 adult and $3 child admission, plus $10 to rent skates. Skate while enjoying the view of the market, a fully decorated Christmas tree, and City Hall in all its holiday glory.

Be sure to visit the Christmas Village before it closes on December 24; hours are 11 am – 7 pm Sundays through Thursdays, 11 am – 8 pmFridays and Saturdays, and 11 am – 5 pm on Christmas Eve.