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Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Old City, Philadelphia

CREDIT: Courtesy of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

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Family-Friendly Holiday Events in Philadelphia in 2014

Kids enjoy the holiday season with Philadelphia’s family-friendly events and performances

Don’t let the arrival of Old Man Winter keep you and your family cooped up indoors. The holiday season might just be the perfect time of year to get out and about with wee ones in tow.

With tons of family-friendly attractions and destinations — most of which are free to see and do — there are so many things to to do with kids during the holiday season in Philadelphia.

We’ve rounded up our top picks for the best things to do with the pint-sized set to make the most of the chilly season in Philadelphia.

Enjoy our comprehensive guide to holiday family-fun in Philadelphia in 2014, below.

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Sister Cities Park FrostFest

Philadelphia County

December 6, 13, 20

For three Saturdays in December, Sister Cities Park on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will celebrate the holidays during FrostFest. Families can enjoy science demonstrations from the Franklin Institute, live ice carving, music, free carriage rides and meet Santa himself during the weekend festivities.
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Reading Terminal Market Holiday Railroad

Philadelphia County

November 28 - December 31

Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia’s indoor haven for all things food, sets up a super impressive 500-square-foot holiday railroad in its piano court. Every holiday season, guests ooh and aah over the 14 working train lines and miniature scenery of Center City and the countryside, all set up around almost one-third of a mile of track.
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East Passyunk Tree Lighting Party

Philadelphia County

December 4

Philadelphia's East Passyunk neighborhood will be decking the avenue during its annual Tree Lighting Party at the famous Singing Fountain. Join festive carolers, student musicians and local businesses for the celebration leading up to Santa lighting the tree. Be sure to visit the stores and businesses along East Passyunk Avenue for great holiday sales and treats.
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Tree Lighting at Citizens Bank Park

Philadelphia County

December 6

Support the home team while celebrating the holiday season at Citizen Bank Park’s Christmas Tree — and ballpark — lighting. Starting at 10 a.m., enjoy holiday tunes from carolers, meet and greets with Phillies ballgirls and even an appearance by the ever-popular Phillie Phanatic before the official tree lighting at 5 p.m.
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The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Christmas Kids Spectacular!

Philadelphia County

December 13

Bring the entire family to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts‘ Verizon Hall to see a festive performance by The Philadelphia Orchestra fit for kids on Saturday, December 13. Not just an orchestral performance, this family-friendly matinee includes holiday sing-alongs, dancers, actors and even a visit from Santa Claus.
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Christmas Spectacular by the Philly POPS!

Philadelphia County
Philly Pops Christmas Spectacular

December 5 - 20, 2014

Join the Philly POPS for the Christmas Spectacular, a festive evening of holiday favorites featuring more than 300 musicians, local choirs and Broadway vocalist Hugh Panaro all led by celebrated conductor David Charles Abell. Families can sing-along with beloved holiday tunes and expect a few surprises during the return of Philadelphia's musical holiday tradition.
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Seaport Parade of Lights

Philadelphia County

December 13

Head to the Delaware River waterfront for the 5th annual Seaport Parade of Lights, a lighting celebration unlike any other in the city. This boat parade features both pleasure boats and working vessels decked out in fabulous decorations and lights. Before the parade, head to the Independence Seaport Museum, which is hosting the parade, for holiday activities and festivities. (Tip: The best view for the parade is from the second floor balcony of the museum.)
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Holiday Tours at the Historic Homes of Fairmont Park

Philadelphia County

December 3 - 31

Every holiday season, the six historic homes of Fairmount deck their halls for the festive season. Self-guided tours are available throughout the month of December with guided trolley tours available on December 12 and 14. This year, you can experience A Fairmount Christmas Carol from December 12-13. During the festive weekend, each of the homes will be decorated with a special theme with free transportation available aboard the Holly Trolley.
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Adventure Aquarium’s Christmas Celebration

Camden, NJ

November 28 - January 1

Enjoy the magic of the holiday season during Adventure Aquarium’s Christmas Celebration. Get into the yuletide spirit with Scuba Santa and his elves, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer — and, of course, plenty of sharks, fish, sea turtles and more.
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Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum

Philadelphia County

November 28 - January 5

Set amid the evergreens, Morris Arboretum’s Holiday Garden Railway showcases a miniature winter wonderland complete with a quarter-mile of model-train track; seven loops and tunnels; 15 different rail lines; cable cars, bridges and model trains that cruise past scaled replicas of historic monuments; and Philadelphia-area landmarks adorned with thousands of twinkling lights for the holidays.
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Christmasland at Linvilla Orchards

Media, Delaware County

December 1 - 31

For the holidays, Linvilla Orchards transforms into the North Pole — farm style. Get into the holiday spirit by cutting your own Christmas tree and doing a little shopping at the market that’s stocked with tasty holiday treats like hot mulled cider. Santa makes a guest appearance every Saturday and Sunday in December, and on select afternoons, visitors can sing along during Caroling Hayrides, complete with live music and apple cider.
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A Brandywine Christmas at Brandywine Museum

Chadds Ford, Delaware County

November 28 - January 4

A Brandywine Christmas takes over the Brandywine River Museum with a display of trees featuring critter ornaments, a Victorian dollhouse, rare antique dolls and one of the largest O-gauge model railroad displays in the country. Be sure to make a special trip for the annual critter ornament sale on December 6 and 7.
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North Pole Express at New Hope & Ivyland Railroad

New Hope, Bucks County
New Hope and Ivyland Railroad

November 21 - December 31

All aboard the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad for a family-friendly holiday train ride with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Lasting between 60-90-minutes, the holiday excursion features live music, refreshments and more holiday fun for everyone.
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Santa's Express at West Chester Railroad

West Chester Railroad

November 28 - 30, Weekends only December 6 - 21

Take a scenic, 90-minute holiday train ride through the Chester Creek Valley during Santa's Express on the West Chester Railroad. Families can celebrate with Santa himself, pose for pictures, enjoy live music and more.
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Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade in West Chester

West Chester, Chester County

December 5

West Chester welcomes Santa Claus to town during the popular 2014 Mars Drinks Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade presented by QVC, a one-mile loop through the historic district featuring regional marching bands, elf hats, floats, celebrity appearances and much more. Attracting more than 35,000 people each year, the traditional holiday parade will be shown to millions more with a live broadcast on QVC.
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Being [ ] at Christmas

Philadelphia County
National Museum of American Jewish History

December 25

On Christmas Day, the National Museum of American Jewish History invites families to fill in the blank during Being [ ] at Christmas. The event invites families from every background to join in its annual day of family fun with music, games, children’s activities and more.
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Disney on Ice Presents Frozen at the Wells Fargo Center

Philadelphia County

December 25 - January 4

Join Anna, Elsa, Olaf and more for Disney On Ice Presents Frozen at the Wells Fargo Center. Hosted by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, attendees can look forward to special effects, amazing skating and appearances from everyone's favorite Disney princesses as well as characters from Toy Story, The Lion King and more.
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Kwanzaa Family Celebration at the Johnson House

Philadelphia County
The Johnson House

December 27

The Johnson House in Historic Germantown celebrates the principles of Kwanzaa with an evening of African storytelling, drumming, arts and cultural foods from 6-8 p.m.
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Macy's Family Fun Day at AAMP: Kwanzaa Celebration!

Philadelphia County
African American Museum of Philadelphia

December 27 - 28

The African American Museum in Philadelphia hosts a weekend of family-friendly fun in celebration of the art, history and culture of people from the African Diaspora. Families can learn the "Seven Princples" of Kwanzaa while enjoying music, dance, storytelling, craft projects and more.
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Please Touch Museum Countdown to Noon

Philadelphia County

December 31

If midnight is way past your crew’s bedtime, ring in 2015 with a lunchtime celebration at the Please Touch Museum’s Countdown to Noon on December 31 with music, fun activities and a countdown at noon and 1 p.m.
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Fancy Brigade Finale and MummersFest

Philadelphia County

January 1

A New Year's tradition at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the Philadelphia Mummers Fancy Brigade Finale is an elaborate display of costumes, sets, music and choreography. Families can get a photo with the Fancies during Mummersfest then watch the Mummers strut during a matinee at noon. The Fancy Brigades bring their best as they compete during the main judged competition at 5 p.m.
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