Franklin Square Holiday Festival & Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show
Brilliant bright display inspired by the imagination of Benjamin Franklin
November and December 2016
Note: The information below is from 2015. Stay tuned for more information about this year’s event as it becomes available.
Festive lights, winter treats and holiday cheer will fill historic Franklin Square all season long for its all-ages (and completely free!) holiday festival and light show.
With the spectacular Electrical Spectacle light show as its main feature — the show employs more than 50,000 (!) twinkling lights and dynamic holiday soundtrack — the seasonal outdoor attraction rounds out the ongoing festivities with a winter beer garden, holiday shopping, themed events and more.
Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show
The free holiday light show at Franklin Square returns with more than 50,000 lights set to a soundtrack of holiday tunes by the Philly Pops. The centerpiece of the shows is a 12-foot tall kite that serves as an ode to Benjamin Franklin’s famous kite-and-lightning experiment. The kite spreads holiday glow to lights throughout the square.
The show starts shining at 4:30 p.m. nightly — when one guest gets to flip the switch and illuminate the square — and continues every half-hour until 8 p.m., weather permitting.
Franklin Square Holiday Festival
The Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show is just one part of the Franklin Square Holiday Festival.
The festival will feature nearly seven weeks of attractions, activities and more. Read on for more info.
Winter Beer Garden and Food Trucks
Returning for another year of drink-driven fun is Ben’s Bites & Brews, the winter beer garden (with fire pits!) at Franklin Square. This year, Brauhaus Schmitz curates the German brews at the beer garden, and mulled wine and spiked cider will be available for purchase, too.
The beer garden is open Thursday through Sunday from November 12 through December 24 and is open daily from December 26 through 31. Note that from Monday through Wednesday, other food and beverage options will be available.
As part of Franklin Square’s themed programming throughout the season, food truck Fridays will return with mobile eats for attendees.
Holiday Market and Seasonal Events
Guests of the Holiday Light Show can even get some of their holiday shopping done at a daily holiday market that will pop up from 4 to 8 p.m. Available items include scarves, blankets, jewelry, toys and winter accessories.
Beyond the holiday market, an array of seasonal events fill Franklin Square throughout the duration of the holiday festival. Santa visits on Saturdays from November 28 through December 29, live music fills the park on Sundays and more.
A number of one-off events are on the schedule, too — Frozen night, Star Wars night, Nutcracker night and more. For the complete rundown of special events, click here.
For more holiday fun at Franklin Square, click the button below.
In the neighborhood
1 Dock St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
- Best Western Plus: Independence Park Hotel
- Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District
- Penn’s View Hotel
- Holiday Inn Express
- Hilton Philadelphia
at Penn’s Landing
- The Franklin Hotel
at Independence Park
- Hotel Monaco Philadelphia
- View more hotels
Museums & Attractions
525 Arch Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19106
- Dream Garden
- Museum at the Chemical Heritage Foundation
- First Friday
- The Betsy Ross House
- American Philosophical Society Museum
- Philadelphia CityPASS
- Independence Visitor Center
- Race Street Pier
- United States Mint
- View more attractions
Restaurants & Dining