5 Things to do in Philly Over This Winter

*This article is contributed by Margot Biamon, a member of Her Campus UMD.*

Being from Philly and going to an out-of-state school, I tend to forget the wonderful things that the City of Brotherly Love has to offer. No, I’m not just talking about the aroma of cheesesteaks and soft pretzels, or the sounds of energized Eagles fans, but the wide array of events happening. Philly has a surplus of attractions year round, but there’s something about Philadelphia’s winter charm that makes this *the* season to explore the city.

For all my out-of-staters who want to get involved in the city this winter, or even for city lovers in general -- I have compiled a list of five must-do things for this winter break.


  1. 1. Taste of Philly Food Tour

    The Taste of Philly Food Tour is offered all year long, every Wednesday and Saturday at 10 a.m. in downtown Philadelphia, according to the Taste of Philly Food Tour website. The tour begins and leaves from the Market Welcome Desk at 12th and Filbert streets, and tickets can be found here. Not only is one delving into the foods that the city has to offer, but also the history behind Philly’s most beloved foods. Included in the tour is the proper way to order a cheesesteak, where Philadelphia brand cream cheese truly comes from, where Milton Hershey found his idea for Hershey’s kisses and George Washington’s real favorite foods. This is a great way to get involved in the city’s culture -- and fill not only your belly but your brain, too. 

    Casey McKeever, local Philadelphia resident and junior at the University of South Carolina, said every winter she has brought her friends from college to do the Taste of Philly Food Tour. “Luckily on the tour they teach you how to order a cheesesteak, which is something I knew my friends had to learn before hanging around in Philly for a weekend. It’s cool for them to see the culture of my city, too.” 

  2. 2. Christmas Village in Philadelphia

    If you are a Christmas lover, Christmas Village in Philadelphia will be a great way to get your holiday spirits high. Christmas Village in Philadelphia is an outside Holiday market event held in Center City Philadelphia. There will be over 80 wooden booths in which vendors will sell international holiday gifts, traditional European foods, sweet treats and unique drinks. The village, which is modeled after the traditional Christmas Markets in Germany, is surrounded by thousands of lights, as well as a holiday aroma. The event is open from November 28 to December 24, according to the Christmas Village in Philadelphia website. Come here with your friends and family to lift your holiday spirits! 

  3. 3. Blue Cross Riverrink Winterfest

    Beginning November 29, the Blue Cross Riverrink Winterfest turns Penn’s Landing into a winter-wonderland park, filled with food, drinks, music, shopping, attractions, sports, history and a surplus of events. It remains a winter-wonderland until March 8, so there is plenty of time over this winter break to head over there. The park is known for their Olympic-sized ice skating rink, which overlooks the Delaware River. The skating rink is surrounded by a winter garden and a styled ski lodge. There is much more to do than just ice skate there. Food and drinks surround the area, and yes, there is a Franklin Fountain Confectionary Cabin which has an abundance of sweet treats. There are a plethora of events held there as well, inclusive of concerts and shows. The best part -- general admission is free and open to the public. If you’re interested and want to learn more about what it has to offer, click here!  

  4. 4. LumiNature at Philly Zoo

    LumiNature is held at our very own Philadelphia Zoo, and is a winter light experience which creates a whole new ambiance of lights, music and more at the Zoo. It is an after-zoo experience, as the animals are asleep. Tickets can be found here, and entrance times are available every half hour from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. according to the Philadelphia Zoo website. 

  5. 5. Happy Place at King of Prussia Mall

    This year, there will be a pop-up exhibit at the King of Prussia Mall called the “Happy Place.” There are over a dozen rooms at the exhibit which exuberate happiness. Not only is it filled with happiness, but an atmosphere that is perfect for photos and your Instagram account. The pop-up has raised over $100,000 for charity, according to CBS Philly. There is a lemonade stand at the end of the exhibit, and all profits are donated to charity. The exhibit opened October 5, and will close January 5, according to the Happy Place website. If interested, click here to book your tickets!

    The KOP  is not located directly in the city, but about 30 minutes outside of it. KOP employee, Gianna Carlone, spoke to us about Happy Place.

    Carlone said, “In a world today where bad things occur on a daily basis, I am glad to see in my workplace a safe-place for people of all ages to feel happy, be with friends and take a break from their daily life. Happy Place was made to give people a mental health break, and I am glad that the King of Prussia Mall could bring that to them.”

Check out these events and attractions this winter!