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Outdoor light shows are one of the highlights of the holiday season. It’s easy to take them for granted if you live in a big city — there are lights all over the place year-round. But if you’re just visiting a city or make a special trip to see one of the bigger regional light shows, it can be incredibly festive and fun. If you are going to be in Philadelphia, you should enjoy the FREE Franklin Square Holiday Festival and Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show, running daily (except on Christmas) through December 31, 2019. This holiday glow features approximately 80,000 twinkling lights illuminating the Square together with a soundtrack of holiday songs, some of which are performed by the Philly POPS! Alternating shows are every 30 minutes beginning at 4:30 PM with final shows at 8:00 PM during most of the week and 9:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.
Presented by PECO and initially funded by a grant from the William Penn Foundation, this brilliant light display was inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s imagination and genius. The spectacular centerpiece is a kite that is 12 feet tall and hovers 16 feet above the square’s fountain with LED lights dancing to music. It is in honor of Franklin’s famous experiment with a kite and lightning.
Franklin Square is a premier venue for family, social, and special corporate events, catered dinners, and parties in the indoor heated Pavilion. Holiday cheer for all ages and winter treats will fill the historic Franklin Square park throughout the almost seven weeks of special activities, themed events, holiday shopping, seasonal treats, fire pits, and more fun.
Where to Stay
If you’re traveling from out of town and want to make a memorable trip, there are a few amazing hotels to choose from. When you are considering hotels near downtown Philadelphia, check out the unique amenities in The Bellevue Hotel at 200 South Broad Street. Pioneer George C. Boldt built this gorgeous and timeless innovative historic structure in 1904, and it has continued to be a spirited living landmark with the style of Philadelphia’s gilded days. Visitors appreciate the distinctive architecture, spacious hotel rooms, and renowned on-site dining option, XIX Restaurant.
The Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square is another choice that sparks joy in travelers’ hearts. This hotel is set in a historic building in Rittenhouse Square. It’s been host to celebrities, athletes, and dignitaries since 1928. Due to its location right in the heart of Philadelphia, you can easily walk to most of the local attractions, world-class restaurants, and the city’s nightlife.
Hop On/Off the Double-Decker Bus Tour
This is an excellent way to explore the city’s attractions and legendary heritage and history at your own pace by hopping on or off at any of 27 bus stops that run in loops of 1.5 hours on more than 16 miles of Philadelphia. The tour highlights 100 popular attractions, all while passengers get a 360-degree views from the top of the bus and on-board commentaries given by knowledgeable local guides. The passes are also valid throughout downtown Philadelphia.
Type of Attractions
In addition to all the normal Philadelphia sights and historical landmarks that usually get visitors’ attention when they visit this magnificent city, there are walking and Segway tours to take you all over town, boat tours, outstanding cultural and art museums, outdoor activities and facilities of all types, beautiful parks and gardens, and other tours for craft beer and breweries, ghosts and vampires, amazing food, nightlife of all kinds, concerts and shows, and so much more.