Light up your holidays this December!

This holiday season, Parks & Rec and our partners are offering fun and festive events for all. Check out this month’s highlights below.

Please note: events may be canceled or postponed due to bad weather. Be sure to check the links below to confirm date, time, and location.


Caroling at Gorgas Park 

December 1, 2023 (Rescheduled to December 15, 2023)
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Gorgas Park Gazebo–6300 Ridge Avenue, 19128.  

Get in the Christmas Spirit. Enjoy the festivities. There will be a choir, a hot chocolate bar, and activities for kids. Organized by Citylight Church. Learn more on Facebook.  

Christmas Tree Lighting

December 1, 2023
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Harrowgate Park 3455 Kensington Avenue, 19134.

Friends of Harrowgate Park invite you to their first tree lighting ceremony. Get in the Holiday spirit. Enjoy caroling. Light refreshments will be provided. See Facebook for more information. 

Homemade Holidays 

December 2, 2023
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Bartram’s Garden–5400 Lindbergh Boulevard, 19143.  

Celebrate winter and join the festivities. Make your own holiday card or wreath. Roast s’mores and drink hot chocolate by the fire. Buy a homemade gift for a friend. Read more on their website.  

Holiday Horses & Bazaar

December 2, 2023
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Northwestern Stables–120 Northwestern Avenue, 19118. 

Enjoy reindeer rides, arts and crafts, and games. Learn more and buy tickets on Eventbrite.

Friends of Rittenhouse Square Holiday Tree lighting 

December 4, 2023
5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Rittenhouse Square–1800 Walnut Street, 19103.  

Festivities will begin at 5 p.m. with refreshments, giveaways, and music. Santa will make a special appearance! The tree lighting ceremony will then start at 5:30 p.m. Visit the Friends’ website for more information.

Kids Holiday Paint Party

December 8, 2023
6:30 p.m.
Houston Playground–900 Grakyn Lane, 19128.

Grab your paint brush. Kids will have a blast at our holiday-themed paint project. Visit Facebook to learn more and register for this event. 

4th Annual Winter Lights, Winter Nights 

December 9, 2023
2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Bardascino Park–1000 Carpenter Street, 19147.  

Come light up the park with handcrafted lanterns. Pick up a free lantern making kit in the park on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Make your lantern at home. Then bring your creation back to illuminate the park. This event is made possible by a grant from the Fairmount Park Conservancy.  See details on Facebook. 

Friends of Rittenhouse Square Hannukah Celebration 

December 12, 2023
5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Rittenhouse Square–1800 Walnut Street, 19103.    

Celebrate Hannukah with the Friends’ group and B’Nai Abrahm Chabad. Learn more about this free event

Caroling at Gorgas Park 

December 15, 2023 (Rescheduled from December 1, 2023)
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Gorgas Park Gazebo–6300 Ridge Avenue, 19128.  

Get in the Christmas Spirit. Enjoy the festivities. There will be a choir, a hot chocolate bar, and activities for kids. Organized by Citylight Church. Learn more on Facebook. 

Winter Wonderland 

December 15, 2023
4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Smith Memorial Playground–3500 Reservoir Drive, 19121.  

Enjoy arts and crafts, games, free giveaways, and roasting s’mores. Register for this free event.  

Holiday for the Animals  

December 16, 2023
12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Wissahickon Environmental Center—300 Northwestern Avenue, 19128. 

Explore nature, play games and create gifts for wildlife. See details and register on Eventbrite.  

McPherson’s Winter Festival

December 16, 2023
12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
McPherson Library and Park–601 E. Indiana Avenue, 19134. 

Get in the holiday spirit! Enjoy hot chocolate, delicious food, and other treats. There will be cookie decorating stations and fun kids’ activities. Santa will make a special appearance. Please bring your phone or camera to take a picture with Santa. Organized by Parks & Rec, The Free Library of Philadelphia, and IMPACT. Visit Facebook for more information. 

“Philly Nutt Crak-Up”

December 16 and 17, 2023
Show times vary
Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center1 Rector Street, 19127.

Come see the Rappin Sugar Plum Fairy perform in the Contempra DANCE Theatre Company’s show. Visit Facebook for more details and to buy tickets.

Winter Solstice Celebration 

December 21, 2023
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Glen Foerd–5001 Grant Avenue, 19114.  

Come celebrate the shortest day of the year. Learn about the winter solstice. Watch a fire-building demonstration. Registration is not required at this free event. Please bring your own chair and flashlight. See details on their website.  

Winter Solstice in the Wissahickon

December 21, 2023
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Houston Meadow-900 Grakyn Lane, 19128.

Organized by the Friends of the Wissahickon. Come celebrate the Winter Solstice. Hike the Houston Meadow loop. Learn facts about the solstice and Wissahickon Valley Park.
Register for this event. 

Winter Solstice Birding Walk

December 22, 2023
3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Woodlands-4000 Woodland Avenue, 19104.

Enjoy a Winter Solstice Bird Walk. Learn about winter finches and other species in the area. This free event is organized by our partner The Woodlands. See more details about the bird walk on their website. 

Christmas for a Cause

December 23, 2023
11 a.m.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center2101-35 Cecil B. Moore Avenue, 19121.

All families and expecting parents are welcome to this free holiday event. Celebrate the holidays with free food, toys, crafts, and resources. High school seniors please bring your acceptance letters. Read more details on Facebook. 


Check out our blog about arts and crafts activities at parks and rec centers.
Beat the winter blues by keeping active at these events.