Tis the season (almost) for sliding on ice, spectacles of light, yuletide pampering, and vintage Christmas displays. My November Arlington and Bethesda Get Away column has four ideas for mid-Atlantic getaways you can enjoy with or without the kids. Here’s the first, with a little added info because there is so much to do in Philadelphia during the holidays—and for people of all faiths—the City of Brotherly Love’s seasonal celebrations could have filled the entire column. These are a few highlights:
Electrical Spectacle in Franklin Square is a light show that features more than 50,000 lights (including a 10-foot-tall lighted kite), a holiday train, carousel rides and miniature golf with warming stations. Nov. 12-Dec. 31 (except Thanksgiving and Christmas); historicphiladelphia.org
Visit Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest for ice skating under the stars, roasting s’mores and lounging at “The Lodge,” a 400-person warming tent with live fireside music. Nov. 27-March 6, $3 entrance free, no charge if you’re a Blue Cross insurance cardholder; www.riverrink.com
A tradition since 1956, Macy’s Christmas Light Show is set to symphonic music from the historic Wanamaker Organ, the world’s largest operating pipe organ. Located inside the Wanamaker Building, the free daily show features more than 100,000 LED lights, recorded narration by Julie Andrews and organ performances; wanamakerorgan.com
Christmas Village at Love Park (pictured above) is a German medieval village-themed holiday celebration with music and dance performances, plus festive food and drink that includes everything from hot mulled wine to bratwurst and “Lebkuchen” (gingerbread). Several mini-shops set in wooden booths sell German Christmas gifts, including glass ornaments, music boxes, nutcrackers and more. Admission free; Nov. 21-Dec. 27 (except Christmas); www.philachristmas.com.
For the full list of Philly’s unique events, including a Thanksgiving Day parade with a giant Kermit the Frog, visit www.visitphilly.com.
ICE! at Gaylord National – you don’t need to be a hotel guest to check out what master ice carvers can create in the form of a walk-through holiday story, complete with ice slide. These images are from last year’s Frosty the Snowman theme. This year’s story-in-ice is based on Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.
While the indoor attraction is kept at a chilly 9 degrees, Gaylord National provides warm parkas that make it easy to enjoy ICE! sans frostbite.
For more details on ICE!, plus where to find a vintage noel in Delaware’s historic Brandywine region, and be pampered for the holidays (cooking and all), click here for the column in Arlington magazine, or read it in the latest issue of Bethesda. Happy travels!
Philadelphia image provided by Visit Philly.