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The best holiday lights around Philly, mapped

Prepare to be dazzled

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Editor’s note: This article was originally published in December 2016 and has since been updated with the most recent information.

Believe it or not, the holiday season is fast approaching. It can be a crazy time of year, but one thing that's always wonderful is seeing so many places in and around Philly decked out in twinkling lights and festive decor.

So behold: 21 spots in the Philadelphia region that really go above and beyond the call of holiday duty. We don’t just mean big, beautiful Christmas trees—we're talking blow-up Santas, mesmerizing light shows set to music, and just downright gorgeous decor.

Know of another spectacular spot? Share the wealth and let us know in the comments!

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1. Peddler's Village

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58 Peddlers Village
Lahaska, PA 18931

Every year Peddler’s Village in Bucks County transforms into a gorgeous Victorian village, showing off its charming town in one million twinkling lights. The village kicks off its holiday season with the Christmas festival in early December. There will be holiday parades and a gingerbread house competition, with more to come throughout the month.

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2. Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

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100 E Northwestern Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19118

The always enchanting Morris Arboretum goes in a slightly different direction during the holidays with its Holiday Garden Railway. It’s a quarter-mile-long train track that winds through the arboretum. Tiny homes and buildings line the tracks and are lit up in holiday lights.

3. Historic Houses at East Fairmount Park

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Fairmount Park is filled with historic mansions, but only five of them will open up their doors this holiday season as part of the annual Very Philly Christmas. Visit each house throughout the season to take part in special events celebrating food, music, family, and friends.

4. Boathouse Row

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1 Boathouse Row
Philadelphia, PA 19130

One of Philly’s most iconic sites is lit up in LED lights year-round, but there’s something about Boathouse Row during the holidays that makes the place feel extra special. This year is the row of boathouses will light up in an array of holiday colors for the rest of the season.

5. Philadelphia Museum of Art

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2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Climb to the top of the Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see its magnificent Christmas tree lit up in all of its holiday glory. Then, keep going through the museum’s front doors, where you’ll find the Grand Hall Staircase lined with Christmas trees, highlighting the iconic Diana sculpture gilded in copper.

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6. Franklin Square

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200 N 6th St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Franklin Square's holiday lights never disappoint. The Electrical Spectacle light show returns, featuring over 75,000 lights set to Christmas music by the Philly Pops.

7. Comcast Center

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Comcast Center, 1701 John F Kennedy Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Take a walk through this dreamy tree-lined sidewalk at the Comcast Center, then head inside to catch the tower's Holiday Spectacular Show.

8. Dilworth Park

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1 S 15th St
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Dilworth Park has gone all out for the holidays. If the giant ice skating rink in Dilworth Park, then consider the Deck the Hall show that projects a mesmerizing light display onto City Hall every single night starting at 5:30 p.m. in late November. It goes every hour until the last show at 8:30 p.m.

9. Elfreth's Alley

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124-126 Elfreth's Alley
Philadelphia, PA 19106

One of Philly’s most iconic and instagrammable streets, Elfreth’s Alley, is a great place to take a stroll during the holiday season. The historic homes that line the charming street go all out for the holidays, somehow becoming even more charming that they already are.

10. Macy's

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1300 Market St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

This is a no-brainer. The Macy's Christmas Light Show has been taking place in its Grand Court for over 20 years. And save for a few tweaks here and there, not much has changed. It’s made up of over 34,000 LED lights in six different colors and happens multiple times a day. Plus, it’s free.

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11. Rittenhouse Square

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Rittenhouse Square
Philadelphia, PA

One of the city’s original squares is a must-visit during the holidays. Dozens of lanterns hang from the park’s large, old trees, and the Christmas tree is always a sight to behold.

12. Jewelers' Row

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S 7th St & Sansom St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

The first Diamond district in the nation always gets gussied up for the holidays, with its iconic "Seasons Greetings" signs lighting the way. You’ll be enchanted by both the lights and the jewelry displays in the windows.

13. Blue Cross RiverRink

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101 S Christopher Columbus Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19106

If you want to sit beneath thousands of twinkling holiday lights while being warmed by a fire, head to the Blue Cross Riverrink’s Winterfest on the Delaware River. There will be a huge Christmas tree, and all of the cozy cabins are strewn in pretty lights, too.

14. Parade of Lights at Independence Seaport Museum

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211 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19106

This magical display of holidays lights on the water is a one-time show, so mark your calendars for December 7. At the annual Parade of Lights, you can watch a bunch of boats decked out in lights float on by along the Independence Seaport Museum on the Delaware River. Hint: The best seats in the house are on the museum’s second-floor balcony.

'Twas the night before #ParadeOfLights... here's everything you'll need to know for our holiday event on the waterfront tomorrow: phillyseaport.org/lights

Posted by Independence Seaport Museum on Friday, December 9, 2016

15. Addison Street

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1700 Addison St
Philadelphia, PA 19146

These lights are up year-round at 17th and Addison, but it's especially lovely to stroll down this street during the holidays. This year, expect the trees to be brighter than ever—they installed some new LED lights last year.

16. Miracle on South 13th Street

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1600 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19148

Named one of the best streets in the U.S. for Christmas Lights, the Miracle on S. 13th Street is one of the most beloved holiday spectacles. It's even a little more special, because the street teamed up with Samsung to use more energy-efficient smart technology. Check it out at the corner of 16th and S. 13th Street.

17. Collingswood’s Main Street

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You'll feel like you've stepped into another time at Collingswood during the holidays. The small New Jersey town strings up its whole borough with thousands of twinkling lights each year, complete with carolers every weekend.

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18. Smedley Street Christmas Light Spectacular

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2700 S Smedley St
Philadelphia, PA 19145

Smedley Street's Christmas Light Spectacular takes over the middle of the street every year, transforming the neighborhood into a winter wonderland. It's between 16th and 17th, and Moyamensing and Oregon avenues.

19. Longwood Gardens

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1001 Longwood Rd
Kennett Square, PA 19348

There's just no beating Longwood Gardens during the holidays. From its fountain shows set to holiday music to the incredible collection of poinsettias to its impeccable decor, every turn wows both inside and out. Make sure to snap a photo in front of one of their many brightly lit trees. Also, the gardens have a new interactive map so you can plot your best trip around all the holiday attractions (welcome to the age of technology).

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20. Yuletide at Winterthur

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Winterthur
Pennsbury Township, DE

Winterthur, one of the most famous mansions in the country, transforms its 175-room property into a spectacular display of holiday decor every winter season for Yuletide at Winterthur. There’s a lot to gawk at here, but don’t miss the 18-room dollhouse mansion, the Christmas tree adorned with 458 handmade ornaments, or the colorful light displays outside—they’re the earliest types of lights used to decorate homes. If you’re interested in the full experience, you can book a holiday tour .

21. Smith’s Christmas Lights

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2101 Prior Rd
Wilmington, DE 19809

The Smith House on Top of the Hill in Wilmington, Delaware has been putting other homes to shame for decades. You can see the incredible display off I-95, but it's worth getting off the highway and seeing it up close and personal. Plus, this one has a heart-wrenching or heartwarming (or both) story behind it; the home’s owner put the lights up after losing both parents within months of each other, as a way to memorialize and remember them over 30 Christmases ago.

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1. Peddler's Village

58 Peddlers Village, Lahaska, PA 18931

Every year Peddler’s Village in Bucks County transforms into a gorgeous Victorian village, showing off its charming town in one million twinkling lights. The village kicks off its holiday season with the Christmas festival in early December. There will be holiday parades and a gingerbread house competition, with more to come throughout the month.

58 Peddlers Village
Lahaska, PA 18931

2. Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

100 E Northwestern Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118

The always enchanting Morris Arboretum goes in a slightly different direction during the holidays with its Holiday Garden Railway. It’s a quarter-mile-long train track that winds through the arboretum. Tiny homes and buildings line the tracks and are lit up in holiday lights.

100 E Northwestern Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19118

3. Historic Houses at East Fairmount Park

Philadelphia, PA 19121

Fairmount Park is filled with historic mansions, but only five of them will open up their doors this holiday season as part of the annual Very Philly Christmas. Visit each house throughout the season to take part in special events celebrating food, music, family, and friends.

4. Boathouse Row

1 Boathouse Row, Philadelphia, PA 19130

One of Philly’s most iconic sites is lit up in LED lights year-round, but there’s something about Boathouse Row during the holidays that makes the place feel extra special. This year is the row of boathouses will light up in an array of holiday colors for the rest of the season.

1 Boathouse Row
Philadelphia, PA 19130

5. Philadelphia Museum of Art

2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Climb to the top of the Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see its magnificent Christmas tree lit up in all of its holiday glory. Then, keep going through the museum’s front doors, where you’ll find the Grand Hall Staircase lined with Christmas trees, highlighting the iconic Diana sculpture gilded in copper.

2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia, PA 19130

6. Franklin Square

200 N 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Franklin Square's holiday lights never disappoint. The Electrical Spectacle light show returns, featuring over 75,000 lights set to Christmas music by the Philly Pops.

200 N 6th St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

7. Comcast Center

Comcast Center, 1701 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Take a walk through this dreamy tree-lined sidewalk at the Comcast Center, then head inside to catch the tower's Holiday Spectacular Show.

Comcast Center, 1701 John F Kennedy Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19103

8. Dilworth Park

1 S 15th St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Dilworth Park has gone all out for the holidays. If the giant ice skating rink in Dilworth Park, then consider the Deck the Hall show that projects a mesmerizing light display onto City Hall every single night starting at 5:30 p.m. in late November. It goes every hour until the last show at 8:30 p.m.

1 S 15th St
Philadelphia, PA 19102

9. Elfreth's Alley

124-126 Elfreth's Alley, Philadelphia, PA 19106

One of Philly’s most iconic and instagrammable streets, Elfreth’s Alley, is a great place to take a stroll during the holiday season. The historic homes that line the charming street go all out for the holidays, somehow becoming even more charming that they already are.

124-126 Elfreth's Alley
Philadelphia, PA 19106

10. Macy's

1300 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

This is a no-brainer. The Macy's Christmas Light Show has been taking place in its Grand Court for over 20 years. And save for a few tweaks here and there, not much has changed. It’s made up of over 34,000 LED lights in six different colors and happens multiple times a day. Plus, it’s free.

1300 Market St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

11. Rittenhouse Square

Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA

One of the city’s original squares is a must-visit during the holidays. Dozens of lanterns hang from the park’s large, old trees, and the Christmas tree is always a sight to behold.

Rittenhouse Square
Philadelphia, PA

12. Jewelers' Row

S 7th St & Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

The first Diamond district in the nation always gets gussied up for the holidays, with its iconic "Seasons Greetings" signs lighting the way. You’ll be enchanted by both the lights and the jewelry displays in the windows.

S 7th St & Sansom St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

13. Blue Cross RiverRink

101 S Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106

If you want to sit beneath thousands of twinkling holiday lights while being warmed by a fire, head to the Blue Cross Riverrink’s Winterfest on the Delaware River. There will be a huge Christmas tree, and all of the cozy cabins are strewn in pretty lights, too.

101 S Christopher Columbus Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19106

14. Parade of Lights at Independence Seaport Museum

211 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19106

This magical display of holidays lights on the water is a one-time show, so mark your calendars for December 7. At the annual Parade of Lights, you can watch a bunch of boats decked out in lights float on by along the Independence Seaport Museum on the Delaware River. Hint: The best seats in the house are on the museum’s second-floor balcony.

211 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19106

15. Addison Street

1700 Addison St, Philadelphia, PA 19146

These lights are up year-round at 17th and Addison, but it's especially lovely to stroll down this street during the holidays. This year, expect the trees to be brighter than ever—they installed some new LED lights last year.

1700 Addison St
Philadelphia, PA 19146

16. Miracle on South 13th Street

1600 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19148

Named one of the best streets in the U.S. for Christmas Lights, the Miracle on S. 13th Street is one of the most beloved holiday spectacles. It's even a little more special, because the street teamed up with Samsung to use more energy-efficient smart technology. Check it out at the corner of 16th and S. 13th Street.

1600 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA 19148

17. Collingswood’s Main Street

Collingswood, NJ

You'll feel like you've stepped into another time at Collingswood during the holidays. The small New Jersey town strings up its whole borough with thousands of twinkling lights each year, complete with carolers every weekend.

18. Smedley Street Christmas Light Spectacular

2700 S Smedley St, Philadelphia, PA 19145

Smedley Street's Christmas Light Spectacular takes over the middle of the street every year, transforming the neighborhood into a winter wonderland. It's between 16th and 17th, and Moyamensing and Oregon avenues.

2700 S Smedley St
Philadelphia, PA 19145

19. Longwood Gardens

1001 Longwood Rd, Kennett Square, PA 19348

There's just no beating Longwood Gardens during the holidays. From its fountain shows set to holiday music to the incredible collection of poinsettias to its impeccable decor, every turn wows both inside and out. Make sure to snap a photo in front of one of their many brightly lit trees. Also, the gardens have a new interactive map so you can plot your best trip around all the holiday attractions (welcome to the age of technology).

1001 Longwood Rd
Kennett Square, PA 19348

20. Yuletide at Winterthur

Winterthur, Pennsbury Township, DE

Winterthur, one of the most famous mansions in the country, transforms its 175-room property into a spectacular display of holiday decor every winter season for Yuletide at Winterthur. There’s a lot to gawk at here, but don’t miss the 18-room dollhouse mansion, the Christmas tree adorned with 458 handmade ornaments, or the colorful light displays outside—they’re the earliest types of lights used to decorate homes. If you’re interested in the full experience, you can book a holiday tour .

Winterthur
Pennsbury Township, DE

21. Smith’s Christmas Lights

2101 Prior Rd, Wilmington, DE 19809

The Smith House on Top of the Hill in Wilmington, Delaware has been putting other homes to shame for decades. You can see the incredible display off I-95, but it's worth getting off the highway and seeing it up close and personal. Plus, this one has a heart-wrenching or heartwarming (or both) story behind it; the home’s owner put the lights up after losing both parents within months of each other, as a way to memorialize and remember them over 30 Christmases ago.

2101 Prior Rd
Wilmington, DE 19809