A Tour of Christmas in Philadelphia

The Santa bits and I arrived safely in Pennsylvania for a long weekend and on Friday, after some stuffing and painting, we drove downtown and went on a seasonal tour of Philadelphia. I really like the city, but except for going in and out of the airport, I rarely get there these days. When my niece suggested we do this tour, I thought it was a great idea! We ate lunch at the amazing Reading Terminal Market. It was jammed with all of us eating and people shopping for wonderful food to take home and cook. It’s been around since 1892 and certainly is a great spot to indulge in any food craving.

Reading Terminal Market

The Center City Holiday Tour involved a lot of walking! I really don’t know the geography at all well; I just followed the guide around, gawking like the tourist I was! One of the first stops was the Wanamaker’s Christmas Show… And like any native, I call it that despite the fact that it’s been Macy’s for many years! When I was little, our annual Christmas trip to Philadelphia included the show at Wanamaker’s and the window displays at Lit Brothers! The guide had many interesting facts to tell us about John Wanamaker, the only thing I knew for sure about him was that he was a Quaker and the store has an amazing organ. There’s a brass eagle ( a very large one!) in the center of the store and people would say (before cell phones!) “Meet me at the eagle”.

Wanamaker's light show

We spent some time admiring and hearing all about Philadelphia City Hall. It has William Penn on the top and up until 1973, I think, no building could be taller than Billy’s hat! I found the clearest shot I could, but from any other angle the poor man is surrounded…

Philadelphia City Hall

The last show on the tour was at the Comcast building. Philadelphia has a 1% for art law, and Comcast built this amazing lobby. What you are looking at is called the Video Wall. Look carefully at the picture below and you can see the concierge desk and the entrances to the elevators. This was the beginning of the Christmas show.

Comcast lobby

Here is a short video of the Nutcracker! Isn’t he clarity astounding? The guide said that you can go in there practically any time of day and see something. When we arrived the wall was showing a silvery forest of trees.

Philadelphia is really a wonderful old city, full of history with lots going on!

2 thoughts on “A Tour of Christmas in Philadelphia

    • It is really happening; I’d like more time to check it out. My cousin keeps talking about moving and some years ago she took me with her to look at apartments. I loved them all. One overlooked Elfreth’s Alley which is the oldest street in Phillie and so charming. I grew up in the country but I think for a single woman a city is the place to be!

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