Holidays Life

Things to Do in Philly with Kids Around the Holidays AND What to Wear for a City Excursion

November 30, 2016

Every season we like to spend a fun family weekend in “the big city” (for us that’s Philadelphia). Sometimes it doesn’t go as planned, and sometimes it can be painful for our kids to *gasp* walk 5 city blocks, but we always leave with new experiences under our belts and lots of wonderful memories. I especially like going to the city during the holiday season because there are tons of things to do in Philly with kids. We took our crew downtown last weekend and although it hardly seemed like the holidays (it was almost 70 degrees), we made our rounds to some of our favorite places. We adhere to the “one for the kids, one for the parents” schedule of events so that everyone leaves happy. But really, we’ve nailed down some activities that we can all enjoy together – and yes, there is always a little light day drinking involved. It’s the holidays!

Things To Do in Philly With Kids:

We always stay at the Westin Philadelphia because it is central to most of the holiday fun. Clearly we are suburbanites – I mean, can you even take a baby in cab? Regardless, of that, my family wouldn’t fit in one…

We started out going to the City Hall area to visit the Christmas Village – think cute small shops, lots of local artists, handmade goodness, authentic European food, festive music and THIS (one for the kids, in the bag):

the merry go round in center city philadelphia


The next activity was a bit of culture (read: one for the adults), but if you have an art loving kid, they can’t not appreciate The Mural Arts of Philadelphia. This program started in 1984 as an “anti grafitti movement” and is now the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that “art ignites change” (similar programs exist around the country – check them out if you are in LA, San Fran, NYC, or Chicago to name a few). Guided tours are available, but we gave ourselves an abbreviated version. We walked down 13th street (see the map here) for mini tour of these breathtaking backdrops. The first one we came across said it all….

family mural arts of philadelphia

This was next one was the kids’ favorite. Can’t you tell they were intrigued 😉

the motherchic at mural arts philadelphia

the motherchic in front of mural arts philadelphia

….and this next one is actually unfinished, but I personally wouldn’t do a thing. By far my favorite.

mural arts philadelphia

Where to next? At 1pm in the city on a Saturday? Definitely time for a beer. And how does one accomplish this with four kids in tow? Bribery in the form of fun games to be played and FOOD.

things to do with kids in philadelphia

The Drury Beer Garden on 13th and Sansom had both (phew). Kid friendly eats, a slew of great brew, and Connect 4. Oh, and heat lamps too.


drury beer garden in philadelphia


the motherchic at drury beer garden

For the final activity of the day – because the kids love spending time in the hotel (no really, who knew jumping from bed to bed could be so entertaining?) – we headed back to City Hall for a little ice skating at the Rothman Institute Rink.

ice skating at city hall in philadelphia

things to do in philly with kids

the motherchic ice skating wearing free people top

 jeans | turtleneck | booties | vest | pompom beanie (similar here)

My conclusion is that 99% off people can NOT ice skate (I was a little rusty myself – I’ll blame it on the beer). If nothing else, go for the people watching.

There are tons of other fun things to do in Philly with kids this time of year. To name a few:

Winterfest (you’ll want to reserve a cabin ahead of time – trust me! We do this every year with friends and finally are on top of things and have our cabin reserved. Do it now, they fill up fast!)

The Macy’s Light Show – classic!

The Comcast Holiday Spectacular – FREE and the kids love it

Franklin Square – light shows, fire pits, kid activities, (and a beer garden)

You can also check out this post from last year with some other places we visited.

What to Wear to an Outing in the City:

And now for what to wear. As I said earlier, when I went last weekend it was unseasonably warm. I wore my favorite “anything goes” outfit (basic, but not boring): jeans, my favorite turtleneck (cool back action), booties, and a longline vest that I ended up taking off, and a pompom beanie (similar here) that I seem to live in these days. But for *most* of the country, it’s only getting colder. Abby rounded up our coziest chic winter picks so you can take to the city in style. Layers are key especially when you are going from inside to outside. Another reason I’ll be sad when the day comes that I no longer need my beloved stroller – where are we going to throw everyone’s jackets?!

Not from Philly? Tell us what city you live near and your favorite things to do around the holidays!

  • Maddie
    December 1, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    So true! I also bet that 99% of folks can’t ice skate. I’m definitely a part of that majority.

    Glad you and the kiddos had fun in the city. Isn’t it crazy about these warm temps? Being from Florida, I can’t complain 😉

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