Philadelphia’s ‘Christmas Village’ Returns to LOVE Park

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Now celebrating its tenth year, Philadelphia’s Christmas Village – an open-air German-style holiday market – returns to the newly restored LOVE Park with more than 80 vendors offering authentic food, beverages, gifts, arts, and crafts from around the world, and a full slate of events and entertainment running through Christmas Eve.

Christmas Village at LOVE Park. Photo courtesy of @philachristmas.
Christmas Village at LOVE Park. Photo courtesy of @philachristmas.

Rows of wooden booths topped with illuminated golden stars recreate the look and feel of an historic seasonal marketplace in the center of the city, with origins dating back to 16th-century Germany. Merchants sell a selection of traditional European treats, from German Lebkuchen (gingerbread) and Stollen (fruit bread), to Austrian strudel, Belgian chocolates and fries, to such heartier fare as Spätzle (soft egg noodles), Bratwürste (meat sausages), and Döner kebabs (rotisseried skewered meat), and the popular Glühwein (hot spiced wine) that’s guaranteed to keep you warm on a chilly winter day!

Along with sampling the seasonal food, you can get your holiday shopping done with a wide variety of international items for everyone on your list, from kids to adults, and even your pets. Toys and clothing, gourmet foods and service ware, collectibles and ornaments– many of which can be personalized on the spot – fill the stalls and the flagship shop of Käthe Wohlfahrt, a Bavarian-based company specializing in Christmas decorations, familiar to everyone who’s visited the Village in previous years.

Phil, the Christmas Village mascot. Photo by Deb Miller.
Phil, the Christmas Village mascot. Photo by Deb Miller.

Among other returning traditions in 2017 are the HoHo Happy Hour every Wednesday from 4-6 pm, offering food and drink specials; a roster of live on-stage performances throughout the day and for the special Friday lunchtime concert series, featuring such local favorites as Aviance, Jennifer Logue, M.T.B., and the Gin Canaries; and wine-tastings in partnership with Chaddsford Winery. New this year is a big birthday bash weekend on December 2-3, with balloons, sweets, and story booklets for the children and a birthday cake sponsored by Whole Foods; a visit from Saint Nikolaus on December 6; and the appearance of Phil, the Village’s lovable mascot and the tenth of Santa’s reindeer.

Hours for the Christmas Village are Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-7 pm; Friday-Saturday 11 am-8 pm; and Christmas Eve 11 am-5 pm, so get out to LOVE Park and get in the holiday spirit while enjoying the tastes and traditions of the season!

Christmas Village is open through Sunday, December 24, 2017, at LOVE Park – 1500 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA. For more information, including a full list of vendors and events, visit the website online.