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dog friendly holiday neighborhoods outdoors special events

The Miracle on South 13th Street

miracle on south 13th streetThis year, our shiba Apollo joined us on a family walk from South Philly to enjoy the spectacle that is the Miracle on South 13th Street. It’s a free holiday lights extravaganza on the 1600 block of 13th Street between Morris and Taskers Streets near Passyunk. It’s a tribute to Philly that all the 50+ homes on the block are united in creating one of the biggest and best holiday lights displays anywhere, from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.

Say Hi to Santa

We were impressed with how residents go all out to welcome the nightly throngs of visitors. It’s kitschy, over-the-top, friendly and an “only in Philly” experience.  There were neighbors dressed as Santa, giving out candy canes and posing for endless photo ops. Others braved the cold in reindeer or snowman finery, waving at strollers and those in cars doing video drive-bys. Cars are allowed to drive down the street and traffic was manageable even on a weekend evening.

Movie Tributes 

One of the most elaborate house displays this year was a salute to A Christmas Story: complete with a lighted-display of 2 boys with tongues stuck to a pole.
Across the street was the Grinch and Olaf from Frozen too.

Dog Friendly

miracle on south 13th streetWe were impressed with how much our dog got into the Christmas spirit. He posed for photos, though was dubious of the inflatable Snoopy doghouse display. You can definitely bring your leashed pet to this party. There were a few small dogs that owners were carrying, but most were loving the festive vibe.

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holiday outdoors parks special events winter events

Franklin Square Holiday Lights

franklin square holiday lightsIf you love Christmas lights, one of our family’s top 10 suggestions is to visit the Franklin Square Holiday Lights show. The park’s free annual Electrical Spectacular boasts 75,000 twinkling lights. Twice every hour, at the Kite Fountain centerpiece, the park comes alive with a high-energy music show. Colorful LED lights pulse in rhythm to a soundtrack of classical and popular holiday favorites. You can drop by to enjoy the light show anytime from 4-8 pm daily and until 9 pm on weekends. Between shows, we recommend warming up with hot chocolate and  fresh baked donuts at Ben’s Sweets and Treats.

Family Funfranklin square holiday lights

It was great to see so many 3-generation families there, enjoying a night out. There were happy, excited kids wherever you looked. For a small fee,  you can play Historic Philadelphia mini golf, ride the Parx Carousel or the Holiday Express train (which circles the park).

Santa Paws

Franklin Square offers a real treat for pet parents and animal lovers –the annual Santa Paws event. You can bring your four-legged friend and get a franklin square holiday lightsphoto with Santa. Plus, students from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts  will do a free sketch of you and your pet (holiday attire optional- trust me, your pet will thank you!).

franklin square holiday lights

Visit the Franklin Square website for the full schedule of special holiday events through December 31.

Happy Holidays!