Franklin Square Holiday Festival

November 13 - December 31


Celebrate the Holidays in Franklin Square

Franklin Square Holiday Festival

Photo by Jeff Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

Experience the magic of the holidays and celebrate traditions new and old at the Franklin Square Holiday Festival. From November 13 - December 31, dazzle in the lights of the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show; warm up with comfort food, local beers, and hot beverages at Ben's Bites & Brews; and shop for handmade, artisanal gifts at the Holiday Market.

Inspired by Benjamin Franklin's electrifying genius, the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show is the key to holiday fun in Franklin Square. Marvel at more than 50,000 lights as they shimmer, dance, and illuminate the Square to a soundtrack of holiday classics performed by The Philly POPS®* in two alternating shows every 30 minutes (4:30 - 8 pm, November 13 - December 31). Every evening, one lucky audience member will be selected to "ignite" the 4:30 pm show.

*Including arrangements by Peter Nero, Music Director Emeritus.

Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle is funded by a grant from the William Penn Foundation. Special thanks to the William Penn Foundation, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98, MJK Electrical Corporation, PECO, More FM, 6 ABC, Visit Philadelphia, The Philly POPS®, EventQuip.

Special Guest Igniters

  • November 23, 5 - 7 pm - Play on Philly (5 - 6 pm), The Lady Hoofers (6 - 7 pm)
  • November 28, 5:30 pm - Independence Seaport Museum
  • November 30, 4:30 pm - Vicki Rogers - Ms. Senior Pennsylvania
  • December 1, 4:30 pm - Mouse King & Sugar Plum Fairy from the Pennsylvania Ballet's production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker
  • December 3, 5 pm - Kathy O'Connell - WXPN's Kids' Corner
  • December 4, 4:30 pm - Philadelphia 76ers Dancers
  • December 5, 4:30 pm - Philadelphia Eagles' Swoop
  • December 14, 5 pm - Members of the Mary Poppins cast - Walnut Street Theatre
  • December 18, 4:30 pm - Philadelphia Councilmen Mark Squilla & James Kenney and the Phillie Phanatic

Philly Mini Golf

Holiday warming stations will keep golfers warm as they putt around the only Philadelphia-themed mini golf course, featuring the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Ben Franklin Bridge, Chinatown Gate, Liberty Bell, and other landmarks.
Adults: $9, Children 3 - 12: $7

Parx Liberty Carousel

Hop on this spectacular all-American style carousel playing holiday music through December 31.
Ages 3+: $3 per ride, Children 2 and under: FREE

Lightning Bolt Holiday Express

Saturdays & Sundays, November 15 - December 28, plus November 13 & December 31.

All aboard for a special holiday train ride around the magnificently lit Square!
Adults: $5, Children: $4

Hospitality & Shopping

Ben's Bites & Brews

November 13 - December 31, 4 - 8 pm

Warm up in-between light shows with comfort foods and hot beverages. Relax by the outdoor fire pits, and enjoy a selection of seasonal beers at the Barren Hill Brewery Beer Garden presented by Old Eagle Tavern.

Food and beverage available daily. Beer Garden open Thursdays - Sundays; open daily December 26 - 31

Franklin Square Holiday Market

November 28 - December 23, 4 - 8 pm

Shop for the perfect gift at the Holiday Market, featuring an array of artisan made goods including clothing, jewelry, and toys. The Franklin Square Holiday Market is produced in collaboration with PHAIR.

Vendors include:

Franklin Square Holiday Gift Shop

Daily, 4 - 8 pm

Stop in for a selection of gifts to help warm and light up the night including hats, gloves, and LED novelties.

Holiday Programs & Events

Seasonal Sounds on Sundays

Sundays, November 16 - December 28, 4 - 8 pm

Listen to a collection of seasonal tunes, as performed by local musicians, during selected Electrical Spectacle intermissions. FREE

  • November 16, 4 - 6 pm: The Valley Choral Society
  • November 23, 5 - 7 pm: Play on Philly (5 - 6 pm); The Lady Hoofers (6 - 7 pm)
  • November 30, 4 - 5 pm: Vicky Rogers, Ms. Senior Pennsylvania
  • December 7, 4 - 8 pm: The Baldwin Singers
  • December 21, 4 - 8 pm: A Cappella Pops

Kids' Craftivity Hour

Mondays - Thursdays, November 13 - December 30, 4 - 5 pm

Bring the kids to Franklin Square to make a variety of FREE holiday-themed crafts.

Homecoming Tuesdays

Show your local college spirit and join students, alumni, and families for an evening at Franklin Square!

  • November 18 - Pennsylvania State University
  • December 2 - Drexel University

Call 215-629-5802 x405 to book your college or alumni night during the Franklin Square Holiday Festival.

Ugly Sweater Adoption Extravaganza

Saturday, November 22, 3 - 8 pm

Bring a favorite four-legged friend, both person and pet, dressed in a favorite ugly sweater and join local animal shelters to help find loving homes for some adorable, adoptable pets. Sponsored by Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia and the City of Elderly Love Rescue.

Food Truck Fridays

Fridays, November 14 - December 26, 4 - 8 pm

Stop by the Square on Friday evenings and enjoy delicious bites from a revolving list of local food trucks, including Franklin Square favorites.

  • November 21 - PBand U & Pbon's Fresh Phood
  • November 28 - Luscious Bakery, The Cow and the Curd, & The Whirly Pig
  • December 5 - Wonderland Cakes & Just Jackie's Food Truck
  • December 12 - Sweet Lavender & Jerry's Kitchen Food Truck
  • December 19 - Luscious Bakery & Just Jackie's Food Truck
  • December 26 - The Grill Cheese & SeoulFull Philly
  • December 27 - Wonderland Cakes & The Whirly Pig
  • December 28 - Sweet Lavender & Pbon's Fresh Phood
  • December 29 - SeoulFully Philly & Luscious Bakery
  • December 30 - Wonderland Cakes & The Whirly Pig
  • December 31 - SeoulFull Philly, Sweet Lavender, Jerry's Kitchen Food Truck, & The Cow and the Curd

Santa Saturdays

Santa Saturdays are sponsored by Di Bruno Bros.

  • Milk & Cookies with Santa
    Saturdays, November 29 - December 20, 4 - 5 pm
    Enjoy milk and cookies with Santa as he tells some of his favorite stories in the indoor, heated Pavilion.
    Tickets: $10. Click here to purchase tickets »
  • Jingle & Mingle with Santa
    Saturdays, November 29 - December 20, 5:30 - 7:30 pm
    Santa returns to Franklin Square to pose for photos and collect wish lists! Be there for Santa's special arrival in the Square on Friday, November 28! FREE

More FM Holiday Fun Days

More FM, the official radio partner of the Franklin Square Holiday Festival, brings music and games to franklin Square throughout the season. FREE

  • Thursday, November 13, 4 - 6 pm
    Featuring Jenn & Michael from the More FM Morning Show
  • Sunday, December 7, 5 - 7 pm
  • Sunday, December 14, 5 - 7 pm
  • Sunday, December 21, 5 -7 pm
  • Wednesday, December 31, 4 - 6 pm

Kids' New Years Eve Countdown

Wednesday, December 31, 3 - 8 pm

Enjoy music and crafts beginning at 3 pm. Watch the famous SquareBurger SquareDrop at 6 pm, followed by the SugarHouse New Years Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront, viewable from the Square. The indoor Pavilion will host a Kids' Dance Party and the park will remain open until 8 pm for the final Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show. FREE

Holiday Parties in Franklin Square

Holiday music and décor, and the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show make Franklin Square the premier venue for corporate, social, and family events! Book your birthday and office parties, or catered dinners, in the indoor, heated Pavilion! Affordable and easy-to-book packages allow you to personalize your event and enjoy all that the Square offers, including Philly Mini Golf and the Parx Liberty Carousel.

Contact or call 215-629-5801 x221 to book your event today!

Historic Philadelphia Gift Guide

Patriots, Pirates, Heroes, & Spies
An anthology of the best stories from the Once Upon A Nation Storytelling Benches makes an ideal stocking stuffer for young readers and parents alike. Available for purchase at Franklin Square (6th & Race Streets) and the Historic Philadelphia Center (6th & Chestnut Streets) for only $12.95.

Franklin Square Holiday Pass
Treat the kids and kids at heart to a Franklin Square Holiday Pass - one carousel ride, one round of mini golf, one cup of hot chocolate, and Electrical Spectacles. Available daily, November 13 - December 31. Adults: $16, Children: $14

Franklin Square Season Pass
Give the gift of a full year of fun with a 2015 Franklin Square Season Pass and use the pass now through December 31 as a bonus! Season passes include unlimited rides on the Parx Liberty Carousel and rounds of Philly Mini Golf. Individual: $75

Purchase at Franklin Square (6th & Race Streets) or the Historic Philadelphia Center (6th & Chestnut Streets), or call 215-629-4026.

Leave Your Mark with a Personalized Brick in Historic Philadelphia!

Give a unique and personal gift by inscribing a name or message in a Franklin Square or Betsy Ross House walkway brick for a fully tax-deductible donation. Franklin Square: $100, Betsy Ross House: $250.

Contact or call 215-629-5801 x217.


Getting to Franklin Square


Discounted parking is available starting at 4 pm at the PPA Autopark at Independence Mall, located below the Independence Visitor Center. Entrances are located on 5th and 6th Streets between Arch and Market Streets. Discounted chaser tickets are available at the Franklin Square ticket office. Weekday: $7.50, Weekend: $5

PHLASH Holiday Evening Loop

Take the new PHLASH Holiday Evening Loop to Franklin Square from other holiday attractions, November 28 - December 28, 6 - 10 pm! Busses run every 15 minutes. Look for Stop H1 at 7th & Race Streets. $2 per ride, $5 all day ticket.

Upcoming Events


Franklin Square Holiday Festival Opening Night

Thursday, November 13, 4 - 8 pm

Help reignite one of Philadelphia's favorite holiday traditions and experience the magic of the newly expanded Franklin Square Holiday Festival! Join Historic Philadelphia, Inc. at 5 pm for the first Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show of the season! FREE

Franklin Square Holiday Festival Weather

You Might Be Interested In...

Pictures from the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show

Click to view photos!


Colonial Pub Crawl

We sing. We toast. We drink! Cheers to the spirits of '76 on this Colonial pub crawl. Join us for a Thursday evening romp through Historic Philadelphia with appetizers and drinks!

Details »

Liberty 360 in the PECO Theater

Experience a 360-degree 3D journey through the symbols of our nation’s freedom.

Details »

Featured Video

View Video Gallery »


Group Information

Group Activities, Tours, and Unique Experiences

Plan your group trip to Historic Philadelphia with unique experiences from the Betsy Ross House, Franklin Square, Lights of Liberty, and Once Upon A Nation! From interactive Storytelling tours and Philadelphia-themed mini golf to performances by historic reenactors and dazzling 360 shows, it's all listed right here!

Details »

How was your visit? Tell us about it.