Your 2022 Guide to the Holidays in University City

Snowflake pattern
Dec 13, 2022 56 days ago

West Philadelphia is getting festive during this holiday season, with unique performances, ongoing deals at local small businesses and restaurants, and plenty of opportunities to shop from local vendors. See below for holiday highlights, and check back for updates!

 


Holiday Performances, Markets, & Events

 

12/1 • Winter Market at The Gateway Garden

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society presents a Holiday Market from 11am until 2pm, featuring Philly made art, ceramics, apparel, skin care, and more! 

 

12/1 - 12/12 • Shop Penn Days of Deals   

From December 1st to December 12th, Shop Penn will be hosting Days of Deals, 12 days of sales and giveaways from Shop Penn retailers. Watch for special events, discounts, and contest giveaways. Follow Shop Penn on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more details and a chance to win gift cards to their retail locations. 

 

12/3 - 12/4 • West Craft Fest at The Rotunda

Find special and unique holiday gifts, like artisan jewelry, cozy hand knits, ceramics, art prints and originals, ornaments, children's gifts, bath and body care, candles, calendars, cards, and more from 10am until 4pm. 

 

12/7 & 12/14 • Garces Trading Company Sip & Shop

On December 7th, sip on Monkey Shoulder Penicillin or Tullamore DEW Hot Toddy while holiday shopping for curated culinary goods and treats from around the world from 5pm - 7pm. On December 14th, taste a variety of chefs favorites, explore the market & shop gifts perfect for the holiday season from 5pm - 7pm.

 

12/10 • West Philly Holiday Hoopla 

On Saturday, December 10, celebrate the holiday season with events and deals across University City and West Philadelphia! Get into the holiday spirit by shopping at local vendor markets, enjoying one-day offers from restaurants and small businesses, and enjoying festive events throughout the neighborhood.

  • Cocoa, Crafts, and Holiday SEPTA Buses with UCD - Trolley Portal Gardens (40th and Baltimore)

    From 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM enjoy family-friendly crafting activities, a visit from SEPTA's holiday buses (on site from 11 AM to 4 PM), photos with the Grinch, and complimentary hot chocolate from Renata’s Kitchen

  • The uCity Square Holiday Fest - The Lawn at uCity Square (37th and Cuthbert):

    Enjoy the second of two festive days at the Lawn at uCity Square! Stop by from 11 AM to 7 PM for vendors, food trucks, and holiday fun - even ice skating!

  • Winter Market at University City Arts League (4226 Spruce Street)

    Stop by to browse the wares of local artists and makers while sipping on free hot chocolate, tea, and coffee. From 10 AM to 6 PM enjoy free music from Kento and a free drop-in art activity, too.

  • Black Holiday Pop-Up Market at The Enterprise Center (26 S. 52nd Street)

    Stop by The Enterprise Center at their Black Holiday Pop-Up market, featuring over 70 Black-owned businesses selling art, jewelry, clothing, home decor, candles, health and wellness products, books, accessories, and more! The Pop-Up will be open from 10 AM to 7 PM. Follow @tecwestphilly on Instagram for details on events at the Pop-Up, including food, giveaways, and live music! 

Plus, deals, discounts, holiday gifts, and more, at participating businesses and restaurants!  Learn more here!

 

12/10 • Santa Con at City Tap House

Enjoy a holiday costume contest, food and drink specials, raffles and more.  Presented by Drexel DPHIE, all proceeds benefit the Cycstic Fibrosis Foundation.

 

12/11 • Christmas Caroling in Clark Park | 5 PM

Hark the Herald Angels Sing at the annual Carol Sing on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 5 pm at the Community Christmas Tree atop the maintenance house, near 45th & Regent Sts. This wonderful, longstanding event draws many neighbors each year as a hushed winter night falls. Sing traditional Christmas favorites by candlelight with your neighbors, and then enjoy hot cider and cookies, thanks to the Friends of Clark Park. NOTE: WEATHER PERMITTING. Watch their Facebook page for any last-minute weather notices, if necessary.

 

12/18 • L’Chaim! Celebrating 18 Years of Kol Tzedek

Join Kol Tzedek on Sunday, December 18 from 4:30-8:00 PM in person at the Calvary Center (4740 Baltimore Avenue) and on Zoom for the first night of Hanukkah! Guests can enjoy latkes, donuts, mezze, and kids crafts, an artisan market and silent auction, cocktails and mocktails, plus music and dancing with the KT Simcha Band! Together as a community, they invite you to make a toast to what has been and what's to come - L'chaim! The entire program will be hybrid. Get your tickets here!

 

12/19 • Blue Christmas Service at Calvary Church | 7 PM

Join Calvary Church (801 S. 48th Street) on Monday, December 19 at 7 pm for an in-person Blue Christmas Service. Calvary Church offers a quiet, contemplative service of healing and hope, holding sacred space for the heaviness that so many experience this time of year. All are welcome to join us in person - whatever you're feeling, whatever you're carrying. Please use the 48th Street entrance. Full details at allmeansall.org/blue. PLEASE NOTE: A virtual Blue Christmas service is also offered on Wednesday, December 21, 7 pm.

 

12/20 • Winter Solstice Bird Walk at The Woodlands (3:30 - 5 PM) 

Toribird is back for a Winter Solstice Celebration Tuesday, December 20th from 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm. Join her for a bird walk to Center Circle at 3:30 pm. Seek out both year-round residents and special cold-weather visitors. You will also discuss the winter finches and other irruptive species making an appearance in the area this year and cover potential strategies for finding these frosty feathered friends. This event is free but pre-registration by Sunday, 12/18 at midnight, is required. Register here

 

12/22 • Irie Entree Christmas Soiree + One-Year Anniversary Special 

Head to Jamaican restaurant Irie Entree (4001 Chestnut Street) for a Christmas Soiree on December 22nd from 8 PM to 2 AM! Wear your most festive holiday weather to enjoy DJ tunes and house specials from their food and drink menu all evening. Also, through December 18th, Irie Entree will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a special 2-for-1 deal on entrees, plus 50% off large group entrees. Visit their website for more details

 

Toribird is back for a Winter Solstice Celebration at The Woodlands Tuesday, December 20th from 3:30pm - 5:00pm. Join her for a bird walk to Center Circle at 3:30pm seek out both year-round residents and special cold-weather visitors. You will also discuss the winter finches and other irruptive species making an appearance in the area this year and cover potential strategies for finding these frosty feathered friends.

Free, pre-registration required.

12/24 • Christmas Eve Candlelight Service of Lessons & Carols at Calvary Church | 7 PM

All are welcome, in person or virtually, for a special Christmas Eve Candlelight Service of Lessons & Carols, hosted jointly by Calvary Church and West Philadelphia Mennonite Fellowship. Full details at allmeansall.org/christmas.

 

12/31 • NYE at City Tap House University City

Celebrate New Years Eve Philly 2023 at City Tap House University City. Grab your friends to experience the very best in service, craft beer, food, party favors, and music while ringing in the new year right! Learn more and purchase tickets.

 

12/31 • NYE at The Post

Head to The Post from 9pm to 2am on New Year's Eve! For a $70 ticket, enjoy a 5-hour open bar, passed appetizers, and a food buffet from 9pm to 11pm. For a $50 ticket, enjoy a 3-hour open bar and passed appetizers from 11pm to 2am. Learn more and buy tickets.

 

1/1 • New Year's Day Pajama Brunch at White Dog Cafe

Ring in the New Year with White Dog Cafe's Annual New Year's Day Pajama Brunch, January 1 starting at 9am.  Check out menus and make reservations here.

 

Holiday Events and Live Music at World Café Live

 

Holiday Events presented by Penn Live Arts 

 

12/31 • NYE 2023 at City Tap House University City

Celebrate New Years Eve Philly 2023 at City Tap House University City. Grab your friends to experience the very best in service, craft beer, food, party favors, and music while ringing in the new year right! Learn more and purchase tickets.

 


Ongoing Holiday Events & Deals

 

Ronald McDonald House Holiday Light Display 

Stop by the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House (3925 Chestnut) to see their festive lights, meant to thank the community and bring cheer to the neighborhood.

Interested in supporting families staying at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House this holiday season?  Check out their 2022 Holiday Wish List for items that can be shipped directly to the house to provide care for their families. While toys are the traditional item to donate during this time of year, their highest needs are the items on the Amazon Wish Lists

 

Councilmember Jamie Gauthier's Third District Toy Drive through 12/17

Councilmember Jamie Gauthier is running a holiday toy drive to benefit children within the Third District. Purchase gifts through the Councilmember's Target Wishlist  and Amazon Wishlist. You may also donate new, unwrapped toys for youths at City Hall, Room 586 at 1400 JFK Blvd., Tuesdays through Thursdays from 9am - 5pm. If you have questions, contact Alexis Wright-Whitley at [email protected] or at 215.782.7497

 

Black Holiday Pop-Up at The Enterprise Center 

Buy Black, Shop Local! Join The Enterprise Center at their Black Holiday Pop-Up market, featuring over 70 Black-owned businesses selling art, jewelry, clothing, home decor, candles, health and wellness products, books, accessories, and more! The market is open in December Tuesday through Thursday from 10am to 6pm , Friday and Saturday from 10am to 7pm, and Sundays from 11am to 5pm. Follow @tecwestphilly for events at the Pop-Up!

 

Shop Tiny WPA for the Holidays! 

From Philly slang ornaments and tool-shaped earrings to custom handmade candle sticks and recycled coroplast New Years glasses. The holiday items are created by Tiny WPA Building Heroes ages 14-75 and represent important opportunities for them to earn and learn 21st century design, fabrication, leadership, and entrepreneurship skills. To purchase these products, visit tinywpa.org/shop

 

Sansom Street Holiday Display Presented by New Deck Tavern 

New Deck Tavern will be creating a winter spectacular on the 3400 block of Sansom starting on Friday, December 9th. They'll have lights, outdoor seating, heaters, and multiple blow-up holiday attractions, plus some real-life Santa Claus appearances. They'll be serving up hot spiked cocktails for your enjoyment and will have live music every Friday and Saturday. New Deck gift cards make a great gift, too! Follow New Deck on social media for up-to-date details!

 

Alfajor Gift Boxes for Sale at Jezabel's 

Alfajores are the quintessential Argentine sweet treat, shortbread-like cookie sandwich filled with Argentine dulce de leche and rolled in flaked coconut. Order Alfajores and more throughout December from jezabelscafe.com.

 

Holiday Events at Black Hound Clay Studio

 


Support Local Businesses with Gift Cards!

 

Select Blog: