Franklin Square Holiday Festival
presented by CHASE

Nightly through December 31



Celebrate the Holidays in Franklin Square

Franklin Square Holiday Festival

presented by CHASE

Food and Fun
Special Events

Photo by Jeff Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

It’s sparkle time at Franklin Square for the 2018 Franklin Square Holiday Festival presented by CHASE, including a winter beer garden with fire pits for warmth and charm and Ben’s Sweets & Treats where guests can create and taste a variety of treats such as s’mores and gourmet hot chocolate stations inside the heated tent with views of the Square. Nightly through December 31, dazzle in the lights of the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show presented by PECO.

In addition to the Parx Liberty Carousel and Philly Mini Golf, additional holiday entertainment includes #FranklinSquareFridays, Santa Saturdays, Seasonal Sounds on Sundays, Lightning Bolt Holiday Express train rides around the Square, and the traditional family-friendly Kid’s New Year’s Eve Countdown and Dance Party. Celebrate many holiday traditions including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, with Santa, the Grinch, pets in winter festive gear, and even the princesses from Frozen. Kids are invited to bring their letters to Santa for the special Santa Mailbox, or deliver them in person to him on Santa Saturdays. The Franklin Square Holiday Festival presented by CHASE was named one of America’s Top 10 Holiday Festivals by Fox News in 2016.

Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show presented by PECO
Sparked by Benjamin Franklin’s electrifying genius, the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show presented by PECO is the key to holiday fun in Franklin Square. Electrical Spectacle is a free light show that illuminates the Square nightly through December 31. Marvel at more than 75,000 lights as they shimmer, dance, and illuminate the Square to a soundtrack of holiday classics, some of which are performed by The Philly POPS in two alternating shows every 30 minutes beginning at 4:30 pm daily. Every evening, one lucky audience member will be selected to kick off the evening’s festivities as the Igniter for the 4:30 pm show.

The Franklin Square Electrical Spectacle was initially funded by a grant from the William Penn Foundation and is now sponsored by PECO.


Dates and Hours

Daily, November 15 - December 31 (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day)*

Daily, 4 - 8 pm, open until 9 pm on Fridays & Saturdays

*Please note: there is no 4:30 show on November 15, and no 6:00 show on December 31.

Special Thanks for Contributing to the Franklin Square Holiday Festival presented by CHASE:

City of Philadelphia

William Penn Foundation


Special Thanks to:

Zio Pizza Palace & Grill, El Fuego, SquareBurger, and DiBruno Bros.


Electrical Spectacle Show Designer: Parker 3D of Scotch Plains, New Jersey

Follow the Festival Fun on Social Media!

Be sure to share all the holiday memories you make at the Festival by using #ElectricalSpectacle.

Follow Franklin Square on Twitter (@FranklinSqr), Facebook (@FranklinSquarePhiladelphia) and on Instagram (@franklinsquarephilly) to keep up with all the action of the 2018 Franklin Square Holiday Festival presented by CHASE!

Franklin Square Attractions

Photo by Jeff Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

Philly Mini Golf

Putt around the only Philadelphia-themed miniature golf course, featuring the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Ben Franklin Bridge, Chinatown Gate, Liberty Bell, and other landmarks.
Adults: $9, Children 3 - 12: $7

Click here to purchase tickets »

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

Click here to purchase tickets »

Lightning Bolt Holiday Express

Saturdays & Sundays through December 30, 4:30 - 7:30 pm

Monday, December 31, 4:30 - 7:30 pm

All aboard for a special holiday train ride around the magnificently lit Square.
Adults: $5, Children: $4; Purchase tickets at the Franklin Square Ticket booth.

Food & Fun

Photo by Jeff Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

Ben's Sweets & Treats

Daily through December 31, 4 - 8 pm, until 9 pm on Fridays & Saturdays

Warm up in between shows with seasonal favorites. Decorate freshly-baked holiday cookies, see a donut hopper create fresh donuts and add a variety of toppings, indulge at the gourmet Hot Chocolate Bar featuring five different flavors, and toast marshmallows at the s’more-making station.

Winter Beer Garden

Daily, 4 – 8 pm, until 9 pm on Fridays & Saturdays

Relax by the outdoor fire pits and enjoy a variety of seasonal beverages, local craft beers, wine, and specialty cocktails presented by Cooperage.


Daily through December 31, 4 - 8 pm, Mondays – Thursday, until 9 pm on Fridays, 12 – 9 pm on Saturdays, 12 – 8 pm on Sundays

SquareBurger’s delicious menu by Cooperage includes burgers, hot dogs, fries, ice cream, and vegetarian options. The signature Cake Shake blended with Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets®, will continue to be a highlight along with a special Shake-of-the-Month, Burger-of-the-Month, as well as warm seasonal additions.


Special Events for 2018:

Franklin Square Toy Drive

Deadline: Wednesday, December 19

Bring a new and unwrapped toy to Franklin Square to donate to the children of Kensington in cooperation with Schmidt Playground. Recommended gifts are toys for children ages 6-14.


Franklin Square Fridays

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Friday, December 14, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

The Grinch who stole Christmas visits Franklin Square.

Location: Fountain Area. FREE.

Frozen Night sponsored by Fox Rothschild

Friday, December 21, 5:30 - 7:30

“Let it go! Let it go!” Join Elsa and Anna on the first day of winter for a special night of fun activities, and even sing along to their famous songs. Come in costume! FREE.

Location: Fountain Area. FREE.

Party with the Princesses

Friday, December 21, 4 - 5 pm

Come for Party with the Princesses from 4 – 5 pm in the heated Pavilion in Franklin Square.
Advance tickets ($20) required. Click here to reserve tickets.

Location: The Pavilion. $20.

Kwanza Celebration

Friday, December 28, 5:30 -7:30 pm

Celebrate Kwanza with free crafts for children.

Location: Ben's Sweets & Treats. FREE.

Santa Saturdays

Milk & Cookies with Santa
Saturdays through December 22, 4 - 5 pm
Enjoy milk and cookies with Santa as he tells some of his favorite stories in the indoor, heated Pavilion in Franklin Square.
Advance tickets ($20) required.

Jingle & Mingle with Santa
Saturdays through December 22, 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Keep an eye out for Santa near the Franklin Square Fountain, double-checking his naughty and nice lists and posing for elfie-selfies. FREE.

Santa Paws
Saturday, December 15, 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Bring your four-legged friends for a pup-tastic time and a photo with Saint Nick. Wear your best holiday outfit or ugly sweater. Artists from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts will be available to draw FREE holiday pet portraits. FREE.

Seasonal Sounds on Sundays

Sundays through December 30

Sunday evenings include choirs, sing-a-longs, dance performances, and more during select Electrical Spectacle intermissions. FREE.

  • December 9, 5:30 & 6 pm: The Friends’ Central Middle School Choir
  • December 16, 5:30 pm: The Baldwin School
  • December 23, 5:30 & 6 pm: Those Baxters
  • December 30, 5:30 & 6 pm: Fishtown Sharks Cheerleaders


Kids' New Years Eve Countdown

Monday, December 31, 3 - 8 pm

The final night of the Franklin Square Holiday Festival presented by CHASE concludes with the most family-friendly New Year’s celebration in town! Enjoy music and crafts beginning before the Square Drop from atop SquareBurger at 6 pm and Sugar House New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront, viewable from the Square. The indoor Franklin Square Pavilion will host a Kids’ Dance Party until 8 pm for the final Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show presented by PECO of 2018. FREE.

Bonus: Betsy's Birthday Bash

Monday, December 31, 11 am - 4 pm

The Betsy Ross House at 239 Arch Street, hosts a birthday party for the first lady of the Stars and Stripes! Join the celebration for Betsy (who was born on January 1, 1752) with Colonial chocolate-making demonstrations, pictures with Betsy, and cupcakes from City Tavern. FREE.

Host your Holiday Party at the Pavilion in Franklin Square

Holiday music and décor, and the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show presented by PECO 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 in Franklin Square.

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

Snowflake Shuttle powered by PHLASH

The Snowflake Shuttle powered by PHLASH makes it easy to enjoy all the holiday events with free rides throughout Historic Philadelphia, beginning at Franklin Square, Thursday through Sunday evenings, 6 – 9 pm.


Limited street parking is available. Discounted parking (with an entry time after 5pm) is available 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. $2 off parking vouchers are available at the Franklin Square Ticket Office. Vouchers may be used Sunday through Thursday with an entry time marked after 5pm. Friday and Saturday vouchers will not be available and the posted rate of $7 will apply.


Franklin Square is easily accessible via PATCO High Speed Line (8th & Market Streets), and SEPTA Market Frankford Line (5th & Market Streets/8th & Market Streets). For additional information visit or

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Details of this year's Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show presented by PECO

Click for the Holiday Festival schedule!


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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, and Once Upon A Nation! From interactive Storytelling tours and Philadelphia-themed mini golf to performances by historic reenactors, it's all listed right here!

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