Franklin Square Holiday Festival

November 9 - December 31



Celebrate the Holidays in Franklin Square

Franklin Square Holiday Festival

Food and Fun
Special Events

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.

Inspired by Benjamin Franklin's electrifying genius, the free Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show presented by PECO 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, some of which are performed by The Philly POPS®* in two alternating shows every 30 minutes (November 9 - December 31, 4:30 - 8 pm, Sundays - Thursdays, 9 pm on Fridays & Saturdays; final show at 8 pm on December 24). Every evening, one lucky audience member will be selected to "ignite" 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.

The Franklin Square Holiday Festival is pleased to be the kick-off event for Philadelphia's Historic District HoliDays & Nights!

Dates and Hours

Daily, November 9 - December 31 (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day)

Daily, 4 - 8 pm, until 9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays


William Penn Foundation



Special Thanks to El Azteca, SquareBurger, Steve’s Prince of Steaks, DiBruno Brothers, & El Fuego.

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 2017 Franklin Square Holiday Festival!

Franklin Square Attractions

Photo by Jeff Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

Philly Mini Golf

Enjoy the 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, November 11 – December 31, plus November 9 & November 24 (No train on Saturday, December 24)

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

Food & Fun

Photo by Jeff Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

Ben's Sweets & Treats

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

Warm up in-between Electrical Spectacle shows with seasonal favorites in the heated tent. Decorate freshly-baked holiday cookies, learn from pros to assemble gingerbread houses or buy a set to create one at home, see a donut hopper create fresh donuts and add a variety of toppings, or indulge at the gourmet Hot Chocolate Bar featuring five different flavors and the s’more-making station (new for 2017).

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. The Coquito cocktail will benefit hurricane relief – $1 will be donated from each drink sold during the Franklin Square Holiday Festival to Puerto Rico relief efforts. Beer and ale items include lager, IPA, cider, barrel-aged beer, and a warm seasonal drink. Cocktails on the menu include the Rock & Rye, Coquito, Crown Royal Vanilla Manhattan, and Wassel.


November 9 – December 31, Monday-Thursday, 3 pm - 8 pm, Friday, 3 pm - 9 pm, Saturday, 12 pm - 9 pm, Sunday, 12 pm – 8 pm

SquareBurger’s delicious menu by Cooperage features family favorites and warm seasonal additions. Enjoy the signature Cake Shake, blended with Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets®, the Shake-of-the-Month and the Burger-of-the-Month. Indulge in seasonal additions including Empanadas, Latkes with Roasted Pepper Sour Cream & Apple Sauce, Turkey Legs with Mashed Potatoes, Soup-of-the-Day, Churros, Fried Oreos, Pie-of-the-Day with Ice Cream, and much more. Beverages include Hot Chocolate, Coffee, Apple Cider, and Egg Nog.


Photo by Jeff Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

Fridays, November 10 - December 29, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Stop by the Square for special themed nights and holiday fun for the whole family.

WXPN Kids Corner Night

Friday, November 10, 5 pm

WXPN Kids Corner host Kathy O’Connell and producer Robert Drake welcome guests and ignite the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show presented by PECO. FREE.

Frozen Night

Friday, November 17, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Come in costume to “Let it go!” with Elsa and Anna for a special night of fun activities. FREE.

Party with the Princesses! Join Elsa and Anna for Tea & Cookies from 4 - 5 pm. Advanced tickets required ($15).

Click here to purchase tickets »


Santa's Arrival

Friday, November 24, 5 pm

The holiday season begins in the Square when Saint Nick arrives at 5 pm to spread Christmas cheer! FREE.

Hope for the Holidays

Friday, December 1, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Franklin Square will be taking donations for those affected by recent hurricanes in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Hanukkah Celebration

Friday, December 8, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

A few days before Hanukkah begins, enjoy dreidel games, latkes, and free crafts celebrating the Festival of Lights. FREE.

Star Wars Night

Friday, December 15, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Come in costume to celebrate the opening of the latest film in the Star Wars saga. FREE.

Sculpting in The Square

Friday, December 22, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Watch live ice carving and enjoy ice sculptures to celebrate the holiday season! FREE.

New Year's Eve Countdown Night

Friday, December 29, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Create free New Year’s Eve crafts and look forward to the final night of the Franklin Square Holiday Festival. FREE.

Santa Saturdays

Milk & Cookies with Santa
Saturdays, November 25 - December 23, 4 - 5 pm
Enjoy milk and cookies with Santa as he tells some of his favorite stories in the indoor, heated Pavilion.
Advanced tickets required ($15). Click here to purchase tickets »

Jingle & Mingle with Santa
Saturdays, November 25 - December 23, 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Visit Santa at his holiday bench, give him your list, and take an elfie-selfie! FREE.

Santa Paws
Saturday, December 9, 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Dress up in your favorite festive outfit and bring your camera and furry friends to Franklin Square for a puptastically fun time featuring photos with Santa. Artists from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts will be available to draw holiday pet portraits. FREE.

Seasonal Sounds on Sundays

Sundays, November 12 - December 24, 4 - 8 pm

Listen and sing-along to a collection of seasonal tunes during selected Electrical Spectacle intermissions. FREE

  • November 12: Sing-Along Sunday
  • November 19: Sing-Along Sunday
  • November 26: Lady Hoofers
  • December 3: Ace Alexander
  • December 10: The Friends’ Central Middle School Choir
  • December 17: Those Baxters present Holiday Music with Dezzie
  • December 24: Sing-Along Sunday

Special Holiday Events

How The Grinch Stole Christmas (NEW FOR 2017!)

Thursday, December 7, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

A dramatic reading of the famous story by Justin Hopkins from A Philly Pops Christmas.

Kids' New Years Eve Countdown

Sunday, December 31, 3 - 8 pm

Enjoy New Year’s Eve craft-making at 3 pm, then stick around for the Square Drop from atop SquareBurger at 6 pm and the SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront, viewable from the Square. After the Square Drop, the indoor Franklin Square Pavilion will host a Kids' Dance Party and the park will remain open until 8 pm for the final Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show presented by PECO of 2017. FREE.

Holiday Parties 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 Franklin Square Pavilion!

Contact or call 215-629-5801 x209 to book your event today!

Holiday Happiness Dinner at The Moshulu

Want to extend your night in Old City? Visit The Moshulu (401 S. Columbus Blvd) and mention Franklin Square to enjoy a special $75 dinner for two including two appetizers, two entrees, two desserts and coffee for two!

You Might Be Interested In...

Pictures from last year's Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show

Click to view photos!


Featured Video


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!

Details »

How was your visit? Tell us about it.