It’s time to Get LIT in Manayunk — that’s what the community is calling its holiday activation, which kicks off Nov. 30.
The program overtakes a large part of the neighborhood with food and drink deals, shopping specials, festive live entertainment, visits from Santa, and the return of the Jolly Trolley—which has been expanded in 2023 with more dates and stops.
“Manayunk is simply the best place in Philadelphia to see holiday magic in action,” said Manayunk Development Corporation Executive Director Gwen McCauley in a statement. “The season kicks off with Manayunk Gets LIT and the lighting of the holiday tree – and continues through New Year’s Eve. Our holiday programs have grown organically over the years as our local community continues to support the district.”
McCauley continued: “Our holiday programs bring together the best of the urban experience and the small-town charm that distinguishes Manayunk from other districts and neighborhoods in the city of Philadelphia.”
Get LIT offers the chance for the community’s businesses to get involved and decorate their storefronts, and Philadelphians can get involved and vote for their favorites. Categories span Most Creative, Most LIT and Best Overall, and voting is available until Dec. 14. Entering your favorite also means you’re in the running for a $200 Manayunk gift card as well.
The Jolly Trolly starts up on Nov. 30. The festively decorated vehicle will run up and down Main Street making several stops at different businesses including Tubby Robot Ice Cream Factory, Lucky’s Last Chance, and Taqueria Amor. Weekends for this particular activation run until Dec. 23 (times and specific dates can be found online.)
Live entertainers will both ride the trolley and be strolling on Main Street during each entertainment block as well, and as a release states, if visitors don’t see them on the trolley, then you’ll likely see them on the main retail strip. Locals can also head out to Manayunk to celebrate Hanukkah with their ‘Eight Crazy Nights’ of Instagram giveaways from Dec. 7 – 15, and during the Festival of Lights on Dec. 7, 8, 9 and 14, where riders on the Jolly Trolley can get Hanukkah Gelt and goodie bags as well.
Another festive stop to check out while here is Taqueria Amor’s Senor Grinch Pop-Up. Open through Jan. 2, the space is now decorated for the season with holiday movie clips on the projector and themed menu items being served up (think Bah Humbug Birria tacos and Tiny’s Tim Tequila Cider.) Also happening soon, Philadelphians can snap pet photos with Santa at the Pet-Friendly Dog Bakery on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., plus a vendor shopping event in the Bakery’s yard will be in full swing until 3 p.m. on that date.
The Rudolph Run is another fan favorite, and this year the event will take place on Dec 9. The three-mile fun-run along the Manayunk Canal is open now for registration, and it begins at 9 a.m. on that date (check-in at 8:30 a.m.) Holiday attire is encouraged, and sign-up up is required on the Manayunk website. Canned goods and other necessities will also be collected as an entry fee and donated to the North Light Community Center, a donation drop-off will take place during check-in.
Another way to help the North Light Community Center is through Operation Santa Claus, where locals can stop by 4312 Main Street to pick a gift item off of the holiday tree to donate to a North Light family.
Manayunk businesses will also be offering stand-alone specials and activations for Get LIT 2023. Blondie will be offering a special holiday menu of cocktails and specials, Fat Lady Brewing will be having an Ugly Sweater Cocktail Hour on Dec. 1, and Lincoln Mill Haunted House will even be offering up a Christmas experience soon (more info on that coming soon.)
To keep up with all updates, Philadelphians can visit Manayunk Development Corporation’s website at manayunk.com and social at @manyunkdotcom for a full list of Get LIT happenings.