Old City gets festive for the holiday season

Old City 2_Credit Society Hill Films
Society Hill Films

This holiday season, Old City is going to be offering a series of virtual and socially-distanced events to kick off the season from Small Business Saturday to New Year’s Eve. The historic part of the city will start the fun off next Saturday, Nov. 28, with a brand new event involving some of the area’s most unique and creative small businesses. 

Small Business Saturday will be in full swing with Old City’s Window Decorating Contest. The picturesque part of the city has already been a frequented spot for city natives and tourists alike with its cobblestone streets, waterside attractions and scenic significant structures from the Revolutionary Era, but now there’s another reason to head down towards the Delaware River. The contest will feature intricate and festive displays designed by local shops, restaurants, galleries, salons, spas, and more. Window shoppers and admirers can then vote for their favorite—the contest ends Dec. 13 at 5 p.m. so there is plenty of time to check out all the displays before it ends. 

In Between Rivers

Participating locations include: 2nd Story Brewing, BONe Jour, Charm Hair & Skin Studio, The Clay Studio, Fermob Pop Up, Hush Salon, Independence Gift Shop, Old City Coffee, Old City Jewish Arts Center, Oui Pastries, Paris Fit Studios, Petit Jardin en Ville, Philadelphia Independents, Shane Confectionery, Spa Terme di Aroma, Unique Photo and more to be added as well. 

In addition to the window perusing, shoppers can also check out a bunch of different specials and shopping opportunities—Old City is home to unique shops, boutiques, art galleries, design showrooms, museums, restaurants, cafes, salons, spas, and more. Businesses are offering in store and online shopping, as well as curbside pick and delivery (varies by location). A few highlights include the Independence Seaport Museum  offering 20% off all orders on their brand-new online gift shop from Nov. 27 – 30; Millésimé offering 15% off of their accessories, perfume and select furniture and lighting designs (a percentage goes to Black Doctors Covid-19 Consortium); the National Constitution Center offering 10% off your online museum store purchase using code: MSS2020; Philadelphia Independents offering free shipping on products; The Wellness Refinery offering new products and deals; Xeno’s Candy & Gifts offering 10% discount for in-store only and much more.

Sunday, Nov. 29 in Old City will also be celebrating museums and cultural institutions on Museum Store Sunday. Independence Seaport Museum, the National Constitution Center and the National Museum of American Jewish History will all be participating. 

On Cyber Monday, Nov. 30, the Independence Seaport Museum, Paris Fit Studios, Philadelphia Independents, Philly Tour Hub, Positano Coast and The Wellness Refinery will be offering more specials for everyone to enjoy. Highlights include up to 50% off of their site for Paris Fit Studios products at certain times, Philly Tour Hub offering walking, driving and Segway Tours at 25% off, plus Positano Coast debuting their first-ever Cyber deal for Cyber Monday. The “Buy More, Gift More” promotion runs November 16-30, and is valid on gift certificate orders placed at lambertis.com. Customers that purchase a $100 gift certificate, will receive a $20 bonus card. Customers that purchase a $250 gift certificate, will receive a $50 bonus card. Online gift certificates and bonus gift cards will be redeemable at Caffe Aldo Lamberti, Tutti Toscani and Positano Coast. 

There’s plenty more that will also be happening virtually as well on both Dec. 3 and Dec. 10. According to a release, the festivities continue online this year with the fourth annual Historic Holidays Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 3, from 6:15-6:30 p.m. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Tree Lighting will be streamed live via Old City District’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/OldCityDistrict) from the Betsy Ross House (239 Arch Street). The Holiday Tree is designed by Old City’s Petit Jardin en Ville, a Parisian Florist and Garden Designer. On the first night of Hanukkah, the Old City Jewish Arts Center hosts the Menorah Lighting at the Betsy Ross House (239 Arch Street). Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Menorah Lighting will be streamed live via Old City District’s Facebook page at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 10. Both the tree and menorah lighting are not open to the public due to Covid-19. 

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However, you can also feel the magic of the holidays from Old City from your home as well. A few different establishments will be offering an assortment of fun and kits for Philadelphians to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes. Campo’s will be offering a DIY cheesesteak kit chock full of fresh-cut ribeye steaks, American, Provolone, Cheese Wiz, two rolls, chopped onions and hot peppers; Elfreth’s Alley Association will be offering Elfreth’s Association Decks the Alley From a Distance with all the holiday events that typically happen there delivered right to your inbox; Oui Pastries will be offering a kit that will allow Philadelphians to make their own professional cake; and The Wellness Refinery will have DIY Smoothie Kits available for order with four prepackaged smoothies, all you have to do is just add milk and blend. Orders must be placed one day in advance through their online ordering site and they will also be offering pre-curated gift sets throughout the entire holiday season for purchase as well. 

Stay tuned for a complete list of holiday happenings, and for the latest information, visit: oldcitydistrict.org/holidays. For more information about Old City District and Historic Holidays in Old City, visit oldcitydistrict.org or call 215-592-7929.