Winter shines at Franklin Square Park

Jeff Fusco

With the holidays approaching, it’s time to get lit — at the Franklin Square Light Show that is.

Every year, the Historic Square has dazzled guests with a unique and unexpected design that truly puts everyone in the seasonal spirit, and this year will be no different. In fact, it’s gotten even better, even in 2020. Philadelphia is known for many beautiful cultural hotspots, but perhaps one of the most popular and flocked to destinations is still Historic Franklin Square. The park has always provided an oasis of sorts for the city and is filled with a slew of family-friendly attractions, while also being home to some of the most highly anticipated city events including the annual Chinese Lantern Festival. For this year—it’s no secret that the holidays are going to be vastly different than usual—but that doesn’t necessarily mean everything has to be less spirited, we just have to be more vigilant and careful. 

Opening night for the Franklin Square Holiday Light Show presented by PECO was this week (Nov. 19) and the festivities this year are red hot in the ice-cold. 

Jeff Fusco

According to a release, beginning at 5 p.m. each evening, the Square begins to sparkle. Visitors who head there to enjoy Winter in Franklin Square presented by Citizens, will get to glow in the lights of the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show presented by PECO with cozy fire pits and expanded safely-distanced seating. Sparked by Benjamin Franklin’s electrifying genius, Franklin Square Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show is a free light show that illuminates the Square nightly. Spectators can marvel at more than 100,000 lights (more than ever before), 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 5 p.m. daily, until 9 p.m. Sundays – Thursdays and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays, weather permitting.

The fun can be enjoyed day or night. During the sunshine hours, Franklin Square will have a few socially distanced activities open including the Chilly Philly Mini Golf presented by IBEW Local 98 (the only mini-golf course in the city, priced at $10 for adults and $8 for children) which has recently been updated to meet CDC standards. The course is also complete with lights, holiday music, and larger than life wintertime friends throughout the course. However, the classic 18-hole game will also still feature reproductions of Philadelphia icons and landmarks, something that has made the course iconic in itself. 

There are a few other healthy activities taking place at Franklin Square that happen to also be brand new, including the Snowy Silly Stroll, which allows visitors to get up and moving by following signage throughout the park— all which suggests different activities. 


The park will also have the carousel open for all visitors as well as a few other special events to enjoy the season. Celebrations include Santa Saturdays, Hanukkah Dreidel Giveaway with Old City Jewish Arts Center, and Kwanzaa Weekend with the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

However, those heading to the historic square should also note that due to new City of Philadelphia regulations, for the time being there will be no SquareBurger or Franklin Bus food and drink service during Winter in Franklin Square presented by Citizens.

The Square, of course, will also be implementing plenty of safety features including hand sanitizing stations, contactless entrance, capped capacity, mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing signs. 

Winter in Franklin Square presented by Citizens will run from Nov. 19 to Dec. 31. For more information, visit or call 215-629-4026 or 877-462-1776 for all Historic Philadelphia, Inc. event information.