Enjoy these local festivities


From light shows and drinks to tasty treats, here’s how to get you in the holiday spirit.

Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks. / Photograph by Shannon Rostick via Comcast Spectacor

Everything is illuminated

The Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular, presented by Dietz & Watson, takes place at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks and features 1.2 million light bulbs, shops, restaurants, an eco-friendly ice rink, photos with Santa Claus and apparitions of Gritty Claus (through Jan 2). The Philadelphia Zoo’s ‘LumiNature’ Night Zoo Experience is back, this time with over a million lights, including 500 glittering flamingos and a 30-meter-long aquarium tunnel (through January 9) . If you live near Hamilton, Jersey, the after-hours ‘Night Forms’ experience at Grounds for Sculpture promises to see vibrant artwork (until February 27).

Get Tipsy at Tinsel

Sip a snowball-shaped cocktail at this pop-up bar that’s taking over Midtown Village this month. This year’s Tinsel decor is influenced by The Nutcracker and features custom artwork by local artist Scott Johnston, who pays homage to Christmas villains like Krampus and Jack Skellington (until December 31). Discover the Yule Lodge, a winter wonderland in the back patio of the Butcher Bar in Rittenhouse, where you can enjoy “Moose Milk” cocktails with vodka, Fernet-Branca and Irish cream. Or enjoy spicy mulled wine cocktails at the Brauhaus Schmitz on South Street.

Treat yourself to some holiday candy

You can’t beat Isgro Pastries in South Philly for top selling cannoli and a platter of ricotta cookies (bestcannoli.com). Head to Chestnut Hill for a Night Kitchen Yule Log – a delicious light sponge cake with dark chocolate frosting and melting snowmen. And for a touch of nostalgia, visit Shane Confectionery, America’s oldest candy store. Here you’ll find classic sweets, seasonal treats, and arguably the best hot chocolate in town, at Shane’s Chocolate Café, a sweatshop-style café. If you wish, ask for a dash of brandy or brandy in your Thomas Jefferson’s Drinking Chocolate, as the President himself preferred.

Published under the title “Know-it-All Guide: Joyful Jaunts” in the December 2021 issue of Philadelphia cream magazine.

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