Philadelphia, PA: Exploring The Christmas Village, Admiring The Tree at City Hall, & Sippin’ Hot Cocoas

This recent weekend, my friends and I embarked on a day trip to Philly (short nickname for Philadelphia), the largest city in Pennsylvania (PA)! What I really like about Philly is the combination of colonial architecture buildings mixed with modern skyscrapers; it definitely makes you feel like you’re in the city but a part of a place far more historical. The city is known for a lot of events and history that takes place in what they call, “The City of Brotherly Love”. Since I wanted to switch it up and feel the holiday spirit (since it’s been long gone since I was a child who earnestly believed Santa existed and the traditional ways of celebrating Christmas), I found out there is a holiday market event that is going on in this city. For the past years, I’ve experienced the holidays around New York City but this holiday visit is my favorite yet.

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The Christmas Market in Philadelphia takes place in the JFK Plaza. What’s striking about these markets is that it is modeled after the traditional Christmas markets like in Germany! I love the German influence that was taken for thought when Philly set this market up. What doesn’t Germany have that isn’t the best?! Their beer, pretzels, and sausages and now this?!

There were a lot of fun things to see when you walk in. We noticed there were tables for arts and crafts that children can get involved in doing! Christmas trees and decorations were also being sold. There were also some fun photo stands… like this one of me as a Christmas tree. And a wish wall! People wrote their wishes on a bulletin board and my favorite wish was “PEACE ON EARTH!!”. (Yesssss!)

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But the main attraction of these events? Definitely the booths.

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There are numerous things to see here within these wooden booths. There are vendors from jewelry to Christmas ornaments to so many unique gifts you can find to buy for your loved ones or for your Secret Santa office gifting activities.

Some things I found interesting: jewelry made out of REAL leaves by being dipped in metals, authentic Russian nesting dolls made by artisan girls in Ukraine and Russia, cocoa dusted chocolates shaped as hardware and tools, folding baskets made out of recycled chopsticks, and so much more to discover that are all enticing to look at.

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See what I’m talking about with the chocolates?! It’s insane how real they look!

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They even have Hello Kitty and other chocolates created to mock those objects like shoes, roses, dogs, cameras, toy cars, etc.

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Most of the things being displayed within the booths are handcrafted or came from other countries. So, by going to this event and buying from those vendors, you are supporting local artists and international artisans. There were also some things that were from Germany such as these incense holders from the company Herrnhuter.

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During the time, we saw a group of carolers singing some good ole classic Christmas tunes.

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Aside from the vendors, there were tables set out for people who wanted to eat. They had food vendors with traditional European foods. We saw they even had unique flavored wines (the warm/mulled ones!) they were selling and the booth gave out a mug with it, which anyone who buys it can keep. The smell of the spices from the wines can easily  be detected around the whole market as customers walked around with their warm mugs. Personally, I haven’t tried mulled wine yet but the smell and look of it was making me want one next time!

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We were hungry then but we didn’t want to be in the cold if we were to enjoy a meal. I for sure don’t think I can since I despise the cold!

Before heading out to grab some food, we took one more look around and lined up for some free cookies (more like A FREE COOKIE but it was pretty tasty and made me want more!).

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The displays were so magical and looked so unreal!

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We headed to a cafe nearby called Cafe Cret and grabbed some hot cocoas to sip on so we can warm ourselves up. It was freezing that night. As a cafe would have, they only had sandwiches but it was around dinner time and we wanted to eat more than just that. So, 500 ft away from the cafe, we headed to Con Murphy’s, an Irish Pub.

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My friend Leslie and I warming up with hot cocoa!

It was a nice pub, decorated as a Christmas theme, and it was connected to this hotel called Windsor Suites. My friends ordered a veggie burger and truffle mac and cheese and I had a bacon mushroom truffle flatbread. They were sooo good! Highly recommend this restaurant.

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Afterwards our dinner, we witnessed a Hanukkah parade with a guy singing live on a car and hundreds of other cars followed with a menorah on their roofs. Pretty interesting and added more to our holiday day trip!

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We walked to the City Hall, which was right across from the market. We admired the trees decorated with lights right outside Dilworth Park. There was a restaurant, booths for their own market too, and an ice skating rink inside the park. Unfortunately, as much as I love ice skating, we didn’t get the chance to do it since the line was long. The ice skating atmosphere in the city really set the mood for visitors during the holidays.

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Last but not least, we admired the 52-feet tall and 50-year-old Christmas tree by the City Hall! I was in love with how it was decorated in blue and purple lights. The peace sign on it caught my eye and it held a pink banner saying “Let There Be Peace on Earth”! (The ‘peace theme’ is really keeping me in peace!). It was kind of hard to keep your eye on all the details but I assumed the winds slightly moved it around?

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And here are my lovely friends!

Hope you guys have an amazing holiday this year and remember to always count your blessings!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza!! ☆☆☆

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Annie says:

    Wow, Philadelphia looks amazing! Love this post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Annie says:

      Also, I have nominated you for The Liebster award. You can chesk here for more https://booknerdtravels.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/the-liebster-award/. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gabrielle says:

        Thank you for the nomination! I will be looking through the post to find out more about this. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Gabrielle says:

      Thank you and yes it was overall an amazing atmosphere!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Annie says:

        Yeah, it looks amazing. And Merry Christmas! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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