Housed at Dilworth and LOVE Park, Philadelphia's Christmas Village is back and better than ever—helping visitors kick off the holiday season in style. From twinkling light displays to a sparkling carousel, this festival is a must–see for anyone hoping to alleviate some finals stress and spread some Christmas cheer.
Established in 2008, this outdoor Christmas market pays homage to the traditional German Christkindlmarkt. From a double–decker winter–themed carousel to an authentic German food court complete with a beer garden, Philadelphia's Christmas Village is one of the most festive ways to celebrate the holiday season.
The market also offers up a selection of wine, beer, and spirits tastings from local vendors while also hosting themed events like German–American Weekend, where visitors are immersed in German culture, including performances by the traditional Schuhplattler dance group G.T.V Almarausch.
While the COVID–19 pandemic nearly halved the number of vendors at the Christmas Village last year, vendors and small businesses have remained resilient and are excited to put on a better–than–ever rendition of this holiday classic this winter.
Tucked away in a corner of Dilworth Park's Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market is Camino Books, an intimate booth filled with books by Philadelphian authors. Founded in 1987, Camino Books is a publishing company that showcases nonfiction novels of regional interest to those in the Middle Atlantic states.
Mark Rascati—who tables the booth—describes Camino Books as centered around local Philadelphia artists, Reading Terminal Market, beer culture, local sports, and more.
With this being Rascati’s first year at the booth, his favorite part of working at the market so far has been the people. “Everyone’s so friendly and interested," he says. "There hasn’t been one negative word spoken in here, so it’s a big light of positivity."
A couple booths away sits Chiara, a female–owned small business named after its owner that specializes in artisanal jewelry and clay art. Chiara first debuted at the Holiday Market in 2018. Adorned with white twinkling Christmas trees and a fireplace covered with sequins and Swarovski crystals, the booth immediately catches the eyes of holiday shoppers and passersby alike.
Chiara describes how she “fell in love with [the market] immediately." Hailing from North Jersey, Chiara crosses state borders to sell her wares. She stayed up all night to set up her store for the market’s preview weekend.
Motivated by a passion for handmade creations, Chiara channels her energy into beading and clay art while also DoorDashing on the side. Despite the hours of labor it took to get her beautiful booth up and running, she remains passionate about both her shop and the holiday season. “What brings me? It’s just magical. It’s a beautiful place to be,” she says.
Drawing in both Philly natives and tourists alike, the Christmas Village unites all visitors through holiday spirit with friendly vendors and artisanal goods created with care. Even as the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, this festival will remind you of what makes the holiday season so wonderful in the first place. Visit the Christmas Village any day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. until Christmas Eve. The Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market runs until Jan. 1.