Everyone already knows about the wonderland that is the RiverRink Winterfest (make no mistake: that place is worth a visit with the kids, no doubt), but this year, we’ve been totally charmed by the smaller (and even more public-transit-friendly) Dilworth Park Wintergarden. Nestled there in the shadow of City Hall isn’t just the quaint little Rothman Ice Rink and its accompanying “cabin” with snacks and drinks (hot cocoa! poutine!), but also the Made in Philly market (fun for a quick walk-through, even with a stroller), and the new, totally enchanting America’s Garden Capital Maze, a beautiful mini aboreta and garden with topiaries and twinkle lights, as well as cozy benches and gazebos. It’s truly lovely (especially with a hot cocoa in hand) — a special, kid-friendly escape literally in the middle of the city.
If you’re in the mood to make a whole big thing of it (and why should you be?), then you should tack on a trip to the One Liberty Observation Deck. It’s not cheap (two general admission adult tickets run $38), but there’s a promo that allows kids 11 and under to enter free from now until the end of December. The views of the city truly spectacular –engrossing even to a three-year-old! — and Santa is there on weekends for lap-sitting and pictures. (Also: Elves and Mrs. Claus!) It’s all very festive, and also relatively simple as holiday hoopla goes. So: Worth it!