Carlos H. Corona
The semester has come to an end and dobby is free! Pat yourself on the back and be proud of all that you have accomplished in the past few months. While some of you will be traveling home for the holidays, many more of you will be spending winter break in the great city of brotherly love. This blog is for those of you staying in Philly and who are looking for cool things to do in the next couple of weeks – I got you!
From a decade of living here, below are my top things to do in Philly during winter break on a budget:
The Magic Gardens
The Magic Gardens is located at South Street, just a couple of minutes away from the Penn campus. This place inspires creativity. The walls are embedded with mosaic, glass, bicycle wheels, plates and even toilets! It is strangely very impressive. Tickets are $15 for adults and you get a $3 discount if you bring your Penn ID.
Miracle of South 13th St.
This is a light display located in the 600 block of South 13th Street, between Tasker and Morris streets. For over 20 years, neighbors have gathered here to decorate their houses with lights and inflatable characters. It has become a huge attraction in Philly and is definitely worth a visit. The best part – it is free!
Christmas Village at Love Park
If you are looking for an instagramable spot, this is it. Here, you can experience live performances, cheap shopping, ice-skating and even riding the Ferris wheel with your grad school crush – all while enjoying overpriced hot chocolate. On a more serious note, beverages can be expensive, so be aware! Nevertheless, it definitely is an experience you cannot miss. Remember to bring warm clothes because it gets chilly.
The Wiss is the place to go if you are a person of the outdoors. Even if you are not, this is where you go to unplug and connect with nature. It is the second largest park in Philadelphia, and also has a beautiful creek that intersects it. If you are lucky, the geese will let you feed them! I recommend you visit Valley Green Inn, which is in the park. The food is average, but going there is all about the middle-of-nowhere experience.
This personally my favorite place in all of Philadelphia. Again, it is FREE.
Frankford Hall is located in Fishtown and it is a cool spot to grab beer with friends. They have a myriad of beer choices and the coolest thing – a backyard with fire pits! I highly recommend this place to enjoy good beer, beautiful aesthetics, and great conversations with friends.
Just a couple of blocks from South Street, this street has tons of fresh-food vendors and many other unconventional stores. If you like Pho, I suggest you go to Pho 75 which is just a couple of blocks away from the Italian Market. There are also many Mexican restaurants, but the one to visit is South Philly Barbacoa. I have never been but everyone, and I mean EVERYONE speaks very highly about it. There is always a queue though, so head out early.
No matter where you go and what you do this winter break, remember that this time is all about unwinding and spending quality time with those around you. Do not be afraid to reach out to friends and go on a Philly adventure. Transportation to these places is accessible and economical. Contrary to popular belief, it is safe to travel around these places. Just be aware of your surroundings, like you would be in any major city. See you all next semester!