Thank you for your interest in the Holiday Light Tour! On this page you will find all of the information about the tour. Tickets will go on sale at noon on Monday, 9/17/18. The link will be in our Calendar (at the top of each page on our website) or you can click right here
About the tour
When I was a kid, my mother would pile me and my three siblings into our station wagon and drive around our neighborhood to take in the Christmas lights. She’d sing along to the carols on the oldies radio station while we looked out the window either singing along or trying to pretend we were too cool to do so despite being mesmerized. I based the Holiday Light Tour on this memory since it’s something I fondly recall and there are so many great light displays throughout Philadelphia. We started this event in 2016 as a fundraiser, with just one tour, where we played carols through a Bluetooth speaker. Our goal for last December was to add live music and run a handful of tours for family and friends, as well as a fundraiser for some local nonprofits. On the morning of November 28th, we had sold around 20 tickets. That afternoon, an article from PhillyVoice went viral and over the next three days, my wife and I fielded enough calls and emails from guests to sell out 28 tours. (Having to answer all of those inquiries and book quality musicians within three days, just three weeks after having our first child, wasn’t stressful at all!) Pulling this off was definitely a Christmas miracle and we couldn’t be more excited to see what we’ll be able to present with time to plan for this December. This year we have even more time slots scheduled and look forward to providing you all with a fun, memorable holiday experience.
Talented musicians will play holiday music as we travel to some of the most festive locations in the city. Singing along is highly encouraged! We found last year that the more engaged the crowd is, the more fun everyone has, so don’t be shy about belting out your favorite holiday tunes and feel free to BYOB!
Do we get off the trolley at all?
Yes. At the first stop, Smedley Street Christmas Spectacular, we will get off the trolley and take in the decorations on foot. There will also be an opportunity to use the restroom here. We will also check out Dickinson Square Park on foot.
What's different from last year?
This year, we have added Dickinson Square Park as a stop and we will have a professional photographer waiting there. They will take photos of you and your group which will be made available for free through our website. We are also going to be providing pizza for our guests as they reboard the trolley after visiting Smedley St. Christmas Spectacular.
The “grand finale” of the tour will be a slow crawl down “Miracle on South 13th Street” but this season, we will not be stopping there. However, we are adding “The 13th Street Sled,” a shuttle which will run from 13th Street back to Old City for guests who would like to explore the attraction on foot. For a nominal fee, the shuttle will travel up Broad St to City Hall and then east down Market St to Old City. Guests will be able to get dropped off along that route. More information is available on our website.
How do I get tickets?
Starting right now, we will be taking reservations for groups of 15 or more over the phone on a first come, first served basis. If you have a large party, call us at 609-795-1776 from now until Sunday. We will answer calls until 6pm on those days.
For smaller parties, tickets will be made available through on this website on Monday at noon. You can click the Calendar on the top of each page or click the link which will be in this very box on Monday.
When will the tour be running?
The tour will be running five days a week from Dec 1st through Dec 30th at the following times:
Wednesdays at 6:00 and 8:00
Thursdays at 6:00 and 8:00
Fridays at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30
Saturdays at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30
Sundays at 5:00 and 7:00
If these tours sell out, we will attempt to add additional trolleys and time slots.
What's the cost?
Until October 15th, tickets will be $34 for adults, $30 for seniors and military, and $25 for children 12 and under. After October 15th, adult tickets will be $38, so make sure you book early!
Where does the tour begin and end?
Like last year, we will pick up and drop off at Shane Confectionery, located at 110 Market Street in Old City.
How long is the tour?
Approximately one hour and forty-five minutes.
Where can we park?
There is a lot, Patriot Parking, located right across the street from our starting location at 101 Market St. Street parking may be available as well. The city offers an app, “MeterUp”, where you can pay for meter parking and extend your time if necessary. Instructions for this can be found on meter kiosks throughout the area.
Why aren't we getting off at The Miracle on South 13th Street this year?
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that our trolley will have a location to wait for guests. Last year, when space was unavailable, we would try to accomodate by unloading and reloading on the street itself. There is already a lot of traffic on this street during the holidays and we do not want to make ourselves a nuisance to the block’s residents. For guests that would like to explore this attraction by foot, we will have a shuttle service that will be able to return you to Old City or anywhere along the route back. (The shuttle will travel north on Broad St to City Hall and then east on Market to Old City.) The shuttle will pick up guests 15 minutes after they exit the Holiday Light Tour. If you choose to take advantage of this, please be advised that there are not any restroom options located near “Miracle on South 13th Street.” There will be an additional $5 per person fee to use the shuttle.
How many people does the trolley hold?
The trolley holds 32 people comfortably. This is the maximum number of tickets we sell on public tours. If you would like to reserve an entire trolley for your group, you can fit an additional 3 people but those last 3 seats can be tight, which is why we don’t make them available for public tours. The maximum number of guests on a public tour is 32 and 35 on a private tour - no exceptions.
Is the trolley handicap accessible?
Unfortunately the trolleys do not have ramps, lifts or tie-downs. There are three large steps between the sidewalk and the aisle of the trolley - if you or someone in your party has a disability, but can make it up the steps, we are happy to reserve one of the front benches for you.
Can I bring coolers/bottles/cans/cups/wine/hard liquor?
Our BYOB policy for this tour is as follows: We ask that you do not bring coolers that hold more than a twelve-pack as they take up too much space. We’re fine with either bottles or cans of beer. There will be a recycling bin on board. If you prefer wine, you may bring disposable cups on board - no wine glasses! We ask that you refrain from bringing hard liquor on board.
Are there any group discounts?
Due to the overwhelming popularity of this tour, we are not offering group discounts on Fridays or Saturdays. If you have a large group, we can offer a small discount on Thursdays and Sundays and a bigger discount on Wednesdays. If you’d like us to run a private trolley for your group on Mondays or Tuesdays, we can offer the best price on those days.
What is the refund policy?
Due to the overwhelming demand for this tour, we are unable to offer refunds. However, with at least one week notice we will attempt to resell the seats. If successful, we will refund any recouped revenue. Pending availability, we are happy to move your reservation to a different time slot with at least 72 hours notice.
Are there restrooms along the route?
Yes. At the Smedley St. stop, there is a local bar where our guests may use their bathroom. Also, Dickinson Square Park has public restroom. Once we leave Dickinson Square Park, there will not be any bathrooms for the last ½ hour of the tour.