Merry in Philly! This past weekend, I visited my best friend Amanda who lives in Haddonfield, New Jersey (right outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) for a Christmas weekend of fun away! Personally, I have always LOVED the Pennsylvania/New Jersey area. I grew up about an hour North of Philadelphia in Pennington, New Jersey (read on to see my weekend in Pennington last weekend here!) and this area of the mid-Atlantic most definitely feels like home, despite me not actually living there. While in Philadelphia, Amanda and I did ALL the Christmas things that the city has to offer!

Haddonfield, New Jersey

Haddonfield, New Jersey is one of the most precious little towns about 15-20 minutes outside of Philadelphia. It’s an older town that has maintained its charm throughout its modernization that’s centuries long and ever-evolving. There are some stunning churches that resemble those of an old English cathedral courtesy of my study abroad experiences in London, England. At the same time, Haddonfield offers a plethora of small businesses, whether it be restaurants, cafes, shops, and ice cream/gelato parlors. The town gets ALL decked out for Christmas in the most extra and beautiful way possible. It’s a great town to live in and let alone visit!

I have visited Amanda many times in the past, so I have been able to see and admire the downtown streets of Haddonfield many many times before. However, I have had less of an opportunity to do just that at Christmas. Amanda and I walked the streets of Haddonfield during the day, getting coffee at Saxby’s – a New Jersey/Pennsylvania chain that I actually found once in Georgetown, Washington DC last month, and checking out some of the adorable small businesses. One of my favorites that is literally Instagrammable and just drop dead gorgeous on every shelve you turn when it comes to small businesses is Home On Haddon – a home goods boutique that I recently discovered when writing this blog post – HAHA – has an online shop, too. Another small business that I LOVE is a consignment store with an online section – carrying several designers and name brands known as Raks Thrift Avenue. There’s a cute little restaurant there that serves diner-like food called The Bistro on Haddonfield, which Amanda and I enjoyed a Sunday brunch at before I headed back to the nation’s capital. After brunch at The Bistro on Haddonfield, I discovered a newly opened town gem – Downtown Cookies. Downtown Cookies had an adorable balloon arch for ALL of your photo and social media posting needs. Not to mention, their cookies are literally to die for good! Haddonfield most definitely has some sweet gems within its main downtown area that I know anyone can enjoy!

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

On Saturday, Amanda and I spent the afternoon and early evening in Philadelphia. From Haddonfield, downtown Philadelphia is just a few direct stops away on the PATCO line – easy as that! Once we got into the downtown, we went to the Christmas Village that the city has to offer. The Christmas Village of Philadelphia is located in the downtown area right in front of and around City Hall and LOVE Park. Christmas Village offered ice skating, a Ferris wheel, a mini train for children, a carousel, and had several shops and food places along the rows and rows of the Christmas Market. We both didn’t really shop or eat at the Christmas market since it was expensive. Rather, we went to two of the many super fun and Instagrammable pop up bars nearby! I have been fortunate enough to see ALL of the sites in the City of Brotherly Love over the years that enjoying a few drinks can definitely be the focus for me when visiting this magical city.

As for the Christmas bars, I forget the name of the first one we went to but it was right beside City Hall and LOVE Park and in the center of ALLL the action. It had adorable little Christmas houses to sit in and enjoy drinks outdoors with space heaters all around. Meanwhile, the second bar that we went to was Tinsel – a pop up bar that only comes during both Halloween and Christmas time. Tinsel is located on 12th Street South and is next to an adorable Black-owned Popcorn shop with online ordering – Go Popcorn – where we got to meet the sons/cousins of the owners. Tinsel is in a rather small venue, but they have a line to get in – it moves FAST do not worry – in order to keep down on crowds and be sure that all guests pay their $5 cash cover and are of age and is decked out into the 9’s. Tinsel is most definitely a grab a drink, take a picture, and go type of place but it’s still super fun for that allotted time. Amanda and I split a hot chocolate that came with a souvenir Santa cup/mug to take home. After about 20-30 minutes of admiring the gorgeously decked halls of Tinsel, we headed back for Haddonfield.

Philadelphia is one of my all-time favorite cities. I love it and am so glad I finally got to experience it as a 21+ woman, as I was a lot younger the last times that I went! It’s always a blessing to see friends like Amanda, whether near or far.

XOXO – Katie <3

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