Forget the mall.

I took a different train home on Wednesday night, which necessitates a walk up Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill to get home. I was a little confused when, about a block from “the avenue” I heard faint strains of music. I had completely forgotten that they keep the shops open late on Wednesday nights in December. This was far more than late hours, though. This was an almost Disney-esque Christmas wonderland. Just about every block had a different band playing holiday music, and one corner featured carolers in full victorian regalia, including the large bonnets. Some places gave out free samples and Santa himself strolled up and down the hill giving away candy canes. Every lamppost is adorned with pine garland and bright red bows and all of the trees decked in white lights. They even had roasted chestnuts. It was unexpected, surreal and a great little bit of fun to see on my way home.

The Chestnut Hill Business Association calls this “Stag and Doe Nights.” There are two left, December 13 and 20th from 6-9 PM. They also have “Special Holiday Shopping” on Sundays (December 10, 17 and 24) from 12-5 with music, kids activities and Santa.

Come on up! SEPTA riders can hop on the 23 bus, R7 or R8. For more information including parking visit: For a PDF of all holiday events click on the link under “This Year, Forget the Mall and Shop on the Hill!”

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