The specific promotions described in this article have now passed, but it remains online so that the resources named will be of future use to travelers.
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (tel. 800/537-7676; www.gophila.com/holidays) has put together a multi-pronged promotion called "Philly's More Holiday Fun." You can receive $50 off hotel bookings, an opportunity to win 50 quintessentially Philly gifts with a retail value of about $2,400, and an interactive Google map that details those 50 gifts so you can do your shopping while you're here. There are price points represented for nearly every budget, from $10 to $100. The idea is to get people interested in what's local, unique and only offered in Philadelphia -- shop locally, think globally. Think of it as doing your part to ensure the future stability of American's urban centers and to make a dent in your holiday shopping, too.
The hotel promotion gives you $50 off any booking of $150 or more for stays now through January 9, 2008. You must book through the tourism site though in order to receive the discount and enter the code "holidays." There's no minimum stay either -- you can stay one night or several nights and still receive the $50 discount, a move which doesn't discriminate between people who might ordinarily be a day tripper to those who are interested in making a longer stay of it. All of the Center City hotels are included in the promotion except the Rittenhouse, the Four Seasons and the Penn's View Hotel, but the Ritz-Carlton, Loews, and the Westin, among other outstanding properties are all a part of it.
Some of the retail outlets include Pinot, which offers bottle toppers for your wine, priced at $20, a hand-painted Mexican bank at Eye's Gallery that retails for $24, an assortment of deluxe handmade chocolates from Naked Chocolate, and t-shirts and onesies designed by local artists at Art Star Gallery. There are even eco-friendly gifts included, such as recycled vintage ties that are turned into wallets, sold by Mew Gallery, and free-trade handmade journals from Himalayan crafters. The interactive Google map is broken down into shopping and restaurants, with different retailers highlighted, whether it's jewelry and accessories, home, kids, or clothing. Interests as diverse as sports and fashion and food are represented, giving you a smattering of choices. And then of course there's the serendipitous discoveries you make just by wandering around somewhere.
Another part of the initiative is designed to highlight the cultural offerings and activities during the holiday season, from fireworks at Penn's Landing on New Year's Eve to the Mummer's Day Parade on New Year's Day, along with suggestions about where to view holiday lights, which adorn City Hall, Love Park, Rittenhouse Square and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
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