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30+ Things to Do With Kids This Week Around Philly: December 10–16

Need plans? We've got something great, every day!

Need plans? We’ve got something great, every day.

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See this: Holiday Lights in Philly

Christmas Village

Through December 24

Love Park, 1500 Arch Street

Modeled after the traditional Christmas Markets in Germany, this annual market features over 80 vendors in wooden booths selling authentic European food, ornaments, crafts, clothing, and more from all over the world.

‘Hamilton Was Here: Rising Up in Revolutionary Philadelphia’

Through March 17, 2019; 1 – 5 pm on weekdays, 10 am–5 pm on weekends

Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. Third St.

 

This new exhibit is highly interactive, incorporating games, group activities, dress up, thought-provoking questions, and much more to highlight Alexander Hamilton’s major accomplishments and Philadelphia connections. Read all about it in our preview.

‘Hamilton: The Constitutional Clashes That Shaped a Nation’

Through December 31

National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St.

This exhibit focuses on the intellectual and political conflicts between Hamilton and his contemporaries, including Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Adams, and of course, Aaron Burr (that one was a bit more personal).

Macy’s Santaland and Christmas Light Show

November 23—December 31 (Closed Christmas Day)

Showtimes: 10 am, noon, 2 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm and 8 pm

1300 Market St.

To quote Julie Andrews’s narration of this 100,000-light spectacle, it the Macy’s Christmas Light Show is a “grand tradition.” If you’re from Philly, you probably grew up watching it, and not a thing has changed. The bears, the dancing snowmen, the “magic Christmas tree,” the Wanamaker Organ finale—it’s all there, and it’s all aglow in colorful nostalgia. After the show, head upstairs to Dickens Village to walk through an animatronic telling of A Christmas Carol, then meet Santa!

Winter in Dilworth Park: Rothman Rink, Wintergarden, and Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market

Through January 1, 2019 (Rink through February)

Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St.

Right outside City Hall, more than 40 local artisans, designers, crafters, and confectionaries will offer unique selections for gifts and special holiday foods. This market was designed to complement Christmas Village across the street—but only focuses on locally made gifts. Stop by after skating on the Rothman Rink and running through Wintergarden Maze!

Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’

Through December 23 (excluding Mondays)

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St.

 

WST for Kids presents a special hour-long musical adaptation for families, using traditional songs to highlight Dickens’ magical Christmas story. Since it’s only one hour long, it’s a perfect way to get into the spirit without having to make your kids sit still for too long!

Oliver!

Through December 23

Quintessence Theatre, 7137 Germantown Ave.

With familiar songs like “Consider Yourself” and “Food, Glorious Food,” this musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic is a crowd pleaser for all ages.

‘Matilda’

Through January 6, 2019

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St.

Based on the beloved Roald Dahl novel, Matilda The Musical will delight with high-energy dance and catchy songs.

Scuba Santa at Adventure Aquarium

November 23—December 25

1 Riverside Dr., Camden, NJ

Scuba Santa is back and ready to make the most underwater appearances in aquarium history! Visit him in Ocean Realm as he spreads the magic of Christmas and takes selfies through the glass. The aquarium will also have the World’s Tallest Underwater Christmas Tree, and more decorations throughout.

Holiday Garden Railway Opens at Morris Arboretum 

November 23—December 31, 10 am—4 pm

Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Avenue

Morris Arboretum’s beloved Garden Railway gets a holiday upgrade, lighting up this quarter-mile of track and miniature replicas of Philadelphia-area landmarks made from natural materials with thousands of twinkling lights.

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

November 23—March 3, 2019

101 S. Columbus Blvd.

Come to skate, come to party in the cabins, come for the fun and food. This rink is a Philadelphia favorite for a reason. This year, it will be celebrating its 25th anniversary, and has lots of fun events planned throughout the season– read all about it in our preview!

‘Xtreme Bugs’ at Academy of Natural Sciences

Through January 21, 2019

1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Nearly 20 towering animatronic bugs will come alive in this new creepy crawly exhibit! Get a bug’s-eye view of the world and learn about their intricacies and behaviors. See our preview here.

‘Vikings: Beyond the Legend’ at the Franklin Institute

Through  March 3, 2019

222 North 20th Street

The Franklin Institute presents 600 unique artifacts, multimedia, hands-on elements, and more to bring the Viking Age to life. Read all about the exhibit in our preview.

‘Thomas and Friends: Explore the Rails!’ at Please Touch Museum

Through January 6, 2019

4231 Avenue of the Republic

The long-awaited Thomas and Friends exhibit arrives at Please Touch Museum with plenty of train-themed fun, photo ops, imaginative play, and valuable STEM lessons along the way! Read our full preview here.

‘Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now’

Through March 3, 2019

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

If you have a fashion lover in your midst (or are one yourself), you’ll definitely want to catch this new exhibit that’s all about couture!

Charlotte’s Web

November 28, 2018 – January 27, 2019 (in previews until December 8)

Arden Theatre, 40 N. Second St.

The heart-warming story of a special friendship between a lovable pig and everyone’s favorite spider comes to life at the Arden.

Monday

Santa Visits the Bustleton Branch of the Free Library

December 10, 6:30—7:30 pm

10199 Bustleton Ave.

Visit with Santa, bring your list, take a picture, sing songs, and hear a story.

Indoor Snowball Fight

December 10, 5—9 pm

Rolling Thunder Skating Center, 7017 East Roosevelt Boulevard

Come for a night of skating and Philly’s largest snowball fight!

Holiday Stockings Workshop (Ages 12+)

December 10, 7—9 pm

The Tacony LAB Community Arts Center, 6918 Torresdale Avenue

Celebrate the season by creating and decorating your very own holiday stocking. Youth ages 12 and up are welcome. Enroll online.

Tuesday

The Geography Lady: Lights Around the World

December 11, 10—11 am

Momo’s Treehouse, 205 Arch Street

All around the world, people celebrate different holidays but one of the ways they celebrate is the same: light! Look at the lights around the world during the holiday season through maps, stories, music, games, and crafts.

Music Monkey Jungle Free Session at Reading Terminal Market

December 11, 10 — 10:30 am

51 N. 12th St.

Sing, dance, move, and have a rockin’ good time with Music Monkey Jungle. Admission is free and open to the public.

Family Night Slime and Pizza

December 11, 6:30–7:45 pm

SplashLab Arts, 3510 Scotts Lane

Enjoy family access to the studio at night. Call to make a reservation by 3 pm Tuesday afternoon, and indicate whether you want dinner delivered for your family. Then show up and have fun getting messy.

Wednesday

Mom and Me Art Workshop

December 12, 10—11:30 am

Sue’s Art Class, 2119 Spruce St.

Come for a morning of open mat board collage, plus milk and cookies! Register online.

Storytime in Christmas Village

December 12, 11 am

Love Park, 1500 Arch St.

The Free Library of Philadelphia will be in Christmas Village reading seasonal and holiday stories to children of all ages.

Stroller Tour at Philadelphia Museum of Art

December 12, 11 am—noon

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Parents and caregivers with babes in tow are welcome for a stroller-friendly tour of the galleries.

Holiday Cookie Decorating Party

December 12, 4 pm

Blanche A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek Library, 5800 Cobbs Creek Parkway

The library will host a gingerbread cookie themed storytime, and then each child will be able to decorate their own gingerbread cookie.

Buddy the Elf and Santa in Franklin Square

December 12, 5 pm

200 N. Sixth St.

An appearance by two very special guests who spread Christmas cheer for all to hear! Plus, catch the Electrical Spectacle Light Show every half hour.

Santa Visits Welsh Road Library

December 12, 6:30—7:30 pm

9233 Roosevelt Blvd.

Santa Claus will visit the library for meet-and-greets and photo ops!

Barry’s Buns Gingerbread Workshop

December 12, 6:30—8 pm

The Bourse Food Hall, 111 S. Independence Mall East

Workshop for parent and child includes all materials and instruction. Call 267-521-2867 to make your reservation.

A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season

December 12, 8 pm

Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.

This Philly tradition features over 300 performers bringing an all-new repertoire of favorite holiday classics. In addition to the fabulous pop orchestra conducted by Broadway legend Todd Ellison, the concert features vocals by Hamilton’s Mandy Gonzalez, the Philadelphia Boys Choir, the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir, and the Philly POPS Festival Chorus.

Thursday

Know Your Brain Day

December 13—14, 10 am—2 pm

Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street

Go beyond the Institute’s award-winning “Your Brain” exhibit to explore even more of the mysteries of the mind and inner workings of the brain through special, supplementary hands-on programming. Take in the two-story neural climb, see and feel dynamic brain models, and experience interactive, hands-on activities focused on neurons, multi-tasking, and vision on a day designed with the human body’s most ingenious organ in mind.

Drop-in Play and Storytime at Philly Art Center

December 13, 10:30—11:45 am

2501 Olive Street and 514 Bainbridge Street

For babies ages 0-2. Walkers enjoy sensory stations, while floor-bound babies enjoy age appropriate manipulative play. Storytime is at 11 am. No need to sign up, just drop-in for $5 at the door.

Stroller Tour at the Barnes Foundation

December 13, 10:30—11:15 am

2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

Take a 45-minute guided tour and discover ways to look at and appreciate art with little ones in tow. Open to parents and caregivers with babies up to 18 months in a stroller or baby wrap. Note: no double-wide strollers.

Play On, Philly Pop-Up Concert

December 13, 4 pm

Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St.

Students from Play on, Philly! will perform in small ensembles to showcase their talents.

Barry’s Buns Gingerbread Workshop

December 13, 6:30—8 pm

The Bourse Food Hall, 111 S. Independence Mall East

Workshop for parent and child includes all materials and instruction. Call 267-521-2867 to make your reservation.

Friday

Free Holiday Pajama Stroller Strides Class

December 14, 9:30—10:30 am

Open Box Athletics, 1931 Washington Ave.

Wear your best holiday attire and dress those kids up too for a free holiday-themed workout class. Enroll online.

Know Your Brain Day

December 13—14, 10 am—2 pm

Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street

Go beyond the Institute’s award-winning “Your Brain” exhibit to explore even more of the mysteries of the mind and inner workings of the brain through special, supplementary hands-on programming. Take in the two-story neural climb, see and feel dynamic brain models, and experience interactive, hands-on activities focused on neurons, multi-tasking, and vision on a day designed with the human body’s most ingenious organ in mind.

Baby Bird Playdate at Philadelphia Museum of Art

December 14, 10:15 am

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Play at the museum with your little ones and enjoy music, art making, and gallery walks.​ For toddlers and their grownups.

George Balanchine’s ‘The Nutcracker’

December 14, 11 am and 7 pm

Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St.

In our family, the holiday season just isn’t complete without the Pennsylvania Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker. From the  Tchaikovsky score to the timeless story of holiday magic, this ballet is a classic for a reason.

A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season

December 14, 3 pm

Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.

This Philly tradition features over 300 performers bringing an all-new repertoire of favorite holiday classics. In addition to the fabulous pop orchestra conducted by Broadway legend Todd Ellison, the concert features vocals by Hamilton’s Mandy Gonzalez, the Philadelphia Boys Choir, the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir, and the Philly POPS Festival Chorus.

Lilypad Family Happy Hour Playgroup

December 14, 4:30—6 pm

1234 S. Broad St.

Hang out with other parents and let the kids play—this playgroup is BYOB!

Holiday Garden Railway Nights

December 14, 4:30—7:30 pm

Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave.

Bask in the glow of thousands of sparkling lights at these magical evenings that have become an arboretum and family tradition. Tickets are required, and are available online.

The Grinch at Franklin Square

December 14, 5:30—7:30 pm

200 N. Sixth St.

The Grinch who stole Christmas visits Franklin Square in advance of his musical beginning December 19. Plus, catch the Electrical Spectacle Light Show every half hour.

Nest Parents’ Night Out

December 14, 6—9 pm

1301 Locust St.

Drop the kids (ages 2-6) off for fun and dinner while you enjoy an adult night out. Pre-registration required.

Weekend Events

See our High Five weekend event planner!

Photograph courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Assistant Editor | Email tips to laura@familyfocus.org

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