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30+ Things to Do With Kids This Week Around Philly: December 24–30

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

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

First off, check out all the special programming going on in our Philly Winter Break Survival Guide!

 

 

Go straight to: Monday      Tuesday      Wednesday       Thursday      Friday       WEEKEND

All Week

See this: Holiday Lights in Philly

Winter Break Camps

If your kids have off but you don’t, there are some great day-off camps that will keep them occupied and learning during Winter Break! Here’s our rundown!

Dr. Seuss’ ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas!’ The Musical

December 19—29

Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St.

 

Fantastical sets and costumes inspired by Dr. Seuss’ original illustrations help transport audiences to the whimsical world of Whoville, as Max the Dog narrates this children’s classic. With songs “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” from the animated television special, plus new songs, the play is sure to delight audiences of all ages.

George Balanchine’s ‘The Nutcracker’

December 7—31 (Sensory-Friendly Performance: December 27, noon)

Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St.

 

From the Tchaikovsky score to the timeless story of holiday magic, this ballet is a classic for a reason. On December 27 at noon, there will be a sensory-friendly performance with accommodations both inside and outside the theater to make children who are on the autism spectrum, or who may have sensory sensitivities, more welcome.

Disney on Ice

December 24—31

Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St.

 

You know the drill—and your little ones have probably been begging to go since last year— so get on your best princess dress and bring your light-up wand for skating, music, and adventure. This new production, Mickey’s Search Party, includes favorite characters like Elsa, Ariel, Moana, Belle, and the debut Miguel from Coco. Of course, Mickey, Minnie, and the whole gang are there too.

Winter Break Family Studio at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

December 26 — 31, 10:30 am—3 pm

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

 

Create tiny wonders inspired by the miniatures of the “Little Ladies” exhibit, and capture their magic in a snow globe. Take a family-friendly Jolly Jaunts tour, pick up a Holiday Family Guide, and drop by the museum’s miniature winter wonderland created by artist Lydia Ricci—she’ll be adding her tiny sculptures (and yours) to it throughout the week.

Creation Station at The Franklin Institute

December 26—31

222 North 20th Street

 

Visitors can see live shows including The Science of Fireworks Show and the Holiday Spectacular Show, plus Random Acts of Science and more expanded daily programming. The museum will also feature their family-focused Creation Station for young scientists to design, build, and play with everything from Imagination Playground blocks to Rig Ama Jigs and more! And while you’re there see…

‘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.

‘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.

‘Ten Crucial Days’ at Museum of the American Revolution

December 26 — 31

101 S. Third St.

 

The museum will focus on the “The Ten Crucial Days” during the Revolutionary War that turned things around for the Continental Army, and for our country’s future. Guests can explore these days with costumed interpretation and craft demonstrations that highlight famous duels, river crossings, and military families. On December 28, learn the rules of dueling; and on December 29 and 30, follow a fashion demonstration to stitch a gown similar to what Eliza Schuyler Hamilton might have worn.

‘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.

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!

‘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 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.

‘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

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

Final Day of Christmas Village
11 am-5 pm
Love Park
1500 Arch St.
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. Read More
Disney on Ice Opens
Noon
Wells Fargo Center
3601 S. Broad St.
This new production, Mickey’s Search Party, includes favorite characters like Elsa, Ariel, Moana, Belle, and the debut Miguel from Coco. Of course, Mickey, Minnie, and the whole gang are there too. Read More

Tuesday

Merry Christmas! Here's what's open around town
Whether you need something to do after the presents are opened, or you don’t celebrate Christmas, it’s tricky to find something to do on December 25. Luckily, we’ve got you covered in our rundown of What's Open on Christmas Day. Read More
“Being ___ at Christmas” at National Museum of Jewish American History
10 am-5 pm
101 South Independence Mall East
Every year on December 25, the National Museum of Jewish American History hosts a day of family fun. Enjoy crafts, storytime, live music with Alex and the Kaleidoscope, face painting, balloon art, and more! The museum’s galleries are also open, so can make it a ... Read More

Wednesday

Kwanzaa Celebration
10 am-2 pm
African American Museum in Philadelphia
Join for celebration and ceremony at AAMP. Free with admission. Read More
Tinker Time at Please Touch Museum (Age 4+)
3:30-4 pm
4231 Avenue of the Republic
Make and create! Get creative and explore materials, tools, and technology through open-ended explorations. Read More

Thursday

Museum Adventure at the Rosenbach
10-11 am
2008-2010 Delancey Place
Preschoolers (age 2-4) with a caregiver are invited to the museum for storytime and a treasure hunt through the Rosenbach to discover things that relate to the story. Then, meet in the activity room for hands-on art making activities, creative play, music, and snacks. Read More
Kwanzaa Celebration at Lovett Library
11 am
Lovett Memorial Library
6945 Germantown Avenue
Celebrate Kwanzaa at the library! Mama Carla will share stories of Kwanzaa. For all ages. Read More
Sensory Friendly Performance of 'The Nutcracker'
Noon
Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St.
The Pennsylvania Ballet presents be a sensory-friendly performance of this classic holiday ballet, with accommodations both inside and outside the theater to make children who are on the autism spectrum, or who may have sensory sensitivities, more welcome. Read More
Historic Sewing Workshop: Make a Pair of Mittens
1-5 pm
Museum of the American Revolution
101 South Third Street
For ages 10 and up. Learn the fundamentals of 18th-century dress and what it reveals about the Revolution in this hands-on workshop. Spend the day learning traditional skills and working with your hands, creating your own replica of  men’s mittens or women’s mitts to wear ... Read More
Kwanzaa Celebration at Logan Library
5:30 pm
Logan Library
1333 Wagner Avenue
The library's Kwanzaa program includes an explanation of the cultural holiday, a Kwanzaa story, lighting the candles, and trying out a recipe. Read More

Friday

Access to Science: Opening Doors to Autism
9-11 am
Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Visitors on the autism spectrum and their families are invited to experience the museum before the crowds. Pre-registration is required (same-day registration is available onsite). If you would like to attend, contact visitor services at 215-299-1060 or email ANS_reservations@drexel.edu. Read More
Crayon Melt Art Workshop
10 am-12:30 pm
Sue's Art Class
2119 Spruce St.
Bring in a small box of Crayolas and blow dryer as you melt a rainbow of color into your canvas paintings. Pre-register online. Read More
'Mean Girls' Musical Theater Workshop for Grades 9-12
noon-5 pm
Arden Drama School
Hamilton Family Arts Center, 62 N. Second St.
High schoolers will spend the day learning selections from the hit musical Mean Girls.  The workshop culminates in a revue-style performance for family and friends. Pre-registration required. Read More
Kwanzaa Performance at Betsy Ross House
Enjoy a performance by the musical group Sistahs Laying Down Hands in celebration of Kwanzaa. Read More
Lilypad Family Happy Hour Playgroup
4:30—6 pm
1234 S. Broad St., Philadelphia
Hang out with other parents and let the kids play—this playgroup is BYOB! Read More
Kwanzaa Celebration at Franklin Square
5:30-7:30 pm
200 N. Sixth St
Celebrate Kwanzaa with free crafts for children. Plus, catch the Electrical Spectacle light show every half hour! Read More
Tween Cake Decorating Workshop
7-8:30 pm
Ella Vanilla
7922 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill
Tween (age 9 to 12) will learn how to create an adorable penguin pool party cake, and leave with a fully decorated mini 4-inch vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream icing ready to share. They'll learn to work with icing, fondant, and more. Register by emailing ... Read More

Weekend Events

All Weekend

George Balanchine’s ‘The Nutcracker’

December 7—31

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. Come early for photos with the Sugarplum Fairy and the Mouse King in the lobby!

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!

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.

 

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!

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 only focuses on locally made gifts. Stop by after skating on the Rothman Rink and running through Wintergarden Maze!

Winter Break Family Studio at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

December 26 — 31, 10:30 am—3 pm

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

 

Create tiny wonders inspired by the miniatures of the “Little Ladies” exhibit, and capture their magic in a snow globe. Take a family-friendly Jolly Jaunts tour, pick up a Holiday Family Guide, and drop by the museum’s miniature winter wonderland created by artist Lydia Ricci—she’ll be adding her tiny sculptures (and yours) to it throughout the week.

Disney on Ice

December 24—31

Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St.

 

You know the drill—and your little ones have probably been begging to go since last year— so get on your best princess dress and bring your light-up wand for skating, music, and adventure. This new production, Mickey’s Search Party, includes favorite characters like Elsa, Ariel, Moana, Belle, and the debut Miguel from Coco. Of course, Mickey, Minnie, and the whole gang are there too.

MummersFest

December 28—31

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St.

 

Go behind the scenes of the Mummers Parade with this interactive family festival leading up to the big day. Kids can try on costumes, watch the bands and brigades rehearse their routines, create make-and-take crafts, learn about the Mummers’ history, and maybe even practice their own Mummers strut!

Fashioning Eliza

December 29—30, 10 am—5 pm

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

 

 

 

Meet seamstress Samantha McCarty as she creates a gown like the one Eliza Schuyler would have worn when she first met Alexander Hamilton. Inspired by Paul Tazewell’s costume design for Hamilton: An American Musical, McCarty will use 18th-century techniques to show what changing women’s fashions reveal about politics. Included with museum admission.

Saturday

Butterfly Light Festival

December 29, 10 am—10 pm

Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion, 8046 Frankford Ave.

 

The Insectarium hosts an all day, all ages festival filled with live tropical butterflies, exotic animals, an acrobatic performance, a fire show, live music, crafts, and much more! Food and adult beverages will be available for purchase. Tickets available online.

Schuylkill Saturday: Nature Exploration for Families

December 29, 10:30—11:30 am

8480 Hagy’s Mill Road

 

Gather in the Visitor Center before hitting the trails for a guided exploration. All ages welcome.

Donut Making for Families with Federal Donuts Chef Matt Fein

December 29, 10:30 am—12:30 pm

Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St.

 

Caregivers with children ages 5 to 12 are invited to learn how to make donuts from scratch with Philadelphia’s own Federal Donuts chef Matt Fein. Explore the ingredients and steps that go into the perfect batter and frying process. Then, glaze and decorate using recipes adapted for home use. Enjoy generous samples and leave inspired to make your own versions! Tickets available online.

Mummer Day at Reading Terminal Market

December 29, 11 am—2 pm

51 N. 12th St.

 

Enjoy Mummer Day at the Market with performances, a cooking demo, and arts and crafts!

Storytime at the Lodge

December 29, 11:30 am—12:30 pm

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.

 

Listen, Learn and Play will lead interactive activities and music, along with some stories. Light snacks and hot chocolate will be provided for the kids.

Rittenhouse Hotel Teddy Bear Tea

December 29, seatings start at 11:30 am

Rittenhouse Hotel’s Mary Cassatt Tea Room, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square

 

Kids can enjoy tea with their cuddle friend — or hot chocolate, if that’s more their speed — and midway through the tea, the kids will participate in a sweet gingerbread cookie decorating activity. Best of all, their teddy bear gets a seat of honor at the table! Forgot to bring your teddy bear? The hotel will provide a teddy bear guest for every child as a take-home gift. Call Lacroix for reservations: 215-790-2533. $65 per person.

Kids’ Cupcake Baking Class

December 29, 3—6 pm

Old Pine Community Center, 401 Lombard Street

 

In this holiday baking class for kids 5-15, kids will be able to create their own cupcake batter using various flavors and ingredients, then decorate them once they are baked. Each kid will get 6 cupcakes to take home. Tickets are required; parents are encouraged to stay and do not require a ticket.

Last day of Dr. Seuss’ ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas!’ The Musical

December 29, 3 pm and 7 pm

Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St.

 

 

Fantastical sets and costumes inspired by Dr. Seuss’ original illustrations help transport audiences to the whimsical world of Whoville, as Max the Dog narrates this children’s classic. With songs “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” from the animated television special, plus new songs, the play is sure to delight audiences of all ages.

Sunday

Mommy and Me Frosty Cake Decorating Workshop

December 30, 2—3:30 pm

Ella Vanilla, 7922 Germantown Ave.

 

Kids ages 5-8 and their caregivers will learn how to decorate a Frosty the Snowman cake, complete with fondant facial features, sparkle sugar, and icing. All will leave with a fully decorated, one layer 6-inch vanilla cake. Purchase class ($55 per parent/child pair) by email at Info@EllaVanilla.com or by phone at (215) 909-9392.

Franklin Square Seasonal Sounds on Sundays

December 30, 5:30 pm

200 N. Sixth St.

 

 

The Fishtown Sharks Cheerleaders will perform at 5:30 pm and 6 pm. Plus, catch the Electrical Spectacle light show every half hour!

 

Plan ahead: See Kid-Friendly New Year’s Eve Parties in Philly!

 

 

Photograph by Laura Swartz.

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

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