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30+ Things to Do With Kids This Week Around Philly: November 26–December 2

Need plans? We've got something great, every day, including lots of holiday fun!

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

Go straight to: Monday      Tuesday      Wednesday       Thursday      Friday       WEEKEND

All Week

See this: Holiday Lights in Philly

 

Christmas Village

November 22—November 25

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).

UniverSoul Circus

Through December 2

Fairmount Park at 52nd St. and Parkside Ave.

 

Celebrating 25 years, this incredible circus is coming to town for the month!

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!

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

Around the World with the Geography Lady: Lights Around the World

November 26, 10–11 am

Lilypad, 1234 S. Broad St.

 

The last Lilypad Geography Lady class of the season will explore the way light is used to celebrate around the world. Geared toward children between the ages of 18 months to 4 years old with a caregiver.

Slime Cookbook

November 26, 4 pm

Lillian Marrero Library, 601 West Lehigh Ave.

Come experiment with common household ingredients to create squishy, fluffy, glittery, and scented slime.

Tuesday

Music Monkey Jungle Free Session at Reading Terminal Market

November 27, 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.

Free Sound Start Demo Class

November 27, 10:30 am

Old Pine Community Center, 401 Lombard Street

 

This 45-minute class will include lots of fun songs and activities, and demonstrate the importance of music during first years of life. The class is for for newborns through 4-year-olds to enjoy with a parent or caregiver. RSVP online to reserve your spot.

Geography Lady at The Bagel Place

November 27, 11 am—noon

404 Queen Street

 

Kids ages 1-4 will learn about the world with pictures, maps, stories, games, music, movement, crafts, and more.

Giving Tuesday: Support Center for Child Advocates’ Toy Drive Headquarters Kick-Off

November 27, noon—5 pm (ribbon cutting at noon)

1500 Market St., First Floor

 

For more than 30 years, local businesses, law firms, and individuals have donated new toys and clothing to the children served by Child Advocates, as well as their families. Kick off this year’s toy drive with a ribbon cutting, crafts, and refreshments. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate! Learn more about how you can get involved in our spotlight on this valuable organization.

Read by 4th Family Workshop

November 27, 4 pm

Whitman Library, 200 Snyder Ave.

 

Do you have a K-4 child and want to learn how to help them with reading? Come to a free family (for parents and kids) reading workshop. Participants receive free books, snacks, and strategies to help your child learn.

Rittenhouse Square Holiday Park Lighting

November 27, 5 pm

210 W. Rittenhouse Sq.

 

Family-friendly activities and music lead up to the lighting of the Square’s 30-foot holiday tree, which remains illuminated every night through the end of December.

Family Night Slime and Pizza

November 27, 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

Pay What You Wish at One Liberty Observation Deck

November 28, 10 am—8 pm

1650 Market St.

 

In honor of their third anniversary and to kick off the holiday season, One Liberty Observation Deck is offering “pay what you wish” admission with proceeds benefitting Philabundance. The observation will be all decorated with Philly holiday icons like costumes from The Nutcracker and the Mummers parade.

Storytime in Christmas Village

November 28, 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.

Sculpt Clay Ornaments

November 28, 3:30 pm

Kensington Library, 104 West Dauphin St.

 

Teaching artists from the Clay Studio will be on hand to show how to make holiday ornaments which will be glazed, fired, and returned as finished projects. This event is open to children ages 7 to 17, and will be limited to 20 visitors.

Philly Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration at City Hall

November 28, 5:30—7 pm

JFK Boulevard and N. Broad Street

 

City Hall’s front door will be transformed into the newly named The Met Holiday Plaza, where the Philly Holiday Tree will stand 65-feet tall with a display of lights lovingly celebrating the city’s skyline and neighborhoods. The tree lighting, led by Mayor Jim Kenney, includes family-friendly festivities, live entertainment by local stars from this year’s American Idol, giveaways, and appearances by the Phillie Phanatic and Gritty!

Thursday

Museum Adventure at the Rosenbach

November 29, 10—11 am

2008-2010 Delancey Place

 

Start with storytime and a scavenger hunt through the museum. Then move on to the activity room for hands-on art making activities, creative play, music and snacks. For kids ages 2-4 and their caregivers. Free, register online.

Dance Me a Story: ‘The Nutcracker’

November 29, 10:30 am

South Philadelphia Library, 1700 S. Broad Street

 

Get in the holiday spirit at this special storytime with the Pennsylvania Ballet. Free and no registration required for children ages 3-6 and their caretakers.

Drop-in Play and Storytime at Philly Art Center

November 29, 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.

East Passyunk Christmas Tree Lighting

November 29, 5—7 pm

The Singing Fountain, S. 11th St. and E. Passyunk Ave.

 

Light the tree with live holiday music by local performers, and free sips and samples from East Passyunk bakeries, restaurants, and retailers. Best of all, Santa Claus will be there to take photos with the children, and Mummer string band members and carolers will lead people down the Avenue after the ceremony.

Betsy Ross House Tree Lighting

November 29, 5—8 pm

239 Arch St.

 

Old City kicks off its month of Historic Holidays programming with a tree lighting at the Betsy Ross House. The ceremony will feature Betsy Ross, musical performances, food and drink, and the lighting of the beautiful holiday tree designed by Old City’s own Petit Jardin en Ville.

Manayunk Tree Lighting

November 29, 5:30—6 pm

Canal View Park, 4416 Main Street

 

Celebrate the annual tree lighting at Canal View Park at 5:30 pm, followed by live performances and a visit by Santa.

Friday

Baby Bird Playdate at Philadelphia Museum of Art

November 30, 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.

Lilypad Family Happy Hour Playgroup

November 30, 4:30—6 pm

1234 S. Broad St.

 

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

Roxborough Tree Lighting

November 30, 4—8 pm

Pocket Park, 6170 Ridge Ave.

 

Enjoy hot chocolate, join in on sing-a-longs with holiday carolers, and get photos with Santa at the tree lighting.

The Nutcracker at Franklin Square

November 16, 5:30—7:30 pm

200 N. Sixth St.

 

Characters from the Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker bring holiday fantasy to life in Franklin Square, plus free crafts for children. And as always, there will be the Electrical Spectacle light show, treats available to purchase, and more holiday fun.

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Tree Lighting

November 30, 6–9 pm

Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 S. Columbus Blvd.

 

The RiverRink lights up one of the city’s largest holiday trees, followed by a dazzling fireworks show to send Santa back to the North Pole. Live entertainment, including singers, dancers, and ice skaters will add to the celebration.

Julbord: Swedish Holiday Celebration

November 30, 6 pm

American Swedish Historical Museum, 1900 Pattison Avenue

 

This celebration includes cocktails, an authentic Christmas smorgasbord dinner, a Lucia procession, and the Christmas Market. Tickets required, register online.

TGIF Drop-Off Night at SplashLab Arts

November 30, 6—9 pm

3510 Scotts Lane

 

Drop the kids off for a pizza and movie night at SplashLab Arts while you enjoy an adult night out. Register online.

Philly Nutt Crak-Up

November 30, 8 pm

Suzanne Roberts Theater, 480 S. Broad St.

 

Back for its 15th year, ContempraDANCE Theatre’s Philly Nutt Crak-Up is The Nutcracker like you’ve never seen it before! Join the Rappin’ SugarPlum Fairy, battling Hip Hoppin’ Railway Rats, City Hall Dolls, Captain Philadelphia, and Liberty Belle-Anne, as they travel to the Kingdom of Prussia for an adventure full of dance, rap, and lots of Philly references!

Weekend Events

See all our picks in the High Five weekend event planner!

 

Photograph courtesy of Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market.

Contributing Writer

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