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30+ Things to Do With Kids This Week (December 7-13)

At home and in person, plan your week!

Have some fun with our roundup of this week’s in-person and virtual activities!

Go straight to: Monday      Tuesday      Wednesday       Thursday      Friday       WEEKEND

All Week

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Through March 7, 2021

101 S. Columbus Blvd.

 

Come to skate, ride the Ferris wheel, enjoy the lights, play boardwalk games, and more. This rink is a Philadelphia favorite for a reason. Timed reservations required for skating.

Winter in Franklin Square

Through December 31

Showtimes: Every half-hour from 5—9 pm (Sunday—Thursday), 5—10 pm (Friday—Saturday)

200 N. Sixth St.

 

More than 100,000 lights illuminate Franklin Square’s updated fountain show, timed to a soundtrack of holiday classics, some of which are performed by The Philly POPS. There are two alternating shows every 30 minutes beginning at 5 pm daily, so if you stay a while for the square’s holiday activities, you can catch them both. And you’ll definitely want to because this year in addition to the carousel, Franklin Square is debuting Chilly Philly Mini Golf, a holiday spin on their beloved golf course complete with lights, holiday music, and larger-than-life wintertime friends! Masks and social distancing are required.

Winter on Broad Street

November 27—January 3

Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St.

 

Brand new for this year, the parking lot of Wells Fargo Center is transformed into a socially-distanced, dazzling outdoor holiday light wonderland.  Walk through 193 larger-than-life light sculptures and displays powered by more than a half-million light bulbs, plus visit the marketplace, write a letter to Santa, grab some treats, and maybe even snap a holiday photo with Gritty! Read more in our preview, and enter our giveaway!

Christmas Village

November 26-December 24

Love Park, 1500 Arch Street

 

Modeled after the traditional Christmas Markets in Germany, this annual market features dozens of vendors in wooden booths selling authentic European food, ornaments, crafts, clothing, and more from all over the world. Shop one-of-a-kind holiday gifts, take a ride on the carousel, and more. See our preview for COVID restrictions and more information.

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

Through January 1, 2021 (Rink through February)

Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St.

 

Right outside City Hall, local artisans, designers, and crafters will offer unique selections for gifts. 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 the beautiful Wintergarden.

Drive-Thru Grand Illumination hosted by American Credit Union

November 30—December 31

American Heritage Carriage House, 2060 Red Lion Road

 

Experience a free drive-thru featuring more than 400,000 lights from the comfort and safety of your car, at no cost to you! Families are invited to drive through, enjoy, and take family photos in a socially-distanced manner after dusk.

Shady Brook Farm’s Holiday Light Show

November 21—January 10

931 Stony Hill Rd., Yardley

 

More than 3 million lights illuminate the farm with fantastic displays. You can drive through in the comfort of your own car, or enjoy the show on an open-air wagon ride. After the show, take a stroll through musical, dancing lights of Candy Cane Lane. And be sure to visit the farmer’s market for treats, too! Tickets available online.

A Longwood Christmas

November 20—January 10

Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square

 

Stroll among a winter wonderland of half-a-million lights, and see Longwood’s Main Fountain Garden illuminated for the season. Plus, enjoy live holiday music on select dates, and visit the whimsical Garden Railway for some added magic throughout the season. Timed admission tickets are required.

Holiday Magic at Brandywine

October 31—January 10

1 Hoffman’s Mill Rd., Chadds Ford

 

Returning early this year with exciting new additions and features, the model Brandywine Railroad has been a holiday family favorite for generations. Slightly modified this year to provide a safe and socially distant experience, the Brandywine Railroad will still feature plenty of trains, miniature details and the engaging elements that everyone loves—including interactive components operated by hands-free foot pedals.  In addition to the Brandywine Railroad, see Ann Wyeth McCoy’s dollhouse, which features six rooms filled with three-dozen dolls and hundreds of miniature objects that will delight visitors of all ages. After seeing the whimsical display, explore the rest of the museum, including expansive views of the Brandywine River and changing colors of fall. Reserved tickets are required to ensure social distancing.

Virtual Macy’s Christmas Light Show

November 23—December 24

 

To quote Julie Andrews’s narration of this 100,000-light spectacle, the Macy’s Christmas Light Show is a “grand tradition.” In order to prevent large crowds, the Light Show will not continue in person this year, but the light display will stay powered on through the season and the narrated story experience will be available online. If seeing the light show and then going upstairs to see Dickens Village and Santa is a part of your holiday tradition, Macy’s is also moving Dickens Village online, and is planning a new virtual experience for kids to meet Santa starting November 27.

Virtual Arden Theatre presents ‘A Year with Frog and Toad’

Streaming through December 13

 

Arden is streaming an encore of this charming musical about making and keeping a friend, based on the beloved children’s books. Instead of purchasing a ticket, make a donation of any amount to the Arden for Always Recovery Fund to receive access.


Monday

Music with Miss Jill

December 7, 10 am

 

Music with Miss Jill is a lively interactive music program for toddlers through kindergarten. Activities consist of songs, fingerplays, props, musical games, and puppets. Free; pre-register online to receive the Zoom link.

Free Online ‘From Head to Toe’ Kids Yoga

December 7, 10 am

 

Kula Yoga Kids hosts a free yoga class for ages 2-6. Pre-register online.

Virtual Elmwood Park Zoo Program

December 7, 10:30 am

 

EPZ will engage young learners with interesting animal artifacts and live animals that they can see up close via Zoom. This program is best suited for children in grades K-3. Free; pre-register online.

PlayArts’ PlayMusic Plus

December 7, 10:30 am

 

Each Monday PlayArts will introduce the theme of the week through song, dance, and play. So grab your musical instruments and materials (listed in event) to join! Register to get access to the class.

Trolls Dance Class

December 7, 1 pm

 

In this 45-minute beginning level dance class students ages 5-10 will learn cardio, technique, and a small section of “Just Sing” from Trolls World Tour. Pre-register online.

Draw and Learn All About Sloths

December 7, 2 pm

 

Meet a real sloth named Paco and learn all about what makes them such a special animal, all while drawing one! For ages 5-9. Pre-register online.

Our City, Your Orchestra: Woodmere Art Museum

December 7, 7 pm

 

Our City, Your Orchestra is a series of free online concerts performed by small ensembles, recorded without audiences at iconic cultural locations throughout the region. This week’s free virtual performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra streams online from Woodmere Art Museum. Join on Facebook or the Philadelphia Orchestra’s website.

Ooh La Latkes: Hanukkah Toppings from Around the World

December 7, 7:30 pm

 

Bring an international flair to your Hanukkah celebration as caterer Michele Weiner-Merbaum demonstrates how to make healthy, easy, kid-friendly latke toppings from around the world. Pre-register online.


Tuesday

Virtual Hanukkah Storytime with Penny the Bunny

December 8, 10 am

 

Enjoy Hanukkah stories and songs with Penny the Bunny and Miss Carole in this holiday storytime! Watch on the Katharine Drexel Branch Library Facebook page.

Kids Yoga Adventures with Jitterbugs (Ages 2-12)

December 8, 10 am

 

Join Ms. Amy from Jitterbugs Music and Movement, as she takes you on a yoga storytelling adventure which consists of a warm-up, adventure, and relaxation. During the story, children will work on 20-25 yoga postures. Registration required online.  An email with the password and Zoom link will be sent on the day before the program.

PlayArts’ Virtual Movement Lab: Weather

December 8, 10:30 am

 

Join Teacher Margot on an exploration of the weather through basic movement and dance concepts! With playful locomotion through songs, nursery rhymes, stories, and interactive games get ready to move with your little one at home! This class is adaptive for infants up through 4-year-olds. Pre-register online.

Delaware Museum of Natural History: Animal Teamwork

December 8, 10:30 am

 

Meet live animal ambassadors online and learn how animals work together in groups to survive.. This program is best for kids in grades K-2. Free; pre-register online to get the Zoom link sent.

Drag Queen Holiday Story Time

December 8, 11 am

 

Our favorite Philly Drag Queen Miss Brittany Lynn will be teaming up once again with National Liberty Museum to share stories about love, diversity, and acceptance. Free; pre-register online.

Kiddo and Me Zoom Workout

December 8, 11 am

 

Be Well With Beth’s classes give parents a full-body strength and flexibility workout using body weight, bands (or whatever you have laying around), and even your little one as resistance. Come for a great work out, stay for the play, social time, and conversation with other parents and kids! Plus, stay online at the end for an additional 15 minutes to discuss nutrition and meal planning with Beth, who is also a registered dietitian nutritionist!

Cinnamon Dough Decorations

December 8, noon

 

Make some great holiday homemade cinnamon dough decorations with Ludington Library’s Miss Melody on Facebook Live.

Make a Wreath

December 8, noon

 

Learn how to make a wreath out of old egg cartons and an embroidery hoop! Suggested for ages 12 and up.

At-Home Anthro: Greek Vases

December 8, 1 pm

 

Investigate a series of painted vessels to uncover stories about mythical gods and creatures from ancient Greece. Through interactive conversation with a Museum educator, you will explore the poses, symbols, materials, and artistic techniques used by makers to learn more about how ancient Greeks interacted with the world. Think about how you would tell a story in a single image by using your newly trained eye to match Greek myth to correct pottery piece. This 60-minute session is perfect for elementary to middle school kids. Free; pre-register online.

New Parent Virtual Support Group

December 8, 1 pm

 

Kith + Kin’s new parent support groups are facilitated by trained doulas who help guide the transition into the new role of parenthood. Share stories, ask hard questions, and more. Pay what you can; join on Zoom via Kith + Kin’s website.

PAFA Art Explorer Holiday Fun

December 8, 2 pm and 4 pm

 

Get ready for the approaching holiday by making decorations and presents for family and friends. For the first session, make a reindeer sculpture. Pre-register online.

Free Princess Storytime with Newtown Public Library

December 8, 2:30 pm

 

Best for ages 2 and up, but all are welcome! Join a princess from Happily Ever After Celebrations for a fun story and some songs! The princess will interact with each child after storytime. Free; pre-register to receive the Zoom info.

Liberty Learning: Philly’s Freedom

December 8, 4 pm

 

What does freedom look like to you? Join NLM educator Izzy Lopez as she explores this question through the work of Nobel prize winner, Wangari Maathai, founder of the Greenbelt Movement— an organization dedicated to promoting environmental conservation as well as self and community empowerment. Afterward, join Rosalind Vaughn-Nichol, an artist from the NLM’s newest exhibition, Philly’s Freedom: Artists Speak Out, as she continues the theme of conservation by demonstrating how she uses recycled and repurposed items in her mixed media collage art. Free; pre-register online.

In Person: Furry & Bright Christmas Drive-Thru at Sesame Place

Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5-8 pm, through December 23

100 Sesame Road, Langhorne

 

If you’re looking to kick off the holiday season as soon as possible, head to Sesame Place! From the comfort of your own car, journey through a winter wonderland with millions of twinkling lights, holiday décor, a festive Christmas soundtrack, and everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends dressed in their warm winter best. To cap off the trail, guests can wave to Santa Claus as he wishes everyone a happy holiday season! Tickets are required in advance.

Cookies and Milk with Santa

December 8, 5 pm

 

As part of Macy’s virtual Santaland experience, Santa’s elves teach everyone how to make some super special snacks good enough for you and the reindeer to eat on Facebook Live.

Virtual Program: Is It Real Life Or Is It Fanta-Sea?

December 8, 6:30 pm

 

Join Center for Aquatic Sciences to discuss mythical creatures and meet their real-life counterparts in this virtual aquarium show. There will be plenty of time to ask questions of the aquarium educator, too. This program is designed for children ages 5 and up. Free; registration is required online.

Medieval Life Spotlight: Cooking

December 8, 7 pm

 

This free program will examine how the global economy of the Middle Ages changed how and what people ate, and includes opportunities to follow along and prepare recipes with presenters, chef Ange Branca and Professor Marissa Nicosia of Penn State Abington. Pre-register online.

Pajama Storytime with Haverford Township Free Library

December 8, 7 pm

 

Grab your jammies and a special friend and get ready for some stories before bed! Join free on Facebook.

Ending Food Fights: Feeding Picky Eaters

December 8, 7 pm

 

This virtual workshop is perfect for parents of 2-5 year olds that want strategies for simplifying dinner time. learn some basic guidelines that take the fight out of foods, about the importance of modeling a healthy relationship with food, and when to ask for extra help. Pre-register online; the class is intentionally limited in size to allow for questions and individualized attention.

I Love my Baby (not the aches and pains)

December 8, 7:30 pm

 

Dr. Kindra Scott leads a live, interactive discussion to address some common body aches and pains experienced by mothers who have recently had children. Explore ways to adjust your home environment and lifestyle in an effort to promote better posture and body mechanics. Pre-register online with Kith + Kin.


Wednesday

Virtual First Notes

December 9, 11 am

 

The Ardmore Music Training Center is back at Bala Cynwyd Library with First Notes! First Steps in singing, rhythm, movement, and small instruments. This fun preschool music class will be hosted on Zoom. Pre-register to be sent the link.

‘Dachshund Reacts’ Storytime

December 9, 1 pm

 

Watch Penny the Dachshund react to picture books about dachshunds and other dogs. Read along with Penny and Ms. Becky on the Free Library’s Instagram and Facebook stories!

Family Baking Class: Oven-Baked Jelly Donut Holes

December 9, 4 pm

 

Bake some sweet sufganiyot as a family! Tickets available online.

In Person: Furry & Bright Christmas Drive-Thru at Sesame Place

Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5-8 pm, through December 23

100 Sesame Road, Langhorne

 

If you’re looking to kick off the holiday season as soon as possible, head to Sesame Place! From the comfort of your own car, journey through a winter wonderland with millions of twinkling lights, holiday décor, a festive Christmas soundtrack, and everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends dressed in their warm winter best. To cap off the trail, guests can wave to Santa Claus as he wishes everyone a happy holiday season! Tickets are required in advance.

PJ Storytime: The Polar Express

December 9, 5 pm

 

Join Mcpherson Library and Webster Elementary School on Instagram live for a pajama storytime reading of The Polar Express.

Family Winter Scavenger Hunt

December 9, 6:30 pm

 

Join Ridley Township Public Library live for this winter-themed, family-friendly, at-home scavenger hunt. You will be given an item to find that you may have in your home and will have 3 minutes to bring it back to the Zoom meeting. Points will be given and a prize will be awarded to the winning team. Registration is required. An email with the Zoom link will be sent the day before the program.

Virtual Elmwood Park Zoo Program

December 9, 7 pm

 

EPZ will engage young learners with interesting animal artifacts and live animals that they can see up close via Zoom. This program is best suited for children in grades K-3. Free; pre-register online.

Quintessence Theatre presents ‘The Little Princess’ (preview)

December 9, 7 pm

 

Quintessence Theatre brightens the holiday season with a full virtual production of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Little Princess. All four actors will perform live from specially designed home studios, with the chance for young viewers to even make a cameo appearance onscreen! This timeless tale of one little girl’s resilience and imagination promises family fun and interactivity, and is in previews beginning December 9, and opens December 11. Tickets available online.


Thursday

Book and the Cook with Miss Mel

December 10, 10:30 am

 

Join Miss Mel in making an easy and festive snack that you can make with your family. After the cooking session, Miss Mel will recommend a few kid-friendly food books to continue your culinary adventure. Best for ages 5-12.

Breastfeeding/Chestfeeding Virtual Support Group

December 10, 1 pm

 

Kith + Kin moves their group online so you can continue on your journey while you’re home. Facilitated by an international board-certified lactation consultant who can help answer your questions and provide tips for success, the group meets on Zoom (call-in info in the link in title); pay what you can over Venmo.

PAFA Art Explorer Holiday Fun

December 10, 2 pm and 4 pm

 

Get ready for the approaching holiday by making decorations and presents for family and friends. In this session, make a Holiday Wonderland Collage. Pre-register online.

Free Storytime with Clara from the Nutcracker

December 10, 4 pm

 

Join Clara from The Nutcracker for a free holiday storytime on Facebook Live.

Virtual Storyteller: Outer Space Adventure Story

December 10, 4 pm

 

Special guest storyteller Don Dougherty joins Swarthmore Public Library to share a fun outer space adventure story. Free; pre-register online to receive the Zoom link.

Virtual Thursday Crafternoon

December 10, 4 pm

 

Miss Mary will post a video every Thursday on the library’s Instagram (@freelibraryccd) for Thursday Crafternoons! She’ll share a story and then talk about a craft that relates.

Old City Menorah Lighting from the Betsy Ross House

December 10, 4:30 pm

 

Old City’s festivities move online this year with the fourth annual Historic Holidays Tree Lighting Ceremony. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event will be closed to the public and will be streamed live via Old City District’s Facebook page from the Betsy Ross House.

Storytime with Santa

December 10, 5 pm

 

Join Macy’s for a free storytime with Santa, as they take all their holiday festivities virtual this year. He’ll read one of his favorite books and answer a few of your questions afterwards.

Hanukkah Cook Along

December 10, 6 pm

 

In this special seminar with Jon Hartig of J2 Food, he’ll walk you through making spanikopita-inspired latkes and pumpkin sufganiyot. Free; pre-register online for the ingredients list and Zoom link.

Storytime: ‘Santa Claus and the 3 Polar Bears’

December 10, 6:30 pm

 

Grab some cookies and cocoa and get ready for some holiday fun! Join this live event with storyteller Alan Irvine and settle in for some festive seasonal stories, including Santa Claus and the 3 Polar Bears! Free; pre-register online to get the Zoom link.

Quintessence Theatre presents ‘The Little Princess’ (preview)

December 10, 7 pm

 

Quintessence Theatre brightents the holiday season with a full virtual production of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Little Princess. All four actors will perform live from specially designed home studios, with the chance for young viewers to even make a cameo appearance onscreen! This timeless tale of one little girl’s resilience and imagination promises family fun and interactivity, and is in previews beginning December 9, and opens December 11. Tickets available online.


Friday

Art Museum Virtual Playdate: Keeping it Cozy

December 11, 10:30 am

 

In this live virtual program, snuggle up with artworks that play with light and shadow or soft materials to create that warm and cozy feeling. Feel free to come in your pajamas or softest sweater!​ For ages 4–7 and their grown-ups. Free; pre-register online.

Virtual First Notes

December 11, 11:30 am

 

The Ardmore Music Training Center is back at Gladwyne Library with First Notes! First Steps in singing, rhythm, movement, and small instruments. This fun baby and toddler music class will be hosted on Zoom. Pre-register to be sent the link.

Family Cooking Class: Oven-Fried Potato Latkes

December 11, 4—5 pm

 

In this class, kids will work step-by-step with a chef instructor to create delicious latkes from scratch via Zoom. Best for ages 5 and up. Tickets available online.

In Person: Wild Lights at Elmwood Park Zoo

December 11, 5-9 pm

1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown

 

With new lights and decorative attractions, and with more animals on exhibit, this year’s Wild Lights is sure to be brighter than ever! Take a stroll through a glistening forest, or visit with big cats in Trail of the Jumping Jaguar. Each night of Wild Lights features live entertainment, unique animal encounters, performances, holiday music, and a chance to see Santa himself (this year, Santa will appear at the window of his workshop to greet guests and pose for photos). Advance tickets and masks required.

Virtual Nutcracker Storytime

December 11, 6:30 pm

 

Join Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy for a magical telling of the Nutcracker. There will also be an interactive dances throughout the story. Tickets available online.

Virtual Storytime with Mrs. Claus

December 11, 7 pm

 

Join Mrs. Santa Claus for virtual storytime all the way from the North Pole, free on Facebook Live.

Quintessence Theatre presents ‘The Little Princess’

December 9, 7 pm

 

Quintessence Theatre brightens the holiday season with a full virtual production of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Little Princess. All four actors will perform live from specially designed home studios, with the chance for young viewers to even make a cameo appearance onscreen! This timeless tale of one little girl’s resilience and imagination promises family fun and interactivity. Tickets available online.


Weekend Events

Brunch with Santa at Hawthorne’s

December 12, 13, 19, and 20

738 S. 11th St.

 

Bring your cameras and Christmas lists for brunch at a private “holiday snow globe” enclosed table for your family only. During your time with Santa at the Christmas garden on 11th Street, expect hot cocoa, games, and toys. For brunch, specials include hot chocolate pancakes, green grinch pancakes, fun whimsical snowman pancakes, Christmas tree waffles, and cocktails for the grownups! Reservations are required.

Winter on Broad Street

November 27—January 3

Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St.

 

Brand new for this year, the parking lot of Wells Fargo Center is transformed into a socially-distanced, dazzling outdoor holiday light wonderland.  Walk through 193 larger-than-life light sculptures and displays powered by more than a half-million light bulbs, plus visit the marketplace, write a letter to Santa, grab some treats, and maybe even snap a holiday photo with Gritty! Read more in our preview, and enter our giveaway!

Winter in Franklin Square

November 19—December 31

Showtimes: Every half-hour from 5—9 pm (Sunday—Thursday), 5—10 pm (Friday—Saturday)

200 N. Sixth St.

 

More than 100,000 lights illuminate Franklin Square’s updated fountain show, timed to a soundtrack of holiday classics, some of which are performed by The Philly POPS. There are two alternating shows every 30 minutes beginning at 5 pm daily, so if you stay a while for the square’s holiday activities, you can catch them both. And you’ll definitely want to because this year in addition to the carousel, Franklin Square is debuting Chilly Philly Mini Golf, a holiday spin on their beloved golf course complete with lights, holiday music, and larger-than-life wintertime friends! Masks and social distancing are required.

Winter at Dilworth Park and Christmas Village

Through February 2021; Christmas Village runs from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve

Dilworth Park and LOVE Park

 

Dilworth gets activated with the Rothman Ice Rink and Cabin, and the picturesque Wintergarden. In response to COVID-19 restrictions, a new online reservation system and limited rink capacity will be put in place for skating. The new online reservations system will provide safe contactless purchasing opportunities with scheduled timed, 90-minute skating sessions in order to control the rink capacity for skaters. Plus, shop one-of-a-kind holiday gifts from Philly makers and international vendors, take a ride on the carousel, and more. See our preview for COVID restrictions and more information.

Holiday Market at Terrain

December 12 and 13

914 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills

 

Terrain gets in the holiday spirit with their tree yard and weekly Market featuring some favorite makers and artisans offering their most special wares, as well as Terrain décor and lighting.

LEGOLAND Holiday Bricktacular

Weekends in December, 11 am-5 pm

Plymouth Meeting Mall, 500 W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting

 

Enjoy seasonal build activities and holiday activities—grab your family photo on the LEGO sleigh, meet new LEGO reindeer, build a LEGO ornament and decorate the holiday tree, see MINILAND Philadelphia as a Winter Wonderland, and more! Advance timed tickets required.

Wild Lights at Elmwood Park Zoo

November 20—December 30, 5—9 pm

1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown

 

With new lights and decorative attractions, and with more animals on exhibit, this year’s Wild Lights is sure to be brighter than ever! Take a stroll through a glistening forest, or visit with big cats in Trail of the Jumping Jaguar. Each night of Wild Lights features live entertainment, unique animal encounters, performances, holiday music, and a chance to see Santa himself (this year, Santa will appear at the window of his workshop to greet guests and pose for photos). Advance tickets and masks required.

A Longwood Christmas

November 20—January 10

Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square

 

Stroll among a winter wonderland of half-a-million lights, and see Longwood’s Main Fountain Garden illuminated for the season. Plus, enjoy live holiday music on select dates, and visit the whimsical Garden Railway for some added magic throughout the season. Timed admission tickets are required.

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Through March 7, 2021

101 S. Columbus Blvd.

 

Come to skate, ride the Ferris wheel, enjoy the lights, play boardwalk games, and more. This rink is a Philadelphia favorite for a reason. Timed reservations required for skating.

Drive-Thru Grand Illumination hosted by American Credit Union

November 30—December 31

American Heritage Carriage House, 2060 Red Lion Road

 

Experience a free drive-thru featuring more than 400,000 lights from the comfort and safety of your car, at no cost to you! Families are invited to drive through, enjoy, and take family photos in a socially-distanced manner after dusk.

Shady Brook Farm’s Holiday Light Show

November 21—January 10

931 Stony Hill Rd., Yardley

 

More than 3 million lights illuminate the farm with fantastic displays. You can drive through in the comfort of your own car, or enjoy the show on an open-air wagon ride. After the show, take a stroll through musical, dancing lights of Candy Cane Lane. And be sure to visit the farmer’s market for treats, too! Tickets available online.

A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place

November 21—January 3

100 Sesame Rd., Langhorne

 

During the holidays, Sesame Place is transformed into a Christmas wonderland with millions of twinkling lights and festive decorations all around. Their 1-2-3 Christmas Tree show features an illuminated pixel-based tree, that will project festive animated images while guests can sing and dance along to the festive soundtrack. There are also three different holiday stage shows, an illuminated Christmas parade, and more.

Morris Arboretum’s Holiday Garden Railway

November 28—December 31; ticketed nights on select Saturdays and Sundays

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. The garden holds special ticketed night events on select Saturdays and Sundays from 4:30—7:30 pm where you can really get the full effect of the lights. Due to Covid restrictions, timed tickets are also required to visit the Arboretum during regular hours, so while you can view the Railway anytime they’re open, you’ll need to plan ahead for that too.

Santa at Fashion District Philadelphia

Fridays—Sundays in December, reservations required

Ninth and Market streets

 

Santa arrives at the District on December 4. This year, for the safety of visitors and himself, Santa will be stationed behind a plexiglass protection shield with a bench in front for visitors to sit. Guests are able to interact with Santa through the shield and take photos. Reservations are required online. Photos will be available in digital download only. Photo-shy, but still want to say “hi” to Santa? Visits with Santa are free and are sure to put a smile on his face, but reservations are still required.

 

While you’re there, you can visit the Welcome Station to pick up your paper and pen to write a letter to Santa, and place it in Santa’s red mailbox. If you prefer, you can also schedule a virtual visit with Santa through Fashion District Philadelphia.

Christmas at Colonial Gardens

Weekends from November 28 through December 27, 5:30—8:30 pm

745 Schuylkill Road, Phoenixville

 

Take a stroll through the decorated landscape and enjoy the spectacular lights and displays throughout the grounds. And make sure to catch the light show synchronized to music. Admission includes a take-home make your own ornament kit for kids. Santa will be there for select nights (make a reservation when you arrive)—for his safety, the number of visits with Santa will be limited and all interactions will be masked and socially distanced. All children are also welcome to submit a letter to Santa in his special new mailbox in lieu of a visit. Masks are required both indoors and outdoors at Colonial Gardens. Tickets available online.

Virtual Arden Theatre presents ‘A Year with Frog and Toad’

Streaming through December 13

 

Arden is streaming an encore of this charming musical about making and keeping a friend, based on the beloved children’s books. Instead of purchasing a ticket, make a donation of any amount to the Arden for Always Recovery Fund to receive access.


Saturday

Schuylkill Saturday: Self-Guided Nature Exploration for Families

December 12, 10 am

Schuylkill Center, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road

 

Pick up a nature exploration kit at the Visitor Center and then hit the trails with your family to complete the activities inside. Dive into a different theme and collect a new explorer badge each week. Explorer kits can be picked up anytime between 10 am and noon. All ages welcome. No registration or fee required. Masks are required when picking up your kit.

Junior Scientist Virtual Workshop: Do Birds Say Brrrrr?

December 12, 10 am

 

How can birds handle the cold weather, the icy water, and the changing landscapes? Discover how avian adaptations allow our fine feathered friends to survive in the harshest environments. Try out a few hands-on adaptation activities at home to see how you would measure up if you were a bird. Recommended for ages 8 to 11 (younger children are welcome to join with parental assistance). Tickets available online.

Virtual Tot Shabbat

December 12, 10 am

 

Join Rodeph Shalom for Hanukkah joy at a special Zoom Tot Shabbat featuring Musical Artist-in-Residence Isaac Zones. Tot Shabbat is a time for babies, tots, preschoolers, and their families to gather virtually for singing and storytelling.

Brunch with the Snow Queen at Germantown Garden

December 12, 11 am

1029 Germantown Ave.

 

Families are invited to get Frozen at this special open-air dining experience perfect for kids of all ages that love Elsa! This socially-distanced positive and magical dining experience will include 90 minutes at a private, exclusive, and heated igloo just for you and your immediate family members, plus a safe and socially-distanced photo opportunity and visit with the queen, songs, and souvenirs. Reservations are required online for your desired seating. Read more about the event here!

Virtual Cupcake University

December 12, noon

 

Cupcake University is a four-week program designed for bakers of all ages (kids under age 8 need parental assistance). Pre-register for one class or all remaining weeks. This week, make S’mores Cupcakes!

Holidays at East Market

Saturdays from November 28—December 19, 1—5 pm

1118 Market St.

 

Filled with festive décor and lights, featuring their annual 20-foot holiday tree, East Market will host live entertainment, outdoor programming, and a light-up window mural display by Mural Arts throughout the season. Visit East Market’s outdoor walk every Saturday afternoon (1—5 pm) from November 28—December 19 to enjoy a rotating lineup of live entertainment alongside a hot cocktail truck.

Virtual Baking Class: Holiday Thumbprint Cookies

December 12, 1 pm

 

Kids will measure and mix up their own cookie dough from scratch and use any of their favorite jams (marmalades or jellies) to fill their thumbprint cookies with, or get creative and fill them with other fun options! Pre-register online.

Virtual Home for Christmas Princess Concert

December 12, 1:30 pm

 

Join Belle for a magical, musical afternoon with two of her friends. They will share stories, songs, and their own Christmas traditions. Tickets available online.

Virtual Author Event: Andrea Beatty

December 12, 2 pm

 

Computer science specialist turned bestselling author Andrea Beatty will read from her latest book One Girl, after which she will be interviewed and answer your questions. Free; pre-register online.

Merry & Bright, Music & Lights at Suburban Square

December 12, 3:30-7:30 pm

Suburban Square, Ardmore

 

Stroll in a scenic and entertaining winter wonderland filled with lights and a variety of live performances throughout Suburban Square, plus an outdoor holiday bar and giveaways.

Virtual Dance Me A Story: The Nutcracker

December 12, 4 pm

 

This creative movement storytelling workshop will take kids dancing through the story of The Nutcracker with the Sugar Plum Fairy who will also be on live. Ideal for kids 2-8, but younger siblings will love the music and movement, too! Tickets available online.

‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ Drive-In Movie at the Navy Yard

December 12, 6 pm

Navy Yard, 4747 S. Broad St.

 

Philadelphia Film Society keeps the holiday cheer alive with festive drive-ins all season long. This Saturday, it’s the 2000 live-action version of the Grinch starring Jim Carrey. Tickets available online only, and when outside the car, attendees must wear a mask at all times.

Virtual Parade of Lights at Independence Seaport Museum

December 12, 5:30 pm

 

While it won’t exactly be what you are used to, this virtual presentation will be sure to put you and your family in the holiday spirit. Join on any of Seaport Museum’s social media platforms for fun holiday activities that can be done at home, cocktail (and mocktail!) recipes for everyone in your household, and, of course, a pre-recorded parade of boats decked out in their holiday finest parading along the Delaware River.

Virtual The Hip Hop Nutcracker (streaming performance)

December 12, 7 pm

 

A holiday mash-up for the whole family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker  (recorded live at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center) is a contemporary dance spectacle set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music, telling the classic holiday tale with a twist. Innovative digital graffiti and visuals transform the landscape of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s beloved story from traditional 19th Century Germany to contemporary New York City.  Tickets available online for the streaming performance. Post-show conversation will be live and will start at 85 minutes after the scheduled showtime.


Sunday

Christmas on Cricket

December 13, 9:30 am–noon (reservations required)

6 Cricket Avenue, Ardmore

 

Bundle up and join Lulu’s Casita and pucciManuli for a jolly good time as they welcome Santa (plus the Grinch and Elf on the Shelf). The morning will be filled with holiday tunes with Roots with Ruark, ornament making, hot chocolate and cookies, and a special storytime! Space is limited due to capacity restrictions, and arrival times will be staggered. To purchase tickets email info@luluscasita.com. Masks are required for everyone over the age of 2 and social distancing will be in effect.

Pup Pics with Santa at Germantown Garden

December 13, 11 am

1029 Germantown Ave.

 

Get ready to enjoy a safe and socially-distanced photo opportunity with Santa. Each ticket will receive a professional pup picture with Santa, and all ticket sales will be donated to the SPCA. Advanced tickets are required to ensure social distancing.

Virtual Family Baking Class: Oven-Baked Jelly Donut Holes

December 13, 11 am

 

Bake some sweet Hanukkah sufganiyot as a family! Tickets available online.

Santa at Deck the Avenue in East Passyunk

December 13, noon—2 pm

Broad St. and E. Passyunk Ave.

 

While shopping for holiday gifts on the Avenue, come meet Santa by the Gateway tree with social distancing guidelines in place. Bring your own camera and take pictures for free!

Virtual Storytime and Cookies with Santa

December 13, noon

 

Reserve your holiday cookies from Garces (pickup the day before), then tune in for Santa storytime! This virtual experience features an hour with Santa while he takes a break from his workshop to read a beloved Christmas tale while you enjoy Christmas cookies together. Optional add ons include brunch, hot chocolate, and a gingerbread house kit!

Virtual Laurie Berkner’s Holiday Party Concerts

December 13, noon and 5 pm

 

Popular children’s entertainer Laurie Berkner brings two holiday concerts in one afternoon (one ticket gets you admission to both!), with singing, dancing, and lots of interactivity. Kids should plan to bring their instruments, dancing shoes, and a stuffed animal, and Laurie hopes everyone will join in the holiday spirit and sing along. A fun-filled virtual lobby will feature pre-show music and videos, holiday games, and a fun snowflake craft activity to bring to the concert as well. Tickets available online.

Virtual  Sundays on Stage: Sonia De Los Santos

December 13, 2 pm

 

Stay “En Casa Con Sonia” with an at-home concert of original songs and music, from celebrated and award-winning Latin Children’s music artist Sonia De Los Santos. This show will be shared live on Free Library of Philadelphia’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FLPYouthServices/).

Virtual ‘A Christmas Carol’ Winter Family Fair

December 13, 2 pm

 

Celebrate the holiday season with the Morgan Library and Museum’s annual display of the original manuscript of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, theatrical performance, and crafting. At 2:30 pm, The Grand Falloons company brings Dickens and his masterpiece to life with a lively and very merry rendition of A Christmas Carol. Then at 3 pm, collage and create a family symbol from materials found around the house. Free; pre-register online, as spots are limited.

Virtual Music Monkey Jungle’s Kinderlack Rock Chanukah Dance Party

December 13, 2 pm

 

Join the party to sing and dance along with Music Monkey Jungle’s original holiday music!

Virtual Making Snowflakes with the Ice Queen

December 13, 4 pm

 

Kids are invited to join Queen Elsa on Zoom and learn how to make snowflakes out of construction paper. Tickets available online.

Virtual Dreidel Disco and Drag Queen Story Hour

December 13, 5 pm

 

Celebrate the festival of lights at home with a live DJ and Drag Queen Story Hour. Tickets available online.

Virtual Super Hero Holiday Adventure

December 13, 6:30 pm

 

In this virtual party, superheroes will share their holiday plans, play reindeer games, tell stories, and visit with six fun characters. Pre-register online.

 

 

 

Photograph by Laura Swartz.

Contributing Writer

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