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30+ Things to Do With Kids This Week (December 14-20)

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.

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 Quintessence Theatre presents ‘The Little Princess’

Performed live December 9—27

 

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.


Monday

Free Online ‘From Head to Toe’ Kids Yoga

December 14, 10 am

 

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

PlayArts’ PlayMusic Plus

December 14, 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.

Delaware Museum of Natural History: Animal Teamwork

December 14, 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 PreK-3. Free; pre-register online.

Trolls Dance Class

December 14, 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.

Virtual ‘Polar Express’ Party

December 14, 2 pm

 

Northeast Regional Library will be doing their party on their Facebook page this year, reading of the classics Polar Express and The Night Before Christmas, along with a special visitor!

Holiday Cooking Class: Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses and Hot Cocoa

December 14, 3 pm

 

Kids will learn how to make gingerbread glue (icing), tips and tricks for constructing their own tiny gingerbread village at home, and fun decorating ideas. Plus, play some fun holiday games and make homemade hot cocoa. Pre-register online.


Tuesday

Music with Miss Jill

December 15, 9:45 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.

Virtual Kwanzaa Storytime with Penny the Bunny

December 15, 10 am

 

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

PlayArts’ Virtual Movement Lab: Weather

December 15, 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.

Kiddo and Me Zoom Workout

December 15, 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!

At-Home Anthro: Mosaic Maker

December 15, 1 pm

 

Join museum educators as we explore the history of this art form and then learn how to make our own ancient Roman-style mosaic at home. This 60-minute session is perfect for elementary to middle school kids. Free; pre-register online.

New Parent Virtual Support Group

December 15, 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.

Exploring Music and Food: Christmas in Jamaica Edition

December 15, 2 pm

 

Join the Free Library of Philadelphia online for a family-friendly cooking class. Tune in to learn how to prepare brown stewed chicken with rice and peas, learn about the music and dance in Jamaica, and pick up some useful tips for the holidays. The program will be presented on the Culinary Literacy Center’s Facebook Live.

Free Princess Storytime with Newtown Public Library

December 15, 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.

Play ‘Among Us’ with Kensington Library

December 15, 3 pm

 

Kensington Library will be running their own private Among Us room with a Zoom chat for ages 9-12. Email Arrick Underhill at underhilla@freelibrary.org for more details.

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.

A Magical Hanukkah Celebration

December 15, 5:30—6:15 pm

 

Join the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and jkidphilly for some safe, festive, holiday fun online. Light the candles, sing Hanukkah songs, be mesmerized by a magician, and play Hanukkah bingo. Pre-register online.

Pajama Storytime with Haverford Township Free Library

December 15, 7 pm

 

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


Wednesday

Music with Miss Jill: Zoo Animals

December 16, 10:15 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. Pre-register online and receive the Zoom link by the morning of the program.

Delaware Museum of Natural History: Animal Teamwork

December 16, 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 PreK-3. Free; pre-register online.

‘Dachshund Reacts’ Storytime

December 16, 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!

Pennsylvania Ballet presents George Balanchine’s ‘The Nutcracker’

Streaming December 16—25

 

From the  Tchaikovsky score to the timeless story of holiday magic, this ballet is a classic for a reason. The Pennsylvania Ballet presents a digital encore presentation of the company’s production from 2019 beginning on December 16 at 2 pm. Tickets to the ballet are $50 for unlimited online viewing for the full 10 days or a one-time viewing on Christmas Eve for $25.

Family Cooking Class: Oven-Fried Potato Latkes

December 16, 3—4 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: 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.

Free Princess Party with Belle

December 16, 6:30 pm

 

Join Ridley Township Public Library and Belle for songs, stories, games, Q & A, and more. Pre-registration is required. An email with the Zoom link and craft will be sent the day before the program.


Thursday

At-Home Anthro with the Penn Museum: Celebrate Winter with Light

December 17, noon

 

Learn more about how civilizations across the ancient world bring light into their holidays, from Diwali to Christmas to Hannukah, using special vessels and tools to shine through the darkness. Finish by creating a personalized design for your own ancient lamp. This 60-minute session is perfect for elementary to middle school kids. Free; pre-register online.

Breastfeeding/Chestfeeding Virtual Support Group

December 17, 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.

Enchanted Storytime with an Ice Queen

December 17, 2 pm

 

Dress up as your favorite princess and join a free enchanting storytime with Queen‎ Elsa on Facebook Live.

Edible Gifts: Make Gingersnap Palmiers

December 17, 3 pm

 

In this virtual baking class, your child will make a festive and fragrant version of a French treat perfect for holiday gifting. Tickets available online.

Virtual Thursday Crafternoon

December 17, 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.

Free Craft with Santa’s Elves

December 17, 5 pm

 

Join Macy’s and Santa’s elves for a free, easy, and adorable craft you can do right at home.

Storyteller and Virtual Santa Visit

December 17, 6:30 pm

 

Join Mr. Don from Classroom Adventure Stories as he shares his interactive tale about how “The Children of Ridley Library Save Christmas!” Afterwards, Mr. Don will be joined by Santa! Say hello and let him know what you would like for Christmas this year. Free; pre-register online.

The Polar Express Virtual Read-Aloud

December 17, 7 pm

 

Join Brandywine River Museum staff for a virtual trip on “The Polar Express”. Wear your comfiest pajamas, grab your favorite stuffed friend, and enjoy storytime, videos, games, and more! Designed for children ages 2-10 and their grownups. Each ticket is good for the entire family and includes downloadable activities.

The Philadelphia Orchestra presents ‘Favorites from The Nutcracker’

Live on December 17, 8 pm; streaming through December 31

 

Debuting live on the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Digital Stage, enjoy selections from Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet, along with other holiday favorites and a sing-along. Digital Stage events begin with a performance premiere streaming in real time, followed by on-demand access. Tickets are $15 per household.

Free Storytime with Santa

December 17, 8 pm

 

Join Santa on Facebook Live for a free storytime before bed. Santa will do his best to say hello to as many kids as possible that attend.


Friday

In Person: Frankford Hall-idays with Santa

December 18-20, reservations required

1210 Frankford Ave.

 

This year’s visits with Santa will be safe, socially distanced, and will be exclusively outside. Enjoy cozy beverages and a special holiday menu, fill out wish lists for Santa, and visit him for a photo op. This year’s event is by reservation only (link in title), and includes an outside table under the heat lamps, wish list stationery, complimentary hot cocoa, gingerbread cookies to decorate for the kids, and an appointment to visit Santa.

A Philly POPS Christmas Gift

December 18

 

This year, this annual Philly tradition is presented as a gift from the Philly POPS, free to view at hoem! In this all-new virtual performance recorded at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington, Hamilton star Mandy Gonzalez returns for her third Christmas with the POPS, along with virtual choir performances from perennial POPS favorites: The Philly POPS Festival Chorus, The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir, and The Philadelphia Boys Choir.

Art Museum Virtual Playdate: Keeping it Cozy

December 18, 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.

Animal Crossing Friday

December 18, 3-5 pm

 

Join Miss Allegra from Fishtown Library on Animal Crossing Fridays.  Dodo code will be posted on the Fishtown Community Library Facebook page as well as on the Fishtown Library Instagram.

Virtual Cooking Class: Snowman Pizzas

December 18, 3:30 pm

 

In this class, kids will learn how to make pizza dough from scratch and top it with their favorite sauce, cheese, and creative toppings to create their own custom snowman pizza. This class is fun for all ages, so you can get the whole family involved! Tickets available online.

In Person: Wild Lights at Elmwood Park Zoo

December 18, 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.

Holiday Cooking Class: Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses and Hot Cocoa

December 18, 5 pm

 

Kids will learn how to make gingerbread glue (icing), tips and tricks for constructing their own tiny gingerbread village at home, and fun decorating ideas. Plus, play some fun holiday games and make homemade hot cocoa. Pre-register online.

Virtual Frozen Traditions Sleigh Ride

December 18, 7 pm

 

Join Olaf and Elsa for a virtual sleigh ride learning about some holiday traditions, and meeting more characters along the way. Learn the history of the candy cane, sing along to favorite songs, and more. Tickets available online.

Storybook Musical Theatre Holiday Concert Fundraiser

December 18, 7:30 pm

 

Join Storybook alumni for a fun evening of holiday songs to support the theater, and bring your family to sing along. Actors from past and present bring the joy of the holidays right to your living room! Tickets available online.


Weekend Events

Brunch with Santa at Hawthorne’s

December 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.

Christmas Belle Brunch at Germantown Garden

December 19, 11 am and 1 pm; December 20, 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm

1029 Germantown Ave.

 

This socially-distanced dining experience is perfect for kids of all ages who love Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Ticket includes 90 minutes at a private, exclusive, and heated igloo just for you and your immediate family members, a safe and socially-distanced photo opportunity, songs from the princess story, a grand entrance, and dessert! Brunch is pay-as-you-go. Reservations are required.

Frankford Hall-idays with Santa

December 18-20, reservations required

1210 Frankford Ave.

 

This year’s visits with Santa will be safe, socially distanced, and will be exclusively outside. Enjoy cozy beverages and a special holiday menu, fill out wish lists for Santa, and visit him for a photo op. This year’s event is by reservation only (link in title), and includes an outside table under the heat lamps, wish list stationery, complimentary hot cocoa, gingerbread cookies to decorate for the kids, and an appointment to visit Santa.

Deck the Avenue (and Santa Photos) in East Passyunk

December 19, and 20, noon—2 pm

Broad St. and E. Passyunk Ave.

 

Come meet Santa by the Gateway tree with social distancing guidelines in place. Bring your own camera and take pictures for free!

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.

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

 

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.

Meet Betsy in the Betsy Ross House Courtyard

December 19 and 20, 10 am—5 pm

239 Arch St.

 

While the Betsy Ross House remains closed, Betsy Ross (wearing a mask of course) will be greeting visitors in the courtyard, with all safety guidelines in effect. Find out more about colonial holiday celebrations from Betsy and from signage placed throughout the courtyard, and check out the Old City holiday tree while you’re visiting.

Virtual Pennsylvania Ballet presents George Balanchine’s ‘The Nutcracker’

Streaming December 16—25

 

From the  Tchaikovsky score to the timeless story of holiday magic, this ballet is a classic for a reason. The Pennsylvania Ballet presents a digital encore presentation of the company’s production from 2019. Tickets to the ballet are $50 for unlimited online viewing for the full 10 days.

Virtual People’s Light presents ‘A Christmas Carol’ in Concert

Streaming December 8—January 3

 

A joyous, music-filled celebration of Dickens’ beloved classic recently filmed at People’s Light features performances of newly arranged 19th-century English carols, original music, and readings of excerpts from Dickens’ novella.

Virtual Quintessence Theatre presents ‘The Little Princess’

Performed live December 9—27

 

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. General Admission virtual tickets are $29 per household.

Virtual The Metropolitan Opera’s free Family Holiday Festival, including ‘Hansel and Gretel’

December 17-21

 

Stream Hansel and Gretel free from December 17-21, then participate in a five-day series of virtual workshops to guide kids and families through this wickedly entertaining adaptation of the classic fairy tale. Activities include crafts, dance parties, and much more! View the opera and activity schedule online.


Saturday

Santa Claus at Broomall Fire Company (Drive-Thru)

December 19, 9 am–2 pm

1 N. Malin Rd., Broomall

 

Stay in your cars and drive through the firehouse where Santa will be greeting all from a safe distance. Guests are encouraged to donate household items which will be given to social organizations for distribution to those in need.

Schuylkill Saturday: Self-Guided Nature Exploration for Families

December 19, 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.

Virtual Small Actions for Kids: Protecting Pollinators

December 19, 10 am

 

Join the Academy of Natural Sciences for a virtual storytime to explore pollinators like bees and bats, and talk with the experts to learn what you can do to protect them. Free; pre-register online.

Virtual Yoga Adventures with Jitterbugs Music & Movement

December 19, 10 am

 

This free yoga storytelling adventure features a warm-up time, a story that incorporates 20-25 yoga postures, and ends with a moment of relaxation. For kids ages 3-12. Pre-register online to reserve your spot and get the Zoom link.

Virtual Kid in the Holiday Kitchen

December 19, 11 am

 

A free, family-friendly holiday cooking class and celebration hosted by New York Times food writer Melissa Clark.

Virtual Holiday Baking Class: Christmas Tree Brownies

December 19, 11 am

 

In this class, kids will work step-by-step with a chef instructor to measure, mix, and bake delicious bowl brownie batter, and then turn those delicious brownies into the cutest holiday tree brownies! Tickets available online.

Virtual Storytime and Cookies with Santa

December 19, 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 Cupcake University

December 19, 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 tie-dye cupcakes!

Holidays at East Market

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 a hot cocktail truck, outdoor programming, and a light-up window mural display by Mural Arts throughout the season.

Virtual Holiday Baking Class: Panettone

December 19, 2 pm

 

In this class, kids will learn to make the Italian holiday treat panettone, a sweet bread made with candied peel, sultanas, raisins, and dried fruits. Tickets available online.

Virtual Pennsylvania Ballet Sugar Plum Fairy Tea

December 19, 3 pm

 

In addition to the streaming Nutcracker performance, the Pennsylvania Ballet is hosting a series of virtual Nutcracker Tea Parties for young theatergoers and their families, beginning Saturday, December 19 with the Sugar Plum Fairy. Attendees will get exclusive access to interact with Pennsylvania Ballet dancers, dressed in costume as favorite Nutcracker characters, through Q&A sessions, craft lessons, and more. You can buy tickets for one tea for $15, or all four for $50. This Saturday, the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier will teach attendees dance steps and tiara placement!

Merry & Bright, Music & Lights at Suburban Square

December 19, 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 Painting with Rapunzel on Zoom

December 19, 4 pm

 

Join Princess Rapunzel for a live painting lesson over Zoom. Tickets available online.

Virtual Holiday Princess Ball

December 19, 5 pm

 

Experience the magic of the holidays with Anna, Elsa, Belle, Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White, and more guests dressed in their favorite holiday gowns to show you some of their favorite holiday traditions. Tickets available online.

‘Elf’ Drive-In Movie at the Navy Yard

December 19, 6 pm

Navy Yard, 4747 S. Broad St.

 

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear! Philadelphia Film Society keeps the holiday cheer alive with festive drive-ins all season long. Tickets available online only, and when outside the car, attendees must wear a mask at all times.

Virtual Holiday Movie Family Trivia

December 19, 7 pm

 

Get in the holiday spirit and join Ludington Library’s Miss Jackie and Miss Casey on Facebook Live for Holiday Movie Family Trivia.


Sunday

Virtual Last Minute Santa Requests

December 20; reserve timeslot between 10 am–2:30 pm

 

Treat the family to a personalized virtual chat with Santa while he takes a break from the workshop to check his list. This $45 virtual experience includes a 10-minute chat with Santa, Christmas Cookies (pickup at The Olde Bar at least a day before the event), and a personalized letter from the jolly man himself.

Virtual Holiday Cooking Class: Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses and Hot Cocoa

December 20, 11 am

 

Kids will learn how to make gingerbread glue (icing), tips and tricks for constructing their own tiny gingerbread village at home, and fun decorating ideas. Plus, play some fun holiday games and make homemade hot cocoa. Pre-register online.

Virtual Kimmel Center Presents: A Soulful Christmas

December 20, noon

 

Honoring the annual tradition, A Soulful Christmas returns this season with an inspiring, uplifting re-airing of the concert performing holiday spirituals and gospel favorites! Stream online.

Virtual  Sundays on Stage: The Nutcracker

December 20, 2 pm

 

Pages to Pirouettes brings the story of Marie and The Nutcracker to life, accompanied by the enchanting music of Tchaikovsky. This annual Sundays on Stage holiday tradition is moving online this year, with an international recording of the performance shared live on Free Library of Philadelphia’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FLPYouthServices/).

Virtual Baking Class: Holiday Thumbprint Cookies

December 20, 2:30 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 Pennsylvania Ballet Candy Cane Tea

December 20, 3 pm

 

In addition to the streaming Nutcracker performance, the Pennsylvania Ballet is hosting a series of virtual Nutcracker Tea Parties for young theatergoers and their families. Attendees will get exclusive access to interact with Pennsylvania Ballet dancers, dressed in costume as favorite Nutcracker characters, through Q&A sessions, craft lessons, and more. This Sunday, decorate your own hula hoop with Candy Cane. Tickets available online.

Virtual Polar Express Storytime

December 20, 5 pm

 

Join the Train Conductor for a magical storytime journeying to the North Pole to (virtually) meet Santa! Tickets available online.

Virtual Free Holiday Princess Story Time

December 20, 7 pm

 

Join Gladwyne Library for a special Holiday Princess Storytime including a Christmas and Hanukkah story.  Free; pre-register online.

 

 

 

 

 

Photograph by Laura Swartz.

Contributing Writer

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