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30+ Things to Do With Kids This Week (December 28-January 3)

At home and in person, plan your week!

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

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All Week

Where to Find (Socially Distanced) Holiday Lights

Sparkle in Philly, the Main Line, and beyond with our picks.

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.

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. Stop by after skating on the Rothman Rink and running through the beautiful Wintergarden.

A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place

Through 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.

Meet Betsy in the Betsy Ross House Courtyard

December 26—31, 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. You can also visit the Betsy Ross House gift shop, which remains open.

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.

Meet Betsy in the Betsy Ross House Courtyard

December 28-31, 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.

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.

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.

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—January 3

 

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.

Virtual A Revolutionary Virtual Winter Break

December 26–January 1

 

Discover the stories behind the “10 Crucial Days” of the Revolutionary War and the “times that tried men’s souls.” The Museum of the American Revolution brings their annual Winter Break activities virtual with make-at-home crafts, a Virtual Discovery Cart, and more.

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

Streaming through December 31

 

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.

Virtual NLArts Winter Break Camp

December 28-31, 9:30-11:30 am

Kids can explore fantastic stories and write their own with Ms. Rae. Each day of camp, read a book and make a project inspired by the story, as well as games and community time. No special supplies required, just whatever you have on hand for drawing. Sign up for one day or all four.


Monday

Drag Queen Story Time for the Fumo Library

December 28, 10 am

 

Hear stories about love, diversity, and other fabulous things from Philly’s Drag Queen Supreme Miss Brittany Lynn and “It’s Naturally Matty!”
Plus, sing-along with the Story Time puppets and join in some fun arts and crafts activities, all on Facebook Live.

Free Online ‘From Head to Toe’ Kids Yoga

December 28, 10 am

 

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

PlayArts’ PlayMusic Plus

December 28, 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.

Facebook Live with the Brandywine Railroad

December 28, 11:30 am

 

The museum may be temporarily closed for now, but they’re still keeping the trains running. Check out the Brandywine Railroad live in action on the Brandywine River Museum of Art’s Facebook page.

Trolls Dance Class

December 28, 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 Escape Snapology: Harry Potter

December 28, 2 pm

 

Hurry, your team has 60 minutes to discover clues, solve puzzles, answer riddles, and manipulate contraptions in order to complete assigned tasks to ultimately unlock the door to escape Snapology! This fun Harry Potter themed class will also strengthen STEAM and problem-solving skills. For ages 6-14. Pre-register online.


Tuesday

Music with Miss Jill

December 29, 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.

Free (Virtual) Intro to Martial Arts Class

December 29, 10 am

 

This free intro class will be designed for children and adults ages 3 and up to do at home, and will be online via Zoom. Reserve your spot in advance to get the class info.

Winter Science Week: Dino-Dough

December 29, 10 am

 

Grab some clay or Model Magic, or whip up a batch of easy salt dough (recipe here!) and build a dinosaur along with Academy of Natural Sciences Educator Amy Hoyt. Learn how dinosaurs were perfectly adapted to their environments and how their anatomy helped them survive or doomed them to extinction as you mold a dinosaur with your own hands. Free; pre-register online to receive the link.

PlayArts’ Virtual Movement Lab: Weather

December 29, 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 29, 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!

Virtual Storytime and Painting with Rapunzel

December 29, 11 am

 

Join Rapunzel for a story, songs, and painting. Tickets available online.

“Just A Story” read aloud and art making with author and illustrator Jeff Mack

December 29, 11 am

 

What can happen when a boy happens upon a discarded book that transforms a library into an escalating series of near misses and close encounters? Meet artist and illustrator Jeff Mack for a reading of his new book, Just a Story, a related drawing activity, and conversation. Free; pre-register online.

Tinker Tuesday: Festive DIY Science Video with the Franklin Institute

December 29, 2 pm

 

Watch on Facebook Live as Frankin Institute science educators demonstrate how to add a sparkle of science to your holiday-themed projects this season.

Play ‘Among Us’ with Kensington Library

December 29, 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.

Pajama Storytime with Haverford Township Free Library

December 29, 7 pm

 

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


Wednesday

Winter Festival: Ice Sisters Fairytale Storytime

December 30, 10 am

 

Feel free to dress up in your favorite costume and join Elsa and Anna for a virtual visit on Facebook Live. They’ll share stories and activities for a fun morning spent together at home.

 

Lots of movement, singing, instruments, and celebration to ring in the New Year! Best for ages 0-7. Free; pre-register online.

Countdown to Noon with Haverford Township Library

December 30, 11:30 am

 

Practice a day early, why not? Join the Haverford Township Free Library for a special year-end Noon Year’s Eve Event with guests Music Training Center and First Notes! Be sure to pre-register for the event and beginning Tuesday, December 29, stop by the library for a special Countdown Kit! For ages 2-5 but all are welcome.

 

The museum may be temporarily closed for now, but they’re still keeping the trains running. Check out the Brandywine Railroad live in action on the Brandywine River Museum of Art’s Facebook page.

Creative Writing: Minecraft Edition

December 30, 3 pm

 

Students ages 8-10 will learn five elements of writing a narrative, complete a graphic organizer, and begin drafting their Minecraft-themed masterpiece. Pre-register online.

Ask the Scientists

December 30, 3 pm

 

Find out about some of the incredible discoveries the Academy of Natural Sciences made this year at an interactive conversation where kids lead the questioning. Explore how scientists do their work and ask all about what they expect to see, find, catalog, document, and learn in 2021. Recommended for ages 8–11; younger kids welcome with parental guidance. Free; pre-register online.

New Year’s Story with Media-Upper Providence Free Library

December 30, 7 pm

 

Miss Vicki will read Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, and show you a fun New Year’s Eve craft! Free on Facebook Live. The activity will be included in the library’s Take and Make kits, available Monday-Wednesday, while supplies last.

 


Thursday

New Year’s Eve Events!

2020 is almost over, and thank goodness for that. While we can’t have our usual parties, we’ve got virtual parties for every hour—plus a couple of special in-person ideas—to greet a brighter 2021. You can find the whole roundup here, and see below for some top picks.

In Person  Kids’ Countdown to New Year’s Eve with Cinderella at the Igloos at Germantown Garden

December 31; 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm

1029 Germantown Ave.

Countdown to midnight with Cinderella! 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 a photo opportunity with Cinderella, and a grand entrance. Each reservation will also receive a private Cinderella visit per each igloo, a souvenir, princess-themed activity sheets, and a special holiday dessert. Tickets available online; food and drink are pay-as-you-go. A portion of each ticket will go to charity, and provide a free princess appearance for children in need through the Salvation Army.

Please Touch Museum’s Countdown from Home

Our favorite NYE party for tots goes virtual. The morning of New Year’s Eve, PTM will post a Countdown from Home video on their homepage featuring music from Trinidelphia and a special Countdown to 2021 with Squiggles from Hamilton Hall! Your family can decide what time to celebrate the New Year– play the Countdown from Home video just before noon, at bedtime, or anytime in between! Plus, visit their NYE page for at-home activities to get ready, like snack recipes and make-your-own noisemaker crafts.

 

 

Kith + Kin is teaming up with Mister John’s Music for a special virtual NYE extravaganza! Find your favorite party spot in your home, bring your noisemakers; then sing, dance, and make noise, all before nap time! Turn your camera on to show off your moves and see your friends all over the city jam out too, or keep it off for a private affair. The concert will begin at 11:15 am with Miss Lilly, ending with a countdown at noon! Tickets available online.

Virtual Escape Snapology: Spy Mission

December 31, 2—3 pm

 

Hurry, your team has 60 minutes to discover clues, solve puzzles, answer riddles, and manipulate contraptions in order to complete assigned tasks to ultimately unlock the door to escape Snapology! For ages 6-14. Pre-register online.

Cook with Kitchen Wizards

December 31, 3:30—5 pm

 

 

Kids ages 7-12 will prepare water chestnuts wrapped in bacon, pizza dip, and Shirley Temples. Then, raise a toast to 2021 at the end of the class. You can feast on the snacks with the rest of your family during the evening as you watch the ball drop! Tickets available online.

Franklin Square’s Virtual New Year’s Eve Family Celebration

December 31, 5—6 pm

 

While Winter in Franklin Square remains open for mini golf, carousel rides, and the nightly light show, they are also doing a virtual party on their Facebook page, concluding with a virtual Square Drop at 6 pm. During the broadcast, families can create crafts with items from home, watch a showing of the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show, and participate in fun dance lessons. Crafts include noisemakers, confetti poppers, party hats, and print-at-home coloring pages.


Friday

Make Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Bombs

January 1, 1 pm

 

Kids ages 7-12 will learn how to make this trendy treat by melting chocolate in a double boiler, painting it into molds, creating dairy-free hot cocoa, and decorating. Pre-register online to reserve your spot.

Draw Kawaii Food

January 1, 1 pm

 

This class is great for both beginners and intermediate drawers who want to practice a new style. Each food character will be drawn step by step by the teacher using a second camera, so learners will be able to follow along and draw in a relaxed and social atmosphere. Best for ages 7-12. Pre-register online.

 

Say goodbye to 2020 and ring in 2021 with songs, dances and games with Music Monkey Jungle. Tune in on YouTube.

 

 

Weekend Events

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.

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

Through February 2021

Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St. 

 

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. 

A Longwood Christmas

Through 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.

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

Through 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.

Virtual Quintessence Theatre presents ‘The Little Princess’

Through January 3

 

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.


Saturday

Virtual  Zombies Themed Beginning Jazz Dance Class

January 2, 11 am

 

In this 44-minute beginning level dance class, kids ages 5-10 will learn cardio, technique, and a small section of a dance inspired by Zombies. Pre-register online.

Virtual  DIY Boba Bubble Tea

January 2, 3 pm

 

Students ages 10-15 will learn to make boba from scratch and be able to make boba tea at home. Pre-register online.

Virtual Storytime with Rapunzel

January 2, 6 pm

 

Rapunzel reads a bedtime story on Facebook Live and interacts with viewers.

Virtual  DIY Japanese Ice-Cream Mochi

January 2, 7 pm

 

This class will demonstrate the process of making mochi ice cream step-by-step while students (ages 9-14) follow along to make their own. Pre-register online.


Sunday

Virtual Ballet Class with Sleeping Beauty

January 3, 11 am

 

Join Sleeping Beauty for her very special ballet class. She will teach you stretches, warm ups, ballet steps, and a beautiful ballet routine to one of her favorite songs. Tickets available online.

Virtual Broadway Musical Theater Club: Hamilton

January 3, 2 pm

 

Students ages 9-14 will discuss Hamilton, sing along with it, discuss how Hamilton came to Broadway, play some trivia, and learn about the actors and creators. Pre-register online.

Virtual Dance Class with Princess Jasmine

January 3, 4 pm

 

Join Jasmine for a very fun and active dance class via Zoom. Tickets available online.

 

 

 

 

 

Photograph by Laura Swartz.

Contributing Writer

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