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Weekend Fun for Philly Families: 45 Things to Do With Kids December 17-19

Enjoy winter festivities with the family in Philadelphia this weekend!

Need ideas for things to do with the kids this weekend? There’s something for everyone to enjoy in Philadelphia!

Please be sure to check with the host location about their health and safety protocols, as well as their registration requirements, prior to heading out!

Go straight to: Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Friday, December 17

Strides with Santa

9:30am – 10:30am
Love Park 1500 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA

Join Fit4Mom Philly for a Christmas themed Stride and visit from a special guest from the North Pole! Santa will be stopping by to say Hello to all the good little girls and boys of Fit4Mom Philly!

Holiday Spectacular

10:00am – 8:00pm
Comcast Center 1701 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA

The 15-minute family-friendly show will play on an outdoor video wall through New Year’s Day at the top of the hour! This Philly favorite tradition brings the magic of the holidays to life, featuring classic holiday songs and performances by the Pennsylvania Ballet.

For the first time, the Comcast Holiday Spectacular will have a sensory-friendly version. For guests who are blind or visually impaired, guests may use their own personal mobile devices to access Audio Description (AD) of the show. AD devices will also be available upon request. **sensory friendly showing @2:30 every Thur and Fri**

Joy of Giving Grab and Go

2:00pm – 6:00pm
Nicetown Court Apartments 4340 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA

This year The Joy of Giving plans to distribute more than 3000 gifts and toys to students of Steel and Pierce Elementary Schools and surrounding communities as well as provide food and other items to families who need just a little support during the holidays. In addition, they will sponsor 10 families facing hardships and/or a tragic life event during the pandemic with: gifts, household items, food and clothing the week of Christmas.

A Philly POPS Christmas

3:00pm – 4:00pm
Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center 300 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA

All the glitter and warmth of Philly’s favorite holiday tradition is back for another dazzling season! It’s Philly’s favorite holiday tradition — The POPS is back for another unforgettable holiday celebration!

Christmas in Kensington

4:00pm – 8:00pm
Philadelphia Brewing Co. 2440 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Brewing Company will be hosting over 25 local artists and makers in their beautiful beer garden. Enjoy a delicious beer and get your Holiday shopping done while listening to live music from local bands. Stop by the custom ornament booth and make your own wooden ornament to take home with you! Don’t miss their Grinch Picture booth where you’ll be able to get a photo taken with the green grouch himself.

George Balanchine’sThe Nutcracker®

7:00pm – 8:00pm
Academy of Music 240 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA

Balanchine’s beloved holiday classic returns! Gather the family together this holiday season to share in the magic, the charm, the spectacle, and the joy of The Nutcracker* ballet. Set to Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score—full of cherished holiday tunes—this extraordinary ballet celebrates the season through a timeless story of youth, romance, magical battles, and boundless beauty.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

7:00pm – 8:35pm
The Drake Proscenium Theatre 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia, PA

The Drake Proscenium Theatre is thrilled to welcome back audiences with this wonderfully clear and direct telling of Charles Dickens’ novella, in which acclaimed actor and playwright Anthony Lawton brings the story boldly to life as only live theater can. Rediscover Dickens’ timeless story of a miser’s miraculous redemption from a life of bitterness, greed, and isolation. Back by popular demand, this heartwarming adaptation captured the hearts of theater critics and audiences alike, inspiring a new Philadelphia holiday tradition. Best enjoyed by ages 9-99.

Jesus Drag Superstar

8:00pm – 10:00pm
Fringe Arts 140 N. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA

When the students of The Paul Green Rock Academy opened for The Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret at FringeArts back in December 2019, Martha just knew she had to do something special with them in the future. Well, the future is now. Martha Graham Cracker will join more than 30 elite Paul Green Rock Academy students, including a choral section, for this one-of-a-kind drag performance. Martha will, naturally, play the role of Jesus. And Martha and the students will dazzle you with some Martha Graham Cracker favorites.

This show is seated and for all ages. All performers are vaccinated.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid

8:00pm – 10:00pm
Walnut Street Theatre 825 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA

Based on the beloved Hans Christian Andersen story and the classic film, Disney’s The Little Mermaid is a hauntingly beautiful story of love and letting go. Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, challenges her father’s authority as she dreams of finding her own way in the world above the sea. But what will she give up to fulfill her dreams of independence? Disney’s The Little Mermaid will capture your heart with its timeless story and irresistible songs, including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World.” Disney’s The Little Mermaid promises to be one of the most spectacular productions ever staged at the Walnut!

Saturday, December 18

Chestnut Hill Holiday Parade

9:00am – 7:00pm
Chestnut Hill MARKET At the Fareway 8221 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA

‘Tis the season for one-of-a-kind finds and specials. Most Chestnut Hill shops are open until 7:00pm or later Wednesdays through Saturdays during the holiday season for your shopping convenience. Visit https://chestnuthillpa.com/business/ to browse our full array of retail boutiques and restaurants to plan your visit.

Winter Fest

10:00am – 12:00pm
Philly Skate Plex 1586 Roosevelt Blvd, Philadelphia, PA

Join the Philly SkatePlex for winter fest this Saturday December 18th from 10:00-12:00pm bring in a homemade paper snowflake for free admission. Good only during the session listed above!! Skate rental is mandatory for all kids ages 2-17 without their own skates.

Family Wreath-Making at the Schuylkill Center

10:00am – 12:00pm
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road, Philadelphia, PA

Ring in the holiday season by creating festive wreaths and garland out of natural materials. Give thanks for the season as you learn about the different vines that can be used for wreath bases and then add pops of color to their creations with fragrant fruits, spices, and leaves. Each family will work together to create one wreath and one garland to either keep or gift.

Santa at Reading Terminal Market

10:00am – 2:00pm
Reading Terminal Market 51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA

Santa Claus is coming to town! Come see the jolly old elf himself ride his sleigh down Arch St. at 10 a.m. and pose for photo ops on his throne from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.Location: Gingerbread Candyland (aka Market Court)

Holiday Spectacular

10:00am – 8:00pm
Comcast Center 1701 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA

The 15-minute family-friendly show will play on an outdoor video wall through New Year’s Day at the top of the hour! This Philly favorite tradition brings the magic of the holidays to life, featuring classic holiday songs and performances by the Pennsylvania Ballet.

For the first time, the Comcast Holiday Spectacular will have a sensory-friendly version. For guests who are blind or visually impaired, guests may use their own personal mobile devices to access Audio Description (AD) of the show. AD devices will also be available upon request. **sensory friendly showing @2:30 every Thur and Fri**

Kids’ Holiday Centerpiece Workshop

10:30am – 12:00pm
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania 100 E Northwestern Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Design a beautiful fresh flower and evergreen centerpiece to use on your family’s holiday table or to give as a gift. Working with fresh evergreens is fragrant and festive, and you will learn about fresh flower arranging as you produce your unique creation.To make it extra special you can add a candle, pinecones, ribbons, and flowers. Your finished arrangement will last two weeks or longer. Success is guaranteed!

Mrs. Clause Holiday Market

11:00am – 12:00pm
The Shambles at Headhouse Square 2nd St &, Pine St, Philadelphia, PA

Let Sisterly Love fill your holiday hearts, stomachs, and stockings!They’ll have plenty of vendors (21 and counting!) to suit everyone on your gift list. Need a host gift? Holiday party items or gifts? They have all that, and even a little something just for you.

Mt. Airy Art Garage 12th Annual Holiday Art Market

11:00am – 6:00pm
Mt. Airy Art Garage 7054 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA

For the 12th annual MAAG Holiday Art Market — A Juried Holiday Display and Sale of Original Fine Art and Crafts, MAAG is hosting the event for 5 glorious weekends this year! This is a great opportunity to buy unique fine art and handcrafts and provide some holiday cheer for the entire family. Free Entry! Come out and support local artists and a non-profit arts organization. Why go to the malls or shop online, when you can visit with your talented neighbors and friends?

Christmas in Kensington

11:00am – 8:00pm
Philadelphia Brewing Co. 2440 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Brewing Company will be hosting over 25 local artists and makers in their beautiful beer garden. Enjoy a delicious beer and get your Holiday shopping done while listening to live music from local bands. Stop by the custom ornament booth and make your own wooden ornament to take home with you! Don’t miss their Grinch Picture booth where you’ll be able to get a photo taken with the green grouch himself.

George Balanchine’sThe Nutcracker®

12:00pm – 1:00pm
Academy of Music 240 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA

Balanchine’s beloved holiday classic returns! Gather the family together this holiday season to share in the magic, the charm, the spectacle, and the joy of The Nutcracker* ballet. Set to Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score—full of cherished holiday tunes—this extraordinary ballet celebrates the season through a timeless story of youth, romance, magical battles, and boundless beauty.

The Grinch Meet and Greet

12:00pm – 2:00pm
Love Park 1500 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA

This will be the 2nd Annual Meet & Greet Grinch event at Christmas Village! Last year was very successful, so they’re doing this again! THE PHOTOS ARE FREE!

Afternoons w/ Santa

12:00pm – 4:00pm
Frankford Hall 1210 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Save the date! Santa Claus is coming back to Frankford Hall in December. Join them from 12pm-4pm on December 11th, 12th, 18th, and 19th for some Christmas cheer and (socially distanced) photos with Santa! They’ll also be welcoming the @laraandjoeshow on the 19th for live holiday tunes. All seating is first-come, first-serve; no reservations necessary.

Holiday Pop-Up Shop

1:00pm – 5:00pm
Elfreth’s Alley Museum 126 Elfreth’s Alley, Philadelphia, PA

On select dates in December, stop by house #124 Elfreth’s Alley to browse the wares at their new Holiday Pop-up Shop, featuring museum merchandise as well as the work of local artisans and vendors!

Teen Portfolio Building Workshop@Cherry Street Pier

1:30pm – 3:30pm
Portside Arts Center​121 N. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA

These weekly workshops for students (ages 11-17) are designed to help teens build a portfolio of work for school or personal use. Each weekly workshop will focus on a different portfolio requirement needed to apply to various creative high schools. Each lesson builds upon new skills each week.

The workshops will allow students to expand their artistic skill sets as well as to investigate their individuality and unique identities. Students will be introduced to local and international artists while exploring different materials and techniques used in traditional and contemporary art making.

Deadline to enroll is the Friday before the program start date. Parents must enroll and pay online by then.

Philly Christmas Walk

1:30pm – 7:15pm
Love Park 1500 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA

From afternoon through evening, take delight in all that the big city has to offer during the holidays, including lights, shopping, video, decorations and children’s favorites of yore. Center City loop, day into night, Christmas village, light shows and such, all of the local favorites. It’s Christmastime in the city.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

2:00pm – 3:35pm
The Drake Proscenium Theatre 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia, PA

The Drake Proscenium Theatre is thrilled to welcome back audiences with this wonderfully clear and direct telling of Charles Dickens’ novella, in which acclaimed actor and playwright Anthony Lawton brings the story boldly to life as only live theater can. Rediscover Dickens’ timeless story of a miser’s miraculous redemption from a life of bitterness, greed, and isolation. Back by popular demand, this heartwarming adaptation captured the hearts of theater critics and audiences alike, inspiring a new Philadelphia holiday tradition. Best enjoyed by ages 9-99.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid

2:00pm – 4:00pm
Walnut Street Theatre 825 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA

Based on the beloved Hans Christian Andersen story and the classic film, Disney’s The Little Mermaid is a hauntingly beautiful story of love and letting go. Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, challenges her father’s authority as she dreams of finding her own way in the world above the sea. But what will she give up to fulfill her dreams of independence? Disney’s The Little Mermaid will capture your heart with its timeless story and irresistible songs, including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World.” Disney’s The Little Mermaid promises to be one of the most spectacular productions ever staged at the Walnut!

A Philly POPS Christmas

3:00pm – 4:00pm
Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center 300 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA

All the glitter and warmth of Philly’s favorite holiday tradition is back for another dazzling season! It’s Philly’s favorite holiday tradition — The POPS is back for another unforgettable holiday celebration!

Photos with Santa, East Passyunk

3:00pm – 5:00pm
East Passyunk Avenue Singing Fountain S 11th St & E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Come meet Santa with social distancing options in place. Bring your own camera and take pictures for free! Grab a bite and shop local: Receive a punch for each $10 spent at participating businesses Through January 2. Once you get 10 punches, submit the completed card to one of their independently owned businesses and enter to win a weekly gift card from a raffle drawing on behalf of EPABID

Kiki Closing Party

5:00pm – 10:00pm
Kiki Garden Fishtown 1414 Marlborough St, Philadelphia, PA

@kiki_garden_fishtown will be having their 2nd annual closing Christmas party supported by @heffe_tacos & @peaceapie215 ! Live Music by @mcwavymusic @jay_lubes @maxies.music, hot infused cocktails and Santa will be arriving at 6pm

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

7:00pm – 8:35pm
The Drake Proscenium Theatre 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia, PA

The Drake Proscenium Theatre is thrilled to welcome back audiences with this wonderfully clear and direct telling of Charles Dickens’ novella, in which acclaimed actor and playwright Anthony Lawton brings the story boldly to life as only live theater can. Rediscover Dickens’ timeless story of a miser’s miraculous redemption from a life of bitterness, greed, and isolation. Back by popular demand, this heartwarming adaptation captured the hearts of theater critics and audiences alike, inspiring a new Philadelphia holiday tradition. Best enjoyed by ages 9-99.

Jesus Drag Superstar

8:00pm – 10:00pm
Fringe Arts 140 N. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA

When the students of The Paul Green Rock Academy opened for The Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret at FringeArts back in December 2019, Martha just knew she had to do something special with them in the future. Well, the future is now. Martha Graham Cracker will join more than 30 elite Paul Green Rock Academy students, including a choral section, for this one-of-a-kind drag performance. Martha will, naturally, play the role of Jesus. And Martha and the students will dazzle you with some Martha Graham Cracker favorites.

This show is seated and for all ages. All performers are vaccinated.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid

8:00pm – 10:00pm
Walnut Street Theatre 825 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA

Based on the beloved Hans Christian Andersen story and the classic film, Disney’s The Little Mermaid is a hauntingly beautiful story of love and letting go. Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, challenges her father’s authority as she dreams of finding her own way in the world above the sea. But what will she give up to fulfill her dreams of independence? Disney’s The Little Mermaid will capture your heart with its timeless story and irresistible songs, including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World.” Disney’s The Little Mermaid promises to be one of the most spectacular productions ever staged at the Walnut!

Sunday, December 19

Breakfast With Santa!

9:00am – 11:00am
Hard Rock Cafe – Philadelphia 1113 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA

Join Santa Claus for a magical holiday breakfast buffet, storytime and pictures with Santa, as well as some holiday cookie decorating, too! Adults tickets are $2, children 3-12 will be $14 and kids under 2 are free!

Holiday Spectacular

10:00am – 8:00pm
Comcast Center 1701 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA

The 15-minute family-friendly show will play on an outdoor video wall through New Year’s Day at the top of the hour! This Philly favorite tradition brings the magic of the holidays to life, featuring classic holiday songs and performances by the Pennsylvania Ballet.

For the first time, the Comcast Holiday Spectacular will have a sensory-friendly version. For guests who are blind or visually impaired, guests may use their own personal mobile devices to access Audio Description (AD) of the show. AD devices will also be available upon request. **sensory friendly showing @2:30 every Thur and Fri**

Virtual Family Arts Academy

10:30am – 12:00pm
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts – PAFA 118-128 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA

Celebrate the winter holiday season with friends and family! Get in a mood with festive music, explore some of PAFA’s artworks featuring scenic winter wonderlands and create a sparkling snowman garland without any snow!!

Mt. Airy Art Garage 12th Annual Holiday Art Market

11:00am – 6:00pm
Mt. Airy Art Garage 7054 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA

For the 12th annual MAAG Holiday Art Market — A Juried Holiday Display and Sale of Original Fine Art and Crafts, MAAG is hosting the event for 5 glorious weekends this year! This is a great opportunity to buy unique fine art and handcrafts and provide some holiday cheer for the entire family. Free Entry! Come out and support local artists and a non-profit arts organization. Why go to the malls or shop online, when you can visit with your talented neighbors and friends?

Christmas in Kensington

11:00am – 8:00pm
Philadelphia Brewing Co. 2440 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Brewing Company will be hosting over 25 local artists and makers in their beautiful beer garden. Enjoy a delicious beer and get your Holiday shopping done while listening to live music from local bands. Stop by the custom ornament booth and make your own wooden ornament to take home with you! Don’t miss their Grinch Picture booth where you’ll be able to get a photo taken with the green grouch himself.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

12:00pm – 1:35pm
The Drake Proscenium Theatre 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia, PA

The Drake Proscenium Theatre is thrilled to welcome back audiences with this wonderfully clear and direct telling of Charles Dickens’ novella, in which acclaimed actor and playwright Anthony Lawton brings the story boldly to life as only live theater can. Rediscover Dickens’ timeless story of a miser’s miraculous redemption from a life of bitterness, greed, and isolation. Back by popular demand, this heartwarming adaptation captured the hearts of theater critics and audiences alike, inspiring a new Philadelphia holiday tradition. Best enjoyed by ages 9-99.

Photos with Santa, East Passyunk

12:00pm – 2:00pm
East Passyunk Avenue Singing Fountain S 11th St & E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Come meet Santa with social distancing options in place. Bring your own camera and take pictures for free! Grab a bite and shop local: Receive a punch for each $10 spent at participating businesses Through January 2. Once you get 10 punches, submit the completed card to one of their independently owned businesses and enter to win a weekly gift card from a raffle drawing on behalf of EPABID

Santa’s Sing-A-Long

1:00pm – 2:15pm
The Adrienne Theater 2030 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA

Santa’s coming to town, but “Oh No!” Santa’s reindeer have lost their Christmas spirit and can’t fly the sleigh. Help them get it back by singing Christmas songs with Santa and Mrs. Claus, such as “Jingle Bells,” “Deck the Halls” and “Frosty the Snowman,” so his reindeer can take flight again. Santa Claus as well as Mrs. Claus will be available for individual pictures once his reindeer regain their Christmas cheer!The whole family can be part of the Christmas spirit with songs and pictures at Santa’s Sing-A-Long! Santa’s reindeer need music and cheer to fly. With much more than just beautiful ornaments and holiday decorations, this magical event draws you into making long-lasting holiday memories to last for generations.

Holiday Pop-Up Shop

1:00pm – 5:00pm
Elfreth’s Alley Museum 126 Elfreth’s Alley, Philadelphia, PA

On select dates in December, stop by house #124 Elfreth’s Alley to browse the wares at their new Holiday Pop-up Shop, featuring museum merchandise as well as the work of local artisans and vendors!

Disney’s The Little Mermaid

2:00pm – 4:00pm
Walnut Street Theatre 825 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA

Based on the beloved Hans Christian Andersen story and the classic film, Disney’s The Little Mermaid is a hauntingly beautiful story of love and letting go. Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, challenges her father’s authority as she dreams of finding her own way in the world above the sea. But what will she give up to fulfill her dreams of independence? Disney’s The Little Mermaid will capture your heart with its timeless story and irresistible songs, including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World.” Disney’s The Little Mermaid promises to be one of the most spectacular productions ever staged at the Walnut!

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

4:00pm – 5:35pm
The Drake Proscenium Theatre 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia, PA

The Drake Proscenium Theatre is thrilled to welcome back audiences with this wonderfully clear and direct telling of Charles Dickens’ novella, in which acclaimed actor and playwright Anthony Lawton brings the story boldly to life as only live theater can. Rediscover Dickens’ timeless story of a miser’s miraculous redemption from a life of bitterness, greed, and isolation. Back by popular demand, this heartwarming adaptation captured the hearts of theater critics and audiences alike, inspiring a new Philadelphia holiday tradition. Best enjoyed by ages 9-99.

We hope you have a magical weekend in the city!

Writer for Philadelphia Family. Email tips to lani@familyfocus.org.

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