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Home / Community  / Things To Do This Week  / High Five! Philly Family-Friendly Weekend Events: December 7–8

High Five! Philly Family-Friendly Weekend Events: December 7–8

Happy weekend! Plan the perfect weekend with our picks.

Happy weekend! Holiday happenings are just getting started! Here we go!

Click here for ongoing events that run through the weekend, like all the museum exhibits.

All Weekend

Holiday Lights Around Philly

Get glowing with our roundup!

George Balanchine’s ‘The Nutcracker’

December 6—31

Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St.


The Pennsylvania Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition. From the  Tchaikovsky score to the timeless story of holiday magic, this ballet is a classic for a reason. Come early for photos with the Sugarplum Fairy and the Mouse King in the lobby!

A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season

December 7—21

Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.


This Philly tradition features over 300 performers bringing a repertoire of favorite holiday classics. The concert features vocals by Hamilton’s Mandy Gonzalez, the Philadelphia Boys Choir, the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir, and the Philly POPS Festival Chorus.

Christmas at Craft Hall

December 4–22

901 N. Delaware Ave.


Stop by for festive decorations, lights, music, and crafts. On Sundays from 10 am-2 pm, take a “Selfie with Santa” as he mingles around the Craft Hall space and hands out candy canes.

Frankford Hall-idays

December 7-8, 14-15, 21-22; 10 am—3 pm

1210 Frankford Ave.


Frankford Hall gets festive the last three weekends before Christmas with decorations, cozy fire pits for roasting marshmallows, and more! Take free photos with Santa, as kid-favorite The Lara & Joe Show play Christmas tunes. There will also be free hot cocoa!

Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’

November 30—December 22

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St.


WST for Kids presents a special hour-long musical adaptation for families, using traditional songs to highlight Dickens’ magical Christmas story. Since it’s only one hour long, it’s a perfect way to get into the spirit without having to make your kids sit still for too long!

The Wizard of Oz

November 27—December 29

Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Ave.


Quintessence Theatre Group continues its tenth anniversary season with this classic tale of Dorothy’s adventures in the Land of Oz. This production will honor both the classic MGM film (with music from the movie!) as well as the original L. Frank Baum novel.

The Spongebob Musical

December 3—15

Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut St.


Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Broadway’s best creative minds reimagine and bring to life the beloved Nickelodeon series with humor, heart, and pure theatricality! Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Santa in Chestnut Hill

Weekends from December 7–22

Saturdays: Market at the Fareway (8221 Germantown Ave.), 11 am–2 pm

Sundays: Laurel Hill Gardens (8125 Germantown Ave.), noon–3 pm


Every December weekend through December 22, Santa will visitChestnut Hill for meet-and-greets and photos! You can find him at the Market at the Fareway on Saturdays, and Laurel Hill Gardens on Sundays.

West Craft Fest

December 7 and 8, 10 am–4 pm

The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St.


Find unique holiday gifts handmade by dozens of local makers and artists. This annual West Philly fair has a great selection of accessories, jewelry, art, toys, and more. This year it takes place over two days, with different vendors each day!

Macy’s Christmas Light Show and Santaland

November 29—December 24, 10 am—7 pm

1300 Market St.


Catch the classic light show every two hours (on even hours). Then head upstairs and walk through Macy’s Dickens Village, a vintage animatronic display of Dickens characters telling the story of A Christmas Carol. This is a true Philadelphia tradition, and culminates in a private visit with Santa and photos.

Philadelphia Zoo’s LumiNature

3400 W. Girard Avenue

November 20–January 5


New for this year, the Philadelphia Zoo presents a nighttime multimedia holiday spectacle the likes of which you have never seen. Throughout the zoo, giant animal-themed installations will glow, Evergreen trees will talk, and you’ll be surrounded by pure fantasy. Seasonal fare, strolling performers, hot chocolate (and adult beverages) add to the festiveness. Tickets available online.

Photo Pop: Winter Wonderland

November 15–January 5

The Bourse, 111 S. Independence Mall East


Photo Pop returns this winter with one-of-a-kind interactive holiday themes that will make for amazing holiday card (and Instagram) moments! Tickets available online.

Franklin Square Holiday Festival

November 14—December 31

Showtimes: Every half-hour from 4:30—8 pm (Sunday—Thursday), 4:30—9 pm (Friday—Saturday)

200 N. Sixth St.


More than 80,000 lights illuminate Franklin Square, 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 4:30 pm daily, so if you stay a while for the Holiday Festival activities, you can catch them both. And you’ll definitely want to do that because they have fun events planned like a winter beer garden with fire pits, live music Sundays, gourmet hot chocolate station, and much more!

Christmas Village

Through December 24

Love Park, 1500 Arch Street


Modeled after the traditional Christmas Markets in Germany, this annual market features over 80 vendors in wooden booths selling authentic European food, ornaments, crafts, clothing, and more from all over the world. They also have great food, from waffles to mulled wine. Our favorite Christmas market officially opens on Thanksgiving, but they’re giving you a sneak peek this weekend.

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

Through January 1, 2020 (Rink through February)

Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St.


Right outside City Hall, more than 40 local artisans, designers, crafters, and confectionaries will offer unique selections for gifts and special holiday foods. This market was designed to complement Christmas Village across the street—but only focuses on locally made gifts. Stop by after skating on the Rothman Rink and running through Wintergarden Maze!

Universoul Circus

November  14—December 8

52nd and Parkside, Fairmount Park


For over 25 years, this incredible circus has celebrated diversity, talent, and spectacle. It comes to the big top in Fairmount Park this fall!

Shrek: The Musical

November 5—January 5

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St.


This award-winning Broadway musical based on the beloved movie features all new songs and fun for the whole family.

The Gifts of the Magi

Through December 22

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St.


This beautiful musical adaptation of the classic O. Henry story reminds us of the true meaning of giving, and of love. In previews until November 21. Tickets available online.


Now open through January 9

Ninth and Market streets


Coming to the new Fashion District, Candytopia brings its wildly popular experiential installation art to Philly this fall. Favorites—like the marshmallow pit filled with over 250,000 foam marshmallows, and the rainbow-filled room with flying unicorn pigs and confetti explosions—will be joined by Philly-specific elements. It’s Instagram heaven, and you even get to eat candy throughout the experience! Tickets are available online, where you can reserve your timeslot. Kids age 3 and under get in free!


The Cliffs at Callowhill Grand Opening Party

December 7, 8 am

1010 Callowhill St.


Check out this new climbing gym, plus face-painting, climbing games, and free clinics.

Jingle Jaunt

December 7, 9:30—11:30 am

Lloyd Hall, 1 Boathouse Row


While the grownup runners are participating in the Jingle Jog, you can participate in the kid-friendly Jingle Jaunt, with goats! Children and adults will meet at Lloyd Hall and take a leisurely walk with the goats of Philly Goat Project up to Lemon Hill Mansion. Hot chocolate, snacks, and entry to Lemon Hill Mansion are included. Pre-registration is required. Then stick around for…

‘Traditions of the Season’ at the Historic Houses in Fairmount Park

December 7, 10 am—5 pm

Fairmount Park


Experience 18th and 19th century life through costumed interpreters presenting narratives, hands-on activities, and demonstrations of traditional trades, crafts, and domestic duties. Reenactors and first-person interpreters will be present throughout the day at six Historic Houses in Fairmount Park. Tickets available online; free for kids 12 and under.

Smith Playground Winter Wonderland

December 7, 10 am—noon

3500 Reservoir Dr.


Smith’s annual winter festivities include s’mores roasting, a hot cocoa bar, a petting zoo, theater games, obstacle course challenges, a water table, book giveaway, and more. Tickets available online.

Celebrations Around the World

December 7, 10 am—5 pm

Penn Musem, 3260 South St.


Get your “passport” to discover holiday traditions, such as Diwali, the Dragon Boat Festival, Eid-al-Fitr, Ramadan, Chanukah, and the Mid-Autumn Festival. Enjoy craft-making, live musical and dance performances, storytelling, and shopping at the holiday global market. You can even get family portraits with the Sphinx!

Victorian Christmas Bazaar and Open House at Ryerss Museum and Library

December 7, 10 am—2:30 pm

7370 Central Ave., Burholme Park


Santa will be there along with craft vendors, live music, treats, and a tea room.

Phillies Holiday Sale and Tree Lighting

December 7, 10 am—6 pm (tree lighting at 5 pm)

1 Citizens Bank Way


Visit CBP for holiday sales, festivities, fun surprises, and of course Phanta Claus (the Phanatic dressed as Santa)! There will be holiday crafts and activities presented by the Phillies Kids Club from 10 am—2 pm, photos with Phanta Claus from 11 am—1 pm, reindeer on the concourse, and more! Then at 5 pm, stay for the Phillies’ Christmas tree and ballpark lighting outside the ballpark at the First Base Gate.

Nature Tots

December 7, 10—11 am

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, 8601 Lindbergh Blvd.


Children ages 3-5 and an adult are invited to explore nature with a refuge ranger! Participants will enjoy storytime, crafts, hikes, and more! Free; registration is required: email Brianna_Patrick@fws.gov to reserve your spot.

Free Holiday Toy Exchange

December 7, 10 am—12:30 pm

Fishtown Rec, 1202 E. Montgomery Ave.


Bring your good condition unwanted toys to exchange with neighbors, just in time for holiday gifting!

Winter in the Wissahickon

December 7, 10 am—noon

Valley Green Inn


Enjoy roasted chestnuts, hot apple cider, and a light breakfast at the Valley Green Inn. Decorate your holiday crafts and make a winter terrarium. Children can also make nature gifts for animals and enjoy a winter woods hike with the Wissahickon Environmental Center. Pre-registration is required, online.

Greens Sale and Market at Bartram’s Garden

December 7, 10 am—5 pm

5400 Lindbergh Blvd.


Enjoy seasonal music and refreshments as you get everything you need to deck your halls—including decorated and undecorated wreaths, centerpieces, fresh evergreens and more. Plus, Holiday Marketplace vendors will be there so you get some gift shopping done too. The event also includes storytime and children’s activities, make-and-take workshops, and more festiveness.

Nimble Crafters at Kith + Kin

December 7, 10 am—noon

3060 W. Jefferson St.


Weekly take-home projects are inspired by nature, cultures, and art appreciation. Experimenting with different materials in a controlled environment allows your child to gain confidence but most importantly have fun! Come any time between the two-hour open studio time and stay as long as you choose.

Schuylkill Saturday: Nature Exploration for Families

December 7, 10:30—11:30 am

Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road


Gather in the Visitor Center before hitting the trails for a guided exploration. Each week explores a different theme. All ages welcome. No registration required.

Grow Up Great: Jams for Junior Jawns with Host M’Balia Singley

December 7, 11 am

Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.


Kimmel hosts its monthly free kid-friendly concert with special guest M’Balia Singley, a Philadelphia-based performing artist. Sing, dance, and play at the Commonwealth Plaza stage.

DESIGN + BUILD: Investigate Materials

December 7, 11 am—12:30 pm

Center / Architecture + Design, 1218 Arch St.


Kids ages 5-12 with their grownups will read Andrea Beaty’s Iggy Peck, Architect, then explore the built environment and design through materials. Every grown-up and young designer will leave with their own material collection for continuous play at home. Free; pre-register online.

Lucia Fest and Christmas Market

December 7, 11 am—4 pm

American Swedish Historical Museum, 1900 Pattison Avenue


Stroll through the Christmas Market, or Julmarknad , where Swedish delicacies, crafts, decorations, and imported gifts may be purchased, before the musical entertainment begins. At 1 pm and 3:15 pm, the lights will dim and the doors will close for a performance of Swedish Christmas songs and dances, performed by children and teens in traditional costume, culminating with the procession of Lucia. Tickets available online.

Artmaking and Storytelling at Woodmere Art Museum

December 7, 11 am—noon

9201 Germantown Ave.


Introduce your preschoolers (age 3-5) to the enjoyment of art through stories and artmaking. Enjoy reading picture books in the galleries, followed by an art project.


December 7, 11 am—5 pm

Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine St.


This indoor market includes unique gifts by artists and craft vendors, as well as food, festive tunes, and a Polaroid photobooth featuring a fun and colorful display created by local artist Lauren Cat West, who also curated the market this year.

South Philly Handmade Brigade

December 7, 11 am—6 pm

1241 Carpenter St.


This shopping event features affordable and original artwork and gifts by local artists. Plus, you can meet the local artists in their studios!

Brunch with Santa at The Olde Bar

December 8, 11 am—2:30 pm

125 Walnut St.


Dine on waffles, a milk and cookie bar, and even a create-your-own hot chocolate station. Santa will arrive at noon and will be making rounds for photos and handing out treats. Santa will also have a slot for posed lap photos with the kids. Tickets available online. Children 5 and under are free.

Storytime at the Lodge

December 7, 11:30 am—12:30 pm

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.


Listen, Learn and Play will lead interactive activities and music, along with some stories. Light snacks and hot chocolate will be provided for the kids.

Santa and Friends at Liberty Place

December 7, noon–6 pm

1625 Chestnut St.


Take (free) selfies with Santa at the base of the stunning 45-foot tall Christmas tree in the Rotunda, mingle with the Grinch and Cindy Lou, enjoy roaming carolers, face painting, and more.

Tacony Library Winterfest

December 7, noon–4 pm

6742 Torresdale Avenue


This annual Tacony tradition features crafts, puppets, music, games, virtual reality, historic trolley tours, a used book sale, firepits, science activities, and of course, a visit from  Santa!

Academy of International Ballet presents ‘The Nutcracker’

December 7, noon

KleinLife. 10100 Jamison Ave.


A combination of students and professional dancers makes this a “hidden gem,” according to one of our readers. Tickets are $25.

Santa Paws at Hotel Palomar

December 7, 1—3 pm

117 S. 17th St.


Bring your pup down to Hotel Palomar’s living room to have his photo taken with jolly Santa Paws! People and pets alike will enjoy treats like hot cocoa and cookies. Photos are free, but donations are accepted and appreciated for Lulu’s Rescue, who will be on-site with adoptable pups. New this year – choose a festive outfit for your dog’s photo from the holiday sweater bar!

Holiday Crafts with Santa and His Elf

December 7, 1—4 pm

UPS Store, 6024 Ridge Avenue


Swing by the UPS Store on Ridge for complimentary portraits with Santa or Elsa from Frozen. Be sure to bring your letters to Santa, too!

‘Nutcracker 1776’

December 7, 1 pm and 4 pm

Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut Street


Each 70-minute performance adaptation of the original Nutcracker involves the history of the city of Philadelphia into the plot, but is still sure to entertain with Ben Franklin and General Mouse Howe leading the story. Performed by The Rock School.

Parade of Lights at Independence Seaport Museum

December 7, 1—6 pm

211 S. Columbus Blvd.


A parade of local working boats will be illuminated in holiday lights for all to see on the Delaware River at 5:30 pm, and you can watch from the museum’s terrace. Santa’s Workshop on the Water will be merry and bright with tons of activities and handmade crafts (for an extra $5, make a gingerbread boat!). Santa and Jingle Jack will be spreading holiday cheer around the museum throughout the day—be on the lookout to snap a photo when Santa arrives. Tickets available online.

Family Baking Class: Building Community in the Kitchen

December 7, 1—3 pm

Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St., 4th Floor


In this season of giving, children ages 7-12 and their caregivers will join representatives from the InKind Baking Project, a Philadelphia-based initiative that empowers bakers from all over the city to volunteer and bake for their neighbors as a sign of welcome, community, and solidarity. Make chocolate chip cookies, and enjoy generous samples while sharing the bounty as an important act of civic engagement. You’ll receive the recipe to take home and recreate for year-round enjoyment and community building. Tickets available online.

Awbury Arboretum’s Holiday Greens Sale and Open House

December 7, 1—4 pm

Francis Cope House, 1 Awbury Rd.


Free light refreshments, holiday music, marshmallow roasting around the fire pit, cookie decorating, and more as you pick up and shop for your holiday greens and gifts.

Drop-Off Kids Craft Workshop

December 7, 2—6 pm

700 N. Third St.


While you’re shopping at the Northern Liberties and Fishtown Holiday Shopping Spree, drop off your kids (ages 4 and up) for an afternoon of holiday craft making with NLArts. All crafts will be ready to go home that day as you pick up your little one. All materials and a light snack will be provided. Pre-register online.

Pop-Up Choir in East Passyunk

December 7, 2—4 pm

1904 E. Passyunk Ave.


Gather at the Singing Fountain for a free, pop-up holiday choral performance, where participation is welcome! Learn Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” and other carols, accompanied by live musicians. No singing experience necessary to participate.

Weirdo Winter Wonderland

December 7, 3—8 pm

Kensington Community Food Co-op, 2670 Coral St.


Meet in the Co-op parking lot for a celebration with music, fire pits, circus performers, kid-friendly activities, and an “Odd Art Market.”

Deck the Alley

December 7, 3—7 pm

Elfreth’s Alley Museum, 124-126 Elfreth’s Alley


Visitors to the historic homes on Elfreth’s Alley will spot Santa Claus, hear the sounds of colonial carolers, and watch traditional loom weaving as the street transforms into a winter wonderland under the glow of holiday lights. Tickets available online.

Wizard of Oz Film Sing-A-Long

December 7, 4:30 pm

Settlement Music School, Germantown Branch, 6128 Germantown Ave.


Bring the whole family for Settlement Music School’s second annual movie night, celebrating the 80th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz. Pre-film activities will include a special performance from the Gleeksman-Kohn Children’s Choir, as well as fun movie trivia. Feel free to bring blankets, pillows, and sleeping bags for the kids, along with your favorite snacks. Popcorn and drinks will be provided. Admission: $5 at the door (cash only).

Kahn Park Holiday Party

December 7, 5—6 pm

11th and Pine streets


Stop by for live music and treats!

Santa Saturday in Franklin Square

Saturdays through December 21; 5:30—7:30 pm (Milk & Cookies add-on at 4 pm)

Sixth and Race streets


Part of Franklin Square’s Holiday Festival, Santa will stroll around the park and take photos for free from 5:30—7:30 pm on Saturday nights. And if you want a more personal (and warmer) Santa experience, buy tickets in advance ($20) for Milk & Cookies with Santa which takes place in the heated Pavilion right before Santa Saturdays from 4—5 pm. Kids can enjoy milk and cookies with Santa as he tells some of his favorite stories and poses for pictures.

Settlement Music School’s Holiday Concert

December 7, 6 pm

416 Queen Street


A family-friendly evening of holiday fun and joyful sounds. Stay after the show to warm up with some festive sweets and drinks. No tickets are required, but $5 in-kind donations are welcomed at the door.


Breakfast with Santa at Momo’s Treehouse

December 8, 9:30—11:30 am

2207 South St.


Both locations of Momo’s are hosting brunch with Santa (Old City location will be next weekend)! Tickets are available online.

Holiday PJ Party with Santa

December 8, 10 am–2 pm

Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St.


Dress in festive PJs for a fun-filled morning spent with Santa. A la carte breakfast and treats will be offered, along with fun activities like crafts and caroling to keep kids entertained before a special skating session with Santa Claus himself.

Breakfast with Santa at Thirsty Dice

December 8, 10 am

1642 Fairmount Ave.


Enjoy a brunch buffet, hot chocolate bar, and of course board games! Santa will be available for photos in the lounge area throughout the event and will be giving out candy canes to all good girls and boys! Tickets available online.

Grinch Brunch

December 8, 10 am—3 pm

City Tap Logan Square, 119 N. 18th St.


Feast on some Roast Beast, drink some Fizzy Fuzz, and enjoy some other Grinch inspired treats. Plus, snap a photo with the Grinch himself! They’ll also be playing Grinch movies and Christmas music all day long. For reservations, please email Nina at nmann@table95.com

Family Sunday: Feast Your Eyes

December 8, 10:30 am—3 pm

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway


Look at food-filled works of art on a family-friendly tour, then make art in the balcony studio.

Crafty Balboa

December 8, 11 am–5 pm

BOK, 1901 S. Ninth St.


Crafty Balboa’s Holiday Makers Market will showcase over 80 artists and makers, and feature one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list.

PECO Family Jams: Ornaments

December 8, noon—4 pm

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, 1020 South St.


Transform reclaimed cork stoppers and common pine cones into ornaments, keepsakes, and friendly creatures, using scraps of fabric, feathers, buttons, pipe cleaners, and more in this family-friendly art workshop.

Sensory-Friendly Sunday at National Constitution Center

December 8, noon—5 pm

525 Arch St.


Sensory-Friendly Sundays provide visitors with sensory processing challenges the opportunity to experience the museum in a secure and comfortable environment by providing emotionally safe spaces for families, modified programming for diverse sensory needs, and specialized staff training. Tickets available online.

Chanukah Performance: Yosi and The Superdads

December 8, 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm

Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic


Celebrate Chanukah with Yosi and the Superdads! This interactive musical party will delight young and old with classic songs with a twist and original tunes that will get you movin’ and groovin’ for the festival of lights!

Bowling with Santa at South Bowl

December 8, 1—4 pm

South Bowl, 19 E. Oregon Ave.


Step up to the lanes and join Santa for a holiday photo. Choose between a classic Santa photo, or a photo on the lanes while bowling with Santa! Plus food and drink specials, face painting, and other festiveness. Email requests@southbowlphilly.com to reserve a lane.

Seger Dog Park Santa Paws

December 8, 1—4 pm

1098 Rodman St.


The dog park will have holiday treats to eat and a Christmas “studio” set-up for pictures with Santa. The park is asking for $10 donations for photos.

Pages to Pirouettes presents ‘The Nutcracker’

December 8, 2 pm
Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Branch, 1901 Vine St.


See a kid-friendly production of the beloved ballet, then try it yourself during a post-show ballet lesson for the audience. This event is free. Stick around and keep the festivities going with…

Holiday Concert with Philadelphia Freedom Band

December 8, 3 pm

Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Branch, 1901 Vine St.


Philadelphia Freedom Band, Philly’s own LGBTQ wind ensemble and marching band, will perform a selection of Christmas and Hanukkah favorites for your enjoyment at this free concert.

PAFA Family Art Academy

December 8, 2—4 pm

PAFA, 118-128 N. Broad St.


Consider the significance of water as an important symbol in Bill Viola’s video installations and make your own mysterious self-portrait with this basic element. Free admission.

Mommy & Me Frosty Cake Workshop

December 8, 2—3:30 pm

Ella Vanilla, 7922 Germantown Avenue


Kids ages 5-8 with a parent will learn technique and create a cute snowman cake with cake artist Noelle DeSantis, owner of Ella Vanilla. You’ll leave with a fully decorated vanilla cake that serves about six people. Purchase class by email at Info@EllaVanilla.com or phone at (215) 909-9392.

Fitler Square Tree Lighting

December 8, 5 pm

Pine Street, between 23rd and 24th streets


Santa will arrive with treats for children, while carols are sung by The Philadelphia School singers. Santa’s helpers will have hot chocolate and cider for all, and the tree will be lit by the fountain.




Photograph courtesy of Pennsylvania Ballet.

Contributing Writer