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Weekend Fun for Philly Families: 30+ Things To Do With Kids December 3-5

The holiday season is in full swing in Philadelphia! Get the scoop on Winter Wonderland, Pop-Up Markets, Hanukkah Celebrations, Parades and MORE!

Want to really unplug and connect with your kids? Explore 30+ family-friendly events with this roundup of weekend fun for Philly families below and fill your calendar with things to do! For even more options, visit Main Line Parent’s Weekend Fun Roundup and plan ahead with our NEW Community Calendar at phillyfamily.com/events , which will be updated each week!

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

THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR FAMILY IN PHILLY ALL WEEKEND LONG

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
101 S. Columbus Blvd.

Come to skate, play games in the arcade, eat delicious food and treats, warm up by the firepits, and take in the gorgeous views and holiday lights. This rink is a Philadelphia favorite for a reason. Advance timed tickets are highly recommended.

Christmas Underwater at Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Dr., Camden, NJ

Scuba Santa is back and ready to make the most underwater appearances in aquarium history! Visit him in Ocean Realm as he spreads the magic of Christmas and takes selfies through the glass. The aquarium will also have the World’s Tallest Underwater Christmas Tree, and more decorations throughout. Reservations strongly recommended.

Christmas Village
Love Park, 1500 Arch Street

Modeled after the traditional Christmas Markets in Germany, this annual market features dozens of unique 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 (Pro tip: buy the commemorative mug for discount refills—you won’t be sorry); and rides including a giant Ferris wheel and a new double-decker carousel in City Hall Courtyard.

Franklin Frost Holiday Fun at the Franklin Institute 
222 N. 20th St.

Explore spectacular model trains surrounding a grand 25-foot-tall sparkling Stellar Tree, designed to reflect the mysterious and magnificent night sky. Plus, Conductor Carl will lead interactive seasonal science activities with a sprinkle of surprise! Included with General Museum Admission.

Grand Illumination hosted by American Credit Union
American Heritage Carriage House, 2060 Red Lion Road

American Heritage Credit Union’s campus lights up with over 400,000 lights. Stroll the campus, enjoy the lights and decorations, and take family photos; or, you can remain in your car and drive around to enjoy the lights as well.

Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum
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 weekends from 4:30—7:30 pm where you can really get the full effect of the lights.

Miracle on South 13th Street
13th Street between Tasker and Morris

The stretch of 13th Street between Tasker and Morris in South Philly has been named home to the best Christmas lights in all of Pennsylvania. The neighbors on this block go all out, from dazzling lights to toddler-sized illuminated lawn decorations. It’s colorful and kitschy and pure Philly. The displays generally go up after Thanksgiving and stick around til the New Year.

Smedley Street Christmas Light Spectacular
Smedley Street between 16th and 17th Streets and Moyamensing and Oregon Avenues

Another extravagant South Philly display, the “Christmas Street,” as it is known, has giant light-up candy canes, inflatables, and lots of lights!

Winter in Dilworth Park: Rothman Rink, Wintergarden, and Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market
Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St.

Right outside City Hall, 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!

Winter in Franklin Square
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. Take a spin on the carousel, warm up at Franklin’s Winter View with outdoor fire pits and beautiful indoor heated tent featuring adult and hot beverages and seasonal food, and play Chilly Philly Mini Golf, a holiday spin on their beloved golf course complete with lights, holiday music, and larger-than-life wintertime friends! Tickets required for mini golf.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2021

Hanukkah Celebration for Kids
December 3, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Tacony Library 6742 Torresdale Avenue (Torresdale Ave. & Knorr St.)

Learn to play the Driedel game and win Hanukkah Gelt (Chocolate) at this Hanukkah Celebration for Kids ages 3-12.

Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® / EDITORIAL USE APPROVED; ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Winterfest Holiday Tree Lighting Powered by Peco
December 3, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Blue Cross Riverrink Winterfest 121 N. Columbus Blvd

Gather your family and friends to celebrate the spectacular Holiday Tree lighting that will dazzle and illuminate the night. Kick-off the official launch of the holidays on the Philadelphia Waterfront complete with festive performances.

Collingswood Parade of Lights 2021
December 3 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Knight Park Park Ave & W Browning Rd, Collingswood, NJ

The annual Parade of Lights will kick off with fire trucks and floats strung in glittering lights along the perimeter of the Knight Park beginning at Grant Avenue and Browning Road.

Family Art Night@Cherry Street Pier
December 3 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Portside Arts Center​121 N. Columbus Blvd.

Enjoy a fun and creative night out with the entire family at this Family Art Night! During this 1.5 hour long workshop on Friday nights, parents and kids will collaborate on art projects and work together to create something everyone can be proud of.

Stimulus Children’s Theatre High School Musical
December 3 @ 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Annenberg Center 3680 Walnut Street

Disney Channel’s smash hit movie musical comes to life on the Penn stage! Troy, Gabriella and the students of East High must deal with issues of first love, friends and family while balancing their classes and extracurricular activities. 

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Franklin Square Hanukkah Dreidel Giveaway
December 4, 6 pm
200 N. Sixth St.

Stop by for a Hanukkah Dreidel Giveaway with Old City Jewish Arts Center while supplies last .Stick around for the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show, which will be dazzling the crowd every half hour to add to the festivities!

Floating Duck Craft
December 4, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Pennypack Environmental Center 8600 Verree Rd

Families are welcome to drop in to make a simple floating duck and goose craft.

Visit Santa at the Chestnut Hill Brewing Company
December 4, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Chestnut Hill Brewing Company 8231 Germantown Ave

Were you naughty or nice this year? Santa will be at the Market every Saturday from 11am-2pm in December. Stop by and give him your wishlist and get your picture with him!

Northern Liberties Holiday Pop Up Market
December 4 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Northern Liberties Business Improvement District 909 N 2nd St

Buy from local makers of soaps, jewelry, pottery, baked goods and more. Then, explore Northern Liberties’ restaurants and shops.

Teen Portfolio Building Workshop@Cherry Street Pier
December 4 @ 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Portside Arts Center​121 N. Columbus Blvd.

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.

Winter Wonderland 2021
December 4 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse 3500 Reservoir Drive East Fairmount Park

Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse will host its annual Winter Wonderland celebration on Saturday, December 4th from 12pm – 2pm. Families are invited to Smith for wintery and family-friendly festivities that include a s’mores roasting, fun crafts, games, a water table, book giveaway, and more!

Stimulus Children’s Theatre High School Musical
December 4 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Annenberg Center 3680 Walnut Street

Disney Channel’s smash hit movie musical comes to life on the Penn stage! Troy, Gabriella and the students of East High must deal with issues of first love, friends and family while balancing their classes and extracurricular activities.

A Philly POPS Christmas
December 4 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center 300 S Broad St

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!

Kimmel Campus Presents A Charlie Brown Christmas
December 4 @ 5:00 pm
Merriam Theater 250 S Broad St

Everyone’s favorite holiday classic comes to life in the production A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS LIVE ON STAGE! Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the whole Peanuts gang as they produce their own Christmas play and ultimately learn the true meaning of the season.

Visit Philadelphia Holiday Parade
December 4 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
City Hall 1400 John F Kennedy Blvd

This inclusive parade on Market Street – beginning at 2nd Street and ending at City Hall – will feature floats representing Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, and Christmas, with performances by local marching bands, cold air balloons of your favorite holiday characters, and much more.

Tree Lighting at Powers Park
December 4 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Powers Park 2601 E Ann St

Join neighbors and Santa for holiday photos at this special community Tree Lighting event.

Parade of Lights 2021
December 4 @ 5:15 pm – 6:15 pm
Independence Seaport Museum 211 S Christopher Columbus Blvd

‘Tis the season to get festive at the Seaport! Sea-lebrate the holiday season with Independence Seaport Museum as Parade of Lights returns to the Delaware River. Make a day of it along the waterfront, with crafts, activities, fun, and exploration; there’s something for everyone! 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Folkshul Hanukkah Party
December 5, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Jewish Children’s Folkshul and Adult Community, 8000 Cherokee St.

Celebrate the holiday through a Secular Jewish Humanism lens with games, food, and fun. Free; pre-register online.

Santa Paws in Manayunk
December 5 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Main St, Manayunk

It’s time for our annual pet photos with Santa, sponsored by Latitdues & Longitudes! Bring your furry friends to the Pet Friendly Dog Bakery on Sunday, December 5 from 10AM-4PM to get a photo of them with the man in red.

Art & Storytelling at Woodmere Art Museum
December 5 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Woodmere Art Museum 9201 Germantown Avenue

Introduce your preschoolers to the enjoyment of art through stories and artmaking fun. Children explore color, pattern, shape, form, stories, poetry, and more—all while viewing works of art from the Museum’s collection.

Family Art Workshop: Winter Card-Making at Bartram’s Garden
December 5 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Bartram’s Garden 5400 Lindbergh Blvd.

A holiday classic! Be inspired by the peaceful wintry setting of Bartram’s Garden and craft a winter greeting for yourself or a loved one. Workshop takes place outdoors & socially-distanced. Registration is limited.

Holiday Organ and Brass Celebration with The Philadelphia Orchestra
December 5 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center 300 S Broad St

Hark! the herald organ sings! The iconic Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ fills Verizon Hall with the rich sound of the holiday season, joined by musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra for an afternoon of Christmas favorites.

Little Women – Quintessence Theatre Group
December 5 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Sedgwick Theater 7137 Germantown Ave.

Based on the beloved novel, this musical accompanies sisters Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy on their quest for self-discovery. Jo, nineteen and attempting to launch a writing career, weaves magical scenes with her stories, full of twists and turns, heroes and villains.

Chanukah on the Avenue
December 5 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
East Passyunk Avenue Singing Fountain S 11th St & E Passyunk Ave

Join the South Philadelphia Shtiebel and East Passyunk Avenue for a Community Menorah Lighting, Live Music, and Chanukah festivities!

DISCLAIMER: HEY PARENTS, AS WE WELL KNOW, THINGS CHANGE DAY TO DAY… EVEN HOUR TO HOUR SINCE WE HAVE ENDURED A GLOBAL PANDEMIC TOGETHER. PLEASE CHECK THE SPECIFIC EVENT WEBSITE FOR TIME CHANGES, RAIN DATES, COVID POLICIES, AND EVENT CANCELLATIONS BEFORE YOU PACK UP THE WHOLE CREW OR GATHER AROUND THE LAPTOP TO LOG ON.

Lead photo featuring The Parade of Lights 2021 courtesy of Independence Seaport Museum.

Founder & CEO, Family Focus Media | Creator for Main Line Parent, Philadelphia Family, & Bucks County Parent | Connect with me on Instagram @sarahbondfocus or email sarah@familyfocus.org.

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