From scrumptious gourmet latkes to a day-long culture fest at the National Museum of American Jewish History, pictured here, Hanukkah in Philadelphia brings with it events aplenty. (Photo by M. Kennedy for GPTMC)
Hanukkah 2012 is quickly approaching and the city is more than prepared with a plethora of Hanukkah celebrations planned at restaurants and museums around the city.
The eight-day long holiday, December 8-16, is the perfect excuse to celebrate with friends and family over and over again.
To help you do that, we’ve compiled a list of Hanukkah festivities, below. Whether you’re looking for a taste of gourmet latkes or somewhere to take the family on Christmas, there’s something for you.
• Rittenhouse Square Menorah Lighting: The annual lighting of the menorah in Rittenhouse Square is set for this Sunday, December 9. At 5:30 p.m. as dusk settles over the park, prayers will be sung and the first candle will be lit on one of the city’s largest menorahs. Stick around afterwards to grab dinner or drinks at any of the excellent restaurants rimming the square, from Parc to Rouge to Twenty Manning Grill.
• Zahav: The city’s favorite Israeli restaurant is offering a Hanukkah tasting menu from December 8-16. Zahav will be providing guests with six tasty modern Israeli dishes for $48 prepared by Chef Michael Solomonov. Highlights include latkes with salmon basturma and apple labaneh, hummus with spiced beef, chick pea and olive oil soup, fried smelts and sufganiyot. For guests who are craving Zahav’s traditional tantalizing food, the a la carte menu will be available in addition.
• Gershman Y: On Sunday, December 9 from 2-4 p.m., the Gershman Y will be hosting their 10th annual Latkepalooza. Some of Philly’s best restaurants will be preparing latkes of all types. From sweet potato to spinach and feta latkes, the array of flavors will blow your mind. In addition to delicious latkes, guests can enjoy live music from the West Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Monkey Jungle who will be putting on a special performance for the kids. Buy your tickets here.
• Festival of Lights with West Philadelphia Orchestra at Philadelphia Museum of Art: On Friday, December 14, 5-8:45 p.m., celebrate Hanukkah with a lively West Philadelphia Orchestra concert, complete with dancing at the decked-out Philadelphia Museum of Art.
• National Museum of American Jewish History: There aren’t many places nationwide that remain open on Christmas day. Thankfully, the National Museum of American Jewish History in our own backyard is one of the few that does. On December 25, they are hosting “Being _____ on Christmas.” Fill in the blank with whatever you want and head over to the museum for a day of fun. From 10 a.m.-5 p.m., the museum will be hosting family-friendly events including music and dancing, and crafts with The Clay Studio. Plus children’s comedian The Great Holtzie will be cracking up kids and parents alike.
• Gershman Y Moo Shu Jew Show: Held for the first time at the Ocean Harbor Restaurant in Chinatown, the Gershman Y is presenting the fifth annual Moo Shu Jew Show, a night of comedy and lots and lots of Chinese food. The event stars three of the funniest comedians in the biz, Ross Bennett who can be heard on Sirius satellite radio’s blue collar channel, Lenny Marcus who has performed on The Late Show with David Letterman and Joel Chasnoff who can be heard frequently on NPR. Ticket are $69 in advance and $80 at the door, but seats are going fast, s secure your ticket early to claim your spot.
• Sbraga: Top Chef season seven winner Kevin Sbraga has created a Hanukkah tasting menu for all to enjoy. The Feastival of Lights is a six-course tasting menu at Sbraga from Monday-Thursday for two weeks starting on December 3. Along with delicious food like salmon gravlax, bow tie pasta with kasha, toasted garlic, lemon and herbs and Jewish apple cake, Sbraga will also offer beverage pairings with each course.
• Shady Brook Farm: The Bucks county farm will be hosting a Hanukkah celebration on Monday, December 10 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Join in the merriment with the lighting of a 12-foot menorah, crafts, snacks, singing, dancing and more. Also, make someone else’s day a little brighter by donating a kosher, non-perishable food to JFCS Kosher Food Pantry.
• Old Eagle Tavern: The Old Eagle Tavern in Manayunk will be celebrating Hanukkah with lots of beer on December 13 at 7 p.m. Head out for He’Brew Brewing Night and down beers from Shmaltz Brewing Company’s He’Brew:The Chosen Beer. Hop Manna, their new citrus-infused IPA and Jewbelation Sweet 16 which is made with 16 hops, 16 malts and 16 additions, will be flowing all evening. Traditional Jewish snacks like latkes will be available for guests along with spinning dreidels all over the bar. Plus, check out a screening of The Hebrew Hammer while enjoying the company of friends and He’Brew beers.
• London Grill: London Grill is hosting a Hanukkah event that will keep your stomach full of latkes. The Eight Days of Latkes and Lights event will begin on Saturday, December 8 and provide guests with eight days of latkes of all kinds. Think latkes topped with beet horseradish cream, smoked fish and caviar. Also during this event, there will be a daily candle lighting at 5:30 p.m. Fun!
Bonus: check out the Jewish Exponent’s roundup of where to get latkes in Philadelphia, both during Hanukkah and all season long.