[The holidays in Philadelphia are totally action-packed, and we want to help you cherry-pick from all the events and activities going on. On particularly bustling evenings, we round up our selections for the most can’t-miss pursuits with which to fill your schedule. See you out there!]
• City Hall Tree Lighting: Tonight, Philadelphia’s official Christmas tree will be light up by Philadelphia’s first lady Lisa Nutter, Mayor Nutter’s wife. She’ll light up the tree, located in the Christmas Village at Love Park, alongside a fun cast of characters. During the event, enjoy mulled wine from Chaddsford Winery and browse hundreds of Christmas ornaments, homemade gifts and jewelry from 60 vendors at the Christmas Village.
Where: Love Park, 1500 Arch Street
When: Wednesday, December 5, 5 p.m.
• 2012 Stag & Doe Nights in Chestnut Hill: Tonight is the first night of Chestnut Hill’s Stag & Doe shopping nights. Avoid the chaos of holiday shopping at the mall by stopping by the shops in Chestnut Hill. Germantown Ave will be welcoming shoppers tonight with holiday decorations and cheer. Enjoy carolers as you shop along the avenue.
Where: Along Germantown Avenue
When: Wednesday, December 5, 6-9 p.m.
Cost: Pay as you go
• Repeal Day Party at XFINITY Live!: December 5, 1933 marked the end of prohibition in America. If this isn’t reason to celebrate, we don’t know what is. Tonight, XFINITY Live! is hosting a cocktail party with jazz, h’ors d’oeuvres and all the makings of a Prohibition style party. It’s presented in conjunction with the National Constitution Center’s American Spirits exhibition. Guests are requested to dress to impress in their finest 30’s attire. So, pull out the flapper dresses, ladies, and men, wear your best fedora tonight at XFINITY Live!
Where: XFINITY Live!, 1100 Pattison Avenue
When: Wednesday, December 5, 8-11 p.m.
Cost: Free to attend, pay as you go for food and drink
• The 12 Cans Of Christmas at Percy Street Barbecue: Named the Number 1 Place in America for Craft Beer In Cans earlier this year, Percy Street Barbecue is flexing its craft beer muscles for their 12 Cans of Christmas event. Guests will be offered a different half-priced beer each day along with free bar snacks. Tonight, the beer of choice is Narragansett Brewing Company’s Gansett Porter. After enjoying your canned craft beer, add your empties to the 2012 Percy Street Christmas tree.
Where: Percy Street Barbecue, 900 South Street
When: Wednesday, December 5, 5-7 p.m.
Cost: Pay as you go
• Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen at the Free Library: Deb Perelman of the hugely popular food blog (and now book), Smitten Kitchen, will be at the free library tonight at 7:30 p.m. The National Museum of American Jewish History and the Free Library teamed up to bring her to Philadelphia for food-knowledge-hungry guests. Best part: it’s free!
Where: Central Library, 1901 Vine Street
When: Wednesday, December 5, 7:30 p.m.
More Tonight Picks, below.
• Adresse Holiday Doe and Stag Wish List Party: Tonight marks the second and last holiday wish list party at Adresse Boutique this season. At the last event last week, ladies created their Adresse wish list; this week, men can swiftly find gifts for their ladies by handing off the wish list to an Adresse employee who will handpick the items for them. Talk about easy holiday shopping. Art in the Age will be pouring ROOT liqueur to ease the stress of your holiday… shopping. Plus, with every purchase, enter to win a custom shirt by Commonwealth Proper.
Where: Adresse Boutique, 1706 Locust Street
When: Wednesday, December 5, 5-8 p.m.
Cost: Pay as you go
• Friends of Schuylkill Banks’ Third Annual Holiday Party: Tonight at Brauhaus Schmitz, celebrate the Schuylkill Banks at the third annual holiday party. Not only is this a great opportunity to mingle with friends and other Philadelphians, but it is also a great opportunity to check out the newly expanded Brauhaus Schmitz which houses an 2,000 additional square feet and 10 more taps. Snack on tasty hors d’oeuvres and enjoy great drink specials, holiday music and raffle prizes. Plus, all proceeds go towards maintenance and operational work on Philadelphia’s beloved Schuylkill Banks.
Where: Brauhaus Schmitz, 718 South Street
When: Wednesday, December 5, 7-10 p.m.
Cost:$10 in advance, $15 at the door
• Marlene and The Machine at the Wilma Theater: Debuting tonight, The Bearded Ladies are back at the Wilma Theater with Marlene and The Machine, a bold original work. The show, a collaboration of music from 1920s German-American actress and singer Marlene Dietrich with that of 20th century Austrian performer Lotte Lenya, will transform the lobby of the theater into a cityscape with a German expressionism influence. Tickets are $20 for seats and $25 for tables. Did we mention that tickets include all-you-can-drink themed cocktails?
Where: The Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad Street
When: Wednesday, December 5, 8 p.m.
Cost: $20 seats, $25 tables
• Longwood Gardens Christmas: Longwood Gardens’ impressive Christmas light display has been open for a week and there is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than with half a million lights plus Christmas trees and wreaths decorating the property. Enjoy dazzling fountain shows among the lights. Purchase your timed tickets in advance now to avoid disappointment.
Where: Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square
When: Wednesday, December 5, last entrance is at 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Tickets range from $8-$18
• Comcast Holiday Spectacular: A Philadelphia favorite, the Comcast Holiday Spectacular is bound to knock your socks off. More than half a million people have visited the site since its opening in 2008. Enjoy the free, 15-minute holiday show shown on the Comcast Center’s Comcast Experience video wall which happens to be the largest four-mm LED video display in the world. Holiday scenes from the The Nutcracker, performed by the Pennsylvania ballet and scenes from the snowy Pennsylvania countryside will fill the screen.
Where: Comcast Center, 1701 JFK Boulevard
When: Wednesday, December 5, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. (except 5 p.m.) every hour on the hour
• McCrossen’s Tavern: Tonight, head out to McCrossen’s Tavern for their monthly pairings dinner. This month, the event is entitled All Things Sparkle and will boast a large collection of bubbly drinks. Sip on champagne from Italy, France, Brazil and even special sips from the Champagne region. Enjoy a menu created by Chef Wentz and delicious cheeses from Rocco Rainone of Di Bruno Bros.
Where: McCrossen’s Tavern, 529 North 20th Street
When: Wednesday, December 5, 6:30 p.m.
• Scratch Biscuit Wednesdays at Supper: Supper restaurant is appealing to the masses! Starting tonight, Supper will be hosting Scratch Biscuit Wednesdays. Get a biscuit and a beer for just $10. Enjoy tasty biscuits like the Pigscuit, a red curry glazed pork belly, pork rinds, daikon slaw and pineapple mayo.
Where: Supper, 926 South Street
When: Wednesday, December 5
• The Soundtrack Series at L’Etage: Tonight is the last night of The Soundtrack Series 2012. Head out to hear stories about some of the biggest songs in music. Listen to Philadelphia’s best writers, performers and storytellers tell tales about some of the most influential music. Notable performers include Brian Howard of Philadelphia Magazine and City Paper and Shawn Metcalf of Society Hill Records.
Where: L’Etage, 624 S. 6th Street
When: Wednesday, December 5, doors 7 p.m., performance 7:30 p.m.
• Gustavo Dudamel at The Kimmel Center: Tonight at 8 p.m. in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, Gustavo Dudamel will be leading the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela in their first performance at the Kimmel. They will preform Carlos Chávez’s Sinfonía india, Julián Orbón’s Tres versiones sinfónicas and Richard Strauss’ Eine Alpensinfonie. Dudamel is a world-renowned conductor, the music director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Where: Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street
When: Wednesday, December 5, 8 p.m.
• It’s About Time: Short Films from the Secret Cinema Archive: The American Philosophical Society Museum is hosting a movie event from The Secret Cinema tonight. The free event is presented in conjunction with the museum’s Tempus Fugit: Time Flies exhibit. Tonight marks the end of the video series. Doors open at 6 p.m. to give guests a full hour to discover the exhibit before the movies begin at 7 p.m.
Where: American Philosophical Society Museum, 104 S. 5th Street
When: Wednesday, December 5, doors 6 p.m., show 7 p.m.
• A Celebration of Zero at the Gershman Y: Celebrate the life and artwork of Zero Mostel tonight at 5:30 p.m. Josh Mostel, Zero’s son, will discuss the work and life of his father. The sneak peek of Zero Mostel: Artist exhibition will allow guests to celebrate his work and even bid on Zero’s original artwork. Snack on hors d’oeuvres and sip wine as the undiscovered artwork of Mostel is celebrated.
Where: The Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad Street
When: Wednesday, December 5, 5:30 p.m.
• Great Battles Evening Lecture at the Penn Museum: Listen to Dr. C. Brian Rose, curator-in-charge of the Mediterranean Section at the Penn Museum, discuss Great Battles: Moments in Time that Changed History tonight at 6 p.m. The Great Battle lectures are a series running every Wednesday from October to June.
Where: Penn Museum, 3260 South Street
When: Wednesday, December 5, 6 p.m.
Cost: $5 advanced, $10 door