Weekend Picks, Christmas Edition: Holiday Happenings, Ice Skating At Winterfest And Dilworth Park, Being [ ] At Christmas, The Nutcracker, Holiday Dinners Across The City, MummersFest And More

South Philly Lights
Merry Christmas, Philadelphia! Enjoy the holiday by visiting twinkling light displays, heading out for Christmas dinners, taking in festive shows and much more. (Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

Merry Christmas Eve, Philadelphia!

Throughout the city, halls are decked with twinkling trees, Christmas lights festoon windows and yuletide spirit makes the entire City of Brotherly Love feel merry and bright. From Old City to Rittenhouse Square, the city of Philadelphia is truly a magical place to spend the holiday season.

Today, we’re rounding up the weekend’s festivities early to coincide with Christmas revelry, so be sure to make the most of the long holiday weekend by taking in holiday traditions like the Macy’s Christmas Light Show and Pennsylvania Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker or new holiday attractions like Franklin Square’s Holiday Festival and RiverRink Winterfest.

For folks looking towards holiday feasting, give yourself a present this year and let the pros do the yuletide cooking at a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner.

Those seeking cultural enrichment have many options, too, with most museums remaining open until 3 p.m. (or later) on December 24, including attractions at Independence National Historical Park, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Barnes Foundation, the Please Touch Museum, Adventure Aquarium and the Academy of Natural Sciences. Note that most attractions are closed on Christmas Day with the exceptions noted below.

No matter how you’re celebrating, we wish you joy and happiness in the coming days — and plenty of good times, too.

We’ll be signing off early today to celebrate the holiday, too, but be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates on happenings throughout the weekend.

Read on for our guide to this holiday weekend.

Wednesday, December 24

Top Pick: A Guide To Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dinners

Top Pick: 11 Must-See Holiday Light Displays in Philadelphia

Top Pick: Pennsylvania Ballet Presents George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)

Top Pick: Skating and More at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)

Top Pick: Moo Shu Jew Show

Thursday, December 25 — Merry Christmas!

Top Pick: A Guide To Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dinners

Top Pick: Christmas Celebration at Adventure Aquarium

Top Pick: Christmas Crossing of the Delaware

Top Pick: A Longwood Christmas (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)

Top Pick: A Guide To Holiday Events And Happenings In Philadelphia’s Countryside This Season (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)

Top Pick: Being [ ] At Christmas at the National Museum of American Jewish History

Top Pick: Skating and More at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Friday, December 26

Top Pick: Reading Terminal Market Holiday Railroad (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)

Top Pick: Comcast Holiday Spectacular (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)

Top Pick: Ice Rink at Dilworth Park (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)

Top Pick: Holiday Week at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Fri, Sat, Sun)

This Is the Week That Is at the Play’s and Players Theater (Fri, Sat, Sun)

More, below.

A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Stomp at the Merriam Theater (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Barbara Montgomery Holiday Jazz at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Food Truck Friday at Franklin Square

Friday Night Lights at Morris Arboretum

Holiday Shops at A Brandywine Christmas (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello at the National Constitution Center (Fri, Sat, Sun)

David Lynch: The Unified Field at PAFA (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Byers’ Choice Christmas Market

Chocolate: The Exhibition at The Academy Of Natural Sciences (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)

The Nutcracker
The Pennsylvania Ballet celebrates the holidays by performing The Nutcracker every Christmas season.
(Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia)

Saturday, December 27

Top Pick: Free Metered Parking After 11 a.m. Take Advantage of the Post-Christmas Shopping Deals!

Top Pick: 18 Festive Ways To Spend Your Holiday Nights In Philadelphia This Season (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)

Top Pick: Macy’s Christmas Light Show (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)

Top Pick: Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Top Pick: Disney on Ice Presents Frozen (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)

Old City Holiday Music Choctacular

Yuletide at Winterthur (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)

Schuylkill Center Winter Wellness Walks

Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)

Beer Garden at Franklin Square

Historic Houses of Fairmount Park Holiday Tours (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Mulled Wine Weekends at Penn’s Woods Winery (Sat, Sun)

Free Screening of Happy Feet at The Kimmel Center

Teatime in Wonderland at the Lounge at the Four Seasons Hotel

Native American Voices: The People — Here and Now at the Penn Museum (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Sunday, December 28

Top Pick: Philly PHLASH Holiday Service (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)

Top Pick: Franklin Square Holiday Festival (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)

Top Pick: MummersFest at the Pennsylvania Convention Center

Top Pick: Christmas Village at Love Park (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun) — Closing Day!

Winter Beer Festival at World Cafe Live

Victory Rivalry Sundays at City Tap House University City

Mary Poppins at the Walnut Street Theatre (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out at the Franklin Institute (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Hot Chocolate Bar at 10 Arts at The Ritz-Carlton

Outside Mullingar at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre (Fri, Sat, Sun)

All-Star Days at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (Sat, Sun)

Costumes Of Downton Abbey at the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Teddy Bear Tea at The Rittenhouse Hotel (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)

William Glackens at The Barnes Foundation (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)

Shady Brook Farm Holiday Light Show (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)

Franklin Square
Franklin Square’s Holiday Festival gets folks into the holiday spirit with a fantastic light show set to Christmas music.(Photo by J. Fusco for Historic Philadelphia)

For our complete guide to the holiday season in Philadelphia and the Countryside, check out

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