16+ Wonderful Things To Do In Philly This Week, December 27-January 2

New Year's Eve fireworks on the waterfront, Kwanzaa celebration at AAMP, Mummers Parade and more...

The final week of 2016 closes out in a major way — with fireworks, parties, holiday festivities, major exhibitions and so much more across Philadelphia.

On Saturday, December 31, the SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront fills the sky high above the Delaware River at Penn’s Landing at both 6 p.m. and midnight. The best spots to catch the show include Penn’s Landing and waterfront points throughout Old City — including RiverRink Winterfest. Click here for our full where-to-watch guide.

This week also marks the final days for some of the holiday traditions that fill the city. Be sure to check out the Macy’s Christmas Light Show, the Comcast Holiday Spectacular and the Franklin Square Holiday Festival and Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show before their seasons end.

Our picks for this week in Philly, below.

Last Call: Franklin Square Holiday Festival and Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show

Franklin SquarePhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

It's the final week to soak up the holiday spirit at Franklin Square. The historic park welcomes the nightly Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show in addition to holiday music, gingerbread house decorating, a winter beer garden and more. Be sure to check out this dazzling holiday experience.

Last Call: Franklin Square Holiday Festival and Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show

When:Through Saturday, December 31
Where:Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street
Cost:Pay as you go

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Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Winterfest Franklin FountainPhoto courtesy M. Stanley for DRWC

Winter is better with twinkling lights, hot chocolate, s’more-roasting fire pits and ice skating. You can take full advantage of the cold-weather months at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, which is open all winter long with ice skating, festive eats, holiday lights and much more.

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

When:Through March 5, 2017
Where:Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:Pay as you go

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Holiday Happenings at City Hall

Dilworth Park is a holiday lover’s dream this season with ice skating, exploring and lounging. Holiday revelers flock to Dilworth Park for its ice rink, holiday garden maze and food-filled cabin.

Holiday Happenings at City Hall

When:Ice Rink and Wintergarden through February 26, 2017
Where:Dilworth Park, 1401 JFK Boulevard
Cost:Pay as you go

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Chanukah Menorah Lighting at Rittenhouse Square

Hanukkah PhiladelphiaPhoto courtesy Friends of Rittenhouse Square

The annual lighting of the menorah in Rittenhouse Square heralds the arrival of the holiday to one of Philadelphia's busiest neighborhoods. As dusk settles over the park, prayers will be sung and a candle will be lit on one of the city’s largest menorahs.

Chanukah Menorah Lighting at Rittenhouse Square

When:Tuesday, December 27, 5:30 p.m.
Where:Rittenhouse Square, 18th and Walnut streets
Cost:Free

www.evensi.us

Please Touch Museum Kwanzaa Celebration

The Please Touch Museum brings even more hands-on fun to its already extra interactive environment with its family-centric Kwanzaa celebration. Weave your own Mkeka, learn about the seven principles of Kwanzaa and enjoy multiple afternoon performances by the Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble.

Please Touch Museum Kwanzaa Celebration

When:Tuesday, December 27, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where:Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic
Cost:Free with museum admission

www.pleasetouchmuseum.org

Mamma Mia! at the Merriam Theater

Photo courtesy The Kimmel Center

This week, dance along to some of ABBA’s biggest hits as the popular musical Mamma Mia! takes the stage as part of Broadway Philadelphia. The show runs from December 27 through 31 with tickets starting at $40.

Mamma Mia! at the Merriam Theater

When:December 27-31
Where:Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad Street
Cost:$40-$102

www.kimmelcenter.org

All Star Days at the Academy of Natural Sciences

The Academy of Natural Sciences hosts a slew of special events throughout the local school system’s winter break to keep kids entertained during their days off. During All-Star Days, the museum promises special science shows, hands-on activities, the chance to check out rarely seen specimens and more.

All Star Days at the Academy of Natural Sciences

When:December 27-30
Where:The Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost:Included in the price of admission

www.ansp.org

Macy’s Family Fun Day! Kwanzaa / Nia-Purpose at AAMP

AAMPPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

On December 30, the African American Museum teams up with Macy's for a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Kwanzaa. Throughout the day, the museum hosts a candle-lighting ceremony, Kwanzaa-themed crafts, a performance by the Camara Arts West African Dance group, games and more.

Macy’s Family Fun Day! Kwanzaa / Nia-Purpose at AAMP

When:Friday, December 30, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where:The African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street
Cost:Included in the price of admission

www.aampmuseum.org

The Pennsylvania Ballet Presents George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

Pennsylvania BalletPhoto by Alexander Iziliaev courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet

It just isn’t the holidays without the dancing snowflakes, sword-fighting mice, sugar plum fairies in tutus and an enormous tree that grows and grows, so snag a prime seat at The Academy of Music for the Pennsylvania Ballet’s classic production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker — a Philadelphia tradition that’s 48 years strong.

The Pennsylvania Ballet Presents George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

When:Select dates through December 31
Where:Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street
Cost:$35 and up

www.kimmelcenter.org

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

New Year's Eve FireworksPhoto by Matt Stanley for DRWC

Penn’s Landing is the place to ring in the New Year with SugarHouse Casino’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront featuring two spectacular shows at 6 p.m. and midnight. Philadelphia’s main attraction on New Year’s Eve draws thousands of people to the Delaware River Waterfront each year. Conveniently located within a short walk of Old City, Society Hill and South Street, Penn’s Landing becomes a festive party with revelers of all ages delighting in a breathtaking fireworks display.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

When:Saturday, January 31, 6 p.m. and midnight
Where:Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:Free

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New Year’s Eve Parties

Stratus Rooftop LoungePhoto by Noah Fecks

Looking to ring in 2017 with a heck of a party? You’re in luck. Plenty of Philadelphia’s bars and restaurants ring in the New Year with music-filled (and cocktail-fueled) parties that keep the revelry going well into 2017. Check out our picks for New Year's Eve parties in Philly.

New Year’s Eve Parties

When:Saturday, December 31
Where:Various Locations Including SugarHouse Casino, 1001 N. Delaware Avenue
Cost:Pay as you go

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Last Call: Macy’s Christmas Light Show

Macy'sPhoto by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

A Philadelphia tradition since 1956, the Christmas Light Show at Macy’s in Center City illuminates a large wall inside the Wanamaker building, a National Historic Landmark. People of all ages delight in the 100,000 LED lights and complimentary sounds from the Wanamaker Organ. Performances take place at multiple times each day. Saturday, December 31 marks the final day to check out this holiday display.

Last Call: Macy’s Christmas Light Show

When:Through December 31
Where:Macy's, 1300 Market Street
Cost:Free

www.wanamakerorgan.com

Last Call: Reading Terminal Market Holiday Railroad

Reading Terminal MarketPhoto by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

Every holiday season, Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia’s indoor haven for all things food, sets up a super-impressive 500-square-foot holiday railroad in its piano court. Guests ooh and aah over the 14 working train lines and miniature scenery of Center City and the countryside, all set up around almost one-third of a mile of track. The holiday railroad closed on Saturday, December 31.

Last Call: Reading Terminal Market Holiday Railroad

When:Through December 31
Where:Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th Street
Cost:Free

www.readingterminalmarket.org

Last Call: Headed To The White House at the National Constitution Center

Photo by J. Smith for Visit Philadelphia

The National Constitution Center closes its Headed to the White House exhibition this Saturday, December 31. Be sure to pay a visit to this interesting exhibition to learn about all aspects of a U.S. presidential election.

Last Call: Headed To The White House at the National Constitution Center

When:Through Saturday, December 31, 2016
Where:National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia
Cost:Through March 31: $13, adults; $8, children (4-12); April 1-November 8: $17.50, adults; $11, children (4-12); free for members

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SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade

Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

During the Mummers Parade, the only-in-Philadelphia New Year’s Day tradition that dates back to 1901, thousands of men, women and children delight and dazzle crowds with feathers, sequins, music and merriment during a day-long romp along Broad Street from City Hall — site of competition among the Comic, Comic Wench and String Band divisions — to Washington Avenue. In the Fancy Brigade Finale competition at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, clubs perform their Broadway-style music-and-dance routines for prizes and bragging rights.

SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade

When:Sunday, January 1, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where:Starts at City Hall and continues south on Broad Street to Washington Avenue
Cost:Free

www.phlvisitorcenter.com

Comcast Holiday Spectacular

Photo courtesy Comcast

This week, the Comcast Holiday Spectacular wraps up after another season of music and holiday imagery on the Comcast Experience video wall, one of the world’s largest and highest resolution LED displays. The 15-minute show happens at the top of every hour from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., excluding weekdays at 5 p.m

Comcast Holiday Spectacular

When:November 24-January 1, daily from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. at the top of each hour
Where:Comcast Center, Philadelphia
Cost:Free

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Free First Sunday at the Barnes Foundation

Masterworks of French Photography at the Barnes FoundationPhoto By C. Smyth For Visit Philadelphia

The Barnes Foundation marks the first Sunday of the month (this Sunday!) with free admission to its impressive galleries including its special exhibition Live and Life Will Give You Pictures. Free tickets are required and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Free First Sunday at the Barnes Foundation

When:Sunday, January 1
Where:Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost:Free tickets required

www.barnesfoundation.org

Pay-What-You-Wish First Sunday at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Musuem of Art welcomes the new month by offering discounted admission to all guests of the museum. Guests can pay whatever price they'd like to pay for full admission to the collections.

Pay-What-You-Wish First Sunday at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

When:Sunday, January 1
Where:Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost:Pay what you wish

www.philamuseum.org

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