18+ Awesome Things To Do In Philly This Week, December 5-11

The Nutcracker, Parade of Lights at the Seaport Museum, Q102 Jingle Ball and more...

As we near December’s holidays, more and more festive events pop up across Philadelphia.

This week, one of the city’s beloved holiday traditions starts up — the Pennsylvania Ballet debuts this year’s performance of The Nutcracker this Friday night. The classic Christmas story unfolds on the stage of the Academy of Music throughout the month of December.

Along the waterfront, illuminated boats make their way down the Delaware River for the Independence Seaport Museum’s annual Parade of Lights on Saturday. Inside of the museum, there are plenty of holiday events, too.

Read on for our guide to this week in Philly.

Franklin Square Holiday Festival and Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show

Franklin Square Holiday FestivalPhoto courtesy J. Fusco for Historic Philadelphia Inc.

For the holidays, Franklin Square transforms into a hub for holiday cheer. Nightly, the Electrical Spectacle light show illuminates the historic park, which is paired with holiday tunes to boot. New this year, the holiday attraction welcomes Ben’s Sweets and Treats, an area that promises homemade fudge making, gingerbread house decorating, holiday cookie decorating and more.

Franklin Square Holiday Festival and Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show

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

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Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

WinterfestPhoto by Matt Stanley for DRWC

Winter is better with twinkling lights, hot chocolate, s’more-roasting 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 ParkPhoto courtesy Center City District

Dilworth Park is a holiday lover’s dream this season with everything from shopping and snacking to ice skating and lounging. This year, Christmas Village fills the park with one-of-a-kind ornaments, décor and holiday gifts along with hot mulled wine and toasty hot cocoa. The Made in Philadelphia Market also returns with handmade gifts by local artists. In addition to shopping, holiday revelers flock to Dilworth Park for its ice rink, holiday garden maze and food-filled cabin.

Holiday Happenings at City Hall

When:Christmas Village through December 24; Ice Rink and Wintergarden through February 26, 2017
Where:Dilworth Park, 1401 JFK Boulevard
Cost:Pay as you go

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The Summer Club At Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center

This Monday night, the Summer Club performs at Venice Island Performing Arts Center in Manayunk. The band specializes in swing music and comes complete with a 17-piece big band to accompany the singers.

The Summer Club At Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center

When:Monday, December 5, 8 p.m.
Where:Venice Island Performing Arts & Recreation Center, 7 Lock Street
Cost:$40

www.veniceisland.org

Grand Opening of Taller Puertorriqueño’s El Corazόn Cultural Center

A cultural center and community center, Taller Puertorriqueño has long captured the spirit and soul of the Latin community in Philadelphia. This month, it debuts its new El Corazon Cultural Center, which expands the organization's current exhibition gallery and also adds a variety of new spaces to the center. Join the opening celebration for a first look at the new dance and theater studios, outdoor sculpture patio and other recent features added as part of the expansion.

Grand Opening of Taller Puertorriqueño’s El Corazόn Cultural Center

When:Wednesday, December 7, 4-6 p.m.
Where:El Corazόn Cultural Center, 2600 N. 5th Street
Cost:Free with RSVP

www.tallerpr.org

Q102 Jingle Ball

Some of the biggest names in music head to the Wells Fargo Center this Wednesday for the annual Q102 Jingle Ball. Featured musicians this year include Ellie Goulding, DNCE, Fifth Harmony, Shawn Mendes and Tove Lo.

Q102 Jingle Ball

When:Wednesday, December 7, 7:30 p.m.
Where:Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad Street
Cost:$40.50 and up

www.wellsfargocenterphilly.com

Hairspray Live! Viewing Party

The Tavern on Camac celebrates the release of Hairspray Live! with a free watch party this Wednesday night. Arrive at the bar at 7:45 p.m. to grab a seat in the Ascend Lounge — where the show will be live streamed on a giant projection screen. Absolut cocktails will be flowing for $6 a pop throughout the show.

Hairspray Live! Viewing Party

When:Wednesday, December 7, 7:45-11:30 p.m.
Where:Tavern on Camac, 243 S. Camac Street
Cost:Free admission

www.phillygaycalendar.com

Historic Holiday Nights in Old City

In Old City, the holiday season hits a high note every Thursday night with this year’s debut of Historic Holiday Nights, a weekly recurring nighttime event. Continuing on Thursday nights through December 22, the new festive event welcomes 45 shops, restaurants and museums as participants who will be offering special sales and extended happy hour.

Historic Holiday Nights in Old City

When:Thursday, December 8, 5-8 p.m.
Where:Various Old City locations including High Street on Market, 308 Market Street
Cost:Pay as you go

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Johnson House Holiday Caroling and Food Basket Giveaway

Join a cheery band of carolers who will make their way down the 6300 block of Germantown Avenue singing seasonal tunes as they go. Afterward, the 6300 Germantown Business Alliance will distribute food baskets to area families in need and hot apple cider and cookies will be served at the Johnson House.

Johnson House Holiday Caroling and Food Basket Giveaway

When:Thursday, December 8, 4-6 p.m.
Where:Johnson House Historic Site, 6306 Germantown Avenue
Cost:Free

www.johnsonhouse.org

Martha Graham Cracker at L'Etage

This Thursday night, Martha Graham Cracker takes the stage at L’Etage for an end-of-the-year party at L’Etage. Philly’s favorite drag queen will be performing classic songs in addition to new music.

Martha Graham Cracker at L'Etage

When:Thursday, December 8, 8-11 p.m.
Where:L'Etage, 624 S. 6th Street
Cost:$15 in advance, $25 on the day of the show

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Pennsylvania Ballet Presents George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

The NutcrackerPhoto by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

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 (opened in 1857) for the Pennsylvania Ballet’s classic production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker — a Philadelphia tradition that’s 48 years strong.

Pennsylvania Ballet Presents George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

When:December 9-31
Where:The Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street
Cost:$35 and up

www.paballet.org

Arctic Ave Festival in East Passyunk

East Passyunk turns into a full-blown winter wonderland as its second-ever Arctic Ave festival returns with live ice carving, an ornament show, cocktail crawl, holiday tunes and more. At 7 p.m., a cheesesteak ice sculpture competition hits cheesesteak corner (right by Pat's and Geno's). The Arctic Ave Festival starts at 11 a.m. and continues all day long.

Arctic Ave Festival in East Passyunk

When:Saturday, December 10
Where:Singing Fountain, S. 11th Street & East Passyunk Avenue
Cost:Pay as you go

www.visiteastpassyunk.com

Ancient Egypt Open House at the Penn Museum

Photo by C. Gabello for Visit Philadelphia

This Saturday, the Penn Museum hosts a special open house in its Ancient Egypt gallery. The open house is intended for those who are a part of the "Introduction to Ancient Egypt and its Civilization" online class but is also open to those who are interested in the subject. Throughout the day, guests can meet the professor, learn about mummification, learn how to write hieroglyphs, embark on a tour of the galleries and more.

Ancient Egypt Open House at the Penn Museum

When:Saturday, December 10, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where:Penn Museum, 3260 South Street
Cost:Included in the price of admission

www.penn.museum

TOY 2016

This weekend, you can party for a good cause as TOY returns for another year of holiday celebrations to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Action Wellness. Starting at 7 p.m., enjoy drinks, hors d'oeuvres, a silent auction while taking in sweeping skyline views (Top of the Tower is 51 stories above ground!). Guests are also encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy to the party.

TOY 2016

When:Saturday, December 10, 7-10 p.m.
Where:Sky Philadelphia, 1717 Arch Street
Cost:$78

www.dvlf.org

Parade of Lights at the Seaport Museum

Photo courtesy Independence Seaport Museum

Head to the Delaware River waterfront for the annual Parade of Lights, a lighting celebration unlike any other in the city. This boat parade features both pleasure boats and working vessels decked out in fabulous decorations and lights. Before the parade, head to the Independence Seaport Museum, which is hosting the parade, for holiday activities and festivities. Tip: The best view for the parade is from the second-floor balcony of the museum.

Parade of Lights at the Seaport Museum

When:Saturday, December 10, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where:Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:Parade, free; Seaport Museum activities are included in the price of admission

www.phillyseaport.org

Rittenhouse Row Holiday Fashion Crawl

A day of shopping and cocktails unfold in Rittehouse this Saturday as the annual Holiday Fashion Crawl returns to some of the most popular shop’s in the neighborhood — Joan Shepp, Knit Wit, South Moon Under, LAGOS, Skirt and more. Each store will pair up with a Rittenhouse-area mixologist for the cocktail crawl in hopes of being voted the best cocktail of the day. Guests of the event get to try cocktails while they shop and vote for their favorite.

Rittenhouse Row Holiday Fashion Crawl

When:Saturday, December 10, Noon-3 p.m.
Where:Throughout Rittenhouse Row
Cost:Pay as you go

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“A Very Philly Christmas” at the Charms of Fairmount Park

Fairmount CharmsPhoto by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

For Christmas in Fairmount Park, six decked-out 18th- and 19th-century park mansions — Strawberry Mansion, Cedar Grove, Mount Pleasant, Laurel Hill, Lemon Hill and Woodford Mansion — open their doors for holiday treats and tours. During “A Very Philly Christmas,” each day boasts a different theme: music, food, family and neighbors.

“A Very Philly Christmas” at the Charms of Fairmount Park

When:December 10-11
Where:Various locations including Historic Strawberry Mansion, 2450 Strawberry Mansion Drive
Cost:Pay as you go

www.holidaysinthepark.com

Rocky 40th Anniversary Screening At The Kimmel Center

Photo by M. Kennedy For Visit Philadelphia

Celebrate the 40th-anniversary of Rocky with a celebratory screening of the new-and-improved 4K release. Two screenings will take place at the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center this Saturday.

Rocky 40th Anniversary Screening At The Kimmel Center

When:Saturday, December 10, 3 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Where:Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street
Cost:$10

www.kimmelcenter.org

Crafty Balboa Holiday Market

This year, the popular Crafty Balboa Holiday Market in South Philly brings handmade gifts, crafts, booths from East Passyunk Avenue shops and even some free items to a new location — Bok. A juried market and craft fair, a group of more than 50 high-quality vendors will be on hand this year. Plus, the first 50 visitors receive free goodie bags featuring an array of items from the vendors.

Crafty Balboa Holiday Market

When:Saturday, December 10, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where:Bok, 1901 S. 9th Street
Cost:Free

www.craftybalboa.com/

Holiday Beer Garden Party at M Restaurant

This holiday season, Christmas trees in the courtyard garden of the M Restaurant at The Morris House Hotel will be lavishly decorated, and the hotel will be decked out to look like a true holiday scene. Swing by this Saturday to visit Santa Claus, meet adoptable puppies from the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society and try some food and drink specials. December 10 also marks the kick off party for the restaurant's seasonal beer garden.

Holiday Beer Garden Party at M Restaurant

When:Saturday, December 10, 2-10 p.m.
Where:M Restaurant, 231 S. 8th Street
Cost:Pay as you go

www.mrestaurantphilly.com

Captain's Vintage Punk Rock Holiday Bazaar Flea Market Extravaganza

A version of the holiday Punk Rock Flea Market lands in West Philly for the weekend. On both Saturday and Sunday, browse the goods of more than 50 vendors selling old records, clothes, art, music, food, junk, bicycles, stereo equipment, instruments, automobiles, tools, posters, furniture, computers, skateboards and lots of other random trinkets and gems.

Captain's Vintage Punk Rock Holiday Bazaar Flea Market Extravaganza

When:December 10-11
Where:Captain's Vintage Headquarters, 5070 Parkside Avenue
Cost:$2 entry

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Free Admission to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

PAFAPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

In celebration of its recently opened World War I exhibition, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts offers free admission to its galleries on Sundays through April. How's that for a deal?

Free Admission to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

When:Sunday, December 11
Where:Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), 118-128 N. Broad Street
Cost:Free

www.pafa.org

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