December 12, 2013
The city is currently full of holiday spirit, but one of the biggest and best parties of the year is right around the corner.
Philadelphia is gearing up to ring in 2014 with spectacular SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Delaware River Waterfront, featuring two shows at 6 p.m. and midnight. But it doesn’t stop there, Philadelphia.
New Year’s Day brings the 114th annual Mummer’s Parade, a can’t-miss Philadelphia tradition.
To help you take part in all of the city’s New Year festivities, several Philadelphia hotels are offering a number of packages chock-full of special perks, including event tickets, breakfast, free hotel parking and the potential to win free stays as you welcome 2014.
Check out a few of our top picks, below.
• Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package™: Available all-year-long, the new and improved Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package includes a two-night stay, free hotel parking (up to a $100 value) and a welcome gift at check-in.
• Strut Into the New Year Package: Available at both the Hotel Monaco on Independence Mall and the Hotel Palomar Philadelphia in Center City, the Strut Into the New Year Package includes two tickets to the Mummers Fancy Brigade Finale family show, which features a meet-and-greet with Mummers and a lesson on strutting. Valid only for stays on New Year’s Eve (December 31). Use the code STRUT when booking your stay.
• Golden Slipper Package: Have your own fairy-tale stay at the Sonesta Hotel Philadelphia with the Golden Slipper Package on New Year’s Eve. Available for overnight stays on December 31, the special package offers guests a bottle of champagne, two tickets to the Mummers Fancy Brigade Finale on New Year’s Day, late check-out and complimentary valet parking at the hotel. Bonus: If you discover a pair of Golden Slippers in your room upon arrival, your stay is free! One in every ten packages will be a winner.
• Mummers New Year’s Eve Package: Fête your way into the New Year with the Mummers New Year’s Eve Package at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. In addition to an overnight stay on December 31, the package includes a New Year’s Day breakfast at 13 Restaurant and two tickets to the Mummers Fancy Brigade family show on New Year’s Day.
• New Year’s Eve Package: Spend New Year’s Eve at the Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel and enjoy club-level accommodations, which includes upgraded amenities and access to the Club Lounge, breakfast for two in the hotel’s Taste Restaurant and free parking.
• New Year’s Eve Package: Get the best view of the Mummers Parade with the New Year’s Eve Package at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Center City. Available for stays between December 31, 2013 and January 2, 2014, the special package includes a room with a bird’s eye view of Broad Street (perfect for watching the Mummers Parade on New Year’s Day). You must book two nights for access to the hotel during the parade.
Discover more hotel packages and special offers at visitphilly.com.
December 11, 2013
Tonight, holiday spirit runs on high across the Philadelphia region.
From a Santa-centric bar crawl to holiday shopping in Chestnut Hill, along Rittenhouse Row and at the Christmas Village, it’s time to get out there and celebrate the season.
If dressing up for the holidays is your style, look no further than the Spirits and Suds with Santa bar crawl through 14 bars in East Passyunk. Participants receive a Santa or Elf hat along with deep drink discounts making for the perfect hump-day treat. The Cambridge invites winter revelers to don an ugly Christmas sweater for a tap takeover with Allagash brewery and an ugly sweater holiday party. Take note, the ugliest sweater takes home a prize.
Chestnut Hill welcomes the return of its seasons Stag and Doe shopping nights, a chance to support local businesses along Germantown Avenue while enjoying festive carols, treats and more seasonal fun and the Christmas Village continues to entertain the masses with holiday shopping from more than 60 vendors.
Plus, tonight’s the night to catch a holiday flick, make Yuletide cards and explore the galleries in the main building at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s pay-what-you-wish Wednesday, running until 8:45 p.m.
Our top picks for tonight, below.
• Spirits and Suds Bar Crawl with Santa: Sip seasonal craft beer and festive cocktails at 14 avenue bars and restaurants at East Passyunk Avenue’s Spirits and Suds with Santa bar crawl, an evening of debauchery and discounted after-work drinks from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 per person and include access to discounts galore — sip $3 seasonal craft beer, $4 holiday-themed cocktails, indulge in $5 bites (at select locations), receive a festive Santa or Elf hat and claim a Santa’s sipping stamp card for the chance to win prizes at the end of the night.
When: Wednesday, December 11, 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Where: East Passyunk Avenue
Cost: $5 ticket gets you $3 seasonal craft beers, $4 cocktails and $5 discounted snacks
• Stag and Doe Shopping Night in Chestnut Hill: Shop ’til you drop this evening in Chestnut Hill as it presents its second Stag and Doe shopping night of the season. Skip the mall and support small businesses along Germantown Avenue tonight until 9 p.m. Carolers, seasonal refreshments and helpful gift ideas from shop owners complete the recurring event. Plus, tonight, score a 25-percent discount on all ornaments from 5 to 9 p.m.
When: Wednesday, December 11, until 9 p.m.
Where: Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill
Cost: Pay as you go
• Christmas Village: Get some holiday shopping done at the Christmas Village at Love Park, an outdoor holiday market with more than 60 vendors selling items like holiday ornaments, jewelry, crafts and toys. Stop in for a bite or drink at the heated restaurant which offers shoppers eats including bratwurst with sauerkraut, strudels and pretzels and drinks including mulled wine and hot chocolate.
When: Wednesday, December 11, until 7 p.m.
Where: Love Park, 1500 Arch Street
Cost: Free admission; pay as you go for shopping and refreshments
• Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday at The Philadelphia Museum of Art: The holidays take the stage at this week’s pay-what-you-wish Wednesday at The Philadelphia Museum of Art. Tune in to a screening of Love Actually and make holiday cards while enjoying the regular offerings — yoga, themed tours of the galleries — of the weekly event.
When: Wednesday, December 11, 5-8:45 p.m.
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost: Pay what you wish
• Sittin’ In at The Kimmel Center: Groove to the tunes of Jeff Bradshaw, a renowned trombone player at The Kimmel Center’s free Sittin’ In concert series, tonight at 8 p.m. Bradshaw has shared the stage with folks like Jill Scott, Jay Z, Elvis Castello and The Roots and now, brings his talents to the SEI Innovation Studio at the Kimmel Center. Top off the evening of live music with cocktails from Garces Catering.
When: Wednesday, December 11, 8 p.m.
Where: The Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street
• Waterfront Winterfest at The Blue Cross RiverRink: Waterfront Winterfest at The Blue Cross RiverRink is a wintertime hub of energy. Stop by tonight, as it remains open until 1 a.m., for ice skating, a holiday light show, a craft beer garden, fire pits (with s’mores!) and more.
When: Wednesday, December 11, open until 1 a.m.
Where: Penn’s Landing, 101 South Columbus Boulevard
Cost: Pay as you go
• Allagash Tap Takeover and Ugly Sweater Christmas Party at The Cambridge: Don an ugly Christmas sweater and get ready to sip Allagash brews at The Cambridge tonight as it presents a part holiday party and part beer fete from 4:30 p.m. to close. Plus, the ugliest sweater wins an Allagash gift basket.
When: Wednesay, December 11, 4:30 p.m.
Where: The Cambridge, 1508 South Street
Cost: Pay as you go
• Donors Are Heroes Shopping Event: Support shops in Rittenhouse while benefiting a good cause, Donors Are Heroes, an organization that aims to grow awareness and support of organ and tissue donations and transplants. The Shop ’Til You Drop event kicks off at Knit Wit with a champagne toast at 6 p.m. After Knit Wit, visit participating stores to take part in the charity. Participating shops include South Moon Under, Charlie’s Jeans, Beans Beauty Supply and Rittenhouse Sports Specialties. End the evening with bites and drinks at Ocean Prime. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will benefit Donors Are Heroes.
When: Wednesday, December 11, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Participating stores throughout Rittenhouse
Cost: Pay as you go
December 11, 2013
Celebrating its 10th year, the Phoenixville Firebird Festival returns this Saturday, December 14 with its annual whimsical bash filled with art, live music, dancing and a huge, burning wooden bird.
Launched a decade ago by local artist Henrik Stubbe Teglbjaerg to mark Phoenixville’s rise from the ashes of an economic downturn, the fest aims to enrich the local art scene and encourage collaboration between artists.
To that end, a slew of local artists showcase their wares and talents during the day-long event, which runs from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and culminates with the phoenix lighting at 8:15 p.m.
In the afternoon, artists and crafters peddle a range of handmade goods from 3 p.m. through the end of the festival. Look for paper bird wands, custom artwork, hand-thrown pottery, glass ornaments, Firebird Festival swag, and much more. For the complete list of vendors, check here.
Then at 7:30 p.m., a long parade marches to the site of the giant bird sculpture with glowing lanterns, delicate peace birds and other puppets, wild dancers and drummers, and the torch that will light the phoenix. Starting at Bridge and Bank streets in the heart of downtown Phoenixville, the procession travels to Fillmore Street and Friendship Park.
The centerpiece of the fest, though, is when an effigy of the borough’s namesake — the phoenix — goes up in a blaze of flames. Scheduled for 8:15 p.m., a ceremonial lighting will set the enormous sculpture on fire, creating a huge bonfire and tons of heat.
Notably, each year the base of the phoenix sculpture is filled with small, ceramic birds crafted by locals that will be fired by the inferno, thus completing the cycle associated with the phoenix’s mythology.
The festival has grown exponentially over the past few years, with an expected attendance of more than 12,000 this year. To accommodate the crowds, the festival and craft bazaar will be held for the first time at Friendship Field in Phoenixville, on the north end of town adjacent to Reservoir Park.
In addition to the Firebird Festival, a number of additional events make Phoenixville a festive place to be come Saturday. The Phoenixville Fire Department hosts its annual craft fair with more than 30 vendors that same afternoon, a Toys for Tots Winter Festival starts at 10 a.m. at Kimberton Fairgrounds, and the Schuykill Canal Association’s Holiday Luminaria event runs nearby from 6 to 9 p.m.
Truly, the firebird is a sight to see.
Phoenixville Firebird Festival
When: Saturday, December 14, 3-7:30 p.m., lighting, 8:15 p.m.
Where: Friendship Field, Fillmore and Franklin streets, Phoenixville
More info: www.firebirdfestival.com
December 11, 2013
The holiday season is full of gift wrapping, cocktail parties, cookie swaps, tree cutting and nights of home decorating. Save some energy with a relaxed Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner prepared for you by some of the city’s finest chefs.
Whether you’re looking to dine out on Tuesday, December 24 or Wednesday, December 25, consult our Yuletide dinner list for your holiday needs — we’ve broken it down into meals on Christmas Eve and meals on Christmas Day.
From Seven Fish feasts to festive prix fixe meals, well-loved Philadelphia restaurants are the place to be before or on the big holiday.
Read on for our picks for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners, below.
• 10 Arts at The Ritz-Carlton: Center City, 10 Avenue of the Arts, 215-523-8273. Sample bites from 10 Arts’ regular menu or indulge in a three-course tasting menu from 5:30 to 10 p.m. for $45 with an optional wine pairing for $24.
• Amada: Old City, 217-219 Chestnut Street, 215-625-2450. Iron Chef Jose Garces’ Spanish tapas restaurant, Amada invites guests in for a cozy meal on Christmas Eve. The eatery will be open for both lunch and dinner when it will be serving up its à la carte menu and chef’s tasting menu. Take note, the restaurant will close a little early, at 9 p.m., on Christmas Eve.
• The Moshulu: Old City, 401 S. Columbus Boulevard, 215-923-2500. Climb aboard the Moshulu from 4 to 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve for sweeping waterfront views and favorites from the classic à la carte menu. Fill up on bites like clams, steak, oysters, butternut squash soup, artisan cheese and a selection of sushi.
• Positano Coast: Old City, 212 Walnut Street 2nd Floor, 215-238-0499. Get a taste of the Mediterranean during a Seven Fishes dinner at Positano Coast. The feast is $45 per person with an optional wine pairing available for an additional $35. The full menu is available here.
• Chart House: Old City, 555 S. Columbus Boulevard, 215-625-8383. On both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Chart House offers diners waterfront views in addition to its signature seafood menu. Fill up on bites like stuffed flounder, shrimp scampi, lobster and crab cakes. Chilly? Warm up with some lobster bisque.
• Garces Trading Company: Washington Square West, 1111 Locust Street, 215-574-1099. Transport to Europe this Christmas Eve as Garces Trading Company dishes out the finest in European cuisine on Christmas Eve. Indulge in the à la carte, featuring items like housemade mozzarella, gourmet pizzas and steak frites, or choose to sample items from the tasting menu. Be sure to fill up early, Garces Trading Company will be closing at 9 p.m. for the holiday.
• Branzino Italian Ristorante: Rittenhouse, 261 S. 17th Street, 215-790-0103. In addition to its à la carte menu featuring items like braised lamb shank and a cheesy veal cutlet, Branzino Italian Ristorante serves up a Feast of the Seven Fishes meal on the night before Christmas.
• Twenty Manning Grill: Rittenhouse, 261 S. 20th Street, 215-731-0900. This Christmas Eve, Twenty Manning Grill offers its normal fare to diners with a last seating at 8:30 p.m. Take note, the bar’s last call will be a little earlier, at 10:30 p.m.
• Headhouse Crab and Oyster Co.: Queen Village, 119 South Street, 215-418-0600. The traditional Italian pre-Christmas meal, the Feast of the Seven Fishes, takes the stage at Headhouse Crab and Oyster Co. on Christmas Eve. From 2 to 8 p.m., indulge in a solid lineup of fruits of the sea for $28 per person, talk about a deal. Menu items include crab-stuffed lobster, garlic mussels and a bowl of fried fish goodness.
• City Tavern: Old City, 138 S. 2nd Street, 215-413-1443. City Tavern treats guests to both a four-course prix-fixe menu and an à la carte selection on the night before Christmas. The prix-fixe menu rings in at $74.95 for adults and $34.95 for children 12 and under and is available from 4 to 9 p.m. The à la carte menu will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for earlier diners.
• Bridget Foy’s: Queen Village, 200 South Street, 215-922-1813. Bridget Foy’s serves up Christmas cheer in a big way — with a take on the Fest of the Seven Fishes this Christmas Eve. Stop in for a fish-centric meal at one of South Street’s most popular, crowd-pleasing restaurants.
• Fogo de Chao: Center City, 1337 Chestnut Street, 215-636-9700. Carnivores, take note, Fogo de Chao serves up its classic Brazilian steakhouse fare for both lunch and dinner on Christmas Eve. Lunchers, enjoy a $34.50 buffet and evening diners, look forward to a meal ringing in at $51.50.
• Bistro St Tropez: Center City, 2400 Market Street, 215-569-9269. Overlook the Schuylkill River this Christmas Eve as Bistro St Tropez dishes up a tasting menu full of French-centric fare. Diners can choose from a three-course dinner for $38 or a five-course meal for $48. Menu items include a cheese plate, slow-braised lamb shank, salmon and chocolate mousse cake. An optional wine pairing is available for $18 for three-course guests and $30 for five-course diners.
• Stephen Starr Restaurants: With the exception of Fette Sau, Frankford Hall and Ranstead Room, Stephen Starr’s restaurants open their doors to Christmas Eve — from toasty Mexican fare at El Vez to gourmet pizza at Pizzeria Stella. Click here for the full list of Stephen Starr restaurants.
Read on for even more Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners. (more…)
December 11, 2013
This Saturday, December 14, the sidewalks and storefronts of the South Street Headhouse District will brim with holiday cheer — both nice and a bit naughty.
From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., the neighborhood hosts its first Christmas Village under the Headhouse Square Shambles.
Curated by the folks of PHAIR, an Philly-focused open-air market, the holiday bazaar brings in 30 crafters and artisans to peddle handmade wares throughout the day.
Plus, families can enjoy a visit from Santa Claus from 1 to 3 p.m. (bring those wish lists!), holiday photos at Posey Booth, and warming food and drink from Brauhaus Schmitz. For the complete vendor lineup and schedule, check here.
After the sun goes down, the jolly good times of the annual Santa’s South Street Stumble take over the neighborhood from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Starting at Bainbridge Street Barrel House and making merry all the way down South Street to Woolly Mammoth, participants can pick up a $5 South Street Headhouse District Santa hat at any stop on the stumble to enjoy holiday beer and cocktail specials at 13 participating bars and restaurants.
For the complete lineup of bars, check here.
And remember, metered parking is free on Saturdays after 11 a.m.!
South Street Headhouse District Christmas Village
When: Saturday, December 14, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Where: Headhouse Square Shambles, 2nd and Pine streets
Cost: Pay as you go
More info: www.southstreet.com
Santa’s South Street Stumble
When: Saturday, December 14, 6 p.m.-midnight
Where: South Street
Cost: $5 ticket; pay as you go
More info: www.southstreet.com
December 11, 2013
The Raven Society of the Free Library presents its annual holiday soiree this weekend and this year, the party raises a hat to the library’s year-long celebration of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, The Year of the Bard: Shakespeare at 450, in 2014.
The masquerade-style party, Twelfth Night on Friday the Thirteenth, will take place at the Parkway Central Library at 8 p.m. this Friday, December 13.
Look forward to live music, dancing, Shakespearean actors throughout the fete, an open bar and a silent auction featuring items from some of the city’s most popular folks (think Zahav, Phillies, DiBruno Bros. and FringeArts).
Get in the spirit and toast to the occasion with a specially-brewed Shakesbeer from Yards Brewing Co.
Tickets are $50 for Raven Society members, $75 for non-members and $100 for those looking to attend the party and join The Raven Society. Tickets are available online.
The Raven Society aims to promote literacy and learning across the city by raising money through parties (like this one!) and other events throughout the year.
With Christmas less than two weeks away, get in the spirit of giving by donating a teen mystery or horror book to the Free Library at the evening event.
Twelfth Night on Friday the Thirteenth
When: Friday, December 13, 8 p.m.
Where: Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street
Cost: $50 for Raven Society members, $75 for non-members, $100 for party and membership
More info: www.freelibrary.org
December 11, 2013
Get literary this holiday season with more than just a trip to the Dickens Village.
Take it to the next level with poetry and performance art at the Lantern Theater Company world-premiere adaptation of Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales.
The Lantern’s artistic director Charles McMahon has teamed up with local interdisciplinary artist Sebastienne Mundheim to transform classical set design with an interactive wonderland.
Because as any Rankin Bass fan can tell you, it’s not a holiday classic until you add a few puppets.
Memories of fire trucks and snowstorms breathe through the lips of a four person ensemble, while the stage itself becomes the movement in Thomas’ evocative prose.
Evening and matinee performances keep it family friendly through January 5, while a December 20 wine tasting event caters to children-at-heart.
Tickets are available online.
A Child’s Christmas in Wales
When: Through January 5
Where: St. Stephen’s Theater, 10th and Ludlow streets
Cost: Tickets range from $20-$38
More info: www.lanterntheater.org
December 10, 2013
Give the gift of an iconic Philadelphia experience this holiday season.
Better than bringing Philadelphia home for the holidays, this lineup of holiday gift ideas is designed to bring the recipient out and about in the City of Brotherly Love.
The best part of many of these experiences, though? In most cases, giving them as gifts requires just a few clicks. You’ve got two long weeks left until Christmas, so use them wisely. Take a cue from our ideas here, or head out to one of the many, many holiday markets popping up in town this season.
Read on for our picks for Philadelphia-only experiences to give this holiday season.
• Become A Museum Member: A truly impressive number of world-renowned museums call Philadelphia home. Whether you’re looking for a gift for a history buff, a science lover or an art aficionado, a museum membership to any one of our acclaimed museums will be happily received. Each comes with excellent perks, like gift-shop discounts, exclusive event access and more. Choose from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Barnes Foundation, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Penn Museum, National Museum of American Jewish History, National Constitution Center, The Franklin Institute, Eastern State Penitentiary, Academy of Natural Sciences and many more. Annual memberships range in price, of course, with most starting around $50 for an individual membership.
• Dine with a Philadelphia Restaurant Family Gift Card: Here in Philadelphia, the dining scene sees hot new restaurants open regularly. But for the holidays, give a taste of one of this city’s top restaurant families with a flexible company-wide gift card. Snag one of these options — most available online — and your giftee gets to a say in where they dine. A few quintessential Philadelphia group gift cards to give: Stephen Starr Restaurants, Garces Group (Bonus! Get $20 for every $75), Cook + Solo Restaurants; 13th Street Restaurants; Vetri Family Restaurants.
• Tour Local Breweries: Philadelphia is a beer town — through and through. So for all those brew-loving folks, give a private brewery tour at Yards Brewing Company. Yards offers free weekend tours, but private tours are available for groups up to 30. You’ll get a guided tasting and insider access to where the malted magic happens. Tours start at just $15 per person for the grain-to-glass journey.
• Learn at COOK: Few encounters offer such up-close-and-personal time with Philadelphia culinary luminaries as the intimate classes at COOK. Philadelphia’s top chefs — from Michael Solomonov of Zahav to Jonathan Cichon of Lacroix — teach a group of just 16 in an open kitchen classroom, and classes vary from evenings of decadent dining to cocktail making and more. Classes range in price from around $70 per person to upwards of $200. Also, note that classes do book up quickly!
• Be A Part of The Kimmel Center: The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts debuted the Academy Gold subscriber membership designed with theater lovers in mind. The $500 Academy Gold Broadway Subscriber Membership includes all Kimmel Center Gold Membership perks plus more exclusive benefits: access to the Academy Ballroom an hour before curtain and during intermission, private Academy of Music entrance, concessions for food and beverages, early access to free coat check, four free drink coupons, four guest passes and access to private restrooms.
• See The Philadelphia Orchestra: The Philadelphia Orchestra and PECO have partnered up to offer $10 tickets in advance to more than 30 concerts as part of the PECO Power Week running through Sunday, December 15 at noon. More than two dozen concerts are included in the sale, and tickets for these performances regularly sell for $20 to $156, so those who act quickly (and snag the best seats) could enjoy discounts of up to 90 percent. Whoa!
• Join the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society: For those who appreciate gardening, greenery and the natural environment — or just love tickets to the Philadelphia Flower Show — the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society offers up a number of gift packages for the holidays. Through December 18, give year-round PHS membership, a tree planted in honor of a friend or loved one and two tickets to the 2014 Philadelphia Flower Show for $165.
• Visit Historic Philadelphia: Few destinations exhibit iconic Philadelphia better than those in Historic Philadelphia. Send folks on your list on a trip back in time on a Tippler’s Tour or with admission to the Betsy Ross House. Or give a gift that lasts a lifetime by having your (or a loved one’s) name engraved on a brick in the Betsy Ross House courtyard or Franklin Square.
• Cheer On The Phillies, Flyers, Eagles and Union: Philadelphia sports fans are a devoted bunch, and going to any major league sports game offers up a true Philly experience. This year, give the sports fans on your list the chance to see the Philadelphia Phillies, Flyers, Eagles and Union.
• Eat Your Way Through Reading Terminal Market: Buying gifts for the true food lover can be a challenge. Gadgets and gourmet ingredients are expected, but a gift certificate to dozens and dozens of merchants at the Reading Terminal Market will be cherished. Available in any denomination, the market bucks are good at all but about a dozen of the merchants.
• Local Food and Drink Monthly Subscriptions: Some of our favorite Philadelphia places allow customers to pre-order their yummy food and drinks for a year’s worth of tasty treats. Give your friends and family a gift that keeps on giving like a coffee subscription from Rival Bros Coffee; six pints of gelati or sorbetti from Capogiro; or pints upon pints of Little Baby’s ice cream, which offers a “community-support ice cream subscription service” that’s available for sign-up until December 24.
• Ice Skate at the Blue Cross RiverRink: This winter, Penn’s Landing’s Blue Cross RiverRink celebrates 20 years of ice skating on the Delaware River by transforming the annual waterfront rink into a veritable winter wonderland. Waterfront Winterfest runs daily through January 5 with an indoor beer garden, pop-up garden-style landscaping, a light and video show, and a retail shopping experience. Tickets for public skating sessions can be purchased in advance online, so skaters can simply show up and glide.
• Adopt an Animal at The Philadelphia Zoo: Sure, an annual membership to the world-class Philadelphia Zoo is a wonderful gift, but the zoo also offers an animal adoption program with such benefits as personal meet-and-greets with animals and their keepers. You can purchase an adopt packet for as little as $50, but for just $150 per person, you can go behind the scenes with a zookeeper.
• Tour the Town: Make a present out of touring Philadelphia by foot or by motor on a city tour. A slew of tour companies offer amazing Philadelphia adventures, but the hop-on and hop-off pace of the Big Bus Tours makes taking in key city sights a relaxing, personal experience. Tickets are available online, and are $27 for a flexible adult pass, which is valid on any day.
• The Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package: Philly is more fun when you sleep over, so treat anyone on your Christmas list to a two-night stay at a discounted rate in our wonderful city. The Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package includes free hotel parking so you can drive into town and not have to worry about finding and paying for parking. And you can use it to book any two consecutive nights of the week: Friday and Saturday, Saturday and Sunday, Sunday and Monday, etc. So the weekend is whenever you or your giftee wants it to be.
Bonus: If you prefer the experience of picking out a highly wrappable gift to give, take to the multiple shopping districts of Philadelphia for your holiday shopping. Neighborhoods like Rittenhouse Row, Midtown Village, East Passyunk and Old City and beyond offer up local and diverse shopping experiences.
December 10, 2013
Bask in Christmas glory at Pennypacker Mills, the home of Pennsylvania’s late Governor, Samuel Pennypacker. Visit the Montgomery County home as it is decked with holiday decor for the season.
This Saturday, December 14, Pennypacker Mills presents its Christmas Open House from 2 to 8 p.m. Take in the holiday cheer and impressive decor while enjoying holiday traditions and music from the 1900s. Visit with Santa, hear from historians, indulge in traditional holiday food and say hello to the butler at the afternoon open house. Be sure to stop by the gift shop for Victorian-inspired holiday decor for your own home.
Through January 5, 2014, the home welcomes an array of Victorian holiday decorations like glass ornaments, a magnificent vintage-inspired Christmas tree, holiday greens and more.
Tour the historic site and learn about children’s toys from 100 years ago and holiday traditions that have stood the test of time. For the first time ever, visitors are invited to explore the mansion’s servant quarters which include the butler’s pantry, indoor laundry room, kitchen and the cook’s bedroom. Guests of this weekend’s open house have the opportunity to take in the Yuletide spirit that is offered on the daily tours.
Admission to both the open hour and tours are free, but a donation of $2 is suggested. Take note, Pennypacker Mills is closed on Mondays and will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Victorian Christmas Open House at Pennypacker Mills
When: Victorian Christmas, Through January 5, 2014; Open House, Saturday, December 14, 2-8 p.m.
Where: Pennypacker Mills, 5 Haldeman Road, Schwenksville
Cost: Free, suggested donation of $2
More info: www.montcopa.org