Roundup: Our Picks For Alternative Holiday Events In Philadelphia

For those who do not celebrate Christmas, visit numerous sites across the city for themed entertainment for folks of all backgrounds and religious beliefs. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

No need to fret if Christmas isn’t your cup of tea, there are tons of happenings going on in the City of Brotherly Love for those who do not partake in the twinkling lights and presents of Christmas.

Spend the remaining weeks in December (and maybe even some time off work) at any number of events for all to enjoy.

Zahav brings back its A Very Jewish Christmas dinner, but this year serves up a multi-course menu of Vietnamese delicacies paired with an entertaining film. Back for its 30th year, families of all backgrounds are encouraged to attend Being [ ] at Christmas, an event that presents non-celebrators with music, games and more on Christmas Day itself. Also look forward to Chinese food dinners on Christmas Eve and a Kwanzaa celebration at The African American Museum in Philadelphia.

Our picks for alternative holiday events, below.

A Very Jewish Christmas at Zahav: 237 St. James Place, December 23, 6 and 9 p.m. Head to Zahav for a menu full of Vietnamese-inspired treats in celebration of sous chef Tyler Akin’s upcoming opening of a Vietnamese restaurant in Fishtown. The four-course meal includes a salad, mezze, entree and dessert for $55 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. The complete menu is available here. Reservations are required, choose from a 6 or 9 p.m. seating. Plus, diners are treated to a to-be-determined film.

Kung Pao Klezmer: 1026-28 Race Street, December 24, 6-9 p.m. Long live the storied tradition of Chinese food for those of the Jewish faith on Christmas Eve. The Gershman Y presents an evening of Chinese fare and live music on the night before Christmas. From 6 to 9 p.m., Joy Tsin Lau Restaurant hosts guests for a multi-course Chinese meal ringing in at $48 for adults and $25 for children 12 and under. While munching, groove to live music performed by Klingon Klez, an upbeat fusion band from the area.

Moo Shu Jew: 1023 Race Street, December 24, 6 p.m. Stand up comedy and a Chinese feast take the stage at Moo Shu Jew, a Christmas Eve event located at Ocean Harbor in Chinatown. Nosh on menu items like tofu and mixed vegetables, vegetable lo mein and spring rolls. Due to the nature of the comedy show, this event is only recommended for guests over the age of 16. Tickets are $69 in advance and $80 at the door. Tickets are available online.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia treats non-Christmas celebrators to numerous days of Kwanzaa celebrations during the holiday week. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

Being [ ] at Christmas: 101 S. Independence Mall E., December 25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.. On Christmas Day, the National Museum of American Jewish History invites families to fill in the blank during Being [ ] at Christmas. The event encourages families from every background to join in its annual day of family fun with music, games, children’s activities and more from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Spend December 25 grooving to family-friendly tunes provided by Baby Loves Disco, creating crafts from the folks at The Clay Studio and laughing to a kid-centric stand up comedian.

Washington Crossing the Delaware River: 1112 River Road, Washington Crossing, December 25, 1-3 p.m. History buffs get into the spirit of the season when they witness Washington Crossing the Delaware River, a free, annual reenactment staged at 1 p.m. on Christmas Day at Washington Crossing Historic Park.

The African American Museum’s Kwanzaa Celebration: 701 Arch Street, December 28-29, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Join the staff of the African American Museum in Philadelphia for a Kwanzaa celebration. Bring the whole family out for the daily candle lighting ceremony and introduction to Kwanzaa symbols and principles at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Also find live traditional music, dance, drumming, storytelling, historical re-enactments, face painting, balloon art and a Kwanzaa craft and game workshop. The celebration is free with museum admission, but guests are encouraged to bring a canned good to support Philabundance.

Extended Hours at The Barnes Foundation: 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, December 26-30. Explore the renowned collection at The Barnes Foundation as it welcomes visitors in later than usual as part of its extended holiday hours. The Barnes will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, but during the holiday week, stroll the museum after hours as a special end of the year treat. Click here for the extended holiday hours.

Extended Hours at The Franklin Institute: 222 N. 20th Street, December 26-30. Take up the opportunity to visit The Franklin Institute this holiday season as it allows guests to walk the museum and check out the One Day in Pompeii exhibition later than usual. Just after Christmas, December 26 to 27, the museum will be open until 7 p.m., and December 26 through 30, Pompeii will be open until 9 p.m. (last admission at 7:30 p.m.).



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