25+ Amazing Things To Do In Philly This Week, December 11-17

Happenings at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, Dilworth Park Wintergarden, Hanukkah in Philadelphia and more…

There may be snow flurries in the forecast, but the wealth of festivities on tap in Philly this week will keep the City of Brotherly Love wrapped in holiday warmth.

This week brings the start of Hanukkah, holiday parades, fabulous performing arts and other fun and festive happenings with which to pack your schedule — including a holiday movie series kickoff at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest and a free-to-attend Holiday Pop-Up Market at the Barnes Foundation.

If the holidays aren’t necessarily your bag, then shake it out on the dance floor at La NOCHE at the Kimmel Center or awaken your inner Star Wars geek at Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trivia and Movie Screening at the TLA.

Also on the calendar: PHILADANCO at the Kimmel Center, the Phillie Phanatic and Santa in Chestnut Hill, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Wells Fargo Center and much more!

Read on for our top picks for the week.

Dilworth Park Wintergarden & Holiday Attractions at City Hall

Christmas VillagePhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

The area surrounding City Hall has transformed into a winter wonderland this holiday season thanks to the 50-foot-tall Philly Holiday Tree, the Craft Hall Pop-Up Restaurant, the all-local Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market and a carousel. More holiday fun comes via the Dilworth Park Wintergarden, where the Rothman Institute Ice Rink, the Rothman Institute Cabin, the brand-new (and free!) Deck the Halls Light Show and America's Garden Capital Maze all await. Across the street from Dilworth Park are 80 vendors at the annual Christmas Village, back this year at the still-under-construction LOVE Park. On tap this week? A Merry, Merry Happy Hour at Craft Hall Pop-Up Restaurant with $1 per drink going to the Department of Human Services.

Dilworth Park Wintergarden & Holiday Attractions at City Hall

When:Dates vary by attraction
Where:Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th Street
Cost:Pay as you go

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Franklin Square Holiday Festival

Franklin Square Holiday FestivalM. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

The Franklin Square Holiday Festival featuring the Electrical Spectacle makes this historic square twinkle, with free shows every 30 minutes between 4 and 8 p.m. on weeknights and 4 and 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Among the 50,000 bulbs set to music is a giant, illuminated kite. Other festivities include Saturdays with Santa; rides on the holiday train and carousel; comfort foods, local beer and hot beverages; and mini-golf.

Franklin Square Holiday Festival

When:Through Sunday, December 31
Where:Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street
Cost:Free

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Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Blue Cross RiverRink WinterfestPhoto courtesy M. Stanley for DRWC

The popular Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest is back with a chalet-style Lodge Restaurant and Bar, hearty fare from Garces Group and Chickie's & Pete's, sweets from Franklin Fountain Confectionery Cabin and a regulation skating rink with a spectacular view of the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

When:Through Sunday, March 4
Where:Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:Pay as you go

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Holiday Happenings in Philadelphia & The Countryside

Macy's Christmas Light ShowPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

All throughout the region, fun holiday activities await, including the free and daily Christmas Light Show at Macy's (a tradition since 1956), The Comcast Holiday Spectacular (an ongoing 15-minute show screened on the largest four-millimeter LED screen on Earth), spectacular holiday decorations and lights at Peddler's Village and Longwood Gardens and so much more.

Holiday Happenings in Philadelphia & The Countryside

When:Dates vary by attraction
Where:Various locations including Macy's, 1300 Market Street
Cost:Varies

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Winter Fountains on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

The free, outdoor Winter Fountains exhibition illuminates the Benjamin Franklin Parkway this winter with a stunning nighttime display of surreal, glowing videos projected on to four large domes. The dazzling works — inspired by the Parkway's grand fountains — are the centerpiece exhibition of Parkway 100, the city's 14-month celebration commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the avenue's groundbreaking.

Winter Fountains on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

When:Through Sunday, March 18
Where:Four points along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway including outside the Rodin Museum, 2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost:Free

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A Philly POPS Christmas

The Philly PopsPhoto courtesy The Philly Pops

Maestro Michael Krajewski takes the baton to lead the Philly POPS in a newly re-imagined, always-beloved concert featuring vocalist Justin Hopkins, the Philadelphia Boys Choir, the Philly POPS Festival Chorus and the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir. Part of the festivities: a musical performance of How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

A Philly POPS Christmas

When:Through Tuesday, December 19 (select dates)
Where:Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street
Cost:$35-$116

www.phillypops.org

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music

Photo by Alexander Iziliaev

The Pennsylvania Ballet returns to the grand Academy of Music for an elegant (yet kid-friendly) Philadelphia dance tradition. Tchaikovsky's iconic score pairs with lavish sets, lavish costumes and enchanting performances by the dancers, members of the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra and Philadelphia Boys Choir.

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music

When:Though Sunday, December 31 (select dates)
Where:Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street
Cost:$35 and up

www.kimmelcenter.org

Quest at the Ritz at the Bourse

Don’t sleep on your chance to see Jon Olshefski’s powerful Philly-set documentary, Quest, filmed over the course of a decade. By popular demand, this portrait of a family and the recording studio they run out of their North Philadelphia home will be screening for a few more days at the Ritz at the Bourse.

Quest at the Ritz at the Bourse

When:Through Thursday, December 14
Where:Ritz at the Bourse, 400 Ranstead Street
Cost:$7.25-$10.25

www.landmarktheatres.com

La NOCHE at the Kimmel Center

Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to shake it at La NOCHE at the Kimmel Center. The monthly party kicks off with The La NOCHE Band, led by master percussionist Arturo Stable, followed by guest group M.A.K.U. Soundsystem.

La NOCHE at the Kimmel Center

When:Monday, December 11, 8 p.m.
Where:Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street
Cost:Free

www.kimmelcenter.org

Broadway Philadelphia Presents The Color Purple at The Forrest Theatre

The Color PurplePhoto by Matthew Murphy

The Color Purple, Alice Walker’s most famous novel-turned-Tony-Award-winner, comes to The Forrest Theatre as part of the Kimmel Center’s Broadway Philadelphia series. Catch it during its six-day stint this week.

Broadway Philadelphia Presents The Color Purple at The Forrest Theatre

When:December 12-17
Where:The Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut Street
Cost:$62 and up

www.kimmelcenter.org

Hanukkah In Philadelphia

Hanukkah PhiladelphiaRittenhouse Square Menorah Lighting | Photo courtesy Friends of Rittenhouse Square

Tuesday, December 12 marks the beginning of Hanukkah, when Jewish communities all over the world celebrate the eight-day Festival of Lights. Museums, parks, restaurants and other sites throughout Philadelphia will honor the holiday with festivities ranging from food tastings to do-it-yourself crafts, menorah lightings (including a new one at Boathouse Row) to dreidel games. Click the button below for our full guide to Hanukkah in Philadelphia.

Hanukkah In Philadelphia

When:December 12-20
Where:Various locations including Rittenhouse Square, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square
Cost:Varies by event

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A Soulful Christmas at Verizon Hall

Gospel singer Lady Tramaine Hawkins joins hundreds of performers from local community choirs for an uplifting evening of gospel numbers, spirituals and holiday favorites at this annual holiday performance at the Kimmel Center.

A Soulful Christmas at Verizon Hall

When:Tuesday, December 12, 7:30 p.m.
Where:Verizon Hall, 300 S. Broad Street
Cost:$35

www.kimmelcenter.org

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trivia and Movie Screening at Theatre of Living Arts

Think you know all there is to know about Star Wars? Get your Star Wars geek on as the Theatre of Living Arts returns to its original roots as a movie theater for Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trivia and Movie Screening. Also, enjoy two burlesque performances during intermissions!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trivia and Movie Screening at Theatre of Living Arts

When:Wednesday, December 13; Trivia: 6:30 p.m.; Screening: 8:30 p.m.
Where:Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South Street
Cost:$10

www.tlaphilly.com

12 Days Of Christmas Movies at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Blue Cross RiverRink WinterfestPhoto by M. Stanley for DRWC

Get into the holiday spirit this week with free screenings of yuletide favorites like A Christmas Melody (Thursday, December 14), The Brady Brunch: A Very Brady Christmas (Friday, December 15), A Charlie Brown Christmas (Saturday, December 16) and This Christmas (Sunday, December 17), all inside the cozy lodge (with comfy seating and delicious food and drink) at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest.

12 Days Of Christmas Movies at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

When:December 14-25, 8 p.m.
Where:Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:Free

www.delawareriverwaterfront.com

Philadelphia Orchestra's The Glorious Sound of Christmas

Philadelphia Orchestra HolidayPhoto courtesy the Kimmel Center

Head to the Kimmel Center for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s The Glorious Sound of Christmas and enjoy a program of Christmas favorites conducted by Bramwell Tovey and accompanied by the voices of mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges and The Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Orchestra's The Glorious Sound of Christmas

When:December 14-17
Where:Verizon Hall, 300 S. Broad Street
Cost:$36

www.kimmelcenter.org

Historic Holiday Nights

Photo by J. Fusco for HPI

This Thursday night, take in the recurring Historic Holiday Nights event, when Old City retailers welcome holiday shoppers until 8 p.m., restaurants offer holiday specials and the courtyard of the historic Betsy Ross House features live entertainment, snacks and more.

Historic Holiday Nights

When:Thursday, December 14, 5-8 p.m.
Where:Various locations including Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street
Cost:Pay as you go

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Open House: Holiday Pop-Up Market at the Barnes Foundation

Photo courtesy the Barnes Foundation

Join family, friends and neighbors at the Barnes Foundation for a Holiday Pop-Up Market featuring access to the Kiefer Rodin exhibition and holiday shopping from local vendors offering handmade jewelry, artsy apparel, artisanal goods and more. Plus, look for complimentary treats from Parkway neighbors (while supplies last) like hot cocoa and cookies courtesy of Parkway 100 — the 14-month Benjamin Franklin Parkway centennial celebration — cheese from Whole Foods and drinks courtesy of Dalian. There will also be seasonal refreshments by Starr Catering available for purchase.

Open House: Holiday Pop-Up Market at the Barnes Foundation

When:Friday, December 15, 5-8 p.m.
Where:Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost:Pay as you go

www.barnesfoundation.org

Get Pegged Cabaret at FringeArts

La Peg At Fringe ArtsPhoto courtesy FringeArts

In the mood for something a little daring and a little amazing? Head to FringeArts and enjoy The Bearded Ladies’ Get Pegged Cabaret performance featuring Virgil Gadson and Martha Stuckey.

Get Pegged Cabaret at FringeArts

When:Friday, December 15, 10:30 p.m.
Where:FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:$5

www.fringearts.com

PHILADANCO: H-I-S-T-O-R-Y at the Kimmel Center

PHILADANCOPhoto courtesy PHILADANCO

Witness the incomparable legacy of African-American choreographers at a performance that highlights a past often left out of the history books, performed by PHILADANCO on the Perelman Theater stage at the Kimmel Center.

PHILADANCO: H-I-S-T-O-R-Y at the Kimmel Center

When:December 15-17
Where:Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street
Cost:$30 and up

www.kimmelcenter.org

B.O.B. Holiday Bazaar at Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse

Amalgam Comics & CoffeehousePhoto by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

This holiday season, come out and support Philly’s local black-owned businesses (hence the B.O.B. in the event title) at B.O.B. Holiday Bazaar at Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse.

B.O.B. Holiday Bazaar at Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse

When:Saturday, December 16, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Where:Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, 2578 Frankford Avenue
Cost:Pay as you go

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Chestnut Hill Holiday Parade

The Chestnut Hill Holiday Parade sees two dozen community groups march down the cobbled and trolley tracked historic Germantown Avenue accompanied by the Phillie Phanatic and Santa. The parade ends at the Market on the Fairway, which will feature an outdoor bonfire, caroling and treats for the kiddies.

Chestnut Hill Holiday Parade

When:Saturday, December 16, 9 a.m.-10 a.m.
Where:8700 to 8300 Germantown Avenue
Cost:Free

www.chestnuthillpa.com

Fonthill Holiday Lights Meander

For a lighting celebration of a different sort, head to the impressive Fonthill Castle in Doylestown on Saturday for the town’s Holiday Lights Meander. Wander through the home and take in the candles, Christmas trees and greens throughout, then finish your evening with live music and light refreshments.

Fonthill Holiday Lights Meander

When:Saturday, December 16, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Where:Mercer Museum, 84 South Pine Street, Doylestown
Cost:$15, adults; $13, senior (65 and up); $8, youth (6-17); free, ages 5 and under

www.mercermuseum.org

Greensgrow Holiday Bazaar

This festive neighborhood annual sale comes to Kensington this weekend, offering trees and holiday greens, handmade crafts, homemade treats, homegrown bulbs and wreaths, and other special gifts.

Greensgrow Holiday Bazaar

When:December 16-17
Where:Greensgrow Farms, 2501 E. Cumberland Street
Cost:Pay as you go

www.greensgrow.org

Mt. Airy Art Garage Holiday Art Market

Support local businesses at the Mt. Airy Art Garage Holiday Art Market, where you can choose from a juried selection of glassware, ceramics and jewelry made by Mt. Airy’s vendors.

Mt. Airy Art Garage Holiday Art Market

When:December 16-17, noon-6 p.m.
Where:Mt. Airy Art Garage, 6622 Germantown Avenue
Cost:Pay as you go

www.mtairyartgarage.org

Hallmark Channel Presents Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Wells Fargo Center

Trans-Siberian OrchestraPhoto courtesy Trans Siberian Orchestra

There's truly no better way to get in the holiday spirit than by experiencing a massive rock opera hinged on Christmas hits in a nearly 20,000-person capacity arena. Bring on the bells.

Hallmark Channel Presents Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Wells Fargo Center

When:Sunday, December 17, 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Where:Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad Street
Cost:$35.50 and up

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