25+ Festive Things To Do In Philadelphia This Holiday Week, December 18-25

Last chance for holiday pop ups and events, the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field and so much more...

There’s plenty to be joyous and merry about in Philadelphia this week thanks to light displays, concert performances, ugly sweater parties, Christmas dinners and so much more.

Some of city’s biggest holiday attractions and pop ups wrap up this week, including Christmas Village, the Craft Hall Pop-Up Restaurant, the carousel at City Hall, Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad and more.

Elsewhere, holiday events of all sorts are set to go down, from Science After Hours: Ugly Sweater Party at The Franklin Institute to The Philadelphia Orchestra performing Handel’s Messiah at the Kimmel Center to Feast of the Seven Fishes dinners at Philly restaurants and more.

The Philadelphia Eagles may be without their star quarterback, but back-up QB Nick Foles and the talented birds will try to soar to victory against the Oakland Raiders at Lincoln Financial Field on Christmas Day.

Later this week, and early next week, we’ll be celebrating the holidays out and about in Philadelphia, so we’re including Monday, December 25 in this week’s edition of Picks of the Week. We’ll be back on Tuesday with a guide to next week in Philly.

Our picks for this week in Philly, below.

Dilworth Park Wintergarden & Holiday Attractions at City Hall

Winter Memories at City Hall During the Philly Holiday FestivalPhoto courtesy Philly Holiday Festival

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 (closing Saturday, December 23), the all-local Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market and a carousel (closing Sunday, December 24). 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 through Sunday, December 24 at the still-under-construction LOVE Park.

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

Santa at Franklin Square Holiday FestivalPhoto by J. Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

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. And this Friday night from 5:30-7:30 p.m., enjoy the free Sculpting in the Square event featuring live ice carving at the park.

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

The Lodge at Blue Cross RiverRink WinterfestPhoto by 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. Plus, the attraction's 12 Days of Christmas Movies event continues every night through Christmas, featuring free screenings of Elf (December 19), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (December 21), Home Alone (December 25) and more.

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

A Longwood Christmas at Longwood GardensPhoto by Hank Davis for Longwood Gardens

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 (a 15-minute show screened every hour 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 Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Rd, Kennett Square
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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George Balanchine's The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music in PhiladelphiaPhoto courtesy the Pennsylvania Ballet

The Pennsylvania Ballet is back at 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

Movie Night: Die Hard at The Trocadero Theatre

Get in on the action at The Trocadero Theatre as New York City cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) goes toe-to-toe with a group of terrorists who take over a high rise building during a company Christmas Eve Party in the debatably dubbed Christmas classic Die Hard.

Movie Night: Die Hard at The Trocadero Theatre

When:Monday, December 18, 8 p.m.
Where:The Trocadero Theatre, 1003 Arch Street
Cost:$3

www.thetroc.com

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker at Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Moscow Ballet NutcrackerPhoto courtesy the Moscow Ballet

Enjoy stunning costumes and production, larger-than-life puppets, nesting dolls and talented Russian artists at one of two 25th anniversary performances of the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker at the Annenberg Center.

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker at Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

When:December 18-19
Where:Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut Street
Cost:$28 and up

www.annenbergcenter.org

Last Chance: A Philly POPS Christmas

Philly Pops Christmas at the Kimmel CenterPhoto 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.

Last Chance: A Philly POPS Christmas

When:Tuesday, December 19, 8 p.m.
Where:Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street
Cost:$35-$116

www.phillypops.org

Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday Nights at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Holidays in PhiladelphiaPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Go at your own pace and pay what you wish on Wednesday night at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Admire the beautiful collections, sign up for a yoga class, have a snack and a drink at the Balcony Café (which stays open late) or visit the DIY Card-Making Station to create a holiday card for a loved one or a friend.

Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday Nights at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

When:Wednesday, December 20, 5-8:45 pm.
Where:Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost:Pay what you wish

www.philamuseum.org

Last Chance: Stag & Doe Night in Chestnut Hill

On the Wednesdays leading up to Christmas, Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill has transformed into a winter wonderland for the neighborhood's annual Stag & Doe shopping nights. On the last Stag & Doe Night of the year this Wednesday, attendees will find festive decorations, twinkling tree lights, wine and cheese, cocoa and cookies, roasted chestnuts, carolers, and general holiday merriment.

Last Chance: Stag & Doe Night in Chestnut Hill

When:Wednesday, December 20, 5-9 p.m.
Where:Various locations including Gravers Lane Gallery, 8405 Germantown Avenue
Cost:Pay as you go

www.chestnuthillpa.com

Christmas Light Show at Boathouse Row

Boathouse Row in PhiladelphiaPhoto courtesy Philadelphia Parks & Recreation

Iconic Philadelphia landmark Boathouse Row will be colorfully lit for the days leading up to Christmas courtesy of five-minute light shows at the top of every hour after 6 p.m. The best vantage points to catch the show include the Spring Garden Street Bridge, the Fairmount Water Works and the Fish Ladder on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Christmas Light Show at Boathouse Row

When:December 20-25
Where:Boathouse Row, 1 Boathouse Row
Cost:Free

www.phila.gov/ParksandRecreation/

Philly Holiday Festival: Merry, Merry Happy Hour at Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia

Merry, Merry Happy Hour — a weekly, adults-only event put on by the Philly Holiday Festival — heads to Market East this Thursday for food and drink deals at Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia. Guest bartenders for this edition include Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Gregg Murphy from NBC Sports, soap opera star Kristen Alderson, Brendan Lowry of @Peopledelphia and more.

Philly Holiday Festival: Merry, Merry Happy Hour at Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia

When:Thursday, December 21, 5-7 p.m.
Where:Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia, 1113-31 Market Street
Cost:Pay as you go

www.phillyholidayfestival.com

Old City District Historic Holiday Nights

J. Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

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.

Old City District Historic Holiday Nights

When:Thursday, December 21, 5-8 p.m.
Where:Various locations including Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. 3rd Street
Cost:Pay as you go

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Science After Hours: Ugly Sweater Party at The Franklin Institute

Learn the science behind snow, uncover the secrets of the winter solstice and get into the holiday spirit — all while flaunting your ugliest sweater — at this holiday-themed version of The Franklin Institute's popular, monthly, adults-only event.

Science After Hours: Ugly Sweater Party at The Franklin Institute

When:Thursday, December 21, 7-10 p.m.
Where:The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street
Cost:$20

www.fi.edu

Messiah with The Philadelphia Orchestra

Philadelphia Orchestra MessiahPhoto courtesy Philadelphia Orchestra

Snag your tickets now for one of two beautiful performances of Handel's Messiah by The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir at the Kimmel Center.

Messiah with The Philadelphia Orchestra

When:December 21-22
Where:Verizon Hall, 300 S. Broad Street
Cost:$60 and up

www.kimmelcenter.org

Lil Uzi Vert at The Liacouras Center

Lil Yachty's Sailing Team includes Lil Uzi Vert, a young Philly emcee who, after collaborating with Migos on last year's big radio hits Bad and Boujee, is now in a league of his own. Last year, he hosted “A Very Uzi Christmas” at The Fillmore. This year, with a new studio album under his belt, he's bound to put on an even more spirited performance at The Liacouras Center.

Lil Uzi Vert at The Liacouras Center

When:Friday, December 22, 7 p.m.
Where:The Liacouras Center, 1776 N. Broad Street
Cost:$35-$49.50

www.liacourascenter.com

Martha Graham Cracker's Choral Spectacular featuring The Martha Graham Cracker Singers at FringeArts

Martha Graham CrackerPhoto by Kevin Monko

Celebrate the winter solstice drag-style at FringeArts as the tallest lady in Philadelphia and “The Drag Queen King” Martha Graham Cracker performs fabulous cabaret accompanied by her band and some of Philadelphia's most talented singers.

Martha Graham Cracker's Choral Spectacular featuring The Martha Graham Cracker Singers at FringeArts

When:Friday, December 22, 8 p.m.
Where:FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:$30, general admission; $15, students and ages 25 & under

www.fringearts.com

Last Chance: Christmas Around the Farm at Linvilla Orchards

For the holidays, Linvilla Orchards has transformed into the North Pole — farm style. Through this Saturday, December 23, visitors can get into the holiday spirit by cutting their own Christmas tree and doing a little shopping at the market that's stocked with tasty holiday treats. Santa makes a guest appearance this Saturday and, and also on Saturday, visitors can sing along on a Caroling Hayride.

Last Chance: Christmas Around the Farm at Linvilla Orchards

When:Through Saturday, December 23
Where:Linvilla Orchards, 137 W. Knowlton Road Media
Cost:Pay as you go

www.linvilla.com

Liberty Flea

New this year, the expert vintage purveyors of The Captain's Vintage bring curated wintertime market days to the super-cool Bok Building in South Philly. During each Liberty Flea market day, shoppers can expect a finely tuned selection of vendors set up in the gym of the one-time technical high school. The roster includes makers and retailers selling fine vintage clothing, handmade decorative arts and tasty eats and drinks (including craft brews to-go from Stickman Brews). Admission runs $5 for adults and is free for kids 12 and younger. For a complete list of vendors, check here.

Liberty Flea

When:Saturday, December 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where:Bok, 1901 S. 9th Street
Cost:Pay as you go

www.libertyflea.com

Christmas Eve Dinners

City Tavern Christmas Eve DinnerPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Avoid the dishes and save time for gift-wrapping on Christmas Eve with prix-fixe menus, buffets and family-style dining options from incredible restaurants across Philadelphia. That includes all-you-can-eat steak and sides at Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, an abundant buffet at Lacroix, a chef's tasting menu at Mt. Airy eatery Jansen, a four-course family-style banquet at Old City's colonial City Tavern and many more options.

Christmas Eve Dinners

When:Sunday, December 24
Where:Various locations including City Tavern, 138 S. 2nd Street
Cost:Pay as you go

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Feast of the Seven Fishes Dinners

Delight your palate during the Italian-American tradition that is the Feast of the Seven Fishes with sumptuous meals at Fork, Davio's, Teca's and more.

Feast of the Seven Fishes Dinners

When:Sunday, December 24
Where:Various locations including Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse, 111 S. 17th Street
Cost:Pay as you go

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Last Chance: Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad at Reading Terminal Market

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 an impressive holiday railroad display. This year's all-new display features five magical interactive model train vignettes celebrating the history of the Reading Terminal Market, the Reading Railroad and the joys of the holiday season.

Last Chance: Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad at Reading Terminal Market

When:Through Sunday, December 24
Where:Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th Street
Cost:Free

www.readingterminalmarket.org

Moo Shu Jew Show at Ocean Harbor Restaurant

Across the country on Christmas, Jewish celebrants partake in the unofficial tradition of Chinese food and a movie. The Gershman Y's popular Moo Shu Jew Show offers an alternative, where guests can enjoy Chinese food and live performances from comedians Moody McCarthy, Marla Schultz and Brad Zimmerman.

Moo Shu Jew Show at Ocean Harbor Restaurant

When:Sunday, December 24, 6-9 p.m.
Where:Ocean Harbor, 1023 Race Street
Cost:$82-$92

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Christmas Day in Philadelphia

This year, spend December 25 taking in the Philadelphia area's spectacular attractions that are open on Christmas Day. Stroll through stunning gardens illuminated by half a million twinkling lights at Longwood Gardens, tie on a pair of skates at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, enjoy breathtaking views of the Philadelphia skyline at One Liberty Observation Deck and more.

Christmas Day in Philadelphia

When:Monday, December 25
Where:Various locations including One Liberty Observation Deck, 1650 Market Street
Cost:Pay as you go

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Christmas Day Dinners

Pasta at Little Nonna's in PhiladelphiaPhoto by E. Mencher for Visit Philadelphia

This Christmas Day, dine in style at a four-course dinner at Aqimero, taste the difference of sustainably raised steak at Urban Farmer, put on an ugly sweater and watch A Christmas Story during a Chinese pop-up dinner at Red Owl Tavern and much more.

Christmas Day Dinners

When:Monday, December 25
Where:Aqimero, 10 Avenue Of The Arts
Cost:Pay as you go

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Being __________ at Christmas at the National Museum of American Jewish History

National Museum of American Jewish HistoryPhoto by M. Kennedy For Visit Philadelphia

On December 25, the National Museum of American Jewish History invites families to fill in the blank during Being __________ at Christmas. Families from every background can join in the annual day of family fun with crafting, storytime sessions and other activities.

Being __________ at Christmas at the National Museum of American Jewish History

When:Monday, December 25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where:National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall E.
Cost:$12, adults; $5, kids 12 & under; free, members

www.nmajh.org

Washington Crossing Reenactment

Washington CrossingPhoto by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Join hundreds of re-enactors and thousands of attendees on the banks of the Delaware River for the annual reenactment of George Washington's infamous Christmas Day crossing, considered a turning point in the American Revolution, at the Washington Crossing Historic Park. General Washington will deliver an inspiring speech before leading his troops across the river in replica Durham boats.

Washington Crossing Reenactment

When:Monday, December 25, noon-3 p.m.
Where:Washington Crossing Historic Park, 1112 River Road, Washington Crossing
Cost:Free

www.washingtoncrossingpark.org

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Oakland Raiders at Lincoln Financial Field

With Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz out for the rest of the season, new QB Nick Foles will try to rise to the occasion to secure home field advantage in the playoffs for the NFC East Champion Eagles against the Oakland Raiders on Christmas Day.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Oakland Raiders at Lincoln Financial Field

When:Monday, December 25, 8:30 p.m.
Where:Lincoln Financial Field, 1 Lincoln Financial Field Way
Cost:$110 and up

www.philadelphiaeagles.com

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