Join Ben Franklin on an Old City pub crawl celebrating his 311th birthday.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 20
Tippler’s Tour: Ben Franklin’s Birthday Celebration @ Independence Visitor Center
Toast to Philly’s favorite founding father at this Tippler’s Tour in Old City. Ben himself, celebrating his 311th, will join you as you stop at The Franklin Hotel, Victoria Freehouse, The Little Lion and City Tavern. It leaves from the Independence Visitor Center.
Constitution Out Loud @ The Drake
On this interesting inauguration day, InterAct Theatre Company is doing a live reading of the U.S. Constitution. It’s an Action Happy Hour event, so there will be drinks. Stick around after to catch a preview of Marcus/Emma, with tickets just $15 for people who come for the Constitution part.
Marcus/Emma @ The Drake
Previews start Friday for InterAct Theatre Company’s production of Mary Tuomanen’s new play about civil rights leader Marcus Garvey and Jewish anarchist Emma Goldman. Opening night on Wednesday, January 25th, is sold out, but the show runs though February 12th. Read more »
Cirque Eloize’s Saloon is at the Merriam. Photo provided
FRIDAY, JANUARY 13
Cirque Eloize: Saloon @ Merriam Theater
Cirque Eloize, a contemporary circus troupe out of Montreal, brings its Wild West-themed acrobatic comedy to the Merriam Theater. There’s a performance on Saturday, too.
MLK Weekend Celebration @ African American Museum in Philadelphia
The AAMP is hosting a weekend of family-friendly activities in honor of Dr. King, including a screening of Ava DuVernay’s 13th on Friday, a discussion and performance of playwright August Wilson’s works on Sunday, and interactive exhibits, performances and workshops through Monday. The Friday film screening is free and admission on Saturday, Sunday and Monday is just $2.
Zombie Skate @ Dilworth Park
Why stay home watching scary movies on Friday the 13th when you can be out ice skating with zombies from Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls?
Hidden History Exposed @ William Way LGBT Community Center
Jason Giordano and Tracy Buchholz traveled through Pennsylvania and New Jersey taking photos of abandoned resorts, schools and factories. The results will be on display through February 24; the opening reception is Friday evening. Read more »
Andrea Hornick’s “Unbounded Histories” sound installation opens at the Barnes on Friday. Photo from Facebook/Savery Gallery
FRIDAY, JANUARY 6
Tango Night @ The Barnes
Let dancers from the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School show you how it’s done, and then get out on the dance floor and attempt to tango like the pros. Trio de la Plata will provide the live music. Also happening Friday evening, Andrea Hornick’s “Unbounded Histories,” a site-specific sound installation, opens in the Collection Gallery. Hornick will perform and discuss the project with curator Martha Lucy.
Philly Loves Bowie Week @ Various Locations
The nine-day David Bowie celebration kicks off Friday with an opening reception for the Bowie Art Show at Ruckus Gallery and, over at Doobies Bar, the first pour of Round Guys Brewing’s Bowie-inspired Loving The Alien, a BlackStar Saison.
Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls @ African American Museum in Philadelphia
The AAMP is showing the 1982 PBS video of Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem, for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf, starring Alfre Woodard and Lynn Whitfield. Before the free screening, there will be a guided tour of the museum’s related exhibit, “i found god in myself: The 40th Anniversary of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls,” which closes Sunday. Read more »
Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia
So long, 2016. We already told you where to bring the kids on New Year’s Eve, the best parties to go to, the concerts you won’t want to miss, and details on the two fireworks shows. But if that’s not enough to tide you over until 2017, here are 15 more things to do in Philly this weekend.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30
Kwanzaa / Nia-Purpose @ The African American Museum in Philadelphia
This Macy’s Family Fun Day at the AAMP celebrates the 50th anniversary of Kwanzaa, with arts and crafts, face painting, games and a candle lighting ceremony, plus dancing with Camara Arts West African Dance and a Drumming Like A Lady performance and community jam session. While you’re there, support local artists at the museum’s pop-up Kwanzaa marketplace.
Art After 5: Just Breathe @ Philadelphia Museum of Art
Instead of its usual Friday evening concert, the Art Museum invites you to join a yoga session or check out a Philadelphia Shambhala Center workshop in the galleries and listen to soothing sitar music in the Great Hall. Read more »
The Pennsylvania Ballet performing George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker is a Philadelphia holiday tradition. Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker @ Academy of Music
It’s not the holiday season without the Pennsylvania Ballet performing George Balanchine’s Christmas classic. The Nutcracker runs through the end of the month.
Seinfeld Quizzo: Festivus Edition @ Underground Arts
Test your knowledge about nothing at a Seinfeld-themed quizzo hosted by Johnny Goodtimes.
DJ Cutman’s Chiptune Christmas Flea Market @ PhilaMOCA
Despite the name, this isn’t quite a flea market. It’s more of a party, with video games and “good ol’ fashioned non-denominational December holiday chiptunes” — though there will be things for sale, and the first 50 people get a free Santa hat.
There’s Drinking to Be Done: The ’90s Before Christmas @ The Barbary
Dance away your present-buying panic at the Barbary’s ’90s party with music from the likes of Britney Spears, the Spice Girls, Ace of Base and Montell Jordan. Read more »
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16
Nutcracker 1776 @ Merriam Theater
The Rock School for Dance Education is putting on its holiday show, which combines the classic Nutcracker with a Philly-during-the-American Revolution twist. There’s another performance on Saturday.
Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some) @ Stagecrafters Theater
All the Christmas classics get abridged into one holiday show, with Frosty the Snowman, the Grinch, Scrooge, a certain reindeer, and more. It’s on for Saturday too, as well as December 22nd and 23rd.
Star Wars Night @ Franklin Square
Stay warm by dressing like a Wookiee at Franklin Square’s Star Wars Night, with characters from the films and a Jedi-training session inside the pavilion.
Big Mess Cabaret @ Trocadero Theatre
Divine Hand Ensemble and the Philadelphia Ukulele Orchestra join Big Mess Cabaret for two shows at the Troc, Friday and Saturday. Read more »
Hotel Palomar is collecting donations for Saved Me at Santa Paws on Saturday. Photo by Andre Flewellen
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9
The Carnal & the Mortal @ Wagner Free Institute of Science
The Wagner and Atlas Obscura are hosting a night of sex talk and erotic ghost stories with two guest speakers. Author Paul Koudounaris will enlighten us about sexualized ghosts in the Palermo catacombs in Italy, and pathologist Nicole Angemi, who’s known for her (warning: gross!) autopsy Instagrams, will tell us about “sex-related diseases, dysfunctions, accidents, and deaths.”
Frozen Night @ Franklin Square
Elsa, Anna, and WXPN’s Kids Corner host Kathy O’Connell and producer Robert Drake will be at Franklin Square Holiday Festival’s Frozen-themed night. Or come by with your pups tomorrow for Santa Paws Saturday to take photos with Santa and get a free pet portrait drawn by a Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts student, plus doggie treats from BoneJour.
Netflix Presents: Here Comes The Funny @ Tower Theatre
Adam Sandler, David Spade, Nick Swardson and Rob Schneider get back to standup in their joint comedy tour. Read more »
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest. Photo by Matt Stanley
Tree Lighting @ Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
Santa and Flyers Hall of Famer Brian Propp will be at Winterfest at the RiverRink to switch on the tree’s 50,000 LED lights. But first, the Lady Hoofers tap dance to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” the Philadelphia Handbell Ensemble ring out “Jingle Bells,” Broad Street Beat sing an a cappella “Carol of the Bells,” and Philadelphia Symmetry and 2016 U.S. skating champs perform on the ice. The festivities will be capped off with fireworks.
The Carols @ Plays & Players
The witty crew at 1812 Productions tackle their first original musical, set during Christmastime in 1943 in a small town in New Jersey. The show is written and directed by Jennifer Childs and runs though December 31st.
Holiday Maker Fair @ WeWork Northern Liberties
The Crafted Life put together this holiday market with more than 20 local artisans selling handmade crafts and home goods. Read more »
An American in Paris touring company. Photo by Matthew Murphy
An American in Paris @ Academy of Music | Through November 27
This show has some serious musical theater cred. It’s based on a 1951 Best Picture-winning film starring Gene Kelly, with music and lyrics by the Gershwin brothers, which was in turn based on a 1928 composition by George Gershwin. On Broadway, An American in Paris racked up several Tonys, including Best Choreography. After the Wednesday night show there’s a free cast party open to people who bought tickets for the performance at the Logan hotel, the first in a new Late Night at The Logan series.
A Year with Frog and Toad @ Arden Theatre | November 23-January 29
Arden Children’s Theatre is bringing back A Year With Frog and Toad, based on the children’s books by Arnold Lobel. Barrymore Award-winning actors Jeff Coon and Ben Dibble step back into the roles of cheerful Frog and grumpy Toad.
Tree Lighting @ Philadelphia Museum of Art | Wednesday, November 23
6abc meteorologist Adam Joseph will be broadcasting live during the tree lighting celebration on the Art Museum’s East Terrace.
Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia
A Longwood Christmas @ Longwood Gardens | November 24-January 8
Longwood Gardens gets into the holiday spirit with half a million lights, fountains timed to holiday music, seasonal plants and strolling carolers.
Comcast Holiday Spectacular @ Comcast Center | November 24-January 1
The giant LED wall in the Comcast Center starts playing its holiday-themed show, with Jingle Bell Rock, The Twelve Days of Christmas, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker by the Pennsylvania Ballet and more, on Thanksgiving Day.
Read more »
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18
Grand Illumination Celebration @ Peddler’s Village
Santa and Mrs. Claus are taking time out of their busy holiday schedule to turn on one million lights at Peddler’s Village. Local musicians and school choirs will be singing holiday songs, Santa will be posing for photos, and there will be free hot apple cider and marshmallows to roast. Friday is also the opening of the Gingerbread Competition, with more than 50 gingerbread houses on display.
Nutcracker Night @ Franklin Square
The Sugar Plum Fairy and the Mouse King from the Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker will be hanging out for the Franklin Square Holiday Festival. Bring the kids for a free arts and craft activity, and make sure to catch one of the Electrical Spectacle light shows. Read more »