If you're still mourning the close of the summertime hot spot Spruce Street Harbor Park, you're in luck. Penn's Landing has done it again with Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest: a riverfront winter wonderland which will remain open until March (!). Centered around the annual outdoor ice rink on the Delaware River, Winterfest is surrounded by a garden and forest, a magical winterized landscape with hundreds of twinkling trees, rustic furniture, and fire pits to warm up by. A ski-chalet style indoor space–The Lodge–will feature fireplaces, comfy couches, and a wraparound porch, plus a special seasonal menu by Chef Jose Garces, with delicious eats and spiked hot drinks, beer, and cocktails to sip on. Guests can also look forward to Art Star market, which will be onsite with a curated selection of handmade gifts to shop, as well as tons of games and daily light shows. Head there this week to see what all the hype is about. For more information about Winterfest, including daily hours, click here. Monday, December 1st-Sunday, March 1st, Blue Cross RiverRink, 201 S. Columbus Blvd.
One of our favorite holiday destinations–Christmas Village at Love Park–is back. Get in the spirit and head to the open-air market this week to peruse over 90 vendors offering unique holiday decor and handmade gifts, including ornaments, toys, jewelry, artwork, clothing, and more. The Christmas Village is modeled after a traditional German holiday market, so expect European-style food and drinks, like bratwurst, schnitzel, and hot mulled wine. Don't forget to make like a tourist and snap a Christmas card–or Instagram–worthy photo under the love statue and glittering tree. For more information about the village, click here. Monday, December 1st-Saturday, December 28th, Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m-7 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Love Park (JFK Plaza), 1500 Arch Street.
The Philadelphia Center for Architecture just opened an awesome (and free!) new exhibit that will have you reliving your best childhood memories. With over 50 toys on display from the last 175 years, "Constructing Play" explores "the history of play and the pedagogical foundation that underlies the development of popular toys," from LEGO, to Tinker Toys, to K'Nex. Perfect for children–and adult-sized children–alike. For more information, click here. Monday, December 3rd-Thursday, January 29th, Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sundays 12 p.m.-5 p.m., Philadelphia Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch Street.
Stop by the free monthly poetry event at Central Library this week and hear the literary stylings of two talented writers, J.C. Todd and B.E. Kahn. Todd (pictured) has published three books of poetry, and has been featured in many prestigious journals, including The Paris Review. Kahn, who teaches poetry to intergenerational, interfaith and women’s groups, is the author of three chapbooks. For more information about the authors, click here. No tickets are required. Monday, December 1st, 6:30 p.m., Room 108 at Parkway Central, Central Library, 1901 Vine Street.
Chestnut Hill is getting in the holiday spirit this week with the return of Stag & Doe Nights–extended shop hours on Wednesday evenings in December (the 3rd, 10th, and 17th), complete with all the seasonal trimmings like carolers, appearances by Santa, festively decorated shops, roasting chestnuts, refreshments, and more. Shops will remain open until 9 p.m., giving you plenty of time to get your elf on. To browse the directory of retailers, click here. More information on fun holiday happenings in Chestnut Hill can be found right here. Wednesday, December 3rd, shops open until 9 p.m., Chestnut Hill, PA.
Get your geek on at the last Nerd Nite of the year, featuring an extra special lineup of speakers and entertainment. Anna Dhody will discuss true and freaky tales from the Mutter Museum, Edward Pettit will share seasonal musing about Charles Dickens, and Christina Love will talk all things dark matter. Plus: Nerd Nite veteran Ben Leach will host a Price Is Right style contest (with prizes!) where he'll "highlight awesome and hilariously outdated products from the Sears 1984 Christmas Wishbook and see if you can guess what people had to pay thirty years ago for the latest in fashion, electronics, and toys.” You don't want to miss this one, Philly nerds. It tends to get crowded, so get there early to snag a good seat. Wednesday, December 3rd, doors open at 4 p.m., show begins at 7:30 p.m., $5, Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Ave.
'Tis the season to be merry–and to wear knitted monstrosities plastered with Rudolph and sequined snowflakes. Don your tackiest holiday garb and head to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMOA) this Wednesday for an artsy Ugly Sweater Party and evening of festive programming. A cappella groups will sing carols and modern tunes as you learn to knit with the help of an expert knitting circle, nosh on delicious treats, create your own holiday cards, and explore the galleries. Plus, admission on Wednesday evenings is Pay What You Wish! For more information, click here. Wednesday, December 3rd, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m., Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Need a fun date night plan or boozy girls night activity? Bredenbeck's Bakery is hosting B.Y.O.B. gingerbread house workshops this month, where you're invited to sip your favorite wine or cocktail while attempting to construct an edible masterpiece. Just bring your favorite bottle, and the bakery will provide all the necessary supplies to create the gingerbread dwelling of your dreams. For more information, click here. B.Y.O.B. workshop nights are for adults only, but if you want to bring the littles, check out kid-friendly workshop dates right here. Wednesday, December 3rd, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., $45 (includes admission for one and supplies for a 6" house) or $65 (includes admission for two and supplies for a 12" house), $25 per additional guest, Bredenbeck's Bakery, 8126 Germantown Ave.
Timothy Showalter–a.k.a. Strand of Oaks–will play at Union Transfer this Wednesday evening. Originally from Indiana, Showalter now resides in Philly, producing sounds with a distinct raw quality, vividly detailed lyrical confessions, and valiant instrumental effort. The rock project's fourth album, HEAL, was released earlier this year. Check out some of his tunes right here. Tickets are available for purchase online. Wednesday, December 3rd, 8 p.m., $15, Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street.
Head to East Passyunk this Thursday evening to embrace the start of the holiday season, with the annual tree lighting party and Deck the Ave specials at the shops and restaurants. The free celebration will begin at 5 p.m., featuring festive live music from carolers and the Joe King Trio, as well as a spread of sweets and eats from shops along the avenue including Belle Cakery, Vanilya Bakery and Angela Ranalli of Le Virtu & Brigantessa, Stogie Joe's pizza, and hot chocolate from Black & Brew. Plus, local retailers, restaurants, and bars will be running tons of specials that will have you ho-ho-ho-ing all evening long. For more information, click here. Thursday, December 4th, 5 p.m.-9 p.m., East Passyunk Avenue.