Celebrate this month's First Friday at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, with an evening of Nutcracker-themed festivities. The holiday party promises to take you on a journey through Toyland, "featuring classical holiday compositions, chamber music, and beloved old carols performed by The Divine Hand, led by renowned concert thereminist Mano Divina." As always, guests will enjoy free reign of the galleries throughout the evening, as well as snacks, cocktails, wine, and beer to compliment the live entertainment. Museum admission is available online. Friday, December 5th, 5 p.m.-8:45 p.m., $17.50-$23.50, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
The Chemical Heritage Foundation will celebrate the opening of its latest exhibit this evening. Book of Secrets: Writing and Reading Alchemy "illuminates the important role of the written word in alchemical pursuits by placing the actual books used by alchemists alongside historical artworks portraying their use." Curators James Voelkel and Amanda Shields will be on hand to give brief introductions and offer their insight about the exhibit. Admission is free! For more information, click here. Friday, December 5th, 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Chemical Heritage Foundation, 315 Chestnut Street.
Tonight's First Friday fete at The Barnes Foundation will embrace cultural fusion, featuring performances from dance theater duet Flash, written, choreographed, and performed by hip-hop artist Rennie Harris and butoh (Japanese dance theater) artist Michael Sakamoto. In addition to live entertainment, guests can feel free to browse the collections or sit in on an educational talk courtesy of the museum. There will be cocktails and eats for sale as well. Tickets are available online. Friday, December 5th, 6 p.m.-9 p.m., $25 or free for members, The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
If haven't already been, now is the perfect time to scope out all the festive fun the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest has to offer. See the winter wonderland in all of its holiday glory during tonight's tree lighting ceremony, complete with live music, crafts, games, and synchronized skating–featuring Santa–throughout the evening. If you're not so physically inclined, spend the rest of the night cozying up next to one of the fire pits, perusing the holiday gift offerings at the Art Star market, or sipping a hot (spiked!) drink in The Lodge. For more information about Winterfest, including daily hours and a schedule of events, click here. Friday, December 5th, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., Blue Cross RiverRink, 121 N. Columbus Blvd.
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER: Bundle up and head to Sister Cities Park in Logan Square this Saturday for some festive, family-friendly programming. Expect a science show courtesy of The Franklin Institute, carolers in costume, free carriage rides around the park, sweet treats from Logan Square Cafe, and a chance for the little ones to review their Christmas wish-list with Santa. Not to worry if you can't make it out this weekend: Frostfest will continue on Saturday, December 13th and Saturday, December 20th. For more information, click here. If you're searching for more seasonal fun, our guide to this month's best holiday happenings will help! Saturday, December 6th, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sister Cities Park, 18th Street & The Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Twenty-Two Gallery invites you to check out their slightly racy, very animal-friendly exhibit this weekend, provided your attire is strictly faux fur. Naked Ambition honors the 25th anniversary of PETA's “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” ads, which have starred celebrities of all sorts, including Pamela Anderson, Melissa Rivers, Tyra Banks, and Tommy Lee, amongst others. The exhibit, which only runs through Sunday, features some of the most–ahem–noteworthy ads from the campaign. For more information, click here. Saturday, December 6th-Sunday, December 7th, 12 p.m.-6 p.m., Twenty-Two Gallery, 236 S. 22nd Street.
Explore the Philadelphia Museum of Art this Saturday with the addition of some serious holiday cheer, compliments of the Pennsylvania Girlchoir. Led by Music Director Vincent Metallo, the choir will sing European and American carols through the Museum’s galleries of medieval and Renaissance art. Each performance is approximately thirty minutes, so join the fun for a few tunes, or for the entire journey. Museum admission is available online. Saturday, December 6th, starts at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3:30 p.m., $17.50-$23.50, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Need we say more? Local restaurants and breweries will join forces this Saturday to celebrate two of the greatest delicacies known to man. The Bacon and Beer Festival offers offers unlimited samples of creative bacon-based dishes from 25 to 30 restaurants, and beer from 15 to 20 breweries. Proceeds from the event will benefit MANNA. Tickets are available online. Saturday, December 6th, 2:30 p.m.-5 p.m., $46.50-$61.50, 21+, 23rd Street Armory, 22 S. 23rd Street.
From Foobooz: Di Bruno Bros. is putting on a Holiday Cheese Crawl from 12 to 4 p.m., this Saturday, December 6th, in which each participant is encouraged to hit up at least three Di Bruno Bros. locations to receive a ton of cheese, sweets, booze pairings, and more good stuff. Provided you hit at least two Di Bruno shops and then stop by the Franklin Market location, you'll get a specially printed Di Bruno Bros. tote, a copy of the Di Bruno House of Cheese book and other festive stuff. You'll also be entered for a chance to win the Di Bruno holiday giveaway - which includes a $1,000 shopping spree at Di Bruno Bros. as a prize. More details here.
You've probably heard world-renowned flutist Julius Baker at one point or another and just haven't realized it: The Curtis and Juilliard professor is featured on the soundtracks to Fame, Beauty and the Beast, and West Side Story. Now, the Philadelphia-based Dolce Suono Ensemble, lead by one of Baker's top prodigies, Mimi Stillman, will present the first major tribute to Baker after his 2003 death. The concert at the Trinity Center for Urban Life will feature eight new world premieres with guest artist Jeffrey Khaner, principle flute of The Philadelphia Orchestra, who also studied under Baker. January 18, Trinity Center for Urban Life, South 22nd. Street and Spruce Street. Bryan Buttler.
From Be Well Philly: The second annual Rocky 50K will hit the streets this weekend. Meet at Wolf and South Lambert Street in South Philly at Saturday, December 6th at 7 a.m. for a for-fun, untimed, no-registration-necessary run through the city roughly following Rocky Balboa's fictional training route in the montage in Rocky II. You don't have to run all 31 miles, either; organizer Rebecca Schaefer says runners can feel free to jump in and out of the route at their leisure. It ends, of course, at the top of the Rocky Steps; gray sweats are encouraged. Check out the course here. View more details and more fitness-inspired weekend events here.
Historic Headhouse Square Shambles invites you to their annual Winter Wonderland extravaganza this Sunday. Look forward to tons of free, holiday-themed family fun, including a tree lighting ceremony, a visit from Santa, free horse-drawn carriage rides, performances by Philadelphia Dance Academy and Society Hill Dance Academy, and shopping at the Headhouse Holiday Market. Plus, Brauhaus Schmitz will be onsite serving up mulled wine and other delicious treats. For more information, click here. Sunday, December 7th, 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Headhouse Square Shambles, 200 Pine Street.
Don’t miss this special holiday screening! Bill Murray is at his Bill Murray-est in this late-80’s take on A Christmas Carol. The film features Murray as a money-hungry TV exec alongside an impressive cast of comedians. Sunday, December 7th, 2 p.m., $9, The Colonial Theatre, 227 Bridge St., Phoenixville, PA.
From Shoppist: What's better than vintage goods and handmade gifts? Oh, right, awesome food to eat while you shop. And the new Century 21 right next door. (Psst: Here are the 10 coolest things you'll find there, as chosen by Franklin Flea's founder!) Saturdays now through December 20th, The Historic Strawbridge's Building, 801 Market Street.
Don't miss these other top holiday shopping spots - we've rounded them all up for you.
Sparkling trees, twinkling lights, holiday-themed tree houses, and an incredible outdoor light display - what more could you ask for? (A sneak peek? Okay here.) Thursday, November 27th through Sunday, January 11th, Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennet Square, PA. Cost: On weekdays, Adults: $20, Children 18 and under: $10. On weekends, Adults: $27, Children 18 and under: $13. Don’t miss the tons of other holiday events happening this weekend.