16 Things to Do in Philly This Week

A BYO screening of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, A Very John Waters Christmas, Disney on Ice and more things to do this week before Christmas.

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If you’re looking for last-minute holiday gifts, why not take your loved ones to a show this week in Philly? There’s plenty of options for all ages and tastes, from the return of Disney on Ice and Martha Graham Cracker to Robert Glasper and John Waters. If movies are your cup of holiday tea, head over to the Roxy to catch a tipsy BYO National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. All our picks below:

Mayor-Elect Jim Kenney Lights the Lights at Franklin Square

If Jim Kenney is going to be a good Philly mayor, he’s going to have to know how to flip a switch on some holiday lights. He’ll get an early chance tonight, when he and Councilman Mark Squilla light the lights at the Electrical Spectacle display at Franklin Square. But that’s not even the best part — they’ll be dressed as Buddy the Elf and Santa Claus, respectively. When you’re done snapping your photos of the pair, stick for snacks and to get toasty around the fire pits — or you could warm up the old fashioned way: in the winter beer garden. Monday, December 21st, 5 pm (Kenney’s appearance), free, Franklin Square. 

Christmas at Burke

Santa is making a quick pitstop at Burke Playground on Monday evening, and he’ll bring along Buddy the Elf. There will be hot chocolate, cupcakes, face painting, and more. Monday, December 21st, 6 pm, $5, Burke Playground.

Midnight Monday in Haddonfield

Enjoy late-night shopping in the charming South Jersey town of Haddonfield. Select shops will stay open until midnight, and there will be caroling, a DJ, and horse-drawn carriage rides to set the holiday mood. Monday, December 21st, 7:30 pm, pay as you go, Downtown Haddonfield.

Robert Glasper will be in town at World Cafe Live.

Robert Glasper will be in town at World Cafe Live.

Martha Graham Cracker Winter Soulstice Spectacular

Everyone’s favorite gigantic, hairy drag queen will be presenting a special Monday evening set that celebrates the shorter, cooler days ahead. Monday, December 21st, 8 pm, $15-29, FringeArts.

Holiday Shows on Kimmel Center Campus

It’s your last chance to catch several jolly programs throughout the Kimmel Center campus, including the Philly Pops Holiday Spectacular and the Pennsylvania Ballet’s The NutcrackerMonday, December 21st through Thursday, December 24th, various times, prices, and locations.

Christmas Story in Art Gallery Tour

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is offering an interactive tour through their holiday-inspired collection. Guests will learn about art that tells the story of Christmas, proving no matter how many times you go, there’s always something new to learn. Tuesday, December 22nd, 12 pm, free after museum admission, Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Ring in the holidays with the always naughty John Waters (Photo credit: Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com).

Ring in the holidays with the always naughty John Waters (Photo credit: Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com).

Robert Glasper Experiment

The remarkable Grammy-winning jazz artist heads to World Cafe Live for a one-night-only concert featuring Laurin Talese. Tuesday, December 22nd, 8 pm, $20-23, World Cafe Live.

A John Waters Christmas

The notorious cult filmmaker, who calls himself “Pope of Trash” and “Prince of Puke,”  will be on hand this Tuesday to present a very naughty take on the holiday season. Don’t forget your cha-cha heels! Tuesday, December 22nd, 8:30 pm, $47.50-125, Union Transfer.

Polar Express Party

The Free Library’s Northeast Regional Branch is presenting this family-fun mixer, featuring a reading of the popular book, a sing-a-long, and refreshments. Wednesday, December 23rd, 7 pm, free, Northeast Regional Branch of Free Library.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation BYO at the Roxy

Bring your favorite vino and your funny bone to the Roxy this Wednesday as they screen the 1989 comedy classic. Wednesday, December 23rd, 7:30 pm, $8-10, The Roxy.

The Roxy hosts a BYO screening of 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' Wednesday.

The Roxy hosts a BYO screening of ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ Wednesday.

OCD: Moosh and Twist

The Philadelphia natives, who met in first grade and have over 12 million YouTube views, come to Philly’s Foundry on Wednesday for a one-night-only concert. Wednesday, December 23rd, 8 pm, $10, The Foundry at Fillmore.

24-Plus-Hour Holiday Radio Shows

If you’re looking for a consistent, good mix of holiday tunes on Christmas Eve, you’ve got two great options in Philly. DJ Robert Drake hosts his 23rd annual Night Before on XPN, playing tunes from his collection of something like 20,000 Christmas songs from midnight to 11 am. (He shared some of his most-obscure favorites with us last week.) Over on WPRB, radio host Jon Solomon hosts his third annual 25-Hour Holiday Radio Show with an emphasis on local and indie tunes. That’s happening from 5 pm on December 24th to 6 pm on Christmas Day.

Christmas Eve Live Nativity

The Hope Community Church is presenting a unique take on the Christmas Eve service. They’ll be staging two days of a living nativity for community members to celebrate the holiday. Wednesday, December 23rd through Thursday, December 24th, various times, free, Hope Community Church.

A King of Prussia church is putting a spin on the Christmas Eve service with a live nativity.

A King of Prussia church is putting a spin on the Christmas Eve service with a live nativity.

Outdoor Live Nativity in Old City

The Old First Reformed Church of Christ is also presenting a live nativity on Christmas Eve afternoon. There will be live goats, sheep, and a donkey on hand at this family-friendly event. Thursday, December 24th, 5 pm, free, Old First Reformed Church of Christ.

Disney on Ice

The popular franchise returns to Philly to celebrate 100 years of Disney magic. The show will feature over 50 popular cartoon stars in this family-friendly way to ring in the holidays. Thursday, December 24th through Sunday, January 3rd, various times, $15-90, Wells Fargo Center.

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