20 Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

Theater openings, tree lightings, live music and lots more.


Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest. Photo by Matt Stanley

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.

Norah Jones @ Academy of Music
The “Come Away With Me” singer is on tour for her sixth album, Day Breaks from jazz label Blue Note Records.

Holly Nights @ Pennsbury Manor
William Penn’s country estate is all decked out for a Colonial Christmas, with carolers, candlelit tours and demonstrations of old-fashioned beer brewing, blacksmithing and cooking.

Seuls @ Wilma Theater
This semi-autobiographical work written by Lebanese-Canadian artist Wajdi Mouawad, who also directs and stars, tells the story of a man who moved to a new country as a child to escape civil war. It runs through December 11th.

Flosstradamus @ The Fillmore
DJs J2K and Autobot, the duo behind Flosstradamus, bring their Hi-Def Youth tour to Fishtown.

Hasan Minhaj @ Kimmel Center
The Daily Show correspondent performs his theatrical show, Homecoming King, about his experience emigrating to the U.S. from India.


Alee Spadoni as Charlotte in Curio Theatre Company's Antagonyms. Photo by Rebecca Gudelunas

Alee Spadoni as Charlotte in Curio Theatre Company’s Antagonyms. Photo by Rebecca Gudelunas

Antagonyms @ Curio Theatre Company
Curio premieres this noir by company member Rachel Gluck about four 20-something Philadelphians trying to outrun their demons. You can catch it through December 17th.

Underground Nights: When Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable Met The Y @ The Gershman Y
Fifty years ago, Andy Warhol, the Velvet Underground and Nico performed over two days at what’s now the Gershman Y. The Y’s new exhibit, curated by Cheryl Harper, celebrates the anniversary of those shows with rare images, including photos by Philly photographer Sam Moskovitz. On December 15th, Yo La Tengo, who portrayed the Velvet Underground in the movie I Shot Andy Warhol, and Dean & Britta will play a tribute concert. The exhibit is up through January 4th, 2017.

A Philly Pops Christmas @ Kimmel Center
Michael Krajewski leads the Pops and special guests in the orchestra’s holiday series, starting Saturday and running through December 18th with nine performances to choose from.

Promenade of Trees @ Manayunk
Celebrity judges will be evaluating Christmas trees decorated by local businesses and set in front of 27 stores along and off Main Street in Manayunk.

A Very Philly Christmas @ Historic Houses of Fairmount Park
The six historic houses of Fairmount Park known as the Park Charms are open for holiday tours all month, with special events this weekend and next themed around “A Very Philly Christmas.”

Celebrations Around the World @ Penn Museum
This free seasonal celebration at the Penn Museum explores holiday traditions from around the world, with music and dance performances, arts and crafts, and storytelling.

Mannheim Steamroller @ Kimmel Center
Embrace the holidays as Mannheim Steamroller harken back to their first Christmas album, released in 1984.

Holiday Sing-Along on the Boardwalk @ Tropicana Atlantic City
The cast of Tropicana’s Holiday Jubilee show and the Charter Tech High School for the Performing Arts Choir will be singing Christmas songs on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, with a holiday version of the Trop’s light show. Santa will be there.


The South Street Christmas Parade is Sunday. Photo provided

The South Street Christmas Parade is Sunday. Photo provided

Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting @ South Street and Headhouse Square
Santa leads a parade down South Street from atop a firetruck, staring at 11th Street and heading over to Headhouse Square where he’ll light the tree and pose for photos, along with Rudolph and Frosty. There will be vendors set up under the Shambles and live entertainment. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to CBS 3’s Toy Fest.

JIB @ Christ Church Neighborhood House
This new rock musical from the Windmill Factory and Old Sound Room tells the story of the rise and fall of a singer-songwriter. It runs through December 17th.

Love is Love is Love @ World Café Live
This is the first entry in 11th Hour Theatre Company’s new cabaret series. Company co-founder Steve Pacek will host the intimate, one-night-only show.

A Very Merry Acoustic Christmas @ Ardmore Music Hall
If you just can’t get enough Christmas music, head to Ardmore Music Hall where the Sherwood Brothers, a Philly-based country/alt-rock band, will be playing their version of holiday classics.

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