20 Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

Watch Christmas movies, join a Parade of Spirits or eat your way through Latkepalooza.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16

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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.

Art After Hours and Pop Up Holiday Market @ The Barnes
The Barnes is hosting an open house with free admission to the Live and Life Will Give You Pictures: Masterworks of French Photography, 1890–1950 exhibit, plus a pop-up holiday market with local vendors.

Mausoleum Christmas TV Spectacular @ PhilaMOCA
Eat Christmas cookies while watching Christmas TV specials, commercials and shorts from the ’80s and ’90s, including “family-friendly oddities and obscurities with an eye towards the unexpected.”

Chris Distefano @ Punch Line Philly
Comedian Chris Distefano from MTV’s Guy Code is at Punch Line Philly on Friday and Saturday.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17

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Love Actually @ Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
Head to the Lodge at Winterfest to watch Colin Firth (and several other famous people, but mainly Colin Firth) in Love Actually, part of 12 Days of Christmas Movie Nights.

Milk and Cookies with Santa @ Franklin Square
Santa will be hanging out in the indoor heated pavilion, sharing his milk and cookies for a change. Saturday is the last day he’ll be visiting Franklin Square.

Parade of Spirits @ Liberty Lands Park
This used to be called Krampuslauf Philadelphia, a “family-friendly, maker-friendly festival of winter terror,” according to the website. There’s a procession (of people dressed as scary spirits, I think) and fire and belly dancing performances.

Broadway Up Close: Matthew Morrison @ Kimmel Center
Glee’s Matthew Morrison is a Broadway performer; he was recently in Finding Neverland and South Pacific. Check him out at the Kimmel’s Perelman Theater. Seth Rodetsky hosts.

Ugly Sweater Run @ Fairmount Park
Put on your ugliest sweater and run/walk “the Merriest 5K of the year.” You’ll get an Ugly Sweater Run knit hat, a finisher’s medal, a Kahlua cocktail, and an ideal Instagram opportunity.

Kick-off Hanukkah Party @ Raven Lounge
Join the Collaborative, Moishe House and the Jewish Graduate Student Network at this holiday dance party at the Raven.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker @ Academy of Music
The Pennsylvania Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker is back and runs through the end of the month.

Holiday Spectacular @ The Dolphin
Dave P. DJs the Dolphin’s holiday dance party, free before 11 p.m. It’s going to get sweaty in there.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18

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Tuba Christmas @ Kimmel Center
The Kimmel Center’s free holiday concert features more than 100 tuba, sousaphone and euphonium players performing in the Commonwealth Plaza.

A Year With Frog and Toad @ Arden Children’s Theatre
Theater critic David Fox called the Arden’s remounting of A Year With Frog and Toad “the rare children’s show that adults will find genuinely delightful” and “full of imaginative surprises.” It runs through January 29th, 2017.

Latkepalooza @ Gershman Y
These aren’t your bubbe’s latkes. Chefs from Circles Thai, Estia, Frankford Hall, Jones, Kanella, Mission Taqueria, Sabrina’s Cafe and Tria Taproom will be frying up the Hanukkah staple, with sufganiyot (jelly-filled, sugar-covered donuts) from Federal Donuts. There will also be live music and crafts.

Go West! Craft Fest @ The Rotunda
Finish up your holiday shopping at the Rotunda, where 100 local vendors will be selling handmade gifts, jewelry, home goods, and more.

Anatomy Park: Rick & Morty Experience @ Tattooed Mom
You either saw the name of this event and got really excited, or had no idea what it meant. Tmoms is rifting off Anatomy Park with Interdimensional Quizzo in the “brain,” Pirates of the Pancreas performances, Mr. Meeseeks cocktail specials for the liver, and more ways to get schwifty.

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