88 Things to Do in Philadelphia This Weekend

Lots of holiday pop-ups, live music events, art exhibits, and more this weekend.


The Christmas Village is back at Love Park and on the west side of City Hall.

MULTIPLE DAYS

MUSIC
The Philadelphia Orchestra
The Orchestra presents a program entitled Stutzmann Conducts Schubert’s Ninth Symphony. Okay, let’s break that down. Stutzmann = conductor Nathalie Stutzmann. Schubert is Austrian composer Franz Schubert, very famous. The Ninth was his last symphony and he never heard it performed live because he died and never became a ghost. The set list also includes Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) by composer Mizzy Mazzoni who is from Lansdale and alive.
$57-$169, December 2nd-4th, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.

THEATER
Tuesdays with Morrie
Tony Killian and Isaiah Showell star in the Masquerade Theatre’s production of Mitch Albom’s autobiographical story about a journalist who starts spending time with his old college professor.
$30, December 2nd-12th, Louis Bluver Theatre at The Drake, 302 South Hicks Street.

ART/MUSEUMS
Miriam Carpenter — Shaping the Ethereal
A solo exhibition of sculpture, furniture, prints and drawings which explore the artist’s “careful, deliberate process of transformation.”
$13-$15, through March 20th, Michener Art Museum, 138 South Pine Street, Doylestown.

COMEDY
Chris Porter
The Last Comic Standing alum has released several standup specials including A Man From Kansas which you can watch on Netflix. Also, it’s true: Chris Porter is from Kansas. He lives in L.A. now, though.
$23-$33, December 2nd-4th, Punch Line Philly, 33 East Laurel Street.

ART/EXHIBITIONS
Bitter Fruit
Iraqi-born artist Ahmed Alsoudani artist turns his expressionistic paintings into eerie, large-scale sculptures with the help of the Fabric Workshop and Museum team. (Also on view at FWM through February 20th: Blood Moon — films by Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley.)
Free admission ($5 suggested donation), through May 1st, Fabric Workshop and Museum, 1214 Arch Street.

ART
Portals+Revelations: Richard J. Watson Beyond Realities
This exhibition at the African American Museum in Philadelphia collects mixed media, abstraction, and assemblage works by Philly artist/activist Watson, a 1968 PAFA graduate and the AAMP’s artist-in-residence.
Included with admission $10-$14, through March 6th, African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St.

ART
Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror
The Art Museum co-hosts one half of a major retrospective exhibition on Jasper Johns. The other half is at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Both halves include paintings, prints, sculptures and more spanning the Georgia-born artist’s entire career.
Free with museum admission of $14-$25, continues through February 13th, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

HISTORY/ART
Imperfect History: Curating the Graphic Arts Collection at Benjamin Franklin’s Public Library
The Library Company of Philadelphia presents an exhibition of “prints, photographs, original works of art on paper, and other graphics that epitomize the evolution of a pivotal public library.” The show can enjoyed online or in-person.
Free, on display through April 8th, The Library Company of Philadelphia, 1314 Locust Street.

MUSIC
Genesis
Phil Collins and co. are on their The Last Domino? tour and yeah that question mark makes its sound coy, like this might not be their last tour, but you know what? I wouldn’t chance it. They don’t play much at all these days. If you want to hear “Invisible Touch,” “That’s All,” “In Too Deep,” “Land of Confusion,” and such, you probably oughtta get yourself a ticket.
$75-$500, 8 p.m., December 2nd & 3rd, Wells Fargo Center, 3601 South Broad Street.

COMEDY
Kyle Dunnigan
The standup and actor has been popped up on Inside Amy Schumer, Reno 911 and more, and has performed comedy on The Howard Stern Show, Conan, Kimmel, Seth Meyers and more. He made this 10 second video just for us. He shouldn’t have.
$25-$35, December 3rd & 4th, 7:30 & 10 p.m., Helium, 2031 Sansom Street.

THEATER
Disney’s The Little Mermaid
Walnut Street Theatre presents the Disney-approved musical about a mermaid who lives in the ocean but wonders what else there is in the world, like humans and legs. But it’s nice to be under the sea, too, so it’s like a dilemma.
$25-$67, through January 2nd, Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street.

THEATER
The Garbologists
Philadelphia Theatre Company presents the “co-world premiere” of Lindsay Joelle’s “off-beat buddy comedy” about “two essential workers from different worlds discover there’s more that binds them than taking out the trash.” Stars Ngozi Anyanwu and Steven Rishard. Directed by Estefanía Fadul. Tickets for essential workers are only ten bucks.
$10-$35, through December 5th, Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 South Broad Street.

MOVIES
Now Playing @ Lightbox
The Unknown Man of Shandigor: See a 4K restoration of Jean-Louis Roy’s 1967 “long-lost mid-1960s Cold War super-spy thriller.” (December 3rd, 7 p.m.) All is Forgiven: Mia Hansen-Løve’s 2010 family drama billed as “one of the most striking and auspicious first features in 21st century French cinema.” (December 4th, 7 p.m.)
$8-$10, Lightbox Film Center, 401 South Broad Street.

ART/EXHIBITION
Another World Exists
An exhibition of drawings, sculptures and installations by multidisciplinary New York City-based artist Marina Gutierrez.
Free, through January 14th, Taller Puertorriqueño, 2600 North Fifth Street.

ART
Magical Fantasy
This new art installation of “immersive spatial artworks” just sprung up one day on the lawn of the Navy Yard’s Marine Parade Grounds. Originally created for the Firefly Music Fest, Magical Fantasy was created by London artist Morag Myerscough and the mysterious public arts collective Group X.
Free, on display through October 2022, Marine Parade Grounds, Navy Yard, 4747 South Broad Street and Constitution Avenue.

ART/EXHIBITIONS
Suzanne Valadon: Model, Painter, Rebel
This new exhibition at the Barnes collects the work of French painter Suzanne Valadon (1865–1938), who “challenged behavioral codes with her art and lifestyle, breaking new ground with her unapologetic portraits and nudes.”
Included with museum admission of $23-$25, through January 9th, Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

ART
Extra Human: The Art of Michael Ferris
An exhibition of “larger-than-life figurative sculptures” by Chicago artist Michael Ferris. “Ferris’s unique approach to this historical process involves the reclaiming of discarded wood, a method informed by his environmental concerns.”
Free, through April 24th, The Center for Art in Wood, 141 North Third Street.

MOVIES/MUSIC
No Ordinary Man
A screening of Aisling Chin-Yee & Chase Joynt’s 2020 documentary about the life of jazz musician Billy Tipton, “as re-imagined by trans artists who celebrate him as a trans culture icon and unlikely hero.”
In person: $10, December 2nd, 7 p.m., Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut Street. Virtual/on-demand screening: $10, December 2nd-8th, more info at pennlivearts.org.

ART/MUSEUMS
Joan Semmel: Skin in the Game
This is the first retrospective of works by New York painter Joan Semmel, “from her early abstract-expressionist paintings through her movement-defining feminist art and activism to the vital work that she is making of her own mature body today.”
$10-$18, continues through April 3rd, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 128 North Broad Street.

ART/OUTDOORS
Monumental Tour
The outdoor sculpture exhibition features the work of artists Arthur Jafa, Coby Kennedy, Christopher Myers and Hank Willis Thomas. “Each work is an invitation to viewers from any background to learn about and connect with a narrative or era they may not have endured personally, but one which continues to impact the African American experience.”
Free, through January 31st, multiple locations along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Delaware River waterfront.

ART
Two Richard Benson Exhibitions
At the moment there are two concurrent exhibitions celebrating and collecting the work of influential photographer and printmaker Richard Benson (1943-2017). Richard Benson: The World Is Smarter Than You Are @ the Philadelphia Museum of Art through January 23rd, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Object Lesson @ Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, continues through January 8th, 1400 North American Street, suite #103.

MUSEUMS/ART
Emma Amos: Color Odyssey
Atlanta-born African-American artist Emma Amos (1937-2020) was known for her colorful postmodern paintings. “This exhibition surveys her body of work from the 1950s to the 2010s for the first time, spotlighting her inventive approach to printmaking, painting, and weaving as well as her signature practice of combining distinctive materials and artistic techniques.”
Free with museum admission of $14-$25, through January 17th, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

ART/EXHIBITIONS
Now Showing at @ ICA
Ulysses Jenkins: Without Your Interpretation — a major retrospective exhibition on the work of iconic video/performance artist Ulysses Jenkins. Continues through December 30th. Na Kim FFC on 6, 7, 8 — The ICA’s new Outside In series invites artists to “visually transform” its 36th Street façade, in collaboration with the Maharam textile company. The series starts with Seoul/Berlin graphic designer Na Kim. Continues through July 10th.
Free, timed tickets required, Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 South 36th Street.

OUTDOORS
Ice Skating @ Rothman Rink
The Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink and Cabin returns, offering ice skating and hot chocolate sipping opportunities on the western facet of City Hall.
$10 for skate rental, $5-$10 for 90 minute skate sessions, through February 27th, Dilworth Park, 1 South 15th Street.


HOLIDAY STUFF

  • Navidad que Vuelve: Parranda @ Taller Puertorriqueño: Taller Puertorriqueño hosts its annual Parranda on Friday, promising “a blend of holiday music, communal cheer, in celebration of the season.” It’s also a fundraiser to keep the Latino arts and cultural nonprofit going. $25-$50, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Taller Puertorriqueño, 2600 North Fifth Street.
  • Holiday Tree Lighting @ Winterfest: It’s not just a tree lighting going down along the waterfront on Friday night. Check out this lineup of live performances. Singers Bianca Ryan and Dylan Zangwill from America’s Got Talent, the dancers of Ballet Folklorico Yaretzi, gospel singer Raquel E. Morton Britton, singer Shekhinah B. of Sistahs Attune, Andrew Williams and His Gospel Band, the Power Surge Dancers, Philadelphia Symmetry doing synchronized skating (!), Betsy Daily School of Performing Arts, Harmony Show Choir, Mulford Dance Studio, the Dance4Life Dancers and the Trinidad and Tobago Baltimore Steel Orchestra. Free, December 3rd, 6-9 p.m., RiverRink/Winterfest, 101 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas: A cadre of melon-headed children sing and dance and talk about the true meaning of Christmas. Also there’s a dog and a bird, and their heads are shaped like lima beans. $39-$595 p.m., December 4th, 5 p.m., Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.
  • Parade of Lights @ the Independence Seaport Museum: This family-friendly boat parades features a succession of lit-up vessels floating down the Delaware, plus hands-on holiday-themed workshops in which you build a gingerbread boat and/or fold an origami ship with our own hands. $14-$18, December 4th, Independence Seaport Museum, 211 South Columbus Boulevard.
  • Visit Philadelphia Holiday Parade: Marching bands, floats and cold air balloons will stomp up Market Street, representing a multitude of holidays including Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year and Christmas. (If you miss it, you can watch the rebroadcast at 2 p.m. on 6ABC. Hell, you can record it and watch it every day.) Free, December 4th, 5-6:30 p.m., parade marches from Second and Market streets to City Hall. (P.S. The official Philly Tree Lighting is Thursday, December 2, 7 p.m. @ City Hall.)
  • Holiday House and Grinchmas Food Truck Fest @ Bolton Mansion: Reserve a timeslot and drag the kids to Levittown’s Historic Bolton Mansion for a holiday shindig that features food trucks, beer, a craft sale, a cooking demonstration and BYO-camera photos with reformed burglar The Grinch and unrepentant home invader Santa Claus. (And keep one eye open for the Krampus Is Coming To Town event December 19th, 6-9 p.m.) $10, December 4th & 5th, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 85 Holly Drive, Levittown.
  • Holiday Pop Up Market @ Northern Liberties: Local vendors and makers sell their jewelry, art, sweets and other wares. Saturday: Write a letter to noted list-maker and name-take Santa Claus. Sunday: Make your own ornament for $5. Free until you buy something, December 4th, 5th, 11th & 12th, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., North Bowl, 909 North Second Street.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Jr.: Bioluminescent ungulate Rudolph stars in this musical adaptation of the beloved TV special, featuring appearances Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Yukon Cornelius and so on. $17, December 4th-26th, Media Theater For The Performing Arts, 104 East State Street, Media.
  • Holidays On The Hill: The lovely neighborhood of Chestnut Hill — aka “Philadelphia’s Urban Village”… did we agree to that? — is hosting all kinds of activities leading up to Christmas like Santa at Market at the Fareway (Saturdays, December 4th, 11th, 18th, noon-2 p.m.), Stag & Doe Nights (on Wednesdays), the Chestnut Hill Holiday Parade (December 18th, 9 a.m.) and more. Free unless you buy something, throughout December, multiple locations in ye olde Philadelphia’s Urban Village.
  • Holiday Light Show @ East Market: Every Friday night you can head down to East Market and see a 35-foot tree all decked out in LEDs just blinking and flashing and losing its mind with the holiday spirit. What’s East Market, you ask? It’s this place, near the Fashion District. What’s the Fashion District, you ask? I can’t with all these questions right now. Free, Fridays, 5:30 & 7:30 p.m., 1100 Market Street.
  • Holidays in the Park @ Fairmount Park Houses: Take a tour of four of East Fairmount Park’s loveliest, most historic mansions throughout December: Woodford Mansion (3400 West Dauphin Drive), Strawberry Mansion (2450 Strawberry Mansion Drive), Laurel Hill (7201 North Randolph Drive) and Ormiston Mansion (2000 Reservoir Drive). Pay what you wish (but they suggest you wish around $5 minimum), through December 29th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., multiple locations.
  • Christmas Around the Farm: You can cut down your own Christmas tree at Linvilla Orchards. It costs money and you probably have to clear it with them ahead of time but still. Pretty nice. They have pre-cut-down trees for sale, too. Also kids can meet Self-Appointed Arbiter of Good Behavior Santa and declare their Christmas wishes from a safe distance by shouting them into something called the Noelziphone, which may or may not be canon. (Are you thinking what I’m thinking? “Noel” has a Latin origin while “phone” comes from the Greek! Hee. Let’s not make a scene, though.) Tree prices vary, now through Christmas, reserve a timeslot, Linvilla Orchards, 137 West Knowlton Road, Media.
  • The Philly Pops: David Charles Abell conducts a program entitled “A Philly Pops Christmas — Spectacular Sounds of the Season,” with guest singers Scarlet Strallen and Hugh Panaro, and pianist Charlie Albright. Joining the Pops, as always, will be The Philly Pops Festival Chorus, The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir and The Philadelphia Boys Choir. $41-$151, December 4th-18th, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.
  • Deck the Alley 2021: Elfreth’s Alley (aka Philadelphia’s “most historic street”) decks out its quaint doorways and windows with lights and other seasonal delights, as they do every year. Plus Christmas carols and stargazing. Question: Have they ever played up the “elf” aspect? Elf on a Shelfreth’s Alley, maybe? Still working on it. I’ll get back to you. $15-$25, December 4th, 3-5 p.m. & 5-7 p.m., Elfreth’s Alley, North Second Street, Old City.
  • Variety’s Holiday Lane: Stroll the grounds of the Variety Club Camp, which will be lit up and decorated for the holidays, and raise money for their Children’s Charity of the Delaware Valley’s annual charity drive. $5-$10, December 1st-4th, Variety Club Camp, 2950 Potshop Road, Worcester.
  • Deck The Hall Light Show @ Dilworth Park: A wintry light display is projected onto City Hall nonstop every evening until the new year. (While you’re there, check out the Wintergarden on the Greenfield Lawn through April 3; the aforementioned Rothman ice skating rink through February 27; & the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market through January 1.) Free; Sunday-Thursdays, 5-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5-11 p.m.; through January 1, west side of City Hall.
  • Mt. Airy Art Garage’s Holiday Art Market: Mt. Airy’s nonprofit Arts Hub hosts its annual art market over several weekends. Free; Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; December 4th-5th, December 11th-12th, December 18th-19th, Mt. Airy Art Garage, 7054 Germantown Avenue.
  • A Christmas Carol @ Hedgerow Theatre Company: Hedgerow stages the Dickens favorite, adapted by Nagle Jackson and directed by Penelope Reed. $35, through December 24th, 64 Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley.
  • A Very Furry Christmas Celebration @ Sesame Place: The Bucks County theme park gets made over with Christmas and Hanukkah decorations and shows. Pro tip: Sesame Place appears to be using the old-school definition of “furry” here. $34.99, through January 2, Sesame Place, 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne.
  • Holiday Bricktacular @ Legoland Discovery Center Philadelphia: See the seasonal holiday display, build a blocky ornament and maybe even meet somebody called LEGO Santa. (The mind summons images of some cubist abomination given life by some mad scientist.) $22.99-$34.99, through January 1, Legoland 500 West Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting, Plymouth Meeting Mall.
  • Tinseltown @ Philadelphia Expo Center: Attractions include displays featuring more than a million lightbulbs, a synthetic ice skating rink and photos with semi-ephemeral gift wraith Santa Claus and Gritty, who is just a perfectly normal being. $13.99-$29.99, through January 2nd, the Fairgrounds at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks.
  • Holiday Garden Railway @ Morris Arboretum: Miniature trains wind their way through a quarter mile of tracks in an outdoor display, encouraging onlookers to consider a life scaled down to match the minuscule landscape. Certain times require timed tickets, so check the schedule. $8-$20, weekends, through December 26th, Morris Arboretum, 100 East Northwestern Avenue.
  • The Miracle on South 13th Street Holiday Light Display: Every year the residents of this lovely little South Philly block string up the lights and plug in the bobbing reindeer for a group-effort Christmas display that pleases the eye and silences the children. Free, through January 1st, South 13th Street between Tasker & Morris streets.
  • Smedley Street Christmas Light Spectacular: An otherwise unassuming block in Southwest Philly becomes a Christmas Street every year around this time thanks to the many light-up attractions large and small that pop up along the median to peer into passing vehicles. Free, through January 7th, 2700 Smedley Street (between 16th & 17th streets, Moyamensing and Oregon avenues).
  • Winterfest @ RiverRink: The family-friendly Winterfest returns for more ice skating, hot chocolate sipping, food munching, game playing, etc. You can even rent a little firepit for $25 or warming cabin for $75-$125. Free till you skate or buy or do something, through March 6, Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 South Columbus Boulevard.
  • Franklin Frost @ Franklin Institute: The Franklin Institute is all decked out in wintry wonders including the Stellar Tree, which is 25 feet tall and “designed to reflect the mysterious and magnificent night sky.” Also: the Celestial Village and Big Chill Valley model train displays. $19-$23 (museum admission), through January 2nd, Franklin Institute, 222 North 20th Street.
  • Comcast Holiday Attractions: There’s the Comcast Holiday Spectacular at the Comcast Center Plaza, 1701 JFK Boulevard, and then there’s the Universal Sphere at the Comcast Technology Center, 1800 Arch Street. Both are dazzling display of good cheer, electricity and hubris. Free but advance reservations recommended, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., every day of the week.
  • Christmas Village @ Love Park & City Hall: Modeled after “the traditional Christmas Markets in Germany,” the annual Christmas Village is a pop-up outdoor shopping opportunity featuring row upon row of arts and crafts vendors selling ornaments, jewelry and more. Free till you buy something, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., through December 24th, Love Park/City Hall (go to 15th and Market, you can’t miss it).
  • LumiNature @ the Zoo: While the animals slumber, guests “stroll under a canopy of dazzling lights—including 14 uniquely themed light displays — and enjoy visually stunning performance artists.” $15-$20, timed tickets required, through January 9th, Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 West Girard Avenue.
  • A Christmas Carol @ People’s Light: People’s Light returns to live theater with a musical adaptation of the Dickens classic holiday ghosts story. Directed by David Bradley. $45, through January 2nd, People’s Light, 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern.
  • Winter @ Franklin Square: The Electrical Spectacle Light Show is back, filling Franklin Square with twinkling lights in holiday-themed arrangements. There’s also fire pits, a heated tent, hot beverages, “seasonal food” and more. Sounds nice. Free to enter, through February 27th, Franklin Square, 200 North Sixth Street.
  • A Longwood Christmas: Longwood Gardens’ annual holiday exhibition returns, this time employing a “Fire, Ice, and Everything Nice” theme on its tree and floral displays, plus fire pits, lights, etc. $16-$23 admission, timed tickets required, through January 9th, Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square.
  • Shady Brook Farm: Every winter a real live working farm in Yardley sets up a two-mile stretch of illuminated holiday attractions. Drive yourself through ($40-$75) or hop in the back of an open air wagon ($15-$18). Then pull over for cocoa, s’mores, some fudge puppies and a feeling that these may just be the best moments of your life. There’s not much online about fudge puppies, but they look pretty sweet. $40-$75, 5-9 p.m., register ahead of time, through January 28th, Shady Brook Farm, 931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley.
  • Christmas Lights Display @ Herr’s: Drive through the corporate campus of the Herr’s potato chip company in Nottingham in Chester County and enjoy their all-night light display. Free, 5 p.m.-7 a.m., through January 24th, 20 Herr Drive, Nottingham.
  • Holiday Weekends in West Chester: There’s something going on every weekend in West Chester. Shopping, yes, but also professional gingerbread house competitions, art, music, non-gingerbread home tours, ceremonies to summon Santa from his ice cave, etc. Here’s the breakdown: Shop Small Business Weekend (November 26th-28th), Old-Fashioned Holiday Weekend (December 3rd-5th), First Responders & Health Care Heroes Weekend (December 10th-12th), ’Twas the Weekend Before Christmas (December 17th-19th) and New Year’s Weekend (December 31st-January 1st).Free till you buy something, then all of a sudden you have to pay for it, through January 1st, multiple locations in West Chester.
  • Christmas @ Macy’s: The historic department store has three main things going on this season besides selling perfumes, scarves and slacks: First and foremost is the Christmas Light Show, which has been delighting and confusing children since before the birth of Christ. This year, due to, I don’t know, cutbacks? Covid? a meat shortage?, the show will only take place once a day. (Free; 10:30 a.m., December 1st-24th; 11:30 a.m., December 26th-31st.) Can’t forget about Dickens Village, Macy’s artfully arranged maze of shuddering, ruddy-faced animatronics acting out scenes from A Christmas Carol and which gets children used to the idea of evil billionaires suffering supernatural reprisals. This is, secretly, one of the better done holiday displays in the city, and the scary parts are genuinely scary. (Free, daily, on repeat, but reservations are recommended.) Lastly, there’s Santaland, wherein larval humans are balanced upon the frozen knee Lord Claus and asked to whisper to him their most secret wishes. It’s toys, every time. Also you can do this online somehow. ($25, make an appointment, hurry.) Through December 31st, Macy’s (fka Lord & Taylor, fka Wanamaker’s, fka Claire Timkin’s Home for Wayward Mannequins), 1300 Market Street.
  • Wild Lights @ Elmwood Park Zoo: Norristown’s zoo gets into the spirit with live entertainment, music, “unique animal encounters” and North Pole sovereign citizen Santa Claus. Why yes, Santa, you are being detained — until you give us presents! (See also: Brunch with Santa on Saturdays and Sundays.) $12.95-$14.95, through December 30th, 5-9 p.m., Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown.
  • Holiday Lights @ Peddler’s Village: The main attraction is probably the Gingerbread Competition & Display, but lots of little holiday-themed events pop up at New Hope’s happy little shopping village this season, featuring appearances by celestial beings Santa and Mrs. Claus (whose first name is Margaret; that’s canon). Free till you buy something, through January 8th, Peddler’s Village, 2400 Street Road, New Hope.
  • Christmas Underwater @ Adventure Aquarium: The aquarium in Camden gets into the spirit with some festive don’t-try-this-at-home attractions including “underwater light displays” and the World’s Tallest Underwater Christmas Tree (claim unverified at press time). Also making several appearances is deep ocean sea god Scuba Santa who rules over Atlantis with a trident and an olive branch. Do not cross Him. $26.99-$42.99, through December 24, Adventure Aquarium, 1 Riverside Drive, Camden.
  • North Pole Express Train / Santa’s Steam Train Ride: Take the kids on a festive, family-friendly train ride from New Hope to Lahaska and back. Includes hot chocolate, cookies, live music and more. It’s a very good train. $20, through December 30th, New Hope Railroad, 32 West Bridge Street, New Hope.
  • The West Chester Griswolds: What started as a family lawn display has turned into delightful, power-grid-threatening holiday tradition. Note: The “singing light bulbs” perform every half hour, Monday through Thursday only. The FAQ will answer all your nerdy light bulb questions. Free; Monday-Thursday, 4:45-9:45 p.m. (walk & drive through); Friday-Sunday, 4:45-10:15 p.m. (drive through only), 304 Dutton Mill Road, West Chester.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3rd

MUSIC/MUSEUMS
Yolanda Wisher and Afroeaters
Philadelphia poet laureate emeritus Yolanda Wisher, who is the best, fronts a jazz band that mixes poetry and music in its live performances. At this show, they’ll perform two sets which include “pieces from their upcoming debut album, Doublehanded Suite, featuring poetry and prose from 19th- and 20th-century Black writers.”
$28, 6-9 p.m., Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

BURLESQUE/LECTURE
Do Both
This series at Old City, hosted by Flirt Vonnegut, starts with a series of quick “TEDx-style lectures” and concludes with “steamy burlesque performances.” This time, belly dancer and burlesque artist Jaeda presents “Untangling the Secrets of the Human Hair Business.” Also on the bill: Shay Au Lait, “Developing Relationships to Boundaries”; HoneyTree EvilEye, “History of Psychiatric Diagnoses”; and and Selene Rose, “The Hidden Feminism of Romance Novels.”
$25-$35, 7 p.m., National Liberty Museum, 321 Chestnut Street.

MUSIC
CHVRCHES
The Scottish synth-pop-tronic band released Screen Violence in August — and an expanded Director’s Cut edition a couple months later — and it’d be nice to some of the new favorites played live. Not just the singles, like “Good Girls” and “He Said, She Said,” but the deeper cuts, like the Metric-ish “Final Girl” and the simple, pretty “Better If You Don’t.” Also on the bill: Donna Missal.
$40.50-$46, 7:30 p.m., Franklin Music Hall, 421 North Seventh Street.

FOOD/DRINK
Holiday Wine, Cheese & Charcuterie Pairing
Munch on cheese and cured means while learning how to prepare “the perfect appetizer board for the holidays.” The menu includes plates full of cheese, charcuterie, bread crisps, pickled vegetables and more, plus a wine flight on the side.
$50-$55, 5-7 p.m., Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

SHOPPING
Shop Black Business Friday
Support Black- and brown-owned businesses in Philly and the surrounding area always, but also especially on Friday as part of a community initiative to give these shops and eateries and such some extra love in the holiday season. Visit Philly has a list going to help you out.
Buy something, December 3rd, multiple locations.

MAGIC/COMEDY
Michael Carbonaro
The illusionist and host of the TruTV prank/magic show the Carbonaro Effect performs his new stage show “Lies on Stage” at Parx Casino. Pro-tip: Dude might be a witch or something.
$25-$50, Xcite Center at Parx Casino, 2999 Street Road, Bensalem, PA.

MUSIC
Carbon Leaf
The rootsy, country-ish indie rock band is on their The Hunting Ground tour, named for their recent EP of the same name. I looked for them under “news” to see what else Carbon Leaf is up to and I found this science paper called “Hungry caterpillars an underappreciated driver of carbon emissions.” Anyway, “Gifts from the Crows” is a pretty song.
$30, 8 p.m., World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street.

MUSIC
Yellow Days
Here’s some silly, feel-good soul-pop from Manchester UK to warm you up on a cold winter’s night. His most recent record, A Day in a Yellow Beat, dropped in March. Also on the bill is Yellow Days collaborator Ric Wilson. Okay now, listen to this, see if you like it.
$20, 7 p.m., Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street.


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4th

MUSIC
American Trappist
I first heard of Joe Michelini’s unique Jersey rock project from Philly-based nonprofit Weathervane Music and their Shaking Through video series. You should listen to American Trappist and you should think about sending a little money to Weathervane this holiday season. Make sure you get to the show in time to catch Grace Vonderkuhn and Lily McKown.
$15, 8 p.m., Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 North Frankford Avenue.

DRINKS
Valley Forge Beer and Cider Festival
Local and national brewers will serve up their beers and ciders this Saturday and you probably knew all of that from the title. What else? There’s an afternoon and an evening session, plus a few non-alcoholic attractions like the ugly sweater contest, the foods trucks and an appearance by Santa Claus. Note: The Valley Forge beer fest is at the Greater Philly Expo Center, which is in Oaks.
$50-$75, 12:30-4 p.m. & 6:30-10 p.m., Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks.

COMEDY
Howie Mandel
The veteran comedian, actor and TV host does live comedy at Parx. You might wonder how a guy who is famously a germophobe and OCD-sufferer is doing during a global pandemic? He seems to be hanging in there.
$35-$75, 7 p.m., Xcite Center at Parx Casino, 2999 Street Road, Bensalem, PA.

MUSIC
Loudon Wainwright III
Did you know Loudon Wainwright III was on M*A*S*H? Three episodes. Just a little factoid for you. Anyway, the veteran singer-songwriter — and father of three prominent singer-songwriters — is hitting the road to play old favorites and new ones from his most recent record, 2020’s I’d Rather Lead a Band. With Deni Bonet.
$33-$45, 7:30 p.m., Sellersville Theater, 24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville.

MOVIES
Eraserhood Forever 2021
The annual celebration of Philly-born avant garde filmmaker David Lynch returns with an outdoor screening of his 1977 Eraserhead film starring Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart and Allen Joseph. Hosted by Ben Velvet. Music by DJ Woodsman. Afterparty at the Trestle Inn.
$20-$25, 7 p.m., Carlton Street tunnel between 11th & 12th streets; enter on Eleventh Street.

MUSIC
Cheers Elephant
Here’s a dynamite all-local bill on Saturday: Philly rockers Cheers Elephant, Camden singer-songwriter Kingsley Ibeneche, and The Extraordinaires, who are also Philly rockers but with a little more folk and drama in the mix. Okay, let’s hear one song from each of them.
$20-$35, 8 p.m., World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street.

SPORTS
Panther City Lacrosse Club vs. Philadelphia Wings
Pro lacrosse is always a good time, with lots of scoring, rough play and loud music. This Saturday’s game against the stupidly named Panther City Lacrosse Club is the home opener. What’s Panther City, you ask? It’s a nickname for Fort Worth Texas, apparently. Shrug.
$10-$31 (buy one/get one), 6 p.m., Wells Fargo Center, 3601 South Broad Street.


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5th

MUSIC
Blind Boys of Alabama
The long-running gospel vocal act plays a Christmas show. Did you know the Blind Boys of Alabama released a Christmas album in 2003 called Go Tell It on the Mountain? You did? Okay, well did you know they did another one in 2013 called Talkin’ Christmas? Okay fine. Well did you know they appeared in a 1996 Christmas episode of Beverly Hills, 90210? Thank you, Wikipedia. But no thank you, YouTube who really should have that clip.
$35, 6:15 p.m., Ardmore Music Hall, 23 East Lancaster Avenue.

MUSIC
Mister Mann’s Jam Session
Local writer/filmmaker Mister Mann Frisby handpicks a lineup of singers and musicians to perform neo-soul, gospel, r&b and soul covers. The Inky had something on Mr. Frisby not long ago.
$22-$34, 5 p.m., City Winery, 990 Filbert Street.

MUSIC
Chris Isaak
A live show by the veteran singer-songwriter known for “Wicked Game,” “Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing,” “Somebody’s Crying” and more. And then there’s this one.
$59-$84, 7 p.m., Keswick Theatre, 291 North Keswick Avenue, Glenside.

SPORTS
Flyers vs. Lightning
Things aren’t looking so great for the boys right now, and a game against last year’s Stanley Cup champions doesn’t sound like a great idea. But you get what you get and you don’t get upset. Go Flyers.
$66.-$193, 5 p.m., Wells Fargo Center, 3601 South Broad Street.

MUSIC
Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
The PCMS presents this concert featuring pianist Jonathan Biss, violinist Stephanie Zyzak, violist Zhanbo Zheng and cellist Gabriel Martins. The program calls for Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze and Brahms’ Piano Quartet.
$30, 3 p.m., Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.

SPORTS
Philadelphia Union vs. New York City FC
The Union meet NYCFC in the Eastern Conference Finals and thank crap it’s a home game, because Yankee Stadium is a garbage place for a soccer game. It’s so small they literally have to shrink the size of the playing field. Like, have some integrity.
Price TBD, 3 p.m., Subaru Park, 1 Stadium Drive, Chester.

COMEDY
Rachel Fogletto
The Philadelphia comedian and co-producer of the Hot Mistakes and The Leak podcasts, records her debut live album in her hometown. Follow her on Twitter, why not?
$10-$28, 7 p.m., Helium, 2031 Sansom Street.

MUSIC
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Lina Gonzalez-Granados conducts a performance entitled Holiday Organ and Brass Celebration, with Verizon Hall’s famous Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ leading the way on Christmas favorites.
$25, 2 p.m., Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.