108 Things to Do in Philly This Weekend
Theater galore, holiday parades, Hoagiewave, shopping, and like a million lights.
Get our weekly picks of what to do this weekend and the latest on Philly's arts and entertainment scene.
The Kimmel’s Broadway Series throws open the doors of ye olde Forrest Theatre for the Tony-winning revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical comedy, Company. Directed by Marianne Elliott. Includes “You Could Drive a Person Crazy,” “The Ladies Who Lunch,” “Being Alive” and other recognizable songs.
$41.55-$151.50, through December 10th, Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut Street.
A Very Philly Christmas
The No Name Pops Orchestra offers three weeks of holiday-themed shows full of singing and dancing. Led by Conductor Enrico Lopez-Yañez; featuring soprano Kristina Nicole Miller and tenor Christian Dante White.
$29-$99, December 1st-December 23rd, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.
A Christmas Story: The Play
Bristol Riverside Theatre presents Philip Grecian’s adaptation of the beloved 1983 holiday movie, which was itself adapted from a Jean Shepherd story, which is good as fudge. Only I didn’t say fudge.
$41.25-$60, through December 31st, Bristol Riverside Theatre, 120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol.
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Rafael Payare leads the Orcs in a program that includes Jimmy López Bellido’s Ephemerae and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. Featuring pianist Javier Perianes.
$30-$150, December 1st-3rd, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.
The Fairmount Park Conservancy teams up with the Ukrainian League of Philadelphia for this event at the lovely and mysterious Lemon Hill Mansion. Performers include violinist Innesa Tymochko-Dekajlo, the Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and more. Part of a whole Holidays in the Park: Winter around the World series at Lemon Hill.
$5, 11:30 a.m., Lemon Hill Mansion, 1 Lemon Hill Drive.
The annual three-day convention celebrates everything related to tabletop gaming with competitions, tournaments, workshops, vendors, panels and more. If you’re into cards, dice, miniatures, war, hammers and/or hit points, you’ll probably find something you like at PAX. (My D&D group has been storming Avernus for like five years. It’s ridiculous.)
$40 (one-day pass), $85 (three-day pass), December 1st-3rd, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street.
BalletX in Bryn Mawr
The Philly-based contemporary ballet company dances up to the Main Line for a pair of shows at Bryn Mawr College. Program includes works by Matthew Neenan, Tiler Peck, and Jorma Elo.
$25-$50, December 1st and 2nd, Goodhart Hall, Bryn Mawr College, 150 North Merion Avenue.
An American in Paris
Haddonfield Plays and Players presents the Tony Award-winning musical by George and Ira Gershwin about “a young American soldier, a beautiful French girl, and an indomitable European city.”
$30, December 1st-16th, Haddonfield Plays and Players, 957 East Atlantic Avenue, Haddonfield.
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
In what’s become a holiday tradition, Lantern Theatre is again staging Anthony Lawton’s one-person adaptation of the Dickens classic, starring Anthony Lawton. In collaboration with Christopher Colucci and Thom Weaver.
$30-$35, December 2nd-27th, Louis Bluver Theatre at The Drake, 302 South Hicks Street.
Kennett Square Holiday Village Market
Shops for holiday gifts and good in Kennett Square in this recreation of a German Christkindlmarkt featuring live music, fire pits, cocktails, mulled wine, food trucks and displays by artisans and other vendors.
Free, December 2nd, 3rd, 9th & 10th, The Creamery, 401 Birch Street, Kennett Square.
Lucia & Christmas Market
The Swedish Museum hosts this two day outdoor shopping op featuring “holiday deli items, Christmas decorations and gifts, and SWEA bakery treats.” Plus: live holiday music by the Last Chance duo and the Lucia children’s program.
Free on Sunday, $5 on Saturday; December 2nd & 3rd; 10 a.m.-4 p.m., American Swedish Historical Museum, 1900 Pattison Avenue.
The California-born comic/actor/podcaster had his own sitcom Titus, and has also appeared to Pawnography, Rizzoli & Isles and CSI: Miami.
$25-$42, November 30th-December 2nd, Helium, 2031 Sansom Street.
UArts School of Dance
The UArts’ Winter Dance Series includes two programs performed twice each. Program A: Bill T Jones, Dinita and Kyle Clark, Gary Reagan, Katie Swords Thurman, Mark Caserta, Sophomore Performance and Coaching Project directed by Sidra Bell, Kimie Parker and Sara Procopio. Program B: Gary Jeter, Jesse Zaritt, Juel Lane, Sydney Donovan, Uwazi Zamani, Sophomore Performance and Coaching Project directed by Shayla-Vie Jenkins, Song Tucker and Jesse Zaritt.
Free, November 30th-December 2, Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut Street.
The family-friendly Winterfest — along the Delaware River, just north of the Ben Franklin Bridge — returns for more ice skating, hot chocolate sipping, food munching, game playing, etc. You can even rent a little firepit or warming cabin. This Friday, December 1st, from 6 to 9 p.m. is the big Holiday Tree Lighting featuring live performances by Ashlee Keating, Dylan Zangwill (America Has Got Some Talent), Ballet Folklorico, Ikechi Onyenaka and lots more.
Free till you skate or buy or do something else that costs money, continues through Spring (probably), Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 South Columbus Boulevard.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Walnut Street Theater presents the kid-tested Disney/Broadway musical version of the old fairy tale about a pretty lady who falls for the cursed abomination who imprisons her in his castle full of singing furniture. Music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, book by Linda Woolverton. Directed by Glenn Casale. Starring Daniel Wisniewski and Julia Udine.
$30-$117, through December 31st, Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street.
Whit MacLaughlin directs Arden Children’s Theatre productions David Wood’s adaptation of the beloved Roald Dahl book about a big friendly giant who befriends an eight-year-old kid named Sophie.
$20-$45, through January 21st, Arden Theatre, 40 North 2nd Street.
James Ijames’ Pulitzer Prize-winning, Tony-nominated adaptation of Hamlet finally makes its live Philly debut. The Philly playwright’s “hilarious yet profound” take on Shakespeare is “set in the South and centers a Black, queer main character.” Directed by Amina Robinson.
$29-$65, through December 17th, Wilma Theater, 265 South Broad Street.
This Is the Week That Is
1812 Productions’ annual current events satire shifts with the headlines, and includes musical parodies and improv comedy. The show is written and performed by the This Is the Week That Is ensemble: Jennifer Childs, Sean Close, Pax Ressler, Jackie Soro, Lexi Thammavong and Robyn Unger. Co-directed by Melanie Cotton and Mikaela Boone.
$48, through December 31st, Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place.
Once again, Klip Collective has set up its dazzling light and sound displays at Grounds For Sculpture in NJ to create a “site-specific multi-sensory experience.” This year is kind of a greatest hits, incorporating installations from the two previous years of Night Forms. Just watch the video.
$18-$25, through April 7th, Grounds for Sculpture, 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton Township.
Adventure Aquarium in Camden gets into the spirit with some festive don’t-try-this-at-home attractions including “underwater light displays,” the World’s Tallest Underwater Christmas Tree (claim unverified at press time) and something called the “snowtunda.” Also making several appearances will be Scuba Santa who, I don’t know, keeps track of which fish are naughty and/or nice? Maybe? I’m not sure they’ve worked out the lore.
$28-$48, through December 24th, Adventure Aquarium, 1 Riverside Drive, Camden.
A Christmas Carol Comedy
Pete Pryor directs Hedgerow’s “fun and festive adaptation” of the Dickens holiday favorite. Written by Katie Leamen. Stars Brian Anthony Wilson as Scrooge and Christopher Patrick Mullen as Everybody Else.
$20-$35, through December 24th, Hedgerow Theatre Company, 64 Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley.
This long-running circus centering POC performers rolls its ring into Fairmount Park. It’s happening at the Mann Center’s address, but there’s no mention of it on the Mann’s web site. I guess just go to that general area, if there’s a circus happening nearby you should be able to tell.
$27-$53, through December 3rd, Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Avenue.
Quintessence Theatre presents “the longest running musical in theatre history” about “two young neighbors tricked into falling in love by their conniving parents.” Music by Harvey Schmidt, book and lyrics by Tom Jones. Directed by Megan Bellwoar. Starring Frank X, Steven Wright, Eleni Delopoulos and more.
$30-$65, through December 31st, Sedgwick Theatre, 7137 Germantown Avenue.
The hilarious NYC-based comedian is known for her dark, smiling cynicism. Hmm. That might make her sound like the Joker. She’s way funnier than the Joker. Hashem released a standup special called Dark Little Whispers on Prime last month.
$20-$30, December 1st-3rd, Punch Line Philly, 33 East Laurel Street.
Stagecrafters in Chestnut Hill presents Lauren Gunderson’s play about Henrietta Leavitt, a turn-of-the-last-century astronomer and “computer” at Harvard Observatory. Stars Andrea Ong, Leah O’hara, Triston Haq, Stacy Skinner and Krishna Dunston.
$20-$30, through December 9th, Stagecrafters Theater, 8130-34 Germantown Avenue.
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
Bucks County Playhouse stages the holiday musical favorite in which “a successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.” Music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, book by David Ives and Paul Blake. Directed by Hunter Foster.
$32-$86, through December 31st, Bucks County Playhouse, 70 South Main Street, New Hope.
Holidays on the Hill
The handsome Chestnut Hill neighborhood is hosting all kinds of holiday activities leading up to Christmas like Stag & Doe Nights (on Wednesdays), the Chestnut Hill Holiday Parade (December 2nd) and more.
Free unless you buy something, through December 25th, multiple locations in Chestnut Hill.
A Dickens of a Murder
Without a Cue Productions presents a holiday murder mystery in which you and Sherlock Holmes try to solve the murder of Ebenezer Scrooge.
$35, through December 30th, Red Rum Theater, 601 Walnut Street.
What’s Happening at Franklin Square
In addition to the Electrical Spectacle Light Show (see the Lights/Holiday Displays section below), Franklin Square is hosting Chilly Philly Mini Golf (through January 7th) and Street Curling (through February 25th) this winter. They’re exactly what they sound like they are.
$12-$15 for golf, $40 for street curling, Franklin Square, 200 North 6th Street.
A Christmas Carol
People’s Light stages Zak Berkman’s adaptation of the Charles Dickens ghost story, “infused with original music and traditional English carols.” Stars Ian Merrill Peakes as Scrooge. Directed by Nell Bang-Jensen.
$55, through December 31st, People’s Light, 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern.
Account of a Visit From St. Nicholas
Visitors to Historic Odessa are invited to recite Clement Clarke Moore’s poem A Visit From St. Nicholas, often referred to as ’Twas The Night Before Christmas while touring a holiday display that illustrates lines from the poem.
Through December 31st, Corbit-Sharp House, Historic Odessa Foundation, 201 Main Street, Odessa.
Season With Crumbs From the Table of Joy
A Southern Black family involved in the Father Divine movement moves to Brooklyn in the ’50s in Lynn Nottage’s 1995. Part of Lantern Theater Company’s 30th anniversary season. Directed by Bianca LaVerne Jones.
$25-$45, through December 10th, St. Stephen’s Theater, 923 Ludlow Street.
Now Showing at Philly Film Society
Here’s what’s playing on Film Society screens in addition to the usual first-run fare.
- In the Mood for Love (2000) Wong Kar-Wai tells the story of two neighbors “bound together by a consuming yet restrained relationship as they navigate betrayal and loneliness in their respective apartments and rain soaked streets of Hong Kong.” Number 5 in the Sight & Sound 100. Stars Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Maggie Cheung Man-yuk. December 1st, 7:30 p.m.
- Body Double (1984) Brian De Palma’s “outrageous whodunit” stars Melanie Griffith, Craig Wasson and Greg Henry. Tagline: “A seduction. A mystery. A murder.” December 1st, 8 p.m.
- Tokyo Story (1954) Yasujiro Ozu’s family drama is #4 on the Sight & Sound 100 list. Stars Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama and Sô Yamamura. December 2nd, 3 p.m.
- Do the Right Thing (1989) See Spike Lee’s beloved Bed-Stuy comedy/drama in 4K. Stars Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Danny Aiello, Giancarlo Esposito, Richard Edson, Frankie Faison and more. #24 on the Sight & Sound 100 list. Tagline: “It’s the hottest day of the summer. You can do nothing, you can do something, or you can…” December 2nd, 4 p.m.
- Sexy Beast (2000) Jonathan Glazer’s first film about a retired safecracker whose peace is interrupted by an offer to do one last job. He should just turn down the job. Tagline: “In the Underworld, you never turn down a job.” Stars Ben Kingsley, Ray Winstone and Ian McShane. December 2nd, 6 p.m.
- Body Heat (1981) Lawrence Kasdan’s erotic thriller stars William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Ted Danson, Richard Crenna and Mickey Rourke. Tagline: “It’s a hot summer. Ned Racine is waiting for something special to happen. And when it does… He won’t be ready for the consequences.” That’s a very long tagline. December 2nd, 7 p.m.
- Stranger by the Lake (2013) Alain Guiraudi’s thriller about a man who suspects “ his recent romance at a popular lake cruising spot may be more dangerous, and exhilarating, than he ever imagined.” Stars Pierre Deladonchamps, Christophe Paou and Patrick d’Assumçao. Tagline: “Best Director, Un Certain Regard at Cannes.” Catchy. December 3rd, 4 p.m.
- The Handmaiden (2016) “A woman is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her” in Park Chan-Wook’s celebrated revenge film. Stars Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo and Cho Jin-woong. Tagline: “Never did they expect to get into a controversial relationship.” December 3rd, 6 p.m.
$14, above screenings at Philadelphia Film Center, 1412 Chestnut Street.
The “authentic German Christmas market” — featuring food, crafts, etc. — returns to LOVE Park and Dilworth Park for outdoor shopping, sparkling selfie-taking and festive loitering. It’ll be open daily through Christmas Eve. Here’s a vendor map.
Pay as you go, continues through December 24th, noon-8 p.m., LOVE Park and Dilworth Park, in the neighborhood of 15th and JFK.
This annual art show and sale — featuring paintings, photography, sculpture, fiber arts, stained glass, jewelry and fine crafts by people with physical and related cognitive disabilities, and hearing and visual impairments — raises funds for Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital.
Continues through January 28th, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, 414 Paoli Pike, Malvern.
Illustrating Medicine: Treatment in Historical Texts
This ongoing exhibition at the Mütter includes illustrations and stories from medical texts from yesteryear depicting anatomy, herbals, and techniques. Housed in the Norris Reading Room, Illustrating Medicine can only be viewed Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Included in $20 museum admission, weekends, Mütter Museum, 19 South 22nd Street.
- Ice Skating @ Rothman Rink — The Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink and Cabin returns to Dilworth Plaza, along the Western face of City Hall. In addition to the skating, there’s hot chocolate, food, cute little penguins for kids to hold onto while they’re going around the rink and more. $10 for skate rental, $9 for 90-minute skate sessions, through February 25th.
- Wintergarden — Decked out with little trees and twinkling lights, this “whimsical outdoor sanctuary” is a chill place to hang out in the winter. Free, through March 26th.
- Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market — Local artists and vendors sell their handmade goods. Free till you buy something, through January 1st.
Dilworth Park, 1 South 15th Street.
This new space-themed exhibit at the Franklin Institute invites guests to think about the Moon, Mars and “the technological advancements in space science that benefit life on Earth.”
Included in museum admission of $21-$25, ongoing, Franklin Institute, 222 North 20th Street.
Floe: A Climate of Risk
Subtitled The Fictional Archaeology of Stephen Talasnik, this site-specific installation “blurs the line between sculpture and architecture” in its depiction of a Philadelphia struck by climate disaster. Curator: Jennifer-Navva Milliken.
Free admission, through February 18th, Museum for Art in Wood, 141 North 3rd Street.
What the Constitution Means to Me
Jennifer Childs directs this much-talked-about play by Heidi Schreck who, in her youth, “developed a deep love of the Constitution by winning debate competitions around the country.”
$30-$60, through December 10th, Arden Theatre, 40 North 2nd Street.
We Love Martin Scorsese
In celebration of Martin Scorsese joining Letterboxd — and the release of Killers of the Flower Moon, probably — Bryn Mawr Film Institute is putting a few old favorites on the big screen, including Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Waltz and more.
$13.50, through December 4th, Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr.
Marie Laurencin: Sapphic Paris
This exhibition at the Barnes Foundation explores the career of French artist Marie Laurencin (1883–1956) whose “subtle but radical” works “placed women at the center of modern art.” Through January 21st.
$25 museum admission, Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Between Horizons: Korean Ceramic Artists in America
This exhibition at the Clay Studio shares the work of 12 artists who “began their ceramic education in Korea before moving to the US for graduate work.” Curated by Mi-Kyoung Lee and Jennifer Zwilling.
Runs through December 31st, Clay Studio, 1425 North American Street.
What’s Up at the Science History Institute
- BOLD: Color from Test Tube to Textile — This new exhibition at Old City’s Science History Institute explores the complicated history and science of natural and synthetic dye-making “drawing on dye sample books, vivid clothing, and scientific instruments.” Ongoing.
- First Friday: Not-So-Secret Recipes — This hands-on science program touches on the chemistry of baking, vintage cookbooks, and “the less-than-savory ingredients added to food products throughout history.” December 1st, 5-7 p.m.
Free, Science History Institute, 315 Chestnut Street.
Death Under Glass
Marianne Hamel MD, PhD, and forensic photographer Nikki Johnson, MFA, put together this traveling exhibition of images of highly magnified human cells. “Forensic pathologists investigate the images to determine a cause of death; for us, they are simply beautiful, illustrating the complex interplay of tissues in the human body.”
Through December 9th, Stedman Gallery & Gordon Theater, Fine Arts Building, Rutgers University-Camden, 314 Linden Street, Camden.
- Moveables, Five artists (Jes Fan, Nikita Gale, Hannah Levy, Ken Lum, and Oren Pinhassi) rethink “functional design and its intimate relationship to the human body.”
- David Antonio Cruz: When the Children Come Home, This exhibition includes works by Philly-born visual and performance artist David Antonio Cruz which “camouflage the figure in intricate, ancestrally significant backgrounds represent the artist’s expanded exploration of home and its intersections with geography, diaspora, LGBTQ+ culture, and autobiography.”
Free admission, both exhibitions on view through December 17, Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 South 36th Street.
The First Amendment
This week, the National Constitution Center debuts its new gallery and exhibition dedication to the First Amendment and its five freedoms: religious liberty, free speech, a free press, the freedom of assembly, and the right to petition.”
$15-$19, ongoing, National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street.
Data Nation: Democracy in the Age of A.I.
This group exhibition features “immersive installations, topical interactives, and provocative artworks” aimed at encouraging visitors to “consider the forces at play in our everyday technology and how they intersect with democratic norms and values.” Includes works by Roopa Vasudevan, Jim Strong, Emmanuela Soria Ruiz, and more.
Included in museum admission of $6-$12, through March 18th, National Liberty Museum, 321 Chestnut Street.
Monument to Reproduction
Race Street Pier hosts this long-term installation by New York-based artists Robin Cameron and G. William Webb using materials from a house in Hebron, New York.
Free, through December 31st, Race Street Pier, North Columbus Boulevard.
- Ethel Wallace: Modern Rebel — This exhibition revisits the work of a “little known, locally beloved artist whose adaptation of batik, a Javanese technique of dyeing cloth, made her work a coveted modernist trend among New York’s elite in the 1910s and ’20s.” Through March 10th.
- Opening: Never Broken: Visualizing Lenape Histories at the James A. Michener Art Museum — “A dynamic display of contemporary art by Lenape (also called Delaware) artists in dialogue with historic Lenape ceramics, beadwork, and other cultural objects and representations of Penn’s Treaty by European American artists.” Includes works by Ahchipaptunhe, Joe Baker, Holly Wilson and Nathan Young. Through January 14th.
Included in museum admission of $13-$15, Michener Art Museum, 138 South Pine Street, Doylestown.
Indigenous artist Nathan Young created this “year-long, immersive sound installation” on the grounds of Morrisville’s Pennsbury Manor. Watch a video preview of nkwiluntamen here.
Free, Wednesdays-Sundays, continues through April 30, 400 Pennsbury Memorial Road, Morrisville.
Determined To Be: The Sculpture of John Rhoden
PAFA presents “the first comprehensive retrospective of African American sculptor John Rhoden,” a prolific and award-winning artist who worked in bronze, wood, and stone. Continues through April 7th.
$18 museum admission, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 128 North Broad Street.
The Future Will Follow the Past
This exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz “explores the transformative changes America has experienced since 2020 and addresses antisemitism, racial violence, immigration, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights and more.” Extended through 2023.
Admission to the museum is free ($15 donations encouraged), Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 South Independence Mall East.
Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America
The African American Museum and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts combine for this group show by 20 artists on display at both institutions. The works respond to the prompt: “Is the sun rising or setting on the experiment of American democracy?”
Through December 31, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 128 North Broad Street; and at AAMP through March 3, 2024, African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street.
Eiko Otake: I Invited Myself, vol. III
This two-part exhibition of works by movement artist Eiko Otake focuses on her dance-for-camera works. Part two is at Fabric Workshop, see below.
Through December 9th, Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine Street.
- Eiko Otake: I Invited Myself, vol. III: Duets — This exhibition features movement artist Eiko Otake’s “collaborative works created with artists such as John Killacky, DonChristian Jones, and Merián Soto, among others, through projections and video sculptures.” Through March 24th.
- Jessica Campbell: Heterodoxy — This exhibition and its related events “explores the complex personal, political and professional relationships facilitated by the twentieth century secret feminist debate club named Heterodoxy.” Through March 24th.
- Sonic Presence (or Absence: Sound in Contemporary Art) — This group show asks the question “How can sound, actual or implied, impact or inform our interpretation of both unremarkable and extraordinary experiences?” and includes works by Terry Adkins, Janine Antoni, Moe Brooker, Nick Cave, Lenka Clayton, Glenn Ligon and lots more. Continues through January 7th.
Free (suggested donation $5), Fabric Workshop and Museum, 1214 Arch Street.
Now Showing at the Academy of Natural Sciences
- Life Onto Land: The Devonian — An exhibition on the life and ecosystems of the Devonian period, the geological era during which creatures wriggled up on dry land, which everybody agrees was a solid move with a lot of potential. Continues through September 29th.
- Skin: Living Armor, Evolving Identity — This exhibition examines skin through both a scientific and cultural lens, and looks at the roles of feathers, furs, scutes, scales, hides and hairs.” Through January 21st.
Included with museum admission of $21-$25, Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Now Showing at the Art Museum
- Stephen Burks: Shelter in Place — This speculative project by the award-winning industrial designer includes “contemporary furniture, key products, and craft-related experiments.” Through April 14th.
- The Shape of Time: Korean Art after 1989 A group show of works — in the media of fiber, painting, ceramics, photography, embroidery, installation, lacquer, video, metalwork and performance — by contemporary artists of Korean descent born between 1960 and 1986. Through February 11th.
- Seeing with Empathy: The Female Gaze in American Modernism — Includes works by eight modern American women artists. Through 2024.
- Of God and Country: American Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection — Works that “deal with shared themes of U.S. history, the American landscape, religion and mortality.” Through July 7th.
- Zoe Leonard: Strange Fruit — “Empty fruit skins that have been sutured together and sprawled across the gallery floor by the artist.” Through July 7th.
- A Century of Kanthas: Women’s Quilts in Bengal, 1870s–1970s —Through January 1st.
- Documentary / Anti-Graphic: A Surrealist Eye on Photographs — Through January 1st.
- Medieval Treasures from the Glencairn Museum — The Art Museum mingles its medieval collection with items from the museum in Bryn Athyn. Through March 10th.
$14-$23 admission, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Ben Franklin Parkway.
South Street Tree Lighting
Head down to South Street for this thing on Saturday before traipsing over to Market Street for the big Holiday Parade. Plus a meet-and-greet with immaterial wraith Santa Claus, and the Mrs. Claus Holiday Market.
Free till you spend money, December 2nd, noon-4:30 p.m., Headhouse Shambles, Second and Pine Streets.
The Comcast Holiday Spectacular @ Comcast Center
Not quite a light show in the traditional sense, but it’s a “spectacular,” so just go with it! Every year, this 15-minute festive musical fills the Comcast Center lobby with holiday songs, aerial footage of Philly, parts of the Philadelphia Ballet’s Nutcracker, and more on one of the world’s largest LED video walls. The show opens on Thanksgiving Day at 10 a.m. and runs at the top of every hour through New Year’s Day. Free; through January 1st (daily at the top of every hour, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; sensory-friendly show daily at 2:30 p.m.), Comcast Center, 1701 JFK Boulevard.
LumiNature @ the Zoo
Stroll from one fanciful light display to another, dodging neon circus performers and frostbite in this lovely nighttime attraction at the zoo. My favorite part of LumiNature is the spooky, blissful and slightly deranged voiceover espousing a nondenominational mythology about slumbering animals and ambiguous wintry wonders, not the least of which is a massive, radiant penguin. $20-$28, timed tickets required, through December 31st, Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 West Girard Avenue.
Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular @ FDR Park
Skate along an ice trail of light-up displays ($20, includes skate rental), glide down the ice slide on an inner tube ($10 for three rides), drink hot drinks, visit the Santa’s Workshop and more at this outdoor attraction in South Philly. Pay as you go, through January 1st, FDR Park, 1500 Pattison Avenue & South Broad Street.
Wild Lights @ Elmwood Park Zoo
Norristown’s top zoo gets into the spirit with live entertainment, music, “unique animal encounters” and North Pole sovereign citizen Santa Claus. $13-$22, through December 30th, 5-9 p.m., Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown.
Holiday Light Show @ 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 ($18-$23). Then pull over for cocoa, s’mores, some fudge puppies and a feeling that these may just be the best moments of your life. $40-$75 (depending on when you go, and what kind of vehicle you drive), 5-9 p.m., through January 8th, Shady Brook Farm, 931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley.
A Very Furry Christmas Celebration @ Sesame Place
Sesame Place’s annual x-mas attractions include the 1-2-3 Christmas Tree Light Show, Elmo’s Christmas Wish, the Sesame Street Christmas Parade and more. Reminder #1: This is not a holiday furry convention. Reminder #2: Sesame Place is own by SeaWorld yet there are no orca Muppets. $39.99-$46.99, continues through January 7th, Sesame Place, 100 Sesame Rd, Langhorne.
Electrical Spectacle Light Show @ Franklin Square
This high-energy (bill) attraction 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 25th, 5-9 p.m., Franklin Square, 200 North Sixth Street.
Gingerbread Competition & Display @ Peddler’s Village
New Hope most thematic shopping village has become menagerie of empty cookie houses and soulless cookie humanoids. Do not eat the display for the cookies have plenty of room in their heads and homes for vengeance. Continues through January 13th. No cover, Peddler’s Village, 2400 Street Road, New Hope.
LuminoCity Holiday Lights Festival @ Expo Center
The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks hosts this “immersive wonderland of lights” promising “state-of-the-art production” under the theme of “Golden Holiday.” Plus a holiday market and bar. $20-$32, through January 15th, Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks.
Holidays @ Fonthill Castle
The massive 110-year-old estate in Doylestown will be decked out in holiday finery and open to the public for Holiday Lights Meander tours. $15, Saturdays and Sundays, Fonthill Castle, East Court Street & Route 313, Doylestown.
A Longwood Christmas @ Longwood Gardens
Longwood Gardens’ annual holiday exhibition returns, this time employing a “Very Retro Christmas” theme, adding “mid-century magic” to its trees, floral displays, fire pits, lights, etc. $16-$30 admission, through January 7th, Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square.
Yuletide at Devon
Journey out to the horse capital Chester Country for night after night of live music, carolers, parades, amusement rides, photos with Santa, food, drink and “35+ unique high-end vendors.” Here’s the daily entertainment schedule. $34.99, through December 31st, Devon Horse Show and Country Fairgrounds: 23 Dorset Road, Devon.
Macy’s Christmas Light Show and Dickens Village
The Christmas Light Show is a glorious, pointillist, 100-story wall of nostalgia. All children must be made to appreciate it yearly. Make a reservation to see Dickens Village — a moody labyrinth of shuddering, ruddy-faced animatronics acting out scenes from A Christmas Carol. Delight in the prospect that all evil billionaires will one day suffer supernatural reprisals. The DV is low-key one of the better done holiday displays in the city, and the scary parts are genuinely scary. Free, through December 31st (Monday-Saturday: 10:30 a.m., noon 2, 4, and 6 p.m.; Sunday: noon, 2 and 4 p.m.), Macy’s, 1300 Market Street.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1st
The comedian/actor/musician/podcaster performs a “yuletide musical extravaganza” called Have You Heard of Christmas?, which is also the title of his most recent album and comedy musical special on Showtime.
$49.50, 8 p.m., Miller Theater, 250 South Broad Street.
The Gardens After Dark
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens becomes a “glittery wonderland” thanks to the addition of hundreds of lights.
$10-$20, 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, 1020 South Street.
The Brooklyn hip-hop trio — Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice and Erick Arc Elliott — is on tour to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their much-loved BetterOffDead mixtape.
$27.50, 9 p.m., Fillmore Philly, 29 East Allen Street.
Late Night Snacks: Leftovers
The Bearded Ladies Cabaret hosts these monthly shows at FringeArts, backed by the Midnight Munchies band. This edition boasts appearances by chanteuse Edith Piaf (Jarbeaux) ex-wife of the Grinch Mabeline (Cookie Diorio), and the Philadelphia Voices of Pride.
Pay what you can, 8 p.m., FringeArts, 140 North Columbus Boulevard.
Can we call Baroness the kings of sludge-prog? It feels right. Since 2003, John Baizley and his Georgia-born metal band have been dropping heavy riffs and soaring vocals — surviving a horrible bus crash, several lineup flips and more along the way. Their sixth record Stone dropped in September. Sheer Mag and Uniform Zorn open the show.
$28-$35, 6:30 p.m., Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street.
The young Bronx rapper is known for his emotional bangers like “F.N,” “Brothers,” “Calling My Phone” and his collaboration with Ice Spice, “Gangsta Boo.” Lil Tjay doesn’t think the “mumble-rap” tag fits what he does, but he kind of slurs his voice when he says it.
$49-$99, 8 p.m., The Met, 858 North Broad Street.
Thumpasaurus / Guerilla Toss
Dave Kiss Presents a night of idiosyncratic dance and funk from Thumpasaurus, and intense art-rock from Guerilla Toss. Let’s listen.
$20, 9 p.m., Underground Arts, 200 Callowhill Street.
The Late(ish) Poetry Show
This poetry series at PhilaMOCA features an open mic, music, games and “the livest audience this side of the Schuylkill.” Presented by the Philly Pigeon.
$15-$25, 8:30 p.m., PhilaMOCA, 531 North 12th Street.
Am I wrong or is there a damaged psycho-clown aesthetic on the rise in the current crop of pop artists? Weird eyes, stitchy makeup, horrific bangs. Is this what happens when Five Nights at Freddy’s kids grow up? Doesn’t matter. I like Jazmin Bean’s sound. It rocks, it grooves, it discomforts, it soothes.
$20-$22, 8 pm., Fillmore Philly, 29 East Allen Street.
Curtis on Tour: Osmo Vänskä and Erin Keefe
Philadelphia Chamber Music Society presents this concert by husband-and-wife duo violinist/Curtis faculty member Erin Keefe and clarinetist Osmo Vänskä. Program includes works by Mozart, Dohnányi, Schulhoff and Sibelius.
$30, 7:30 p.m., Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2nd
BMFI presents a newly restored print of directors Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky’s “apocalyptic parable” from 2000 about a man who “witnesses an escalation of violence in his small hometown following the arrival of a mysterious circus attraction.” Stars Lars Rudolph, Peter Fitz and Hanna Schygulla.
$13.50, 1 p.m., Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr.
The SNL alum and Just Shoot Me/Grown Ups star will perform live comedy show he’s calling Catch Me Inside. Spade released a stand-up special on Netflix last year titled Nothing Personal.
$45-$130, 8 p.m., Miller Theater, 250 South Broad Street.
Bartram’s Garden promises a “wintry afternoon of free family fun” featuring a campfire, kid stuff, karaoke, snacks, local vendors, make-and-take workshops, s’mores, a pie-baking contest and more at their annual Handmade Holidays shindig.
Free to enter, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Bartram’s Garden, 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard.
Awbury Arboretum’s Holiday Farm Party and Greens Sale
Shop for holiday greens like wreaths and evergreen branches (pre-orders are recommended). Plus, there will be music, craft workshops (sign up online), a campfire with treats, and visits with the Philly Goat Project goats!
Free to enter, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Francis Cope House, 1 Awbury Road.
A pioneer of the spooky electro-mumble pop scene, Pennsylvania-born/Queens based artist Eartheater might be a poltergeist. Or some ancient entity in a cult favorite folk horror picture. My cat is freaking out. The dishes are rattling in the cabinet. Something is looking up at me from the drain. I don’t have a cat. Eartheater is scary and entrancing, basically.
$30, 9 p.m., Underground Arts, 200 Callowhill Street.
Philly Zine Fest
This annual celebration of zines, small presses and all self-published passion projects features a gigantic list of exhibitors including Boinx, C. Larsen, Sequential Philly and more. Plus there’s the 2023 Philly Zine Fest Anthology featuring art, stories, comics, photos and more.
Free to enter, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Mitten Hall at Temple University, 1913 North Broad Street.
The Chicago comedian released his most recent special Sebastian Maniscalco Presents: Pat McGann – When’s Mom Gonna Be Home? in 2020. (Sebastian Maniscalco is also a comedian; he’s playing Wells Fargo Center next spring.)
$35-$64, 8 p.m., Keswick Theatre, 291 North Keswick Avenue, Glenside.
The London-based post-punk rock trio released two records on Matador this year — Tracey Denim in May and The Twits in November. Now watch this. Never mind the hat — this is loud, lovely, messy, weird indie rock like people used to make. Start with The Twits (a title inspired by Roald Dahl, perhaps?) and work backward. It’s all good. The Place and Great Area open the show.
$18, 8 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut Street.
South Fellini Hoagiewave
Subtitled “nostalgia for a city that didn’t exist but might yet still,” this show upstairs at Sassafras in Old City includes dreamy electronic music by Tony Trov and liquid lights by Joanna Trov.
$17.85, 8 p.m. (sold out) and 10 p.m., 48 Record Bar, 48 South 2nd Street.
Ed Bassmaster “Merry Psh”Mas”
The Philly Youtube prankster and pals put on their live comedy holiday show at City Winery. Ed Bassmaster is the guy who didn’t kill Hitchbot. Everyone else remains a suspect.
$25-$35, 6 & 9:30 p.m., City Winery, 990 Filbert Street.
Philadelphia Holiday Parade in Center City
Now in its third year, this multicultural night time parade celebrates several winter holidays: Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and the Chinese New Year. Expect floats, dances, marching bands, etc. If you’re interested in avoiding the parade, check out this list of road closures.
Free, 5 p.m., stars at 2nd and Market streets, proceeds up Market Street and ending at City Hall.
Philly Record Freak Out
DJs play records while you shop for records (and CDs, tapes, shirts, whatever) at this Punknews.org record fair.
$5-$10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., PhilaMOCA, 531 North 12th Street.
Big 5 Classic
One ticket gets you in to see three college basketball games back to back to back: La Salle vs. St. Joe’s, Temple vs. Penn, Drexel vs. Villanova. Pro-Tip: If the ball goes into the stands you have to throw it back.
$25-$750, 2 p.m., Wells Fargo Center, 3601 South Broad Street.
Work Drugs Holiday Spectacle
Catchy, groovy and more than a little yachty, Philly indie rockers Work Drugs once again take the Johnny Brenda’s stage to host another Holiday Spectacle. Featuring Tyler Burkhart.
$20, 8:30 p.m., World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street.
Movement and Melanin
Painted Bride (West) hosts this “celebration of the global indigenous diaspora” featuring DJ Reezy and a performance by Dance Life Philly. This is the Freedom Edition of Movement and Melanin, and focuses on the question “How we can elevate the culture?”
Free ($5 donation suggested), 8 p.m.-midnight, The Painted Bride, 5212 Market Street.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3rd
The Boston-based folk/rock artist just released their second studio record The King on 4AD, and it’s so gorgeous and singular. Start with this song “Animal” — a gnarly, bassy heart-stomper with lyrics inspired by the murder of George Floyd or some other injustice caught on video: “I lost my mind, I couldn’t handle it / Burned my fingers on the candle lit / Madness manifest / Kneeling on my chest / I’ve seen the footage and the camera roll.”
$15, 8 p.m., PhilaMOCA, 531 North 12th Street.
Michael Tambon, aka “Cherry Pop,” assembles a cast of more that 90 drag performers from the Philly area to raise funds for local HIV organizations.
$39-$56, 6 p.m., Brooklyn Bowl Philly, 1009 Canal Street.
Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra
Rosalind Erwin leads the PYAO in performing works by Copland, Bizet and Dvořák.
$20-$25, 3 p.m., Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.
Eagles vs. 49ers
Football will occur.
$325-$800, 4:25 p.m., Lincoln Financial Field, 1 Lincoln Financial Field Way.
Don’t know much about this Philly-based singer-songwriter besides a few songs on Bandcamp and a couple DIY music videos, but she’s got a sweet voice and a keen ear for infectious lo-fi pop. Good for dancing and daydreaming. Sam & Louise and Yung Sham open the show.
$12, 8 p.m., Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 North Frankford Avenue.
The Temptations & Four Tops
The annual co-headling tour returns. Between the two legendary vocal groups, you’re in for a night full of Motown favorites including: “My Girl,” “Can’t Help My Self,” “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” “It’s The Same Old Song,” “Baby I Need Your Loving,” “Just My Imagination,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “World of Confusion” and more.
$59-$134, 7:30 p.m., Keswick Theatre, 291 North Keswick Avenue, Glenside.
Christian McBride’s New Jawn
The Grammy-winning, Philly-born jazz bassist Christian McBride and his all-star jawn come home to play the Annenberg on Sunday night. The first record, album Christian McBride’s New Jawn, came out in 2018; and a follow-up, Prime, was released in February.
$52.50-$70, 7 p.m., Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut Street.
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the Philly Orchestra in performing a program entitled Staatskapelle (State Orchestra) Berlin, featuring Brahms’ Symphonies No. 3 and No. 4.
$35-$119, 7:30 p.m., Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.
PECO Free First Sunday Family Day: New Traditions
It’s first Sunday, which means free admission to the Barnes! This month, learn about the music and dance traditions of Puerto Rico with musical performances by Los Bomberos de la Calle. Plus, kids’ art activities and free access to the galleries. Limited capacity; registration is required online.
Free, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Ardmore’s cozy little Living Room turns up the volume with the opening part for its Boombox Logic art exhibit featuring photography and art by Kuf Knotz, Diane Roka and Doerthe Externest — plus live music by Kuf Knotz & Christine Elise, Ginger Coyle, Chelsea Sha and others.
Free, 6-9 p.m., The Living Room, 104 Cricket Avenue, Ardmore.