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Hanukkah Events Around Philly and the Main Line

Brush up on your dreidel-spinning and have fun at one of these local celebrations.

Hanukkah begins December 12, and there are events in the Philly before and throughout the holiday. Brush up on your dreidel-spinning skills, because here’s our list of the best Hanukkah events in the area to help you and your family celebrate the Festival of Lights!

 

From candle lightings to latke parties to a giant parade of menorah-topped cars, we’ve got you covered in the city and on the Main Line.

Philadelphia

Franklin Square Hanukkah Celebration

December 8, 5:30 — 7:30 pm
200 N. Sixth St., Philadelphia

 

A few days before Hanukkah, Franklin Square is getting in on the celebration early. Enjoy dreidel games, latkes, and free holiday crafts as part of the Franklin Square Fridays series. Of course, the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show will be dazzling the crowd every half hour to add to the festivities, and the hot chocolate bar will be open at Ben’s Sweet Treats tent.

Latkepalooza

December 10, 2 — 4 pm
Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad St., Philadelphia

 

The Gershman Y’s potato pancake Hanukkah extravaganza returns for its 15th year Sunday, December 10, from 2 — 4 pm. The event features latkes from some of Philadelphia’s top restaurants — as well as kids’ entertainment and hands-on activities — in a family-friendly culinary adventure. Read all about this year’s lineup and activities in our Latkepalooza 2017 guide.

Hanukkah Service in Headhouse Square

December 12, 5 pm
Headhouse Square, Second and Lombard streets, Philadelphia

 

For the third year, the SSHD will partner with Congregation B’nai Abraham to offer an evening celebration of the Festival of Lights at the Headhouse Shambles. On the first night of Hanukkah, enjoy song, prayer, and the ceremony of the traditional lighting of the menorah at the Lombard Street Fountain (or under the Headhouse Shambles in case of inclement weather). Light refreshments will be served under the Shambles after the ceremony.

Chanukah Wonderland at Please Touch Museum

December 13, 9 am — 6 pm
Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia

 

Sing, dance, create, and play at the Please Touch Museum’s all-day holiday pop-up celebration. Kids can play dreidel, create holiday cards, nosh on traditional jelly doughnuts, and enjoy holiday-themed music and storytimes throughout the day. Close out the day with an interactive concert, “Yosi’s Rockin’ Hanukkah.” PTM will have extended hours (until 6 pm) for this special event, which is included with admission to the museum.

BZBI Community Hanukkah Party

December 13, 5:45 — 8 pm
Beth Zion-Beth Israel, 300 S. 18th St, Philadelphia

 

Enjoy a performance by ArcheDream for Humankind, a black light dance and theater company. After the show, the audience can come up to the stage to take a closer look at the ornately hand-painted masks and costumes. The performance will be followed by a big community celebration with food, music, candle lighting and more. BZBI will also be collecting books at the party for Mighty Writers, so bring a new or used kids’ book with you!

Fitler Square Menorah Lighting

December 13, 5:30 pm
23rd and Pine streets, Philadelphia

 

Gather around the Fitler Square fountain for menorah lighting and blessings led by a rabbi.

Shaare Shamayim Chanukah Celebration

December 13, 6 — 8 pm
9768 Verree Road, Philadelphia

 

Ice carver Richard Bubin will be creating a 5-foot-tall ice menorah, as well as fun ice souvenirs like ice lollipops and bracelets for the kids! The event will also feature traditional latkes, sufganiyot, and candle lighting.

March of Lights

December 16, 7 pm
Begins at Benjamin Franklin Parkway, ends at Independence Mall

 

And now for something completely different: a parade of cars topped with giant menorahs throughout the city! Jewish organizations from all corners of the Philadelphia metro area outfit their cars with menorahs and converge to fill the Parkway with light and music. Even if you aren’t part of the festive motorcade, you can watch it pass by, and join in the revelry. The parade goes all the way to Independence Mall, where kids can enjoy treats, face painting, balloon art, live music, and more for “Chanukah Wonderland under the Big Top.” Phillies Manager Gabe Kapler will also make an appearance at the celebration, which ends with a menorah lighting on the mall.

Rittenhouse Square Menorah Lighting

December 17, 3:30-6 pm
Philadelphia Ethical Society (1906 Rittenhouse Square) and Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia

 

The giant menorah in Rittenhouse Square will be lit at 5 pm. Come early, because a pre-lighting kid-friendly party will take place at the Ethical Society at 3:30 pm, with a juggling show and treats before the celebration moves to the Square for the menorah lighting celebration.

 

The Main Line and Suburbs

Magical Hanukkah at Kaiserman JCC

December 10, 1 — 3 pm
45 Haverford Rd, Wynnewood

 

The weekend before Hanukkah, Kaiserman JCC goes all out. This party has everything: magic, human dreidels, and a latke bar! Enjoy a 45-minute magic show by Magic Jack, balloon art, and a latke bar with all kinds of toppings. The party will also feature a game of “Human Dreidel” — we don’t know what it is, but we want to find out!

Light up the Mall

December 10, 3 — 5 pm
Plymouth Meeting Mall, 500 W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting

 

The weekend before Hanukkah, come party at the Plymouth Meeting Mall (and maybe finish up your holiday shopping while you’re at it). There will be live music, crafts, snacks, and more. LEGOLAND Discovery Center and some local camps will be there running activities like building, candle making, and improv games. The event is geared towards kids ages 3-10.

Menorah Lighting at Suburban Square

December 12, 5 pm
Suburban Square (Coulter and Anderson avenues) and Ardmore Music Hall, 23 Lancaster Ave., Ardmore

 

Suburban Square will hold its annual menorah lighting at 5pm on the first night of Hanukkah. After the lighting, head over to Ardmore Music Hall at 5:30 for “Chanukah in Outer Space,” a party with food and activity stations revolving around the holiday. The special feature is the “Giant Menorah From Outer Space!”

Hanukkah by the Sea, Har Zion

December 12, 5:30 — 8 pm
Har Zion, 1500 Hagys Ford Rd, Penn Valley

 

If “Chanukah in Space” isn’t your jam, try it under the sea! Kids can enjoy crafts, a photo booth, trivia, and — best of all — meet-and-greet photos with Ariel, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Moana! There will also be a vodka and latke Bar for the grownups and a buffet dinner for the kids. A DJ will be providing musical entertainment all night, and there will be a community menorah lighting at 6:30 pm.

Menorah Workshop at Lowe’s

December 17, 2 — 3 pm
Lowe’s Home Improvement, 116 W. Township Line Road, Havertown

 

The Chabad Lubavitch of Delaware County is hosting a unique hands-on party where everyone will leave with a special keepsake to use in years to come. Kids will build and design their own menorahs, take a picture with Judah the Maccabee, and enjoy delicious Hanukkah treats.

Hanukkah at Elmwood Park Zoo

December 17, 2 — 3:30 pm
1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown

 

This celebration begins at the “Trail of the Jaguar” exhibit for games, crafts, and animal fun, then includes a zoo stroll, animal care demonstrations, and a donkey walk. The event ends with a menorah lighting at the Eagles Deck.

 

 

Photograph by Laura Swartz. 

<p>ASSISTANT EDITOR</p>

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