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20+ Things to Do With Kids This Week Around Philly and the Main Line

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Looking for weekend fun? Click here for the Philly High Five, and here for the Main Line High Five. 

All Week

Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Daily through December 24, 9 am — 5 pm

LOVE Park, Philadelphia

 

Kick off your holiday festivities with stage performances, Santa photos, and vendors at this German Christmas village. This runs through Christmas Eve.

Brunch with Santa

Select dates in December

Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown

 

Enjoy an all-you-can-eat brunch, holiday crafts, and photos with Santa. Price is $29.95 for EPZ members, $19.95 for EPZ member children (ages 3 — 12), $34.95 for nonmember adults, $24.95 for nonmember children, and $10.95 for babies 2 and younger.

Yuletide at Winterthur

Through January 7

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, Delaware

 

Enjoy sparkling holiday displays and gorgeous tree displays. This event is free with admission to Winterthur.

A Longwood Christmas

Through January 7

Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square

 

You want holiday lights? Longwood has some of the region’s most beautiful, in breathtaking displays around the gardens. Timed admission tickets are required.

Breakfast with Santa

December 8 — 10, 15 — 17, 23 and 24

Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square

 

Enjoy a special breakfast buffet at Longwood Gardens with a ton of fun food stations and photos with Santa. Price is $34 for ages 12 and older, $23 for ages 2 — 11, and infants are free.

Macy’s Christmas Light Show

Through December 31, 10 am — 8 pm

Macy’s, 1300 Market St., Philadelphia

 

The annual light show has multiple performances every day (except for Christmas Day). This light show is free.

Holiday Bricktacular

Weekends through December 31

Legoland Discovery Center Philadelphia, 500 W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting

 

Meet Lego Santa, enjoy hot cocoa and cookies, and build your own Lego ornament at this holiday event (come dressed in your favorite ugly sweater.) This event is included with admission to the Discovery Center, and if you’re a Supporting Member of Main Line Parent or Philadelphia Family, you get 30 percent off on tickets!

Holiday Garden Railway

Through December 31, 10 am — 4 pm

Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia

 

The Holiday Garden Railway is all decked out for the winter holidays, and runs daily through December 31 (closed on Christmas Eve and Day.) This is included with admission to the arboretum.

Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market

Through January 1

Dilworth Park, Philadelphia

 

Dilworth Park transforms into a holiday wonderland with local vendors and special holiday foods throughout the holiday season.

Franklin Square Holiday Festival

Daily through December 31, 4 — 8:30 pm

Franklin Square, 200 N. Sixth St., Philadelphia

 

Don’t miss the “Electrical Spectacle” light show, which runs every 30 minutes starting at 4:30. There’s lots to do, plus food and drink. Admission is free, some activities and food cost money.

Wintergarden

Daily; Rothman Ice Rink open noon — 9 pm

Monday — Thursday; noon — 11 pm

Friday; 11 am — 11 pm Saturday; 11 am — 8 pm Sunday

Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St., (west side of City Hall), Philadelphia

 

This great Center City fun spot is back, just in time for the cold weather! Ice skate, share a hot cocoa in the cabin, tour a garden maze, and more. Stick around after dark for the new light show, too. It’s one of Philly’s best holiday events.

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Through March 4

121 N. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia

 

Winterfest returns with ice skating, arcade games, a cozy lodge, and marshmallow roasting. Admission is free, but activities are an extra cost.

‘Peter Pan’

Through January 28

The Arden Theatre Co., 40 N. Second St., Philadelphia

 

J.M. Barrie’s classic comes to life in this show for children ages 6 and up. 

Gingerbread House Competition & Display

Through January 6, 2018

Mondays through Saturdays, 10 am — 9 pm

Sundays 11 am — 7 pm

Peddler’s Village, Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska

 

This Bucks County village lights up with magical holiday fun and elaborate gingerbread houses. Enjoy festive holiday shopping and fun in this cute holiday town. Admission is free.

A Very Furry Christmas

Select dates through December 31

Sesame Place, 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne

 

Sesame Place’s holiday celebration includes train rides, holiday-themed parades, and fun games for the family. Ages 2 and older are $32, and you get a second visit free.

‘Daniel Tiger: A Grr-ific Exhibit’

Daily through January 15

Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia

 

Kids can step into Daniel Tiger’s world in this cute, hands-on exhibit. It’s free with admission to the museum and for members.

12 Days of Christmas Movies

December 14 — 25, 8 — 10 pm

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, 121 N. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia

 

See a different holiday classic film every night, from A Charlie Brown Christmas to Elf. Admission is free, food and drink are separate.

Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Select dates through January 14

The Media Theatre, 104 E. State St., Media

 

This beloved classic comes alive on stage at The Media Theatre with songs to entertain the whole family. Tickets range from $33 — 58.

‘Annie’

Through January 7

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St., Philadelphia

 

This much-loved musical classic comes to Philadelphia’s main stage for a show that will entertain the whole family. Tickets vary by date and time.

‘A Christmas Carol’

Through December 23

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St., Philadelphia

 

This Walnut Street Theatre for Kids production of Dickens’ familiar tale has a new script for its 18th year and includes local actors. Tickets are $15 — 18.

‘Aladdin: A Musical Panto’

Through January 7

People’s Light, 30 Conestoga Road, Malvern

 

This silly show is fun ages 5 and up. Tickets are $42 for kids and $47 for adults.

‘George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker’

Through December 31, various times

Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St., Philadelphia

 

The Pennsylvania Ballet presents the timeless tale in its most celebrated version, with all the trappings and splendor.

‘A Philly Pops Christmas’

Through December 19

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad St., Philadelphia

 

This two-hour extravaganza pulls out all the tops, with more than 300 performers. Kids will particularly love the musical version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

‘My Fair Lady’

Through December 17

Quintessence Theatre Company, 7137 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia

 

The Lerner and Lowe adaptation of Pygmalion has delighted audiences for decades, and we’re guessing your kids will like it, too. Tickets are $40 for adults and $18 for kids.

Comcast Holiday Spectacular

Through January 1, 10 am — 8 pm on the hour daily (no 5 pm show on weekdays) through New Year’s Eve, 10 am — 6 pm New Year’s Day

The Comcast Center, 1701 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Philadelphia

 

This free show is a fun stop on your Philly holiday tour.

Constructing Play: Classic + Modern Building Toys

Through January 25, Monday — Saturday, 10 am — 6 pm

The Center for Architecture and Design, 1218 Arch St., Philadelphia

 

This is a historical exhibit of children’s toys, but it’s far from a dry experience. Everyone can get their hands on creating things, and enjoy building and other skills. This exhibit is free.

Brandywine Christmas

Through January 17

Brandywine River Museum of Art, 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford

 

Come for the fantastic model train layout, and stick around for the Victorian dollhouse exhibit — and the rest of the museum’s gorgeous collection. This exhibit is free with museum admission and for members.

‘Tiny Titans: Dinosaur Eggs and Babies’

Daily through January 15

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

 

Find out more about the beginning of the dinosaurs’ life cycle at this neat exhibit. Kids can see and touch real and replica fossils, excavate their own eggs, and even dress up as a dinosaur parent. Admission starts at $13.95, and it’s a $3 fee for museum members; click here to buy tickets.

‘Centuries of Childhood: An American Story’

Through December 31; 10 am — 5 pm Monday — Saturday, noon — 5 pm Sunday

Mercer Museum, 84 S. Pine St., Doylestown

 

This interactive exhibit, created by the  Children’s Museum of Cleveland, lets kids connect with the the lives of five children from different eras of American history. From a 7-year-old Iroquois girl to a 10-year-old boy moving from the South to Chicago, this is a great way to introduce young children to history. It’s recommended for kids ages 2 to 6 and is included with admission to the museum.

‘Illuminating Liberty’

Daily through December 31 (best viewed at night)

Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. Third St., Phialdelphia

 

The museum’s windows have been taken over by transparent paintings depicting some historical events. Lit from behind, they’re an old tradition reborn in the present.

Monday

Maker Monday

December 11, 3:30 pm

Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Branch, 1901 Vine St., Philadelphia

 

This free program for teens encourages creativity and tinkering.

Holiday Showcase

December 11, 4 pm

Free Library of Philadelphia, Blanche A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek Branch, 5800 Cobbs Creek Parkway, Philadelphia

 

Bring your kids to learn about all the holidays celebrated in December, from Hanukkah to Kwanzaa.

Tuesday

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.

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 5 pm 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

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

 

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.

 

Wednesday

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.

Storytime With the Free Library of Philadelphia

December 13, 11 am

Christmas Village in Philadelphia, LOVE Park, Philadelphia

 

Stop in to the quaint Christmas Village for a free storytime, then grab some yummy hot chocolate!

Stroller Tour

December 13, 11 am — noon

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia (meet in Lenfest Hall)

 

This baby-friendly tour is free with museum admission. It’s a great chance to get out and meet some other parents.

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.

Stag & Doe Nights in Chestnut Hill

December 13, 6 — 9 pm

8000 to 8600 blocks of Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia

 

Shops along Germantown Avenue will have extended hours, live entertainment, and a visit from a jolly elf. The PAFA pop-up shop will have a kids’ art workshop for $30 and Nest is offering babysitting for a fee for members, so you can shop or grab a drink while the kids are occupied. 

Main Line Parent Holiday Party

December 13, 7 – 9 pm

Chaddsford Winery Wine Garden at King of Prussia Mall (between Macy’s and Neiman Marcus), King of Prussia

 

Need a break from the hustle and bustle of the holidays? Channel your inner #MainLineBadMom and join us for an evening of wine, food, and good company. Your $20 ticket gets you a glass of wine and snacks.

Thursday

ARTime Storytime: ‘It’s a Small World’

December 14, 10:30 and 11:30 am

The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

 

Hear a reading of the book, and then work on an art activity together. This event is free, but registration is required.

Historic Holiday Nights

December 14, 5 — 8 pm

Old City, Philadelphia

 

Philly’s oldest historic district is decorated and lit for the holidays, and the businesses, restaurants, and attractions are open late with special deals. This week, the Melange Jazz Collective will perform at the Betsy Ross House between 6 and 7:30 pm.

Friday

Baby Bird Playdate

December 15, 10:30 am

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

 

Toddlers and caregivers can walk, listen to music, and socialize with others at this event, which is included with museum admission.

Friday Night Lights

December 15, 4:30 — 7:30 pm

Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia

 

The Holiday Garden Railway at the arboretum is all lit up for the holidays, so come by and see the trains (and tonight, hear the bell choir from St. Genevieve’s in Flourtown perform!). Tickets are sold out for tonight, but are available for later in the month. 

Open House and Holiday Pop-Up Market

December 15, 5 — 8 pm

The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

 

Find some unique gifts and stroll through the museum’s renowned collection at this festive event. You can buy food and drink, or enjoy some complimentary holiday treats.

Holiday Pajamas Fiesta

December 15, 5:30 — 7:30 pm

Lulu’s Casita, 6 Cricket Ave., Ardmore

 

Wear your PJs for a special night, with hot chocolate and plenty of playtime. It’s BYOB for adults, too.

Star Wars Night

December 15, 5:30 — 7:30 pm

Franklin Square, 200 N. Sixth St., Philadelphia

 

Celebrate the opening of The Last Jedi and come in costume for a fun, free evening.

Philly High Five!

All Weekend

Greensgrow Holiday Bazaar

December 16 and 17, 10 am — 4 pm

Greensgrow Farms, 2501 E. Cumberland St., Phialdelphia

 

Get your tree and greens, find unique gifts, and just enjoy the holiday spirit at this neighborhood favorite. Santa will be at the bazaar Sunday from 1 — 3 pm.

‘My Very Own Polar Bear’

December 16 and 17, 11 am

Act II Theater, 56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler

 

This holiday show tells the story of a little girl and a life-changing gift. It’s appropriate for kids ages 5 and older. Tickets are $18 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $12 for kids. The show runs on select dates through December 31.

Saturday

Chestnut Hill Holiday Parade

December 16, 9 — 10 am

Germantown Avenue between Rex and Southampton avenues, Philadelphia

 

This adorable community parade features hundreds of kids from local clubs, Scout troops, and sports teams, plus fire trucks, Santa, and even the Phillie Phanatic! The parade ends at the Market on the Fareway, where there will be treats, fireside activities, and pictures with Santa. This event is free, and so is parking in the neighborhood (and the rest of the city) on holiday weekends.

Lovett Library Grand Reopening

December 16, 11 am — 3 pm

Free Library of Philadelphia, Lovett Branch, 6945 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia

 

Kids in Mount Airy have been waiting for this day for months: the new and expanded Lovett library is finally here! The library’s opening party will feature face painting, activities, and more, and it’s all free.

Storytime at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

December 16, 11:30 am

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, 101 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia

 

The Free Library of Philadelphia brings stories and songs to this festive area. Listen to the stories and songs, and learn more about the library, then catch some of the other activities around the rink.

Sunday

Rittenhouse Square Menorah Lighting

December 17, Children’s pre-party at 3:30, menorah lighting from 5 — 6 pm

Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia

 

Celebrate the Festival of Lights in style at this fun, free event. Bring the kids to the Ethical Society (1906 Rittenhouse Square) at 3:30 for activities and Hanukkah treats, then walk to the square for the main event.

Main Line High Five!

All Weekend

Brandywine Ballet Presents ‘The Nutcracker’

December 16, 2 and 6 pm

December 17, 5 pm

Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, West Chester University, 700 S. High St., West Chester

 

Catch the final performances of this year’s run and enjoy some original choreography and the spectacle of this classic ballet. Tickets are $25 — $45.

Saturday

Hot Cocoa and Cookies Giveaway

December 16, 9 am — 1 pm

West Chester Growers Market, Corner of Church and Chestnut streets, West Chester

 

Take advantage of free parking in the borough and score some free cocoa and cookies while you shop for locally-made gifts. This event is free (your purchases not included!).

 

Holiday Workshop Day

December 16, 10 am — noon

Wayne Art Center, 413 Maplewood Ave., Wayne

 

Bring kids of all ages for fun crafts and merriment! There’s a free booth for kids ages 2 — 4, and workshops for older kids that include making a candy house and a felt ornament. The cost is $6 — 10 for individual projects, and $30 for everything.

‘Nutcracker Sweets’

December 16, 1 pm

McShain Auditorium, Rosemont College, 1400 Montgomery Ave., Bryn Mawr

 

Ballet 180 brings this another original take on The Nutcracker to this fun-filled performance, which includes desserts for the audience! Come early for pictures with the Sugarplum Fairy. Tickets are $15 for kids and $25 for adults, with VIP options available.

Sunday

Hanukkah Celebration

December 17, 2 — 3:30 pm

Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown

 

Spin the dreidel and celebrate Hanukkah with a wild twist! This event is included with zoo admission and is free for members.

 

 

 

Photograph by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia. 

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

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