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

Keep everyone busy leading up to Christmas with this supersized list of fun activities.

Need something to do? Start here for something great, every day.

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 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.

Winter Wonderland in ‘Butterflies’

Weekdays, 10 am — 4:30 pm; weekends, 10 am — 5 pm

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

 

The chrysalises of the Morpho polyphemus butterflies are hatching, but these gorgeous white creatures are only around for a few days, so get in this week to see them. Admission to the exhibit is included with museum admission (and free for members).

‘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

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.

‘My Very Own Polar Bear’

Through December 31

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

 

Kids 5 and older will love this Calvin and Hobbes-esque original show, about a little girl and her life-changing present. Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for kids.

‘Sleeping Beauty’

December 19 — 31 (no shows December 24 and 25)

Gratz College Theater, 7605 Old York Road, Elkins Park

 

Looking for a show for little kids? This 60-minute production from Storybook Musical Theatre is for ages 3 and up and is sure to be fun. Tickets are $12 for kids and $14 for adults.

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., Philadelphia

 

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

Free Range Toddler Art at Lume Creative Learning Studios

December 18, 10-11:30am

Lume Creative Learning Studios, 1916-18 E. Passyunk Ave., Philadelphia

Join your kids for collaborative hands-on art in a non-class structured environment. Experiment with different media, and don’t worry about cleanup!

Baby and Toddler Storytime

December 18, 11 am

Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Branch, 1900 Vine St., Philadelphia

 

Books, songs and movement for kids under 2 in the library’s children’s department. This event is free.

Tuesday

Winter Wonderland

December 19, 10:30 am

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

 

Hang out with Ms. Dana for winter-themed crafts and fun — and check out this newly renovated library, built to welcome families. This event is free.

‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

December 19, 7:30 pm

Movie Tavern Exton, 110 Bartlett Ave., Exton

 

See the ultimate Christmas movie on the big screen.

‘A Philly POPS Christmas’

December 19, 8-10pm

The Kimmel Center,  300 S. Broad St., Philadelphia

 

Introduce your kids to this Philadelphia tradition with a family-friendly holiday concert. With 300 performers on stage and a special musical version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, it’s an extravaganza set to delight the entire family!

Wednesday

Bilingual Storytime

December 20, 10 — 10:30 am

Lulu’s Casita, 6 Cricket Ave., Ardmore

 

Listen, learn and play in two languages with Ms. Val. This event is free with regular admission.

Storytime With the Free Library of Philadelphia

December 20, 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!

Daniel Tiger Meet and Greet

December 20, 1:30 — 2 pm

Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia

 

Let your little ones get face-to-face with their favorite tiger, before or after touring the cute temporary exhibit based on the popular show. This event is free for members and included with admission.

Stag & Doe Night in Chestnut Hill

December 20, 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. 

Deck the Avenue

December 20, 5 — 8 pm

East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia

 

East Passyunk gets festive with Wish List Wednesdays. Stores have extended hours, and there’s a Holly Trolley to take you up and down the Avenue — with hot cider and treats along the way. Holiday Mummers will strut at 5:30 pm, and then Sing-a-long Santa will visit Avenue businesses from 6:30-7:30pm.

Gingerbread House Workshop at Elmwood Park Zoo

December 20, 6 — 8 pm

Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd, Norristown

 

Get festive with gingerbread house building, including ingredients provided by Bredenbeck’s Bakery. Enjoy holiday music, a meet-and-greet with one of the zoo’s educational animals, and a visit from Santa!

Thursday

ARTime Storytime: ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’

December 21, 10:30 and 11:30 am

The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

 

Bring kids ages 2 — 5 for a story, art, and fun. This event is free, but reservations are required.

Historic Holiday Nights

December 21, 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, Jupiter Blue will perform at the Betsy Ross House between 6 and 7:30 pm.

Friday

Baby Bird Playdate

December 22, 10:15 — 11 am

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

 

Toddlers and caregivers can enjoy music, guided gallery tours, and the chance to mingle with other families. This event is free with museum admission.

Frankford Hall-idays

December 22, 2 — 7 pm (also December 23, 10 am — 4 pm)

Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia

 

Snap a photo with Santa (for free!), sip some complimentary hot cocoa, and listen to The Lara and Joe Show perform. Admission is free, but we’re guessing you’ll end up spending some dough on beer and sausages for the adults.

Friday Night Lights

December 22, 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. It’s a crowd-pleaser and tickets are limited, so book early. 

Franklin Square Fridays: Sculpting in the Square

December 22, 5:30 — 7:30 pm

Franklin Square, 200 N. Sixth St., Philadelphia

 

Watch ice sculpting and cement your holiday mood at this free event.

Philly High Five!

All Weekend

Christmas Village in Philadelphia  (Final Weekend)

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.

‘Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream’

December 22 — January 1 (Except December 25 and 31)

Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., Philadelphia

 

Watch your favorite Disney heroines dazzle on the ice, including Moana and Maui in their debut show. Of course, Anna and Elsa will be there (it is ice, after all), as well as other favorite characters.

 

Click here to see more ongoing events.

Saturday

Super Saturday Matinee at South Street Cinema

December 23, 2 — 4 pm

327 South St, Philadelphia

 

An afternoon of your favorite Christmas classic shorts, animated specials and cartoons for the whole family to get in the holiday spirit!

Gingerbread Workshop at the Ritz-Carlton

December 23, 1 — 3 pm

10 Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia

 

Your kid will wear a custom apron and hat to create a special holiday gingerbread house. The event also features a special appearance by Santa Claus, light fare for children and adults, non-alcoholic beverages and a sparkling wine.

Deck the Avenue: Shopping Saturday

December 23

East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia

 

Enjoy music from the holiday brass band and carolers while you shop from dozens of stores on East Passyunk Avenue. Your kids will also love the storytelling and holiday craft-making at the Holiday Headquarters (1726 East Passyunk) from 11am-2pm.

Santa Saturdays at Franklin Square

December 23, 5:30 — 7:30 pm

200 N. Sixth St., Philadelphia

 

Visit Santa at his holiday bench, give him your list, and take a picture. Stick around to watch the “Electrical Spectacle” light show too!

Ugly Sweater Workshop at Sue’s Art Class

December 23, 1:30 — 4 pm

2119 Spruce St., Philadelphia

 

Bring an old sweater to create your very own over-embellished winter scene or holiday attire! Healthy snacks and treats will also be provided.

Sunday

Spirit of Philadelphia Lunch with Santa Cruise

12:30 — 3 pm

 

Take a two-hour cruise on the Delaware River featuring holiday music, kid-friendly buffet, on-board entertainment, and a special appearance from Santa Claus!

Main Line High Five!

All Weekend

Breakfast with Santa

December 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.

 

Click here to see more ongoing events.

Saturday

‘White Christmas’

December 23, 11 am

Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr

 

Take the kids to see this Christmas classic on the big screen, featuring Bing Crosby at his crooniest, plus Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney (better known as George’s mother). Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for kids.

‘Polar Express’ Party at Ardmore Free Library

December 23, 2 — 3 pm

108 Ardmore Ave., Ardmore

 

Ride The Polar Express (with refreshments) and listen to the story by Chris Van Allsburg.

Brunch with Santa

December 23, 10:30 am or 12:30 pm

Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown

 

Partake in an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet, photos with Santa, and holiday-themed crafts, then stay and make a day of it at the zoo!

Holiday Railroad and Tour at the Grange Estate

December 23, 1 — 4 pm

Historic Grange Estate, 143 Myrtle Ave., Havertown

 

Visit the Historic Grange Estate and tour the mansion decorated for the holidays. Also visit the Cobbs Creek Lines Holiday Railroad in the carriage house.

Sunday

Santa Sunday Brunch at The Melting Pot

December 24, 10:30 am — 1:30 pm

150 Allendale Road, Suite 2100, King of Prussia

 

Stop take a photo with Santa while you enjoy a delicious fondue brunch with waffles and fruit to dip!

Laura Swartz contributed to this article. Photograph by Gwyneth K. Shaw. 

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

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