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

Find something fun every day during this vacation week.

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

 

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

All Week

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.

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.

Kwanzaa Celebration

December 27 — 30

African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St., Philadelphia

 

Celebrate the holiday with different events over the course of four days, from drumming workshops to dance that will inspire you. This event is free with museum admission.

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.

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.

‘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. Click here to read our mom’s review of the show.

‘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.

Winter Break Family Studio at the Art Museum

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

December 26-January 1

 

Enjoy some creative family time with seasonal art projects every day at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. And every day at 11am, you can go on one of the museum’s Winter Break Family Tours for some kid-friendly art appreciation.

‘Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream’

Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St.

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

 

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.

‘Christmas Underwater’ at Adventure Aquarium

1 Riverside Dr., Camden

Through December 30

 

Listen to a merry storytime or attend a Snow Shower Dance Party in the Rotunda. See the World’s Tallest Underwater Christmas Tree in the Shark Realm—an 18-foot “tree” made of coral, seashells, and twinkling lights—in Shark Realm. Or visit with Scuba Santa, take a selfie, and write him a letter!

Winter Break Programming at National Constitution Center

525 Arch St., Philadelphia

December 26-30

 

Bring your kids for a week of colonial era activities, from crafts to games to photo ops. There’s a whole schedule of programming reaching every aspect of life in colonial times.

Winter Break Programming at the Franklin Institute

222 N. 20th St., Philadelphia

December 26-31

 

Every day, the Holiday Spectacular Show will feature carols, a decorated tree, special guests, and pyrotechnics! There will also be all kinds of fun scientific demonstrations, like real dissections, drone robotics, and the science of fireworks! In addition to all the live demos, the museum will have a Creation Station set up all week featuring giant Tinker Toys, colossal Imagination Playground blocks and noodles, and an area for building with KEVA planks and LEGOs.

Dino-Mite Winter at the Academy of Natural Sciences

1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

December 27-30

Enjoy stage shows, hands-on science featuring real specimens, crafts, and more. Your kids can complete a diorama scavenger hunt to learn about warm-blooded and cold-blooded animals and make a bear-themed hibernation craft to take home.

Winter Break at the Museum of the American Revolution 

101 S. Thirdrd St

December 26-31

 

Every day at 11 am, visitors can participate in a different demonstration of activities from the Revolutionary period — try fencing, sewing, dancing, and more. There will also be focus on the untold stories from the people who shaped this country.

Winter Break Special Programming at the Please Touch Museum

4231 Avenue of the Republic

December 23-30 (except December 25)

 

Stop into PTM every day during Winter Break for special programming that is educational and fun. From a pretend indoor snow day to snowflake arts and crafts, the focus is on the magic of winter.

Craft Week at Ardmore Free Library

108 Ardmore Ave., Ardmore

December 26-30

 

Various crafts will be set up every day for the holiday break, so come in and create.

Winter Break Camps

 

See our rundowns for Philly and the Main Line!

Monday

“Being ___ at Christmas” at National Museum of Jewish American History

10 am– 5 pm

101 South Independence Mall East, Philadelphia

 

Enjoy crafts, storytime, funny movies, live music with Alex and the Kaleidoscope, face painting, balloon art, and more! The museum’s galleries are also open, so can make it a learning experience too.

Family Day at Kaiserman JCC

45 Haverford Road, Wynnewood

9 am — 2 pm

 

The whole family can participate in making fun crafts that will go to senior citizens, open gym time, and more.

Tuesday

Kwanzaa Celebration at Please Touch Museum

4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia

10 am — 5 pm

 

The Please Touch Museum has pop-up holiday programming all day. There will be storytime, song, dance, and art. You can learn about and draw the seven principles of Kwanzaa, make your own candles, weave and set up your very own mkeka mat, and more.

Gingerbread House Workshop at Sue’s Art Class

2119 Spruce St., Philadelphia

10 am — 1 pm

 

Design your perfect gingerbread home, sweet home, with candy, cookies and a whole lot of fun!

Winter Carnival at Rolling Thunder Skating Center

7017 Roosevelt Blvd., Philadelphia

10 am — 10 pm

 

Skate the day away with special appearances, a bouncy house, face painting, and carnival games.

Wednesday

Sensory Friendly Performance of ‘The Nutcracker’

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

Noon

 

Share the magic of The Nutcracker in an inclusive, welcoming environment for kids with sensory sensitivities. The performance will have relaxed theater rules (guests can talk, leave their seats, and walk around if they need to), lower sound levels, house lights left on, and a designated safe/quiet area.

PAWS for Reading

Ramonita G. de Rodriguez Library, 600 West Girard Ave., Philadelphia

5:30pm

 

Part of a series of programs “PAWS for People,” this event gives children a chance to read aloud to a well-trained therapy animal in order to improve their reading and communication skills. The program is open to readers of all ages and stages, but preregistration is required.

Thursday

Museum Adventures at the Rosenbach

The Rosenbach Museum, 2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia

10 am

 

Start with storytime and a scavenger hunt through the museum. Then move on to the activity room for hands-on art making activities, creative play, music and snacks.

Winter Discovery Tots at Pennypack Environmental Center

8600 Verree Road, Philadelphia

10 — 11:30 am

 

This free weekly program provides nature based play for families with children ages 2-5 years old. There will be simple craft, games, and sensory nature play stations.

LEGO Club at Parkway Central Library

1901 Vine St., Philadelphia

4 pm

 

Children ages 6-12 are invited for storytime and LEGO crafts in the Children’s Department at Parkway Central Library.

Color Me Winter Break Workshop

Lulu’s Casita, 6 Cricket Ave., Ardmore

9 — 11:15 am

 

Come to Lulu’s for two hours of play, crafting, and cupcake decorating. Participants choose either a Color Me skirt or pillowcase from Sew Much Cooler, so they’ll have a fun customized keepsake to take home from the day. You can choose to stay and play, or drop off your little ones to get a break from break! Advance registration required.

Pre-New Year’s Eve Countdown at Ludington Library

5 S. Bryn Mawr Ave., Bryn Mawr

10 — 10:30 am

 

Join the King of Loud Style and the junior room staff for a special pre-New Year’s Eve countdown.

Friday

The Art of Fencing at the Museum of the American Revolution 

101 South Third St., Philadelphia

11 am

 

As part of the museum’s week of special Winter Break programming, this introduction to the art of defense teaches some of the basic fencing skills found in Revolutionary Philadelphia.

Mystic Drumz Show at Penn Wynne Library

130 Overbrook Parkway, Wynnewood

10 — 11 am

 

Mystic Drumz is a world music safari adventure that takes kids ages 2 and up around the globe in search of amazing instruments and sounds.

Nearly New Year’s Party

Lovett Memorial Library, 6945 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia

1:30 pm

 

Say goodbye to 2017 in style with crafts, games, and surprises!

Philly High Five!

Click here for ongoing events that run through the weekend. 

Saturday

Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream’

December 30, 11 am, 3 pm, 7 pm (also January 1)

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.

Storytime at the Lodge at Winterfest

December 30, 11:30 am — 12:30 pm

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

 

Come to the cozy Lodge at Penn’s Landing for musical storytelling and sing along with instruments!

Final Day of Kwanzaa Celebration

December 30, 11 am — 5 pm

African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St., Philadelphia

 

Watch a Kinara lighting ceremony at 11 am, then stick around for other entertainment, culminating in a Kwanzaa magic show at 3:30 pm. This event is free with museum admission.

Introduction to Nature Play With Nature PHL

December 30, 2 — 3 pm

Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagys Mill Road, Philadelphia

 

Is more outdoor time on your resolution list for 2018? Come to the woods for this free event and get inspired. It’s part of the larger Nature PHL program, aimed at getting Philly families to get outside and play.

Sunday

Family Nature Club Hike and Play

Wissahickon Environmental Center, 300 W. Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia

10 am — noon

 

Close out the year with the Nature School’s family hike. There will be a child-led hike through the woods, nature play, tasty snacks and more. Feel free to bring treats to roast at the fire pits!

Betsy Ross’ Birthday Bash

December 31, 1 — 3 pm

Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch St., Philadelphia

 

Celebrate Betsy’s 266th birthday with cupcakes, Colonial chocolate making demonstrations, and crafts for kids

Countdown 2 Noon at Please Touch Museum

December 31, 9 am — 3 pm

4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia

 

This massive party has not one, but two, ball drops to bring in the New Year (one at noon, the other at 1pm).  There is also live music and dancing, a creation station where kids can make their own paper bag party hats for the big countdown, storytime, and more!

NEST’s Countdown to Noon

December 31, 11 am — 12:30 pm

Nest Center City, 1301 Locust St., Philadelphia

and

Nest Chestnut Hill, 10 W. Gravers Lane, Philadelphia

 

Both locations of your toddler’s favorite indoor playspace are holding their Countdown to Noon parties for your littlest party-goers. Your little ones will get their wiggles out with music and playtime, make New Year’s themed crafts, and snacks. At noon, they’ll go nuts with a celebratory balloon drop!

Fireworks on the Waterfront

December 31, 6 pm

 

The SugarHouse Casino New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront do an early show at 6 pm for families and kids who can’t make it until midnight. Check out family parties like Independence Seaport Museum and the Blue Cross RiverRink to make it even more of an event.

 

(Looking for more New Year’s Eve kids’ parties? Click here for our roundup.)

Main Line High Five!

Click here for ongoing events that run through the weekend. 

Saturday

‘Mary Poppins’

December 30, 11 am

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

 

Watch everyone’s favorite magical nanny on the big screen as part of BMFI’s Family Saturday Matinees series.

Holiday Railroad and Tour at the Grange Estate

December 30, 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.

Zoo Year’s Eve at Elmwood Park Zoo

December 30, 11 am

Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown

 

Start off with an animal show in Canopy Gardens Hall, then stay for games, crafts, music, and dancing.

Sunday

New Year’s Eve (Day) Family Jam at Ardmore Music Hall

December 31, 10 am — 1 pm

23 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore

 

Spend your morning rocking out at Ardmore Music Hall with Alex and The Kaleidoscope as the band rings in the New Year with their unique and positive sound. There will be brunch (with a bar for the grownups), face painting, balloon art, caricatures, crafts and a photobooth. And we’ll be there too, so come say hi! (Don’t forget: Main Line Parent and Philadelphia Family Supporting Members get a $5 discount on tickets, so join today!)

Family New Year’s Eve Rock N Bowl at Wynnewood Lanes

December 31, 7—10pm

2228 Haverford Rd, Ardmore

 

Reserve a lane and get three hours of unlimited bowling, disco lights, a DJ playing music, pizza and refreshments. Then, do an early New Year’s countdown at 9:30pm with party favors and other prizes!

 

(Looking for more New Year’s Eve kids’ parties? Click here for our roundup.)

 

Photograph by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia. 

PHILADELPHIA ASSISTANT EDITOR

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