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Christmas at Diggerland and lots of virtual activities (sigh) for Philly families this week

Penn revives its virtual 'Storytimes with Stim' series, the Museum of the American Revolution offers a window into Native American Heritage Month, and more.

Diggerland will be decked out in holiday lights for a festive drive-through starting Wednesday.
Diggerland will be decked out in holiday lights for a festive drive-through starting Wednesday.Read moreDiggerland

It’s happening again. We’re leveling up on shutting down as Philadelphia’s museums, performance venues, movie theaters, bowling alleys, and other nonessentials go back on the closed-because-of-global-pandemic list for now.

We’re Philly families in 2020, though. We adapt. (Unlike the long-extinct “Permian Monsters" featured in a new exhibit that had been scheduled to open at the Academy of Natural Sciences this weekend. It’s now postponed until the museum reopens, sometime after Jan. 1.)

As life returns to the virtual, it may be comforting to know you don’t need to leave your laptop or your car for the events and activities in our family roundup for the week.

Penn is behind a new virtual story time and a classical Hindu dance performance. Taller Puertorriqueño highlights the wordsmith wonders behind their national youth magazine, Motivos. The Museum of the American Revolution offers a window into Native American Heritage Month. Diggerland debuts its holiday drive-through.

Story Time with Stim, Season Two

Through Dec. 31, online at, free (ages 3–8)

Penn’s Stimulus Children’s Theatre is back, virtually, with a new storytelling series. For four weeks, the Annenberg Center blog posts a new video every Wednesday of a student reading a book. This season, it’s all about girls: Tiara’s Hat Parade by Kelly Starling Lyons and Nicole Tagdell kicked things off and is on the blog now. Coming this week, Manaswini Gopalakrishnan reads Leila in Saffron. Then, it’s Be Kind, then, Not All Princesses Dress in Pink.

Diggerland Holiday Light Show

5:30–9:30 p.m. Weds.–Sun. through Dec. 20, nightly Dec. 23–Jan. 3, reservations available at, $29.95 per vehicle (all ages)

The Water Main waterpark is closed for the year. The construction-theme rides at this Jersey amusement park — the Shake ‘n’ Roll, Elevation Station, Spin Dizzy, and the rest — close at sunset. After hours on select evenings starting Wednesday (nightly during Christmas week, through Jan. 3), Diggerland lights up a mile-long path and serves cocoa in the Fork Lift Cafe. ‘Tis the season (and year) to be driving through.

History Explorers’ Club

3:30–4:30 p.m. Weds., registration required at, $7 (ages 7–11)

Native American Heritage Month brings two representatives of Ganondagan State Historic Site, a historical Seneca town in upstate New York, to the Museum of the American Revolution for an interactive video call. Tonia Galban of the Mohawk Bear Clan and Gabriele Papa of the Seneca Hawk Clan share storytelling traditions in a playdate that will not involve arguing over the Nintendo Switch.

Sattriya Dance Company

4–5 p.m. Weds., reservation required, pay-what-you-wish (ages 4 and up)

Sattriya, a classical Hindu dance, is a precise, northeastern Indian art that’s twice as old as our country. Philadelphia’s Sattriya Dance Company has been on performance hiatus for most of the past eight months. But they’ll dance again in an online performance that’s part of the Penn Museum’s after-school World Wonders programming.


3–5 p.m. Sat., registration required at, free (preteen and up)

Taller Puertorriqueño hosts a virtual discussion with — and celebration of — the creative teens and grown-up creatives behind bilingual youth magazine, Motivos. The Philly-based and -made periodical has 1,400 school subscribers, readers across the U.S., and fans in Costa Rica, Colombia, and, of course, Puerto Rico. The writers and editors will talk about inspiring success and engagement among kids, in English and Spanish.