Say what you will about 2020. Sure, it was a year of epic fails and endless gloom. But those 365 days still had their bright spots, thanks to clever event creators who made the best of a truly terrible situation.
This week is as good as any to take advantage of a theater that reinvented itsperformance, a museum that reinvigorated its social media, a restaurant that invested in outdoor entertainment, and a park that realized it can and should be a year-round destination.
The Little Princess
Noon & 7 p.m. Weds., 7 p.m. Thurs. and select dates through Jan. 3, tickets online at quintessencetheatre.org, $29/household (ages 6 & up)
Those of us whose schedules were, er, quite full through Christmas sure do appreciate Quintessence Theatre Group’s extension of its live, virtual production of a 21st-century version of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1902 riches-to-rags play. Now, we can all sit back, relax, and watch someone else (specifically, four local actors) perform from their homes.
Winter in Franklin Square
10 a.m.–9 p.m. through Jan. 10 (closing at 6 p.m. Jan. 11-Feb. 28), details at historicphiladelphia.org/franklin-square, free entry, carousel $3 ages 3 and up, mini golf $8 children, $10 adult (all ages)
Speaking of extensions, Franklin Square plans to keep its fountain’s music playing through Jan. 10 and lights lit through Feb. 28. The traditional family New Year’s Eve event is happening on its Instagram only, but the park’s golf course, carousel, and playground will stay open IRL
New Year’s Eve Brunch with Cinderella
11 a.m., 1 & 3 p.m. Thurs., reservations at germantowngarden.com, $15 per person for igloo seating, $10 per person for outdoor seating, additional cost for food and drink (ages 3 & up)
The Igloos at Germantown Garden Grill bring back Disney royalty for the last time in 2020. The grand finale princess brunch features Aisha Maria Loeks as Cinderella. Admission buys a visit with HRH, souvenir, activity sheet, dessert (but not brunch) — and a seat in a see-through tent or at an outdoor table.
PopUpPlay Virtual New Year’s Eve Party
4–5 p.m. Thurs., registration required at popupplay.net, $23 per family, limited number of free tickets available to families in need (ages 3 & up)
Spoiler alert: No one is staying up until midnight this year. Sleeping away the rest of 2020 sounds too good to pass up. Instead, celebrate the coming of 2021 extra early bymaking confetti cannons and a Times Square-inspired sparkle ball and writing hopeful resolutions with Jen Brevoort of Philly’s PopUpPlay.
Virtual Revolutionary Winter Break
Activities accessible through 5 p.m. Jan. 1 on Facebook @AmRevMuseum, free (ages 4 & up)
If making a Hessian helmet (Sunday) or an 18th-century-inspired tree ornament (Wednesday), or listening to a Revolutionary War gingerbread story (Tuesday) seems a little after-the-fact, well, you’ve never faced winter break boredom like this winter’s winter break boredom. The Museum of the American Revolution is posting craft projects and story time to its Facebook page to keep 250 years of history fresh in kids’ on-vacation brains. (Videos post at 10 a.m. and stay up through Jan. 1.)