Just think of all the insane memories you're about to make. This weekend may end up on your year-end best list. But that's up to you.
For the second time, the Nutcracker Market returns to the Kimmel Center (Broad and Spruce Streets) with vendors — like Gramercy Atelier, Manayunk Calligraphy, Wild Bull Designs and many more — and live performances from the Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus, Irish dancers, and Indian dancers. Food-wise, get your hands on some sweets at the candy shop and food from Garces Group. The market is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 11, Friday, Dec. 12 and Saturday, Dec. 13, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Sunday, Dec. 14.
Trick the kids into learning a thing or two at a sleepover at the Penn Museum (3260 South St.) on Friday, Dec. 12. Through games, crafts and a flashlight gallery romp, younguns ages 6 to 12 will get a healthy dose of archaeological history. Roll in at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and roll out at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13.
Another weekend, another pop-up shop at Voorhees Town Center (2120 Voorhees Town Center, Voorhees Township). This time, goods come from Edgewood Made — handcrafted wood and ceramic furniture and home accessories — and Fairwear — men's activewear. The shop will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 12, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14.
Your last chance to see innovative community dance group Philadanco this year is at the Kimmel Center (Broad and Spruce Streets) for four performances that pull out all the stops, indicated by the presentation title "Risky Business." Be entertained at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 12, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14.
The hippest of holiday parties — the Ugly Sweater Party, that is — hits the road for a 5K run starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13. The Ugly Sweater Run kicks off at 4231 Avenue of the Republic in Fairmount Park, where thousands of hideously adorned sweater-wearers will run through the park. Packet pickup runs from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. at the start on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at City Sports (1608 Walnut St.) on Friday, Dec. 12.
The Shore is still happening, despite the way-less-than-ideal beach weather. The Wildwoods Convention Center (5401 Boardwalk, Wildwood) will double as the South Jersey Pole on Saturday, Dec. 13 for a family holiday celebration from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Featured are joyous local choirs, face painters, shopping, magician and a visit from Santa.
All the parade basics — musicians, community groups, antique cars — plus some wild cards — the Phillie Phanatic, for one — parade down Germantown Avenue on Saturday, Dec. 13 for the Chestnut Hill Community Holiday Parade, starting at 9 a.m. at Germantown and Rex Avenues.
Add some edge to your holiday shopping. The Punk Rock Flea Market runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday, Dec. 13 and Sunday, Dec. 14 with over 500 vendors selling everything from handmade candles to hot sauce and vinyl to bicycles. Rock out with your wallet out at the Punk Rock Flea Market Dome (461 N. 9th St.).
Before the sun sets on Saturday, Dec. 13 and the decked-out decks hit the Delaware, spend the day at the Independence Seaport Museum (211 S. Columbus Blvd.) for pre-Parade of Lights activities, starting at 11 a.m. including gingerbread boat making, model ship display, and Nesquik Bunnyland (chocolate milk, everybody!). The Parade of Lights starts at 5 p.m., featuring decorated tugboats competing for top honors.
Hot chocolate. Animals. Scavenger hunt. Santa. Mix it all up and you've got Zoo Noel at the Philadelphia Zoo (3400 W. Girard Ave.). All this and more happens from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both Saturday, Dec. 13 and Sunday, Dec. 14.
Looking for something to do following departure from the sleepover at the Penn Museum? Keep the fun going with a kid-friendly musical presentation at the Kimmel Center (Broad and Spruce Streets) at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13. Complete with sing-alongs of popular tunes and a visit from Santa, this Philadelphia Orchestra-orchestrated event is a must-attend.
If a mass of young people dressed as Santa completely freaks you out, better sit out Saturday, Dec. 13's Running of the Santas. At 4 p.m. thousands of St. Nick look-alikes will run from McFadden's (461 N. 3rd St.) to the Electric Factory (421 N. 7th St.) where Edward Kowalczyk, Gypsy Wisdom, Scott's New Band, The Wayside Shakeup and DJ Crix will provide the sounds for the North Pole party. However, the fun begins way before that at both locations: Doors open at 9 a.m. at McFadden's and 11 a.m. at the Electric Factory.