HOLIDAY

Waterfront Winterfest

You know about the ice skating. What you should also know is about the pop-up craft village, firepits, noshes and awesome light show at the rink's lodge-like new addition with free admission.

Blue Cross RiverRink, South Columbus Boulevard and Walnut Street, daily through Jan. 5, $3 for 90 min. skating; free for lodge and light show, 215-925-RINK, riverrink.com.

Gerald Dickens

Dicken's great-great-grandson performs a one-man version of "A Christmas Carol" in the place that turned Scrooge et al into millions of caroling dolls that deck endless halls.

Byer's Choice, 4355 County Line Rd., Chalfont, 7 tonight, 1 and 5:30 p.m. tomorrow, $18, 215-822-6700, byerschoice.com.

A Christmas Carol

Wouldn't be the holidays in this neck of the woods without the annual staging of Charles Dickens' timeless, venerated tale of the power of love and redemption.

McCarter Theatre, 91 University Pl., Princeton, N.J., through Dec. 29, $20-$85.50, 609-258-2787, mccarter.org.

No Reservations

This new spin on the Nativity isn't likely to attract many church groups. Playwright Josh Piven, author of the best-selling The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, has turned the "greatest story ever told" into a modern farce.

Skybox @ The Adrienne Theater, 2030 Sansom St., 3rd fl., through Dec. 15, show times vary, $25, joshuapiven.com.

'Snowball'

Pioneer Brian Sanders' JUNK debuts this family-friendly dance performance dealing with a couple of kids, a mean landlord and the icy city they live in. Audience members get to throw faux snowballs.

Harold Prince Theatre, Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St., 7:30 tonight, 2 and 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, 2 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Thursday with four more performances through Dec. 15., $20-$40, 215-898-3900, annenbergcenter.org.

Running of the Santas

Not exactly a 5K. More like an excuse to dress up in a red suit (or tiny red dress with furry white trim), bar-hop, listen to bands, and drink . . . a lot.

Finnegan's Wake (537 N. 3rd St.) and Electric Factory (421 N. 7th St.), 11 a.m. tomorrow-2 a.m. Sunday, $15, ticketmaster.com.

'Nutcracker 1776'

The Rock School's Nutcracker takes a patriotic turn. The score's the same, but the Revolutionary-era setting, and the 200 student participants, make it extra exciting.

Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St., 1 and 4 p.m. tomorrow, $10-$44, 215-893-1999; Centennial Hall, Haverford School, 450 Lancaster Ave., 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday Dec. 14 and Sunday Dec. 15, $15-$25, therockschool.org.

Pa. Ballet's 'Nutcracker'

A seasonal must, with all the exquisite Tchaikovsky music, ravishing sets and George Balanchine choreography performed by a company at its peak. This weekend only, there's also a market of crafts and treats at the Kimmel's Commonwealth Plaza (Broad and Spruce streets, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. tomorrow, till 7 p.m. Sunday, free).

Academy of Music, Broad and Locust streets, 2 and 8 p.m. tomorrow, noon and 5 p.m. Sunday, 20 more performances through December 29, $25-$135, 215-893-1999, paballet.org.

XMAS MUSIC

The Philly Pops

The annual spectacular, conducted by David Charles Abell, features soprano Angela Brown, as well as the POPS Festival Chorus, Philadelphia Boys Choir, the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir and organist Peter Richard Conte.

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce streets, 8 tonight and Wednesday night, 3 p.m. tomorrow, and six more performances through December 21, $28-$105, 215-893-1999, phillypops.org.

Moya Brennan

Celebrated Celtic thrush (from Clannad) is back for two holiday shows with her band.

Sellersville Theater, Main and Temple streets, Sellersville, 8 p.m. tonight, $29.50-$45, 215-257-5808, st94.com; Tin Angel, 20 S. 2nd St., 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, $30, 215-928-0978, tinangel.com.

Jen Creed

One of our town's secret treasures, this cultured, four octave-range singer is likely to win comparisons (favorable) to the new "Classic Christmas Album" release by that Streisand woman.

Ardmore Music Hall, 23 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, 7 p.m. tomorrow, $10-$20, 610-649-8389, ardmoremusic.com.

Michael McDonald

The husky-honeyed crooner who helped put "blue-eyed soul" on the map is also quite the master of cozy holiday tunes.

Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside, 8 p.m. tomorrow, $45-$69, 215-572-7650, keswicktheatre.com.

Johnny Mathis

This season's miracle is how great this vet talent still sounds on his new Christmas collection.

Borgata, One Borgata Way, Atlantic City, 8 p.m. tomorrow, $55-$75, 800-298-4200, comcasttix.com.

Solas

Irish-American folk ensemble (partly Philly based) piles on the holiday music bandwagon.

World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.,

8 p.m. tomorrow, $30-$35, 215-222-1400, worldcafelive.com.

Sweet Honey in the Rock

A cappella legends (celebrating their 40th anniversary) land on seasonal, spiritual music from multiple faiths and world locales.

Zellerbach Theater, 3680 Walnut St., 8 p.m. tomorrow, $70-$80, 215-898-3900, annenbergcenter.org.

Philadelphia Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra and Germantown Oratorio Choir

Gary White leads the chamber orchestra and chorus, with David Daugherty as chorus master, in the Christmas portion of Handel's evergreen "Messiah."

First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, 35 W. Chelten Ave., 3 p.m. Sunday, donations, 215-843-8811, philadelphiasinfonia.com.

MUSIC

The Dan Band

Wise guys of stage and screen are (in)famous for their funny, foul mouth reworking of pop hits, including a bunch originally done by women. Opening: The Terribles.

TLA, 334 South St., 9 tonight, $21, 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.

Marco Benevento

Inventive jazz pianist tops a bill with Bernie Worrell (with Orchestra) and trio Wolf, featuring guitarist Scott Metzger.

The Blockley, 38th and Chestnut streets, 9 tonight, $14-$18 (21+), 215-222-1234, theblockley.com.

Philadelphia Orchestra

San Francisco Symphony conductor Michael Tilson Thomas leads Berlioz' orchestral showpiece "Symphonie fantastique." Helene Grimaud solos in Brahms' First Piano Concerto (not the originally-scheduled Second).

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce streets, 8 p.m. tomorrow, 2 p.m. Sunday, $76-$176, 215-893-1999, philorch.org.

Symphony in C

Rossen Milanov's Mozart program begins with a homage, American composer Lera Suerbach's "Eterniday" for bass drum, celesta and strings. Harpist Madeline Blood and flutist Megan Emigh team up for the concerto for flute and harp, and the program ends with Mozart's sublime final symphony, No. 41, the "Jupiter."

Gordon Theater, Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts, 3rd and Cooper streets, 8 p.m. tomorrow, $24-$51, 854-963-6683, symphonyinc.org.

Clairy Browne

Retro belter/testifier dials up the "double-o" soul with her harmonizing girl group Bangin' Rackettes. Lily and the Parlour Tricks open with Americana vista-visions.

North Star Bar, 27th and Poplar streets, 8 p.m. Sunday, $13-$16, 215-787-0488, northstarbar.com.

Spacehog

Want to be swept up and carried away? Veteran British drama rockers connect the dots between David Bowie and Coldplay, whilst adding twists of their own. In the featured slot: kindred spirits Sponge wring out anthemic power pop. And there's more - Lionize plus Trapper Schoepp and the Shades.

Ardmore Music Hall, 23 E. Lancaster Ave, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, $17 (21+), 610-649-8389, ardmoremusic.com.

The Wooten Brothers

Future funk, rock and jazz fusing quartet keep it in the family. Opening act Soule Monde features Ray Paczkowski and Russ Lawton from the Trey Anastasio Band.

Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside, 8 p.m. Thursday, $26-$35, 215-572-7650, keswicktheatre.com.

Rod Stewart/Steve Winwood

Two album rock icons Faces the music with Blind Faith, stopping Traffic, of course.

Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, $46.50-$149.50, 800-298-4200, comcasttix.com.

Anthony McGill/Gloria Chien

Curtis alumnus McGill, now principal clarinet in the Metropolitan Opera orchestra, and pianist Chien, play music by Debussy, Messaien, Poulenc, Scriabin, Schumann, Berg and Weber.

American Philosophical Society, 427 Chestnut St., 8 p.m. Thursday, $24, 215-569-8080, pcmsconcerts.org.

ON STAGES

Philadanco!

Philly's innovative, energetic dance corps honors Alvin Ailey choreographer Christopher Huggins with excerpted and full performances of "The List," "Blue," "Love Is . . . " and more.

Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce streets, 7:30 tonight, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, $29-$46, 215-893-1999, kimmelcenter.org.

'Jersey Boys'

The Broadway blockbuster about 1960s chart-toppers The Four Seasons returns to town.

Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut St., Wednesday through Jan. 5, show times vary, $42-$252, 800-432-7780, telecharge.com.

- Compiled by Chuck Darrow,

Tom Di Nardo, Lauren McCutcheon and Jonathan Takiff