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Seaport Light Parade on Saturday

Independence Seaport Museum puts on its annual holiday boat parade this Saturday with lights, Santa Claus and cocoa.

The Independence Seaport Museum holds its annual Parade of Lights Saturday.
The Independence Seaport Museum holds its annual Parade of Lights Saturday.Read more

The long: Caroling hayrides and photos from laps are nice. But watching Santa ride a century-old tugboat that does 360s in a festive boat parade - that's special.

The short: Riverside Night in Venice, with cocoa.

The crowd: 300 nautical folks.

Indoors: The Independence Seaport Museum makes a day of it: Lighted model ships, gingerbread boat and ornament making, warship ice sculpture, high-school choir and selfies with Santa take the first floor, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (most activities after noon).

Out: At 5 p.m., guests grab hot chocolate and go to the 2nd-floor balcony. KYW1060's Steve Nikazy emcees hour-long procession of a dozen lights-trimmed working vessels and pleasure boats, including a water-spouting fire boat. Look for Santa on the Jupiter, that 1902 tug.

The discounts: Funsavers has half-price tickets, while they last ($6.75 adult, $5 age 12 and under).

The free: You could watch the parade from Penn's Landing itself, near the Olympia and Becuna. But you'd miss the hot chocolate.

Also that day: The museum theater has "Christmas with the Calamari Sisters," 2-4 p.m. Floor 4 hosts 94WIP's "Tailgate Throwdown," 1-3 p.m.

Souvenirs: Crafting kids give grown-ups time to sneak to the gift shop for stocking stuffers.

Moment to yourself: Stand on the balcony, breathe the brackish air, try not to think about your holiday to-do list.

The hours: 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Saturday.

The basics: 211 S. Columbus Blvd. (at Walnut Street), $13.50, $10 students, children, seniors, active military, free under 2 (discounts at 215-413-8655,

If you SEPTA: No. 25 bus.

If you drive: Parking lot north of museum, $10 with validation from visitor services.