It's a gift
Skip the mall and head to the University City Arts League Craft Show for a present that's sure to be unique. The show, featuring jewelry by Mette Jensen, Jennifer Sweda, and Morgan Jamison, pottery by Ken Beidler and Dave "Fatman" Fowler, ceramics by Chase Brown, and prints by Eli VandenBerg, plus knit teddy bears, scarves, paintings, purses, dolls, note cards, and glass, goes on at the University City Arts League, 4226 Spruce St. Times: 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. Information: 215-382-7811 or ucartsleague.org.
Revolutionary holiday tradition
The Rock School combines Tchaikovsky's holiday ballet with Philadelphia history in Nutcracker 1776 at the Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St. Times: 7 p.m. Friday, 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $20 to $40. Information: 215-893-1999 or kimmelcenter.org.
The estimable Nightcap Cabaret returns for a second year with the show Jingle Belles, featuring singers Adam Hoyak, Nate Golden, Amanda Jill Robinson, Matthew Mastronardi, and Jenna Pinchbeck performing Christmas standards (with a few curving snowballs) at Tabu Lounge, 200 S. 12th St. Times: 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $10. Information: 215-964-9675 or www.tabuphilly.com.
Trombonist Jeff Bradshaw, a local fave, brings his soulful jazz to Warmdaddy's, Columbus Boulevard and Reed Street. Times: 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets: $20. Information: 215-462-2000 or www.warmdaddys.com.
One of the best holiday traditions returns as Tuba Christmas gathers 100 regional tuba, sousaphone, and euphonium players to play those tunes we know so well in a whole new way. The music goes on at the Kimmel Center's Commonwealth Plaza, Broad and Spruce Streets. Times: noon and 5 p.m. Admission is free. Information: 215-893-1999 or kimmelcenter.org.