Just because it's the holidays doesn't mean you have to hang at home. First of all, we've got eight great ways for you to spend Christmas day if you are itching to get out of the house, from seeing Philly on high from One Liberty Observation to skating at Blue Cross RiverRink.
Speaking of skating, learn about Hope Alexander, the Wilmington, Del. born and raised skater who is playing Princess Tiana in Disney on Ice.
Might we suggest a movie while we're at it? There's J. Law and C. Pra in Passengers; the divine Denzel and Viola in Fences; and the almighty trio of Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae Hidden Figures and so many more.
It's the final caper for one of the great detectives of our time, when Mrs. Claus summons Murray the Elf to Toyland to find the purloined plant that helps Santa and his reindeer navigate the globe on Christmas night. Will Dennis once again plays Murray, while Andy Shaw plays all of the other characters, including Humphrey the Penguin, a speedy Gingerbread Man, and the Easter Bunny (hey, wait for your own holiday!). "After five years, Murray is hanging up his detective badge, notebook, and tights," says author Bill D'Agostino, who has been chronicling the North Pole private eye's adventures since 2012. "But he's going out with his biggest adventure yet." - Michael Harrington
» READ MORE: Holiday Garden Railway
The Morris Arboretum's penultimate Friday Night Lights features the fabulous model train display festooned for the holidays with thousands of twinkling lights as the engines zip around the outdoor quarter-mile track. Dress warm, and pack a flashlight. - M.H.
4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave. $16; $8, 12 and under, 215.247.5777.
» READ MORE: "The Wizard of Oz"
Based on the 1939 film classic, with songs by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, this musical journey down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City is sure to be a treat for all ages. - M.H.
Through Jan. 8, Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St. $20 to $95, 215-574-3550.
» READ MORE: "A Christmas Carol"
New Jersey's McCarter Theatre Center presents its new, reimagined production telling the tale of miserly, mean Ebenezer Scrooge and how he found compassion after being scared senseless. Somehow, Mr. Dickens' story seems more timely than ever. - M.H.
Through Dec. 31 (no show Christmas Day), McCarter Theatre Center's Matthews Theatre, 91 University Place, Princeton. $25 to $85.50, 609-258-2787.
» READ MORE: MatzoBall
For the first time in this century, the first night of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve coincide. Since the last time this happened was 1978, when everybody was dancing to Donna Summer and Chic (well, we were), it's a great time to hit the dance floor. This annual party for Jewish singles is also a chance for Yule revelers to meet someone special, or celebrate good times with a significant other. For ages 21 and over. - M.H.
9 p.m. Saturday, Rumor Nightclub, 1500 Sansom St. $30, 215-988-0777.
» READ MORE: Seinfeld Quizzo: Festivus Edition
Think you know the show about nothing better than the average Philadelphian? Want to escape the commercialization of Christmas? Quizzo maestro Johnny Goodtimes hosts a night of trivia on Frank Costanza's made-up holiday. Admission goes toward prizes and donation to the Human Fund. - Molly Eichel
8:30 p.m. Friday, Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St. $5.
» READ MORE: Festival of Lights
Gear up for Hanukkah with the Art After 5's Festival of Lights. The always-poppin' West Philadelphia Orchestra will rock out with some klezmer to keep the night bouncing. - M.E.
5 p.m. Friday, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Free with admission.
» READ MORE: "Rent This Phone"
Think Hamilton is a tough ticket? Try this exclusive performance. Brian Feldman - the performance artist known for jumping off of a ladder 366 times over 24 hours to celebrate Leap Year, having dinner on stage with his family more than 40 times, and legally marrying a stranger in support of marriage equality via a game of spin-the-bottle - has a new experimental time-based project. From a Washington payphone, Feldman will commemorate the 20th anniversary of Jonathan Larson's Rent by making 42 calls to private phones and singing the entire show one song at a time. It says here: "The use of any recording device, either audio or video, is strictly prohibited. In other words, no messages will be left, so pick up your phone! Photography and sketching is encouraged." Chances are slim you'll get through, but where there's a chance, there's a possibility. It's Christmas Eve - believe! - M.H.
9 p.m. to midnight Saturday, your phone (maybe). Free.
» READ MORE: Moo Shoo Jew Show
This combo food and comedy night, from the Gershman Y, features Last Week Tonight with John Oliver scribe Josh Gondelman (follow him on Twitter; we promise you won't regret it), late-night regular Cory Kahaney, the People's Couch's Julie Goldman, and The Late Late Show's Avi Liberman. Word to the wise: Giggling and eating can lead to choking, so be careful out there. - M.E.
6-10 p.m. Saturday, Ocean Harbor, 1023 Race St. $75 to $85.
» READ MORE: Delco Proper stars
John McKeever (right) and Tim Butterly (left) are the stars of the Comedy Central webseries Delco Proper, chronicling the bizarre goings-on of the Philly 'burb. They take time off for a one-night-only show that's "interactive and unrehearsed." Think of it as self-help with a Delaware County accent. - M.E.
7:30 & 10 p.m. Friday, Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St. $18, 215-496-9001.
» READ MORE: Christmas Village
The annual, mega-popular holiday market will close up its booths this year on Christmas Eve (same for the adjacent Made in Philadelphia market). That means one last chance to go around the carousel, but nearby Dilworth Plaza with have skating, events, and an epic maze all winter. - M.E.
Through Saturday, City Hall, 1401 JFK Blvd. Free.
» READ MORE: Ben Vaughn Quintet
Camden County native Ben Vaughn is a busy man. Earlier this year, the Mojave Desert host of syndicated radio show The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn - which shares a name with his 1986 debut album and airs locally Saturdays on WXPN-FM (88.5) - re-formed Pink Slip Daddy. The Philadelphia punk-garage band then made the tribute album Viva Fabian, released on his Many Moods label. Now, he has finished 2016 on a high note with the Ben Vaughn Quintet's Piece de Resistance, a charming, stylistically varied 12-song affair recorded in beautiful Sewell, N.J. With a well-seasoned taste for old-school rock and roll and R&B, the set of originals moves effortlessly from the playful, accordion-squeezed title song to relative earnestness on "Sleep Without Drugs" and "Percy's Blues." A Rodney Crowell cowrite and a Mose Allison cover are thrown in for good measure. - Dan DeLuca
9 p.m. Friday, Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St. Sold out, 267-639-4528.
» READ MORE: Diarrhea Planet
As deeply unpleasant band names go, it's tough to top this wild and woolly six-piece Nashville guitar army, whose frenzied shows are good enough to make you forget their moniker. The band's latest, Turn to Gold, is a bit all over the place stylistically, employing three different vocalists. But it finds fist-pumping focus in the Emmett Miller song "Bob Dylan's Grandma," a jewel in the genre of rock-and-roll songs about learning to love rock and roll, in this case hearing Jimi Plays Monterey in sixth grade: "Boy, did I melt that tape/ and let that cassette self-immolate." Philly trio Straw Hats opens. - D.D.
9 p.m. Thursday, Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St. $13 to $15, 215-627-1332.
» READ MORE: Orrin Evans Trio with Kevin Eubanks
Philadelphia's most dramatic jazz pianist and composer, Orrin Evans, has long mentioned that recording with guitarist/fellow local Kevin Eubanks was on his bucket list. With 2016's #knowingis halfthebattle, the pair not only joined forces (with slippery six-stringer Kurt Rosenwinkel), but also went beyond expectations for one of Evans' most varied, coolheaded, yet explosive albums of his long career. - A.D. Amorosi
8 and 10 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, Chris' Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom St. $35 per show, 215-568-3131.
» READ MORE: Chrisette Michele
It seems as if Philadelphia can never get enough Chrisette Michele. The New York state-raised, stormy-weather R&B singer and sharply diverse songwriter appeared in September with Philadelphia's own neo-soul sensation Musiq Soulchild in the Merriam Theater's musical version of Love Jones. Now Michele, star of R&B Divas: Los Angeles and a newly minted label owner with the Rich Hipster imprint, is touring behind the torrid, trap-hip-hop-influenced 2016 album Milestone. Michele's opening act, the sensual Raheem DeVaughn, is no slouch either when it comes to sultry soul. Good bill. - A.D.A.
8 p.m. Thursday, Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside. $52.75 to $125, 215-572-7650.