17 non-New Year's events in Philadelphia, Dec. 30-Jan. 1
2016 is finally coming to close and it's time to celebrate. First up, we give you 12 New Year's Eve parties that are worth the crowds. Then, we tell you how to get the most out of your Mummers Parade experience (where should you get brunch? Where can you get take out champagne? Where are the bathrooms??). But, look, we get it if you're already over 2016, below are 17 events that have nothing to do with the New Years revelery. And if you need to go even farther, here are 5 events to look forward to in January.
2016 is finally coming to close and it's time to celebrate. First up, we give you 12 New Year's Eve parties that are worth the crowds. Then, we tell you how to get the most out of your Mummers Parade experience (where should you get brunch near Broad Street? Where can you get take out champagne? Where are the bathrooms??).
But, look, we get it if you're already over 2016. Below are 17 events that have nothing to do with the New Year's revelry. And if you need to go even further, here are 5 events to look forward to in January.
» READ MORE: Peepsfest
It's the greatest of all Easter candy (try eating a stale jelly bean), and now, the yellow-sugar-coated marshmallow chicks are conquering Christmas, Hanukkah, and all the holidays (watch for green trees come Arbor Day). This annual event in the confection's hometown of Bethlehem, Pa., features a 5K race, a Peeps costume contest, a Peeps olympics, Peeps dioramas on display, live music, dancing, arts and crafts, and more. Delicious. - Michael Harrington
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, Pa. Free, 610-332-1300.
» READ MORE: Monster Jam
Have a little extra aggression as 2016 wraps up? End the year with a little vicarious destruction. The 12-foot-tall, 10,000-pound behemoths race, soar, and destroy to your heart's content. - Molly Eichel
1 & 7 p.m. through Friday, Sun National Bank Center, 81 Hamilton Ave., Trenton. $18-$58.
» READ MORE: Christmas in the Castle
Extend the Christmas spirit at the Glencairn Museum, where a tour will take you back in time to how Christmas used to be celebrated when the Pitcairn family called the mansion home. The tour is 45 minutes and allows visitors to explore the other seasonal exhibits also housed at the Bryn Athyn museum. - M.E.
1:30 and 2:30 p.m. weekdays, and 1, 1:30, and 2:30 p.m. weekends, through Jan. 8, Glencairn Museum, 1001 Cathedral Rd., Bryn Athyn. $12, 267-502-2600.
» READ MORE: A Longwood Christmas
The holiday-music-inspired display features organ sing-alongs, carolers, and performances throughout the outdoor gardens and inside the Music Room. Colorful fountains and twinkle lights among seasonal plants dance to holiday music throughout the gardens.
This year, there will be three fire pits around the grounds, at the Hour Glass Lake Pavilion, Peirce-du Pont House Plaza, and Dogwood Plaza. Many daily performances and events are free with admission. - Erin Moran
9 a.m. to 10 p.m., through Jan. 8, Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square. Timed ticket prices vary, 610-388-1000.
» READ MORE: "The Carols"
In Jennifer Childs' and Monica Stephenson's musical, set in 1943 New Jersey, a motley troupe of performers in a small-town production of A Christmas Carol rewrite Dickens to reflect their own lives amid the depths of WWII. The 1812 Productions show is a delight. - M.H.
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place. $36-$42, 215-592-9560, www.1812productions.org.
» READ MORE: "Wilde Tales"
This Quintessence Theatre Group production gathers stories by Oscar Wilde, including "The Selfish Giant," in which the titular big guy walls off a garden, putting it in perpetual winter. - M.H.
2 and 7 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday, Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Ave. $15-$35. 215-987-4450.
» READ MORE: "Mamma Mia!"
It's the "Farewell Tour" for the national touring cast of the hit musical by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson using their ABBA hits. The story has something to do with a wedding on a Greek island, three guys who might be the bride's father, recriminations and regrets for the bride's mother, and . . . ah, who knows? It has "Dancing Queen" and "Knowing Me, Knowing You," and locals Lizzie Markson and Pearce Bunting in the cast, so let's go. - M.H.
7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday, Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St. $40-$102, 215-670-2300.
» READ MORE: "Christmas Oratorio"
J.S. Bach repurposed music for his 1734 holiday masterpiece - but since he was borrowing from his own cantatas, that's a good thing. Choral Arts Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Bach Collegium team up to present the four-hour work in a "historically informed performance" with intermission. - M.H.
4 p.m. Saturday, Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 38th and Chestnut Streets. $15-$45, 267-240-2586, www.choralarts.com.
» READ MORE: Salute to Vienna
Famed European singers and ballet dancers come to town Friday night to provide a pre-New Year's concert in three-quarter time. The Strauss Symphony Orchestra, led by Imre Kollar, brings a new program of Strauss waltzes and lilting melodies from Die Fledermaus and The Merry Widow. - Tom Di Nardo
8 p.m. Friday, Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce Streets. $46-$99, 215-893-1999.
» READ MORE: "A Year With Frog and Toad"
Based on the beloved children's stories by Arnold Lobel, this musical by Robert and Willie Reale follows two woodland friends, one cheerful and the other grumpy, through the four seasons as they learn life lessons along with birds, squirrels, lizards, moles, and one determined letter-carrying snail. This is great for ages 3 to 10. - M.H.
Through Jan. 29, Arden Theatre, 40 N. Second St. $18 to $36, 215-922-1122.
» READ MORE: Macy's Christmas Light Show
The Macy's Christmas Light Show has been a Philadelphia tradition for more than 50 years. At least 100,000 LED lights tell the stories of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Frosty the Snowman, narrated by Julie Andrews, in the Grand Court atrium in the historic Wanamaker Building.
For the holiday season, the third floor of Macy's is transformed into "Dickens Village," bringing Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol to life with more than 100 animated figures in a 6,000-square-foot town. - E.M.
Every two hours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., through Saturday, Macy's Center City, 1300 Market St. Free, 215-241-9000.
Comcast Holiday Spectacular
Visitors are welcome in the lobby of the Comcast Center for the 15-minute Comcast Holiday Spectacular, a musical celebration featuring "Carol of the Bells," "Jingle Bell Rock," "The Twelve Days of Christmas," and a snippet from The Nutcracker performed by the Pennsylvania Ballet. - E.M.
Top of each hour, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (excluding weekdays at 5 p.m.), through Sunday, Comcast Center, 1701 JFK Blvd. Free, 215-496-1810.
» READ MORE: Miracle on 13th Street
The 1600 block of South 13th Street, just a few blocks off East Passyunk Avenue, dresses up each year for the holidays. The neighborhood homes have become one of the biggest holiday-light destinations in Philadelphia. - E.M.
Through Sunday, 1600 block of South 13th, between Tasker and Morris Streets. Free.
» READ MORE: "The Nutcracker"
December can't happen in Philadelphia unless we're dreaming of Sugarplum Fairies. George Balanchine's choreography brings Tchaikovsky's score to this staple for the venerable Pennsylvania Ballet, who have been performing it for decades. - M.E.
Through Dec. 31, Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St. $35-$135, 215-893-1999.
» READ MORE: "The Wizard of Oz"
After seeing the musical at the Walnut Street Theatre (through Jan. 8, 215-574-3550), check out the source of the stage show: The 1939 film classic starring Judy Garland, with songs by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg. - M.H.
10:30 a.m. Saturday, Ambler Theater, 108 E. Butler Ave., Ambler. $4, 215-345-7855.
» READ MORE: Guided by Voices
It's a full-time job keeping up with Bob Pollard's music. Several times a year, he releases an album, sometimes solo, sometimes with a new band, sometimes with some version of Guided by Voices. And sometimes, the lines blur: The new Please Be Kind is a Pollard solo, but he calls it a GBV album. And the debut from ESP Ohio, Starting Point of the Royal Cyclopean, features all but the drummer of the current GBV touring lineup, including longtime GBV guitarist Doug Gillard. Confusing? Yes, but no matter: Friday's sold-out GBV show will be a relentless stream of Pollard's anthemic, cryptic, boozy, and celebratory rock-and-roll gems. The recently reactivated Australian cult band the Moles opens. - Steve Klinge
9 p.m. Friday, Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St. Sold out.
» READ MORE: David Wax Museum
Although they added rock-and-roll energy and some synths to their last album, 2015's Guesthouse, the roots of Boston's David Wax Museum still reside in what the duo call Mexo-Americana. Their sound has always been more a lively melting pot mixing son, the Mexican folk style David Wax fell in love with while at Harvard, with the Appalachian roots and folk that Suz Slezak grew up on. The married couple's new EP, A La Rumba Rumba, focuses on inventive versions of traditional Spanish-language songs and grounds Wax's eight-string jarana and Slezak's accordion and fiddle. Philadelphia's Kevin Manning and the aptly named Auld Lang Syne of Rochester, N.Y., open the New Year's Eve show. - S.K.
9 p.m. Saturday, Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. $20, 215-739-9684.