8 great ways to spend Christmas Day at places in and around Philly
It's Christmas Day. Maybe your household doesn't partake, or maybe you do celebrate, but one too many sugar cookies (or vexing situations with Aunt Anne and Uncle Joe) have you aching to get out of the house.
What are the options? There is a plethora of places in and around Philadelphia that are ready to welcome you Dec. 25. From ice skating to garden marveling to Rogue One reveling, activities of all sorts abound for a fun and carefree Sunday for all ages.
Ice skate at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
Whether looking to work off an afternoon feast or simply seeking a recreational activity outdoors, the Blue Cross RiverRink invites you to hit the ice starting at 1 p.m. Christmas Day. With the only Olympic-size skating rink in the city, alongside a warm, chalet-inspired lodge, kids' area with arcade games, fire pits, and more, the Penn's Landing oasis offers hours of fun amid waterfront views and a festive atmosphere.
1-8:30 p.m., 101 S. Columbus Blvd., www.delawareriverwaterfront.com.
Beat the normal weekend crowds that flock to Longwood Gardens by heading out Christmas Day, when the Kennett Square attraction opens bright and early at 9 a.m. and remains open until 10 p.m. Decked out for the season, find half-a-million lights illuminating the verdant grounds, featuring 6,000 seasonal plants and 50 trees bedecked with sparkling red, gold, and green glass ornaments. In addition to the abundance of flowers and greenery to explore, choreographed fountains dance outdoors, and beginning at 4:30 p.m., fire pits light up to keep visitors warm. Organ singalongs take place every hour, on the hour, at the Longwood Organ from 2-8 p.m. (excluding 5 p.m.).
9 a.m.-10 p.m., 1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square, www.longwoodgardens.org.
Celebrate Being ___ at Christmas
Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, atheist, or none of the above, it doesn't matter what your background is at the National Museum of American Jewish History, which welcomes all to come celebrate on Christmas Day. Hosting its annual Being ___ at Christmas, guests are invited to fill in the blank during a day of live music, face painting, clay crafting, storytelling, and more. The ticketed event includes admission to the museum, so be sure to leave extra time for wandering around.
10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., 101 S. Independence Mall East, www.nmajh.org.
Alongside sea creatures of every kind, the Adventure Aquarium welcomes several special holiday guests to its tanks, including Scuba Santa, who swims with sharks, sea turtles, and stingrays in a 760,000-gallon exhibit. Be sure to explore the aquarium's two newest installations of the year, a shark bridge that puts you just inches above sand tiger, sandbar and nurse sharks, and "The Little Blue Beach," where you can see the smallest penguins in the world. Does Christmas get any cuter than that?
11 a.m.-3 p.m., 1 Riverside Dr., Camden, www.adventureaquarium.com.
One Liberty Observation Deck
10 a.m.-5 p.m., 1650 Market St., www.phillyfromthetop.com.
See a movie
Check theaters for hours. Locations vary.
Dine and drink around Philly
Looking to dine out on Christmas Day? While the majority of restaurants are closed, there are still a ton of options, including The Little Lion, South Philadelphia Tap Room, Pub & Kitchen, Royal Izakaya (with its new sushi bar), and more. Count on most hotels with fine-dining establishments to remain open, such as Lacroix at the Rittenhouse and XIX Nineteen at the Hyatt at the Bellevue, both hosting a special Christmas brunch. In the event that you're not looking for dinner, but instead to restock an exhausted booze supply, Bottle Bar East is the place to go. The Fishtown spot will open at 3 p.m. for those who need to wash down any family arguments with a sudsy pint of beer, inviting you to take a seat at the bar until normal closing time, or to grab a six-pack to go.
Hours vary at select restaurants citywide.
Washington Crossing reenactment
Noon-3 p.m. Crossing at 1 p.m. 1112 River Rd., Washington Crossing Historic Park, www.washingtoncrossingpark.org