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Philly area's best holiday happenings for grown-ups

LOVE Park mulled wine, Christmas at Longwood Gardens with beer, a John Waters Christmas show, and 5 more of the best 21-plus options for holiday fun in Philly.

Ugly sweaters are the dress code for an otherwise swanky Art Museum cocktail party . (Photo By Jamie for Red Lol Vintage Fleece Navidad Christmas Sheep Sweater)
Ugly sweaters are the dress code for an otherwise swanky Art Museum cocktail party . (Photo By Jamie for Red Lol Vintage Fleece Navidad Christmas Sheep Sweater)Read moreJamie for Red Lol Vintage Fleece Navidad Christmas Sheep Sweater

There's a giggly sparkle to the holiday season that brings out the kid in everybody. That said, it's been a long time since you sat on Santa's lap. Here are some adult spins on local holiday faves. Kids aren't necessarily excluded, but these events are especially fun for those with longer attention spans, later bedtimes, and a 21-plus ID. A few get a little naughty, too. And isn't that nice!

A John Waters Christmas

Philly's favorite Baltimore export and filmmaker (Hairspray) heralds the season "with a bag full of sticks and stones for the devoted and the damned, spreading Yuletide profanity and perverted piety." Ho, ho, ho!

8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., $47.50-$125. 215-232-2100,

An art-full holiday

Four Fridays in December, the Art Museum celebrates the season in ways traditional and non. Dry wit and dry martinis are on the schedule Dec. 1 at the Ugly Sweater Party with jazz by Chaise Lounge. Dec. 8, Silver and Gold with Rhenda Fearrington is a classic holiday review. Dec. 15 brings an evening of son jarocho, traditional southern Mexican dance music, Feliz Navidad with Radio Jarocho & Zenén Zeferino. Have a Bossa Nova Holiday with Jackie Ribas & the Carlos Almeida Quintet on Dec. 22.

Explore the galleries and don't forget to stop at the museum shop. If you must buy someone a tie, why not one with Van Gogh sunflowers on it? Art After 5, 5-8:45 p.m., performances at 5:45 and 7:15 p.m., Great Stair Hall, Philadelphia Museum of Art,

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, free with museum admission. 215-763-8100,

Longwood lights

Christmas lights aren't just for kids. Come to 1,083-acre Longwood Gardens in the late afternoon and wander outdoors as trees and displays begin to sparkle against darkening winter skies. Warm up in the four-acre conservatory (more than 50 decorated trees) or at one of three outdoor fire pits. Reserve a spot now for lunch or dinner in the 1906 Fine Dining Room. Head to the beer garden for Longwood Seasons Cherry Oatmeal Stout, crafted by Victory Brewing. The holiday gardens, featuring a French theme, are open 9 a.m. till 10 p.m. through Jan. 7. Timed tickets required; prices vary.

1001 Longwood Road,  Kennett Square, 610-388-1000,

Moo Shu Jew Show

Celebrate with laughter and Chinese food at the 9th annual Jewish comedy showcase co-produced by comedian Cory Kahaney, with Moody McCarthy, Marla Schultz, and Brad Zimmerman. Food is not kosher, vegetarian options available. Reservations required.

6-10 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, Ocean Harbor Restaurant 1023 Race St., $82 advance, $92 at the door. 215-545-4400,

Ugly Christmas Sweater Murder Mystery

Somebody's stuck up the chimney and it ain't Santa! Recommended for ages 17 and up. Wear your ugly Christmas sweater for a good cause; all proceeds benefit the Ash Park Pool Restoration Project.

6 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30, Graystone Mansion, 76 S. First Ave., Coatesville, $30.

My Big Gay Italian Christmas

Fans of the "Big Gay Italian Trilogy" ("MBGI Wedding," "…Funeral," "…Midlife Crisis"), this one's for you.

8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Huron Avenue and Brigantine Boulevard, Atlantic City, $79.50-$99.

Christmas Village

It's back to LOVE Park for the 10th anniversary of the popular village, modeled after German Christmas markets. More than 80 booths sell traditional European goodies, holiday decorations, jewelry, and crafts. Take it all in while sipping a cup of mulled wine.

Open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, till 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, ends 5 p.m. Christmas Eve. Free. JFK Plaza, 1500 Arch St.

Fonthill holidays

The turn-of-the-century concrete castle in Doylestown that Henry Mercer called home looks especially festive this time of year, when a variety of tours are offered. A new one, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Dec. 10, is Henry's Homes for the Holidays, with hourlong tours of Fonthill and of Mercer's nearby birthplace, the James-Lorah Memorial home. $35 a person. Candlelight Holiday Tours of Fonthill, featuring 15 decorated rooms and a trip to the top terrace, will be held from 6:30-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29. $18 a person.

Reservations required. Recommended for ages 8 and up. 525 E. Court St., Doylestown, 215-348-9461,