Special Events

Philadelphia

*FREE*

The 8th Annual World Peace Festival

Features diverse musical talent & dance performances in a variety of genres. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St.; 215-573-3234. foundationarts.org.

12/9 7 pm.

Dickens Christmas Party

Refreshments & readings from 'A Christmas Carol.' The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, 200 W. Tulpehocken St.; 215-438-1861.

. $10; $5 children under 12. 12/8 2-4:30 pm.

Mill Creek Farm Benefit Party

Refreshments, silent auction, live music & information on the farm's programs. Ethical Society of Philadelphia, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square; 215-735-3456.

» READ MORE: www.phillyethics.net

. $20 advance; $25 day of event. 12/9 3-7 pm.

Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Inductees include the 1980 World Champion Phillies. 215-886-6657 ext. 1 or

» READ MORE: www.phillyhall.org

for tickets. Hyatt Regency at Penn's Landing, 201 S. Columbus Blvd.; 215-928-1234. $165-$500. 12/12 5:30 pm.

Santa Paws

Have your pet's photo taken with Santa. Benefit for the Pennsylvania SPCA. Ritz-Carlton, 10 Ave. of The Arts; 215-523-8221. Donation suggested: $10 per photo. 12/9 noon-3 pm.

Pennsylvania suburbs

Brunch With Santa

Meal, pictures with Santa & a special gift. Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown; 610-277-3825.

» READ MORE: www.elmwoodparkzoo.org

. 12/13 10-11 am.

Holiday Champagne Breakfast Buffet

Breakfast buffet with your choice of champagne, coffee, tea &/or hot chocolate. Santa will be on hand to pose for pictures with the little ones. Zion Lutheran Church, 301 Jefferson Ave., Bristol; 215-788-3944.

. $6.50; $4 children 6-12; free for children 5 & under. 12/8 8:30 am-12:30 pm.

*FREE*

Malvern's Victorian Christmas

Burke Park & other locations in Malvern, PA. Tree lighting, holiday music, strolling street performers, children's activities & more. 610-647-0100. 12/7 6:15 pm.

*FREE*

Menorah Lighting

Enjoy music, sufganiot (jelly doughnuts), hot chocolate, latkes & more. Suburban Square, Anderson Ave., Ardmore; 610-896-7560.

» READ MORE: www.suburbansquare.com

. 12/11 5:30 pm.

*FREE*

Visit With Santa & Community Tree-Lighting

Main Street Hatboro, York Rd., Hatboro; 215-957-9790.

. 12/8 3-5 pm.

New Jersey

Breakfast With Santa

Breakfast buffet & pictures with Santa. Towne of Historic Smithville, 1 N. New York Rd., Smithville; 609-748-7160. historicsmithvillenj.com. $9.95. 12/8 9 pm.

*FREE*

Christmas Parade

Featuring Santa & friends & more. Asbury Avenue, 700 Asbury Ave., Ocean City; 609-399-0655. 12/8 10:30 am.

*FREE*

Cinnaminson Senior Citizen's Day Holiday Celebration

Musical performance, refreshments & a visit from Santa. Cinnaminson Middle School, 312 N. Forklanding Rd., Cinnaminson; Reservations required: 856-786-8012 ext. 334. 12/13 9-10:30 am.

Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Rides

Trolley ride through the historic district featuring holiday-themed ghost tales. Closes 12/31. Downtown Cape May, Cape May; 609-463-6415.

» READ MORE: www.capemay.com

. $10; $5 children.

*FREE*

Holiday Open House

Opportunity to meet museum staff & view the exhibits. Ocean City Historical Museum, 1735 Simpson Ave., Ocean City; 609-399-1801.

» READ MORE: www.ocnjmuseum.org

. 12/7 5:30 pm.

*FREE*

Winslow Township's Annual Holiday Tree Lighting

Music, refreshments & a special visitor from the North Pole. Winslow Township Municipal Building, 125 South Route 73, Braddock; 609-567-0700. 12/7 7 pm.

Delaware

Deck the Zoo

Decorate trees with snacks for visiting animals, listen to holiday music, winter treats & more. Brandywine Zoo, 1001 N. Park Dr., Wilmington; 302-571-7747.

» READ MORE: www.brandywinezoo.org

. Included in admission. 12/9 1:30-3:30 pm.

*FREE*

Spirit of Christmas

Caroling, concerts, tree-lighting ceremony, Santa, crafts & more. City of New Castle, 220 Delaware St., New Castle; 302-322-9802. 12/8 10 am-5 pm.

*FREE*

Ten Thousand Villages Sale

Benefit sale of hand-crafted home decor & gifts. 302-475-9568. Centre Friends Meeting Schoolhouse, Center Meeting Rd., Centerville; 302-428-1980.

. 12/7 noon-6 pm. 12/8 10 am-6 pm.

Kids' Stuff

Children's performances

Lois Young: Holiday Cheer & Rockin' Reindeer

Holiday-themed concert & puppet show. Grand Opera House, 818 N. Market St., Wilmington; 302-652-5577.

» READ MORE: www.grandopera.org

. $6. 12/11 10 am.

Philadelphia Orchestra Family Concert: Holiday Traditions Around the World

Family-friendly concert. Kimmel Center, Broad & Spruce Sts.; 215-893-1999.

» READ MORE: www.philorch.org

.

$5-$45. 12/8 11:30 am.

Steve Pullara

Simple, fun & funny songs about topics such as frogs, bathtubs & gumdrops. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.; 215-222-1400;

» READ MORE: www.coolbeansmusic.com

. $10; $7 children 1-12; free for children under 1. 12/8 11:30 am.

Upper Darby Summer Stage Shooting Stars

Selection of fun holiday tunes performed by 'Summer Stage' performers. Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, 601 N. Lansdowne Ave., Drexel Hill; Reservations required: 610-622-1189.

» READ MORE: www.udpac.org

.

$6-$8. 12/7 7:30 pm.

Children's Events

*FREE*

1st Annual Holiday Festival

Make-&-take crafts, storytelling, sharing holiday traditions, sampling holiday goodies & more. Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library, 1001 Powell St., Norristown; 610-278-5100.

» READ MORE: www.mc-npl.org

. 12/8 11 am-2 pm.

Candy Holiday House

Make candy houses using graham crackers & frosting. Tamanend Park, 1255 Second St. Pike, Southampton; 215-355-9781. $20; $15 residents. 12/8 10-11 am.

*FREE*

Christmas Around the Farm

Holiday decor & crafts, children's activities. Linvilla Orchards, 137 W. Knowlton Rd., Media; 610-874-4678.

» READ MORE: www.linvilla.com

. 12/7-12/23 9 am-6 pm.

A Dose of Sugarplums & a Dash of Fruit at Dr. Physick's

Appearance by Santa, sugarplum & crystallized fruit workshop for kids. Physick House, 321 S. Fourth St.; 215-925-2251.

» READ MORE: www.philalandmarks.org

. $5. 12/8 11:30 am-1:30 pm.

Let's Learn About Bats

Bat-themed activities for kids. Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown; 610-277-3825.

» READ MORE: www.elmwoodparkzoo.org

. $12. 12/7 12:30-1:20 pm.

Santa Claus Arrives by Train

Children will have the opportunity to have their pictures taken with Santa at the Brass Lantern. 215-598-7165. Carousel Village, 591 Durham Rd. (Rte. 413), Wrightstown; 215-598-0707.

» READ MORE: www.carouselvillage.com

. 12/8-12/9 11 am-5 pm.

What's for Lunch?

Children's program on how animals eat. Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown; 610-277-3825.

» READ MORE: www.elmwoodparkzoo.org

. $12. 12/11 2-3 pm.

Children's museums & attractions

Camden Children's Garden

3 Riverside Dr., Camden; 856-365-8733.

. Butterfly house, maze, treehouse & more. Holiday Festival of Lights - 4.5 acres of gardens with 100,000 holiday lights & animated light sculptures. $3.50; free for children 2 & under (additional fee for train ride). Fri.-Sat. 5:30-8 pm thru Dec. $6; $4 ages 3-11; free for children 2 & under Tue.-Sun. 10 am-5 pm.

Garden State Discovery Museum

2040 Springdale Rd., Cherry Hill; 856-424-1233.

» READ MORE: www.discoverymuseum.com

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Hands-on children's museum featuring an activity wonderland for infants through age 10. Hooray for Hanukkah - Hanukkah-themed stories, crafts & snacks. 12/9 noon. $9.95; $8.95 seniors; free for children under 1. Sun.-Fri. 9:30 am-5:30 pm; Sat. 9:30 am-8:30 pm.

Insectarium

8046 Frankford Ave.; 215-335-9500.

» READ MORE: www.insectarium.com

. Ongoing: Arachnid Alley - Exhibit about spiders; Cockroach Kitchen - Live cockroach exhibit; Insect Museum - Thousands of mounted & live specimens, interactive exhibits; Working Beehive - Live bee exhibit. $7; free for children under 2. Mon.-Sat. 10 am-4 pm.

Kix & Giggles Children's Playground

9356 Old Bustleton Ave.; 215-677-4140.

» READ MORE: www.kixandgiggles.com

. Attractions include a wrap-around gym, a rock wall, soft-play section for babies & toddlers, an outside seating area & more. Mondays 10 am-3 pm are reserved for children with special needs & their families. See website for more details. $6.95. Tue.-Thu. 10 am-8 pm; Fri.-Sat. 10 am-9 pm; Sun. 10 am-8 pm.

The Please Touch Museum

210 N. 21st St.; 215-963-0667.

. Arts & crafts, stories, theater, interactive exhibits, hands-on activities & more. Enchanted Colonial Village. 12/7-12/13 9 am-4:30 pm. $10.95; free for children under 1. Daily 9 am-4:30 pm.

Sesame Place

100 Sesame Rd., Langhorne; 215-752-7070.

» READ MORE: www.sesameplace.com

. Holiday Shopping & Character Photo. 12/7-12/9 10 am-3 pm. Sesame Place's Holiday Shop & Dine Breakfast With Big Bird & Friends. $16.95; $14.95 children 2-11; free for children under 2. 12/8 9-11 am, 1-2 pm. 12/9 9-11 am. $44.50; $39.50 seniors; free for children under 2. Weekends only.

*FREE*

Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse

Intersection of 33rd & Oxford Sts. in E. Fairmount Park; 215-765-4325.

» READ MORE: www.smithplayhouse.org

. Three-story "play mansion" for children 0-5 yrs. old & huge outdoor play park for children 0-10 featuring the Giant Wooden Slide, the giant net climber, the Apollo spinner climber, the Biggo Duo swing & much more. Tue.-Sun. 10 am-4 pm. Children must be accompanied by adult.

Literary Calendar

Book signings & readings

Barnes & Noble

301 Main St., Exton; 610-524-0103.

» READ MORE: www.bn.com

. Phil Martelli:

Don't Call Me Coach

. 12/13 7 pm.

Barnes & Noble - Rittenhouse Square

1805 Walnut St.; 215-665-0716.

» READ MORE: www.bn.com

. Sal Paolantonio:

The Paolantonio Report

. 12/11 7 pm.

Barnes & Noble

4801 Concord Pike, Wilmington; 302-487-9677.

» READ MORE: www.barnesandnoble.com

. William Guarnere & Edward Heffron:

Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends

. 12/8 2 pm.

Borders Books & Music

4010 Dearborn Circle, Mount Laurel; 856-866-9090.

» READ MORE: www.borders.com

. Michael Smerconish & Maureen Faulkner:

Murdered by Mumia

. 12/8 1-3 pm.

Borders Books & Music

1149 E. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr; 610-527-1500.

» READ MORE: www.bordersstores.com

. Michael Smerconish & Maureen Faulkner:

Murdered by Mumia

. 12/11 7:30 pm.

Borders Books & Music

801 Bethlehem Pike, North Wales; 215-412-2655.

» READ MORE: www.borders.com

. Marie Lamba:

What I Meant

. 12/8 2 pm.

Borders Books & Music

1001 Baltimore Pike, Springfield; 610-543-8588.

» READ MORE: www.bordersstores.com

. Susan Jeffers:

The Nutcracker

. 12/8 11 am.

Borders Books & Music

80 E. Wynnewood Ave., Wynnewood; 610-642-0362.

» READ MORE: www.bordersstores.com

. Susan Jeffers:

The Nutcracker

. 12/9 noon.

Borders Express

268 Montgomery Mall, North Wales; 215-362-2772.

» READ MORE: www.bordersstores.com

. Carmen Ferreiro-Estaban:

Two Moon Princess

. 12/9 1-3 pm. Doris Washington:

A Blessing, Caring & Sharing

. 12/11 noon-3 pm.

Borders Express

351 W. Schuylkill Rd., Pottstown; 610-323-3462. Dave Brown:

Philly Jocks: The Best Philadelphia Pro Athletes of Our Time

. 12/9 2-4 pm.

Borders Express

1200 Baltimore Pike, Springfield; 610-543-8588. Jonathan McGoran:

Blood Poison

. 12/8 2-5 pm.

Chester County Book & Music Company

975 Paoli Pike, West Chester; 610-696-1661.

» READ MORE: www.ccbmc.com

. Dave Brown:

Philly Jocks: The Best Philadelphia Pro Athletes of Our Time

. 12/8 1 pm.

The Doylestown Bookshop

16 S. Main St., Doylestown; 215-230-7610.

. Jonathan McGoran:

Blood Poison

. 12/7 7-9 pm.

Free Library of Philadelphia - Central Branch

1901 Vine St.; 215-686-5322.

» READ MORE: www.library.phila.gov

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John Richardson:

A Life of Picasso

. $14; $7 students. 12/11 8 pm. Roger Kamenetz:

The History of Last Night's Dream

. 12/13 7 pm.

Harleysville Books LLC

674 Main St., Harleysville; 215-256-9311.

. Trinka Hakes Noble:

Apple Tree Orchard & The Orange Shoes

. 12/8 1 pm.

Ocean County Library

101 Washington St., Toms River; 732-349-6200. oceancountylibrary.org/Branches/TR/tr.htm.

Frank Delaney:

Tipperary

. 12/11 7 pm.

Robin's Bookstore

108 S. 13th St.; 215-735-9600.

» READ MORE: www.robinsbookstore.com

. Joel Spivak:

Subways of the World

. 12/12 6-8 pm.

Poetry & lectures

Camden County Historical Society

1900 Park Blvd., Camden; 856-964-3333.

» READ MORE: www.cchsnj.com

. Genealogy of the Gingerbread Man - Lecture by food historian Susan McLellan Plaisted. $12; $3 children 9 & under. 12/8 noon-4 pm.

Cape May County Library - Upper Township

2050 Rte. 631, Petersburg; 609-628-2607.

. Tom Champion: History of Belleplain - Talk & slide presentation on history of Belleplain State Forest & surrounding environs. 12/13 7:30 pm.

Chester County Historical Society

225 N. High St., West Chester; 610-692-4800.

» READ MORE: www.cchs-pa.org

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Feed the Birds - Slide show & talk about caring for birds in the winter. Make edible outdoor decorations for birds. $6; $4 children; free for adults with children. 12/8 8-10 am.

Harvest Book Outlet

9 E. State St., Media; 610-566-3191.

» READ MORE: www.harvestbooks.com

. Poets & Prophets: Deborah Fries. Donation suggested: $2. 12/11 7 pm.

Mercer County Community College - Studio Theatre

1200 Old Trenton Rd., West Windsor; 609-584-9444.

» READ MORE: www.mccc.edu

. The Late Night Series - Open mic event for music, comedy, poetry & more. 12/7 10 pm.

Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel

8339 Old York Rd., Elkins Park; 215-887-8700.

» READ MORE: www.kenesethisrael.org

. Life in the Comics With a Jewish American Family - Lecture by Patty & Terry Laban, creators of the cartoon strip 'Edge City' $14; $12 advance. 12/13 11:30 am.

Serenity Gifts & Coffee

140 South Easton Road, Glenside; 215-884-4342.

. Afternoon of Poetry - 12/8 1-3 pm. Senior Poet's Day - Poetry readings from seniors. Contact Lillian Clarke at 215-549-6297 for more details. 12/8 1-3 pm.

The University of Pennsylvania - Kelly Writer's House

3805 Locust Walk; 215-573-9748.

» READ MORE: www.writing.upenn.edu/wh

. PoemTalk - Discussion of a poem from the PennSound archive. Recorded for the 'PoemTalk' podcast. 12/12 4 pm.

University of the Arts - Gershman Hall (Gershman Y)

401 S. Broad St.; 215-446-3027.

» READ MORE: www.gershmany.org

. Making Healthy Lifestyle Choices - Keynote speaker, panel of health experts & brunch. Donation suggested: $18. 12/9 11 am.