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Take a HoliDay on the Parkway

Seven area institutions will roll out their red carpets.

"The Velveteen Rabbit"
"The Velveteen Rabbit"Read more

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway will turn into a holiday highway on Sunday, with programs and attractions for friends and families.

With seven institutions participating, there is bound to be something for everyone, and for those who want to indulge in more than one event, another is just a block or two away.

The Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul at 18th Street and the Parkway will present its Christmas Concert of Sacred Music at 2 p.m., featuring the Cathedral Basilica Choir, Brass Quartet, Percussion and Handbells.

For those who wish to worship, Mass will be offered at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 5 p.m.

The Franklin Institute at 20th Street will open at 9:30 a.m. with hot apple cider and doughnuts for the 10 a.m. showing of

The Polar Express

, featuring Tom Hanks, in the Imax Theater, which will be followed by regular showings at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art at the end of the Parkway will open at 10 a.m. with the "Renoir Landscapes" exhibit, and there will be an Early Bird Read and Learn for ages 3-5 at 10:15 a.m., and Family Gallery Tours Greatest Hits for ages 6-10 at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The Four Seasons at 18th Street also will open at 10, with a brunch until 2 p.m. and holiday jazz from the Blue Turning Grey jazz trio from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Academy of Natural Sciences at 19th Street will open at 10 a.m., featuring the exhibit

Amazon Voyage: Vicious Fishes and Other Riches


Take a detour away from the Parkway to visit Eastern State Penitentiary at 22d Street and Fairmount Avenue for its new Winter Adventure Guided Tours at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Nearby, the Free Library of Philadelphia at 19th and Vine Streets will complete the festivities at 2 p.m. with excerpts from

The Nutcracker

, a performance from the Sundays on Stage series with ballet, costumes, and rich music.

A bunny on Broad Street

The new Suzanne Roberts Theatre invites families to watch a plush toy rabbit come to life from the power of a boy's love when Enchantment Theatre Company and Healy Entertainment bring a new version of

The Velveteen Rabbit

to the stage.

The classic tale by Margery Williams will be performed with larger-than-life puppets, masked actors, and magic, along with picturesque scenery and an original score by Grammy- and Tony Award-winning composer Don Sebesky and award-winning lyricist Gloria Nissenson, developed to captivate audience members of all ages.

Gaze at a star

Tickets for Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) in concert might be sold out, but that doesn't mean you can't see one of the stars of the popular children's series. Radio Disney AM 640 Philadelphia will host a meet and greet with

Hannah Montana

costar Mitchel Musso, known to fans as Oliver, at Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne Saturday in celebration of the arrival of the

Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour


Musso, who plays Hannah's best friend in the show, will meet with fans and sign autographs from noon to 1:30 p.m., while Radio Disney entertains the crowd with music, games, and prizes.

Experience 'Great Joy'

Philadelphia native and Newbery Medal-winning author Kate DiCamillo will be back in town this weekend to share

Great Joy

, her most recent children's book. With artwork by Bagram Ibatoulline, illustrator of last year's

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

, the book was released in November in celebration of the holiday spirit.

That holiday spirit will be found at three locations on Saturday and Sunday, with readings, signings, and a question-and-answer session with DiCamillo at Children's Book World in Haverford, Booktenders Secret Garden Children's Books in Doylestown, and Barnes & Noble in Fairless Hills.