Special Events

Philadelphia

*FREE*

African Marketplace Health & Wellness Program

Health & wellness workshops, cooking demonstrations, book signings & vendors. African American United Fund, 2231 N. Broad Street; 215-236-2100. aaufpa.blogspot.com. 12/20 noon-6 pm.

*FREE*

Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Medieval-style village featuring over 50 vendors offering crafts, international gifts & more. Holiday lights, Santa & live music. Daily 11 am-9 pm. Closes 12/23. Dilworth Plaza, 1400 JFK Blvd.; 215-636-1666.

*FREE*

Classic Holiday on Main

Arts & crafts vendors in heated tents along Main St., candle making & glass blowing demonstrations, lights, music & more. Daily 11 am-3 pm thru 12/24. Manayunk Main St.; 215-482-9565.

» READ MORE: www.manayunk.com

.

*FREE*

The Comcast Holiday Spectacular

15-minute show, full of stunning original holiday imagery, music & more, shown on The Comcast Experience video wall. Closes 1/1. Comcast Center, 1701 John F. Kennedy Blvd.; 610-648-1700.

*FREE*

Homeless Memorial Day

Annual commemoration of homeless people who have died & recommitment to end homelessness. Love Park, John F. Kennedy Blvd.; 215-636-1666.

» READ MORE: www.nationalhomeless.org

. 12/22 noon-1:30 pm.

*FREE*

March of Lights: Car Menorah Parade

Largest Chanukah menorah car parade in the world. Includes food, live music & fire jugglers. Eakins Oval, 26th St. & Benjamin Franklin Parkway; 215-685-0060.

» READ MORE: www.thechabadcenter.org

. 12/20 7 pm.

*FREE*

Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad

Model trains run through dozens of festive holiday scenes. Closes 12/31. Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th St.; 215-922-2317.

.

Pennsylvania suburbs

*FREE*

Bucks County Holiday TreeFest

Display of themed holiday trees. Closes 1/10. Bucks County Conference & Visitors Bureau, 3207 Street Rd., Bensalem; 215-639-0300.

» READ MORE: www.buckscountycvb.org

.

*FREE*

Chanukah Wonderland

Features magic/balloon show, donut decorating, candle making, photos with Judah the Maccabee, giant balloon Menorah & more. Springfield Mall, 1200 Baltimore Pike, Springfield; 610-566-1108.

» READ MORE: www.JewishDelco.org

. 12/21 4-6 pm.

*FREE*

Christmas Around the Farm & Christmas Open House

Christmas decorations & displays, Santa visits, caroling hayrides & more. Closes 12/24. Linvilla Orchards, 137 W. Knowlton Rd., Media; 610-874-4678.

» READ MORE: www.linvilla.com

.

*FREE*

Christmas Bird Count

Join SLNC staff on this annual event. Silver Lake Nature Center, 1306 Bath Rd., Bristol; 215-785-1177.

. 12/20 6:30 am-5 pm.

*FREE*

Family Fun Day

Performances, workshops, crafts & more. Chanukah Wonderland, 38 W. Skippack Pike, Ambler; 215-591-9310. 12/21 1 pm. 12/24-12/25 1 pm.

*FREE*

Gingerbread House Competition & Display

A visual delight of entries are displayed throughout the holiday season in the Village Gazebo. Closes 1/3. Peddler's Village, Rtes. 202 & 263, Lahaska; 215-794-4000.

» READ MORE: www.peddlersvillage.com

.

Holiday Hoopla

Tree lighting ceremony, cookies, hot cocoa, children's crafts, music, entertainment & more. Upper Merion Township Building Park, 175 W. Valley Forge Rd., King of Prussia; 610-265-1071.

» READ MORE: www.umconcerts.org

. Donations of non-perishable food items appreciated. 12/19 6-7:30 pm.

*FREE*

Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

Rides begin at State Street at the Genesis walkway. Historic Kennett Square, 106 W. State St., Kennett Square; 610-444-8188.

. 12/21 noon-3 pm.

*FREE*

Pet Photo Night With Santa

Montgomery Mall, 230 Montgomery Mall, North Wales; 215-362-2772.

» READ MORE: www.simon.com

. 12/21 7-9 pm.

*FREE*

Real Simple Holiday Solutions

Holiday beauty & entertaining tips, gift ideas, cooking demos, Real Simple editors & more. King of Prussia Mall, 160 N. Gulph Rd., King of Prussia; 610-265-5727.

» READ MORE: www.realsimple.com

. 12/20 10 am-6 pm.

*FREE*

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church Bonfire & Carol Sing

Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cakes & cookies will also be served. St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Big Oak Rd., Lower Makefield; 215-295-1603. 12/20 7 pm.

Valley Forge Gun Show

Firearms, rifles, military surplus, hunting & fishing supplies, accessories & more. Valley Forge Convention Center, 1160 First Ave., King of Prussia; 610-975-0877.

. $9; free for children under 12. 12/19 4-8 pm. 12/20 9 am-5 pm. 12/21 9 am-4 pm.

*FREE*

Winter Holidays Celebration

Fire trucks carry Santa through the area, with stops at 7 locations. Erdenheim Civic Association, 807 Bethlehem Pike, Erdenheim;

. 12/21 5:15 pm.

Women's Winter Solstice Celebration

Celebrate the Yule season with solstice carols, pagentry & merrymaking. ContempraDance Theatre, 396 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; 610-225-3007.

» READ MORE: www.womanwisdom.com

. $20; $10 youths 13-21; free for children 8-12. 12/20 7-10 pm.

New Jersey

The Big Holiday Show & Party

Live music performances, Santa Claus appearance, carolers, holiday feast & more. Joe Palombo's Mirabella Cafe, 210 Rt-70 E., Cherry Hill; 856-354-1888.

» READ MORE: www.joepalombo.com

. $50; $25 children 12 & under. 12/20 1-5 pm.

*FREE*

Candlelight Shopping Celebration

Holiday shopping, carolers, carriage rides, children's activities, holiday music, children's crafts, trolley rides, open houses & more. Main Street, Woodbury; 856-845-8655.

. Small fee for some activities. 12/19 6-9 pm.

Chanukah on Ice

Open skating set to contemporary Jewish & Chanukah music, ice menorah carving, Chanukah crafts & refreshments. Flyers Skate Zone, 601 Laurel Oak Rd., Voorhees; 856-874-1500.

» READ MORE: www.thechabadcenter.org

. $10 advance; $12 day of event. 12/24 6-8 pm.

*FREE*

Grand Public Menorah Lighting

A giant menorah will be kindled followed by music, food, raffle & family fun. Downtown Medford, 17 N. Main St., Medford; 609-654-2608.

» READ MORE: www.chabadmedford.org

. 12/21 6 pm. Downtown Haddonfield (located at Library Point), Kings Hwy. East, Haddonfield; 856-216-7253.

» READ MORE: www.thechabadcenter.org

. 12/23 6 pm.

Holiday Concert & Cookie Walk

Encore & Harmony Show Choirs, Gloucester County Children's Choir & MCA's dance troupe, High Pointe. Visit by Santa. Dennis Flyer Theatre, 200 College Dr., Blackwood; 856-227-3091; 856-227-7200.

» READ MORE: www.mainstage.org

. $11; $8 seniors & children. 12/21 2 pm.

*FREE*

Third Friday

Art openings, music, demonstrations & more at many area businesses & galleries. Glasstown Arts District, High St., Millville; 856-293-0556.

. 12/19 5 pm.

Delaware

Christmas Holiday Tours

Tour of various historic buildings w/features such as recreations of old holiday customs & traditions, dollhouse displays, etc. Historic Houses of Odessa, 109 Main St., Odessa; 302-378-4119.

» READ MORE: www.historicodessa.org

. $10; $8 seniors & students; $3 children 5-11; free for children under 5. 12/19-12/20 10 am-4:30 pm. 12/21 1-4 pm.

Kids' Stuff

Children's performances

*FREE*

Brian Richards

Comedy magic. Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library, 1001 Powell St., Norristown; RSVP: 610-278-5100.

» READ MORE: www.brmagic.com

. 12/20 10:30 am.

Lazer Vaudeville

Juggling, magic, comedy, acrobatics, audience participation, dance, lasers, strobes & more. Kelsey Theatre, 1200 Old Trenton Rd., West Windsor; 609-570-3333,

» READ MORE: www.kelseytheatre.net

.

» READ MORE: www.lazervaudeville.com

.

$12. 12/20 2 & 4 pm.

*FREE*

Mr. Malcolm: Christmas Extravaganza

Storyteller Mr. Malcolm presents his annual Christmas extravaganza. Newfield Public Library, 115 Catawba Ave., Newfield; 856-697-0415.

» READ MORE: www.gcls.org

. 12/22 3:30 pm.

Philadelphia Orchestra: Sound All Around in the Suburbs

Introduction to musical ideas & themes with stories by Charlotte Blake Alston & Misty Tolle Pereira. Baldwin School, 701 Montgomery Ave., Bryn Mawr; 215-893-3121.

. $15. 12/20 10 & 11:15 am.

Winter Tales

Winter-themed stories read by poet/musician/artist D.J. Haslett. Grounds for Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Rd., Hamilton; 609-586-0616.

.

Included in admission. 12/21 2 pm.

Children's events

Breakfast With Santa

Giant Super Food Store, 315 York Rd., Willow Grove; 215-784-1960.

» READ MORE: www.giantfoodstores.com

. 12/20 9-10 am, 11 am-noon.

Breakfast With Santa

Continental breakfast, appearance by Santa Claus & holiday crafts. Lower Bucks County YMCA, 601 S. Oxford Valley Rd., Fairless Hills; 215-949-3400. $6. 12/20 9:30-11:30 am.

*FREE*

Family Fun Night

Thu. 6-8 pm. Prize drawings & balloon entertainers. Coastline, 1240 Brace Rd., Cherry Hill; 856-795-1773.

.

Fantasy With Lights

Outdoor holiday light display. Closes 12/30. Storybook Land, 6415 Black Horse Pike, Cardiff; 609-641-7847.

» READ MORE: www.storybookland.com

. Included in admission.

*FREE*

Giggleberry Fair: Santa

Children can share their secret wish lists with Santa. Peddler's Village, Rtes. 202 & 263, Lahaska; 215-794-4000.

» READ MORE: www.peddlersvillage.com

. 12/19 4-8 pm. 12/20 noon-7 pm. 12/21 noon-5 pm.

*FREE*

Natural Ornaments for Kids

Green Lane Nature Center, 1492 Gravel Pike, Green Lane; RSVP: 215-234-8497. 12/21 1 pm.

Santa's House 2008

Kids can meet & have their photos taken with Santa Claus. Closes 12/24. Dilworth Plaza, 1400 JFK Blvd.; 215-636-1666.

» READ MORE: www.cityhallsanta.com

.

Children's museums & attractions

Camden Children's Garden

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

. Butterfly house, maze, treehouse & more. Holiday Festival of Lights - Model trains, holiday lights, Santa Claus & more. $4. 12/19-12/20 5:30-8 pm. $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

.

Hands-on children's museum featuring an activity wonderland for infants through age 10. Hurray for Hanukkah - Stories, crafts & snacks, followed by a sing-along. 12/21 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

. Thousands of mounted & live specimens, interactive exhibits, movie room, children's activities & more. $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 info. $6.95. Tue.-Thu. 10 am-8 pm; Fri.-Sat. 10 am-9 pm; Sun. 10 am-8 pm.

Please Touch Museum

Memorial Hall, Fairmount Park, 4231 Avenue of the Republic; 215-581-3181.

. Hands-on museum featuring 6 interactive exhibit zones: Roadside Attractions, Flight Fantasy, City Capers, Wonderland, River Adventures & Centennial Exploration. Yosi Levin - Award-winning children's performer whose lively performances are infused with good humor. 12/20 11 am, 1 & 3 pm. Enchanted Colonial Village - 3/4 life-size display depicting scenes of workshops in a small colonial hamlet preparing for the holidays. Closes 12/30. Please Touch Playhouse: How the Sun Was Returned to the Sky - Playhouse uses rare pieces from the collection in this production. Thru 1/27. $15; free for children under 1. Mon.-Sat. 9 am-5 pm; Sun. 11 am-5 pm.

Sesame Place

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

» READ MORE: www.sesameplace.com

. Open for holiday shopping & dining. 12/20-12/21.

*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. Playground closed until April. Victorian Holiday Open House - Magic from the Amazing Taddo, music by Daniel Bower of Makin' Music, Philadelphia Zoo on Wheels, arts & crafts & more. 12/20 10 am-1 pm. Children must be accompanied by adult. Tue.-Sun. 10 am-4 pm.

Literary Calendar

Book signings & readings

Barnes & Noble

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

» READ MORE: www.bn.com

. Donald Gallinger:

The Master Planets

. 12/20 6 pm.

Barnes & Noble

210 Commerce Blvd, Fairless Hills; 215-269-0442.

» READ MORE: www.bn.com

. Susan Apollon:

Heartache & the Holidays

. 12/21 2-4 pm.

Family Life Center

at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, 2800 Cheltenham Ave.; 215-878-2665. Dr. Cornel West:

Hope oN Tightrope

. 12/20 2 pm.

Free Library of Philadelphia

1901 Vine St.; 215-686-5322.

» READ MORE: www.library.phila.gov

.

Sister Souljah:

Midnight: A Gangster Love Story

. 12/20 2 pm.

Sam's Club

3925 Welsh Rd., Willow Grove; 215-657-1837.

» READ MORE: www.samsclub.com

. Gary Matthews & Scott Lauber:

Phillies Confidential

. 12/20 1 pm.

Wood Turning Center

501 Vine St.; 215-923-8000.

. David Ellsworth:

Ellsworth on Woodturning

. 12/19 4-7 pm.

Poetry & lectures

Harvest Book Outlet

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

» READ MORE: www.harvestbooks.com

. Poets & Prophets. 610-328-7638. $2 donation suggested. 12/23 7 pm.

Robin's Bookstore

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

» READ MORE: www.robinsbookstore.com

. Tony Ish & Ryva Klein - Poetry reading. 12/23 6 pm.

The Rotunda

4014 Walnut St.; 215-573-3234. foundationarts.org.

Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement. 215-530-2318. $7; $5 with food, toys or clothing for the needy. 12/20 6 pm.