Christmas Day Washington’s Crossing Reenactment
Spend Christmas afternoon on the banks of the Delaware watching a re-creation of George Washington’s Christmas river crossing. The free event features a speech from Washington, several hundred reenactors, and replicas of the same flat-bottomed wooden boats used to surprise the Hessians in 1776. Arrive early to stake out a good view. — Grace Dickinson
1 p.m. Tuesday, Washington Crossing Historic Park, 1112 River Rd., Washington Crossing. Free. 215-493-4076. washingtoncrossingpark.org
Collingswood’s Reading of The Grinch and A Christmas Carol
Collingswood’s sleek vintage furniture shop Dig This hosts a community reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Christmas Carol. Guests are encouraged to bring holiday snacks for sharing, as well as nonperishable food items to benefit the Food Bank of South Jersey. — G.D.
5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Dig This, 717 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, N.J. Free. 856-425-6050. icandigthis.com
Liberty Flea at Bok
Those looking to fit in last-minute holiday shopping can head to Bok’s gym, where vintage and artisan vendors set up for a final holiday edition of Liberty Flea this Saturday. From hot sauces to handmade soaps, vintage maps, and vegan baked goods, source local gifts for any loved one at the dog-friendly South Philly market. — G.D.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Bok, 1901 S. 9th St. $5. libertyflea.com
A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place
Millions of twinkling lights transform Sesame Place every year into a winter wonderland that kiddos are sure to love. This year’s holiday festivities include the all-new 1-2-3 Christmas Tree show, featuring an illuminated 30-foot, pixel-based tree projecting animated images and a festive soundtrack for guests to dance along. Train rides, photo-ops with characters like Rudolph, and other all-ages activities abound. — G.D.
4:30 p.m. select dates through Jan. 1, Sesame Place, 100 Sesame Rd., Langhorne. $34.95 per person and up. sesameplace.com/philadelphia
David Wax Museum
The global music-minded folk band David Wax Museum first gained national attention at the Newport Folk Festival in 2010 and has since continually explored a border-crossing mix referred to as “Mexo-Americana.” The Missouri-born Wax began his musicological journey as a student at Harvard University. He plays the guitar-like jarana; his wife, Suz Slezak, plays fiddle and quijada, an instrument made from a donkey’s jaw bone. As a full band, they recently completed a tour with Los Lobos, but this is an intimate duo show. — Dan DeLuca
8 p.m. Thursday, the Locks at Sona, 4417 Main St., Manayunk. $15-$18. 267-606-3595. sonapub.com
A French Noel
Renaissance wind band Piffaro aims to evoke midnight Mass circa 16th-century Paris with its weekend concert series A French Noel. The musicians will be accompanied by pantomimists and a voice ensemble, as well as images from centuries-old illustrated Christmas carols — featuring scenes of the French countryside as well as bagpipe-playing boars — sourced from the Free Library of Philadelphia’s rare book department. Concerts will be held at three locations. — G.D.
7:30 p.m. Friday, Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 23 S. 38th St.; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Ave.; 3 p.m. Sunday, Immanuel Church Highlands, 2400 W. 17th St., Wilmington, Del. $29 and up. piffaro.org
Joey DeFrancesco: Home for the Holidays
The world would truly be less rich without Philly’s Joey DeFrancesco. Born into the legacy of a father and grandfather who furthered the idea of what the sound (and soul) of jazz organ could be, DeFrancesco made his mark first in his teens, by gigging with Miles Davis and producing groovy early solo albums such as 1989’s All of Me. He has been busy reinventing jazz organ form ever since then, with recent solo albums such as 2017’s Project Freedom. This year, the organist teamed up with legendary Irish vocalist-composer Van Morrison on audacious albums such as The Prophet Speaks and You’re Driving Me Crazy, the latter of which finds DeFrancesco’s name billed next to Van the Man’s. DeFrancesco never fails to impress, and his Home for the Holidays showcase (taken from his jazz Christmas album of the same name) should be as warm as it is innovative. — A.D. Amorosi
7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, SOUTH, 600 N. Broad St. $30. 215-600-0220. southjazzkitchen.com
Back in 1982, the Kingston, Jamaica, dance hall singer and DJ Sister Nancy (whose given name is Ophlin Russell) recorded “Bam Bam,” her signature hit that became one of the most sampled tracks in reggae. Among the rappers who’ve made use of the song — included on her recently reissued One, Two album — are Kanye West, who used it on Life Of Pablo’s “Famous,” and Jay-Z, who made it the basis for “Bam,” on 4:44 last year. This is good for Sister Nancy, who now lives in Paterson, N.J. and retired from her job as an accountant in 2016 to get back into the music game. — D.D.
7 p.m. Saturday, Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St. $20. 215-291-4919. kungfunecktie.com
Benjamin Louisiana and Thomas Crystal of Philadelphia’s Work Drugs have been perfecting their smooth, seductive, and unironic yacht rock since 2011, with a steady wave of albums, EPs, covers, and singles. September’s Holding on to Forever is their best yet, a confident and shimmering collection of breezy melodies, rolling rhythms, and gentle beats. It’s soft rock with sharp details — a sax solo here, some plucky guitar there, pillowy synths everywhere. Their eighth annual hometown Christmas show, featuring an eight-piece band, is Saturday at Johnny Brenda’s, with promising locals Pilkington and the Yetis (from Allentown) opening. — Steve Klinge
9 p.m. Saturday, Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. $10-$12. 215-739-9684, johnnybrendas.com
Good Old War
In lieu of a fifth album, Philadelphia trio Good Old War released a series of three related EPs: Part of Me (October 2017), Part of You (February), and finally, this month’s Part of Us. Full of back-porch harmonies and earnest romanticism, the EPs build on the band’s shuffling, sepia-toned folk rock; the songs ruminate on the transience of time and relationships. Good Old War celebrates the conclusion of the EP series and wraps up a year of mini-tours with a sold-out show at Johnny Brenda’s. — S.K.
8 p.m. Sunday, Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. Sold out. 215-739-9684. johnnybrendas.com
Being __ at Christmas
Every Christmas, the National Museum of American Jewish History invites those of any background — religious or otherwise — to share in a day of festivities. In addition to the museum’s Rube Goldberg exhibit, this year’s activities include clay molding with Old City’s The Clay Studio, a screening of the Three Stooges' Soup to Nuts, storytime sessions, face painting, and a Rube Goldberg machine-themed make-and-take crafts area. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own food; there’s also a kosher snack stand for midday noshing. — G.D.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 South Independence Mall East. $12 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and under. 215-923-3811. nmajh.org
The Nightmare Before Christmas Dance Party
Creepy carols and dark tunes set the tone for The Barbary’s second annual The Nightmare Before Christmas dance party. Come dressed in costume and look forward to Polaroid photos with Jack Skellington Santa, free Christmas cookies from Insomnia Cookies, and dancing at the Fishtown club all night long. — G.D.
10 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday, The Barbary, 951 Frankford Ave. $7 cover, $10 after midnight. facebook.com/thebarbary