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The best holiday events in Philly

The Nutcracker, Philly POPS, Riz Ahmed, Boy George and more to keep you busy this week.

The parking lot surrounding the Wells Fargo Center turns into a festive showcase of light structures, festive displays and more for Winter on Broad Street.
The parking lot surrounding the Wells Fargo Center turns into a festive showcase of light structures, festive displays and more for Winter on Broad Street.Read moreComcast Spectacor

📅 Find our full events calendar at

🚨Note: Coronavirus cases are higher than ever in the Philadelphia region and throughout the country as a whole. Even where indoor activities are allowed, we recommend doing as much as possible outdoors, socially distanced and masked, because indoor activities are inherently riskier for virus spread. Get the most recent guidelines where you are: Philly, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.


🎧 DJ Jazzy Jeff’s Magnificent Friday Night: Holiday! (Virtual / party) The weekend starts with a high-energy house party from by DJ Jazzy Jeff and surprise guests. Join the virtual bash and get access to a special video room with a VIP ticket. ($50, Dec. 18 at 9 p.m.,, add to calendar)

🎶 A Philly POPS Christmas Gift (Virtual / free / multi-day) Mandy Gonzalez, known for her roles in Hamilton and In The Heights, joins the Philly POPS for its all-virtual Christmas concert. The POPS perform holiday hits alongsidelocal groups like the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir, the Philadelphia Boys Choir and the Philly POPS Festival Chorus. The show streams from Dec. 18 to Jan. 1 online. (Free, through Jan. 1,, add to calendar)

🎶 Bucks County Playhouse’s Merry Little Christmas Concert (Virtual / multi-day) Sing and dance along to beloved holiday songs as New Hope’s Bucks County Playhouse presents a virtual Christmas concert featuring four talented singers and music from an on-stage band. The show runs online from Dec. 18 to Jan. 1. ($25, Dec. 18-Jan. 1,, add to calendar)

🎶 Trans-Siberian Orchestra Livestream Event (Virtual) The Trans-Siberian Orchestra performs its popular holiday album Christmas Eve and Other Stories via a livestream concert event (lasers included) complete with the beloved music, special behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and more. ($30, Dec. 18, 8 p.m.,, add to calendar)

🎶 Yo La Tengo’s Hanukkah Concert (Virtual) Since 2001, North Jersey indie-rock band Yo la Tengo have done an annual string of eight star-studded Hanukkah concerts, most recently at Manhattan’s Bowery Ballroom. On Friday the Ira Kaplan-fronted trio play a virtual holiday show, which will also include a comedian and a surprise opening act. ($20, Dec. 18, 8 p.m.,, add to calendar)

🎶 A Classical Holiday Concert (Virtual) The National Marian Anderson Museum and Historical Society marks its 23rd anniversary with a livestream Christmas concert performed by the National Marian Anderson Vocal Scholar Artists. A donation to the museum gets you access to the concert. (Donations encouraged, Dec. 19, 4 p.m.,, add to calendar)

🎶 Kimmel Center Presents A Soulful Christmas (Virtual / free) This would have been the eighth year of the Kimmel’s evening of gospel music, performed by more than 800 members of the choirs of more than 20 local churches. Instead, it’s a celebration on the radio and online, as WDAS’ Patty Jackson and artistic and music director J. Donald Dumpson host a special with the music from past seasons, and special guest Bishop Norman Hutchins. The show streams on the Kimmel Center’s website and on WDAS-FM (105.3). (Free, Dec. 20, noon-2 p.m.,, add to calendar)

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🍿 PFS Drive-In at the Navy Yard (In-person / drive-in / family friendly / multi-day) The Philadelphia Film Society’s drive-in movies can accommodate up to 200 cars per screening. Catch the last screening for the holidays with Elf on Saturday and A Christmas Story on Sunday. ($7-$12, Dec. 19-20, 6 p.m.,, map, add to calendar)


👯 The Lady Hoofers Present The Tapcracker at Home (Virtual / dance / multi-day) Philly’s tap dance troupe present their annual holiday showcase virtually with on-demand interviews with dancers and choreographers, favorite dance performances and more. ($8-$25, Dec. 18-20,, add to calendar)

🎄 The Pennsylvania Ballet Presents George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (Virtual / kid-friendly / multi-day) Not exactly like being there, but there’s no one to stop you if you want to dress up to watch. A streaming archival version of the Pennsylvania Ballet’s Nutcracker will be available on the Pennsylvania Ballet’s website. ($50, $25 on Christmas Eve, through Dec. 25,, add to calendar)

🎭 People’s Light Presents A Christmas Carol in Concert (Virtual / multi-day) A musical celebration of Dickens’ story, hosted by actor Ian Merrill Peakes. Features newly arranged 19th-century English carols, original music, and excerpts from A Christmas Carol. ($25, through Jan. 3,, add to calendar)

🎭 Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (Virtual / multi-day) Actor and playwright Anthony Lawton reprises the solo performance of his own adaptation of the Dickens classic for the Lantern Theater Company in partnership with Mirror Theater Company. Presentation was filmed at St. Stephen’s Theater under COVID-19 guidelines. ($20, through Dec. 27., add to calendar)


⛸️ Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest (In-person / kid-friendly / multi-day) There’s ice skating, designated areas for seasonal food and drinks, festive decor and more at the winter favorite on the Delaware River. COVID times means adjustments like an open-air lodge, capacity restrictions on the rink, mask requirements and frequent cleaning. ($5 for admission, $10 for skate rental, through March 7,, map, add to calendar)

⛸️ Ice Rink at Dilworth Park (In-person / outdoors / kid-friendly / multi-day) Dilworth Park marks the holidays with the return of its popular ice skating rink, which, in addition to skating, has super Instagrammable views of Center City and City Hall. This year, the winter park’s food-and-drink cabin becomes an open-air restaurant with a range of food and cocktails, with winter decor and toasty heat lamps. Masks, social distancing and timed tickets required. ($5-14 for skating; $10 for skate rental, through Feb. 28,, map, add to calendar)


🌟 Winter on Broad Street: A Holiday Light Spectacular at Wells Fargo Center (In-person / outdoors / kid-friendly / multi-day) The Wells Fargo Center transforms into an open-air holiday light showcase complete with 193 light sculptures and half-a-million lights over a 160,000-square-foot area, making social distancing easy. Cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, burgers, and desserts are available from designated dining areas, in addition to hot chocolate, spiked drinks, soda and more. For shopping, there’s an expansive marketplace. ($20-$32.50 for adults, $15-$27.50 for children under 13, free for kids under 5, through Jan. 3,, map, add to calendar)

Old City Window Decorating Contest (In-person / outdoors / free) Stroll through Old City and find decorated windows at a variety of favorite shops, galleries and other businesses for a multi-week window decorating contest. The winners were selected Dec. 13 by popular vote. (Free,, map, add to calendar)

» READ MORE: 12 free Philly-area holiday light shows to check out this season

A Longwood Christmas (In-person / outdoors / kid-friendly) One of the area’s most popular holiday displays returns for the season. Timed ticketing, masks and social distancing are all required in the majestic Longwood Gardens. Wander the grounds and find half-a-million twinkling lights, seasonal plants, holiday music, fountain shows and more. (Free-$30, through Jan. 10,, map, add to calendar)

🌟 Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show at Franklin Square (In-person / outdoors / free) Ooh and ahh at more than 100,000 twinkling lights at Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show, which returns for the holiday season on Nov. 19. The show, set to festive music recorded by the Philly POPS, starts at 5 p.m. nightly and occurs every 30 minutes. (Free, through Dec. 31,, map, add to calendar)

Shady Brook Farm Holiday Light Show (In-person / outdoors / kid-friendly) Yardley’s Shady Brook Farm is bedecked with more than three million lights this year. You can enjoy the magic with a drive-through light show. You can also buy a Christmas tree, get your holiday shopping done and more. (Drive through, $25-$35, through Jan. 10,, map, add to calendar)

🎊 New Year’s Resolution Wall at the Kimmel Center (Virtual / kid-friendly / free) You can post your 2021 New Year’s resolutions on social media, tagged with #KimmelResolutions2021 and they’ll be collected and shared by the Kimmel on multiple platforms, including the huge digital sign outside of the theater. (Free, through Jan. 14,, add to calendar)


🛍️ Holiday Virtual Art Star Craft Bazaar (Virtual / multi-day) In normal years, the craft bazaar’s in-person markets are beloved among fans of Philly’s art and crafts scene. This year, the market goes virtual with a huge selection of handmade goods ranging from clothing to prints and much more. Shopping continues until stock runs out — which is expected to be in January. (through early January,, add to calendar)

🛍️ Fleisher Art Memorial’s Handmade Craft Market (Virtual / multi-day) A curated selection of Philadelphia makers showcase their works at Fleisher’s multi-week virtual market. Shop online for jewelry, soaps, pottery, prints, skincare products and more and pick up your items from Fleisher during the week of December 14. (through Dec. 12,, map, add to calendar)

🛍️ Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market (In-person / outdoors) Shop local at Dilworth Park’s open-air holiday market. Browse handmade art works, home decor, clothing, gifts and more from more than 50 local makers at the shopping pop-up. The market is open daily — other than Christmas Day — through Jan. 1. Masks and social distancing are required. (Free, through Jan. 1,, map, add to calendar)