Here are the best ways to keep warm, keep busy and keep is all interesting in the next seven days:

  • Wander around some interactive art. Wonderspaces, which is in the Fashion District, opens this week, with art you can touch and experience, from a VR dinner party about aliens to a room where you paint the walls just by moving around. It’s a pretty decent antidote to the cold. Grace Dickinson takes you inside the show so you can decide for yourself whether or not it’s worthy of your 'gram.
  • If you already need a New Year’s do-over, the Lunar New Year is this weekend. There’s a midnight Chinatown lion dance (see below); it’s also a good excuse to stuff yourself with dumplings, so we’ve got all the details on how you can make your own, or where you can just get some really, really good ones. Happy Year of the Rat, friends.
  • If you’re in hibernation mode, we get it. Stay in, stay comfy, and here’s something that will make it better: Three DIY projects from local experts to help you survive winter. Make your own lip balm, fizzy bath bomb, and extremely decadent hot chocolate (yes, please).
  • There are some good do-good things to do. This weekend has a few cool local fundraisers to help Australia fight and recover from the wildfires that have been burning through the country for weeks now.
  • And, if your day needs a dance break, here’s a good local jam from Meek Mill, up for his first Grammy this weekend.
Wonderspaces is the highly Instagrammable new interactive art show that opens this week.
Wonderspaces is the highly Instagrammable new interactive art show that opens this week.


2020 Chinatown Midnight Lion Dance

Arguably Philly’s most iconic annual Lunar New Year celebration, the midnight lion dance takes to the streets of Chinatown to ring in the Year of the Rat. Follow along as the Philadelphia Suns dance their way through the neighborhood, launching from 10th and Race Streets. Be prepared for large and lively crowds. — Grace Dickinson

11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, 1000 Race St., free,

Happy Year of the Rat, everyone. (JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer)
JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Happy Year of the Rat, everyone. (JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer)


Art Star Crap Bazaar

Back for its fourth year, the Art Star Crap Bazaar features more than 20 artists selling off their “seconds” at a big discount. Items include one-offs and sample products, art that has nicks or other small imperfections, and dated pieces that need to go. Arrive early on Saturday to score the best picks. Bonus: 25% of the weekend’s profits go to charity; this year, the donation will be split between the ACLU of Pennsylvania and Portside Art Center. — G.D.

11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Art Star, 623 N. 2nd St., free to attend, 215-238-1557,

Downtown Haddonfield’s Winterfest Sidewalk Sale

Crowds fill the sidewalks every year for this major shopping event, now taking over downtown Haddonfield for the 10th winter in a row. Find specials and discounts at shops and boutiques all along Kings Highway and the surrounding side streets, as well as at tables stationed outside. Check the weather before you go. — G.D.


Founders Philly Freeze-Out

Founders Brewing Company takes over Manayunk’s Main Street this Saturday with a beer garden and sudsy samples, ice carving demonstrations, a lodge with “ice fire pits,” a vendor market, and live entertainment. Guests can also sign up for the chowder crawl, when you can try chowder full of corn and crab, andouille sausage, shrimp, and more from a dozen area restaurants. It’s an all-ages event, but the beer garden and chowder crawl are adults only. Check the weather first. — G.D.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, along Main St., pay as you go for food and drink, $9.95 for the chowder crawl,

Founders Brewing Company takes over Manayunk's Main Street this Saturday.
Courtesy Manayunk Development Corporation
Founders Brewing Company takes over Manayunk's Main Street this Saturday.


All About Bees and Honey class at Parkway Central Library

More than 200,000 honeybees call the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Parkway Central Library home. And this year, the library harvested its first honey. On Saturday, the library welcomes kids 7 to 12 (and their adults) to come taste it, and learn about the buzzing bees and the role that they play in our environment. The library’s beekeeper will be on-site, and kids will take home a copy of the book The Thing About Bees. — G.D.

2:30 p.m. Saturday, Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St., $14, 215-686-5322,


Macramé Workshop with GoodBear Handmade

If you’re looking to brighten up your home with some new plants this winter or just level up your budding jungle, this macramé workshop is for you. Knotting expert Alyssa Wagner of GoodBear Handmade will teach you how to make your own modern/retro plant hangers. The cost includes all supplies: rope, a hanging dowel, and even your brand new plant. — G.D.

6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, United by Blue, 205 Race St., $45,


Stranger Pigs

Pig Iron Theatre Company’s annual benefit cabaret and auction takes over Union Transfer on Friday. One of Philly’s most popular drag queens, Martha Graham Cracker, awkwardly slow dances at the annual Snow Ball with her high school sweetheart, the equally funny Johnny Showcase, to music from Balkan brass band West Philadelphia Orchestra. The stage is set for intrigue, against a backdrop of mysterious disappearances, unexplained lights in the sky, and government cover-ups. Expect a Stranger Things-inspired rocking ’80s soundtrack. — G.D.

8 p.m. Friday, Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., $35 ($25 for students),

Stranger Pigs, a cabaret to benefit Pig Iron Theatre, brings a Stranger-Things-inspired conspiracy-laden 80s romp to Union Transfer Friday.
John Huber
Stranger Pigs, a cabaret to benefit Pig Iron Theatre, brings a Stranger-Things-inspired conspiracy-laden 80s romp to Union Transfer Friday.


Comfort Foods of the Early 20th Century at Pennypacker Mills

Learn about the challenges and joys of cooking on a wood-burning stove at this live cooking event, featuring common foods of the early 20th century. Afterward, guests can tour the former mansion of Pennsylvania Gov. Samuel Pennypacker. Tours take about an hour, with the last one scheduled at 3 p.m. — G.D.

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Pennypacker Mills, 5 Haldeman Road., Schwenksville, free, ($2 suggested donation),


Renée Taylor’s My Life on a Diet

Renée Taylor may be best known for her recurring roles on How I Met Your Mother, Bob’s Burgers, and The Nanny. But it’s on Broadway and off-Broadway stages where her comic talents shine as a playwright and actor. Taylor and her husband, the late Joseph Bologna, produced 22 plays, four films, and nine TV movies during their 52-year marriage, including Taylor’s one-woman show, My Life on a Diet. She’s bringing the show to Bucks County Playhouse, where she’ll dish on having to live as a self-described “diet junkie” in order to work, gossiping about weight-loss tips from Joan Crawford and Barbra Streisand, and sharing funny and touching tales about working with the love of her life. — A.D. Amorosi

8 p.m. Jan 30-Feb. 2, additional 2 p.m. matinees Thursday and Saturday, Bucks County Playhouse, 70 S. Main St., New Hope, $55, 215-862-2121,


Steven Wright

There are many odd things about comedian Steven Wright — his sense of timing and use of pregnant pauses that turn the dry-as-dust stand-up into a walking ellipsis, a delivery so deadpan you have to check under his nose to see if he’s breathing. These very things, along with a George Carlin-esque love of language and a predilection for unrelatable subject matter are why comedy audiences have flocked to Wright since he made his stand-up debut in 1979. Wright brings his act to the Keswick this week and never fails to be sharp, wisely philosophical, and wonderfully weird. — A.D.A.

8 p.m. Saturday, Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside, $30-$50, 215-572-7650,

Comedian Steven Wright brings big deadpan energy to the Keswick this week.
Loshak PR
Comedian Steven Wright brings big deadpan energy to the Keswick this week.



Cheerleader seemed like they were here and gone. The Joseph Haller-fronted, Philly power-pop band released their debut, The Sunshine Of Your Youth, in 2015, then gradually disappeared from view. But after considering disbanding, the group — now a trio with Haller, Paul Impelliziri, and Josh Pannepacker — has instead experienced a rebirth, which can be heard on the shimmery and hypnotic new album Almost Forever, a collaboration with Beach House and Future Islands producer Chris Coady. Doylestown’s Commonwealth Choir opens. — Dan DeLuca

8:30 p.m. Friday, Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., $12, 267-639-4528,

Grace Potter

Five years ago — faced with the breakup of her longtime band, the Nocturnals, and a divorce from the group’s drummer — Grace Potter walked away from music. But the vocal powerhouse regrouped, remarried, became a mom, and released one of her strongest efforts ever, last year’s confessional, musically diverse Daylight. With a new touring band that includes Nocturnals guitarist Benny Yurco and multi-instrumentalist Eliza Hardy Jones, a newly energized Potter — whose ferocious vocal punch draws comparisons to Janis Joplin — is on the road for a 45-city U.S. tour that will highlight both work from the new album (produced by her husband, Eric Valentine) and older material, as well. — Nicole Pensiero

8 p.m. Friday, The Fillmore Philadelphia, 29 E. Allen St., $42.50-$45, 215-309-0150,

Grace Potter is in town this week (Steven M. Falk / Staff Photographer)
Grace Potter is in town this week (Steven M. Falk / Staff Photographer)

Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom

Drummer Allison Miller pairs an inventive rhythmic sense with eclectic tastes, which have allowed her to anchor bands led by Ani DiFranco and Natalie Merchant and share the stage with jazz royalty. In recent years, that versatility has led to collaborations with dancers, who will join her eccentric ensemble Boom Tic Boom on Saturday. One example: For “In Our Veins,” tap dancer Claudia Rahardjanoto joins the band in a piece exploring the social and environmental change wrought by five American rivers, including the Schuylkill and Delaware. — Shaun Brady

8 p.m. Saturday, Caplan Center for Performing Arts, University of the Arts, 211 S. Broad St., $20,

Jerry Blavat’s Disco, Rock n’ Roll and Soul Show

At the beginning of every year, on the same night as the white-tie-and-tails classical Academy Ball down the street, there’s another concert tradition with its own signature sound, style, and dress code: Jerry Blavat at the Kimmel. “The Geator with the Heater” stocks the stage with legendary vocalists and full 30-plus player orchestra, conducted by Hal Keshner with arrangements by Mike McCourt. This year’s show includes Gary U.S. Bonds, Peaches & Herb, The Chi-Lites, The Trammps, Bobby Wilson, The Happenings, and a salute to Johnny Maestro with Tommy Mara and The Crests. Always a must. — A.D.A.

8 p.m. Saturday, The Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St., $35-$95, 215-893-1999,

Jerry Blavat, "The Geator with the Heater" and "The Big Boss with the Hot Sauce," is a local institution.
Susan Beard
Jerry Blavat, "The Geator with the Heater" and "The Big Boss with the Hot Sauce," is a local institution.

Richard Thompson

He belongs on the short list of the greatest guitarists alive, and Richard Thompson has written a few pretty good tunes in his time, too. Last year, when he was getting set to release 13 Rivers — his 25th studio album, if you count the six he recorded with then-wife Linda Thompson between 1974 and 1982 — Thompson played a dazzling acoustic show at World Cafe Live that was a marvel of economy, wit, and brilliant songwriting. This weekend, the British guitarist, who now lives in Montclair, N.J., has three gigs within driving distance of Philadelphia, all in solo mode. — D.D.

7 p.m. Friday, the Grand Opera House, 818 N. Market St., Wilmington, $38-$44, 302-652-5577,; 8 p.m. Saturday, the Whitaker Center, 222 Market St., Harrisburg, sold out, 717-214-2767,; 7 p.m. Sunday, the Scottish Rite Auditorium, 315 White Horse Pike, Collingswood, $39-$69, 856-858-1000,

Bob Mould / Will Johnson

Although Bob Mould released one of his best solo albums last year (the uncharacteristically bright Sunshine Rock), this solo electric tour celebrates the breadth of his four-decade career, from his early days in the trailblazing Minneapolis punk band Husker Dü, to the commercial success of Sugar, through his extensive and varied solo career. Recent set lists have included surprises such as “Never Talking to You Again” (a Husker Dü song by his late bandmate Grant Hart) and a handful of new songs. Opening is the thoughtful songwriter Will Johnson of Centro-Matic. — Steve Klinge

8 p.m. Tuesday, The Queen Wilmington, 500 N. Market St., Wilmington, $34.50-$67.50, 202-730-3330,