Fun things to do in Philly this holiday weekend

HughE Dillon

Being ____ at Christmas with the NJMAH

The National Museum of Jewish American History is hosting a virtual, inclusive and free family day for anyone looking for a fun way to spend Christmas Day, when little else is available. Activities will include a Shabbat at 9:30 a.m., a kids concert at 10:10 a.m., stories and crankies at 11:30 a.m., hand and string puppet Making at 12:45 p.m., plus much more in between. The day will end, with a Concert: “West African Stories and Jewish Prayers For Everybody” from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. with the Epichorus Duo featuring Malian Griot and Kora player, Yacouba Sissoko, along with multi-instrumentalist and bandleader, Rabbi Zach Fredman. Those interested can watch through Zoom, Facebook Live or the museum’s website, and for those who can’t watch on the 25th, the content will be available again beginning Sunday, Dec. 26.


There’s still some time to pack in some holiday cheer at Uptown Beer Garden, which was transformed into U-Ville earlier this holiday season. Inspired by the Dr. Seuss classic, Uptown Beer Garden’s brand new space this year has been converted from top to bottom into a giant outdoor-indoor pop-up bar just in time for the holidays. Philadelphians coming for Christmas Village and the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market will be able to warm up under the giant tent, take in the thousands of sparkling lights, enjoy the festive tree decorations, warm up by the fire-pits and enjoy a trip down U-Ville lane. There’s even fake snow. Plus, there will be plenty of holiday fare in both the food and drinks section to indulge in — so you could say it’s a no-brainer.

HughE Dillon

1500 John F. Kennedy Blvd.,

Kwanzaa at the African American Museum in Philadelphia

Beginning Sunday, the museum will be hosting a series of events celebrating the start of Kwanzaa, its history and traditions. More celebrations will then continue Thursday, Dec. 30. According to a release, both days will begin with the lighting of candles on the Kinara (candle-holder) with Philadelphia’s Afrocentric storytellers, Keepers of the Culture. Several community partners, including the Kwanzaa Cooperative, Penn Medicine, and teaching artists Jihan Thomas and Text Rich Ali, will lead workshops throughout the day that use songs, stories, art and discussion to highlight the traditions of Kwanzaa. The events are free for museum members and are included with general admission with timed tickets. Philadelphians can register online. Additionally, as part of Franklin Square’s Winter in Franklin Square attraction, AAMP will offer hands-on activities led by the museum’s teaching artists and a musical percussion set by Sistas Laying Down Hands. The free activities will take place daily Dec. 26 to Dec. 31 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the heated tent at Franklin Square.

Pennsylvania Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’

When the holidays begin to approach, there are a few shows that genuinely get everyone in the festive spirit. “The Nutcracker” is a classic and has that nostalgic holiday feel that audiences crave, and this year the Pennsylvania Ballet promises not to disappoint. Over a million people have seen the holiday staple over the past 50-plus years in the City of Brotherly Love and the performance of “The Nutcracker” has become a tradition for many Philadelphians. The tale of “The Nutcracker” follows Marie and the Prince; together the duo battle a Mouse King, dance in a glistening snowfall and celebrate in the land of sweets to create a magical journey that looks just as beautiful as it sounds. Every detail is exquisite from the costumes to the sets, and audiences feel as though they are completely transported to another land as the iconic Tchaikovsky score is performed live by the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra. “The Nutcracker” will be playing at the Academy of Music until Dec. 31. Tickets are now available online. 

240 S. Broad St.,

Naughty or Nice at Franky Bradley’s 

On Friday, Franky Bradley’s is presenting “Naughty Or Nice,” a holiday cabaret fundraiser with an impressive line-up of Philadelphia’s top-notch drag and burlesque artists performing classic holiday hits while benefitting a local youth organization, according to a release. Hosted by Maria Topcatt and Flirt Vonnegut, “Naughty Or Nice” is an extravagant, holiday-themed cabaret show fit with an ensemble of beloved local performers including Eric Jaffe, Icon Ebony Fierce, Miss V, Sapphira Cristal, HoneyTree EvilEye, Vera Valentinaa and more. In addition to one “fabulously fierce evening of elaborate song and dance,” a raffle will also be held with festive prizes under Franky Bradley’s Christmas tree. While enjoying the sights and sounds of performances, Philadelphians can also do some good. In the spirit of giving, all proceeds garnered from “Naughty Or Nice” will be donated to the Attic Youth Center, a local organization that creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to develop into healthy, independent and civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community, while being Philadelphia’s only independent LGBTQ youth center.

Franky Bradley’s

1320 Chancellor St.,

More from our Sister Sites