Fun things to do in Philly this weekend

Mabeline “Grinchester” Diorio
Christopher Ash

Looking for some fun and unique things to do in Philly this weekend? We’ve got you covered.

Free Falafel at Pita Chip

According to a release, in celebration of the anniversary of Pita Chip’s Co-founder Omar Alsaadi’s emigration to the U.S. in 1979, the modern Middle Eastern quick-serve restaurant with locations at 1600 N. Broad St. on Temple University’s Campus and at 3601 Market St. in University City will be offering complementary falafel wraps or bowls. The first 79 customers at each location on Friday will be the ones to indulge beginning at 11 a.m., when the shops open (limit one per person). Additionally, anyone who misses the giveaway can purchase falafel bowls or wraps for only $0.79 throughout the day, and no purchase is necessary for the giveaway. The release also states that Alsaadi moved to the United States from Damascus, Syria, in December of 1979, and in conjunction with his “Americaversary,” he and his partners are excited to commemorate the milestone with a giveaway. Pita Chip’s menu also includes scratch-made hummus and sides, as well as salad bowls, rice bowls, and wraps featuring chicken shawarma, beef shawarma, falafel, and roasted vegetables.

Mike Prince

various locations,

Lyric Fest

This Saturday, renowned writer Emily Dickinson will be honored and commemorated with a special concert centered on her life and writings titled: “My Letter to the World.” This unique program of letters and narration features 20th and 21st-century song settings by Arthur Farwell, Aaron Copland, Andre Previn, Daron Hagen, Lori Laitman, Richard Hundley, Logan Skelton, Scott Gendel, and Jake Heggie, among others, sung by soprano Christine Lyons, mezzo-soprano Pascale Spinney, tenor Aaron Crouch and baritone Gregory Feldmann. As the release states, joining them are Lyric Fest co-founders and artistic directors Laura Ward and Suzanne DuPlantis, with Ward on piano and DuPlantis serving as narrator. “My Letter to the World” will take place this Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill. Tickets start at $25.

8855 Germantown Ave.,

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 from Dec. 10 to 31. Tickets are now available online. 

Pennsylvania Ballet
‘The Nutcracker’ will be playing at the Academy of Music from Dec. 10-31.Alexander Iziliaev

240 S. Broad St.,

Cookie Decorating at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

It wouldn’t quite be the holiday season without cookies, and this weekend at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you can take a crack at creating your own. This Friday, from 5 to 7 p.m., Philadelphians can choose to dive into gingerbread people or winter forest sugar cookie kits, while also sipping on hot cocoa or warm caramel apple cider. Those interested can reserve their cookie kit in advance with their admission tickets, which come out to be $50 per member and $55 general reservation (each reservation is for 2 people and children are welcome).

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway,

Mabeline’s ‘You Really Are a Heel’

We’ve heard a lot about the Grinch who stole Christmas, but what about the Grinch’s ex? According to a release, this holiday season, Whoville’s celebrated cabaret star, Mabeline “Grinchester” Diorio, better known as the ex-wife of the Grinch who stole Christmas, comes to Philadelphia for a limited-engagement cabaret experience that’s sure to light the tree and spill the tea on the holiday’s most notorious villain. Produced by the Bearded Ladies and the House of Diorio, Mabeline’s “You Really Are a Heel” will play the Ruba Club from December 9 to the 18, just in time for the holiday season. There are two specific performances to look out for, however: On Saturday at 10 p.m., Mabeline will be joined by Edith Piaf, as channeled by Bearded Ladies Artistic Director John Jarboe for a themed performance. Then on Sunday at 1 p.m., you can enjoy a dose of Mabeline during the daytime for this specialty showcase. For all performances, pay-what-you-can tickets will be available at the door, and no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Ticketing for all additional programming will be available at point of sale, and VIP tickets include reduced admission to additional programming.

Christopher Ash

416 Green St.,