Bright lights, holiday music and quaint décor beckon

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R & B singer John Legend performs a song as he tapes a segment for the Christmas day show of the NBC

R & B singer John Legend performs a song as he tapes a segment for the Christmas day show of the NBC "Today" television program, in New York, Thursday Nov. 30, 2006. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Holiday Season In Kennett Square
State and Union Streets
Kennett Square, PA
December 2, 9, 16, 23
12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
$5

Kennett Square, a historic town in the Brandywine Valley that’s been designated “Mushroom Capital of the World,” is also the setting for several holiday events.

On Sundays throughout December, the town is offering horse-drawn carriage rides that will make for great seasonal photos in your holiday Instagram feed.

The Kennett Holiday Village Market, opening Saturday, runs through Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Brandywine Singers will be caroling through town this Saturday and next from 2-5 p.m.

Michelle Obama
Wells Fargo Center
3601 South Broad Street
Thursday, November 29, 8 p.m.
From $29.50

Former first lady Michelle Obama recently released her highly anticipated memoir “Becoming,” that sold 1.4 million copies in its first week. She’ll be talking about the book, her time in the White House, motherhood, and her marriage to former President Barack Obama.

Interviewers and special guests at previous stops along her book tour have included Oprah Winfrey, actress Tracee Ellis Ross and a cameo appearance buy the former president. Philly’s own Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of the Roots curated the playlist for each tour stop. Limited tickets are still available.

“A Sign Of The Times”
Delaware Theater Company
200 Water Street
Wilmington, Delaware
November 28 – December 23
$25 and up

“Downtown” singer Petula Clark, among other ‘60s hitmakers, is the backdrop for this coming-of-age musical about one woman’s quest for independence in 1965. Veteran comedy writer and one-time “Hollywood Squares” perennial Bruce Vilanch wrote the musical.

53rd Annual West Cape May Community Christmas Parade
Start: West Cape May Firehouse
West Cape May, N.J.
Saturday, December 1 (raindate December 2)
5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

A community staple for more than half a century, West Cape May’s evening parade features marching bands, decorated fire trucks and classic cars, dance and music performances, floats and other entertainment.

Melissa Etheridge: The Holiday Show
State Theater New Jersey
15 Livingston Ave
New Brunswick
Friday, November 30th, 8 p.m.
$45 -$95

Grammy and Oscar winner Melissa Etheridge may be a hard-driving rock star known best for her anthemic hits “I’m the Only One” and “Come to My Window,” but she’s made music for the holiday season as well. Her 2008 album “A New Thought for Christmas” puts a guitar-driven spin on some classic Christmas songs. She’ll be performing them and original holiday songs from that release during this current tour.

John Legend: A Legendary Christmas
The Met Philadelphia
858 North Broad Street
Philadelphia
Tuesday, December 4th
8 p.m.

Crooner, musical genre shifter, and songwriter John Legend is a University of Pennsylvania grad who this year became the first African-American man to become an EGOT winner (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony). He’s on tour in support of “A Legendary Christmas,” his first jazz-infused Christmas album featuring Esperanza Spalding and Stevie Wonder. On Tuesday, you’re sure to hear some of those seasonal classics along with Legend-penned originals.

6th Annual Coffee and Tea Festival
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
100 Station Avenue, Oaks, PA 19456
(GPS users should use this address – 1601 Egypt Road and follow signs from there)
Saturday, December 1, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday, December 2, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$20 (Kids 12 and under free, but no strollers are allowed)

Take a coffee break this weekend – or a tea break if you’d prefer. Both beverages are especially welcomed during cold weather months, and you’ll find hundreds of varieties as more than 50 specialty coffee and tea vendors flock to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. And don’t forget all the delicious things that come with coffee and tea – sweeteners, pastries and chocolate are being featured as well.

Franklin Square Holiday Festival
200 N. 6th
Philadelphia
Through December 31
4 p.m. – 8 p.m. 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays
Free, pay-as-you go food and beverages

Music, food and sparkle will light up the night during the Electrical Spectacle Light Show at the Franklin Square Holiday Festival. A Santa mailbox where kids can drop letters on Santa Saturdays; celebrations of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa; pets in holiday costume; a winter beer garden with fire pits, along with a sweets station are among the attractions planned through the end of the year. The light show, accompanied by holiday music, is presented every 30 minutes starting at 4:30 p.m. except for Christmas.

Deck the Alley at Elfreths Alley
124-126 Elfreth’s Alley
Saturday December 1, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
$25

Philadelphia is rich with history – including the oldest residential street in America, Elfreth’s Alley. The “Deck the Alley” event is one of the two times each year that curious locals and tourists can see inside the homes of the street’s residents. Santa will be on hand, and the small street will be resplendent with holiday lights. The ticket price includes admission to the “Making Christmas” exhibit at the Elfreth’s Alley Museum.

A Very Philly Christmas at the Historic Houses of Fairmont Park
The Historic Houses of Fairmont Park have a busy weekend planned to begin the month of December on a note of seasonal good will. On Friday, from 5-9 p.m., Lemon Hill Mansion hosts an Ice Bar, featuring a lemon tree sculpted out of ice with real lemons. Also planned are specialty lighting designs, cider and beer on tap, food trucks, fire pits and a live DJ.
“Sounds of the Season” brings performers in various genres to the five participating houses – Historic Strawberry Mansion, Cedar Grove, Laurel Hill, Lemon Hill and Woodford — on Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
And on Sunday, Lemon Hill hosts Family Day. Kids under 12 are admitted free to all the historic houses. Lemon Hill’s program includes photos with Santa, a magician, and a performance from the Walnut Street Theater.

Holiday Tree Lighting
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
101 South Columbus Boulevard
Friday, November 30th. 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Free

Light up your holidays, courtesy of Philly’s waterfront skating rink. The annual Holiday Tree lighting ceremony features dancing, skating and musical performances. After the tree is lit, visitors will be treated to a fireworks display. West Chester’s Jackie Verna from “The Voice” and Philadelphia’s Bianca Ryan, who was the first winner of “America’s Got Talent” in 2006 as a big-voiced 11-year-old, will be taking part in the festivities.

Menorah Lighting Ceremony
Betsy Ross House
239 Arch Street
Sunday, December 2
4:00 p.m.
Free

As part of Old City’s slate of holiday activities, a menorah-lighting ceremony at the Betsy Ross House will mark the start of Hanukkah. The Old City Jewish Arts Center will host the event.

Peddler’s Village Christmas Festival
2400 Street Road
New Hope, PA
Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2
Free

Peddler’s Village is celebrating the holidays all month, but this weekend marks the two-day Christmas Festival. The all-important warming areas, hot apple cider and food trucks — as well as two Santa parades at 1:30 on both days — are festival highlights. The gingerbread house competition and display are just the icing (wink, wink) on the cake.

Amy Schumer
Tower Theater
69th and Ludlow
Upper Darby, PA
Saturday, December 1, 8 p.m.
$73 – $128.50

If you’re looking for an alternative to the outpouring of holiday cheer and Christmas music, actress/comedian Amy Schumer fits the bill. From her own TV show to standup to her movies, the often-controversial comic has drawn criticism for her vulgarity, but she’s also been hailed as an important and unapologetic voice for women’s sexual freedom. Schumer’s recent marriage and subsequent pregnancy announcement are likely to be topics explored in her current standup routine.

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