Celebrate the holidays on land and sea, music for jazz-lovers and a specialty train exhibit in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

Listen 5:09
Tuba Christmas (Youtube/Kimmel Center)

Tuba Christmas (Youtube/Kimmel Center)

Holidays celebrated on land and sea, seasonal music for jazz lovers and a specialty train exhibit in this week’s “Things To Do”

Beer and Cider Festival
The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
100 Station Ave.
Oaks, Pa.
Saturday, Dec. 14, 12:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
$10 – $65
If you thought festival season was over — nope. It just moved indoors. Beer and cider are the focus of this pre-holiday festival where you can test the output of 150 of the top breweries and cideries, both local and international. Admission includes a drinking mug with unlimited sampling. Holiday-themed activities include a meet and greet with Santa, an ugly sweater contest and timed releases of holiday brews. Food and non-alcoholic drink provided by popular local food trucks are available for purchase. Some proceeds will go to the Committee to Benefit the Children, a group that supports children and families battling blood disorders. Only people 21 and over will be admitted and I.D. is required for entrance. Designated non-drinking drivers get in for $10, but must also be 21.

Coffee and Tea Festival
The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
100 Station Ave.
Oaks, Pa.
Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$5  – $20
Just in time for gift-giving, this weekend also boasts the caffeine-lovers’ event of the year. On Saturday, the Coffee and Tea Festival will share the building with the aforementioned Beer and Cider Fest. Given the close proximity of the two festivals, some of you may want to attend both, but you’ll have to pay two separate entry fees. More than 50 national brands will be showcasing their coffees and teas, along with all the accompanying accessories (Tea cozies, anyone? Cold-brew coffee makers?) you can imagine. There is also a Teapot Racing event and seminars on tea-tasting and new brews.

Tuba Christmas
Kimmel Center
300 S. Broad St.
Sunday, Dec. 15 at noon and 6 p.m.
It’s the 46th annual Tuba Christmas event, which happens all around the world to celebrate the holiday season. In Philadelphia, that means over 100 tuba, sousaphone, and euphonium players from all around the Delaware Valley will unite to perform a free concert for those who love the sound of big brass instruments. Created by musician Harvey Phillips in 1974, Tuba Christmas was a tribute to his music teacher, William A. Bell, whose birthday was Christmas Day. It was first performed at the Rockefeller Plaza ice skating rink in New York City before evolving into the global celebration it is now.

Eric Mintel’s ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’
The Baby Grand At The Grand Opera House
818 N. Market St.
Wilmington, Del.
Friday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m.
The Eric Mintel Quartet has performed at the United Nations, the Kennedy Center and the White House, among other prestigious venues. The quartet, which is comprised of bandleader/pianist Mintel, sax/flute player Nelson Hill, drummer Dave Mohn and bassist Jack Hegyi, has been playing together for over 25 years. This weekend, they’ll be at the Baby Grand at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, performing selections from Vince Guaraldi’s classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The program includes selections from the quartet’s own 2008 release “Ground-Breaker.”

Ghostface Killah with Intelligenz and Miyachi
Ardmore Music Hall
23 E. Lancaster Ave.
Friday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m.
$35 – $55
Christmas comes early for fans of the Wu-Tang Clan. Ghostface Killah, arguably the Clan’s most successful solo act, will bring his energetic live show to the Philly suburbs with special guests Intelligenz and Miyachi. Known as much for his entertaining interviews and flamboyant wardrobe as for his music, Ghostface’s 1996’s “Ironman” and his 2000 release “Supreme Clientele” are considered among hip-hop’s classic albums. His last release, “Ghostface Killahs” came out in September.

23rd annual Senior Holiday Gala
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
1201 Market St.
Tuesday, Dec. 17, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Holidays can be tough for anyone. For seniors, the season is not always a happy one due to finances, health or loss. That’s why Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and CareGivers America combined to offer a reasonably-priced holiday event geared toward adults ages 55 and over. The Senior Holiday Gala brings together service providers, music, food and a raffle. Each senior will also receive a seasonal gift. The Resource Expo starts at 11 a.m. The gala at noon.

Chestnut Hill Holiday Parade
Rex and Germantown Avenue to the Fareway
Saturday, Dec. 14, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Holiday season means holiday parades. Chestnut Hill has been hosting a parade for the last seven years and during that time they’ve welcomed St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Choir, the Chestnut Hill Youth Sports Club, the Philadelphia Dance Theater, Germantown Academy and other local school, sports, arts and public service organizations. After the parade’s finale at the Fareway, where an outdoor fireplace will be lit, attendees can continue the celebration with live music, including caroling and spiritual music, treats and appearances by both Santa Claus and the Phillie Phanatic.

Holiday Garden Railway Lights
Morris Arboretum
100 E. Northwestern Ave.
Through Dec. 29, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
$8 – $20
Somehow, trains and holidays are always connected. That’s the case at the annual Morris Arboretum event, though it comes with a twist — the railway is wholly created from natural materials. Its replicas of Philadelphia landmarks, including Independence Hall, are composed of bark, seeds, stones, twigs, dried flowers and more, providing a backdrop for the trains. The light show is on display both day and night, but the night shows — after 4:30 p.m. — are ticketed and timed. It’s a good idea to plan ahead. The show has been a popular one during the holiday season since its inception in 1998.

The Philly Pops Jazz Orchestra: The Nutcracker Suite
Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center
300 S. Broad St.
Saturday, Dec. 14, 8 p.m.
$35 – $99
Inspired by jazz great Jimmy Heath, “The Nutcracker Suite” was composed and recorded by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn in 1960 based on the Tchaikovsky classic. Ellington and Strayhorn’s take is interpreted by the Philly Pops Jazz Orchestra under the direction of conductor Terrell Stafford. This is the sixth time the orchestra has performed the suite. Drummer Jeff Hamilton and trumpeter Randy Brecker will guest star.

Breakfast with Santa on the Battleship
Battleship New Jersey
100 Clinton St.
Camden, N.J.
Saturday, Dec. 14, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
$10 – $24
The USS New Jersey is no longer in service, but has evolved into a year-round events venue. Their holiday season events include “Breakfast with Santa,” a family-friendly event that offers some unique features. The meal will be served from the chow line, just like it was when the ship was an active-duty battleship. There are photo-ops available with Santa, activities and prizes, and post-breakfast, the Fire Power battleship tour.

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