Celebrating Christmas and Kwanzaa in this week’s ‘Things to Do’

Celebrations including Disney, Kwanzaa, and live and virtual shows are highlighted this holiday weekend.

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Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse at the

Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse at the ''Disney on Ice'' Red Carpet Reception at the Staples Center on December 11, 2014 in Los Angeles. (BigStock)

A vaccination card is now as important as a credit/debit card when you head to Philadelphia restaurants. As of Jan. 3, they will be required for all venues that serve food — including catering halls, sports venues, and movie theaters. (Grocery stores are one exception.) For the first two weeks of the mandate, a negative COVID test taken within the last 24 hours will also be accepted.

“A Christmas Carol”

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Charles Dickens couldn’t have known that his story of the miserly Scrooge would endure for 178 years, but people are still lining up to watch the multiple productions of this timeless classic. Given the ongoing pandemic, having virtual options means you can enjoy it from the relative safety of your own home. The University of Delaware’s version, featuring choral music, streams for free through Dec. 26, and the on-demand version of the sold-out live stage play at People’s Light is available through Jan. 6.

Being _____ at Christmas

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The newly renamed Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History hosts a virtual celebration for people of all faiths — or none — on Christmas Day. The event allows you to fill in the blank however you like and presents a day of activities and performances including hand- and string puppet-making, storytelling, and prayer.

  • What: Online holiday celebration
  • Where: Via the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History website, Zoom, and Facebook
  • When: Saturday, Dec. 25, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • How much: Free, suggested donation, $18

Koziar’s Christmas Village

Koziar’s Christmas Village
(Koziar’s Christmas Village/Facebook)

In 1948, William Koziar started decorating his family’s home for Christmas to please his wife and four kids. Its design ultimately became so elaborate his neighbors dubbed the Koziar home ‘The Christmas House.’ Now, 73 years later, it’s evolved into The Christmas Village, one of the foremost attractions of the holiday season. The village boasts over one million lights at its indoor and outdoor displays, and is accessible to both strollers and wheelchairs. The attraction is still owned by the Koziar family.

  • What: Seasonal attraction
  • Where: Koziar’s Christmas Village, 782 Christmas Village Rd. Bernville, Pa.
  • When: Through Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022
  • How much: Free for ages 3 and under; $10 for ages 4 – 10; $12 for ages 11-64; $11 for seniors 65+

Disney On Ice: Let’s Celebrate

You can always count on Disney to supply some holiday magic. Their “Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate” skates into the Wells Fargo Center for a family-friendly show that goes through the holiday season. Mickey Mouse is the host for a show that encompasses 50 of Disney’s most beloved characters including Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck, as well as the full roster of Disney princesses, including Cinderella, Ariel, and Tiana.

Kwanzaa 2021 @ AAMP

This photo taken Dec. 8, 2009 shows Ruth Ndiagne Dorsey with a Kwanzaa setting set up for a media photo at her church, The Shrine of the Black Madonna, in Atlanta.
This photo taken Dec. 8, 2009 shows Ruth Ndiagne Dorsey with a Kwanzaa setting set up for a media photo at her church, The Shrine of the Black Madonna, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

The 7-day celebration of Kwanzaa, created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 is a celebration based on African traditions. A kinara is lit every day from Dec. 26 – Jan. 1 in conjunction with seven principles: umoja (unity), kujichagulia (self-determination), ujima (collective work and responsibility), ujamaa (cooperative economics), nia (purpose), kuumba (creativity), and imani (faith). AAMP’s in-person celebration includes a drum circle, a candle-lighting ceremony, and a conversation about self-care and wellness. AAMP also hosts, in partnership with Franklin Square, a daily Kwanzaa celebration starting at 5:30 p.m. through Dec. 31. The Free Library of Philadelphia hosts a virtual celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 28 at 4 p.m., and Boathouse Row lights up in red, black, and yellow with a virtual ceremony on Dec. 26 at 4 p.m.

  • What: Holiday celebration
  • Where: African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St.
  • When: Sunday, Dec. 26, 9:30 a.m.
  • How much: Daytime events at AAMP: $10 seniors, students, and children, $14 adults; candle-lighting in the evening is free and open to the public

Carol Riddick presents “A Holiday to Remember”

Philadelphia chanteuse Carol Riddick is one of the city’s most beloved vocalists. She’s worked with Jill Scott, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Anthony Hamilton while being an independent artist for the last two decades. Riddick’s fans know to show up for her compelling blend of jazz, soul, and R&B and her incandescent stage presence. “The Christmas Song” her latest single in memory of her parents, is now available on all streaming platforms.

  • What: Live concert
  • Where: South Jazz Kitchen, 600 N. Broad St.
  • When:. Thursday, Dec. 23, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 24, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • How much: $25 per person

Rev. TJ McGlinchey and Friends: Tribute to Jim Henson

Popular local folkie Rev. TJ McGlinchey and his merry band are well-known in the region for their performances at the Philadelphia Folk Festival and at other local venues. His fun-loving tribute to the music of the Muppets has helped make him a crowd favorite. This week, McGlinchey drops into Word Cafe Live for a Muppets holiday show hosted by Percy the Puppet.

  • What: Tribute concert
  • Where: World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.
  • When: Thursday, Dec. 23, 8 p.m.
  • How much: $14

Holiday Garden Railway

Morris Arboretum offers one of Philadelphia’s most popular attractions, which is why the nighttime version of its popular Holiday Garden Railway is sold out for the season. But you can also view it during the daytime, when crowds are likely to be fewer. The quarter-mile of track, with buildings all made of all-natural materials, features seven loops, tunnels with 15 rail lines, and nine bridges. It’s set against the backdrop of the arboretum’s winter garden. WHYY visited during the daytime. Check out the video above.

  • What: Seasonal attraction
  • Where: Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave.
  • When: Through Sunday, Jan. 2, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • How much: Included with garden admission

Holiday Trolley Light Tours

When Kanye West wrote the song “All of the Lights,” he wasn’t specifically referencing Christmas lights, but it makes for a good soundtrack for all the holiday light displays around the city. If you want to see them via a guided trolley tour, there are still a few times available for both public and private tours. Tours are BYOB, there is live music on the trolleys, ample opportunity for holiday sing-alongs, and even complimentary pizza.

  • What: Seasonal tour
  • Where: Picks up and drops off at 111 S. Independence Mall
  • When: Through Sunday, Dec. 30, various times
  • How much: $55-$60

Twilight Tours Hagley Museum

(Hagley Museum)

If you’re looking for something family-friendly to do in the week between Christmas and New Year’s, Wilmington’s Hagley Museum is a good option. Eleutherian Mills is the first DuPont family home built in America, according to their website. The 2021 theme “Home for the Holidays: A Celebration of Family” is one that should resonate with relatives enduring COVID uncertainty. The tour includes a look at the entries for the gingerbread house contest.

  • What: Seasonal historic home tour
  • Where: Hagley Museum, 298 Buck Rd. Wilmington, Del.
  • When: Tuesday, Dec. 28 and Wednesday, Dec. 29, 4:30 p.m.
  • How much: $15

Keep checking with “Things To Do” as we continue to provide our picks for entertainment during the industry’s COVID-19 recovery. Please consult our coronavirus updates to keep up with the latest information regionally.

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