Chestnut Hill’s winter wonderland, The Hives virtual tour, and hot chocolate celebrated in this week’s ‘Things to Do’

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Chestnut Hill on Ice

(Chestnut Hill on Ice)

Seasonal fun is at the forefront at a popular annual festival and a sweet winter treat has its day.

Chocolate celebration

Sunday, Jan. 31 is National Hot Chocolate Day. The drink has been around since at least 500 B.C. when it was first popularized by the Mayans. Now it’s viewed as a great wintertime treat, especially in places where winter is freezing cold. Even the Mayo Clinic believes that chocolate and cocoa, which is what it’s made from, can have antioxidant properties. South Jersey has a myriad of places to check out a variety of flavored hot chocolates. In Philadelphia, RimCafé is known for its decadent chocolate desserts which include its renowned hot chocolate. Two other good spots for an excellent cup – Max Brenner Chocolate Bar and Restaurant and Grand Caffé L’Aquila. If you want to make your own, here’s a quick and easy recipe version using chocolate chips. (It’s in metric measurements, but it’s easy to follow and substitute for U.S. viewers.)

National Hot Chocolate day is January 31. (National Today)

Sleep music

After the challenges of last year, getting a good night’s sleep has become difficult to impossible. Bowerbird, an arts nonprofit in Philadelphia, wants to help the city get more rest. To that end, it’s hosting the Liminal States Series, a virtual concert series you can listen to, and hopefully, drift off to, right from your own bed. Philadelphia’s own Jeff Zeigler performs on Sunday night, so it’s a great way to end the weekend and hopefully get some good rest for the week ahead. If you’re more interested in liminal states, which here refers to that lovely time between waking and sleeping, and liminal spaces, check out fascinating articles here and here. The series runs through May.

Liminal States Series: Jeff Ziegler 
virtual, Sunday, January 31, 10 p.m., Pay what you wish.

Virtual Hives

The Swedish punk/rock band The Hives has been around for twenty-plus years but it’s fair to say that 2020 challenged them more than at any point in their career, as it did for so many touring musicians. Known for their kinetic live performances, the band decided they could provide a similar experience for their fans online. They came up with what they’re billing as the first ever world wide web tour, playing live from several cities around the globe. From Thursday to Saturday they are in Sydney, Australia, São Paulo, Brazil and Stockholm, Sweden. Ticket holders can see the shows live or on replay for 24 hours afterward. You can also vote for songs to be played in their set, send the band voice recordings at and even call them during the show. And if you want a keepsake ticket, you can download one.

The Hives World Wide Web Tour
Jan. 28, 29 and 30, $15 with add-on T-shirts, vinyl albums, and memorabilia.

Ice fest

The historic neighborhood of Chestnut Hill will again host its popular Chestnut Hill on Ice festival this weekend. With COVID-19 restrictions in mind, the outdoor festival will still feature its Iceless Ice rink, the yurt village, the annual chili cook-off restaurant competition, a vodka bar, winter-themed cocktails, warming stations, live music, an opportunity to take pictures with the Snow Queens, an eight-foot ice bonfire and restaurant and store discounts. Mask-wearing is mandatory and capacity limits will be enforced.

Chestnut Hill on Ice Festival
on and near Germantown Ave. from Rex Ave. to Willow Grove Ave.
Friday, Jan. 29, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 30, noon – 6 p.m.

Farm team

The Bristol Riverside Theater in Bucks County is mounting a new production with two virtual performances through Saturday night. “Singles in Agriculture” tells the story of what happens when an Army widow meets and sees a romantic future with a religious dairy farmer. The two are both attending a convention for single farmers, thus the play’s title. Written by Abby Rosebrock and directed by Amy Kaissar, the play will be performed live on Thursday and Friday night. Real-life couple Jennifer Byrne and Timothy C. Godwin star and the production was filmed in their Queens, New York apartment. Adult language and themes.

“Singles in Agriculture”
virtual, Thursday, Jan. 28 and Saturday, Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m., $35

Deep in Germantown

As we move into February and Black History Month, the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion has created a virtual tour that would normally take place at the storied mansion. “Deep River” an interpretive docent-led tour, showcases the African American intellectuals, artisans, and entrepreneurs that lived in 19th century Philadelphia. Attendees will receive a Zoom link, identity cards, and recipe cards via email. Tickets can be purchased up until 10 a.m. the day of the tour.

“Deep Rivers” at the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion
virtual, Sunday, Jan. 31, 1:30 p.m. $5

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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