Disney on Ice, Electron’s holiday concert, A Longwood Christmas, Kwanzaa, and more in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

Dec. 22 - 25: Disney on Ice, A Longwood Christmas, Electron’s holiday concert are among weekend highlights in the area.

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File photo: A Longwood Christmas Longwood Gardens. (Photo courtesy of Longwood Gardens)

File photo: A Longwood Christmas Longwood Gardens. (Photo courtesy of Longwood Gardens)

It’s the time of year when three holidays converge — Hanukkah ends, loved ones gather around the Christmas tree, and Kwanzaa begins Monday, Dec. 26. The jampacked holiday weekend makes for plenty of celebratory events in the Delaware Valley, including the Philadelphia Orchestra’s annual Christmas concert, a musical tribute to the Muppets, and hometown supergroup, Electron’s holiday celebration.

Editors note: This week’s “Things To Do” includes some events throughout the week as many venues are closed on Christmas Day.

Holiday-themed | Kids | Music | Outdoors | New Jersey | Delaware


Being ___at Christmas

(Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History/Mario Manzoni)
  • Where: Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 Independence Mall East
  • When: Sunday, Dec. 25, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • How much: $10 for kids up to age 18, $15 for adults

The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History annual holiday celebration Being ___ at Christmas is back and open to people of all faiths this Sunday. Kid-friendly activities include performances from Lolly Hopwood,  and the Philadelphia Suns Lion Dancers. Kiddos will also get the opportunity to create arts and crafts, or check out the sensory-friendly play space. Classic winter films will screen throughout the day in the museum’s theater.


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Kwanzaa Celebration

  • Where: African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St.
  • When: Monday, Dec. 26, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • How much: Free with museum admission, $10 for seniors, students, and kids up to 12, 12 and over, $14

Celebrate umoja (unity) on the first day of Kwanzaa at AAMP’s Kwanzaa Celebration. Nikki Powerhouse will be your host and guide through a poetry reading from Reet Starwind, African dance and drumming, and an open mic for anyone wishing to perform a Kwanzaa-themed spoken word. Wearing traditional kente or ankara print garb is encouraged; food from various parts of the African diaspora will be available.


A Longwood Christmas

(Longwood Gardens)

Longwood Gardens is one of the area’s most beautiful spaces year-round, but during the holiday season, A Longwood Christmas makes it extra special. The grounds are decorated in the spirit of the season, trees are festooned with gilded garlands and even the gift shop gets a holiday makeover. Holiday light shows synchronized to sound and live music performances are available at select times.

Reverend TJ McGlinchey and Friends – Jim Henson Holiday Tribute

Local guy TJ McGlinchey is the ringmaster of the Jim Henson Holiday Tribute, which he’s done semi-annually in the past. This year, he culled the ranks of Philly’s Most Muppety, opting for a variety show format for the first time. That means comedians, visual artists, puppeteers, and jugglers will be added in addition to the celebratory live music and interactive entertainment blend.

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Ugly Sweater Party

Ugly Christmas sweaters are de rigueur this time of year but this Ugly Sweater Party includes knits of all kinds… Just make sure they’re really ugly because, for this event, they’re also your get-in-free card. Discounted beer, cocktails, and seltzers are on the bar menu, and the best, ugliest sweater wins a $100 cash prize.

The Glorious Sound of Christmas

(Philadelphia Orchestra)

Eugene Ormandy led the Philadelphia Orchestra for 40-plus years. One of his best-known recordings is “The Glorious Sound of Christmas.”  The orchestra continues the tradition in an annual concert that replicates songs from the 1962 album. This year’s rendition will be conducted by William Eddins, with narrator Charlotte Blake Alston, baritone Norman Garrett, and the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia playing selections from other popular Christmas songs.


Disney On Ice Presents Frozen & Encanto

  • Where: Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St.
  • When: Through Sunday, Dec. 31
  • How much: $26 and up

Just in time for plummeting winter temperatures, Disney on Ice comes to town with “Frozen & Encanto”, a combination of two of the most beloved movies in recent Disney history. The show co-hosted by Minnie and Mickey Mouse moves between Arrendale with “Frozen’s” Anna, Elsa, and Olaf to Columbia where Mirabel, Isabela, and Luisa are trying to save the Madrigal family home.



Philly’s own jam band supergroup “Electron” is celebrating the holiday with a party/concert.  Disco Biscuit’s Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner will be joined by Mike Greenfield from Lotus, Tom Hamilton from JRAD, and American Babies to jam the night away. Ambient artist Wade Ellis Wilby, better known as Sweeping Views opens the show.


Chrisette Michele

Jazz/R&B songstress Chrisette Michele has weathered personal turmoil and controversy to emerge triumphant. The former reality TV star now shares her triumphs and challenges through her blog and has released music in genres ranging from jazz to gospel. Her new song, “No Greater Love” with Rudy Currence was named to the top 10 year-end Billboard gospel chart for most airplay. She’ll appear at City Winery for four shows in support of her latest release “Out of Control” which came out in 2018.


The Historic Philadelphia Walking Tour

  • Where: Starts at Independence Visitor Center, 599 Market St. 
  • When: Monday, Dec. 26 – Friday, Dec. 30, 11 a.m., 2 p.m.
  • How much: $15 adults, $7 children 12 and under

Get your steps in this holiday season during a brand new Historic Philadelphia Walking Tour!  Tour guides will play one of three characters from the city’s formative years —  Bob Branch will portray Richard Allen, the founder and Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Bill McIlhenny plays Trooper Robert Hare, a politician who was America’s first brew porter. And Keith Henley will act as James Forten, an abolitionist and sailmaker who was part of the free Black community in Philadelphia.

New Jersey

South Jersey Holiday Light Show

Lights, cameras, action! Christmas just ain’t Christmas without a holiday light show. Now in its third season, the South Jersey Holiday Light Show includes hundreds of holiday-themed displays with music synced to the lights via a radio broadcast. The cost is per carload and cars allowed include two-axle “church vans” but no buses, trailers, or trolleys, and (we presume) no RV’s. So feel free to load up the family, but keep it restricted to those parameters.


It’s a Wonderful Life

In this photo made on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, a framed plaque with a photograph of a scene from the 1946 film ”It’s A Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart (left) and a Hollywood star are on display at the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
  • Where: Everett Theater, 47 W. Main St., Middletown, Del.
  • When: Friday, Dec. 23, 7:30 p.m.
  • How much: $10

Delaware’s historic Everett Theater celebrated its 100th anniversary this year, so it’s very possible that it screened “It’s a Wonderful Life” during its initial run. Like that timeless holiday classic, the Everett is still around and will host a screening on Friday night. In the film, George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) considers ending his life after a series of challenges – until a Christmas miracle shows him his true worth.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. The hotline is staffed 24/7 by trained counselors who can offer free, confidential support. Spanish speakers can call 1-888-628-9454. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can call 1-800-799-4889.

Saturdays just got more interesting.

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