2011 Holiday Events In and Around the Philadelphia Area

Our comprehensive listing of holiday events lets you and your family fully embrace all of the holiday spirit available in Delaware County and the surrounding areas. Please click on each link for the full detail on the cost and specifics of each event. Happy Holidays from Fun Things.

Holiday Events

The Best of Yuletide’s Past at Winterthur Museum

November 19, 2011–January 8, 2012

Join us for a magical tour that will transport you to Christmases of old. Experience Winterthur’s most beloved holiday displays from past Yuletides, and discover holiday traditions of Americans from the colonial period through World War II, including the introduction of the first Christmas trees decorated with goodies for children by Pennsylvania Germans in the 1800s.

Christmas at Hagley

November 25th  through January 1st

The1803 du Pont ancestral home, is decorated primarily in Colonial Revival style for the holidays. Dried flowers, greenery, fruits, and other natural materials create a beautiful holiday ambiance accentuated by soft lights and Christmas music. Exhibit included in regular admission. Free for members. Use Hagley's main entrance off Route 141 in Wilmington, Delaware.

A Brandywine Christmas at Brandywine River Museum
November 25 - January 8

The museum celebrates the season with fabulous holiday displays including an extensive O-gauge model railroad, an elaborate Victorian dollhouse and thousands of whimsical "critter" ornaments on holiday trees.

November 25th – January 1st

Adventure Aquarium will be transformed into a holiday wonderland under the sea, featuring larger-than-life decorations, twinkling lights, glowing trees, gently falling snow and of course, appearances from the Aquarium’s beloved Scuba Santa (and his elf helpers!), who will delight children all ages as he dives the 760,000-gallon Ocean Realm exhibit among rare sharks, gigantic sea turtles, hundreds of schooling fish, massive stingrays and more.

November 30th -December 24th

 Each day the mall will host a family friend event to.  Click here for the full list of events

The Farm is decorated for Christmas. See our Christmasland display and visit with the animals in their winter coats. The Farm Market features wreaths, freshly cut trees, greens & holly, decorations, fruit and gift baskets, Christmas gifts, hot mulled cider & children's crafts.

Carriage Rides, Carolers, Art Stroll, live Music

Caroling Hayrides at Linvilla Orchards
December 3, 10 & 17 ~ 5 and 6:30 PM

Visitors are invited to sing Christmas Carols around the campfire and enjoy roasting marshmallows and drinking apple cider.

Gingerbread House Making in West Chester

Gingerbread House Making
December 3rd
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
West Chester Municipal Building

Must pre-register.
Limited to 30 participants.

For more information, please contact the West Chester Parks and Recreation Department at 610-436-9010.

Kennett Square Holiday Family Movies

December 5th A Christmas Story
December 12th Christmas Vacation
December 19th   It’s a Wonderful Life

Narberth Dickens Festival 
Saturday December 10th  Noon – 4 pm
Location: Downtown Narberth, Forrest & Haverford Ave, Narberth, PA

Radnor Hotels Holiday Tea

Children's Saturday Afternoon Tea at The Radnor
Bring your little ones to enjoy a themed Afternoon Tea!
Ideal for children ages 3-8.

Holiday Tea
Saturdays, December 10th and 17th
1 - 3 p.m
Advanced Ticket Purchase Required
Please call 610-341-3191

Hanukkah Events

Menorah Lighting Ceremony at Suburban Square  

December 20th & Wed. December 21st
Location: Suburban Square-between Starbucks and Paper Source

Join the Squares on the first and second nights of Hanukkah for the lighting of the Menorah. A Hanukkah Wonderland celebration will take place each evening after the lighting in the space located between Starbucks and Paper Source. Festivities wil include music, food, and crafts.

Lansdale Menorah Lighting
December 20th at 6:30 in the Railroad Plaza (West Main & Green Streets).
The public is invited to Railroad Plaza on the first night of Hanukkah for the annual lighting of the Menorah.

Santa Events

Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting in Kennett Sq.

Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting on Friday, Nov. 25th. This year along with Santa and Mrs. Claus

Santa's Arrival & Festival of Lights in Media
Friday November 25th
5:00 PM
Santa arrives @ 6pm! State and Jackson Streets...
Phillie Phanatic and Makin' Music from 5-6pm
Official opening of Santa's Village at the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union

Saturday, November 26th
at 11:00 AM
Location: Suburban Square Courtyard

Holiday Fun at Glen Eagle
Visit Glen Eagle Square on Saturday November 26th at 5:50 for Santa's Arrival and our Holiday Tree Lighting! Beginning at 5:30 PM, they will have horse drawn carriage rides, crafts and much more.

Visit with Santa at Linvilla Orchards

Saturdays & Sundays 12 - 3 pm
Bring your camera!

The Farm is decorated for Christmas. See our Christmasland display and visit with the animals in their winter coats. The Farm Market features wreaths, freshly cut trees, greens & holly, decorations, fruit and gift baskets, Christmas gifts, hot mulled cider & children's crafts.

Breakfast with Scuba Santa at the Adventure Aquarium

Create your own special Scuba Santa moment at a special breakfast with Gill the Shark, Bumble the abominable snow monster from the Rudolph special and of course, Scuba Santa.

Let us help bring in the warmth and joy of the season. Your admission to the breakfast includes:

* A hot and delicious breakfast
* Meet & Greet with Bumble, Gill and Scuba
* Crafts
* Admission to Adventure Aquarium
* Parking

Event information

* Choose your date = 12/3, 12/4, 12/10, 12/11
* 8:30 – 10:30 am

Breakfast with Santa at Chester County Historical Society

Breakfast with Santa

Two seating's: 8:30 am & 10:00 am

$12:00 per person

Must register for this event!
For more information, please contact the West Chester Parks and Recreation Department at 610-436-9010.

Santa Trades in his Sleigh for a Helicopter
December 17th
American Helicopter Museum and Educational Center

Visit Santa at Santa's Village in Media
Location: Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union (FMFCU)
Dec. 17, 12-4pm
Dec. 18, 12-4pm
Dec. 19, 3-7pm
Dec. 20, 3-7pm
Dec. 21, 3-7pm
Dec. 20, 3-7pm
Dec. 21, 3-7pm
Dec. 22, 3-7pm
Dec. 23, 3-7pm

Call for more Information 610-566-5039

Holiday Concerts

The Upper Darby Summer Stage Shooting Stars
December 2nd
The Upper Darby Summer Stage Shooting Stars – a performance group featuring the region’s most talented teens – brightens the holiday season with the family show, “The Best Time of the Year!”

Audiences of all ages will enjoy the Shooting Stars as they light up the stage with the annual Holiday Show


International Ballet Classique Performs Nutcracker Ballet

Tis the season for magic, family, and fun as the beauty and joy of the Nutcracker Ballet comes alive at the beautiful 300 seat Meagher Theatre, Neumann College , Aston. International Ballet Classique (IBC) presents IBC productions of this holiday favorite.

December 15 @ 10:00am (children's abridged performances)
December 15 @ 11:30am (children's abridged performances)
December 16 @ 7:30 pm
December 17 @ 2:00 pm
December 17  @ 7:30 pm
December 18 @ 2:00 pm

The Philadelphia Dance Academy’s Nutcracker is an expertly choreographed and beautifully executed masterpiece that is as family friendly as it is unique. This “Children’s Nutcracker” showcases the breadth of talent being cultivated within the studios of the academy, with soloist and semi-soloist roles being played by pre-teen and teen ballerina’s in training.

There will be four performances that will take place at the Prince Music Theater, located at 1412 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA  19102:

Saturday, December 17th 2pm and 5pm
Sunday, December 18th 11am and 2pm

The Brandywine Ballet Company

              December 9,  2011     10 am

              December 10, 2011    12 pm

              December 10, 2011      4 pm

              December 11, 2011      2 pm

              December 15, 2011    10 am

              December 17, 2011    12 pm
              December 17, 2011      4 pm
              December 18, 2011      6 pm

Performance are at The Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, West Chester University

A magical tea time with the cast!

Saturday, December 10th
Sunday December 11th
Saturday, December 17th

Join Clara, The Sugar Plum Fairy and many other characters of The Nutcracker for a special pre-performance tea party full of delights! Enjoy tea sandwiches, fruit tray, cookies, favors and don't forget to bring your camera! The Tea is held at The Philips Memorial Library. Simply walk downstairs to the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall for the performance of The Nutcracker!

The Nutcracker Tea tickets - $25/person (you will also need to purchase tickets to see the Nutcracker)

Pennsylvania Ballet's George Balanchine's The Nutcracker
December 10th - 31st

Be enchanted by the Philadelphia region's most beloved holiday tradition,George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™. For 43 years, families have created yuletide memories with Pennsylvania Ballet's production of this classic tale. The simple story of a girl, a gift, and a fanciful dream is made magical by opulent sets and costumes by Peter Horne and Judanna Lynn and the impassioned artistry of Pennsylvania Ballet dancers. The renowned Philadelphia Boys Choir raises their voices with the magnificent Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra to bring Tschaikovsky's unforgettable score to life.

Click here for performance times and tickets
Click here for special packages

A Christmas Carol at the Footlighters Theater
December 2nd- December 17th
This production of A Christmas Carol goes beyond other adaptations with a unique dramatic concept: At the opening curtain, Charles Dickens himself is introduced to the audience, ready to present one of the famed platform readings of his stories that packed auditoriums in Europe and America. Of course, the story chosen is one which he often performed, A Christmas Carol. Come and enjoy live, community theatre!

Charlie Brown Christmas at  The Players Club of Swarthmore Theater
December 3rd -11th

Come enjoy this classic TV special on stage! Charlie Brown, repelled by the commercialism he sees around him, tries to find out the true meaning of Christmas. The whole gang is there including Snoopy, Lucy, and Linus. This sure will be a delight during the holiday season!

Winnie the Pooh Christmas at Hedgerow

Saturdays, November 26-December 17 at 11 a.m.; Tuesday, December 27 and Wednesday, December 28 at 2 p.m.

Train Rides With Santa

Santa Arrives at Strasburg Rail Road

Just in time for the holidays, Santa’s Paradise Express is pulling in to Strasburg Rail Road Thanksgiving weekend, starting November 25th.. Join Santa on his journey to spread the magic of the season to thousands of families who believe.

West Chester Rail Road Santa's Express

Santa's Express

November 25, 26, 27
December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18
11AM, 1PM, 3PM

All aboard Santa's Express! Join Santa for a 90 minute journey on our heated decorated train through the Chester Creek Valley. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be greeting everyone at Market Street Station and then going along for the ride to Glen Mills. Once at Glen Mills passengers can disembark and explore the historic station. There are plenty of photo opportunities on Santa's lap inside the station. Remember your cameras! Upon return to West Chester, all passengers receive treats from Santa!

All Aboard the Santa Express!
All Aboard the Santa Express!
Nov 25th

Climb Aboard the Santa Express on November 25th!

Join The Gallery and SEPTA for a fun filled ride with Santa and his cast of merry characters. Check website for stations and departure times:

Family Fun

Blue Cross River Rink

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation is proud to continue to present a wintertime tradition in Philadelphia, as the Blue Cross River Rink will re-open for a 18th season on November 23rd.
The Blue Cross River Rink at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia’s only outdoor public ice rink, is located on Columbus Boulevard at Market Street.

Call 215-925-RINK for current rink and weather conditions

Christmas Lights

Rose Tree Park Festival of Lights

The Festival of Lights runs 5:30-9:30 pm nightly Dec. 3 through Jan. 2 in Rose Tree Park, Route 252, in Upper Providence. Opening ceremony is 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Free admission. For information contact the Department of Parks and Recreation at 610-565-7410

Christmas at Longwood Gardens

Half a million outdoor lights and holiday magic await you during Longwood's incomparable Christmas display. Enjoy dazzling trees and seasonal concerts. The Music Room hosts a special, themed holiday display. Kids of all ages will delight in a miniature Garden Railway decked out for the holidays. Thousands of poinsettias accented with amaryllis, artemesia, begonias, cyclamen, hybrid lilies, kalanchoes, paperwhites, red-berried plants and many other flowers flourish inside acres of heated glass conservatories. Living wreaths, swags and live floral trees adorn rooms throughout the Conservatory. Included in Gardens admission.

Holiday Light Show and Dickens Village Macy's Center City

THE 2011 CHRISTMAS LIGHT SHOW runs hourly from the day after Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve day check website for times. The DICKENS VILLAGE (Floor 3) is open continuously during the same period from 10am to 7pm.

The Comcast Holiday Spectacular 2011

“The Comcast Holiday Spectacular 2011” debuts on Thanksgiving Day at 10:00 a.m. with exciting new elements and scenes, including a world class 1940s Swing-Style dance of Jingle Bell Rock featuring Broadway stars, ice sculptures coming to life, and a new light show. Several new super-high resolution computer generated images have been incorporated, providing people of all ages with a holiday display like no other.

The 15-minute show, full of stunning original holiday imagery, music and more was created using cutting-edge technology and will be shown on the 83’ x 25’ Comcast Experience video wall, which is the world’s largest four mm LED display with incredible resolution that’s five times that of an HDTV, in the Comcast Center lobby.

Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Weekend 2012
Shown daily; 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
15-minute shows at the top of each hour
(Shows are not hosted on weekdays at 5:00 p.m.)

Is your charity, organization or school having a Holiday Event? You can add your event to Fun Things for just $5.00. This includes a post on our blog, Facebook Page and an entry on our calendar. Reach thousands of Delaware and Chester County parents and get maximum exposure for your event. Click here for more information

Amusement Parks

Sesame Place A Very Furry Christmas

November 25th - December 31st

A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place! For a one-of-a-kind family-friendly celebration with everyone's favorite furry friends. The fun starts with 3 special Christmas shows, awesome music and twinkling lights all around. Plus, you'll find more than 300 Christmas trees, including a huge celebratory tree decorated Sesame Street-style. The street will glow with festivities and come to life at night with our illuminated Street Party Parade. And the fun continues with a special Christmas menu, super holiday shopping and, of course, a visit with Santa.

Dutch Winter Wonderland

November 19th - December 30th

Dutch Winter Wonderland offers themed rides, games, and holiday entertainment under thousands of twinkling lights! Indoor activities include cookie decorating, voting for your favorite gingerbread house, and sharing holiday wishes with Santa. 

Hershey Park Christmas Candyland

November 18th - December 31st

The magic of the holidays comes to life at Hersheypark Christmas Candylane. With two million twinkling lights, rides for all ages, festive decorations, and Hershey's Product Characters decked out in their holiday best, there is something for all to enjoy! 

Christmas Candylane features many attractions for guests of all ages including over 30 rides including the family-favorite, Twilight Express