Hold onto your (stocking) hats, celebrators! The first weekend of December is here, with a sleigh full of events that are full of color, energy, festivity and yes, food!

World Nativities - Glencairn Museum

December 2-4

Celebrate a beautiful worldwide tradition at Glencairn Museum
Reflecting artistic expression across multiple ethnic backgrounds, the collection of nativities at Glencairn Museum appeals to all faith traditions. On display are dioramas made for the Pitcairn family, duplicating a set made for the Eisenhowers in the White House in the 1950s.

Christmas Villages - Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center

December 2-4

The library comes to life this weekend with Christmas cheer
The German word "putz" describes the folk art of creating miniature landscapes, intricately decorated with stores, homes, merchants, vehicles,  and other detailed accents. Some of the work displayed at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center are swathed in cotton batting to simulate snow, making them even more festive.

Polar Bear Express - Colebrookdale Railroad

December 2-4

All aboard the Polar Bear Express!
Most people think of Santa traveling by sleigh, but when he really wants to go first class, he takes a seat in the glamorous passenger car of the Colebrookdale Railroad. There are many December options in riding with St. Nick, including brunches and dinners and departures that include a reading of "Twas the Night before Christmas."

Holiday Art - Painting with a Twist, Skippack

December 2-4

Paint the holidays merry and bright in Skippack

Jolly Santas, smiling reindeer, crystallized trees, snowy covered bridges even the three wise men at the crèche are all possibilities for budding artists at Painting with a Twist - Skippack. By the end of the night, you will have created something unique, even if you've never held a brush before.

Best Christmas Pageant Ever - DCP Theatre

December 2-4

Have a holly jolly laugh at DCP Theatre this December
This story, presented by DCP Theatre, started as a humorous book in which a crew of delinquent children wind up with roles in the church Christmas play, despite their past behavior of smoking, drinking and shoplifting. The version of the Bethlehem story that follows is nothing like Sunday School has ever seen before or since.

Christmas Feast - Mennonite Heritage Center

December 2-3

It's the holiday edition of farm-to-table, table settings and all
This month-long exhibit at the Mennonite Heritage Center is a lesson in "form follows function." Local produce and specialty foods like coffee, meats and apple butter are available for purchase. Also on sale are hand-made serving pieces, decorated with intricate folk art. So once you combine your dishes using fresh ingredients, they can then grace your family's holiday table with style.

Cricket Cringle - Ardmore

December 2-3

Jiminy Cricket (Cringle)! What are you waiting for?

Christmas + Mingle + Cricket Avenue = Cricket Cringle! This open-air marketplace, organized under the Ardmore Initiative, has 50+ hand-selected merchants, local restaurant favorites; food trucks; beer, wine and hot toddies; Santa, photo booths and a Nutcracker performance.

Christmas Tree Lighting - Elmwood Park Zoo

December 2

All the good girls and boys will be at Elmwood Park Zoo
It's as if the entire North Pole has relocated to Norristown. Elmwood Park Zoo throws a month-long party full of family-friendly festiveness. The December 2 tree lighting ushers in a series of things to do, including weekend brunches with Santa.

Holiday Garden Railroad - Morris Arboretum

December 2

It's a mini winter wonderland at Morris Arboretum
Once the sun sets in Eastern Montgomery County, the garden railway at Morris Arboretum blazes with miniature lights throughout its quarter-mile of track. Pay attention to the houses that the trains zip through. They include Washington's Headquarters at Valley Forge and other notable homesteads throughout the county.

Illuminaire Nights - Skippack Village

December 2

The magic of the holidays fills the air at Skippack Village

Skippack Village is one big slice of eye candy year-round, but in December, it gains a special sparkly overlay. Its walkable paths and sidewalks shimmer with candlelight, guiding visitors from one unique shop to another.

Theory of a Deadman Acoustic Set - Valley Forge Casino Resort

December 2

Is rock n roll your kind of holiday? Head to Valley Forge Casino Resort this Friday
Canadian rock band Theory of a Deadman has cranked out eight top 10 hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks since they launched their careers in 2001. With singles "Drown," "Angel" and a country collaboration with Rascal Flatts vocalist Joe Don Rooney, its fifth studio album, Savages, is another knockout fan favorite and as tough as rock n roll gets. Hold onto your seats for this appearance at Valley Forge Casino Resort.

Annual Holiday Ball - Sunnybrook Ballroom

December 2

Swing into the season at Sunnybrook Ballroom
It's a dinner-dance in the classic style when the big-band sounds of the orchestra at Sunnybrook Ballroom swing into holiday mode. The dance floor will glow as brightly as Rudolph's nose once the crowd gets going. Dress attire is requested, and ticket options include the dancing, the dinner and both.

Messiah - Bomberger Auditorium, Ursinus College

December 3-4

There's nothing like a Christmas concert to kick off the season

The performance of Messiah by the College Choir and Meistersingers is a December tradition on the Collegeville campus of Ursinus College, drawing students and members of the public alike. The concert space is on the intimate side, bringing the audience even closer to the full, rich sound.

Holiday Crafts - Green Lane Park

December 3

The picturesque park is sure to inspire some holiday magic
A "kissing ball" is a seasonal decoration made of greens, perfect for couples to pause under for a smooch. The crafty crafters at Green Lane Park lead a session at 10 a.m. on how to make one. A second how-to at 1 p.m. explains the steps to make a holiday wall hanging.

Lunch with Santa - Arnold's Family Fun Center

December 3

Catch Santa while you can for lunch at Arnold's
Kids five and younger are no charge for this merry midday meal at Arnold's Family Fun Center. The menu also offers hot dogs, salad bar, meatballs in sauce, fountain soda and ice cream cups. Adults can return December 16 for the Ugly Sweater Contest, a chance to finally get some use from that hideous pullover that Aunt Margaret gave you back in 1985.

Valley Forge Beer & Cider Festival - Greater Philadelphia Expo Center

December 3

Beer, Cider, and Ugly Sweaters. What more could you want?
The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center overflows with one day of two sessions offering 150 beers and ciders. An ugly sweater competition will crown a first-, second- and third-place winner for the season's most hideous/hilarious outfit. Attendees are asked to bring an unwrapped toy to donate to kids unfortunately spending the holiday season at St. Christopher's Hospital.

Hatboro Model Train Show - Keith Valley Middle School

December 3

Model train sets have been chugging around holiday displays in homes for decades, with families creating miniature landscapes often in startling detail. This event kicks that tradition up a couple notches with more than 70 vendors offering supplies, equipment, creative ideas and memorabilia. The centerpiece is a scale recreation of Hatboro's festive Main Street.

Firebird Festival - Phoenixville

December 3

Certainly Montco's most unique Christmas tree lighting, eh?
The Firebird Festival is now in its 13th year, celebrating Phoenixville's ongoing spirit and vision by building - and then torching - a large-scale wooden phoenix. The all-day party will center on Bridge Street, which will be closed to traffic to enable safe enjoyment of the food, drink and music. At 7:30, the crowd processes up to the field at 203 Fillmore Street for the fire ceremony at Friendship Field.

Winter Holiday Sounds - Upper Dublin High School Performing Arts Center

December 3

The Academy Chorale and Orchestra opens its 20th anniversary season with Emmanuel Chabrier's evocative and surprising "Suite Pastorale." The Chorale joins the Orchestra in performing John Rutter's sparkling "Gloria" and Gerald Finzi's brilliant "Magnificat."

A Christmas Together - Victory Church, Audubon

December 3

Enjoy the sounds of the season with the Norristown Chorale
The Norristown Chorale has been performing for 40 years, with an annual holiday concert the centerpiece of its schedule. The 50 voices will sing both secular and popular songs of the season, reflecting multiple religious traditions and ethnic backgrounds.

Reindeer Guide - Norristown Farm Park

December 4

Find out why Rudolph is better suited than Bubby the Bison to guide Santa
What animal pulls the season's most famous sleigh? A reindeer, of course. But it wouldn't make sense to hitch up a moose, now would it? The nature guides at Norristown Farm Park sort all this out with a compare/contrast of reindeer caribou, elk and local white-tailed deer.

Breakfast with Santa - Woodside Lodge

December 4

Let the big guy know what you'd like under the tree this Sunday
The quaint setting of Woodside Lodge, plus a fantastic breakfast and plenty of 1:1 time with St. Nick, makes this meet-and-greet extremely popular (it sold out last year). Musician Pete Kranz is also part of the event, giving harmonica lessons.

Dickens Festival - Narberth

December 4

when it's ~cold as the dickens~ you know where to go

For the biggest holiday festival on the Main Line, downtown Narberth (Haverford & Forrest Avenues) transforms into 1840s London and welcomes period street vendors and food, caroling, musicians, costumed performers, puppet shows, dance performances, ice sculpting and carriage rides. Kids join in the free scavenger hunt to search for Ebenezer Scrooge and other costumed Dickens characters.

Bridal Show - Blue Bell Country Club

December 4

Weddings bells, silver bells, Blue Bell

This event at Blue Bell Country Club is so much more than the typical bridal show. Meet the best vendors and get the newest ideas; see beautiful gowns and the hottest in formalwear and bridal party attire; experience interactive seminars with expert speakers and onsite makeovers; experience fabulous food, cocktails and wedding cake tastings; enjoy big vendor discounts, personal attention, incentives, free bridal magazines and prizes galore.

Holiday Organ Concert - The Colonial Theatre

December 4

Seasonal songs make for a classic Christmas concert at the Colonial Theatre

The mighty Wurlitzer Organ at The Colonial Theatre comes to life this holiday season, with seasonal songs that just may include an invitation to sing along. The power of this instrument is legendary, but it can also be tamed for a quiet and moving rendition of songs like "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

If all this activity leaves you wanting a long winter's nap - or even a short one - check out our website for hotel recommendations. Their comfort levels are guaranteed to produce visions of sugarplums that dance in your head.