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!
Nativities - Glencairn Museum
Reflecting artistic expression across multiple ethnic
backgrounds, the collection of nativities at Glencairn
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.
Villages - Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center
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.
Express - Colebrookdale Railroad
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."
- Painting with a Twist, 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
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.
Feast - Mennonite Heritage Center
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.
Cringle - Ardmore
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.
Tree Lighting - 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.
Garden Railroad - 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
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
Canadian rock band Theory of a
Deadman has cranked out eight top 10 hits on the U.S. Billboard
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
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,
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,
Crafts - Green Lane Park
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
Santa - Arnold's Family Fun Center
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.
Beer & Cider Festival - Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
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.
Model Train Show - Keith Valley Middle School
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.
Festival - Phoenixville
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
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,
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.
Guide - Norristown Farm Park
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.
with Santa - Woodside Lodge
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
Festival - Narberth
For the biggest holiday festival on the Main Line,
& 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.
- Blue Bell Country Club
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
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.