CHRISTMAS AT GLENCAIRN
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. The display is open daily, except for December 12-13 and 24-25.
Through December 31
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.
Through December 31
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.
POLAR BEAR EXPRESS
Through December 30
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 GARDEN RAILROAD
December 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania
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.
Wednesdays & Fridays to December 23
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.
Through December 23
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.
THEORY OF A DEADMAN
Valley Forge Casino Resort
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.
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 hanging.
LUNCH WITH SANTA / UGLY SWEATER CONTEST
Arnold's Family Fun Center
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
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.
BREAKFAST WITH SANTA
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.
NARBERTH DICKENS FESTIVAL
Haverford and Forrest Aves
For the biggest holiday festival on the Main Line, downtown Narberth 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.
CLICK CLACK MOO
Once the silly charm of the children's book Click Clack Moo is put into the hands of a live cast, plenty of smiles are sure to follow. The story - about cows that type and hens that strike - gets a musical infusion at the Keswick Theatre that will be the highlight of the kids' holiday season.
MASTER MODEL BUILDER COMPETITION
Plymouth Meeting Mall
This real-deal competition at Plymouth Meeting Mall will land one local Lego legend a full-time position. Come and watch contestants face a pile of bricks and a ticking clock and come up with something for the judges to evaluate. The winner joins the staff at LEGOLAND as a Master Builder and a chance to prove on a daily basis that everything is, indeed, awesome when you're part of a team.
HOLIDAY LUMINARIA NIGHT
Lock 60 at Schuylkill Canal Park
This festive night at Lock 60 at Schuylkill Canal Park includes music and cider, and Santa is a "go" even in slight drizzle or light snow. The rows of glowing candles are breathtaking when it's clear, but when wrapped in a gauzy mist, they will take your breath away.
CLASSIC CHRISTMAS WITH SANTA
Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles
Santa is on hand for a meet-and-greet and photo op that also includes cookies, live blacksmithing and a railroad display. The Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles is also supporting Toys for Tots throughout December, with discounts on admissions and other purchases for visitors who donate an unwrapped gift for a child.
Your yearly array of holiday desserts will get a colorful and flavorful upgrade if you include macarons: those fruity, French, crispy sandwich cookies with creamy fillings. They may sound intimidating, but the instructors at Cooking Spotlight explain the process step by delicious step.
CELEBRATIONS OF HANUKKAH
Lansdale, Ardmore, Norristown
The celebration of the Festival of Lights begins December 16 and continues until December 24. Local menorah lightings and other programming for the Feast of Dedication can be found at Lansdale's Railroad Plaza, Ardmore's Suburban Square and Elmwood Park Zoo.
MARCH IN OF THE CONTINENTAL ARMY
Valley Forge National Historical Park
Valley Forge National Historical Park marks the historic day when the Continental Army arrived onsite in 1777, beginning one of the most famous encampments in U.S. history. The evening's free family-friendly program blends historic programming with holiday honors. On the schedule are speeches by General Washington himself, the debut of a new defensive fort on the Muhlenberg Brigade and festive singing and dancing from the Colonial Revelers.
SNOW DANCE BONFIRE
Spring Mountain Adventures
Send Mother Nature a big message: Bring on the cold! Spring Mountain is planning to inaugurate the 2016-2017 ski season on December 19. But if the temps don't cooperate by then, this party is a collective wish for conditions that will get those snow cannons blasting.