Only in Philly: Get in the holiday spirit with these traditions

The Nutcracker runs Dec. 7 through Dec. 29 Photo Credit: Alexander Iziliaev
Embrace holiday traditions and go see the Pennsylvania Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” Credit: Alexander Iziliaev

Aside from throwing snowballs at jolly old St. Nick, Philadelphians enjoy rich holiday traditions. The City of Brotherly Love offers plenty of activities during the most wonderful time of the year. Bundle up and relive those Yuletide memories this winter.

‘George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker’
Dec. 7-29
240 S. Broad St.
215-893-1999
www.academyofmusic.org
The classic ballet spectacle returns with Marie’s magical gift and the Land of Sweets. This year the Pennsylvania Ballet hosts the Nutcracker Market on the first weekend of December with handcrafted jewelry, origami lessons, a candy shop, something called Nutcracker Nosh and seasonal beverages. Cradles to Crayons will be on hand collecting coats, scarves, mittens and gloves for kids in need.

Lightshow at Macy’s
Nov. 29-Dec. 31
1300 Market St.
Top of the hour
215-241-9000
www.wanamakerorgan.com
Carrying Wanamaker’s legacy into the millennium, Macy’s features a mesmerizing Christmas pageant of lights high above the Grand Court. Julie Andrews narrates the colorful sights while classic holiday tunes from the famed organ play and the illuminated tree flashes among the snowmen, toy soldiers and Santa Claus.

Penn's Landing gets a pop-up restaurant and retail extravaganza this year with Waterfront Winterfest, Nov. 29 through Jan. 5.
Penn’s Landing gets a pop-up restaurant and retail extravaganza this year with Waterfront Winterfest, Nov. 29 through Jan. 5. Credit: Ed Savaria

Waterfront Winterfest
Nov. 29-Jan. 5
201 S. Columbus Blvd.
11 a.m.-1 a.m.
215-925-7465
www.delawareriverwaterfront.com
Watch out, Christmas Village. Penn’s Landing is getting its own pop-up holiday market, and this one has beer. Head to the Blue Cross RiverRink for Waterfront Winterfest, where you can ice skate, shop at the Art Star Holiday Market and watch a 3D light show. Step inside the giant heated tent — bring friends, it fits 400 people — for brews in the beer garden and food from chef George Sabatino.

Washington Crossing the Delaware River
Dec. 25
Routes 32 & 532, Washington Crossing
1 p.m.
215-493-4076
www.ushistory.org
Bundle up and join the thousands of people spending their Christmas celebrating George Washington’s 1776 crossing of the Delaware. Two hundred performers decked out in colonial military garments reenact the pivotal moment in American history by rowing across the river.


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