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15 fun things to do in Philly this weekend

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The Christmas tree will be lit at River Rink tomorrow night. | Provided
The Christmas tree will be lit at River Rink tomorrow night. Provided

HOLIDAYS

Old City Tree Lighting and Kick-off to Historic Holiday Nights
Nov. 30, 5 p.m.
Betsy Ross House
239 Arch St.
oldcitydistrict.org
Pay as you go

Fifty boutiques, shops, galleries and restaurants in Old City participate in a weekly discount program on Thursdays, through Dec. 28. This week, the neighborhood kicks off the event series with its first-ever tree-lighting ceremony, featuring a performance from the Philadelphia Youth Ballet, dancing to songs from “The Nutcracker.” Pop by the Center for Art in Wood for ornament crafting and hot cider—with cookies.

PECO Winterfest Tree Lighting
Dec. 1, 1 p.m.
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
Walnut Street and Columbus Boulevard
delawareriverwaterfront.com
Free

Winterfest is in full swing at the Delaware River Waterfront’s RiverRink, with Friday marking the unveiling and lighting of the holiday tree—which promises to be brighter than ever. The event is marked by a performance from Chante Moore, who will sing classics and originals from her new album, “Christmas Back to You.” Various skaters and dancers are also scheduled to perform, with a life-sized snow globe around for selfies. 

Christmas Kids’ Spectacular Orchestra
Dec. 2, 11:30 a.m.
Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center
300 S. Broad St.
philorch.org
$24

Aram Demirjian conducts this annual, kid-conducive take on “The Nutcracker” and other all-ages holiday classics, courtesy of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Come prepared for a special appearance from St. Nick.

Holiday Sing-Along on the Boardwalk
Dec. 2, 7 p.m.
The Tropicana
2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City
tropicana.net
$25

Santa and his choir take to the boardwalk for a singalong, also featuring homemade chocolates from Olon, cookies from Mrs. Field and complimentary Garces coffee. This is in tandem with Tropicana’s one-hour Holiday Jubilee multimedia light and sound show in the Tropicana Showroom, brought to life by nine dancers, two singers and two specialty acts.

Tinseltown Tidings
Through Dec. 2
The Prince Theater
1412 Chestnut St.
princetheater.org
$22

The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus is well-known for its exceptional, cohesive choral concerts during the holidays each year—and this year is no different. This year, the chorus takes on a Hollywood theme, performing numbers from classics like “The Polar Express” and “White Christmas.”

Merry, Merry Happy Hours
Through Dec. 28, 5 p.m.
Liberte Lounge
17th and Sansom streets
sofitel-philadelphia.com
Pay as you go

A new seasonal happy hour, “Merry, Merry Happy Hour” features drink specials at a new location each Thursday through Christmas. Up first is Liberte Lounge at the Sofitel Philadelphia, with a $7 cocktail concoction like a Peppermint Martini, $5 beers and $7 wines—plus, appetizer specials.

Ardmore Cricket Cringle
Dec. 1, 5 p.m.; Dec. 2, 10 a.m.
Cricket Avenue, Ardmore
cricketavenue.com
Pay as you go

The annual open-air marketplace—sprawling, with 40 merchants--returns with an abbreviated performance of “The Nutcracker,” vendors with housewares, jewelry, apparel and more, as well as 15 food trucks with seasonal delights like mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. Reusable shopping totes will be handed out at the event.

East Passyunk Tree Lighting
Nov. 30, 5 p.m.
1904 E. Passyunk Ave.
visiteastpassyunk.com
Free

The avenue’s holiday tree comes alive at the Singing Fountain, in tandem with performances from the children’s choirs of Alphabet Academy and the Andrew Jackson School. Light sips and samples—hot cider from Rival Bros., tomato basil soup from Fuel and cookies from Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation—are available on-site.

South Street Tree Lighting
Dec. 3, 4 p.m.
Headhouse Square
200 Pine St.
southstreet.com
Pay as you go

Santa rolls into the neighborhood on a fire truck for meet and greets as CBS 3 joins in to countdown to the annual tree lighting. The event doubles as a toy drive; guests are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy, or donate $10 by texting JOY to 41444.

THEATER

Upright Citizens Brigade Improv
Suzanne Roberts Theatre
480 S. Broad St.
philatheatreco.org
$25

Four improv artists, as part of the Amy Poehler-cofounded Upright Citizens Brigade, first create scenes whipped up from audiences interviews, then take an audience-suggested single word and develop it into a unique performance. Ninety minutes of unscripted silliness, this comedy act is sketch comedy at its best.

MUSIC
A. Savage
Nov. 30, 8:30 p.m.
PhilaMOCA
531 N. 12th St.
philamoca.org
$14

Savage turns diarist with his latest release, “Thawing Dawn,” fusing a singer-songwriter acoustic sound with a Texas twang. Savage is also known as the frontman of rock group Parquet Courts.

Friday Night Band Jam at Michener
Dec. 1, 8 p.m.
Michener Art Museum
138 S. Pine St.
michenerartmuseum.org
$25

Latin party band De Tierra Caliente comes to the Michener Art Museum to energize crowds with sounds of the Caribbean, with a multi-language set performed in Spanish, English and Portuguese. Band members are from both Philadelphia and Puerto Rico. Galleries will remain open from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Gin Blossoms
Dec. 1, 9 p.m.
The Borgata Music Box
1 Borgata Way
theborgata.com
$39

Best known for the hit rock song “Hey Jealousy,” Gin Blossoms has broken up and reunited several times in its 30-year run—but is currently on-again with lead singer Robin Wilson. The band is touring in support of 2010 album “No Chocolate Cake,” though new material is in the works.

THE ARTS

Amber Art & Design
Nov. 30, 6:30 p.m.
Moore College of Art & Design
20th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
moore.edu
Free

Amber Art and Design’s Keir Johnston and Ernel Martinez, two international artists based in Philadelphia, curate a showcase as part of Moore’s “Bodyworks” exhibition. The series aims to demonstrate the human body as a material and tool in dance, theater, costuming and sound.

COMEDY

The Lucas Bros.
Through Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m.
Helium Comedy Club
2031 Sansom St.
philadelphia.heliumcomedy.com
$22

Keith and Kenny Lucas riff off one another for a knee-slapping standup act. Netflix bingers may recognize them from their comedy special “The Lucas Bros: On Drugs,” or their guest appearance in the comedy series Lady Dynamite.