STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Montgomery County Community College: A mixed-media “Retrospective” exhibition of sculptor and ornamental plaster conservator David Flaharty is open through Dec. 18 in the Blue Bell campus’ Fine Arts Center, 340 DeKalb Pike, Whitpain. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free. For more information, contact Holly at email@example.com or (215) 619-7349.
Montgomery Mall: The 102.9 ‘MGK Classic Rock Art Show returns Dec. 11 through Christmas Eve on the mall’s lower level next to Sears, Routes 309 and 202, Montgomery Township. All rock art works are available to purchase. During opening weekend, animator Ron Campbell will be exhibiting his original Beatles cartoon art and new paintings. Admission is free and hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.
Philadelphia Art Alliance: The winter 2015-16 exhibition “HomeWork” features work by fabric artists Asimina Chremos and Erin Endicott through Jan. 3. The Philadelphia Art Alliance is located at 251 S. 18th St., Philadelphia. For more information, go to www.philartalliance.org or call (215) 545-4302.
Vox Populi: Among the exhibitions on view through Jan. 10 is “Mark Stockton: Of Consequence,” a group of drawings that connect collective societal fears. Located at 319 N. 11th St., third floor, Philadelphia, hours are noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.
World Cafe Live: The Applejacks, the 1950s swing band at the core of the legacy of Philadelphia songwriter/producer/arranger Dave Appell (“Let’s Twist Again,” “South Street,” “Mashed Potato Time,” “Knock Three Times”) is reborn with a new-generation lineup performing new jazz compositions written by Appell before his passing. A concert is presented at 8 p.m. Dec. 14 at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., Philadelphia. Tickets are $20. Find out more at www.worldcafelive.com.
Annenberg Center: Sweet Honey in the Rock presents a “Celebrating the Holy-days” concert at 8 p.m. Dec. 12 in the Zellerbach Theatre, 3680 Walnut St., Philadelphia. Tickets range from $30-$75. Visit www.annenbergcenter.org or call (215) 898-3900.
St. John’s United Church of Christ: The North Penn High School Chamber Singers, Women’s Choir and Brass will be featured guest artists at the St. John’s Artist Series Christmas Concert at 4 p.m. Dec. 13. The three groups will be joined by the St. John’s Chancel Choir and Friends. The church is at 500 W. Main St., Lansdale. A free-will offering will be taken. Visit www.st-johns-ucc.org or call (215) 855-5489.
Indian Valley Public Library: Jazz pianist Adam Dieffenbach performs a free concert as part of the Second Fridays series at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at 100 E. Church Ave., Telford.
St. Mark’s Church: Bravo Brass presents “A Holiday in Brass” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at St. Mark’s, 1625 Locust St., Philadelphia. Tickets are $15. Call (215) 545-0502.
In praise of toys
Philadelphia City Hall: Weekdays from Dec. 16-Feb. 19, a free exhibition, “Constructing Play,” salutes classic building toys. Visitors young and old can show off their building skills at Creation Stations. City Hall is at 1 Penn Square, Philadelphia.
Dinner and show
Caruso Brick Oven Trattoria: “Bella Notte” will raise funds for Generations of Indian Valley and Meals on Wheels programming. There will be live music by Joseph Ryan, prizes and dinner seatings at 4 or 6 p.m. Dec. 14. The Souderton restaurant is BYOB. Reserve tickets at (215) 723-5841.
Parade of lights
Independence Seaport Museum: Parade of Lights from 11 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Dec. 12 features Philadelphia’s working port, with tugboats and other vessels decorated in lights. Before the parade, visitors can spend the day inside the museum at 211 S. Columbus Blvd. for family-friendly holiday activities. Discover more at www.phillyseaport.org/paradeoflights.
‘Tis the season
Glencairn Museum: Christmas holiday events through Jan. 10 include special exhibitions, tours and programs for all ages (closed Dec. 14, 24- 25 and until 7:15 p.m. Dec. 15). Get the complete schedule at www.glencairnmuseum.org or (267) 502-2600. The museum is at 1001 Cathedral Road, Bryn Athyn. A Christmas Sing is held at 8 p.m. Dec. 15. Tickets are $10.
Christkindlmarkt: The Bethlehem holiday marketplace returns for its 23rd year on weekends through Dec. 20, with more than 130 artisans and vendors, plus activities to put everyone in the holiday spirit at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Regular daily admission is $9 for ages 13+, $5 for children ages 6-12. For more information, visit www.christmascity.org or call (610) 332-3378.
Mercer Museum: The annual exhibit “Under the Tree: A Century of Holiday Trees and Toys” is open through Jan. 3. It features trees decorated to the tastes of earlier eras, together with some of the toys that once delighted children on Christmas mornings past. Admission is $14, $12 for seniors and $8 for youths 6-17. The museum is at Pine Street and Scout Way, Doylestown. For more information, call (215) 345-0210 or visit www.mercermuseum.org.
Historic Philadelphia Center: Through Dec. 17 meet at the center at Sixth and Chestnut streets, Philadelphia, for a Tippler’s Tour Yuletide Cheers & Beers, where you can enjoy a pint, learn about history and raise a glass alongside a Red Coat soldier. Tickets are $40, $35 for students, seniors and members of the military. Tours start at 5:30 p.m. Thursdays. Check www.historicphiladelphia.org/tipplers-tour.
Historic Bethlehem: Christmas 2015 tours and programming through Jan. 10 include A “100 Years of Gift Giving” exhibition will be at the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, 427 N. New St. Also on view will be a display from the Elizabeth Johnston Prime Dollhouse collection. The Moravian Museum of Bethlehem, 66 W. Church St., will host the exhibition “All Dolled Up: Polly and Her Sisters,” focusing on the history and traditions associated with German doll making. “Trees of Many Colors” is a multi-site Christmas tree display highlighting specific time periods at the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem, Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, the 1810 Goundie House, the Single Sisters’ House and the Luckenbach Mill in the Colonial Industrial Quarter, off Main Street in downtown Bethlehem. The Holiday Putz Trail displays miniature replicas of the Nativity scene at the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem Gemeinhaus, Single Sisters’ House, 1810 Goundie House, and Central Moravian Church. See more at www.historicbethlehem.org or call (800) 360-TOUR.
Koziar’s Christmas Village: The Berks County holiday attraction at 782 Christmas Village Road, Bernville, is open through Jan. 2. Hours through Thanksgiving are 6 to 9 p.m. Fridays, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $10, $9 for seniors 65+ and $8 for children 4-10. Learn more at www.koziarschristmasvillage.com.
Lehigh Valley Zoo: The Winter Light Spectacular runs 5:30 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays through Jan. 3 at the zoo, 5150 Game Preserve Road, Schnecksville. Bundle up and enjoy the beauty of nature as you stroll through tree-lined paths lit by thousands of twinkling lights and themed animated displays. Warm up next to the outdoor fire pits while enjoying hot cocoa and s’mores. Call (610) 799-4171 or go to www.lvzoo.org.
Pennypacker Mills: Through Jan. 10, take a free Holiday Tour of the Montgomery County historic site at 5 Haldeman Road, Perkiomen Township, which is adorned with old-fashioned Christmas decorations. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. The last tour of the day begins at 3. The site is closed Dec. 24-25 and 31, and Jan. 1. For more information, or to arrange for a group tour for 10 or more people, call (610) 287-9349. The Victorian Christmas Open House is set for 2 to 8 p.m. Dec. 12.
Franklin Square: The Franklin Square Holiday Festival runs through Dec. 31. Highlights include alternating Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Shows every 30 minutes from 4:30 to 8 p.m.; comfort food, local beers and hot beverages at Ben’s Bites & Brews; a Holiday Market; and special themed nights including Franklin Square Fridays, Santa Saturdays and Seasonal Sounds on Sunday. Find it on South Sixth Street, between Market and Walnut streets, Philadelphia. Check out www.historicphiladelphia.org.
Six Flags Great Adventure: The theme park at Route 537, Jackson, N.J., offers a Holiday in the Park winter attraction on weekends and select days through Jan. 3, including lights, entertainment, Santa’s village and select rides operating. Admission starts at $39.99. Go to www.sixflags.com/greatadventure.
Fonthill Castle and Moravian Pottery and Tile Works: “Winter Wonderland: Holiday Decorations at Fonthill” tours run through Jan. 3 at Henry Mercer’s castle, decked out for the holidays with themed trees and Victorian decorations. Reservations are recommended. The site is off Route 313 and East Court Street, Doylestown. The Fonthill Holiday Lights Meander is set for 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 12. Call (215) 348-9461.
Telford Tree Lighting: Santa comes to Telford Borough with a Tree Lighting at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 in the Marketplace at Telford Station, Main Street and Penn Avenue. There will be hot chocolate and cookies, crafts and photos with Santa.
Mount Hope Estate: Through Dec. 23 “Dickens of A Christmas” features a party at the Victorian Mount Hope Mansion, hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig, then two intimate theater performances in the Ballroom and the Chapel. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $18.95 weekends and $17.95 midweek. Visitors also have the option of purchasing combination meal and show tickets. Lunch or dinner is served in the Anchor & Mermaid Tavern, adjacent to Mount Hope Mansion prior to the scheduled performance. Lunch/show tickets are $31.95 and dinner/show tickets are $42.95. Make reservations at www.parenfaire.com or by calling (717) 665-7021. The Mount Hope Mansion is at 2775 Lebanon Road, Cornwall Township.
Philly Pops: The “Christmas Spectacular” concerts run through Dec. 22 at the Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St., Philadelphia. Times vary. Get more information at www.phillypops.org and (215) 893-1999.
VoxAmaDeus: Handel’s “Messiah” is presented at 4 p.m. Dec. 20 at St. Katharine of Siena Church, 104 S. Aberdeen Ave., Wayne. Tickets are $25, $20 for seniors, $10 for students and children. Call (610) 688-2800 or go to www.voxamadeus.org. At the door, tickets will cost $30, $25 for seniors and $10 for students and children.
Pottsgrove Manor: Guided Twelfth Night tours run through Jan. 10 and focus on the English traditions of Twelfth Night, which was different than Christmas. The manor will be adorned with greens and holly. Suggested donation is $2 per person. Located at 100 W. King St., Pottstown, hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. The “Pottsgrove Manor by Candlelight” event runs 2 to 8 p.m. Dec. 13.
Byers Choice: More than just where the Caroler figurines are made, there’s a creche collection and Christmas Museum open year-round. Located at 4355 County Line Road, New Britain, hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Gerald Charles Dickens, the great-great grandson of British author Charles Dickens, performs a one-man show of “A Christmas Carol,” playing 26 different characters. Not recommended for children under 8, performances are at 7 p.m. Dec. 11, 1 and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 12. Tickets are $20.
Miracle on South 13th Street: This Philadelphia Light Display runs through Jan. 1 on the 1600 block of South 13th Street. Get more details at www.facebook.com/themiracleonsouth13thstreet.
Christmas Tree Display: Lansdale’s fifth annual display is open for the season, with the bonus of North Penn Art Alliance’s Christmas Art Show, at the Hager & Schultz Building, 327 W. Main St. Hours through Dec. 19 are 5 to 8 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Saturdays.
Morgan Log House: Dec. 12 and 13 step back in time and listen to the stories of the families who have lived at Towamencin’s Morgan Log House during the 1700s with Candlelight Tours. Highlights include cooking demonstrations in the 18th century kitchen, light refreshments and live period music. Admission is $7, $5 for students and seniors. The house is off of Weikel Road. Call (215) 368-2480.
Pearl S. Buck International: The 37th annual Festival of Trees, and the annual Holiday Craft Show, is open through Dec. 31 at 520 Dublin Road, Hilltown. Tours are at 11 a.m., noon and 1, 2, and 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and noon, 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $16, $13 for seniors, $8 for students. For more information, visit www.pearlsbuck.org/festival.
Longwood Gardens: You need timed tickets to get into “A Longwood Christmas,” which runs through Jan. 10, and features blue and white twinkling lights, whirling fountain features, thousands of seasonal plants, and a bounty of trees with icicles and fountain-inspired glass ornaments in the conservatory. Outside, check out the Italian Water Garden, illuminated with a 20-foot tree form, a maple tree near the Meadow Boardwalk with its roots aglow, and colorful fountains at the Open Air Theatre. Longwood is near the intersection of Routes 1 and 52, Kennett Township. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For tickets and a schedule of what special events are happening the day you plan to visit, go to www.longwoodgardens.org or call (610) 388-1000.
Fairmount Park houses: “A Festive Tradition” guided trolley tours include stops in three of the six houses (Cedar Grove, Laurel Hill, Lemon Hill, Mount Pleasant, Strawberry Mansion, and Woodford). Which ones you see depend on whether you’re taking the morning or afternoon tour. There’s an option to make a whole day of it, and see all six. Tours are offered through Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and board from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Cost is $38, $30 for Art Museum members. You can register by calling (215) 235-7469 or going to www.philamuseum.org/historichouses.
The art museum hosts other events throughout the season, such as a Hanukkah Party on Dec. 11, “Christmas Story in Art” gallery tours, card making workshops Dec. 16 and 23, and more. Go to www.philamuseum.org/holidays.
Macy’s Center City: The Christmas Light Show and Wanamaker Organ concerts at Macy’s, 1300 Market St., Philadelphia, run through Dec. 31. The Christmas Light Show happens daily every two hours while the store is open. Call (215) 241-9000.
Comcast Holiday Spectacular: The light show is shown hourly 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (except 5 p.m. on weekdays) through Jan. 3 at the Comcast Center, 1701 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Philadelphia. The 15-minute show includes “Carol of the Bells,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and a moment from “The Nutcracker” performed by the Philadelphia Ballet as well as a nostalgic performance by actors from Walnut Street Theatre.
Sesame Place: The theme park at 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, is open with “A Very Furry Christmas,” with festive decorations and several holiday attractions, including: Christmas shows, a music and light show at the 1-2-3 Christmas Tree, and an illuminated Neighborhood Street Party Christmas Parade. For tickets and the schedule through Dec. 31, visit www.sesameplace.com.
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest: Through March 6, enjoy skating on a regulation-sized rink, season-long special events, a winter garden a ski chalet-style lodge, a heated tent and more. New this year is more seating, a 360-degree deck around the rink, expanded food options from Garces Group and others, more twinkling lights and more. Enter from the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing parking lot from Walnut or Market streets, Philadelphia. Check out the hours and prices at www.delawareriverwaterfront.com.
Herr’s Christmas Snacktacular: Check out this light show that runs from dusk till dawn through Jan. 3 at the Herr’s Snack Factory, 20 Herr Drive, Nottingham. Refer to www.herrs.com/whatsnew/specialevents.html.
Shadybrook Farm: The Holiday Light Show runs 5 to 10 p.m. daily through Jan. 10 at 931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley. Admission is $25 per carload. A Community Hanukkah Celebration is set for 5 to 6 p.m. Dec. 10. Get more information at www.shadybrookfarm.com or (215) 968-1670.
Pennsbury Community Chorus: Hear holiday songs of the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s during the 16th annual Winter Concert at 3 p.m. Dec. 12 in Keller Hall at Pennsbury High School’s West Campus, 608 S. Olds Blvd., Fairless Hills. Tickets are $15, $10 for seniors 65+ and $5 for students. Call (215) 949-6780, ext. 70975.
Bucks County Choral Society: “An American Christmas” concert is performed at 8 p.m. Dec. 12 and 4 p.m. Dec. 13 at Our Lady of Guadaulpe Church, Cold Spring Creamery Road, Buckingham Township. Tickets are $23. Call (800) 838-3006 or visit www.buckschoral.org.
Montgomery County Community College: ArCoNet Orchestra’s students and faculty present their eighth annual Holiday Orchestra Concert at 6 p.m. Dec. 13 in the Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Whitpain. The concert will feature the debut of the new ArCoNet Community Choir. Cost is $5 for children, $10 for adults. See www.arconetwork.org.
James A. Michener Art Museum: Town and County Players present a Holiday Concert at 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 12, and 2 p.m. Dec. 13. Tickets are $15, $10 for children. Register at http://townandcountryplayers.org or call (800) 838-3006. The museum is on South Pine Street, Doylestown.
Lansdale Public Library: A “Polar Express” story time with The Conductor, and a screening of the movie, is held at 6 p.m. Dec. 11. Tickets are $1. The library is at Vine Street and Susquehanna Avenue, Lansdale.
Lock 60: The Schuylkill Canal Park site hosts a “Holiday Luminaria” program from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 12. The Locktender’s House will be decorated for the season. Sing along with area musicians and partake in treats and hot cider. Santa will greet children from 6:30 to 7:30. A steady downpour cancels the event. Suggested donation is at least $1. The park is off of Black Rock Road, Upper Providence.
Norristown Farm Park: Bring a glue gun and glue sticks for a “Natural Ornaments” program at 1 p.m. Dec. 13 in the park office, 2500 Upper Farm Road, East Norriton. Pre-registration is $5. Children 10 and up are welcome. Call (610) 270-0215.
Heckler Plains Farmstead: The Heckler Plains Folklife Society will hold a Carol Sing at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Lower Salford historic site at Morris and Landis roads. When the caroling around a bonfire ends, guest are invited into the candlelit farmhouse for hot cider, hot chocolate and homemade treats. Admission to the event is a homemade treat for the groaning board or a handmade ornament.
Fairview Village Church: A walk-through Christmas light display is open 5:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 11-12, with lights galore and animated lighted characters. Also, visit the Christmas Village, Santa’s House, the Elves’ Workshop, the Sweet Shoppe, Gift Shop and a Bethlehem Village with Nativity scene and live animals. Photo opportunities include Santa, superheroes, Frozen’s Elsa and Anna, Minions and more. This event is free and open to the public. Parking is available at Methacton High School, 1005 Kriebel Mill Road, Worcester. Free busing service is provided from Methacton to Lights in the Village, 3044 W. Germantown Pike. For more information, visit www.fairviewvillagechurch.com or call (610) 539-3333.
Historic Germantown: A Holiday Open House is held 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 12 at Grumblethorpe, 5267 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia. Enjoy hot mulled cider and make gingerbread in Grumblethorpe’s historic winter kitchen. You can also make dough ornaments, distelfinks and snowflakes, hear holiday stories and maybe even a get visit from Santa.
Brandywine River Museum: “A Brandywine Christmas” features an O-gauge model train display, rare antique dolls display and plenty of whimsical ornaments and decorations through Jan 7. The museum is on Route 1, Chadds Ford. Other highlights include a children’s Christmas Party on Dec. 9 and more. Check www.brandywinemuseum.org. The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed Christmas Day). Admission is $15, $10 for seniors 65 and over, $6 for students and children 6-18. For more information, call (610) 388-2700.
Greenberg Toy and Train Show: The show returns to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 12-13. The center is at 100 Station Drive, Upper Providence. Admission is $9, $7 at www.greenbergshows.com and free to children under 12.
Abington Lines Model Railroad Club: A free open house is held noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 12-13 at 2066 Second Street Pike (Route 232), Richboro. Call (215) 598-7720 or go to www.abingtonlines.org.
Chelten Hills Model Railroad Club: The holiday season open house schedule begins noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 12-13 in the old train station at 8000 Old York Road, Elkins Park. Admission is free. Call (215) 635-9747 or visit www.cheltenhillsmrr.org.
Keystone N-Trak: A free open house of their N scale layout is held 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 19-20 at the rear entrance of the Dublin TEC Center, 123 N. Main St. (Route 313), Dublin.
Reading Terminal Market: The annual Model Train Display is open daily at 10 a.m. till close through Dec. 31 (closed Christmas Day). Call (215) 922-2317. The market is at 12th and Arch streets, Philadelphia.