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Holiday fun near and not to far

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STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN 
bbingaman@21st-centurymedia.com
@brianbingaman on Twitter

Disney on Ice
Wells Fargo Center: Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White, Tiana, Anna, Elsa and Olaf are all part of the cast of “Disney on Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic,” running through Jan. 3 at the Philadelphia arena at 3601 S. Broad St. Tickets range from $15-$100. Call (215) 336-3600.
Crossing the Delaware
Washington Crossing Historic Park: Depending on the weather and river conditions, a reenactment of the Continental Army’s pivotal Christmas Day crossing of the Delaware River is scheduled for 1 p.m. Dec. 25. Even if the crossing can’t be attempted, there will be ceremonies, speeches and commemorative activities. The park is at 1112 River Road, Upper Makefield. Admission is free.
Concert collaborations
Kimmel Center: The Strauss Symphony of America and dancers from Europaballett St.Pölten and International Champion Ballroom Dancers present “Salute to Vienna” at 2:20 p.m. Dec. 27 in Verizon Hall, 300 S. Broad St., Philadelphia. Tickets range from $51-$111.
Political satirists The Capitol Steps join the Philadelphia Orchestra on stage at 2 p.m. Jan. 3. Tickets range from $29-$75.
Call (215) 893-1999 or check www.kimmelcenter.org.
State Theatre: The Pennsylvania Philharmonic performs with Cirque de la Symphonie jugglers, contortionists, strongmen and more. Show time is 2 p.m. Jan. 3. The theater is at 453 Northampton St., Easton. Tickets range from $35-$55. Call (800) 999-7828.
Play time
Franklin Institute: Creation Station, featuring giant Tinker Toys, Legos, Keva Planks, and Imagination Playground blocks and noodles, encourages creative building play from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 28-31. Get details on admission and a full schedule at www.fi.edu.
Check it out
National Liberty Museum: Exhibits on view include “Biblical Stained Glass Art,” with 12 stained glass scenes depicting heroes of the Bible, a glass chess set with Christian and Jewish figures engaged in dialogue and other works of art and religious paintings; “Voyage to Liberty Gallery,” which invites visitors to explore the voyages that people of all faiths and backgrounds have taken; and a special papal exhibit in honor of the 2015 World Meeting of Families, entitled “Building Bridges of Faith: Photographs of Papal Visits to the Holy Land, 1963-2015.” Located at 321 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, the museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (hours subject to change on holidays). Admission is $7, $6 for seniors, $5 for students, $2 for youths 5-17 with an adult, $15 for families with two adults and children. See http://libertymuseum.org.
Reading Public Museum: Current exhibition highlights include “Awkward Family Photos,” “Be the Dinosaur: Life in the Cretaceous,” “Fat Dogs and Coughing Horses” and “The Funnies: Vintage Comic strips, 1940s-1960s.” Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). Admission is $10, $6 for seniors, youths 4-17 and students. For everything the museum at 500 Museum Road, Reading, has to offer, go to www.readingpublicmuseum.org.
Kwanzaa’s here
Please Touch Museum: Performances by Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble and Tucker’s Tales puppetry troupe are among the schedule of activities of a Kwanzaa Celebration through Dec. 30 at the museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia. Call (215) 581-3181. Also see www.pleasetouchmuseum.org/event/kwanzaa-celebration.
Three Kings
SteelStacks: Follow the star to Bethlehem 2 to 6 p.m. Jan. 3 with a celebration of El Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day), the cherished religious and cultural tradition of many Latin American countries. Children are encouraged to put on their best cloak and crown to dress up as their favorite king for the “Best Dressed King” contest. Kids can also take part in games, making their own crown and a scavenger hunt, while enjoying live music provided by Los Pleneros USA and Herencia Jibara. Admission is free. The ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks is at 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem. Visit www.steelstacks.org.
Future is now
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center: There will be a plethora of activities and exhibits for children of varying interests and curiosity levels at The Young Innovators Fair, a K-12 Science-Technology-Engineering-Math event happening at the center 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan 2-3. Highlights include hands-on attractions, exhibits and live entertainment. Participants include Google, Pixar, Kahn Academy, the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts, local museums and dozens more. The expo center is at 100 Station Ave., Upper Providence. See the complete lineup and get ticket information at www.younginnovatorsfair.com.
Natural order
Academy of Natural Sciences: All-Star Days Dec. 26-30 means stage shows, fossils, hands-on science and specimens from the collection of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. Dec. 26 is “Dino Day” and Dec. 27 is “Bug Day.” Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $15.95; $13.95 for children 3-12, seniors, college students and military personnel. Call (215) 299-1000 or visit www.ansp.org.
Winter at Valley Forge
Valley Forge National Historical Park: Children 7 and up are invited to join a muster for George Washington’s Continental Army at 11 a.m. Jan. 2. Dress for cold weather and wear sturdy shoes. Sign in for this free program by 10:45 at the park’s visitor center, 1400 N. Outer Line Drive, Upper Merion. Call (610) 783-1075 or email william_troppman@nps.gov.
‘Tis the season
Zoellner Arts Center: Twelve Twenty Four channels the rock orchestra concert performances of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, as well as their own holiday creations, at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 28. Tickets are $31.25. The venue is at 420 E. Packer Ave., Bethlehem. Call (610) 758-2787.
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library: “Yuletide at Winterthur” continues through Jan. 3. Henry Francis du Pont’s home has been decorated in holiday style, including visions of the Gilded Age and a dried-flower tree, featuring 60 varieties of flowers. Reservations for tours are recommended and are $20. The site is at 5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52), Winterthur, Del. Call (800) 448-3883 or email tourinfo@winterthur.org.
Glencairn Museum: Christmas holiday events through Jan. 10 include special exhibitions, tours and programs for all ages (closed Dec. 25). Get the complete schedule at www.glencairnmuseum.org or (267) 502-2600. The museum is at 1001 Cathedral Road, Bryn Athyn.
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 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.
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. Special Candlelight Holiday Tours run from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 26 and Jan. 2. Call (215) 348-9461.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Get more information at www.shadybrookfarm.com or (215) 968-1670.
Adventure Aquarium: The Christmas Celebration lasts through Dec. 31 and features Scuba Santa, holiday characters, decorations, lights, live shows and more. The aquarium is at 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, N.J. Plan your visit at www.adventureaquarium.org.
Lights in the Parkway: This year’s City of Allentown light display is in locations throughout the city through Dec. 31. Admission is free and there will be special events throughout the season. For hours and more information, call (610) 437-7757 or go to www.lightsintheparkway.com/Parks-and-Recreation/Recreation/Annual-Events/Allentown-Lights.
National Christmas Center: The family attraction and museum is open year-round at 3427 Lincoln Highway, Paradise. It’s closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day; otherwise hours are generally 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, with the last ticket sold one hour prior to closing. Admission is $12.50, $5 for children 3-12. Call (717) 442-7950 or visit www.nationalchristmascenter.com.
All aboard
Morris Arboretum: Running through Jan. 3 is the Garden Railway exhibit. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed Dec. 24-25 and Jan. 1). It features a quarter-mile of track, with seven loops and tunnels, 15 different rail lines, two cable cars and nine bridges (including a trestle bridge you can walk under), all set in the winter garden of the Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia. The display and buildings are all made of natural materials. Admission is $16, $14 for seniors 65+, $8 for youths 3-17, students and active and retired military.
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.
Abington Lines Model Railroad Club: A free open house is held noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 26-27 and Jan. 2-3 at 2066 Second Street Pike (Route 232), Richboro. Call (215) 598-7720 or go to www.abingtonlines.org.
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.
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church: The St. Alban’s Railroad Fellowship invites you to a free HO gauge model railroad open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 26 and Jan. 3 at 3625 Chapel Road, Newtown Square (under the thrift shop). See www.starr-mrc.org.
New Hope & Ivyland Railroad: Through Jan. 3, ride a train with Santa, Mrs. Claus and a host of holiday revelers. Children and adults of all ages are invited to ride, listen to music, sing Christmas carols, sip hot cocoa and enjoy cookies while Santa visits with each child and presents them with a gift. Children are encouraged to come dressed in pajamas as well. Cash bar is available onboard the train, but there’s no dinner served. Check the schedules and fares at www.newhoperailroad.com. The New Hope station is at 32 W. Bridge St.

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