HOLIDAY WEEKEND FUN GRAB BAG: Events help you kick of the season of cheer

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Chadds Ford Historical Society: From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 26, the museum store is open to shoppers as part of Small Business Saturday. Browse items the reflect the heritage of Chadds Ford and the Brandywine Valley, including locally handmade soaps, books on local history subjects, historically-inspired treats like jams, chocolate and beverages, vintage home décor, greeting cards by local artists and more. Check www.chaddsfordhistory.org for a list of flash sales times.
From 1 to 6 p.m. Dec. 3, tour historic sites in Chadds Ford and Pennsbury Townships on the 31st annual Candlelight Christmas Tour. This year’s tour features important sites related to the Battle of Brandywine in 1777, including Thornbury Farm, the Old Kennett Meetinghouse, Brandywine Baptist Church, the John Chads House and the Barns-Brinton House. At Thornbury Farm join in a Christmas sing-along with the SAI music sorority from Temple University accompanied on a restored 1926 Mudler Hunter pipe organ. Tours begin at the Historical Society’s Barn Visitors’ Center, 1736 N. Creek Road, Chadds Ford. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Visit www.candlelightchristmasinchaddsford.com for additional information.
Norristown Farm Park: Make a holiday wreath that will last for seasons to come using natural materials, such as grapevine, pinecones, nuts and flower pods at 1 p.m. Nov. 27. Seasonal ribbon and bows will be available at no extra charge. Bring a glue gun and glue sticks. This program is suitable for adults and children 14 and older. There is a $5 fee per person. Preregistration is required by calling (610) 270-0215. Meet in the salt wing of the barn. Norristown Farm Park is located at Barley Sheaf Drive and Germantown Pike in East Norriton.
Souderton Holiday Parade: The parade steps off at 11 a.m. Dec. 3 from Main Street to Broad Street. This year’s theme is “The Sweetness of the Holiday Season.” Note that the Tree Lighting ceremony begins at 6 p.m., along with photos with Santa, music, crafts and more. Visit www.stmainst.org.

International Ballet Theater performs "The Nutcracker" at Ursinus College Dec. 3.

International Ballet Theater performs “The Nutcracker” at Ursinus College Dec. 3.

Ursinus College: International Ballet Theater presents “The Nutcracker,” with international guest artists from Russia, Ukraine, Spain, China and the USA, at the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center, 601 E. Main St., Collegeville. Performances will be at 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 3. Tickets are $28, $18 for children and seniors. Visit www.ibtcompany.org.
Green Lane Park: “Holiday Craft Workshops” start at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 3. Create decorations using natural materials. At 10 a.m. participants will make “Kissing Balls.” At 1 p.m. join staff for a “Holiday Wall Hanging” workshop. Participants will use local cones, nuts and seed pods to make attractive decorations. Bring a hot glue gun, and it’s OK to sign up for both workshops. There is an $8 materials fee for each workshop. Light refreshments will be provided, and there will be a fire in the fireplace. Programs will be held in the Stone Pavilion in the Deep Creek Area of Green Lane Park, 2144 Snyder Road, Marlborough Township, and are suitable for ages 12 and older. Pre-registration is required by calling (215) 234-4528.
Phoenixville Candlelight Holiday Tours: Tours are held 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 3 of 12 decorated homes, houses of worship and adaptive re-use structures. Points of interest include brass choir concerts, violin music, the oldest house in Phoenixville, a vintage doll house, caroling and refreshments. Proceeds benefit Ann’s Heart Code Blue Shelter and the Firebird Children’s Theatre. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at https://phxholidaytour.weebly.com or in person at Foresta’s Market, Ellie’s Choice or Phoenixville Hardware (True Value). Patrons may also purchase tickets the day of the tour. Programs and tickets will be available from 2:30 on at First Presbyterian Church, 145 Main St. For further information, call (610) 933-9181.
Mitchell Performing Arts Center: Academy of the New Church Secondary Schools stages “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at 8 p.m. Dec. 1-2 and 4 and 7 p.m. Dec. 3 at 800 Tomlinson Road, Bryn Athyn. Tickets are $10, $8 for students and children. Go to www.ancss.org or call (267) 502-4810.
Brandywine River Museum of Art: “A Brandywine Christmas” offers a model train display, “A Holiday Fantasy: The Ann Wyeth McCoy Doll Collection,” trees decorated for the season with Critter ornaments, musical performances, drop-in creative art activities for all ages, holiday tours and other special events. The museum is open till 9 p.m. Thursdays in December, with dinner available for purchase. For more information, call (610) 388.2700 or visit www.brandywinemuseum.org.
Schuylkill Valley Model Railroad Club: The club’s annual Model Railroad Open House runs 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 26-27 and Dec. 3-4 at 400 S. Main St., Phoenixville. For more, call (610) 935-1126 or visit www.svmrrc.com.

Mennonite Heritage Center: The “Christmas Feast” Show & Sale and “The Visual Feast” traditional art exhibit runs Dec. 3-31, with pottery, bowls, folk art and functional crafts. The special opening event 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3 features a Farm Market on the lower level of the historic barn. The Mennonite Heritage Center is at 565 Yoder Road, Franconia. Call (215) 256-3020.
Joint Holiday Tour: From 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3 and noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 4, it’s a joint open house at the Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Road, Franconia; the Goschenhoppen Historians Museum, Route 29, Green Lane; and the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center, 105 Seminary St., Pennsburg.
Linvilla Orchards: Throughout December, bundle up and enjoy the scenery of the Christmasland display at 137 Knowlton Road, Media. Every Saturday evening until Christmas, there will be wassailing caroling hayrides. Every Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m., Santa stops by. Other highlights include a Christmas Shop and Garden Center, cut-your-own Christmas trees, hot mulled cider, children’s crafts and more. For more information, visit www.linvilla.com or call (610) 876-7116.
Abington High School: The Abington Choral Club presents a “Joy and Peace” holiday concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at the school, 900 Highland Ave., Abington. Suggested donation is $10.
Pennypacker Mills: Holiday Tours continue through Jan. 8. Take a step back in time to Christmas in the early 1900s, when the Pennypackers lived in the not-yet-electrified house at 5 Haldeman Road, Perkiomen Township. In the kitchen, see a demonstration of clear toy candy making, and browse vintage inspired decorations and gifts in the Museum Shop.
A Victorian Christmas Open House is set for Dec. 10 from 2 to 8 p.m., with bell choir music on the mansion porch and a Victorian Santa Claus.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays (closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day). Admission is free. For more information, call (610) 287-9349 or visit www.montcopa.org/pennypackermills.
Lehigh Valley Zoo: The Winter Light Spectacular runs 5:30 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays through Jan. 3. New attractions include musical light shows with “Star Wars,” “Frozen” and “Minions” themes. These shows will take place in the zoo’s Otter Stadium. Winter Light Spectacular will also feature eight themed display areas, holiday movies, fire pits, giant snow globes, a live reindeer, photos with Santa Claus and treat stations with s’mores and hot chocolate. The event will be on break for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas. Tickets are $14, $9 for children 2-11. The zoo is at 5150 Game Preserve Road, Schnecksville. Visit www.lvzoo.org.
Glencairn Museum: Christmas in the Castle guided tours, a “Christmas in Pennsylvania” exhibition and a “World Nativities” exhibition, with 40 different scenes depicting the Christmas story from artists and cultures around the world, open Nov. 25 and continue through Jan. 8. Tour reservations can be made at (267) 502-2990. Suggested donation is $5 per person. Cost for the Christmas in the Castle guided tours is $12, $10 for seniors 65+ and students, free for children 3 and under. Hours will be noon to 4:30 p.m., closed Dec. 12 and 24-25, opening late at 7:15 p.m. Dec. 13. Glencairn is at 1001 Cathedral Road, Bryn Athyn. Visit www.glencairnmuseum.org.
Morgan Log House: A family friendly Gingerbread Workshop is held 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 26. Registration fee is $10. Morgan Log House is at 850 Weikel Road, Towamencin. Call (215) 368-2480 to register.
Mercer Museum: “Under the Tree: A Century of Holiday Trees and Toys,” the museum’s annual holiday exhibit features trees decorated to the tastes of earlier eras, together with displays of some of the toys and games, continues through Jan. 2. Admission is $14, $12 for seniors 65+, $8 for youths 6-17. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. The Mercer Museum is at 84 S. Pine St., Doylestown.
Peddler’s Village: The annual Gingerbread Competition and Display is on view in the Village Gazebo, and will be open during shopping hours through Jan. 2. The annual Peddler’s Village Christmas Festival is held 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 3-4. New this year is the Santa and Mrs. Claus Parade at 1:30 p.m. both days, starting in front of Buttonwood Grill (Route 202 and Street Road) winding through the Main Green and ending at Giggleberry Fair. The village is near the intersection of Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska. For more information, visit www.peddlersvillage.com or call (215) 794-4000.
Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem: The holiday marketplace returns to SteelStacks weekends through Dec. 18. Tickets are on sale at www.christmascity.org and (610) 332-3378. Modelled after the old-world open-air markets of Germany and other parts of Europe, Christkindlmarkt showcases an array of artisans and vendors, and features St. Nicholas, glassblowing demonstrations, live music and German fare like wursts, strudel and lebkuchen. For 2016, Christkindlmarkt has expanded from two to four tents, resulting in up to 150 vendors each weekend. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is $9 for ages 13 and older, $5 for children ages 6-12.
Holiday Mirthful Angel Pottery and Sculpture Studio Open House: This event happens from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 2-4 at 1301 Valley Forge Road, Eagleville. Browse gifts of handcrafted pottery and stoneware. Call (610) 287-5012 or email mirthfulangelpottery@gmail.com.
Pearl S. Buck International: The Festival of Trees continues through Dec. 31 (closed Dec. 25). Various tour times and tour packages are available. See www.pearlsbuck.org/Festival for details. The annual juried Craft Show is held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 25-Dec. 4. The show will be set up like a boutique and admission will be $4. Refreshments will be available at the Luncheon Café. The Pearl S. Buck House is at 520 Dublin Road, Hilltown.
Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation: The colonial house will be dressed for the holidays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3. There will be puppet shows for children at noon and 2:30 p.m. The youngsters are also welcome to make candles too. Outdoor greenery will greet visitors upon their arrival at the farmhouse, and swags of green with bunches of berries draw attention to the antique furnishings in the parlors. Don’t miss the tea display in the parlor. Admission to “Christmas at the Farm” is $10, $8 for children 4-12. The plantation is in Ridley Creek State Park; enter from the park entrances on Route 3, Route 352 or Providence Road. Visit www.colonialplantation.org or call (610) 566-1725.
Elfreth’s Alley: The annual Deck the Alley holiday open house is scheduled for 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 3. Step into, or view, many of the Philadelphia neighborhood’s 30 private homes. Tickets for are $25 per adult. There are also family and group rates available. Go to https://elfrethsalley.ticketleap.com/deck-the-alley-2016, e-mail info@elfrethsalley.org or visit https://www.facebook.com/elfrethsalleymuseum.
New Hope Ivyland Railroad: North Pole Express train rides run daily through Dec. 23 and Dec. 26-31. The New Hope station is at 32 W. Bridge St. First class and coach tickets are available. Call (215) 862-2332 or see www.newhoperailroad.com.
SALT Performing Arts: See “Christmas Spectacular 2016” Dec. 2-11 at 1645 Art School Road, Chester Springs. Christmas cookies will be available by Cookies by Design in the lobby during all performances, and cash bar will be available. Purchase tickets at www.saltpa.com or call (610) 703-1734.
Supplee Presbyterian Church: The Ambler Choral Society presents “Prelude to the Holidays” at 3 p.m. Nov. 27 at the church, 855 E. Welsh Road, Maple Glen. Tickets are $20, $5 for children. Visit www.amblerchoralsociety.org.
West Chester Christmas Parade: On Dec. 2, the Jingle Elf Run starts at 6:30 p.m., followed by the parade at 7:15. The Holiday Village will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. Get all the details at www.greaterwestchester.com.
Whiteland Town Center: From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., take a free horse-drawn carriage ride with Santa and Mrs. Claus. On Nov. 26, the rides depart from the Music and Arts Center, and on Dec. 3 they depart from Famous Footwear. There will be a free gift and hot chocolate for all riders. Whiteland Town Center is at Routes 30 and 100, Exton.

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