Weekday Picks for Philly Kids: Winter Solstice, Hanukkah Fun, Christmas Lights December 19-23

Philly families welcome the arrival of winter this week as the season officially begins with the winter solstice on Wednesday, December 21st. Mark the start of a new season with a peaceful walk at Bowman Hill's Wildflower Preserve or a bonfire and hot chocolate at Stateline Wood Preserve. Continue outdoor fun with a visit to Longwood Garden's A Longwood Christmas or St. Peter's Episcopal Church's Lights of Christmas. Or, get a history lesson and head to Valley Forge as performers reenact George Washington's Annual March-In of the Continental Army Commemoration.

In addition to winter fun, there is Hanukkah excitement in the days leading up to the holiday. Upper Merion Library features two Hanukkah Story Times, Tiferet Bet Israel hosts Hanukkah fun with Puppets Pizzazz event, and Franklin Square celebrates the Festival of Lights at its Hanukkah Celebration.

Stay up to date with the latest fun by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Keep reading to discover the fun that awaits this week.

Did you nominate your favorite go-to spot, play space, or family-friendly service for our Philly Bestie Award yet? If not, nominate your Besties today! Starting in January, fans can vote for your favorites and win awesome prizes.

What's Open on Christmas Day in Philly: 11 Things To Do with Kids

On Christmas Day after the presents are all unwrapped and only crumbs are left in the cookie tin, you may be thinking it's time to get out of the house. Whether the sugar rush is kicking in or you just don't want to deal with the mess, there are quite a few places open on December 25 to take the kids.

We found options for families that don't celebrate the holiday as well as ideas for enjoying the Christmas spirit. Either way, we have a list of ideas to get out and about and spend a day with the kids in the Philadelphia area. Continue reading for our selections.

STEM Camps and Classes for Robotics, Coding, and Engineering Fun

It's no secret that today's kids will need a robust education in STEM subjects to thrive in an economy exploding with science and technology careers. Both in and outside of schools, educators and parents are looking for ways to provide more science, technology, engineering, and math studies for children. There are many programs out there, but which ones really teach the skills that kids need? We checked out a Sylvan Learning EDGE class to see what Sylvan Learning, long-known for tutoring and test prep programs, offers with its Sylvan EDGE STEM programs.

Sylvan EDGE offers six week programs for kids from grades 1 to 6 in Robotics for Kids, Engineering, Coding for Kids, Math EDGE, plus Sylvan EDGE Camps. My 10-year-old son tried out a Robotics for Kids class, and it definitely stood apart from many of the other STEM activities we’ve tried.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Nutcrackers, Ugly Sweaters, Latkepalooza December 17-18

Philly kids may be hoping to receive the latest gaming device, or the most coveted doll this holiday season. Instead, consider giving children the gift of experiences by attending one of the many festive and fun activities in our events calendar.

Burn off some anticipated holiday calories by signing up for Philadelphia's Ugly Sweater Run in Fairmount Park. See a nutcracker production at Plymouth/Whitemarsh High School, The Merriam Theater, or Mandell Theater at Drexel University. Dress up for a Children's Holiday Tea at The Radnor Hotel or sip cocoa at The Doubletree Hotel's Tea with the Sugar Plum Fairy before seeing George Balanchine's The Nutcracker at The Academy of Music. Hop aboard a special train ride to see Santa at Colebrookdale Railroad, West Chester Railroad, or New Hope & Ivyland Railroad. Conclude the weekend by driving around in the car with travel mugs filled with hot chocolate to see both neighborhood and professional holiday lights.

For now, keep reading for this weekend's top picks to make some magical memories. Creating memories is a great gift to give but a better one to receive.

Do you have a favorite go-to spot, play space, or family-friendly service that makes your job as a Philly parent easier? If so, nominate your Besties for our Philly Bestie Award! Starting in January, fans can vote for your favorites and win awesome prizes.

25 Things To Do with Philly Kids Over Winter Break

Christmas is almost here and so is winter break. Having the kids around the house for a week (or more) can be great, but it can also be exhausting. With cold weather here to stay, getting out of the house may be a little tougher than usual, but Philly has plenty of fun activities to keep kids busy. Check out Disney on Ice, family studio time at the art museum, a new exhibit at the Franklin Institute, or see a show at the Arden Theatre!

Hot Holiday Deals: Diggerland, Sahara Sam's, Rockettes, and More

We've rounded up some great deals from our partners to get your holidays hopping with special savings. Help yourself to extra servings of fun and convenience with discounted tickets to area amuseument parks, top shows like the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Gazillion Bubble Show, and more. With so much going on, it's the perfect time to try delivery from Babeth's Feast. Your special offer will make dinner a snap and a great deal. As always, you'll find lots more holiday fun in the Mommy Poppins Holiday Guide.

Snow Tubing Fun for Philly Families

As a kid, snow tubing was one of the first winter “sports” I first experienced. I call it a “sport” because actually my tubing adventures consisted of our dad pulling snow tubes behind his 4-wheeler around our house. Safety standards have changed since the 1980s, so now we don’t have to resort to such…creative…measures to entertain our kids and get in on the snowy fun. We can easily take a quick trip from the city-limits and enjoy a day-long adventure of snow tubing down carefully crafted snow lanes! Winter fun doesn’t get more exciting than this!
If tubing isn’t your thing, many of the resorts also offer skiing, gorgeous wintery views, and in some cases nearby ice skating as well. 
If you don’t mind the trip and want to check out other great resorts, check out New York snowtubing locations for more adventures. 

Philly Area Restaurants Open Christmas Day

That Christmas goose may be getting fat, but you have no desire to cook it. And who could blame you? After all the shopping and excursions to enjoy area events, why not take a holiday yourself and spend your meal enjoying your family instead of cooking and cleaning away! Philadelphia's ample dining scene leaves you with plenty of options to choose from. Here's a roundup of open restaurants on Christmas Day, serving up traditional (and not-so-traditional) fare!


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