2019 Holiday Happenings in University City

Nov 15, 2019 6 months ago

The winter holidays are alive in University City! We've collected some highlights from throughout the neighborhood of fun activities to celebrate. See our community calendar for a comprehensive list of neighborhood offerings and check out these highlights. 

Thanksgiving Eve Karaoke at Dock Street Cannery

Wednesday, November 27th

What better way to prepare you for a full day of eating, and being cooped up inside with the family than jamming and singing at the top of your lungs to your favorite bops at Dock Street Cannery + Lounge? Dust off the ol’ pipes, kids, because Dr Thunder Karaoke is in the house from 8 pm - 11 pm. They've got very fresh beers on tap that pair perfectly with pitchy high notes, amazing cocktails, and very great bartenders. Click here to RSVP



Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner/

Coat Giveaway/Worship Service

Thursday, November 28th

Join Holy Apostles & The Mediator Church (260 South 51st Street) on Thanksgiving Day from 10 AM to 2 PM for their "Lovesgiving" event, featuring a Thanksgiving community dinner, a coat giveaway, and a worship service. The menu will include: turkey, stuffing, rice, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, gravy, string beans, rolls, and desserts. 

For more information call 215-307-3273. 

This event is sponsored by Eddie's House, Holy Apostles and the Mediator Church, Mosaic Community Church, and friends. 



Kick off the Holidays at Greensgrow West

Saturday, November 30th

This year Greensgrow West (5123 Baltimore Avenue) is bringing you Pennsylvania grown Fraser Firs, Turkish Firs, Nordmann Firs and Douglas Firs grown on a small family farm in Carbon County, Pa. They’ll have wreaths, garlands, decorative greens and branches, pine cones and more. Complimentary cider on weekends through the holidays!

A tree from Greensgrow supports green space in your community!




Shop Penn Deals and Dining

December 1st-7th

‘Tis the season to EAT, SHOP + BE MERRY! SHOP PENN Holiday Happenings celebrates the season with curated shopping, dining and cultural offerings in the University of Pennsylvania retail district.

During SHOP PENN Days of Deals, December 1-7, watch for special events, discounts, contest giveaways, and experiences for all. Follow SHOP PENN on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (@shopsatpenn) for a chance to win gift cards to our retail locations throughout the week! Click here for a full list of participating businesses. 



Pop Up Holiday Shop at Clarkville:

The Flat Files Explode 

11/30, 12/1, 12/14, and 12/15 from 11 AM - 5 PM

Get to Clarkville for a holiday Pop Up featuring local Philadelphia artists, photographers and collectors who rescue + reveal long-buried treasures from their studio flat files and photo boxes!

A unique holiday pop up shop, small by design, a handful of different artists will set up each day. ARTISTS INCLUDE: Thom Lessner, Candy Coated, Addye Durant, Bryan Willette, Rachel Mackow, Andrew Vickery + the AMV Crew, Robin Palley + Henry Brann and many more!

This event will occur from 11 AM to 5 PM on 11/30, 12/1, 12/14, and 12/15. 





Barnes Presents! Artist Pitch & Holiday Party

Thursday, December 5th

Celebrate the holidays with Barnes @ LoLa 38 at this after-work holiday party. Festivities will include lite refreshments, music and an Artist Pitch. In an open-mic style, West Philly artists are invited to showcase and pitch themselves to local residents, like you, for a chance to lead one of the monthly, "Barnes @ LoLa 38" creative programs: Family Art Workshop, Teen Open Studio, and Barnes Presents!

21+ BYOB happy hour and networking.

Since June, Barnes @ LoLa 38 has connected over 15 West Philadelphia-based artists with local communities through various art programs at The Bank. As we enter the New Year we are seeking to expand our artist network and program offerings. .

Are you an artist interested in pitching yourself to lead one of the creative programs? Pre-register online no later than Friday, November 29, 2019 11:59p: https://tinyurl.com/barneslola38call

Need further details? https://tinyurl.com/barneslola38callinfo



SEPTA Holiday Bus Display at The Porch 

Friday, December 6th 

On Friday, December 6th, we will welcome a decorated holiday LUCY bus to The Porch. Take a tour, take some pictures, and get into the holiday spirit! This is the first year that LUCY buses are encouraged to get gussied up for the holidays, and we'll be welcoming the LUCY bus that is declared the most festive. This event is FAIR WEATHER ONLY. Click here to RSVP.




Holiday Ceramic Workshops at Black Hound 

Friday, December 6th and Sunday, December 8th

Head to Black Hound Clay Studio (711 South 50th Street) for two evenings of fun holiday classes!

  • On Friday, December 6th, instructor Aliza Schweitzer will lead a Friday night workshop to create holiday ornaments. Participants will use cookie cutters to create clay ornaments, and then use carving and slip trailing techniques to decorate them. Hot cocoa and cookies will be served. Click here to register.
  • On Sunday December 8th, Aliza Schweitzer will be back to lead a Sunday night workshop where you can make your own customized handbuilt menorah to celebrate Hannukah. No experience working in clay required! They will provide step by step instructions that are easy for all ages to follow. You can then select a glaze and have your menorah fired in a kiln, and pick it up within two weeks. Click here to register.



Penn Museum Celebrations Around the World

Saturday, December 7th 

Gather your family and friends to experience the holiday festivities of cultures across the globe! Visitors receive “passports” with itineraries that encourage guests to discover holiday traditions, such as Diwali, the Dragon-Boat Festival, and Eid-al-Fitr and Ramadan. Special holiday performances will fill our Rotunda with enchantingly beautiful music. Create a special craft as a gift, participate in Indian dance and sari-wrapping, design your own Rangoli or Arabic calligraphy, and enjoy hot chocolate and Sphinx cookies in the café. Kids can enjoy elegant face painting and adults can stop in the Museum Shop to discover terrific holiday gifts—all part of this annual celebration throughout the Museum's galleries.

Free with museum admission. Link


Holiday West Craft Fest

Saturday, December 7th & Sunday, December 8th

On Saturday, December 7th and Sunday, December 8th, VIX Emporium will present the holiday edition of the West Craft Fest at the Rotunda (40th and Walnut). The vendors will be all different on each day, so shop both days if you can! Shop artisan jewelry, handmade ceramics, clothing, accessories, prints, stationery, soaps, candles, children's items, homewares, holiday items and more, all made locally by independent makers and small businesses. Rain, Snow or Shine.

Click here for more information.



MLK Day Events at the University of Pennsylvania


The University of Pennsylvania is offering events and volunteer opportunities to honor and celebrate Dr. King. 

  • 19th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture in Social Justice on Wednesday, January 15th from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm
    • The 19th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture in Social Justice proudly presents Angela Davis and Gina Dent in conversation with Margo Natalie Crawford, Professor of English and Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Professor for Faculty Excellence.
  • The Radical King on Thursday, January 16th from 1 pm to 3 pm
    • Head to Penn Dental's Schattner Center (240 South 40th Street) for a critical analysis of Dr. King's messaging by Dr. Anthony Monterio. 
  • Holiday Quizzo on December 4th
    • Join City Tap as they find the merriest group of Santa's helpers through a trivia night filled with your favorite holiday movies and songs, from 9 PM to 11 PM
  • Santa Con Brunch Party December 7th
    • Spread holiday cheer in your best Saint Nick attire during brunch starting at 11 AM
  • Holiday Jam on December 21st
    • Deck the halls with Grateful tunes this December. They'll have Splintered Sunlight back in house this holiday season bringing you their unique take on the music of the Grateful Dead. Enjoy heady & holiday beers and spirited cocktails
  • Noon Year's Eve and New Years 2020 Bash on December 31st
    • Celebrate early with a family-friendly event featuring live music, face painting, crafts, and a noon ball drop, or return starting at 8 PM for a bash featuring a buffet and premier bar


Winter Community Cleanup Day 

Saturday, December 7th

Help keep your neighborhood clean by joining a community cleanup on Saturday, December 7th . UCD is partnering with the City of Philadelphia to assist block captains, students, volunteer groups and neighbors by providing trash bags, brooms, work gloves, and trash pickup. Due to community input, this will be the first of two fall cleanups we will organize. Please stay tuned for details on the second cleanup, which will occur near the end of November or early December.

To sign up and join the effort, please contact us via email or by calling 215-243-0555. 



Dianne Reeves: Christmas Time is Here

Sunday, December 8th

Head to the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at 3680 Walnut Street to join five-time Grammy® Award winner and 2018 NEA Jazz Master Dianne Reeves, “a jazz singer of frequently astonishing skill" (The New York Times), as she celebrates Christmas with spellbinding renditions of holiday favorites. 

Get your tickets here.





Thursday, December 12th - 14th

An Annenberg Center original commission returns to its roots! Choreographed by Daniel Ezralow and called “infectious fun” by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Xmas Philes pairs PHILADANCO's colorful tapestry of movement with humor and beloved Christmas classics.

The 19/20 dance series is presented by the Annenberg Center and NextMove Dance.

Performances are:

Thursday, December 12 @ 7:30 PM

Friday, December 13 @ 8 PM

Saturday, December 14 @ 2 PM

Saturday, December 14 @ 8 PM

Get tickets here.


Santa at the Bottle Shop at Local 44

Saturday, December 14th

West Philly's favorite BYO Kid + Camera event returns on Saturday, December 14th. The event will feature photos with Santa, stories with Santa, beer for the grownups (and Santa), holiday shopping, and more! Click here for more details.  





Holiday Events and Shows at World Cafe Live

Acclaimed music venue World Cafe Live (3025 Walnut Street) is rocking this holiday season! Check out a list of holiday-themed events below. 


Woodlands Winter Solstice Bird Walk

Friday, December 20th


Celebrate the Winter Solstice with a bird walk through The Woodlands (4000 Woodland Avenue). Led by resident birding expert Victoria aka "Toribird", this hour-long bird walk will take you through the historic Woodlands Cemetery to explore the wildlife that lives in our urban tree canopy. 

 - This event is open to all levels of bird watchers.

 - The Woodlands has a few pairs of binoculars to share in case you can't bring your own. 

 - This event is FREE and open to the public

 - The bird walk will start and end at the Stable

 - Parking is available on site, but please consider taking public transit. (All trolley's except for the #10 drop you off at the front gates to The Woodlands Cemetery). 

Click here for more information. 




The Crossing @ Christmas

Friday, December 20th

The multiple Grammy® Award-winning new music choir, The Crossing, performs David Lang's Pulitzer Prize-winning the little match girl passion and Spectral Spirits, a world premiere by Edie Hill.


Please note: This event will take place at The Church of the Holy Trinity at 1904 Walnut Street.





Resist & Rejoice! Kol Tzedek's Annual Hanukkah Party

Sunday, December 22nd

Join Kol Tzedek at Calvary Center (801 S. 48th Street) for a celebration of light! There will be latkes, a potluck dinner, a craft fair, candle lighting, blessings, desserts, and Klezmer dancing with the KT Simcha Band. The price to participate is a sliding scale of $5-$25, though no one will be turned away. Register on Facebook. 







A Dickens of a Murder at World Cafe Live

Friday, December 27th

BAH! HUMBUG! Ebenezer Scrooge is known for his miserly, uncompassionate ways, but he’s a changed man! He’s been practically giving his money away! Scrooge’s nephew, Fred Sawyer, is throwing a Christmas party and everyone is delighted for his appearance! But what’s this? Sherlock Holmes?! What could he possibly want at a Christmas party? You soon find out that he’s investigating dear Scrooge’s murder! As more guests arrive and the Sawyer’s servant, Mrs. Dilber, attempts to spit-shine your spoon, you are Sherlock Holmes’ aid! Help him ferret out the guilty party and make note of the clues he discovers along the way. This Christmas party’s a hoppin’, but there’s a murderer a knockin’! This evening definitely will be A Dickens of a Murder! Click here for tickets.



Clarkville's New Year's Eve Countdown to Noon

Tuesday, December 31st

No reservations needed for a special family-friendly New Year's Eve! Open at 11 am — come feed the fam and then COUNT DOWN TO NOON with Santa! Click here for more info.




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