December 2018 Events in University City

Nov 26, 2018 18 months ago

Each month we aim to highlight theater, art, music, food, and tech events happening in University City. Want your event listed? Email us to get your organization added to our mailing list! 

What's Happening in December


Charitable Drives

Looking to give back during the holidays? Here are some local organizations who are offering opportunities. Know of more? Please email us and fill us in!

  • Cedar Park Neighbors' Holiday Food Drive
    • Cedar Park Neighbors are partnering with local nonprofits and places of worship to provide food basket to neighbors in need during the holiday season. They have a suggested donation of $36 which can be made by clicking here. Volunteers are also welcome to join CPN to help package and distribute the baskets on Saturday, Dec. 22, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at Renewal Presbyterian Church (47th and Cedar). Contact CPN at [email protected] if you have any questions.
  • Dock Street Toy Drive
    • The Dock Street Cannery is the location to donate unused, unwrapped holiday gifts for children. In exchange, you'll receive a free pour of a super Rare Beer - never before made, never made again - that their brewers whipped up exclusively for anyone that donates. This year’s holiday gift drive will benefit Turning Points for Children, which is responsible for the safety, well-being, and permanency of over 2500 children and their families across the two Community Umbrella Agencies served. [Lower Northeast Philadelphia (CUA 3) and West/Southwest Philadelphia (CUA 9).] Turning Points suggests toys that children can keep as their own, such as stuffed animals, baby dolls, action figures, toy cars, etc. In addition to toys, they also suggest gifts for older youth - requests include makeup, jewelry, nail polish, headphones, clothing items.
  • Trolley Car Coat Drive
    • Donate new or gently used winter coats from Thanksgiving through MLK Day at Trolley Car Station! Coats will be donated to Face to Face Germantown, an organization serving more than 2,500 low income and homeless individuals a year. 
  • A Transform{ed} Christmas
    • West Philly's Transform Church seeks to serve 100 under-resourced children, and need your help. You can nominate a child (under 18) who would benefit from a generous and personal Christmas gift; give a donation of $50 or purchase gifts; or donate your time by being a service volunteer. Learn more here. 


December Events

  • Walnut Hill College Holiday Buffet 
    • Head to Walnut Hill College's Bistro Perrier to enjoy a truly festive feast, featuring an exquisite array of hors-d'oeuvres, carved meats,entrées, and more. Make a reservation to celebrate the holidays at Bistro Perrier! 



  • City Tap House Brunch with Santa
    • Head to City Tap House to enjoy a holiday brunch where kids under 10 eat complimentarily! The day includes pictures with Santa, holiday movies, Santa Pancake making station, and a balloon artist! 
      • When: Sunday, December 2nd and Sunday, December 16th from 11am-3pm 
      • Where: City Tap House at 3925 Walnut Street 
      • Price: Suggested $5 donation benefiting the Valley Youth House then pay-as-you-go
      •  Reservations recommended! Email Rachel Baker to reserve your spot or learn more here




  • Santa in the Bottle Shop at Local 44
    • Santa is back at the Bottle Shop for an awesome afternoon of lap-sitting, storytelling, and santa-swag! BYO kid* and camera for a chill hang out with the fat man in the red suit… AND… Plan to do some holiday shopping of the liquid variety while you are here!  (*Kids aren’t really required.) PLUS! Bring your new, unwrapped toys our annual Holiday Drive benefitting Youth Services, Inc, a West Philly non-profit organization that has provided the longest standing shelter in the area for runaway and homeless teens.
      • When: Saturday, December 8th from 1-3 PM
      • Where: Bottle Shop at 4333 Spruce Street
      • Price: Free!
      • Learn more



  • The Baltimore Avenue and Lancaster Avenue Business Associations have teamed up to host WEST (Winter Express Shoppers’ Trolley), a holiday shopping experience! Our FREE Trolley will travel along both Baltimore and Lancaster Avenues stopping along the way at designated shopping and dining destinations. Businesses will welcome riders with specials, discounts, and giveaways, like free seasonal beverages and festive baked goods. 
    • When: Saturday, December 8th from 12 PM - 5 PM
    • Where: Various shops along Baltimore and Lancaster Avenues 
    • Price: Trolley is free to ride! 
    • Learn more



  • West Craft Fest Holiday Edition

    • The West Craft Fest (formerly "Go West Craft Fest") returns to The Rotunda for their holiday edition! Shop for a cornucopia of holiday gifts made by Philly artists, crafters, and makers. Check off your entire gift list with unique, locally-made treasures at this favorite West Philly event. 
      • When: Sunday, December 9th from 10 AM - 4 PM
      • Where: The Rotunda at 40th and Walnut
      • Price: Free admission, pay-as-you-go
      • More info



  • SEPTA Celebrates the Holidays at Trolley Portal Gardens 
    • Get into the holiday spirit with SEPTA, the University City Arts League, and Trolley Car Station! From 10 AM to 5 PM, kids ages 4-16 can ride for free (with paying adult) on a holiday trolley from 40th Street to Dilworth Park. The trolley will depart approximately every 30 minutes. SEPTA will also bring the first place and people's choice winners of their Holiday Bus Decoration contest to Trolley Portal Gardens for visitors to explore and snap pictures with. Trolley Car Station will offer $1 hot chocolates or $5 spiked hot chocolates (21+) plus grab-and-go treats. Want to get crafty? From 2-4 PM, the University City Arts League will help you make your own painted coasters, a fun (and free!) project for all ages and skill levels. 
      • When: Rescheduled! Saturday, December 22nd from 10 AM - 5 PM. UCAL onsite from 2 PM to 4 PM. 
      • Where: Trolley Portal Gardens (40th and Baltimore)
      • Price: Free to attend, trolley riders over 16 must pay normal SEPTA fares, hot chocolate and treats pay-as-you-go
      • Learn more 


  • Bebel Gilberto
    • World renowned and multi-Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Bebel Gilberto is one of the top-selling Brazilian artists since the '60s. Bebel and acclaimed guitarist Guilherme Monteiro will perform favorites from her catalogue as well as a few new surprises at this special performance.
      • When: Wednesday, December 19
      • Where: World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street 
      • Price: $28 plus fees
      • Purchase tickets





  • Walnut Hill Community Holiday Extravaganza at Max Paul Park

    • Attend a winter wonderland event for children & the young at heart. Bright lights, Santa, Life-Size Gingerbread House, Photos, gifts, food, candy and seasonal music! This event is co-produced by The Enterprise Center and Max Paul Park, with special thanks to Central City Toyota. 
      • When: Thursday, December 20 from 3 PM - 6 PM
      • Where: Max Paul Park/Walnut Hill Community Farm (4610 Market Street)
      • Price: Free!
      • Learn more









  • Phil Kline's Unsilent Night at Trolley Portal Gardens 
    • Join a festive night on the winter solstice! On Friday, December 21st, join local Relâche Ensemble and UCD as we bring to life Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night on the streets of Spruce Hill. Participants will gather at 5:45 PM at the Trolley Portal Gardens (40th St and Baltimore Ave), and the procession will begin at 6 PM. Dress warmly for the walk, and bring your portable speakers, your phone, or even a full speaker system in a wagon, to help us serenade the neighborhood. Stop by Trolley Car Station after for food and drink specials! Learn more and download the music here

      • When: Friday, December 21st. Assemble at 5:45 PM, walk begins at 6 PM
      • Where: Trolley Portal Gardens (40th and Baltimore), a walk along Baltimore Avenue, returning to Trolley Portal Gardens
      • Price: Free!
      • Get more info at


  • UC Green Tree-cycle Events at Clark Park and Malcolm X Park
    • Don't throw your holiday trees away! Instead, bring them to be mulched at two local events. Join UC Green and Bartlett Tree Experts for a tree-mulching event that will benefit established park trees. The events will feature hot beverages and live music. 
      • When: Clark Park on 12/29 from 9 AM - 3 PM, Malcolm X Park on 1/5 from 9 AM - 3 PM
      • Where: Clark Park & Malcolm X Park
      • Price: Suggested donation of $5-$20 












  • SOLD OUT! A Dickens of a Murder Mystery Dinner 
    • This Christmas party’s a hoppin’, but there’s a murderer a knockin’! Enjoy a three-course dinner while imbibing on themed cocktails as you watch a multi-act performance and play the role of detective.
      • When: Saturday, December 29th
      • Where: World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street
      • Price: $55 + fees
      • Buy tickets






  • Clarkville Countdown to Noon

    • With their bright a cappella harmonies, the five women of Nobuntu have earned international praise for the passion and joy they bring to Zimbabwean songs, Afro-jazz and gospel. The quintet’s pure voices are augmented by traditional percussion and dance to celebrate the vibrant identity of their culture and what it means to be an African woman.
      • When: Monday, December 31st at 11AM 
      • Where: Clarville (4301 Baltimore) 
      • Price: Free!
      • More info



New Year's Eve with Start Making Sense 

  • If David Byrne is one of the geniuses of modern times, then Start Making Sense is a tribute to genius. The musicians in this 7-piece Talking Heads Tribute take pride in faithfully recreating the music of Talking Heads entire career.
    • When: Monday, December 31st
    • Where: World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street
    • Price: $25/$35 with fees
    • Buy tickets


New Year's Eve Dinner at Tipsy Bistro 

  • Tipsy Bistro (3131 Walnut Street) is celebrating New Years with a buffet from 10 PM - 2 AM on New Year's Eve. For $75, enjoy a food buffet, open bar, champagne toast, and party hats. The buffet will include jumbo shrimp cocktail, oysters on half shell, jumbo chicken wings, a build-your-own nacho station, and mini desserts. Seats are limited so make sure to RSVP! 


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