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FunTimes Magazine

Festive Family Fun!

Nov 30, 2022 12:00PM ● By FunTimes Staff

Here’s a hearty helping of holiday happenings and more. Shine a light on the holidays with these fun, festive and educational (free or low-cost) things to do and places to go. But before venturing out to any of these in-person activities, please respect the ongoing pandemic safety protocols, and check individual event-attending instructions with the organizers. As a general rule, if you feel unwell, please do not attend in-person.

Shop and get pet-smart 

December 4, 2022. Take a paw for a cause. Help give struggling animals a new “leash” on life. Here’s how: Check out the Holiday Bizarre and Flea Market which likely has a gift for those on your shopping list. And proceeds go to everything related to animal assistance. At affordable prices, browse for new or gently used items like holiday decorations, jewelry, books, games, small appliances and more. Get information about low-cost spaying or neutering, other medical needs for animals, handling wildlife emergencies (injured birds, abandoned babies) and many animal resources. Money raised will be donated to Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, Skylands Sanctuary and Animal Rescue, Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, Judy's Pigeon Rescue and local TNR groups. Hosted by Animal ACTivists of Philly, an animal protection and advocacy  group. Noon to 4 p.m., 9th and Christian streets in the Italian Market.


Delightful joy.

December 1, 2022. A highlight of Philly’s holiday season for many for more than a quarter of a century has been the City of Philadelphia’s official tree lighting ceremony. The one-hour outdoor show is part of a festival, the Philly Holiday Experience, and features performances by headliner R&B singer Montell Jordan, Julian King, Saleka Shyamalan, Jakeya Limitless and special guests. Of course the true star does not even sing. It’s the towering 55-foot, 57-year-old Concolor white fir, standing tall in a seven-foot custom steel base on the City Hall apron. It will be illuminated officially after a dramatic countdown by Philadelphia Mayor, Jim Kenney, and dignitaries. And through December 24, stop by with friends and family for a free photo and fun giveaways next to the tree courtesy of Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Tito’s Toasts the Holidays. The tree lighting event will be broadcast live and also live streamed on 6abc in the Delaware Valley. Free, 7 p.m., City Hall’s north side, Broad Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard, or


We love a parade!

December 3, 2022.  The VISIT PHILADELPHIA® Holiday Parade is perfect for ushering in the sprit of the season. Celebrate various winter holidays including Kwanzaa, Christmas, Hanukkah and the Chinese New Year. The parade will feature the pomp and circumstance of air balloons (Fiddlesticks the Holiday Mouse, Bugs Bunny and Gingersnap the Elf and the Nutcracker), nearly 20 musical and marching, bands, floats, dance groups, Miss Philadelphia, Miss Pennsylvania and free hot beverages. It will reflect the city’s diversity and its various traditional holiday observances. Bundle up! The parade will kick off at 2nd and Market streets and proceed on Market Street to City Hall, free, 5 p.m.,


Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I'll rise.  

– Maya Angelou

Hey, future Maya Angelou: Free poetry classes

If you are super creative, All That I Am Poetry for kids, ages 12-17, with Instructor Raenesha Sheppard, might just be for you. As part of the On the  Road Mighty Writers’ workshops, young writers identify and celebrate  everything (race, culture, ethnicity, religion, native tongue, family, music,  food, art, friends, pop culture) that shapes our Construct three to six original works that celebrate our identities. On The Road classes provide a chance to engage in creative writing. It’s a fee-for-service to schools and organizations; free for children and families. Check out all of the workshops at: Mighty Writers On the,  E-mail to: Director of Partnership Programs Grace Bernicker: [email protected].


Book it!

December 3, 2022. Book Paper Scissors, an artists’ book fair, features artists’ books, handmade paper, prints, zines, origami, blank books, paper sculpture and jewelry. Get gifts for your holiday list. Because this event is happening during the library’s current off-hours, only the fair itself will be open to the public on the 1st floor. Tours of Searching for a New Normal, the Philadelphia Center for the Book members’ exhibition on display on the second floor Art Department hallway gallery and online at, will be offered that day at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Catch the book fair, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., free., organized by the Free library of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Center for the Book. Free Library of Philadelphia – Parkway Central, 1901 Vine St., 215-686-5402,


Natural History art education program makes community connection 

December 3, 2022. The Natural History educational program – which is based on an art exhibition by the same name, offers an interactive art experience for families from the surrounding neighborhoods of the exhibition at the Bok Building in South Philadelphia. The show makes connections between the habits of plants and birds to human behavior. The artists demonstrate how certain plant and animal species are squeezed out of their habitats, and compare this to struggles that immigrants experience in a new homeland. The Natural History educational program features an all-ages educational program and craft day, with artists’ talks. Noon to 5 p.m., free, Bok Building, 1901 S 9th St #203, or

Avenue of the Arts on South Broad St. comes alive outdoors!

December 1-3, 2022. Check out a new series, Avenue of the Arts Live, bringing musicians, singers, dancers, jugglers, magicians, poets and more to South Broad Street in the evenings. Jake Kaplan, Philly lindy Throwdown  Shawn Bobien & Friends, Haley Joyner (Junee) and Friends, Matthew Kahn and Anya  will be performing at various locations and dates. The pop-up performances will be Thursdays through Saturdays, until the end of the year, with two evening performances; 6 to 8 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in front of the Kimmel Center, the Wilma Theater and the Miller Theater on Broad Street in Center City. 215-893-1999,


Fostering career interest in STEM

December 6, 2022. What do you get when you mix science, education and hip-hop? Answer: A lot of creative fun! Acclaimed master scientist hosts a holiday spectacular for Philadelphia students (K through 8th grades), teachers and families in an effort to close the STEM education divide. The high-energy science production is headlined by Grand Hank, founder of The Knowledge Factory, Inc. The Knowledge Factory Inc. nonprofit was founded in 1998 to provide school and community-based programs, as well as workforce development training opening up STEM employment pipelines. The goal is to bridge the science education gap through a high-energy production of music while introducing science as a feasible career steppingstone. Two presentations are scheduled: A morning show for K-8 grade students and their teachers  (10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.) and an evening show (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.) for family members; doors open at 6 p.m., the Met Philadelphia, Broad and Poplar streets, grandhank.comor e-mail: [email protected]. For the special student matinee: 267-249-5613, for group ordering and to request a Trip Packet.  


Companies: Retain and attract international talent 

December 2, 2022. United States employers interested in infusing energy into their businesses through international talent or training individuals to start up overseas branches of their company, then the BridgeUSA J-1 Visa Program may be a solution. Over the past year, the Biden-Harris Administration has pledged to attract and retain International talent in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. This has led to opportunities for STEM-focused education and cultural exchange, through the J-1 program. Undergraduate and graduate students in STEM fields also can now get additional academic training for up to 3 years. Check out a session to learn how the J1 Visa Program can help to attract and retain STEM-field workers in other countries. Free, 3 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., ScienceCenter-Quorum, 3675 Market St. (2nd Floor). Hosted by Citizen Diplomacy International, 215-486-2090,


Celebrating Earl

December 31, 2022. Few newspaper publishers were as dedicated and determined as the late Earl Harvey. His friends are assembling to celebrate his life with a holiday get-together simply called Holiday Party. The jovial Harvey was known for his newspapers’ Christmas parties and the concept of building business advocacy through the mutual bonding of events. What better way to end 2022 than to celebrate the rich contributions of the longtime mentor, marketing consultant and publisher-editor of The News and Atlantic City Times? His publications gave voice to the unheralded, and promoted young fledgling professionals, entrepreneurs and the established African-American business community at large. Harvey was a member of the trade organization, the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, and well regarded in the community, from Philadelphia to South Jersey. He died in 2020 but the light of his passion shines brilliantly today. $50, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St., 276-515-3038, or email: [email protected].


Ring in the holidays with Pasta with Sinatra

December 12, 2022. There's a lot on tap at the Wissahickon Brewing Company in East Falls this holiday season. Sinatra is comin' to town! Celebrate the late Frank Sinatra's 106th birthday featuring Sinatra sound-alike, Steve Ritrovato, who sings the Big Band to Broadway Sinatra's way at the Pasta with Sinatra Holiday SpectacularThe old-school dinner-show is a spot-on throwback of vintage Sinatra in his prime. Have Sinatra's cake and eat it, too, at a special cake-cutting to commemorate what would have been the late Ol' Blue Eyes' birthday, December 12th. Sinatra had many ties to Philadelphia where he hit plenty of high notes: He married the love of his life, the glamorous Hollywood actor Ava Gardner in a ceremony in Germantown in 1951; he came to Philly to perform at Palumbo's Nightclub in South Philly regularly; he ate with the locals at their homes and restaurants, and his closest friend was Sid Mark, local radio DJ, who had a national radio show on Friday nights and Sunday mornings based in Philly. $60 to $120, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (door opens at 5:30 p.m., (dinner at 6:15 p.m., entertainment begins at 7 p.m.). The all-you-can-eat Italian 'gravy' dinner by Molto Bene is just how Frankie’s mom Dolly made it back in Hoboken. Plus, toast it all off with classic cocktails, a select table wine service and the award-winning beer – a full tap list -- from Wissahickon Brewing Company, 3705 West School House Ln., 215-483-8833, or