Winter Fests ❄️

Fun seasonal festivals to make plans for this winter

On January 28 and 29, Chestnut Hill turns into an icy wonderland for its annual winter street festival that features gobs of elaborate ice sculptures, live music, an iceless skating rink, ice cocktail bars, axe-throwing and a winter warehouse sell.

On February 5, Founders Brewing Company hosts this winter street fest in Manayunk that transforms Main Street into a cold-weather activity zone. Guests will find dozens of ice sculptures outside local businesses, live music and ice carvings, discounted shopping opportunities, and food and drink specials all along the corridor.

Kennett Winterfest | February 26
Beer, beer and more beer is the focus of this winter fest out in Kennett Square that lets guests sample dozens upon dozens of suds from regional and national brewers, such as Aston, PA’s 2SP Brewing, Philly’s Dock Street Brewing and Chicago’s Half Acre Beer. Food trucks and live music from multi-instrumentalist Dylan Zangwill round out the day.

An indoor-outdoor hoopla at Xfinity Live! on February 27 is centered around beer—namely the chance to try unlimited samples from 75+ breweries—but there’s a ton more to see and do in between tastings. The massive setup welcomes live bands, outdoor fire pits, karaoke, DJ-led dance parties, bull-riding, a silent disco and more.


Art Exhibits

What's coming to local museums this season

Get out to browse some of Philly’s world-class museums. Here’s what’s coming up this winter:

In “Rodin’s Hands,” the Rodin Museum takes a closer look at a part of the body famed sculpture Auguste Rodin was particularly adept at: the hands. Fifteen rare bronzes and plasters will be on display during the event. (February 4–December 2023)

The Philadelphia Museum of Art examines posthumous tributes in “Elegy: Lament in the Twentieth Century,” a months” long exhibition of works made between 1900 and 2000 that show how artists used their creativity to pay tribute to those who have passed—and how those rituals of mourning evolved throughout the century. (February 12–July 24)

More than 100 stunning works of Pueblo and Navajo pottery, textiles, and jewelry collected by Albert Barnes in the 1930s will decorate the special exhibition hall at the Barnes Foundation in “Water, Wind, Breath: Southwest Native Art in Community.” (February 20–May 15)

PMA dedicates its Lynne and Harold Honickman Galleries to “Waiting for Tear Gas,” “a monument of politically engaged art created in the wake of the anti-globalization protests that rocked Seattle, Washington, in late 1999.” (March 12–July 17)

Two rare subway drawings and a massive Medusa head are among the 100-plus gems in the Michener Museum’s colorful exhibition on world famous, Kutztown-raised artist Keith Haring. (March 12–July 31)

Outdoor Dining🍴

Find cool places to eat outside with cozy warming amenities

We’ve updated our guide to outdoor dining in Philadelphia, paying particular attention to the spots where you can eat outside and still stay warm. You’ll find restaurants with heated greenhouses and igloos, fire pits and heat lamps. Pro tip: A couple drinks also tends to keep the bones warm.

Looking Ahead đź‘€

Keep track of what's happening in Philly throughout winter

Major art exhibitions. Splashy theatrical shows. Fun seasonal activities. Those are some of the things happening this winter in Philadelphia. Want to make some plans? Check out our guide to winter in Philly for ideas about what to do now through the start of spring. Just check back often, because we add stuff almost daily.

Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

Loads of exciting live performance, movie screenings, Christmas tree-eating goats and more fun things to explore this weekend in Philadelphia

Live performance seems to be a running theme in our list of things to do in Philadelphia this weekend.

There’s a whole weekend of solo dance work happening at the Philadelphia Museum of Art that’s a must-see for local dance fans. The Opera Philadelphia Orchestra and Chorus present their first live show on the Kimmel Cultural Campus since January 2020. And the Kimmel Center presents a slew of upbeat shows, including a hilarious, mom-focused web series turned nationally touring stage show, and a musical revue led by the one and only Jerry Blavat.

In between all that, you could catch a big-screen presentation of The Wizard of Oz; take part in the last few days of Center City Restaurant Week; tour a new wintery exhibition at Longwood Gardens; or let a herd of goats recycle your Christmas tree for you.

Find all that and tons more—including options for outdoor dining and other winter activities in Philly—below in our list of the best things to do in Philadelphia this weekend.



Dancer Melissa Toogood will perform inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art this weekend | Photo by Albert Yee

SEE DANCE @ PMA: At various times from January 21 to 23, renowned dancer Melissa Toogood will utilize myriad spaces within the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a special Museum-commissioned performance by choreographer Pam Tanowitz. The production, called Finally Unfinished (Solo for Melissa for Jasper), complements PMA’s current special exhibition on painter Jasper Johns. It’s inspired by a 1968 dance paying homage to Marcel Duchamp in which Johns designed the set for.

Some of the divas and divos performing in this weekend’s Opera Philadelphia performance

OPERA RETURNS TO VERIZON HALL: The Opera Philadelphia Orchestra and Chorus come together for their first live show on the Kimmel Cultural Campus since January 2020. Taking place on January 21 and 23, the program features singers William Burden and Rehanna Thelwell performing Russian composter Igor Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex. As an extra treat, the concert opens with a 15-minute performance of George Walker’s Lilacs, starring soprano Tiffany Townsend. To reach the widest possible audience, Opera Philadelphia is live-streaming the Friday night show for free, beginning at 8pm on the Opera Philadelphia Channel

RELATED: Opera Philadelphia had the guts to overhaul its entire way of presenting opera in 2017. Has the gamble paid off?

Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley bring their popular web series #IMOMSOHARD to Philadelphia this weekend
Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley bring their popular web series #IMOMSOHARD to Philadelphia this weekend

WHAT’S ON @ KIMMEL: The Kimmel Cultural Campus is keeping us all entertained during Covid. This weekend, you’ll find two shows: First up, the  IMOMSOHARD Getaway Tour on Friday, January 21, welcomes two moms—and real-life besties—to the Merriam Theater to regale audiences with funny tidbits “about all things woman and mother.” Philly legend Jerry Blavat comes to Verizon Hall on Saturday, January 22, with an evening of golden oldies featuring performances by soul greats like Darlene Love, Frankie Avalon, The Chi-Lites and more.

RELATED: The next election in Philly is coming up on May 17. Are you all set to vote? Check out our guide for details on how to register, find your polling place and more.

Winter landscapes get a bad wrap. Longwood Gardens is here to prove that wrong. | Photo courtesy Longwood Gardens

WINTER EXHIBIT @ LONGWOOD GARDENS: On the heels of its dazzling holiday light show, Longwood Gardens opens its gates on a brand new exhibition that spotlights the beauty in wintertime flora and fauna—and it just may be more colorful than you imagine. “Although subdued colors reign,” the Longwood website reads, “the occasional burst of bright yellow and orange of blooming witch-hazel dots the landscape, while winter grasses add a textural element.” The show opens this weekend, on January 22, and runs through March 27.

TAKE A WRITING CLASS ✏️: Looking up up your writing skills this winter? Blue Stoop is accepting applications now for its upcoming lineup of writing workshops, which include Intermediate Fiction with Camille Acker, Novels for Young Readers with Eric Bell and—for all you sci-fi scribes out there—Fantasy Writing with Joseph Earl Thomas.

Philly Goat Project will help you recycle your Christmas tree by letting their goats eat it.
Want an eco-friendly way to get rid of your Christmas tree? Philly Goat Project will feed it to their bearded pals. | Photo by Love Me Do Photography

FEED YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE TO GOATS: Wondering what to do with your tree now that the holidays are kaput? Let goats eat it! Philly Goat Project is hosting its annual Christmas Tree-Cycle and Farm Festival, where locals can bring their trees, fork over a suggested $20 donation, and let the goats have at it. (Whatever’s left over will be turned into wood chips for the farm.) From there, guests—whether they bring a tree or not—can spend the rest of the day on the grounds, sipping on hot cocoa around a fire pit and enjoying some petting time with the goats. Some people even come in costume. The event happens from noon to 3pm on Saturday, January 22.

Jurassic Quest runs January 15 to 23 at the PA Convention Center

JURASSIC QUEST: More than 100 animatronic dinosaurs take up residence at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for this nine-day exhibition that recreates prehistoric life during the the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic periods. The run also includes rides, play areas, workshops and more. Catch it now through January 23.

RELATED: Live performances, ice skating, theater and more fun things happening later this winter in Philadelphia

This photo accompanies a roundup about New Year's Eve Philadelphia events
Try all kinds of delicious new foods during Center City Restaurant Week, starting January 9 | Photo courtesy The Twisted Tail

CENTER CITY RESTAURANT WEEK: More than 60 local restaurants are participating in Center City Restaurant Week this winter, running through January 21. The deal? You can grab $40 prix-fixe dinners and $25 lunches at spots like Alice Pizza, Barbuzzo, Kinme, Lou Bird’s and more. Feel uncomfortable eating inside? Find a spot on our list of best places to eat outside in Philly this winter.

RELATED: Support these 19+ Black-owned Philly businesses that give back



Mexican restaurant Juno has turned its outdoor space into a giant greenhouse that’s covered and heated. | Photo courtesy Juno

FIND SOMEWHERE GREAT TO EAT: We’ve updated our guide to the best outdoor dining in Philadelphia, concentrating on the al fresco setups where you’ll stay warm in heated greenhouses and igloos, and next to heat lamps and fire pits.

Hot cocoa, ice skating and more winter charm awaits at Dilworth Park this season. | Photo by Beau Monde Originals / Center City District.

WINTER @ DILWORTH PARK: Christmas Village may be gone, but City Hall’s Dilworth Park keeps the wintertime fun going all the way through through February 27. You can twirl around the ice skating rink, gaze at pretty twinkling lights and seasonal dĂ©cor at the Wintergarden on the Greenfield Lawn, or head inside the cozy ski chalet for brews, snacks and cozy vibes.

There’s plenty of ice skating and other winter activities to be done at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest. | Photo by Maria Young

BLUE CROSS RIVERRINK WINTERFEST: The vibrant winter attraction along the Delaware River draws thousands of revelers throughout the season for ice skating on its open air, NHL-sized rink. Make a night of a visit here by renting a cozy warming cabin that you can enjoy with your sweetie or a gaggle of friends. Or just toast-up in The Lodge or by a fire pit before heading off to play carnival games. A 700-pound smoker manned by Craft Hall’s Black Iron BBQ will make sure you’re well-fed for all the shenanigans.

The Electrical Spectacle Light Show at Franklin Square happens every 30 minutes starting at 5pm. | Photo by Jeff Fusco

FRANKLIN SQUARE: The historic green space in Old City is holly jolly for the holidays, with the Electrical Spectacle Light Show and fountain shows, which run every 30 minutes, daily starting at 5pm through February 27. That happens alongside a host of other wintertime activities at the Square, including Chilly Philly Mini Golf and Franklin’s Winter View, a seasonal pop-up bar with fire pits, a heated tent and bone-warming food and cocktails galore.

Header photo by Albert Yee / Philadelphia Museum of Art

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