The Rundown | Dec. 3-10

PW's weekly curated list of events and other activities for your perusing pleasure

holiday tree
Don’t let COVID ruin your holiday spirit. This week’s The Rundown has a great selection of events for your to consider. | Image: Annie Spratt

How we’re getting into the holiday spirit

Even though COVID and all of the restrictions that come with it have put a damper on holiday happenings, we managed to round up a few things that – at least at the time of publication – were still happening, either online or in-person.

Virtual Historic Holidays Tree Lighting

Historic Holidays in Old City continues online this year with the fourth annual Historic Holidays Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 3 from 6:15-6:30pm. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the tree lighting will be streamed live via Old City District’s Facebook page from the Betsy Ross House. The holiday tree is designed by Old City’s Petit Jardin en Ville, a Parisian florist and garden designer. Please note, the tree lighting is not open to the public.

Menorah Lighting Ceremony 

On the first night of Hanukkah, the Old City Jewish Arts Center hosts the Menorah Lighting at the Betsy Ross House (239 Arch St.). Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Menorah Lighting will be streamed live via Old City District’s Facebook page at 4:30pm on Dec. 10. 

Old City Window Decorating Contest 

Historic Holidays in Old City kicked-off on Nov. 28 with the return of a charming new holiday tradition, Old City’s Window Decorating Contest. Wander the historic streets of Old City and view the delightful displays designed by local shops, restaurants, galleries, salons, spas, and more. Visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorite design, while practicing all safety guidelines and protocols. The contest will end on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 5pm. Visit oldcitydistrict.org for information on how to vote and complete contest rules. The window designs will be on display through the New Year. oldcitydistrict.org/holidays

Holiday Art Show

The Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show, distinguished as the oldest outdoor art show in the U.S., and deemed the nation’s No. 1 fine art show in 2020, will be offering a virtual holiday pop-up gallery through Dec. 15. The 93-year old tradition of annually sharing fine art in Rittenhouse Square of Center City Philadelphia in June and September was transformed to an online art exhibition in 2020. This virtual format allows the RSFAS to now offer original fine art for holiday season gift-giving. This holiday pop-up gallery will feature the work of 53 jury-selected professional artists from all over the U.S. and Canada. All artwork will be available for purchase through Dec. 15 on the RSFAS website’s online gallery at rittenhousesquareart.com.

Snow Queen Brunch

Germantown Garden Grill (1029 Germantown Ave.) and Glu Hospitality will host A Dash of Magic Events for the first-ever Enchanted in Northern Liberties: Snow Queen Brunch at the Igloos. Families are invited to get frozen at the Igloos at one of Philadelphia’s largest outdoor restaurants on the deck of the former Vesper Day Club and Pool. This special open-air dining experience is perfect for kids of all ages who love Elsa and Disney. It happens Saturday, Dec. 5. Tickets are on sale now at www.germantowngarden.com

Films, stories and more around the town

COVID means you have to look a little harder for things to do these days. So, we did just that and came up with these coming events.

Black Violin

Black Violin, with nearly 20 million views on YouTube, will be the special guest at Musicopia’s and Dancing Classrooms Philly’s annual High Note High Step Event on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 3:30pm. Usually an in-person breakfast, this year’s High Note High Step has been reimagined as a virtual event using Remo: a unique, interactive, and immersive online platform. The event is free, but registration is required. The High Note High Step will be an uplifting way to end the weekend, with guests experiencing how Musicopia and Dancing Classrooms Philly are using the arts to impact the lives of children throughout the Philadelphia region. Register and get more info at givelively.org.

PFS Drive-In at the Navy Yard

The Philadelphia Film Society announced, after a very successful four-month run, that the PFS Drive-In at the Navy Yard, presented by Wavelength Productions and the John L. and James S. Knight Foundation, will remain open through the end of 2020. In addition to holiday movies, the season’s offerings will also include “The Prom” from director Ryan Murphy and starring Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key, and Kerry Washington; “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” from director George C. Wolfe and starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman; the dual Christmas Day releases of the highly anticipated “Wonder Woman 1984” from director Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot, and “News of the World” from director Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks. For tickets and showtimes, visit Filmadelphia.org/NowShowing

D-Pad from Theatre Exile

D-Pad explores the world of independent gaming through the lens of wunderkind developer Alex as she creates something beyond entertainment. Written with humor, thoughtfulness, and humanity, D-Pad follows Alex as she finds herself in a nightmare of production delays, self-doubt, and a rabid fan base. Interactions with real and virtual characters lead Alex into self-isolation as she struggles with family and in her male-dominated industry | Through Dec. 13. Visit theatrephiladelphia.org for all of the details.

Virtual StorySlam: Now What?

What better time than the end of the year to sit back and ask ourselves, “Now what?” At some point, we all find ourselves at a crossroads or an impasse with no directions to guide us, and everyone has a story about whether they found the answer from within or from without. Whether you come with a story, or an ear to hear one, chart a new course and the question begs to be answered: “Now what?” First Person Arts. Zoom. Dec. 15, 7:30 – 8:30pm. Visit firstpersonarts.org for details.

DIY Cocktail Kits

Art in the Age, Old City’s one-of-a-kind tasting room, home bar supply and bottle shop, is crossing off imbibers on every holiday shopping list this year with the addition of its new gift packages, featuring all-inclusive DIY cocktail kits ranging from Beginner Bartender to Martini – available now through the holidays for purchase online and via curbside pick-up. Check out three all-inclusive cocktail kits containing every element needed to craft the perfect libation; from whiskey to bitters and mixing glasses to bar spoons – plus, an ultimate Art in the Age fan package, including a branded glass, flask, tote, mug and more. All four gift packages are available for purchase now for $120 each. artintheage.com

Book Review: Women of Color In Tech

Join Venture Café Philadelphia online as they review “Women of Color in Tech: A Blueprint for Inspiring and Mentoring the Next Generation of Technology Innovators” with guest readers and technology leaders in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Thursday, Dec. 10, 4–5pm. Free. eventbrite.com.

  • Eugene Zenyatta was raised on old-time Memphis 'rasslin' and strongly prefers the company of dogs to people. His greatest heartbreak came in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic.