Young group of friends having fun outdoors enjoying holiday activities. Wearing warm clothes, hats and scarfs.Visiting christmas market in Vienna, Austria. Everything is decorated with festive string lights. Evening or night with beautiful yellow lights lightning the scenes.


I didn’t mean to shout, but I just love getting into the holiday spirit! Everything from making cookies to putting out all our traditional decorations. These really put me in the mood for the upcoming holidays and maybe a hot cup of cocoa. It’s the perfect time of year to make memories that will last a lifetime with friends and family of all ages.

So without any further adieu, here are the best-of-the-best holiday experiences to be cherished by everyone you hold near and dear to your heart:

On Stage

Even though Disney released an alternative version of The Nutcracker on the big screen, nothing beats seeing the original ballet performed live on stage at The Academy of Music in Philadelphia. From the ornate sets, the melodic orchestral accompaniment and the precise, yet featherlike performances of the dancers on stage is nothing short of mesmerizing. Attending this event has been a family tradition for some folks covering multiple generations and will remain a vivid memory for a lifetime.


For something less traditional, but still wildly entertaining, don’t miss The Winter Wonderettes at The Walnut Street Theatre. Attend the 1968 Harper’s Hardware Christmas Party with four eccentric women. The characters of Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy, and Suzy put their own quirky twist on holiday classics. With a wacky sense of humor, these gals bring home cherished Christmas favorites including Santa Baby, Winter Wonderland, Jingle Bell Rock and many other beloved seasonal tunes.

On Screen


I don’t know about you, but I still enjoy the Christmas specials as seen on regular broadcast channels during the holiday season. Some of my favorites include well-known, beloved animated and stop-action classics like A Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty The Snowman and Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town. Here’s a list of alternative titles worthy of a download, streaming, etc.

  • Arthur Christmas
  • Rise Of The Guardians
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • The Polar Express
  • The Year Without A Santa Claus

When it comes to live-action movies, there are hundreds to choose from. Some so popular, certain networks will run all-day marathons of holiday fan favorites like A Christmas Story and more.

New to the big screen is Disney’s Nutcracker The Four Realms as mentioned previously. Another holiday remake is the retelling of How The Grinch Stole Christmas starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of the famous green meany. Mary Poppins Returns to theaters on December 19th with Emily Blunt taking on the classic role of the flying, family-friendly nanny.

Decor And More

It wouldn’t be Christmas without soaking in all the bright lights, colorful and creative decorations that really ring in the holiday season. Here’s a trio of the brightest displays to be treasured by both youngsters and the young at heart:

  1. Also known as the Miracle on South 13th Street, the East Passyunk Avenue display of lights and decorations are extraordinaire, beyond compare and famously visited by thousands in the tri-state area and beyond.
  2. While everyone is aware of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, fewer know about the yearly show the retail giant puts out for the Christmas season. Don’t miss The Christmas Light Show and Wanamaker Organ Concert at the historic Macy’s City Center location.

Soaking in the sights and sounds of these annual classics are a real treat for the senses. While you’re making a list and checking it twice, don’t forget to include some of these awesome events during the season of giving. If your belly is rumbling for some tasty treats during the holidays, be sure to check out our Sunday Italian Family Dinner Tour … it’s downright delicious!

Happy Holidays! May you, your family and friends all have a joyous and prosperous New Year with lasting memories to share.


Chef Jacquie