What to Do This Weekend in Philadelphia

By Jeffrey B. Roth, Examiner.com

Make this weekend memorable and take to the streets for some traditional seasonal events. See thousands of Santas run on the streets of Philadelphia. Spend a few hours learning about sweet treats from the experts who make candies. Celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Charles Dickens while enjoying the sights and sounds of a Victorian Christmas celebration. Sample more than 100 beer brands at the annual Valley Forge Beer Festival. Whatever you do, don’t sit on the couch letting all of these great events pass you by!

First Friday: Sugar and Spice
When: Friday, Dec. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Where: Chemical Heritage Foundation
315 Chestnut St.

Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 925-2222
Price: Free

Discover the science and history of making candy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s Sugar and Spice event, part of the monthly First Friday series in the Old City Arts District. Ryan Berley, co-owner of Shane Confectionery and Franklin Fountain, will present his knowledge about the history and science of the sweet arts. Berley and his brother Eric brought Shane Confectionery back to life in 2011, and the candy shop is one of the oldest in the country. Berley will show guests the clear toy candy-making process and ––best of all––free samples will be available. 
Narberth Dickens Festival
Saturday, Dec. 7 from noon to 4 p.m.

Where: Forrest and Haverford Ave.
Narberth, PA 19072
(610) 747-0518
Price: Free
Join Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, Ebenezer Scrooge and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future––the beloved characters created by Charles Dickens in his novel, “A Christmas Carol”––at the annual Dickens Festival at Narberth. This year marks the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens. The free event, with plenty of parking, also features a free scavenger hunt of prizes for the children, from 1-3 p.m. Take a nostalgic horse and carriage ride through the historic town or attend a free showing of “A Muppet Christmas Carol” at 11 a.m. on two screens at Stadium 2. At 1, 2 and 3 p.m., the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet will present free performances of the Christmas classic “Nutcracker.” Enjoy the professionally-created ice sculptures and take in the music of Victorian carolers and other professional musicians.
Valley Forge Beer Festival
Saturday, Dec. 8; Afternoon session: 12:30 to 4 p.m./Evening session: 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Where: Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
100 Station Ave.
Building B
Oaks, PA 19456
(484) 754-3976
Price: $40 Online/$60 Cash only at the door
Sample more than 100 beers from more than 50 breweries at the 2nd Annual Valley Forge Beer Festival. For the price of admission, each guest is provided with a 5-ounce tasting glass to be used to sample beer from brewers from around the world. Besides brews, there is plenty of food available. Part of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Committee to Benefit the Children, a Philadelphia-based non-profit organization that provides resources for the treatment and care of children with various forms of cancer, and also provides support for the family. Donations of non-perishable food items and infant diapers of all sizes are be accepted to help needy families in the area.
Running of the Santas
 Saturday, Dec. 8 at 10 a.m.

Where: Electric Factory
421 N. Seventh St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 627-1332
Price: $15
A winter festival and national pub crawl, the Running of the Santas in Philadelphia begins Saturday morning at one of a number of Philadelphia pubs and taverns, including the Public House, Paddy Whacks, Liberty Bar, Rotten Ralph’s and others. In existence for 10, years, the event has grown to about 6,000 people last year. Ticket gates at the Electric Factory open at 11 a.m. From 10 a.m., to 1 p.m., participants can beer for $2 each at participating bars. The second phase of the event begins at Finnigan’s Wake at 3rd and Spring Garden, for The South Pole, from 1 to 4 p.m., with the hottest Santa contest and a street party. At 4 p.m., the official race––the Running of the Santas, takes off from Finnigan’s Wake and ends at the Electric Factory, the North Pole. The fun continues with indoor and outdoor live entertainment, with performances by Go Go Gadget, Split Decision, Category 6, LeCompt, Jamison Celtic Rock, Secret Service; and, featuring special guest, Kenn Kweder. Advanced tickets are available online.
Annual Army-Navy Game
Gates open at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 8

Where: Lincoln Financial Field
1020 Pattison Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(267) 570-4000
Price: $85 – $136 for general tickets
This will be the 84th Army-Navy game to be played in Philadelphia. The first game was held Nov. 29, 1890 at West Point. While gates open at 11 a.m., kickoff will be at 3 p.m. Before the teams take to the field, an Army-Navy pregame tailgate is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m., at an all-you-can-eat tailgate inside the Citizens Bank Park’s Hall of Fame Club. Philly cheesesteaks, hot dogs, hoagies, beer, wine, soda and other foods will be available to quench your thirst and stave off hunger, and there will be music and face painters on hand. Tickets are required for the tailgate event. From noon to 2 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7, an Army-Navy pep rally will be held at Liberty Place.

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