Under the Radar

Center City Christmas Time Now through Jan. 1 Daily City Hall, Macy’s, Rittenhouse Square Free https://visitphillly.com As students prepare for final papers and projects and begin to study – or not study in some cases

Center City Christmas Time

Now through Jan. 1


City Hall, Macy’s, Rittenhouse Square



As students prepare for final papers and projects and begin to study – or not study in some cases – for exams, they can take a break to get into the holiday spirit and stroll downtown with friends to catch some of the festivities. This holiday stroll also provides for a nice cheap date.

Take the Broad Street Line down to City Hall and stroll through the Christmas Village, one of the central hubs during the holiday season. Vendors set up around the west side of City Hall, selling a variety of different gifts, including ornaments, rugs, Christmas trees, cookies, hot chocolate and more.

From there, walk through the center of City Hall to the east side, where one can see holiday window displays on the outside of Macy’s and experience the Holiday Light show inside. The show is comprised of 100,000 LED lights that create images of dancing reindeer, floating snowflakes and more. The show begins every hour and lasts for about 15 minutes.

If the mood is right and the spirit is up, conclude your date with a leisurely walk to Rittenhouse Square, where balls of light and a giant Christmas tree illuminate the park and provide a great area for picture taking.

Shakespeare Cabaret Series

Dec. 9-12

7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

2111 Sansom St.

$10 for students


In this weekend event, talent in the form of actors, directors, playwrights, choreographers and circus performers hit the Philadelphia stage as part of the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater to show Bard’s classic works from a different perspective.

The first piece, “Lady M,” written by Swim Pony and Adrienne Mackey, tells the story of “Macbeth” from his wife’s perspective. Already a powerhouse of a character in the original work, this carries the might of her character even further, and is supported with a large female chorus.

The next piece, “Sycorax,” serves as a prologue to “The Tempest,” exploring the relationship between Caliban and his monster-mother, Sycorax. Using masks, puppetry and poetry, writer-directors Mary Tuamen and Aaron Cromie bring the story of the child’s upbringing to life.

The other three plays tackle issues Shakespeare may have focused on, but are not as directly related. “The Dispute” by Emmanuelle Delpech tells the story of two men and two women who grow up without knowledge of the rest of the world. The play seeks to raise questions about fidelity. Melissa Dunphy’s “Tesla’s Pigeon” tells the story of scientist-and-inventor Nikola Tesla, who falls in love with a white dove.

“Visions of Hecate” by Wandering Rom – which sums up the series, combing language, philosophy and images that accompany Shakespeare’s worlds and wonders – tells the story of William Blake, a Romantic artist who portrayed many of Shakespeare’s characters and stories in his paintings.

The Punk Rock Flea Market – Holiday Edition

Dec. 11

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

461 N. Ninth St.

$3 donation


At the seasonal Punk Rock Flea Market event hosted by R5 Productions, the general public can view a treasure trove of goods for just a $3 donation. This year’s event will be the largest Punk Rock Flea Market ever hosted. More than 200 tables will be featured, with wares that range from the small and peculiar to the large and grandiose.

Vendors will sell items like old records, clothing, cars, food, art, bikes, stereo equipment, tools, posters, furniture, skateboards and more. So don’t be ashamed to get Christmas presents here with your other broke, college-aged peers. Proceeds help ensure that all shows at the First Unitarian Church – where many R5 events are held – remain open to all ages.

The Yule Ball 2010

Dec. 12

5-8 p.m.

First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia

2125 Chestnut St.



In addition to the Punk Rock Flea Market, R5 Productions has more in store for the holiday season, as muggles, wizards and witches gear up for this year’s Yule Ball. The event will feature bands with knock-off names from the books, including headliners Harry and the Potters.

Supporting acts include the Whomping Willows, Justin Finch-Fletchley and the Sugar Quills, Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt!, MC Kreacher and Rich Aucoin.

Attendees of the show, which is open to all ages, are encouraged to dress the part. In the past, people have shown up in shirts and ties, tuxedos and even wizard’s robes.

Three dollars from every ticket goes toward the Harry Potter Alliance, an activist group that uses the themes of society inequities in the books to shed light on inequities in Sudan. In previous years, as much as $7,000 has been raised.

Unsilent Night

Dec. 13

6:30 p.m.

Ethical Society Building

1906 Rittenhouse Square



During this 45-minute walk, Philadelphians meet at Rittenhouse Square and then lead a procession through the city with boom boxes and speakers on their shoulders. The boom boxes play the sounds of Phil Kline’s electronic work of art, titled “Unsilent Night.” It is like caroling in a new, revamped, modern ethereal form.

Before attending the event, participants must download the song online and burn the song onto a CD. Participants are also encouraged to BYOBB (bring your own boom box).

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Dec. 31

6 p.m and midnight

Delaware River Waterfront



This year, Philadelphia and Camden will see a very special event. The newly opened Sugarhouse Casino will present twice the fireworks with two shows on New Year’s Eve – one in the early evening and a traditional midnight showing.

The Fireworks draw thousands of people every year. Want to pass the time while waiting in the freezing cold? Head to the Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn’s Landing to ice skate.

In addition to Penn’s Landing, there are plenty of other places from which to watch the show, including the Camden Riverfront. Here, you can climb aboard the Battleship New Jersey and watch the fireworks display directly from the main deck of the ship.

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