A spirited start: holiday events lineup

December will begin with a sensational set of holiday events.

It cannot truly be the most wonderful time of the year without a great slate of cheerful chances to feel festive. Nothing can top the holiday season in South Philly, and the next two weeks will make even the biggest grump a gregarious giver of goodwill. If you want to make merry locally, here are seven places to start. 

1) Winter Nights, Winter Lights – Lantern Kit Pickup

From 10 until 11 a.m. on Saturday, Bardascino Park, on the 1000 block of Carpenter Street, will find its Friends group distributing lantern-making kits to mark the helpers’ third annual means to combat early sunsets. Those who venture to the Bella Vista space will then need to return their crafts next Saturday for inclusion in the collection of lights. As a part of their participation, interested parties will need to supply a plastic bottle, as explained on the group’s Facebook event page. 

2) Lucia Celebration and Christmas Market

Also commencing on Saturday at 10 a.m., FDR Park’s very own American Swedish Historical Museum will treat everyone to a glimpse at how Scandinavians mark the Christmas season through its always well-received market and Lucia festivities. The former will sate attendees with deli goods, gifts for those special folks in our lives, and bakery treats, with a cafe serving as another spot to go nordic for a day. The latter occasions start at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. and feature youths singing songs in a candlelit setting. No matter what time someone arrives before everything concludes at 4, holiday music will play throughout the destination. For those who have other obligations on Saturday or who want to take in even more revelry, the museum is duplicating the pageantry on Sunday.   

3) Navy Yard’s Winter Wonderland and Winter Clothing Drive

Not too far from the museum, those in an especially giving mood can head to League Island Park, 1100 Constitution Avenue, in the Philadelphia Navy Yard for the Winter Wonderland and Winter Clothing Drive. Stacked with vendors and food trucks, this inaugural, not to mention free, gathering transpires from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. and will also include winter-themed activities and circus performers. To add an altruistic touch, the overseers of Saturday’s event are asking for donations of seasonal attire that will go to local elementary school enrollees.   

4) Gold Star Park’s Winter Festival

The calendar still says fall, but the year’s last season inspires the naming of Saturday’s Winter Festival at Gold Star Park, 613 Wharton St. Between 4 and 6 p.m., the Dickinson Square West haunt will offer warm drinks, camaraderie, and inflatables sure to lift the spirits of the young and the young at heart. 

5) East Passyunk Community Recreation Center’s Ceramic Painting Event

The East Passyunk Community Recreation Center, 1025 Mifflin St., will fire up a good time through its ceramic painting festivities. The paint-your-own event takes place on Thursday, December 8, 2022 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. For $40, guests can display their crafting brilliance while enjoying refreshments. View the full details.

6) Liberty Flea at BOK

Let’s face it – the holiday season can often leave our bank accounts saying “Bah humbug,” but for those who attend December 10’s Liberty Flea at BOK, 1901 S. Ninth St., will have folks dreaming of a light Christmas, financially speaking. Lasting from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., the East Passyunk Crossing-situated occasion brings artisan and vintage vendors together to hawk products destined to be holiday hits that will have everyone wishing every day could be a holiday. Home decor selections and furniture finds will also make this $5-to-enter brainchild a feast for the frugal. 

7) Burke Christmas

Jolly old Saint Nicholas will make his annual venture to Burke Playground, Second and Jackson streets, from 6 to 9 p.m. on December 15th, with his jovial spirit and pearly whites ready to become captured in photos. For $5, children, with adults being free, can take in caroling, load up on treats and hot chocolate, have their faces painted, inspect various decorations, and listen to live entertainment. Regardless of age, everyone will probably revel when the organizers reveal some surprises, too.