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Santa arrives on a horse-drawn carriage at Peddler's Village for the annual Christmas Festival on December 2 and 3. Gingerbread house builders compete for cash prizes until January 3.

Visitors to Pennypacker Mills, in Schwenksville, enjoy a free Victorian Christmas Open House on December 9, with living history re-enactments, a children's bell choir and a visit with a Victorian-style Santa Claus. Holiday tours of the Victorian Christmas decorated historic site run until January 8.

At Longwood Gardens Christmas, hundreds of thousands of lights, strolling carollers, daily concerts and ice skating performances take place until January 7 in the gardens and conservatory.

For nearly 50 years, the Wanamaker department store building has welcomed winter with the Grand Court's historic organ and the annual Holiday Light Show. Julie Andrews will narrate this year's show, which runs daily on the even hours until December 26.

The Morris Arboretum's Holiday Garden Railway Display runs until December 24. The half-kilometre of model-train track has seven loops and tunnels with 15 different rail lines, two cable cars, nine bridges and bustling trains that move past scaled replicas of historic monuments.

At the Four Seasons Hotel Swann Lounge, weekends are Teatime in Wonderland until December 30. Children can visit with Alice and watch excerpts from The Nutcracker ballet performed by students from the Rock School for Dance Education.

Christmas performances at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Academy of Music run from December 2 to 31. This year features the Vienna Choir Boys, the Philadelphia Orchestra's version of Handel's Messiah, The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol and the annual Philadelphia Orchestra New Year's Eve concert.

Washington Crossing the Delaware River is a free, annual re-enactment of December 1776 at 1 p.m. on Christmas Day at Washington Crossing Historic Park. The re-enactment rehearsal, on December 10, offers family activities.

The Chester County Historical Society displays decorations and tells stories from county residents, to teach children about Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Ramadan. The All Dolled Up exhibit displays antique dolls and toys until January 31.

The Sharing the Heritage Annual Holiday and Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration at Philadelphia's African American Museum explores African American history and the meaning of Kwanzaa. Visitors can learn about the December 16 holiday from tours, performances, vendors and discussions. From December 26 to 30, Celebrate Kwanzaa with Mlanjeni Magical Theatre teaches children about Kwanzaa, with storytelling, face painting and kid-friendly lessons.

The National Museum of American Jewish History holds its annual Being Jewish at Christmas program, a family event that includes music, refreshments and children's activities on December 25.

For children, the Please Touch Museum holds a Countdown to Noon celebration on December 31. Family activities include a visit by Philadelphia's famous Mummers.

Blue Cross RiverRink's New Year's Eve Party on Ice is an annual family event, which offers great views of Philadelphia's fireworks display over the Delaware River.

The Mummers' Parade on New Year's Day is a tradition that began when ancient Roman laborers spent one gift-giving day a year marching festively through the streets wearing masks. The Philadelphia parade, which dates back to 1901, features costumed men who strut, dance and play music up Broad Street. The parade begins at 9:00 a.m. at the intersection of Broad and Washington Streets and continues to City Hall. A ticketed competition follows at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Spectators should buy tickets in advance to sit in the judging stand or arrive early to find a spot along the parade route.