Watch Night for Racial Justice, style from ‘Hamilton,’ and more this weekend

3 minute read
Youngsters explore the new ‘Hamilton Was Here’ exhibition. (Image courtesy of MOAR.)
Youngsters explore the new ‘Hamilton Was Here’ exhibition. (Image courtesy of MOAR.)

Chanukah and Christmas are over; winter break is in full swing, and New Year’s is on its way. Fortunately, there are lots of great ways to spend the weekend in Philly, whether you’re solo, entertaining out-of-town guests, or just giving your kids a break from screen time.

On Friday, December 28, at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, enjoy the best kind of snow day: crafty kids can make their own snowy winter scene in a DIY snow globe or a stuffed paper fish (and learn how fish get ready for winter). Let It Snow runs from 11am to 3pm and is free; no advance registration required. Recommended for children ages 3 and up.

Final Friday at the PMA

This week is the final Friday of the year, and at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Final Fridays: For You & Yours event, you can spend it on various solo or group activities, including DIY art, cocktails, and music with DJ Junior of Record Breakin’ Music; parlor games with Philly Improv Theater; and a group sing and music by Canadian indie-folk artist Basia Bulat. You can even sign up for some alone time in a PMA gallery to write, draw, commune with the art, or even just take a nap.

The happenings run from 5pm to 8:45pm and they’re included with regular museum admission. Tickets are available here. And if you can’t make this Final Friday, no worries: the event schedule for the first months of 2019 is already posted.

Hamilton Was Here

Do you have some young Hamilton fans in your home? The Museum of the American Revolution’s Hamilton Was Here: Rising Up In Revolutionary Philadelphia exhibit has a number of special activities aimed at Hamilton fans throughout the weekend.

On Friday, December 28, at 1pm and 3pm, museum guests can learn the rules of the duel Hamilton witnessed between Charles Lee and Hamilton's friend John Laurens near Philadelphia on December 24, 1778. And on Saturday, December 29, and Sunday, December 30, you’ll be able to watch seamstress Samantha McCarty creating a gown like the one that Eliza Schuyler — who would later become Hamilton’s wife — would have worn in 1777. The dress is inspired by the work of Hamilton costume designer Paul Tazewell, and it’ll give a glimpse of 18th-centure couture techniques and “what changing women’s fashions revealed about politics.”

The museum is open daily from 10am to 6pm through December 30, and from 10am to 3pm on New Year’s Eve. (It’s closed on January 1.)


Also on Saturday, it’s your last chance to catch Holiday FIGMAGO ($8 to $10), an immersive self-guided art installation experience, from artists Meg Saligman and Brian Sanders. It features 3D murals, hands-on exploration, and secret passageways. The artists describe Holiday FIGMAGO as family-friendly and full of Christmas magic.

Tickets are required in advance and can be purchased here. Find FIGMAGO at 829 Bainbridge Street.

Audience members at the inaugural POWER Philadelphia Watch Night concert in 2017. (Image courtesy of Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral.)
Audience members at the inaugural POWER Philadelphia Watch Night concert in 2017. (Image courtesy of Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral.)

Watch Night for Racial Justice

POWER Philadelphia is a local interfaith organization representing 50 different faith communities working together on social justice and civil rights advocacy. On Sunday, December 30, at 3pm, catch the second annual Watch Night for Racial Justice, featuring jazz, gospel, and spiritual music at University City’s Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral. Proceeds from the event benefit POWER’s work. A family-friendly concert, Watch Night will feature the Intermezzo Choir under director Carrie Lessene; the Philadelphia Community Mass Choir directed by Jay Fluellen; solo vocalists Ruth Naomi Floyd, DeVonne Gardner, and Carrie Lessene; and the Dr. J Trio with pianist Jay Fluellen, Cedric Babb on bass, and drummer Kim Pedro Rodriguez.

As organizers explain, the “Watch Night” tradition goes back to New Year’s Eve in 1862, when black congregations around the country waited for the January 1, 1863, announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation.

No advance tickets are necessary; a free-will offering will be taken at the event. After the concert ends at 5pm, there’ll be an hourlong reception to meet the musicians and learn more about POWER’s work in 2019.

Sign up for our newsletter

All of the week's new articles, all in one place. Sign up for the free weekly BSR newsletters, and don't miss a conversation.

Join the Conversation