5 of the best December events in Philly

PaBalletNutcracker-Kids
Pennsylvania Ballet performs The Nutcracker. (ALEXANDER IZILIAEV)

The weather outside might be getting frightful, but Philly comes alive in December with a ton of great events, from Santa wannabes running though Center City to body-slamming giants and Sugarplum Fairies. Here's what you can't miss in December.

'Underground Nights: When Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable met the Y'

The Gershman Y celebrates the 50th anniversary of hosting Andy Warhol, the Velvet Underground, and Nico in its hallowed halls. A photo exhibit, running through the month, will feature rare images (by Philly photographer Sam Moskovitz) of the historic two-day event -- described as a "mixed-media discotheque" -- and artifacts from the era. On Dec. 15, Yo La Tengo (the band that portrayed the Velvet Underground in I Shot Andy Warhol) and Dean & Britta will perform a tribute to those creative giants.

Through Jan. 4, Gershman Y Gallery, 401 S. Broad St., 215-545-4400, gershmany.org.

Pennsylvania Ballet's 'The Nutcracker'

December can't happen in Philadelphia unless we're dreaming of Sugarplum Fairies. George Balanchine's choreography brings Tchaikovsky's score to this staple for the venerable company who have been performing it for decades. Look for special events, like a Dec. 10 luncheon for kids before the show at the Hyatt at the Bellevue or tea Dec. 11 and 17 with the Sugarplum Fairies.

Next Friday to Dec. 31, Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St. $35-$135, 215-893-1999, nutcracker.paballet.org.

Running of the Santas

Love or hate this Christmas bacchanalia: The idea of a bunch of people in Santa suits running from the Field House to the Electric Factory is pretty giggle-worthy. Doors open at 10 a.m. at the South Pole (known the rest of the year as the Field House) with drink specials and DJs. At 5 p.m., Santas will run to the North Pole (a.k.a. the Electric Factory), where bands and DJs will continue to soundtrack the mayhem until 11 p.m.

10 a.m.-11 p.m. Dec. 10, Field House, 1150 Filbert St.; Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St. $30-$60, runningofthesantas.com.

WWE Monday Night Raw

Whoever said the circus was the greatest show on earth hadn't experienced a live WWE event. Big names of the WWE hit the Wells Fargo Center for a celebration of fake violence and epic melodrama. Even for nonwrestling diehards, Raw is a spectacle that's fun to experience, especially with all the Philly-specific shout-outs that the night will inevitably elicit. Can't make it? Watch the event live on USA.

7:30 p.m. Dec. 12, Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. $20-$125, 215-336-3600, wellsfargocenterphilly.com.

'Home Alone' with the Philadelphia Orchestra

John Hughes' writing just sounds better backed by a world-class orchestra. The neo-holiday classic has a score written by the great John Williams (whom the orchestra feted this spring) that was nominated for an Academy Award. Much like the orchestra's summer concerts at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Constantine Kitsopoulos conducts, and the Choirs at the College of New Jersey lend their voices. After conquering Home Alone, perhaps The Breakfast Club could be the next film in the Hughes canon to get the orchestral treatment?

7 p.m. Dec. 20-22, Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St. $40-$90, 215-893-1999, philorch.org.