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High Five! Overstuffed Thanksgiving Edition

Plan your Thanksgiving weekend, start to finish.

We usually give you five great weekend events to help you plan your family fun. But with a four-day weekend and a crazy number of awesome things happening, we couldn’t resist. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here’s a feast of fun for all.

All Four Days

Cirque du Soleil: ‘Varekai’

November 22 — 26

The Liacouras Center, 1776 N. Broad St., Philadelphia


This awesome acrobatic show sets the scene in an enchanted forest atop a volcano, where anything is possible and spirits come alive. Tickets start at $46 each, and family pack tickets are available.

Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market

Through January 1

Dilworth Park, Philadelphia


Dilworth Park transforms into a holiday wonderland with local vendors and special holiday foods throughout the holiday season.

Franklin Square Holiday Festival

Daily through December 31, 4 — 8:30 pm

Franklin Square, 200 N. Sixth St., Philadelphia


Don’t miss the “Electrical Spectacle” light show, which runs every 30 minutes starting at 4:30. There’s lots to do, plus food and drink. Admission is free, some activities and food cost money.


Daily; Rothman Ice Rink open noon — 9 pm Monday — Thursday; noon — 11 pm Friday; 11 am — 11 pm Saturday; 11 am — 8 pm Sunday

Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St., (west side of City Hall), Philadelphia


This great Center City fun spot is back, just in time for the cold weather! Ice skate, share a hot cocoa in the cabin, tour a garden maze, and more. It’s one of Philly’s best holiday events.

Gingerbread House Competition & Display

Through January 6, 2018

Mondays through Saturdays, 10 am — 9 pm

Sundays 11 am — 7 pm

Peddler’s Village, Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska


This Bucks County village lights up with magical holiday fun and elaborate gingerbread houses. Enjoy festive holiday shopping and fun in this cute holiday town. Admission is free.

Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Select dates through January 14

The Media Theatre, 104 E. State St., Media


This beloved classic comes alive on stage at The Media Theatre with songs to entertain the whole family. Tickets range from $33 — 58.


November 7 through January 7

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St., Philadelphia


This much-loved musical classic comes to Philadelphia’s main stage for a show that will entertain the whole family. Tickets vary by date and time.

‘Finding Neverland’

November 21 — 28

Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St., Philadelphia


Another Broadway show hits Philly for Thanksgiving week. This musical tells the story of how J.M. Barrie came to create the timeless characters in Peter Pan. It’s appropriate for kids ages 7 and up.

‘Aladdin: A Musical Panto’

Through January 7

People’s Light, 30 Conestoga Road, Malvern


This silly show is fun ages 5 and up. Tickets are $42 for kids and $47 for adults.

‘Peter Pan’

November 22 — January 28

The Arden Theatre Co., 40 N. Second St., Philadelphia


J.M. Barrie’s classic comes to life in this show for children ages 6 and up. In previews until December 2.

Constructing Play: Classic + Modern Building Toys 

Through January 25, Monday — Saturday, 10 am — 6 pm

The Center for Architecture and Design, 1218 Arch St., Philadelphia


This is a historical exhibit of children’s toys, but it’s far from a dry experience. Everyone can get their hands on creating things, and enjoy building and other skills. This exhibit is free.


Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 23, 8:30 am — noon

20th and Market streets along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia


Bundle up and get out there early to catch a front row seat to the 95th annual parade (it’s actually the oldest one in the country), with larger-than-life floats and local performers. This event is free. Click here for our family guide on making a trip of it. 

Face to Face Turkey Trot

November 23, 9 am start for 5-mile run; 9:05 am start for 1-mile fun run

Forbidden Drive, Philadelphia (start is at the Cedars House, at Northwestern Avenue)


Get ready for the big feast day with some family-friendly exercise! Parents can bank some pie calories with the 5-mile run, and kids can get the wiggles out with the 1-miler. Everyone gets a medal! Online registration has closed, but you can register November 22 or the morning of the race. It’s $40 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under.

Opening Day of Christmas Village

November 23, 9 am — 5 pm (runs daily through December 31)

LOVE Park, Philadelphia


Kick off your holiday festivities with stage performances, Santa photos, and vendors at this German Christmas village. This runs through Christmas Eve.

Opening Day of A Longwood Christmas

November 23, (through January 7)
Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square


You want holiday lights? Longwood has some of the region’s most beautiful, in breathtaking displays around the gardens. Timed admission tickets are required.

Linvilla Orchards

November 23, 8 am — 1 pm

Linvilla Orchards, 137 Knowlton Road, Media


Need something to do Thanksgiving morning? Linvilla is open, just in time to work up an appetite for an early dinner.

Opening Day of the Comcast Holiday Spectacular

November 23 — January 1, 10 am — 8 pm on the hour daily (no 5 pm show on weekdays) through New Year’s Eve, 10 am — 6 pm New Year’s Day


The Comcast Center, 1701 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Philadelphia


Kid’s Day Off: Drop and Shop

November 24, 9 am — 2 pm

Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown


Want to go Black Friday shopping? Take the kids to the zoo for a day of crafts and shows. Price is $39.95 for members and $49.95 for nonmembers with additional sibling discounts or pricing for an extended day.

Holiday Garden Railroad Opens

November 24, 10 — 11 am

Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia


The Holiday Garden Railroad will be all decked out for the winter holidays, and runs daily through December 31 (closed on Christmas Eve and Day.) This is included with admission to the arboretum.

Opening Day of ‘Brandywine Christmas’

November 24 (runs through January 17)

Brandywine River Museum of Art, 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford


Come for the fantastic model train layout, and stick around for the Victorian dollhouse exhibit — and the rest of the museum’s gorgeous collection. This exhibit is free with museum admission and for members.

Wild Wizarding Weekend

November 24 10 am — 5 pm (also November 25 and 26)

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia


Starting on Friday, the museum transforms into a wizarding wonderland with crafts, games, and animal demonstrations. Those who wear costumes receive a $2 discount. This event is included with admission to the museum, and is for all ages.

Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad Opening Day

November 24, 10 am — 6 pm

Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th St., Philadelphia


Come see the holiday trains at the Reading Terminal Market. This is free to the public.

Opening Day of Macy’s Christmas Light Show

November 24, 10 am — 8 pm

Macy’s, 1300 Market St., Philadelphia


The annual light show at Macy’s begins today and runs through December 31, with multiple performances every day (except for Christmas Day). This light show is free. The store’s Santaland and Dickens Village opens today, too. 

Reindeer Photos

November 24, 10:15 — 10:45 am, 1:30 — 2 pm, 3:30 — 4 pm

Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown


Holiday fun officially begins. Kids can take photos at the zoo with real reindeer, at affordable prices ($5 for digital photo on your phone, $8 for a printed copy).

Santa Express

November 24, 10:30 am

Dilworth Park, Philadelphia

Specially-decorated Septa regional rail trains and subway lines will be decorated with holiday cheer. A great excuse to get into the city without having to find parking, there will be tons of games and activities, performances, and even a parade to kick off the holiday season. Check the website to see train times.

Opening Day of Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

November 24, 11 am — 1 am

121 N. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia


Winterfest returns with ice skating, arcade games, a cozy lodge, and marshmallow roasting. Admission is free, but activities are an extra cost.

Christmas Tree Lighting

November 24, 5 — 6:30 pm

City Hall (at North Broad Street), Philadelphia


See Mayor Jim Kenney light the City Hall Christmas tree, hear music from the Philly Pops, Lauren Hart, and other artists, and enjoy free hot chocolate and family activities! You can check out the new light show, too.

Santa Arrives at Franklin Square

November 24, 5 — 8 pm

Franklin Square, 200 N. Sixth St., Philadelphia


See the big guy, take an elfie selfie, and enjoy the light show. Admission is free; food and some activities cost money.


Citizen Science Lab

November 25 (also November 26), 11 am, 1 pm, and 3:30 pm

Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia


Spend a day learning all about water with hands-on demonstrations and fun activities for the whole family. This is included with admission to the museum, and Philadelphia Family Supporting Members receive $2 off admission for up to four people (learn how to become a member here.)

Small Business Saturday

All day

Multiple locations


From Fishtown to Wayne, celebrate local shopping with deals, special events, and family fun. Click here for our guide to where to go.

Holiday Cookie Baking With Kitchen Wizards

November 25, 10 am — 1 pm

Upper Merion Community Center, 431 West Valley Forge Road, King of Prussia


Let your kids (7 and older) get a taste of holiday baking at this fun workshop! The cost ranges from $42 to $54, depending on your residency.

Saturdays @ SCEE: Weekly Nature Exploration

November 25, 10:30 — 11:30 am

Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road, Philadelphia


Grab your hiking shoes and spend the day out in nature exploring and making new friends. This event is free.

‘The Secret Life of Pets’

November 25, 11 am

Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr


Bring the family to the movies for a showing of this fun movie, with a reduced price of $5 for adults and $4 for kids.

Santa’s Arrival Celebration

November 25, 1 — 4 pm

Camden Children’s Garden, 3 Riverside Drive, Camden


The holiday season at the Children’s Garden begins with a visit from Santa and an afternoon of crafts and holiday treats. This event is free with admission to the garden.


Roots With Ruark

November 26, 10 — 11 am

Lulu’s Casita, 6 Cricket Ave., Ardmore


Roots with Ruark and JkidPhilly come to Lulu’s Casita bringing a morning of fun, kid-friendly jams and a canned good drive for their “Feeding the Hungry” program. This event is free with regular admission, but donations are also accepted.

Enrichment Workshop

November 26, 10:30 am — 12:30 pm

Brandywine Zoo, 1001 N. Park Drive, Wilmington, Delaware


How do zoo animals stay entertained? Learn all about they stay occupied, and make and take your own enrichment crafts for your own pets. Price is $12 for nonmembers and $10 for members. This workshop is for ages 7 and older.

Opening Day of ‘Jack Frost Saves Christmas’

November 26, noon

The Media Theatre, 104 E. State St., Media


This musical is about a boy who turns everything he touches into ice. He befriends Jack Frost, and the adventure continues to save the holiday season. This show is for ages 4 and older, and tickets range from $10 — 15.

Holiday Wreaths

November 26, 1 pm

Norristown Farm Park, 2500 Upper Farm Park Road, Norristown


Now that Thanksgiving is over, time to think about the next holidays. Families with children 14 and older can come to the park and make holiday wreaths with natural materials. Bring your own glue gun and glue sticks. Price is $5 per person.


Photograph by J. Fusco, courtesy of Visit Philadelphia. 



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