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40+ Things to Do With Kids Around Philly and the Main Line: Thanksgiving Week Edition

Keep our overstuffed weekly list handy and stop holiday week boredom in its tracks!

Need something to do? Start here for something great, every day.

All Week

Breakfast with Santa

November 24 — 26 (also December 1, 3, 8 — 10, 15 — 17, 23 and 24)

Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square

 

Enjoy a special breakfast buffet at Longwood Gardens with a ton of fun food stations and photos with Santa. Price is $34 for ages 12 and older, $23 for ages 2 — 11, and infants are free.

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.

Wintergarden

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.

A Very Furry Christmas

Select dates through December 31

Sesame Place, 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne

 

Sesame Place’s holiday celebration includes train rides, holiday-themed parades, and fun games for the family. Ages 2 and older are $32, and you get a second visit free.

‘Daniel Tiger: A Grr-ific Exhibit’

Daily through January 15

Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia

 

Kids can step into Daniel Tiger’s world in this cute, hands-on exhibit. It’s free with admission to the museum and for members.

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.

‘Annie’

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.

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

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.

Brandywine Christmas

November 24 — 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.

A Longwood Christmas

November 23, 2017 — 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.

‘Tiny Titans: Dinosaur Eggs and Babies’

Daily through January 15

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

 

Find out more about the beginning of the dinosaurs’ life cycle at this neat exhibit. Kids can see and touch real and replica fossils, excavate their own eggs, and even dress up as a dinosaur parent. Admission starts at $13.95, and it’s a $3 fee for museum members; click here to buy tickets.

UniverSoul Circus

Select dates through November 26

Fairmount Park (at 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue), Philadelphia

 

This hip-hop circus brings a fun twist to the big top, with lots of music and dancing amid the traditional death-defying acts. The circus offers morning shows from Tuesday to Thursday that are especially good for kids.

‘Centuries of Childhood: An American Story’

Through December 31; 10 am — 5 pm Monday — Saturday, noon — 5 pm Sunday

Mercer Museum, 84 S. Pine St., Doylestown

 

This interactive exhibit, created by the  Children’s Museum of Cleveland, lets kids connect with the the lives of five children from different eras of American history. From a 7-year-old Iroquois girl to a 10-year-old boy moving from the South to Chicago, this is a great way to introduce young children to history. It’s recommended for kids ages 2 to 6 and is included with admission to the museum.

Monday

Thanksgiving Craft & Storytime

November 20, 11:15 am

Nest Chestnut Hill, 10 W. Gravers Lane, Philadelphia

 

Come to Nest for some pre-Thanksgiving festivities. This event is included in a day pass to Nest.

Turkey Tales

November 20, 1 pm

Norristown Farm Park, 2500 Upper Farm Park Road, Norristown

 

Learn all about the turkey in preparation for Thanksgiving with a craft and sensory exploration. This event is for ages 3 and older, and is $5 per person. Preregistration is required by calling (610) 270 – 0215.

Spy School

November 20, 1 — 6 pm

Free Library of Springfield Township, 1200 E. WIllow Grove Ave., Wyndmoor

 

Break codes, write in invisible ink, and solve mysteries with a ton of fun activities at the library. This event is free and for ages 5 and older.

Tuesday

School Day-Off Camp (Ages 6 — 9)

November 21, 8:30 am — 5 pm

Tyler Arboretum, 515 Painter Road, Media

 

Do the kids have off but you don’t? Send them to camp, where they can spend the day learning all about wind with crafts, experiments, and time in nature. Price is $70 for members and $85 for nonmembers.

Year Round Exploration Camp: Forest Feast

November 21, 9:30 am — 3:30 pm

Riverbend Environmental Education Center, 1950 Spring Mill Road, Gladwyne

 

Spend the day dissecting owl pellets, examining skulls, and learning all about who eats who. This camp is for ages 4 — 11, and is $75/day for nonmembers, with additional pricing for discounts for extended day or membership.

Thanksgiving Storytime

November 21, 10:30 — 11:30 am

Haverford Township Free Library, 1601 Darby Road, Havertown

 

Enjoy a free storytime with local author, Nahjee Grant, and the Haverford Township Police Department. Create baskets to donate to local families and bring canned goods. This event is for all ages.

Family Movie

November 21, 1:30 — 2:30 pm

Easttown Library & Information Center, 720 First Ave., Berwyn

 

The library will be hosting a free showing of Disney’s ‘Born in China’ (rated G). Registration is not required.

Wednesday

School Day-Off Camp (Ages 6 — 9)

November 22, 8:30 am — 5 pm

Tyler Arboretum, 515 Painter Road, Media

 

Another day of Tyler Arboretum’s Day-Off Camp: Fizzy Fun. Spend the day making science experiments that fizz and explode. Price is $70 for members and $85 for nonmembers.

Kid’s Day Out

November 22, 2 — 6 pm

Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown

 

Kids at the zoo can have a fun day with crafts, animal shows, games, and more. Pizza and other snacks will be served. Price is $39.95 for members and $49.95 for non-members, with sibling discounts and additional pricing for late pickup.

Everybody Sing! ‘The King and I’

November 22, 7 pm

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

 

This special viewing of this Hollywood musical classic encourages families to come along for an interactive movie experience! Dress up as your favorite character and receive a free small popcorn. Price is $12.50 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $10 for children 12 and younger. These have a tendency to sell out, so buy your tickets soon.

Thursday

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.

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.

Opening Day of Christmas Village

November 23, 9 am — 5 pm

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.

Friday

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.

Wild Wizarding Weekend

November 24 — 26, 10 am — 5 pm

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 25, 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.

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.

 

Photograph by Ann Marie Detavernier. 

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

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