20+ Excellent Things To Do In Philly This Week, November 21-27

Grand opening of Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, Macy's Christmas Light Show, Comcast Holiday Spectacular and more...

The short workweek brings an influx of special events in Philly — not only Thanksgiving-specific events but also the start of holiday events, too.

Thanksgiving arrives in Philly with the annual (and well-loved!) Thanksgiving Day Parade. The blockbuster parade winds through Center City and up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to produce a spectacle of live performances, festive floats and giant balloons.

Major holiday attractions and events also open for the season this week — the Comcast Holiday Spectacular opens on Thursday, the Macy’s Christmas Light Show opens on Friday and Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest also opens on Friday.

Read on for our guide to this week in Philly.

Franklin Square Holiday Festival and Electrical Spectacle Light Show

Franklin SquarePhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Festive lights, winter treats and holiday cheer fill historic Franklin Square for its all-ages (and completely free!) holiday festival and light show. The main feature is the Electrical Spectacle light show, which utilizes thousands and thousands of twinkling lights and a dynamic holiday soundtrack. The seasonal outdoor attraction rounds out the ongoing festivities with a winter beer garden, seasonal eats from SquareBurger, Lightning Bolt Holiday Express train rides around the square and a handful of other fun-filled events.

Franklin Square Holiday Festival and Electrical Spectacle Light Show

When:November 21-24 and November 27, until 8 p.m.; November 24-26, until 9 p.m.
Where:Franklin Square, 200 6th Street
Cost:Free admission

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Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park

Those looking to ice skate in the heart of Philadelphia can pack up their cold-weather gear and head to the ice rink at Dilworth Park, opening for its third year. Skaters of all levels and ages are invited to cruise around the rink while taking in skyline views just outside of City Hall. Afterward, warm up in the Rothman Institute Cabin, offering a variety of eats and the ultimate post-ice-skating treat — hot chocolate. On Wednesday, you can visit the cabin for a post-work happy hour.

Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park

When:November 21-27
Where:Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th Street
Cost:$3-$10

www.ccdparks.org

Wintergarden at Dilworth Park

New this year, Dilworth Park hosts a pop-up maze-meets-garden created in partnership with Greater Philadelphia Gardens. Wander through the holiday-inspired America's Garden Capital Maze where you'll find a variety of seasonal shrubbery and decorations. Adjacent to the Rothman Institute Ice Rink, the garden will also bring a series of special programming — "Orchids for the Office," "Terrarium How To" and more — to be presented in Rothman's heated cabin.

Wintergarden at Dilworth Park

When:November 21-27
Where:Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th Street
Cost:Free

www.ccdparks.org

After Orlando One Night Only at Philadelphia Theatre Company

The After Orlando theater action group, a response to the shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub, brings the history of gun violence to the stage across the country. This week, the group brings a special play to Philadelphia. The show is comprised of 17 three- to five-minute plays by 17 different playwrights. Tickets are free, but those interested in attending are encouraged to register online beforehand.

After Orlando One Night Only at Philadelphia Theatre Company

When:Monday, November 21, 7 p.m.
Where:Philadelphia Theatre Company, 480 S. Broad Street
Cost:Free with RSVP

www.philadelphiatheatrecompany.org

Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market

New this year, the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market will lay just steps away in Dilworth Park, featuring local artisans, designers, crafters and confectionaries. If you're looking for a one-stop spot to do all your holiday shopping, these joint venues are a can't-miss spot!

Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market

When:November 21-27
Where:Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th Street
Cost:Pay as you go

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Mixology Mixer at the Shops at the Comcast Center

Sip cocktails by some of the city’s best mixologists at the Mixology Mixer held at The Market and Shops at the Comcast Center. From 5 to 7 p.m., enjoy sips from Charlie was a Sinner., Time, Bar Bombon and more — and vote for your favorite!

Mixology Mixer at the Shops at the Comcast Center

When:Tuesday, November 22, 5-7 p.m.
Where:The Market and Shops at Comcast Center, 1701 JFK Boulevard #300
Cost:Free

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Visit Bucks County’s Tree Fest

Themed Christmas trees are the name of the game at the annual Bucks County Holiday Treefest. Returning for its 11th year, the festival invites visitors and residents to the Bucks County Visitor Center to check out twenty-five beautifully bedecked trees in themes like butterflies, snowflakes, wine and more.

Visit Bucks County’s Tree Fest

When:Tuesday, November 22, 6 p.m.
Where:Bucks County Convention, 3207 Street Road, Bensalem
Cost:Free

www.visitbuckscounty.com

An American In Paris at the Academy of Music

On Tuesday, An American in Paris, the Tony-award winning musical, opens at the Academy of Music. The acclaimed musical with a soundtrack by George and Ira Gershwin tells the story of the love between an American soldier and a mysterious French woman.

An American In Paris at the Academy of Music

When:November 22-27
Where:Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street
Cost:$20 and up

www.kimmelcenter.org

Holiday Tree Lighting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art Tree LightingPhoto by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Museum of Art kicks off its holiday celebrations on Thanksgiving Eve with a festive tree lighting ceremony at the top of its iconic steps. Starting at 4 p.m., enjoy seasonal treats, festive music and more. The event culminates with the tree lighting at 5:30 p.m.

Holiday Tree Lighting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

When:Wednesday, November 23, 4-6:30 p.m.
Where:Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost:Free

www.philamuseum.org

Thanksgiving Eve with The Legendary DJ Biz Markie and DJ Mike Nyce at Silk City

Drink deals and Biz Markie? Count us in! This Thanksgiving Eve, Silk City kicks off the holiday weekend with an all-vinyl DJ set by DJ Mike Nyce followed by a set by Biz Markie, a legendary DJ and rapper (one of his biggest songs is Just a Friend). $4 Stoli cocktails and $2 Miller High Life round out the party.

Thanksgiving Eve with The Legendary DJ Biz Markie and DJ Mike Nyce at Silk City

When:Wednesday, November 23, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
Where:Silk City, 435 Spring Garden Street
Cost:$10 cover until 10 p.m., $15 cover from 10-11 p.m., $20 cover after 11 p.m.

www.silkcityphilly.com

Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thanksgiving Day ParadePhoto by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

The 1.4-mile 6ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade is the oldest in the country and a true Philadelphia tradition. The city streets (including the Benjamin Franklin Parkway) make way for massive floats and giant balloons, plus local performers from choirs, dance groups, marching bands and more. Santa himself arrives in grand fashion, ushering Philadelphia into the holiday season. Look forward to other special guests, too, like Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Disney’s newest Princess Elena of Avalor. In case you’re not convinced, click here to learn why seeing the parade in person is so awesome.

Thanksgiving Day Parade

When:Thursday, November 24, 8:30 a.m.-Noon
Where:Starts at 20th and Market streets and continues along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost:Free

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Grand Opening of Christmas Village at City Hall

M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

This year, the European wonderland known as Christmas Village moves to City Hall while LOVE Park undergoes renovations. Modeled after traditional European open-air Christmas markets, the outdoor oasis holds nearly 100 wooden booths with vendors of all kinds.

Grand Opening of Christmas Village at City Hall

When:Thursday, November 24
Where:City Hall, 1401 JFK Boulevard
Cost:Pay as you go

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Grand Opening of A Longwood Christmas

A Longwood ChristmasPhoto courtesy Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens transforms into a true winter wonderland for the holiday season starting on Thursday, November 24. The gardens glow with thousands and thousands of twinkling lights and festive fountain shows while seasonal plants and holiday music add to the cheer.

Grand Opening of A Longwood Christmas

When:Thursday, November 24
Where:Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square
Cost:$12-$23

www.longwoodgardens.org

Grand Opening of The Comcast Holiday Spectacular

Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Shown on the state-of-the-art Comcast Experience video wall at The Comcast Center, The Comcast Holiday Spectacular is filled with sights and sounds of the season. Since its debut in 2008, more than 1.6 million people have experienced the wonderful must-see holiday show in the Comcast Center lobby. Now an annual holiday tradition, the 15-minute Comcast Holiday Spectacular takes visitors on a festive, musical journey featuring classic family favorites like "Carol of the Bells," "Jingle Bell Rock" and "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

Grand Opening of The Comcast Holiday Spectacular

When:Thursday, November 24
Where:Comcast Center, 1701 JFK Boulevard
Cost:Free

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Grand Opening of the Macy’s Christmas Light Show

More than 100,000 bright, energy-efficient LED lights come together to create whimsical holiday images during the Macy's Christmas Light Show, housed in the historic Wanamaker Building. Watch snowflakes, ballerinas and reindeer float in front of the four-story-high velvet curtain of the Grand Court atrium while enjoying music from the world-renowned Wanamaker Grand Organ. Don't miss out on this Philadelphia holiday tradition, which dates back to 1956!

Grand Opening of the Macy’s Christmas Light Show

When:Friday, November 25
Where:Macy's, 1300 Market Street
Cost:Free

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Jurassic World: The Exhibition Opens at The Franklin Institute

Jurassic World at the Franklin InstitutePhoto courtesy the Franklin Institute

The prehistoric denizens of Isla Nublar come roaring into The Franklin Institute with the North American premiere of the 15,000-square-foot exhibition Jurassic World. Fans of the "Jurassic Park" movie series can explore the mysterious island and come face-to-face with animatronic versions of the 25-foot-long Brachiosaurus, 24-foot tall T. Rex, Stegosaurus and other lumbering beasts. While the movies are fiction, the exhibition is based on true science.

Jurassic World: The Exhibition Opens at The Franklin Institute

When:Friday, November 25
Where:The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street
Cost:$12.95-$34.95

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Grand Opening of Morris Arboretum’s Holiday Garden Railway

Morris ArboretumPhoto by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Morris Arboretum’s beautiful Holiday Garden Railway opens for the holiday season this Friday, November 25. The model train follows a quarter-mile track, bedecked with holiday lights and a miniature village, throughout the Chestnut Hill arboretum. Note that the grand opening celebration will take place on Saturday, November 26.

Grand Opening of Morris Arboretum’s Holiday Garden Railway

When:Friday, November 25
Where:Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Avenue
Cost:$9 and up; free for children and PennCard holders

www.morrisarboretum.org

Grand Opening of Reading Terminal Market’s Holiday Railroad

Holiday RailroadPhoto by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

Beyond serving as an incredible spot for food, the Reading Terminal Market dresses up for the holiday season and offers entertainment for the whole family. Kids and adults alike will delight in its 500-square-foot model railroad display, featuring 17 train lines that run along a track close to a third of a mile in length.

Grand Opening of Reading Terminal Market’s Holiday Railroad

When:Friday, November 25
Where:Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th Street
Cost:Free

www.readingterminalmarket.org

Opening Weekend for Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Offering majestic views of both the Delaware River and the Ben Franklin Bridge, Blue Cross RiverRink returns for its 23rd year and its fourth year as Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, a delightful winterized riverfront park. Winterfest houses an Olympic-size skating rink, a ski chalet-style lodge, a decorated holiday tree, rustic furniture, fire pits, warming cabins and thousands of lights that illuminate the space in style. Come cruise along the rink and stay to relax in the festive riverside enclave.

Opening Weekend for Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

When:November 25-27
Where:Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:General admission, free; skating admission, $3; skate rental, $10

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Thanksgiving Weekend at the National Constitution Center

NCCPhoto by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

The National Constitution Center holds Thanksgiving near and dear for a special reason — when Congress passed the Bill of Rights, it also pushed through a request that President George Washington proclaim the national holiday of Thanksgiving, which he did. Throughout the weekend, the museum hosts a slew of celebrations including a school supply drive on Friday, a show about Thanksgiving traditions in the White House, corn husk doll crafts and more.

Thanksgiving Weekend at the National Constitution Center

When:November 25-27
Where:National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street
Cost:$8-$14; free for active Military & children 3 and under

www.constitutioncenter.org

Franklin Flea Holiday Market

The Philadelphia-centric Franklin Flea Holiday Market returns for three Saturday shopping days, November 26, December 3 and December 17 in the former home of Strawbridge & Clothier. At the wintertime market, shoppers can expect a finely tuned selection of dozens of vendors set up amid the antique chandeliers and marble columns of the historic space, selling everything from fine antiques and vintage clothing to handmade decorative arts and gourmet street food.

Franklin Flea Holiday Market

When:Saturday, November 26, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where:Historic Strawbridge's Building, 801 Market Street
Cost:Pay as you go

www.franklinflea.com

Philly Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration

Philly Holiday Tree Lighting FestivalPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

This year the festivities get an extra touch of sparkle with the launch of the Philly Holiday Festival, the city’s colorful, seven-week holiday gift to locals and visitors. One of the biggest events of the Philly Holiday Festival is the free Philly Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration, which officially unwraps the holiday season in the city with the flick of a switch. The 38-foot Philly Holiday Tree will be set atop a multimedia base accented by iconic symbols, including Rocky, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the skyline and other representations of the city’s neighborhoods, and it will glow with thousands of lights. The event includes entertainment and holiday giveaways.

Philly Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration

When:Saturday, November 26, 4-6 p.m.; Tree Lighting, 5:30 p.m.
Where:Philadelphia City Hall, 1401 JFK Boulevard
Cost:Free

www.philachristmas.com

Grand Opening of A Christmas Carol at the Walnut Street Theatre

A classic Christmas tale unfolds on the stage at the Walnut Street Theatre this holiday season. On Saturday, November 26, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, opens at the Midtown Village theater.

Grand Opening of A Christmas Carol at the Walnut Street Theatre

When:Saturday, November 26,
Where:Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street
Cost:$14.50-$16.50

www.walnutstreettheatre.org

Small Business Saturday and Tree Lighting in Manayunk

Support Manayunk’s shops on Small Business Saturday (this Saturday!). You can start your holiday shopping with sales at popular spots like Nicole Miller Manayunk, Worn Yesterday, The Little Apple, Hidden River Yarns and more. In addition to shopping, Manayunk kicks off its holiday events with holiday music, a visit from Santa and a tree lighting celebration in Canal View Park at 5 p.m.

Small Business Saturday and Tree Lighting in Manayunk

When:Saturday, November 26, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where:4312 Main Street
Cost:Pay as you go

www.manayunk.com

Final Week: The Golden Age of King Midas at the Penn Museum

It's the final week to check out the Penn Museum's fascinating exhibition The Golden Age of King Midas. The exhibition features more than 120 objects that create a comprehensive story of the real King Midas and life in Gordion over 3,000 years ago.

Final Week: The Golden Age of King Midas at the Penn Museum

When:Through November 27
Where:Penn Museum, 3260 South Street
Cost:$10-$15; free for museum members, active U.S. military personnel, children 5 and under and PennCard holders

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