20+ Incredible Things To Do In Philadelphia This Week, November 20-26

From Thanksgiving activities to holiday fun, here are the top things to do in Philly this week...

Thanksgiving week has arrived in Philadelphia, and whether you’re enjoying a staycation at home or hosting out of town guests, there’s so much to see, do and gobble up this week to keep you — and your in-laws — entertained.

March down to the 98th Annual Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parade, get your Christmas shopping done early on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday or stay a kid forever at Finding Neverland at the Academy of Music.

Don’t miss the many openings this week to kick off the holiday season: Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum, A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens, the Christmas Light Show at Macy’s, The Comcast Holiday Spectacular and more.

Get your party on at the Tastytreats Reunion featuring Questlove at Club Mousai and chant E-A-G-L-E-S! during the Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears game at Lincoln Financial Field.

Also happening this week: CraftNOW Philadelphia continues, UniverSoul Circus, Terracotta Warriors and so much more!

Read on for our guide to this week in Philadelphia.

Last Chance: UniverSoul Circus

UniverSoul CircusPhoto courtesy UniverSoul Circus

One of the most interactive circuses in the world, UniverSoul Circus concludes its 21st season this week in Fairmount Park. Attendees can look forward to a diverse selection of circus-oriented acts, such as contortionists from Guinea, acrobats from Ethiopia, a clown trio from Detroit, dancers from the Caribbean and animal acts from Mexico.

Last Chance: UniverSoul Circus

When:Through Sunday, November 26
Where:52nd Street & Parkside Avenue
Cost:$17 and up

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CraftNOW Philadelphia

Exterior of The Center for Art in WoodPhoto courtesy The Center for Art in Wood

Crafting Contexts: Art In City Hall, wooden sculpture and painting at Criss Cross: Robyn Horn and Brian Dickerson at The Center for Art in Wood and clay sculpture and forms by various artists at The Clay Studio are just a few of the many incredible exhibitions to check out this week as part of the ongoing CraftNOW Philadelphia.

CraftNOW Philadelphia

When:Through Friday, December 8
Where:Various locations including The Center for Art in Wood, 141 N. 3rd Street
Cost:Pay as you go

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Franklin Square Holiday Festival and Electrical Spectacle Light Show

Franklin Square HolidayPhoto 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 50,000 twinkling lights and a 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:Through Sunday, December 31
Where:Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street
Cost:Pay as you go

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Dilworth Park Wintergarden

Holiday Wintergarden at Dilworth ParkPhoto by J. Fusco For Visit Philadelphia

The heart of Center City is filled with holiday pop ups this winter. Residents and visitors in Center City can enjoy fun winter attractions as part of the spectacular Dilworth Park Wintergarden, featuring the Rothman Institute Ice Rink, the Rothman Institute Cabin, America's Garden Capital Maze and the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market.

Dilworth Park Wintergarden

When:Through February 25, 2018
Where:Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th Street
Cost:Pay as you go

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Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor at The Franklin Institute

Terracotta Warriors at The Franklin InstitutePhoto courtesy The Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute's dramatic Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor exhibition reveals the secrets behind the 2,000-year-old army of clay statues that guarded the tomb of China's first emperor until their discovery in 1974. The Franklin Institute is the only East Coast stop for this monumental exhibition. It's just one of more than 30 excellent exhibitions now open in the city.

Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor at The Franklin Institute

When:Through Sunday, March 4, 2018
Where:The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street
Cost:$35, daytime admission for non-member adults; $30, daytime admission non-member children; $20, evening admission for non-member adults; $15, evening admission for non-member children; $10, members

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Deck the Hall Light Show at City Hall

Dilworth ParkPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Debuting on Monday, November 20, the brand-new Deck the Hall Light Show presented by Independence Blue Cross will illuminate the exterior of City Hall on its west side multiple times each night. Designed by local digital design firm KLIP Collective (the group behind Longwood Gardens’ Nightscape installation), the display will unfold through New Year's Day.

Deck the Hall Light Show at City Hall

When:November 20-January 1
Where:City Hall, 1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Cost:Free

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Broadway Philadelphia Presents Finding Neverland

Finding NeverlandPhoto by Jeremy Daniel

Sprinkle some fairy dust on your Thanksgiving week and get in on the magic at a memorable performance of Finding Neverland the Academy of Music, which kicks off a week-long run this Tuesday, November 21.

Broadway Philadelphia Presents Finding Neverland

When:November 21-26
Where:Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street
Cost:$30-$58

www.kimmelcenter.org

Holiday Tree Lighting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of ArtPhoto by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

You won't find many better photo ops this holiday season than the public tree lighting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The evening begins at 5 p.m. with live holiday music followed by a countdown to the tree lighting starting at 5:50 p.m. Afterward, head inside the museum, which has pay-what-you-wish admission every Wednesday evening.

Holiday Tree Lighting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

When:Wednesday, November 22, 5-7 p.m.
Where:Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost:Free; pay-what-you-wish museum admission following tree lighting

www.philamuseum.org

Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thanksgiving ParadePhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

The nation's oldest parade — now a spry 98 — kicks off the holidays. The annual event features collegiate marching bands, performances by Walt Disney World characters, giant balloons, floats and, at the end of it all, the Clauses accompanied by postal workers collecting letters to Santa.

Thanksgiving Day Parade

When:Thursday, November 23, 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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Thanksgiving Weekend in Philadelphia

Thanksgiving dinner at The Little LionPhoto courtesy The Little Lion

Philadelphia goes big for Thanksgiving weekend: the 98th Annual Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade (see below), Thanksgiving feasts at amazing area restaurants, the opening of the Christmas Light Show at Macy's and The Comcast Holiday Spectacular and so much more. Click here for our complete guide.

Thanksgiving Weekend in Philadelphia

When:November 23-26
Where:Various locations including The Little Lion, 243 Chestnut Street
Cost:Varies by event and location

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Opening Day: Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Christmas VillagePhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

The German-style Christmas Village returns to a restored JFK Plaza, also known as LOVE Park. For the 10th year, 80 wooden booths of local and international merchants display and sell Käthe Wohlfahrt trimmings, wintry apparel, handmade toys and all manner of edible and drinkable treats, while entertainment keeps things festive. (The LOVE statue makes its triumphant return in February 14, 2018.)

Opening Day: Christmas Village in Philadelphia

When:November 23-December 24
Where:Love Park, Arch Street
Cost:Pay as you go

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Opening Day: The Comcast Holiday Spectacular

Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

A massive, street-level, high-resolution LED display shows The Comcast Holiday Spectacular, 15-minute features of dancers from the Pennsylvania Ballet and a magical sleigh soaring through Philadelphia's skyscape.

Opening Day: The Comcast Holiday Spectacular

When:November 23-January 1, 2018
Where:The Comcast Center, 1701 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Cost:Free

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Opening Day: A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens

A Longwood Christmas at Longwood GardensPhoto courtesy Longwood Gardens

Thousands of topiaries, wreaths, mirrors and floating cranberries, apples and gilded walnuts transform Longwood Gardens' heated, four-acre, Versailles-inspired Conservatory, site of free and ticketed holiday performances, during A Longwood Christmas, which opens for another season on Thanksgiving Day. Outside, 500,000 lights glitter in the trees, and gloriously renovated fountains dance to seasonal music. Fridays through Sundays, Terrace hosts by-reservation breakfasts with Santa.

Opening Day: A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens

When:November 23-January 7, 2017
Where:Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square
Cost:$23, adults; $20, seniors (age 62 years and up); $12, students; free for members and children ages 4 and under

www.longwoodgardens.org

Holiday Shopping in Philadelphia

People shopping on Jewelers' Row in PhiladelphiaPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

With Philly's tax-free policy on most clothing and shoes, what better destination to get your holiday shopping complete? Take advantage of the city's Black Friday deals, including those at brand-name retail destinations in Center City, charming craft bazaars and pop-up shops, independent boutique shops and top-rated shopping malls. The day after Thanksgiving brings a ton of once-a-year sales and also the start of many Philadelphia holiday pop ups.

Holiday Shopping in Philadelphia

When:Ongoing
Where:Various locations including Jewlers' Row

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Santa Express at Dilworth Park

All aboard! Travel with Santa Claus by SEPTA "sleigh" (read: train) to the Rothman Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Park on Friday, November 24 where he'll then lace up and hit the ice with other riders. SEPTA trains will be decorated and filled with holiday fun to enjoy all along the ride. A parade will greet Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves once the they reach the rink.

Santa Express at Dilworth Park

When:Friday, November 24, 10:30 a.m.-noon
Where:Dilworth Park, 15th and Market streets
Cost:Pay as you go

www.centercityphila.org

Philly Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration

Philly Holiday FestivalPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

The Philly Holiday Tree, a 50-foot live tree, resides this year at the north end of City Hall (facing North Broad Street). The giant holiday spectacle comes to life on Friday, November 24, 2017 with a special tree-lighting ceremony from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The festivities usher in the tree's 42 different-color light display.

Philly Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration

When:Friday, November 24, 5 p.m.
Where:Philadelphia City Hall, 1401 John F Kennedy Boulevard
Cost:Free

phillyholidayfestival.com

The Philadelphia Orchestra Presents All American: Gershwin and Beyond at Verizon Hall

J. Griffin for Visit Philadelphia

Get your toes tapping and your hands clapping with two from the Jazz Age greats, Antonin Dvorák and Philadelphia's own Samuel Barber. Enjoy the Philadelphia Orchestra treatment—with help from piano soloist Jon Kimura Parker—in The Philadelphia Orchestra Presents All American: Gershwin and Beyond at Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center.

The Philadelphia Orchestra Presents All American: Gershwin and Beyond at Verizon Hall

When:November 24-25
Where:Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street
Cost:$39 and up

www.kimmelcenter.org

Craft Hall Pop-Up Restaurant at City Hall

New this year adjacent to the Philly Holiday Tree, the Craft Hall Pop-Up Restaurant offers a heated tent fit for 100-plus where guests can tuck in to a full menu of baked goods and treats by Lost Bread Co., savory snacks and seasonal eats, including smoky barbecue. The pop-up acts as a preview of the soon-to-come Craft Hall from FCM Hospitality, the team behind Morgan's Pier and traveling summertime beer garden, Parks on Tap. Craft Hall is set to take over the original outpost of Yards Brewing Company in Northern Liberties in fall 2018.

Craft Hall Pop-Up Restaurant at City Hall

When:November 24-December 23
Where:City Hall, 1401 John F, Kennedy Boulevard
Cost:Pay as you go

www.crafthallphilly.com

Opening Day: Christmas Light Show at Macy's Center City

Macy's Christmas Light ShowPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

The Grand Court in the National Historic Landmark Wanamaker Building has hosted a Christmas Light Show since 1956. The department store revives the tradition of sugarplum fairies, dancing snowmen and more with a 100,000-light show narrated by Julie Andrews and accompanied by the famed Wanamaker Organ. Free performances take place every two hours during store hours.

Opening Day: Christmas Light Show at Macy's Center City

When:November 24-December 31
Where:Macy's Center City, 1300 Market Street
Cost:Free

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Opening Day: Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum

Morris ArboretumPhoto by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Amid the evergreens at Morris Arboretum, the Holiday Garden Railway showcases a miniature winter wonderland complete with a quarter-mile of model-train track, seven loops and tunnels, 15 rail lines and model trains that cruise past scaled replicas of historic monuments and Philadelphia landmarks adorned with thousands of twinkling lights. Friday Night Lights provide evening viewings on select nights; advanced tickets required.

Opening Day: Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum

When:November 24-December 31
Where:Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Avenue
Cost:$17, adults; $15, seniors; $9, youth and students; free, children under 3

www.morrisarboretum.org

Opening Day: Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad at Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal MarketPhoto by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

Every holiday season, Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia's indoor haven for all things food, sets up an impressive holiday railroad display. This year's all-new display features five magical interactive model train vignettes celebrating the history of the Reading Terminal Market, the Reading Railroad and the joys of the holiday season.

Opening Day: Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad at Reading Terminal Market

When:November 24-December 31
Where:Reading Terminal Market, 51 North 12th Street
Cost:Free

www.readingterminalmarket.org

Opening Day: Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Crowd at Blue Cross RiverRink WinterfestPhoto courtesy DRWC

Throw on your hats and mittens and get ready to lace up a pair of skates at opening weekend of Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest on the Delaware River waterfront. Do a twirl on Philadelphia's largest outdoor ice rink, indulge your sweet tooth at the Franklin Fountain Confectionary Cabin, warm your hands by outdoor fire pits, grab a bite from one of the local restaurants in the chalet-inspired lodge and more.

Opening Day: Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

When:November 24-March 4
Where:Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:Pay as you go

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Small Business Saturday

For those who prefer to keep it local, Small Business Saturday is a national initiative spearheaded by American Express that devotes the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day to supporting the local small businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. This year, partake in the initiative right here in Philadelphia on business corridors in neighborhoods like Midtown Village, Queen Village, East Passyunk, Old City, Manayunk and Northern Liberties.

Small Business Saturday

When:Saturday, November 25
Where:Various locations including The Spiral Bookcase, 112 Cotton Street
Cost:Pay as you go

www.sba.gov

Manayunk Tree Lighting Ceremony

Manayunk plays home to holiday festivities of all sort at its Tree Lighting Ceremony this Saturday. Before the celebration, meet up with Santa on Main Street for a photo, then follow his processional to Canal View Park for the tree lighting ceremony, holiday sing-alongs, hot chocolate and other soul-warming treats.

Manayunk Tree Lighting Ceremony

When:Saturday, November 25, 5:30 p.m.
Where:Canal View Park, 4420 Main Street
Cost:Free

www.manayunk.com

Tastytreats Reunion featuring Questlove at Club Mousai

Tie on your dancing shoes and get ready to break it down at the Tastytreats Reunion featuring Questlove, Mike Nyce and host Yameen Allworld at Club Mousai. Relive the good old days of this formerly weekly party with great beats, dancing and drink specials all night.

Tastytreats Reunion featuring Questlove at Club Mousai

When:Saturday, November 25, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
Where:Club Mousai, 1227 Walnut Street
Cost:$10 and up

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Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field

The Philadelphia Eagles playing at Lincoln Financial Field in South PhiladelphiaPhoto courtesy Philadelphia Eagles

Turkeys aren't the only birds in action this week. Head down to Lincoln Financial Field to cheer on the high-flying, NFC-East-leading Philadelphia Eagles as they take on the Chicago Bears in what promises to be a hard-hitting battle on the gridiron.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field

When:Sunday, November 26, 1 p.m.
Where:Lincoln Financial Field, 1 Lincoln Financial Field Way
Cost:$148 and up

www.philadelphiaeagles.com

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