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November 20, 2014

Our Guide To The 95th Annual Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, Set To Fill The City With Floats, Balloons, Performances And More, On Thursday, November 27

Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 95th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade returns on November 27 with festive floats, balloons, performances, music and more.
(Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

The holiday season officially arrives with the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, a Center City spectacle on Thursday, November 27.

The 1.4-mile 6ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade starts at 8:30 a.m. and continues all morning long until noon. Folks of all ages are encouraged to bundle up and celebrate the start of the season at the very merry parade.

Read on for our full guide to this year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Overview

The parade serves as the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season and is the oldest Thanksgiving Day parade in the country — this year marks the parade’s 95th anniversary.

The Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off at 8:30 a.m. and continues until noon as the streets of downtown Philadelphia welcome massive balloons, festive floats, music, performances, visits from Santa and more.

Parade Route

• The parade starts at 20th Street and JFK Boulevard at 8:30 a.m.

• From there, the parade travels east on JFK Boulevard toward 16th Street.

• The Parade turns left onto 16th Street, marching towards Arch Street and making a left onto the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

• The Parade continues on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway until reaching Logan Circle.

• The Parade loops around the south side of Logan Circle and then continues on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Eakins Oval.

• The Parade proceeds along the south side of The Oval finishing in front of the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Thanksgiving Day parade

Bundle up and head out to the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade for a dazzling day of performances, giant balloons, floats and more. (Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Best Places To Watch

There are a ton of great vantage points throughout the parade’s footprint, but a number of spots in particular are ideal locations to catch the action.

Art Museum Steps: Perhaps the best place to catch the show is at the parade’s finish point at the Art Museum steps.

Love Park: As the parade loops east from its start at 20th and JFK, Love Park will give you a great view of the floats and characters, especially if you situate yourself on an elevated portion of the park above the fountain.

Outside The Comcast Center Along JFK Boulevard: The parade starts out on JFK Boulevard, which makes the Comcast Center a great spot to catch the parade early on. After the parade passes, duck inside to celebrate opening day of the Comcast Holiday Spectacular.

The Oval: The south side of The Oval (in front of the Art Museum) is also recommended. Campbell’s Soup is set to sponsor a tent which promises hot food, warm drinks and entertainment for kids.

Sister Cities Park: Sister Cities Park is home to great views of the parade in addition to ample green space and benches.

More, below. (more…)

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November 20, 2014

The Galleries At Moore Presents A Philadelphia Compendium Of do it, The World’s Longest Running Art Exhibition, This Friday, November 21

Moore College

Moore College of Art and Design presents the latest installment of do it, the longest-running exhibit in history. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

For more than 80 years, do it has been on display somewhere in the world.

Now known as the longest running art exhibition in the world, the show was conceived in 1933 when a group of artists in Paris proposed works of art based solely on written instructions that can be openly interpreted every time they’re presented.

The result? do it, an ever-changing exhibition which is currently on view at The Galleries at Moore College of Art and Design. The exhibit features more than 70 sets of artist instructions from all over the world, which have been interpreted right here in Philadelphia.

This Friday, members of the public are invited to witness the latest iteration of do it as Moore releases its own do it compendium, complete with new sets of instructions created by 27 Philadelphia-based artists, including James Johnson, Kara Crombie, Ryan McCartney and Kate Stewart.

The evening will feature readings, performances and the debut of local hardcore punk band RATKICKER’s music video album interpretation of Meg Cranston’s instruction, “The Most Horrific Tale”.

On December 4, there’s yet another event-driven chance to check out the exhibition during Do It: Burn This Book! at 5 p.m. in The Galleries. Join in a night of dystopic adventure as Moore students interpret artist Mircea Cantor’s Untitled (1994), a written instruction that simply prompts: “Burn this book. ASAP.”

do it has been on display at The Galleries at Moore since September, and the exhibit closes on Saturday, December 6.

Don’t miss catching this ever-evolving exhibition. Just do it!

do it Compendium Release Party
When: Friday, November 21, 5–8 p.m.; exhibition on view through December 6
Where: The Galleries at Moore, 20th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost: Free
More info: www.thegalleriesatmoore.org

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November 19, 2014

Tonight Picks: Drinks With The Sphinx At The Penn Museum, Franklin Square Holiday Festival, Ice Skating At Dilworth Park, Dine Out Wash West And More

Dandelion

As the winter cold sets in, find a place to sit fireside with a drink in hand, like The Dandelion, pictured above.
(Photo courtesy Starr Restaurants)

Wintry Wednesdays call for toasty visits to museums, comforting dinners and making the most of the holiday season (ice skating, anyone?).

Tonight, two museums host after-hours events for post-work guests: The Penn Museum hosts Drinks With The Sphinx, an evening of flashlight tours, a cash bar, workshops, crafts and more while The Philadelphia Museum of Art continues its well-loved pay-what-you-wish Wednesday event.

Dinner plans? Mercato, Varga Bar and Valanni invite diners in for a cozy meal for a good cause as the three restaurants donate a portion of tonight’s bill to the Washington Square West Civic Association.

Franklin Square and Dilworth Park both welcome the holiday season by hosting events fit for a wintry night out. Visit Franklin Square to view hundreds of twinkling lights at its Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show, and head to Dilworth Park to show off your ice skating at the new ice rink.

Our top picks for tonight, below.

Franklin Square Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show

Tonight, the holiday magic at Benjamin Franklin’s namesake park kicks off with the return of the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show, a free dazzling show of more than 50,000 lights. The lights are set to the music of The Philly Pops, with additional songs from The Nutcracker this year, too. The free show runs every half hour from 4:30 to 8 p.m.

When: Wednesday, November 19, 4:30-8 p.m.
Where: Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street
Cost: Free

Drinks with the Sphinx at The Penn Museum

Spend a night with a 15-ton Egyptian sphinx at the Penn Museum’s P.M. at the Penn event series. Tonight, Drinks with the Sphinx runs tonight from 6 to 9:30 p.m. and promises drinks from a cash bar, flashlight tours, a belly-dancing workshop, trivia and more. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for museum members.

When: Wednesday, November 19, 6-9:30 p.m.
Where: Penn Museum, 3260 South Street
Cost: $20, general admission; $15, Penn Museum members

Rothman Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Park

Celebrate the glory of the cold weather season with an evening ice skating session at the new Rothman Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Park. The rink will remain open tonight until 9 p.m.

When: Wednesday, November 19, until 9 p.m.
Where: Dilworth Park, Broad and Market streets
Cost: $4, adults; $3, children 10 and under; $8, skate rental

Dine Out Wash West

Tonight, support the Washington Square West neighborhood by participating in the Dine Out Wash West fundraiser. Have dinner at Mercato, Varga Bar or Valanni and a portion of funds raised — 25 percent of each bill — will benefit the Washington Square West Civic Association. Dinner for a good cause? Count us in.

When: Wednesday, November 19
Where: Participating Restaurants
Cost: Pay as you go

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November 19, 2014

The Philadelphia Marathon Hits Town This Weekend, November 21-23 With More Than 30,000 Participants; Our Complete Spectator’s Guide To The Race, Free Fitness Expo, Kids Fun Run & More

Philadelphia Marathon

The Annual Philadelphia Marathon hits town this weekend with more than 30,000 participants and 60,000 expected spectators. It’s an awesome event to check out in-person and there are prime spots all over the city to watch. (Photo courtesy Philadelphia Marathon)

On your mark, get set, go!

The 21st annual Philadelphia Marathon takes off this weekend and runners, fans, spectators and local businesses are stepping into high gear for the enormous event — one of the top 10 races in America.

With a fast course that winds through the city’s historic downtown, past the stunning Philadelphia Museum of Art and along scenic Boathouse Row, this marathon has been one of the country’s premier running events since 1994.

The annual race sets to outdo itself each year, and with the marathon’s title sponsor, GORE-TEX® Running Footwear, returning for its second year and an expanded schedule of activities, the Philadelphia Marathon is definitely set to be bigger than ever.

Each year, around 60,000 spectators and more than 30,000 runners take to the streets and sidewalks of Philadelphia for four races and all weekend long, November 21-23, spectators and participants will be crawling throughout the city to events, including a free health and fitness expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Staying in Philadelphia this weekend? If you haven’t yet booked your hotel stay, check out Visitphilly.com for super deals on hotel stays and packages.

Read on for our guide to this year’s race weekend.

THE RACES

At the heart of the festival-like athletics-focused weekend are four races, and thousands of runners are registered to take part.

On Saturday, November 22, two races will be held: The Rothman Institute 8K kicks off at 7:30 a.m., and the Kids Fun Run at 10:30 a.m. for children ages 6 to 14.

On Sunday, November 23, the main events take place. The half marathon and the full marathon both kick off at 7 a.m. All races begin at 22nd Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and can be viewed throughout the city (see below for suggestions).

And while registration for the Gore-Tex Philadelphia Marathon, Half Marathon and Rothman Institute 8k is now closed, registration for the Kids Fun Run is available in-person at both the expo and the race site at 9 a.m.

See below for the complete race courses for both the marathon and half marathon.

The Philadelphia Marathon

The annual Philadelphia Marathon returns from November 21 through 23 with thousands of athletes and tons of cheer.
(Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia)

For more on the Philadelphia Marathon race weekend, see below. (more…)

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November 19, 2014

Bob Dylan Plays The Academy of Music In His First Performances In Center City Since The 1960s This Weekend, November 21-23

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan takes the stage at the historic Academy of Music for his first Center City show in more than five decades. (Photo courtesy the Kimmel Center)

Music trends come and go, but Bob Dylan never goes out of style.

The original singer-songwriter has many guises, and a huge catalog of tunes, so you never know quite what to expect when he brings his band to The Academy of Music, November 21-23.

Dylan’s been on the scene since the 1960s, however, this will his first time performing in a Center City theater since 1963. This is likely enough reason for the house to be packed with fans spanning many generations.

But of course, the main draw is the man’s inimitable music — there is no one who sounds, or makes music, quite like Dylan.

With his singular voice, and deeply personal, poetic, profound and often cryptic lyrics, he is a consummate performer. He’s been on the road so frequently in the past several decades that his seemingly endless schedule has been dubbed “The Never Ending Tour.”

Dylan’s repertoire is vast and varied, and he likes to mix up his set list with new tunes sprinkled with a few (but not to many) golden oldies. Still even when he draws on his best known tunes, like “Tangled Up In Blue,” “All Along the Watchtower, or “Blowin’ in the Wind,” he’s likely to refashion them with fresh arrangements and perhaps even new lyrics.

The man is truly like a rolling stone. He’s not one to dwell on the past, and with this show, he’ll take you right up to where his head and heart are at in the present day.

Tickets, starting at $54, are still available online.

Bob Dylan and His Band
When: November 21-23
Where: Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street
Cost: $54-$129
More info: www.kimmelcenter.org

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November 19, 2014

The Holiday Light Show Returns To Shady Brook Farm With Millions Of Lights Throughout The Bucks County Attraction, November 22-January 4

Shady Brook Farm

Shady Brook Farm rings in the holiday season with its annual Holiday Light Show, which promises more than one million lights from November 22 through January 4. (Photo courtesy Shady Brook Farm)

Bask in the glory of millions of twinkling lights at Shady Brook Farm’s Holiday Light Show, which brings major holiday cheer to the Yardley attraction nightly, starting this Saturday, November 22 all the way through January 4.

Ride through the holiday light display via an open-air tractor ride — which costs $12 per person — or drive through the twinkling lights in your own car.

Access to the holiday light display is $20 per carload Monday through Thursday and $25 per carload Friday through Sunday.

For those looking to visit the holiday attraction more than once this season, purchase a multi-pass at the Shady Brook Farm Market or Holiday Light Show ticket booth. On select weekdays, a $5 discount is available for those planning to drive through the display. Information about discounts is available right here.

To add to the holiday cheer, after exploring the holiday light display, guests are invited to sip hot chocolate and roast s’mores at a roaring bonfire.

The holiday light show is open every night from 5 to 10 p.m. from November 22 through January 4.

Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farm
When: November 22-January 4
Where: Shady Brook Farm, 931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley
Cost: Monday-Thursday, $20 per carload; Friday-Sunday, $25 per carload; $30 for mini-bus; $75 for bus; $12 per person for tractor rides
More info: www.shadybrookfarm.com

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November 19, 2014

Get A Sneak Peek Of The Updated Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest At A Preview Party; Score $3 Off Tickets With Code UWISHUNU

RiverRink

Score a sneak peek of the updated Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest on Monday, November 24, before the park officially opens to the public on Friday, November 28. (Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia)

**UPDATE as of Monday, November 24** Due to unseasonably warm weather, the RiverRink Winterfest preview party has been postponed until Tuesday, November 25, 8-11 p.m.

Heads up, winter-fun lovers: tickets are now available for a Sneak Peek Party at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest!

Set for Monday, November 24, the 21-and-up set can score a preview of the updated winter wonderland at Penn’s Landing during a ticketed party nearly a week before it opens to the general public.

From 7 to 10 p.m. on Monday, partygoers will have access to the entire Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, which takes the perennial good times of the annual outdoor ice skating rink to a whole new level, transforming Penn’s Landing into a winterized riverfront park for the entire season.

Those who are still lamenting the seasonal close of Spruce Street Harbor Park now have a reason to celebrate: Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest will essentially be a cold-weather version of the sweet summertime destination.

Officially open seven days a week from November 28 through March 1 — including holidays! — the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest will be an immersive holiday experience with the Garces Events-operated bar and restaurant The Lodge, winter beer garden-style landscaping, a brand-new light show, and a retail shopping experience from Art Star Gallery & Boutique.

A wintertime tradition for 21 years, the Blue Cross RiverRink, an Olympic-size skating rink overlooking the Delaware River, remains the centerpiece of the souped-up waterfront winter village.

During the preview party, a $10 ticket gets guests their first drink, plus skating (normally $3) and skate rental (normally $10).

Ready to get on the ice? We have a deal for you. Use code UWISHUNU to score $3 off admission to the sneak peek party. Tickets are available online. Just enter code UWISHUNU at checkout to score the discount.

Come be one of the first to experience this amazing wintertime destination.

Sneak Peek Party at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
When: Monday, Monday, November 24, 7-10 p.m. **UPDATE as of Monday, November 24** Postponed until Tuesday, November 25, 8-11 p.m.
Where: Penn’s Landing, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost: $10; $7 with code UWISHUNU – SOLD OUT!
More info: www.delawareriverwaterfront.com

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
When: Daily, November 28-March 1, including holidays
Where: Penn’s Landing, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost: General admission, free; skating admission, $3; skate rental, $10
More info: www.delawareriverwaterfront.com

bcrrw-preview-party-invite-680uw

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November 19, 2014

Bredenbeck’s Bakery And Ice Cream Parlor Hosts A Month Of Gingerbread House Workshops Including BYOB Classes, November 28-December 20

Bredenbeck’s Bakery

Bredenbeck’s Bakery and Ice Cream Parlor in Chestnut Hill invites folks of all ages in for its gingerbread house workshops, November 28-December 20. (Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

Put your gingerbread house techniques to the test — or just show them off — at Bredenbeck’s Bakery’s Gingerbread House Workshop, which runs on select days from November 28 through December 20.

The bakery and ice cream parlor continues to be a purveyor of sweet treats and is spreading Christmas cheer, and knowledge, with the month-long run of workshops. The gingerbread workshops are $45 for one person and $65 for two people. Single guests will create a small gingerbread house while groups of two will create a large gingerbread house.

With the price of admission, guests will receive all of the supplies to make the gingerbread house of their dreams — icing, candy and the gingerbread house frame.

On select Wednesday and Friday evenings, the workshop invites in the 21-plus crowd for BYOB workshop sessions. Wine and gingerbread? Deal.

The full schedule of Gingerbread House Workshop dates is available right here.

Registration is required, so call Bredenbeck’s soon to secure your spot.

Bredenbeck’s Bakery Gingerbread House Workshop
When: Select Dates from November 28-December 20
Where: Bredenbeck’s Bakery and Ice Cream Parlor, 8126 Germantown Avenue
Cost: $45 for one person, $65 for two people
More info: www.bredenbecks.com

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November 19, 2014

Roundup: Top 10 Reasons To Kick Off The Holiday Shopping Season In Philadelphia Over Thanksgiving Weekend

holiday shopping in philadelphia

Sure, holiday happenings and attractions make the City of Brotherly Love an excellent seasonal destination, but right now we’re most excited to get our holiday shopping underway. (Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

It’s the time of year to start checking names off holiday shopping lists, folks.

Fortunately, Philadelphia is packed with awesome shopping experiences including brand-new retail destinations in Center City, charming craft bazaars and pop-up shops, independent boutique shops and top-rated shopping malls.

The season is ripe with pending sales and deals, and we’re looking forward to making a list (and checking it twice) and heading out to embrace the holiday shopping spirit.

The best time to begin? Thanksgiving weekend, of course. Not only do tons of stores offer once-a-year sales, but many Philadelphia holiday attractions also start the season the weekend following Turkey Day.

It’s the perfect time to make a weekend out of a visit to Philadelphia, or a mini staycation, so be sure to check out deals on hotel rooms, too.

Read on for our top 10 reasons to kick off your holiday shopping in Philadelphia this Thanksgiving weekend, and beyond.

1. Tax-Free Shopping

In Philadelphia (and all of Pennsylvania!), there is no sales tax on necessities like clothing and shoes. During the holiday season, that can translate to major savings on gifts, too. There are a few exemptions (like formal apparel, fur and some sporting goods), but generally shoppers will find most wearable goods are sold tax-free. MORE INFO

Manayunk

Get shopping, folks. No need to factor in sales tax on purchases of wearable goods in Philadelphia. (Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

2. Holiday Pop-Up Shops

Holiday shoppers looking to purchase creative and sure-to-be-coveted gifts this season have plenty of special markets, bazaars and pop-up shops to choose from in Philadelphia.Pop-up holiday markets and events are cropping up all over town for a single day, a weekend, for several weekends or even for an entire month. Gift givers can shop ’til they drop at such holiday-only destinations as the Franklin Flea Holiday Market, the PHS Pop-Up Shop in Chestnut Hill, the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest’s Art Star Holiday Shop, the Franklin Square PHAIR Holiday Market, the Pennsylvania Ballet’s Nutcracker Market at the Kimmel Center and more. MORE INFO

Franklin Flea

On the hunt for vintage finds? Check out the Franklin Flea Holiday Market housed in the former Strawbridge & Clothier department store every Saturday through December 20. (Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia)

3. Christmas Village Opening Weekend

Holiday shopping gets even more festive when Christmas Village at Love Park, an open-air shopping destination modeled after an open-air German market, returns for the season on Thanksgiving Day, November 27 and continues through Sunday, December 28. Christmas Village will be open for two previews before the official opening day — the market will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Black Friday, November 28 — and then opens with a grand opening celebration on Saturday, November 29 from 4 to 5 p.m. MORE INFO

Christmas Village

Christmas Village returns for a season of holiday shopping, music, merry food and drinks and more, November 28 through December 28. (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)

For more reasons to shop in Philadelphia this Thanksgiving weekend, see below. (more…)

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November 18, 2014

A Guide To Beaujolais Nouveau Day Celebrations At Restaurants, Bars And Shops In Philadelphia On Thursday, November 20

Barbuzzo

Bars, restaurants and shops across the city celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau with special dinners, one-night-only menu items, drink deals, sales and more, including Barbuzzo, pictured above. (Photo by N. Santos for Visit Philadelphia)

French-inspired parties bring a little je ne sais quoi to Philadelphia this Thursday, November 20, as a slew of bars, restaurants and shops celebrate the worldwide wine fête known as Beaujolais Nouveau Day.

All around the world, wine-lovers gather to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau — a French wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region that is released for sale after being fermented for just six to eight weeks. The light wine comes out with a bright-red color and a majorly fruity taste.

Wine-fueled parties will fill the city on Thursday, November 20 and are set to provide city dwellers with food specials, wine dinners, shopping sales, plenty of Beaujolais Nouveau sips and even some complimentary wine.

Read on for our guide to Beaujolais Nouveau celebrations in Philadelphia.

DINNER AND DRINK SPECIALS

Barbuzzo

From 5 to 8 p.m. on November 20, Barbuzzo celebrates Beaujolais Nouveau with a $15 winemaker’s board featuring cured meats, cheese, liver-foie mousse and more, all while pouring $7 glasses of Beaujolais. Deal. MORE INFO

Jamonera

Fill up on a Beaujolais coca (similar to a flatbread) — made with Beaujolais-braised pork shoulder — while sipping $7 glasses of Beaujolais at Jamonera’s Thursday night celebration, which will run from 5 to 8 p.m. MORE INFO

Paris Bistro

Paris Bistro in Chestnut Hill raises a glass to its roots — le French — with a special dinner and wine pairing from November 20 through 22. The three-course meal, which features plates like asparagus with truffled egg, mussels, French beef stew and burgundy poached pear, is available for $39 per person. A wine pairing is available for an additional $21. MORE INFO

Vintage

Vintage, a wine bar, puts on a true fête for the French celebration. Enjoy free sips of Beaujolais Nouveau at Vintage’s wine-fueled soirée. Also groove to live music, take part in giveaways and nosh on small plates. The party runs fro 5 to 8 p.m. on November 20. MORE INFO

Tria

Tria Washington Square West and Tria Rittenhouse celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau with wine-fueled good times on Thursday, November 20. (Photo courtesy Tria)

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