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What’s Open on Thanksgiving in Philly?

There's plenty of fun to be had before turkey time!

‘Tis the season to be thankful: thankful for all we have, thankful for family, and thankful that we live in a city that doesn’t keep us cooped up with that family all day! If you need to entertain the kids before turkey time, there’s so many fun things that are open and happening in Philly, even on Thanksgiving!

 

Plus, at the end we give you some suggestions of restaurants serving special Thanksgiving meals, in case cooking isn’t your thing either.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Day Parade

8:30 am—noon

Begins at 20th St. and JFK Blvd., then heads east on JFK, left on 16th Street, then down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway before ending at the Art Museum

 

Bundle up and get the kids to the Parkway early for a holiday tradition, now in its 99th year! Giant balloons, live musical performances, Santa’s sleigh, Disney characters, Gritty (yes, Gritty!) feature in our country’s first Thanksgiving Day parade! See our tips for the parade, here!

Christmas Village 

9 am—5 pm

Love Park, 1500 Arch St.

 

Modeled after the traditional Christmas Markets in Germany, this annual holiday market features over 80 vendors in wooden booths selling authentic European food, ornaments, crafts, clothing, and more from all over the world. They also have great food, from waffles to mulled wine (Pro tip: buy the commemorative mug for discount refills—you won’t be sorry). And Santa will even be there on Thanksgiving Day to take pictures with the kids!

Made in Philadelphia Market

9 am—5 pm

Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St.

 

Head across the street after Christmas Village, because right outside City Hall more than 40 local artisans, designers, crafters, and confectionaries will offer unique selections for gifts and special holiday foods. This market was designed to complement Christmas Village—but only focuses on locally made gifts.

Rothman Rink at Dilworth Park

Noon—8 pm

Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St.

 

After all that shopping, get your skates on (or rent a penguin friend to help you balance), and skate around the Rothman Rink outside City Hall! It’ll help you work up an appetite for all that stuffing.

One Liberty Observation Deck

10 am—8 pm

1650 Market St.

 

Get a unique 360-degree view of the city from 57 floors above Philadelphia. Go ahead, get that green screen commemorative photo of your family while you’re at it! There are so many photo ops and you may even be able to see your house (or apartment building). To celebrate the season, One Liberty Observation Deck is displaying costumes and tableaux from some of Philly’s most beloved holiday institutions: Mummers, The Nutcracker, and more.

Comcast Holiday Spectacular 

10 am—8 pm (hourly, at the top of the hour)

Comcast Center, 1701 JFK Boulevard

 

Now entering its tenth year, the Comcast Holiday Spectacular is a 15-minute festive musical on one of the world’s largest highest-resolution LED displays. It opens on Thanksgiving Day and runs the top of every hour. The show includes holiday songs, expansive aerial footage of Philadelphia, parts of the Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker, and more. At the end, marvel as it begins to snow in the lobby of the Comcast Center, and then head outside for a picture with The Grinch inside a giant snowglobe!

Adventure Aquarium

11 am—3 pm

1 Riverside Dr., Camden, NJ

 

The aquarium has shorter holiday hours, but you can still pop in and visit all your underwater friends before dinner.

Restaurants Serving Thanksgiving Meals

Photograph courtesy of Devil’s Alley.

Cooking not your thing? These restaurants around town are open and serving stress-free Thanksgiving meals! Pretty much all the nice hotel restaurants will be serving that day, since hotels never close, plus some local restaurants are staying open and serving special meals. Be sure to call in advance to make your reservations in case they fill up.

City Tavern (lunch and dinner)

Seatings at 1 pm, 1:30 pm, 4 pm, 4:30 pm, 7 pm, and 7:30 pm

138 S. Second St.

 

This Philadelphia institution, with staff dressed in Colonial era costume, does a four-course meal served family style as strolling musicians enhance the holiday spirit. Cost is $97.95 per adult, $35.95 for children 12 and under.

Devil’s Alley (dinner; catering pickup also available)

2—8 pm

1907 Chestnut St.

 

Devil’s Alley has an annual tradition of “Mama Devil’s Holiday Dinner,” a three-course prix fixe dinner with classics like butternut squash soup, sweet potato gratin, macaroni and cheese, turkey, and more. $29.95 per adult and $19.95 per child for a dine-in three-course meal; add $5 for take-out or delivery; enjoy dinner for six for $179.95 for take-out only. Delivery is available within five blocks of 19th and Chestnut streets.

XIX at the Bellevue (lunch)

11:30 am—2 pm

200 S. Broad St.

 

Enjoy beautiful views of the city while you dine at this fancy lunch buffet including Thanksgiving favorites, live stations, salads, desserts, and more. $72 per person.

Spirit of Philadelphia (early dinner)

3—5 pm cruise (board at 2:30 pm)

Penn’s Landing, 401 S. Columbus Blvd.

 

Have early Thanksgiving dinner on a cruise along the Delaware River. They have a holiday dinner buffet (plus kids’ options), as well as on-board entertainment like a DJ, dancing, and games.  Adults $79.90 and up; kids $73.90 and up.

Moshulu (lunch and dinner)

Noon—8 pm

Penn’s Landing, 401 S. Columbus Blvd.

 

Climb aboard for a holiday inspired three-course prix fixe menu. $60 per person. $25 for children ages 2- 12.

Smokin’ Betty’s (dinner; catering pickup also available)

2—8 pm

116 S. 11th St.

 

For the first time, Smokin’ Betty’s will be serving a Thanksgiving dinner, with comfort food and holiday favorites including turkey, sweet potatoes, pie, and more. Pricing options include $29.95 per adult and $19.95 per child for a dine-in three-course meal; add $5 for take-out or delivery; enjoy dinner for six for $179.95 for take-out only.

Aqimero at the Ritz-Carlton (lunch and dinner)

Noon—8 pm

10 Avenue of the Arts

 

Choose from a buffet or plated selections. $95 per adult; $45 per child 12 years and under; children 3 years and under are free.

Bank and Bourbon (lunch and dinner)

11 am—10 pm

1200 Market St.

 

Bank and Bourbon are doing a special Thanksgiving menu for the first time. It includes seafood displays, carved local turkey and prime rib, and an assortment of pies. There’s also a special kids’ display with favorites like chicken tenders and mac and cheese. $65 per adult (with an optional $35 wine pairing), and $22 per child (ages 12 and under).

Urban Farmer at the Logan Hotel (dinner)

4—9 pm

1850 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

 

Urban Farmer offers a four-course dinner with seasonal flavors and classics like turkey, stuffing, pie, for $75 per person. A la carte options are also available.

Dim Sum House (lunch and dinner)

Noon—8 pm

3939 Chestnut St.

 

For something a little different than your standard Thanksgiving fare, Dim Sum House will be serving its full menu, plus special menu additions including the giant Norwegian Whole King Crab that feeds 6 to 12 people.

 

Lead photograph courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Assistant Editor | Email tips to laura@familyfocus.org

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