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Gobble Gobble! An Overstuffed Rundown of Things To Do With Kids in Philly All Week: November 22–28

Staying in town for Thanksgiving, or hosting family? Here's something great to do in Philly everyday!

Need plans for Thanksgiving week? Staying in town for Thanksgiving, or hosting family? We’ve got something great, every day.

 

And we’re bringing you the whole week, including Thanksgiving weekend, all at once! Just one more thing to be thankful for!

Go straight to: Monday       Tuesday       Wednesday         Thursday (Thanksgiving!)
THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

All Week

Winter in Dilworth Park: Rothman Rink, Wintergarden, and Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market

Through January 1 (Rink through February)

Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St.

 

Right outside City Hall, local artisans, designers, crafters, and confectionaries will offer unique selections for gifts and special holiday foods. This market was designed to complement Christmas Village across the street—but only focuses on locally made gifts. Stop by after skating on the Rothman Rink and running through Wintergarden Maze!

Winter in Franklin Square

Through January 9

200 N. Sixth St.

 

More than 100,000 lights illuminate Franklin Square’s updated fountain show, timed to a soundtrack of holiday classics, some of which are performed by The Philly POPS. There are two alternating shows every 30 minutes beginning at 5 pm daily, so if you stay a while for the square’s holiday activities, you can catch them both. Take a spin on the carousel, warm up at Franklin’s Winter View with outdoor fire pits and beautiful indoor heated tent featuring adult and hot beverages and seasonal food, and play Chilly Philly Mini Golf, a holiday spin on their beloved golf course complete with lights, holiday music, and larger-than-life wintertime friends! Tickets required for mini golf.

Philadelphia Zoo’s LumiNature

Through January 9

3400 W. Girard Avenue

 

Back this year, the Philadelphia Zoo presents its magical nighttime holiday spectacle. Featuring 14 illuminated zones throughout the zoo, LumiNature will take guests on a journey of lights, sounds and surprises, offering lively displays and newly-enhanced installations. Seasonal fare, strolling performers, hot chocolate (and adult beverages) add to the festiveness. All guests should pre-purchase timed-tickets online.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid

November 16–January 2

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St.

 

Journey “under the sea” with Ariel and her aquatic friends in this song-filled musical based on the beloved Hans Christian Andersen story and the classic Disney film. All guests must be fully vaccinated to enter the theatre and must present digital or physical proof at the door. Children under 12 and people with a medical condition or closely held religious belief that prevents vaccination may show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Masks are required regardless of vaccination status.

‘The Wizard of Oz’ Exhibit at Please Touch Museum

October 8–January 16

4231 Avenue of the Republic

 

Visitors of all ages are invited to come along with Dorothy and Toto on a multi-sensory exploration of the Land of Oz! Read more in our preview.

Crayola IDEAworks: The Creativity Exhibition at the Franklin Institute

Through November 28

222 N. 20th St.

 

A highly colorful and interactive exhibit makes its debut at the Franklin Institute. Crayola IDEAworks is an immersive experience that uses state-of-the-art technology to challenge visitors, expand creativity, and hone problem-solving skills. Even cooler, with more than 150 physical and digital inquiry-based interactive experiences and challenges, guests can track their progress on an RFID wristband and receive a customized summary of their unique creative strengths discovered on their journey! Read more details in our preview.

‘Hamilton’

October 20-November 28

Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St.

 

The Broadway sensation based on our “ten dollar founding father” is here, so do not throw away your shot! Recommended for ages 12 and up (but you can gauge your kid’s readiness by watching the performance on Disney+ first). Note that proof of vaccination and masks are required for all Kimmel Center Campus performances this season.

Dasher’s Lightshow

1455 Franklin Mills Circle

November 5–January 2

 

This festive holiday drive-through at Philadelphia Mills Mall lets you stay in your car while you experience the sparkle of light tunnels, light-up displays, and more. Scan your ticket, and be sure to turn your radio to 103.1 FM, which will play music that syncs up with the light patterns. Even the little light-up penguin and snowman faces “sing” along to the songs! Use Promo Code PHILLYFAMMAG for a $10 discount for any November dates.

Anastasia

November 23-28

Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St.

 

As Anya uncovers her mysterious past as the lost Grand Duchess, you’ll be swept away in 1920s style and show-stopping musical numbers. Journey to the past with the hit Broadway musical adapted from the animated film AnastasiaNote that proof of vaccination (or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours) and masks are required for all Kimmel Center Campus performances this season.

Day-Off Camp at Philadelphia Rock Gym East Falls

November 22–26 (closed on Thanksgiving), 9 am — 3 pm (half day and extended care available)
3500 Scotts Lane

 

Kids can spend the day learning bouldering and top rope skills, while also strengthening their problem solving, communication, and teamwork. Kids will also do team building exercises and arts and crafts. Choose from full day for $80 or half day til noon for $45. Extended care is also available for an additional $10 an hour.

Monday

Baby Wordplay in the Park

November 22, 10 am

Cliveden of the National Trust, 6401 Germantown Ave.

 

Story Play in the park will have you and your little one playing with sounds, catching and tossing words, reading, rhyming, and singing! Pre-register online.

Kids Music Group

November 22, 1:30 pm

McPherson Square Library, 601 E. Indiana Ave.

 

Join Kensington Storefront weekly at the Library to sing, play, and move! Children up to age 10 and their caregivers are invited to come together to create music and memories, while supporting social and developmental skills.

Deck the Hall Light Show begins at Dilworth Park

November 22, 5 pm

1 S. 15th St.

 

This light show returns to light up the west side of City Hall with projected large-scale animation. As with last year, the show will play continuously throughout the evening on a 30-minute loop without musical accompaniment, allowing guests to enjoy the lights at their leisure without drawing crowds. It’s a perfect addition to the Rothman Rink and holiday markets on either side of the street. Grab some hot cocoa from the Cabin, and watch the magic unfold.

Tuesday

Schuylkill Center Sprouts

November 23, 9:30 am

8480 Hagy’s Mill Road

 

Together with a favorite grown-up, Sprouts will discover and explore the wonders of nature through sensory-focused classes. This series for little ones ages 2-3 years features walks, songs, and stories. Pre-register for the full series, or drop in for $30 (if space allows).

Home School Program: Lenape Life

November 23, 10 am–noon

Pennypack Environmental Center, 8600 Verree Rd.

 

Learn how Native Americans lived in their environment. Listen to Native tales and skills followed by a walk to find plants used for food, tools, and medicine. Registration required; $5 per school-aged child. Parents stay for the program.

Mister John’s Music at Kith + Kin

November 23, 10 am

3060 W. Jefferson St.

 

Through music, rhythm and movement, infants and toddlers learn about self-expression, teamwork, sharing, and empathy. all full of surprises and set to your favorite tunes from your favorite artists! This is an all-ages, BYO instruments class. Pre-register online ($25 for drop-in).

Library in the Park with Nourishing Literacy

November 23, 10 am

Rittenhouse Square (meet at the Goat Statue)

 

Members of the Culinary Literacy Center’s Nourishing Literacy team will be leading some wellness and food-inspired activities for children and families.

Garden Storytime at Donatucci Library

November 23, 11 am

1935 Shunk St.

 

Join Miss Sunita for Storytime in the Donatucci Garden every Tuesday. Masks (for kids over 2) and social distancing required. Ages 0-5. Bring Your Own Blanket. Weather permitting.

Sand Jam Music and Movement

November 23, 11:30 am

Rittenhouse Square

 

In this Jamboree style class, kids ages 2-4 will explore engaging movement activities through a dynamic musical lens with Sandcastle Fun Co. Drop-in passes available online.

November 23, 1 pm

 

Wampum belts are used by the Lenape and other Indigenous peoples of the Eastern Woodlands to record their histories, forge relationships, and share stories. Learn more about the traditional practice of making wampum belts and create a design that represents an important event in your family, school, or community. This 45-minute session with the Penn Museum is free, and perfect for elementary and middle school kids. Pre-register online.

Kids Explore Wissahickon Environmental Center

November 23, 1:30–3:30 pm

300 West Northwestern Ave.

 

Equipped with a few Band-Aids, the kids (ages 6-10) will go climbing over fallen trees, scrambling over rocks, running through a field, playing in the leaves, and much more. This is a drop-off activity. Pre-register online.

Wednesday

Day-Off Camp: Forest and Field Day

November 24, 8 am—3 pm

Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road

 

If your kids (ages 5-12) have off school, drop them off for teamwork, exercise, games, and fun! Pre-registration required.

Day-Off Camp at Philadelphia Rock Gym Fishtown

November 24, 9 am — 3 pm (half day and extended care available)
2412 E. York St.

 

Kids can spend the day learning bouldering and top rope skills, while also strengthening their problem solving, communication, and teamwork. Kids will also do team building exercises and arts and crafts. Choose from full day for $80 or half day til noon for $45. Extended care is also available for an additional $10 an hour.

Storytime at the Goat Statue

November 24, 10 am

Rittenhouse Square

 

Join Miss Liz at the goat statue in Rittenhouse Square for stories and activities for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Kids Explore Wissahickon Environmental Center

November 24, 1:30–3:30 pm

300 West Northwestern Ave.

 

Equipped with a few Band-Aids, the kids (ages 6-10) will go climbing over fallen trees, scrambling over rocks, running through a field, playing in the leaves, and much more. This is a drop-off activity. Pre-register online.

Thursday: Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 25, 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, back in person after a year of being virtual! Giant balloons, live musical performances, Santa’s sleigh, and even Gritty (yes, Gritty!) feature in our country’s first Thanksgiving Day parade!

What’s Open in Philly?

From skating to shopping, here’s everything #OpenInPHL so you can make the most of your day off!

Thanksgiving Weekend!

All Weekend

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Opens for the Season

November 26—March 6, 2022

101 S. Columbus Blvd.

 

Come to skate, play games in the arcade, eat delicious food and treats, warm up by the firepits, and take in the gorgeous views and holiday lights. This rink is a Philadelphia favorite for a reason. Advance timed tickets are highly recommended.

Christmas Village

November 25—December 24

Love Park, 1500 Arch Street

 

Modeled after the traditional Christmas Markets in Germany, this annual market features dozens of unique 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 rides including a giant Ferris wheel and a new double-decker carousel in City Hall Courtyard.

Winter in Dilworth Park: Rothman Rink, Wintergarden, and Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market

Through January 1, 2022 (Rink through February)

Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St.

 

Right outside City Hall, local artisans, designers, crafters, and confectionaries will offer unique selections for gifts and special holiday foods. This market was designed to complement Christmas Village across the street—but only focuses on locally made gifts. Stop by after skating on the Rothman Rink and running through Wintergarden Maze!

Winter in Franklin Square

Through January 9

200 N. Sixth St.

 

More than 100,000 lights illuminate Franklin Square’s updated fountain show, timed to a soundtrack of holiday classics, some of which are performed by The Philly POPS. There are two alternating shows every 30 minutes beginning at 5 pm daily, so if you stay a while for the square’s holiday activities, you can catch them both. Take a spin on the carousel, warm up at Franklin’s Winter View with outdoor fire pits and beautiful indoor heated tent featuring adult and hot beverages and seasonal food, and play Chilly Philly Mini Golf, a holiday spin on their beloved golf course complete with lights, holiday music, and larger-than-life wintertime friends! Tickets required for mini golf.

Anastasia

November 23-28

Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St.

 

As Anya uncovers her mysterious past as the lost Grand Duchess, you’ll be swept away in 1920s style and show-stopping musical numbers. Journey to the past with the hit Broadway musical adapted from the animated film AnastasiaNote that proof of vaccination (or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours) and masks are required for all Kimmel Center Campus performances this season.

Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum

Opens November 26; ticketed nights on weekends

Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Avenue

 

Morris Arboretum’s beloved Garden Railway gets a holiday upgrade, lighting up this quarter-mile of track and miniature replicas of Philadelphia-area landmarks made from natural materials with thousands of twinkling lights. The garden holds special ticketed night events on weekends from 4:30—7:30 pm where you can really get the full effect of the lights.

Miracle on South 13th Street

13th Street between Tasker and Morris

 

The stretch of 13th Street between Tasker and Morris in South Philly has been named home to the best Christmas lights in all of Pennsylvania. The neighbors on this block go all out, from dazzling lights to toddler-sized illuminated lawn decorations. It’s colorful and kitschy and pure Philly. The displays generally go up after Thanksgiving and stick around til the New Year.

Smedley Street Christmas Light Spectacular

Smedley Street between 16th and 17th Streets and Moyamensing and Oregon Avenues

 

Another extravagant South Philly display, the “Christmas Street,” as it is known, has giant light-up candy canes, inflatables, and lots of lights!

Turkey Hangover at Philadelphia Museum of Art

November 26—28, 10:30 am—3 pm

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

 

Work off your Thanksgiving feast with a stroll through the galleries, and gobble up some art while creating expressions of thanks in the Balcony Studio. Count all the things you’re grateful for as you explore notable numbers in the Jasper Johns exhibition, then head to the balcony to create art using letterpress techniques with guest printmakers from the Soapbox, a community printshop. Pre-registration is recommended for the tours. Kids under 12 are always free at the museum.

Franklin Frost Holiday Fun at the Franklin Institute 

November 26–January 2

222 N. 20th St.

 

Explore spectacular model trains surrounding a grand 25-foot-tall sparkling Stellar Tree, designed to reflect the mysterious and magnificent night sky. Plus, Conductor Carl will lead interactive seasonal science activities with a sprinkle of surprise! Included with General Museum Admission.

Thanksgiving Weekend at National Constitution Center

November 26—28

525 Arch Street

 

Explore the origins of this national holiday, and learn about the Wampanoag people who lived in what is now New England. Visitors can also stop by arts and craft stations to create festive leafy wreaths, complete with their own messages of thanks.

Christmas Underwater at Adventure Aquarium

November 26—December 24

1 Riverside Dr., Camden, NJ

 

Scuba Santa is back and ready to make the most underwater appearances in aquarium history! Visit him in Ocean Realm as he spreads the magic of Christmas and takes selfies through the glass. The aquarium will also have the World’s Tallest Underwater Christmas Tree, and more decorations throughout. Reservations strongly recommended.

Thanksgiving Weekend at the Museum of the American Revolution

November 26—28

101 S. Third St.

 

Explore the museum’s new special exhibit, “Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War,” walk through a wintery scene in Revolution Place, make your own cookie molds for the holidays, and much more for the whole family.

Friday

Day-Off Camp at Philadelphia Rock Gym Fishtown

November 26, 9 am — 3 pm (half day and extended care available)
2412 E. York St.

 

Kids can spend the day learning bouldering and top rope skills, while also strengthening their problem solving, communication, and teamwork. Kids will also do team building exercises and arts and crafts. Choose from full day for $80 or half day til noon for $45. Extended care is also available for an additional $10 an hour.

Santa Express—SEPTA Broad Street Line to Rothman Rink

November 26, 10 am—noon

Start at NRG Station, end at Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St.

 

SEPTA Santa Express is heading to Dilworth Park for a morning of ice skating and celebration with Santa Claus. The fun starts at NRG Station at 10 am. The train leaves at 10:45 am and arrives at Dilworth Park at approximately 11 am, where Santa will come skate on Rothman Rink! Families can board the Broad Street Line, free of charge, at any stop starting at NRG Station until arriving at City Hall.

Phillies’ Red Friday

November 26, 10 am—6 pm

Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way

 

Visit CBP for holiday sales, festivities, fun surprises, and of course Phanta Claus (the Phanatic dressed as Santa)! Take holiday photos on the field,  meet the Phillies Ballgirls, and enjoy pretzels and hot chocolate in the Phillies and visitor’s dugouts from 10 am—noon.

Black Powder Friday at Fort Mifflin

November 26, 10 am

1 Fort Mifflin Rd.

 

Spend the day exploring one of the only intact battlefields from the American Revolution and watch musket and cannon demonstrations. Tickets available online.

Saturday

Small Business Saturday in Chestnut Hill

November 27

 

Shop local, plus enjoy strolling Santa (11 am-2 pm), Mummers (1-3 pm), carolers, and carriage rides (noon-3 pm).

Schuylkill Saturday: Self-Guided Nature Exploration for Families

November 27, 10 am

Schuylkill Center, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road

 

Pick up a nature exploration kit at the Visitor Center and then hit the trails with your family to complete the activities inside. Dive into a different theme and collect a new explorer badge each week. Explorer kits can be picked up anytime between 10 am and noon. All ages welcome. No registration or fee required. Masks are required when picking up your kit.

Second-Hand Toy Sale at Rutabaga Toy Library

November 27, 10 am–4 pm

3426 Conrad St.

 

Shop a wide selection of “new-in-box” and gently-used toys, games, puzzles, books, and parenting gear. All proceeds will go to Rutabaga Toy Library’s Scholarship Fund which provides free or discounted memberships to low-income families.

Mt. Airy Holiday Makers Market

November 27, 10 am–4 pm

Mt. Airy Village

 

Shop over 25 local makers, plus live music, food trucks, author signings, and community cheer.

Grand Illumination Kickoff at American Credit Union

November 27, 7 pm

American Heritage Carriage House, 2060 Red Lion Road

 

American Heritage Credit Union’s campus lights up with over 400,000 lights. It kicks off on Saturday, November 27 at 7 pm with a concert featuring the Philadelphia Boys Choir and the New Jersey Fifes and Drums, Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross, and fireworks! In the spirit of giving, help ACU reach their food drive goal of 20,000 pounds for Philabundance by bringing a canned food item to the event.

Sunday

Mommy & Me Artsy Tea

November 28, 10:30 am

Primp & Play, 1520 Locust Street, 2nd Floor

 

Paint tea-shaped flower pots together, sip tea, and enjoy a sweet treat. Children will also receive a manicure while parents receive a keratin hand treatment. Tickets available online.

Menorah Lighting at Betsy Ross House

November 28, 4:30 pm

239 Arch St.

 

Join the Betsy Ross House and Old City Jewish Arts Center for the community menorah lighting celebrating the first night of Hanukkah. In addition to the lighting, traditional Hanukkah gifts and treats will be offered for guests to take home.

Grand Outdoor Menorah Lighting Ceremony

November 28, 4:45 pm (parade at 3 pm)

Chabad of Penn Wynne, 7571 Haverford Avenue, Philadelphia

 

First, at 3 pm, watch a community car Menorah Parade starting at Chabad, and going up and down the streets of Penn Wynne, Overbrook Park, and Overbrook Farms. Then, gather at Chabad for a lighting, indoor bubble show, donuts, hot cocoa, and menorah kits. Free; RSVP to Moshe@chabadpennwynne.org

 Grand Illumination hosted by American Credit Union

November 28—December 31

American Heritage Carriage House, 2060 Red Lion Road

 

American Heritage Credit Union’s campus lights up with over 400,000 lights. Stroll the campus, enjoy the lights and decorations, and take family photos; or, you can remain in your car and drive around to enjoy the lights as well.

 

 

Photograph by Laura Swartz.

Contributing Writer

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