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High Five! Philly Family-Friendly Weekend Events: November 23–24

Happy weekend! Plan the perfect weekend with our picks.

Happy weekend! The Philadelphia Marathon is going down (so be careful of Parkway traffic), and holiday happenings are just getting started! Here we go!

Click here for ongoing events that run through the weekend, like all the museum exhibits.

All Weekend

Mean Girls

November 19—December 1

Academy Of Music, 240 S Broad St.


Because you’re not like a regular mom, you’re a cool mom! This hit Broadway show based on the movie written by Philly’s hometown hero Tina Fey comes to the stage in all its sharp-witted glory.  So fetch! Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Philadelphia Zoo’s LumiNature

3400 W. Girard Avenue

November 20–January 5


New for this year, the Philadelphia Zoo presents a nighttime multimedia holiday spectacle the likes of which you have never seen. Throughout the zoo, giant animal-themed installations will glow, Evergreen trees will talk, and you’ll be surrounded by pure fantasy. Seasonal fare, strolling performers, hot chocolate (and adult beverages) add to the festiveness. Tickets available online.

Thanksgiving Festival at Piazza Pod Park

November 23—24

1075 Germantown Ave.


Get in the Thanksgiving spirit! Cozy up by fire pit lounges, enjoy s’mores and live music entertainment all weekend long. Plus, Pop-up Play will be hosting a special ‘Superhero in Training’ activity starting Sunday at 3 pm in the communal pod!

Photo Pop: Winter Wonderland

November 15–January 5

The Bourse, 111 S. Independence Mall East


Photo Pop returns this winter with one-of-a-kind interactive holiday themes that will make for amazing holiday card (and Instagram) moments! Tickets available online.

Franklin Square Holiday Festival

November 14—December 31

Showtimes: Every half-hour from 4:30—8 pm (Sunday—Thursday), 4:30—9 pm (Friday—Saturday)

200 N. Sixth St.


More than 80,000 lights illuminate Franklin Square, 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 4:30 pm daily, so if you stay a while for the Holiday Festival activities, you can catch them both. And you’ll definitely want to do that because they have fun events planned like a winter beer garden with fire pits, live music Sundays, gourmet hot chocolate station, and much more!

Preview Weekend of Christmas Village

November 23—24

Love Park, 1500 Arch Street


Modeled after the traditional Christmas Markets in Germany, this annual 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. Our favorite Christmas market officially opens on Thanksgiving, but they’re giving you a sneak peek this weekend.

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

Through January 1, 2020 (Rink through February)

Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St.


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 across the street—but only focuses on locally made gifts. Stop by after skating on the Rothman Rink and running through Wintergarden Maze!

Holiday Art Star Craft Bazaar

November 23–24

Rivers Casino, 1001 N. Delaware Ave.


Get a head start on holiday shopping with 80 unique local artists in one place. Plus, there are raffles, make-and-takes, and food on site.

Universoul Circus

November  14—December 8

52nd and Parkside, Fairmount Park


For over 25 years, this incredible circus has celebrated diversity, talent, and spectacle. It comes to the big top in Fairmount Park this fall!

Shrek: The Musical

November 5—January 5

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St.


This award-winning Broadway musical based on the beloved movie features all new songs and fun for the whole family.

The Gifts of the Magi

Through December 22

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St.


This beautiful musical adaptation of the classic O. Henry story reminds us of the true meaning of giving, and of love. In previews until November 21. Tickets available online.


Now open through January 9

Ninth and Market streets


Coming to the new Fashion District, Candytopia brings its wildly popular experiential installation art to Philly this fall. Favorites—like the marshmallow pit filled with over 250,000 foam marshmallows, and the rainbow-filled room with flying unicorn pigs and confetti explosions—will be joined by Philly-specific elements. It’s Instagram heaven, and you even get to eat candy throughout the experience! Tickets are available online, where you can reserve your timeslot. Kids age 3 and under get in free!

‘Constructing Play: Classic + Modern Building Toys’

November 21, 2019—January 16, 2020

Center / Architecture + Design, 1218 Arch St.


Explore the development of children’s toys over the past 200 years. Travel back in time to learn how different building toys were invented, designed, and refined to become the toys that still educate children today! During the exhibit, visitors can show off their building skills and create the house or city of their dreams at Creation Stations filled with components of popular building toys.


The Holiday Fair and Craft Bazaar hosted by The Waldorf School of Philadelphia

November 22 (adults-only), 6–10 pm; and November 23 (family-fun day), 10 am–4 pm

6000 Wayne Avenue


On Friday, November 22, enjoy an adults-only night out with live music, signature cocktails, tasty bites, and an incredible array of 70 artisans and makers from across the region. On Saturday, November 23, there’s a magical experience for all ages with wholesome children’s activities and holiday shopping with local artisans and makers. Grab lunch and get some shopping done while the kids make candles and jump ropes, play games, see a puppet play, and buy their loved ones secret, handcrafted treasures in a Children-Only Shopping Room!

Insect Food Fest

November 23, 10 am—5 pm

Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavillion, 8046 Frankford Ave.


This all-day event includes edible insects, animal handling workshops, interactive educational programs, raffles, coloring, and crafts. Tickets available online.

Kids Explore: Meadow

November 23, 10 am—noon

Wissahickon Environmental Center, 300 W. Northwestern Avenue


Kids (ages 6-12) will go climbing over fallen trees, scrambling over rocks, running through a field, playing in the leaves, and much more. Online pre-registration required; drop-off optional.

Family Craft Table at The Center for Art in Wood

November 23, 11 am—4 pm

141 N. Third Street


Each month the Center will offer a free seasonal hands-on craft for all ages to enjoy. Stop in and experience the Center’s Museum Collection, unique store, and get creative at the Family Craft Table.

Discovery Day

November 23, 11 am—3 pm

The Discovery Center, 3401 Reservoir Dr.


Stop by the Discovery Center at Strawberry Mansion Reservoir for fun activities, team games and challenges, arts and crafts, bird walks, and more.

Free Nintendo Labo Event for Kids

November 23, 11:30 am—1:30 pm

South Philadelphia Library, 1700 S. Broad St.


Kids K-12 are invited to come to the South Philadelphia library to use Nintendo Switches and Nintendo Labo to create, decorate, play, and build with robots. This event is completely free and will have Nintendo Switches and Labo provided. Registration is requested online.

The Rainbow Fish

November 23, noon and 3 pm

Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St.


Marcus Pfister’s sweet children’s book about sharing comes to the stage, along with two of the author’s companion tales, Rainbow Fish Discovers the Deep Sea and Opposites. The noon performance is sensory-friendly.

Dumplings with Susanna Foo

November 23, 1 pm

Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street


Join Susanna Foo, chef and library aficionado, as she shares her favorite savory dumpling recipes. This family-friendly class will offer hands-on instruction for children ages 7-12 and their caregivers to make (and eat) pork and chicken dumplings. Pre-registration is required online.

The Pocket Joys perform at Momo’s Tree House

November 23, 3 pm

205 Arch St.


Stop by for a free interactive musical performance at Momo’s.

T-Rex Tea Party

November 23, 3 pm

Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library, 125 S. 52nd St.


Dinosaur storytime followed by prehistoric crafts and a snack with herbal tea. You’ll also get to meet a T-Rex! For children ages 9 and under and their families.

Frozen Party at Beehive at Bok

November 23, 4:15—6:15 pm

Suite B03, 1901 S. Ninth Street


Dress up as your favorite character from Frozen, dance to Frozen music, listen to Frozen stories, and create some Frozen crafts! Plus, open play in the playspace. Register online.

Chestnut Hill Circle of Trees

November 23, 5:30—7:30 pm

Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue


Family and friends come together to meet Santa and celebrate the beginning of Chestnut Hill’s holiday season with tree lighting, live music, hot chocolate, cookies, and the opening of Woodmere’s holiday exhibit, Merry and Bright II: The Christmas Collection of Jeanette Turnbull. The Highway Patrol will lead an antique fire truck with Santa up the winding driveway to countdown to the lighting. Families are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to a charity for underprivileged children.


‘Frozen 2’ Release Party at Nest

November 24, 10 am—noon

1301 Locust St.


Wear your favorite Frozen costume and celebrate the release of Frozen 2 with Anna and Elsa! Take photos and enjoy storytime with the princesses! Plus, snacks, crafts, face painting, and lots more Frozen-themed activities. Tickets can be purchased at the desk or over the phone at 215-545-6378.

Family Sunday: Round and Round

November 24, 10:30 am—3 pm

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway


Go on family-friendly tours and make art together as a family.

Kids’ Thanksgiving Centerpiece Workshop

November 24, 10:30 am—noon

Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave.


Kids ages 6-12 will learn professional tricks as they create a beautiful centerpiece for the Thanksgiving holiday table or to give as a gift. Parents are encouraged to drop children off for this class. Pre-register online, and bring a medium height (15” x 15”) box to transport the finished masterpiece home.

PAFA Family Art Academy

November 24, 2—4 pm

PAFA, 118-128 N. Broad St.


Build the 3D world of your imagination during this free family art workshop.

Pop-Up Play at Piazza Pod Park

November 24, 3 pm

1075 Germantown Ave.


As part of the park’s weekend-long Thanksgiving Festival, Pop-up Play will be hosting a special ‘Superhero in Training’ activity Sunday at 3 pm in the communal pod.

Nutcracker Cast Meet and Greet and Story Time

November 24, 3—4 pm

Momo’s Tree House, 205 Arch St.


The Philadelphia Dance Academy and Momo’s Tree House present an interactive Nutcracker experience! Momo’s will reveal a Nutcracker-themed holiday window, and entertain guests with a Nutcracker storytime. Meet dancers from the Philadelphia Dance Academy: Clara, Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop, Snow Queen, Arabian Coffee, and Spanish Hot Chocolate.


Photograph by Joan Marcus, courtesy of the Kimmel Center.

Contributing Writer



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