8 Fun Things to Do in Philly during Thanksgiving Break

Don’t be sad if you’re staying on campus during Thanksgiving! There are plenty of things you can do in the city during the week.

1. Participate in the Tree-Lighting Celebration at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Image Courtesy of The Philadelphia Pass 

On Wednesday, November 21, the annual Tree-Lighting Celebration will take place at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The event will feature a 1960s soul band The York Street Hustle and a live choir. The celebration will start at 5 p.m. leading up to the tree-lighting at 6 p.m, and will continue inside the museum till 8:45 p.m. From 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. there will also be a Card-Making Station in the museum where you’ll be able to create holiday cards using sequins, ribbons, and shimmer paper. Museum admission will be "pay what you wish" on this day.

2.  Go Ice Skating

Image Courtesy of Uwishunu

The ice skating rink at Dilworth park in front of the City Hall is open! Use one of the days to be more active and go ice skating with your friends before it gets really cold outside. The price for ice-skating is $5 and skate rental is $10. When you’re tired, have a cup of hot chocolate in the Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin next to the ice skating rink. On Tuesday evenings, there is a quizzo in the Cabin which starts at 6 p.m. If you go, don’t miss the Deck The Hall light show projected on City hall. It starts at 5:30 p.m. and is shown every hour from Sunday through Thursday and every half hour on Friday and Saturday.

3. Check out the Christmas Village

Image Courtesy of Philly Voice

Visit the Christmas Village at LOVE Park which opens on November 22! There will be more than 80 vendors selling a wide range of handmade items. You can start shopping for Christmas gifts or find something cute for yourself. There will also be live performances in the Village to get you in the Christmas mood.

4. Visit Franklin Square for the Holiday Festival & Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show

Image Courtesy of Historic Philadelphia

If you like Christmas lights, visit Franklin Square to see the light show that consists of more than 75,000 lights that shimmer in coordination with holiday songs. The show begins at 4:30 p.m. daily and runs every 30 minutes, except for Thanksgiving. Additionally to the light show, there will be places to get holiday treats and gifts in the Square and many more entertainment opportunities like Philly Mini Golf and Parx Liberty Carousel.

5. Don’t miss the 6abc/Dunkin' Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Image Courtesy of Visit Philadelphia

This is definitely a way to make your Thanksgiving away from home feel festive! The oldest Thanksgiving parade in the country will start on Thursday, November 22 at 8:30 a.m. and will end at 12:00 p.m. It will feature marching bands, giant balloons and floats, and various performances, and will take place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. One of the best places to view the parade from is the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

6. See the impressive Comcast Holiday Spectacular!

Image Courtesy of OACCE

Beginning on November 22, this holiday must-see video show will get you in the holiday mood! Definitely visit the Comcast Center for a show featuring your favorite Christmas songs. This is going to be the 10th anniversary of the Holiday Spectacular, which is shown on Comcast Experience video wall that looks super realistic. The showtimes are daily at 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the top of each hour. There are no shows at 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.

7. Go to a show!

Image Courtesy of Walnut Street Theatre

There are many performing arts events taking place in Philly right now! Use the opportunity to go and see at least one. For example, there are two musical adaptations of beloved children’s books by Roald Dahl being shown right now: Matilda the Musical at Walnut Street Theatre and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Academy of Music.

8. Explore the new Cherry Street Pier!

Image Courtesy of Uwishunu

In October, the Cherry Street Pier was opened at the Delaware River waterfront. It’s a new outdoor as well as indoor attraction. It will be opened all year and includes artist studios, a marketplace, event space, bar, and a café. At the Pier, you can have Birdie’s Biscuits or Little Baby’s Ice Cream, buy goods sold by local artisans and explore the works of more than 15 artists.

I hope you will do at least one of the activities I suggested, and if you do, I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic Thanksgiving break!