The best things to do in Philly this weekend and next week – The Philadelphia Inquirer

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(Community / in-person / free / multiday) We are still in a pandemic, and the delta variant is still a concern. Make a plan to get vaccinated or your booster shot; there are many places throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey — CVS, Rite Aid, neighborhood rec centers, and more — where you can get your free COVID-19 shot. (Free,

Thanksgiving Day Parade 🦃

(Seasonal / in-person / free / outdoors) The first and oldest Thanksgiving Day parade in the country is back with the floats, characters, and bands we know and love, brought to us by 6ABC and Dunkin. The parade makes its way along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in the shadow of attractions like the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Free, Nov. 25, 8:30 a.m., along the Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.)

Comcast Holiday Spectacular 🎄

(Seasonal / in-person / free / kid-friendly) The free Comcast Holiday Spectacular takes place in the Comcast Center plaza on an outdoor video wall. The show, which features scenes of snow-covered hills, festive dance performances, and images of favorite holiday traditions, runs daily through Jan. 1. The show runs on the hour, every hour from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Free, Nov. 25-Jan. 1, 1701 JFK Blvd.,

Opening of Christmas Village at LOVE Park 🎄

(Seasonal / in-person / outdoors / multiday) ‘Tis the season for your favorite vendors from around the world to make their return to LOVE Park at Christmas Village. Find the perfect, unique gift for everyone on your list and enjoy rides, family-friendly activities, and your favorite seasonal food and drink items, from hot chocolate to raclette. (Free, Nov. 25-Dec. 24, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., 15th St. and JFK Blvd.,

(Movie / virtual) Six hours (in three parts) of never-before-seen, behind-the-scenes footage from The Beatles’ 1969 Let It Be sessions, edited down from more than 50 hours of film by director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings). It’s a story of creativity and craftsmanship and the breakup of a band that still has something to prove and wants to go out on top — literally — on the roof of Apple Records. (Rated PG-13. Premieres Nov. 25 on Disney+.)

Opening of Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest ⛸️

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly / multiday) Winterfest reopens for gliding (and wobbling) around the outdoor ice skating rink, playing carnival games, and spending time fireside. Ages 4+. (RiverRink: $5 admission, $10 skate rental, Nov. 26-March 6, 101 S. Columbus Blvd.,

(Seasonal / in-person / community / free) Your favorite snack has gone festive for the holidays. Drive through the Herr’s corporate campus to take in a dazzling display of over 600,000 holiday lights. The lights display will shine through Jan. 2. (Free, through Jan. 2, 5 p.m.-7 a.m., 20 Herr Dr., Nottingham,

Dickens Village, Macy’s 🎄

(Seasonal / in-person / multiday / free) The Wanamaker building resumes holiday operations, partly by asking Dickens Village fans to reserve spots to navigate dimly lit hallways where animatronic dolls play out A Christmas Carol. Santa is available by virtual arrangement only. Come December, the famed Macy’s light show will take place once daily (Dec. 1-31). Ages 5+. (Free, Dickens Village: Nov. 26-Dec. 23, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., times vary Dec. 24, 26-31, 1300 Market St.,

Franklin Frost, Franklin Institute 🚂

(Science / in-person / kid-friendly / multiday) There have always been steam trains at the Franklin Institute, but through the year’s end, a new exhibit adds tracks and cars add even more steam to the collection. Models loop around a 25-foot celestial tree. Ages 2-14. ($23 ages 12+, $19 ages 3-11, free 2 & under, Nov. 26-Dec. 31, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sun., 222 N. 20th St.,

Thanksgiving Weekend at the Museum of the American Revolution 📜

(Museum / in-person / community / kid-friendly) The Museum of the American Revolution hosts a full weekend of kid-friendly programming in celebration of Thanksgiving with a special focus on the contributions of the first Americans. Explore a multimedia gallery highlighting the experiences of Oneida Nation men and women during the Revolutionary period. Masks are required. (Nov. 26-28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 101 S. Third St.,

Tinseltown, Greater Philadelphia Expo Center ⛸️

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly / multiday) A Montco convention center unveils a new indoor winter wonderland complete with synthetic ice-skating rink (30-minute sessions at a time, $5-$10 admission, $10 skate rental), one-million-bulb Liberty Bell, pics with Santa (and, on Thursdays, Gritty), and enough decorations to make a Hallmark Christmas movie feel underdressed. Ages 2+. ($20-$30 ages 13 & up, $14-$23 ages 5-12, free 4 & under, Nov. 26-Jan. 2, dates and times vary, Perkiomen Mill Loop, Oaks,

Holiday Garden Railroad, Morris Arboretum 🚂

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly /multiday) The lush plantings and trees on the edge of Chestnut Hill get an extra dose of kid-attractiveness when Morris bedecks and reopens its G-scale trains for the holidays. The setup feels extra magical on weekends after dusk, when reservations are recommended. Ages 1+. ($20 ages 18+, $18 ages 65+, $10 ages 3-17, free 2 & under, Nov. 26-Jan. 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 100 E. Northwestern Ave.,

Reopening of the Brandywine River Museum of Art 🚂

(Art / seasonal / in-person / multiday) The Brandywine reopens just in time show off its spectacular model railroad and offer a smaller than usual crop of critter ornaments, since so many were destroyed by a Hurricane Ida-caused flood, the reason the museum had to close in the first place. Ages 2+. ($18 ages 19+, $15 ages 65+, $6 ages 6-18, free 5 & under, opens Nov. 26, 1 Hoffman’s Mill Rd., Chadds Ford,

Small Business Saturday at Bok 🛍️

(Shopping / in-person) Get your holiday shopping done while supporting local small businesses this Saturday at Bok’s Made at Bok holiday market. You’ll be able to snag items from shops and makers like Lobo Mau, Sabbatical Beauty, and Rider Ceramics. (Free admission, Nov. 27, noon-5 p.m., 821 Dudley St.,

(Movies / in-person / seasonal / kid-friendly) ‘Tis the season to watch your favorite holiday movies. Pack some snacks and bring the whole family to enjoy fan-favorite films like “Home Alone” and “Bad Santa.” Tickets must be purchased in advance. Screenings take place at Charlann Farm in Yardley or Falls Township Community Park in Levittown. ($45 per vehicle, Nov. 27, 6:30 p.m., 586 Stony Hill Rd., Yardley, and 9050 Mill Creek Rd., Levittown,

Miracle on 13th Street Block Lighting Party ✨

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly / free) The annual block lighting celebration on South 13th Street is back on Saturday night. Take in the stunning light display, snag a picture with Santa, and have some food from Tabachoy Philly and Momma Maria’s, who will both be on site. The free light display is open through Jan. 1. (Free, Lighting Party, Nov. 27, 5-9 p.m., Light Show, Nov. 27-Jan. 1, 1600 S. 13th St.,

(Music / in-person) North Philly, West Philly, and Mount Laurel-raised sensitive R&B singer David Bowden — known to all as Pink Sweat$ for his preferred attire — finally released his much delayed Pink Planet debut album in February, and the now West Hollywood-based vocalist is home for the holiday, headlining the TLA. Kirby and Bren Joy open. ($25-$27, Nov. 27 8 p.m., 332 South St.,

(Music / in-person) The first hip-hop night of note at the brand new Brooklyn Bowl Philadelphia in Fishtown brings in Talib Kweli, the well-respected Black Star rapper who will be playing backed by a full band. Richard Raw and Word Warrior open. ($25, Nov. 27, 8 p.m., 1009 Canal St.,

Ben Vaughn Quintet / Arthur Thomas & the Funkitorium 🎶

(Music / in-person) These are two separate shows at two different venues (upstairs and downstairs) at the World Cafe Live on Saturday night. Camden County rocker and The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn syndicated radio host headlines downstairs with Palmyra Delran and the Doppel Gang opening, while Arthur Thomas and his band pull from their new album, Welcome To Funktar, upstairs. (For Vaughn, $20-$22, Nov. 27, 8 p.m.; For Thomas, $20, Nov. 27, 9 p.m., 3025 Walnut St.,

#BrunchSoCray Brunch & Day Party🍴

(Food / in-person) Consider this your Thanksgiving after-party. Round out the weekend with a hearty brunch menu, bottomless mimosas, music, and dancing at Cray Taste Old City. ($10-$40, Nov. 28, noon-8 p.m., 118 Market St.,

Menorah Lighting, Betsy Ross House 🕎

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly / free) On the first night of Hanukkah, the Old City Jewish Arts Center comes to the Betsy Ross House courtyard to light the menorah and give out treats. Ages 2+. (Free, Nov. 28, 4:30 p.m., 239 Arch St.,

(Music / in-person) Indie rock harpist Mary Lattimore is now based in Los Angeles after making her name in the Fishtown rock scene, where she teamed with musician-producer Jeff Zeigler and collaborated on records with Kurt Vile and Steve Gunn. The Pew Fellowship-winning musician’s latest is 2020′s Neil Halstead-produced Silver Ladders. With Ana Roxanne. ($20, Nov. 29, 8 p.m., 2125 Chestnut St.,

(Music / in-person) The Never Ending tour has returned, with Bob Dylan and band back on the road after a pandemic stoppage that took the Bard off the road for the first extended period since the late 1980s. The buzz this time is about the songs that he’s been performing from his fab 2020 album Rough and Rowdy Ways, two new band members, and reports that — shockingly — Dylan has actually been talking to the audience during early dates on the tour. ($52-$149, Nov, 29-30, 8 p.m., 858 N. Broad St.,

Menorah Lighting at the Headhouse Shambles 🕎

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly / free) Sunday marks the start of the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. Celebrate the holiday with the lighting of a community menorah at the Headhouse Shambles at 5 p.m. Light bites and a short service will follow. Masks are required for all unvaccinated individuals. (Free, Nov. 30, 5 p.m., Second and Pine Streets,

Christmas Light Show, Macy’s ✨

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly / multiday / free) Through December, the Wanamaker building hosts a once-daily showing of its iconic, Julie Andrews-narrated, live organ-accompanied, dancing lights show. Masks required, social distancing rules in effect. Times subject to change. Ages 2+. (Free, Dec. 1-24, 10:30 a.m., Dec. 26-31, 11:30 a.m., 1300 Market St.,

(Seasonal / in-person / community) Fabrika hosts a Hanukkah celebration like no other complete with music from the West Philadelphia Orchestra, a menorah lighting, an ugly Hanukkah sweater contest, plenty of drinks, chocolate gelt, and more. Proof of vaccination is required to attend. ($10-$20, Dec. 1, 7-11 p.m., 1108 Frankford Ave.,

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly / multiday) The cocoa is free, and so is the live entertainment along Variety campus’ holiday loop. The first night is drive-through only. Dec. 3, a master builder from LEGOLand will lead a building workshop. Ages 1+. (Drive-through: $10, Dec. 1, 5-7 p.m.; walk-through: $10 ages 18+, $5 ages 2-17, free under 2, Dec 2-4, 4-8 p.m., 2950 Potshop Rd., Worcester,

Polar Express Read-Aloud, Brandywine River Museum of Art 🎄

(Books / virtual / kid-friendly) If Chris Van Allsburg’s adventure picture book isn’t already their holiday favorite, it’s about to be. Ages 3-8. ($15 non-member family, $10 member family, Dec. 2, 7 p.m.,

(Music / in-person) For this packed-with-hits concert trek, dubbed The Last Domino? Tour, prog- and pop-rock British band Genesis consists of a core trio of singer Phil Collins, guitarist Mike Rutherford, and keyboard player Tony Banks. Injuries have kept Collins from playing drums or standing for long periods, so he sits and sings and his son Nic plays the kit. ($75-$500, Dec. 2-3, 8 p.m., 3601 S. Broad St.,

» READ MORE: Find the best kids events in our weekly kids calendar

Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival 🎬

(Movies / in-person / festival / community) The Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival celebrates Jewish culture and storytelling through a week-plus of film. This month, enjoy a variety of screenings exploring Jewish life, history and culture both in-person and virtually. ($15-$180, through Nov. 20, various locations,

Crayola IDEAworks: The Creativity Exhibition 🖍️

(Art / science / in-person / multiday / kid-friendly) It’s quite possible your kids haven’t been inside a museum — especially not a museum that’s purposefully interactive — in a while. Now there’s plenty of time to book a timed spot for them to mask up (and maybe even vax up?) to explore the colorful, creative problem-solving exhibit at the Franklin Institute, which was just extended past Thanksgiving. You’ll be back again next year for an all-new Harry Potter exhibit. Ages 5-12. ($35 ages 12 and up, $33 seniors and enlisted military, $31 ages 3-11, free 2 and under, 222 N. 20th St., through Nov. 28, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.,

Anastasia, Merriam Theater 🎭

(Theater / in-person / kid-friendly / multiday) Kyla Stone comes to Philly as Anya to lead the musical tale of an unaware princess who discovers love, her long-lost royal family, and herself in Paris. Stone is the first Black actor to play the Broadway touring role. Ages 7+. ($39-$119, through Nov. 28, 250 S. Broad St.,

(Music / virtual / free) Richard Gere hosts this benefit from the Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery and Nagi Nunnery in Nepal. The online performance stars Cher, Angelique Kids, Norah Jones, Jon Batiste, Steve Miller Band, Maggie Rogers, Laurie Anderson, and more. (Free with donations encouraged., on-demand viewing through Nov. 22,

(Art / in-person / multiday) November is officially CraftMONTH in Philadelphia. Celebrate with events, exhibits, and hands-on demonstrations all month long at your favorite Philly art institutions. The festivities begin with the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Craft Show and winds down at the end of the month at Wayne Art Center’s Craft Forms. (through Nov. 30, Various locations,

Deck the Hall Light Show, City Hall ✨

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly / free / multiday) After dark, multicolor projections metamorphose the western facade of City Hall, adding to the magic of the skating rink and winter garden. All ages. (Free, through Jan. 1, 2022, 5-9 p.m. on weekdays, until 10 on weekends, 15th and Market Sts.,

The Little Mermaid, Walnut Street Theatre 🎭

(Theater / in-person / ongoing / kid-friendly) Back into seats and Under the Sea, Walnut Street makes its kid-friendly comeback with a Disney greatest hit, starring Diana Huey as Ariel. Proof of vaccination for kids 12 and up, negative COVID-19 test for ages 11 and under, and government-issued photo id for ages 18 and up are required. ($25-$175, Nov. 16, 2021-Jan. 2, 2022, 825 Walnut St.,

A Very Furry Christmas, Sesame Place 🎁

(Seasonal / in-person / multiday) Trees and cuddly characters that sing and sway draw kids into the holiday magic at the home of Elmo, Big Bird — you know the rest of them. A family zone offers a warm spot by fire pits, hot chocolate, cookie decorating, and more Sesame friends. Rides, shops, and snack spots are open. Water park is not. Ages 0-7. ($89.99 for one-day tickets, $99.99 for two-day tickets, free 23 months & under, through Jan. 2, 2022, 100 Sesame Rd., Langhorne,

LumiNature, Philadelphia Zoo ✨

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly / multiday) When the animals go to bed, one million lights go on throughout the zoo. Ticket holders discover trees made of butterflies, flamingos, and an octopus, walk through an aquarium-like tunnel, meet 200 electric penguins, and encounter loads more bulbs made into ethereal spaces and larger-than-life creatures. ($25 ages 12 and up, $20 ages 2-11, free under 2, through Jan. 9, 2022 timed entrance from 5:30-8:30 p.m., 3400 W. Girard Ave.,

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly) Stunning trees, fire pits, and dazzling lights bring Christmas to life at Longwood Gardens. Indoors, take a walk among the decorated Christmas trees, winter-themed waterways, and more. Outdoors, cozy up next to a blazing fire pit or take a walk under thousands of decorative lights hung throughout the gardens. Timed tickets are required. (Free-$30, through Jan. 9, 2022, 10 a.m.-11 p.m., 1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square

Dilworth Park Ice Rink ⛸️

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly / multiday) It’s time to lace up your skates and welcome winter back at Dilworth Park. Skaters of all ages can enjoy sessions on the ice rink, and cozy up in the cabin for warm drinks and food. Reservations and masks are encouraged. ($5-$17, through Feb. 27, 2022, 1 S. 15th St.,

Winter in Franklin Square ✨

(Seasonal / in-person / kid-friendly / multiday / free) Visibly glimmery from the Vine Street Expressway, Franklin Square lights up to on-the-half-hour holiday music (daily from 5 p.m.). Guests should plan to put aside a few dollars for a carousel ride, mini golf ($8-$15), and cocoa, spiked or not. All ages. (Free, through Feb. 27, 2022, Sun.-Thur. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m., 200 N. Sixth St.,

Wintergarden at Dilworth Park ❄️

(Seasonal / in-person / outdoors / kid-friendly / free) You can explore an all-outdoor festive wonderland as part of Dilworth Park’s holiday offerings, though this free garden is open way beyond just the holiday season — you can visit into the spring. Here, make your way through light installations, plant displays, a giant dome-shaped arbor, and more all within the backdrop of City Hall. (Free, through April 3, 2022,, 1 S. 15th St.)

Invisible World of Water, Academy of Natural Sciences 🚰

(Science / in-person / multiday / kid-friendly) Water up super close and from way far away, as interpreted by scientists, artists, and artist-scientists give viewers new insight to the everyday magic of two-thirds of our earth and 60% of our bodies. ($20-$22 adults, $16-$18 children, free for members and under age 2, Nov. 13-Apr. 17, 2022, times vary, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.,

Magical Fantasy at The Navy Yard 🎪

(Art / in-person / outdoors / free) Magical Fantasy, a collection of bold and bright 3D art pieces by London-based artist Morag Myerscough, has transformed The Navy Yard into a colorful playground. Stop by to wander through the exhibit and escape into an abstract dreamland without leaving the city. (Free, through October 2022, Broad St. and Constitution Ave.,

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  • Amber Burns is a writer and content creator living in Philadelphia. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her holed up in a coffee shop with a good book. Find her on social media @byamberburns.

  • Lauren McCutcheon is a Philadelphian, parent, and local writer. She writes about kids events for The Inquirer, including our Kids Calendar, which publishes each Sunday.

  • Howard Gensler writes about movies for The Inquirer, and is a former entertainment editor and writer for the Philadelphia Daily News. His work has also appeared in Premiere magazine, and he wrote the story on which the movie Hysteria, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy, was based.

  • Dan DeLuca is the music critic for The Inquirer.