26 Things to Do in Philly Thanksgiving Weekend

If you want to burn off that turkey and stuffing dinner, or are looking for other ways to spend your Black Friday besides inside a packed mall, there are plenty of to-dos to keep you entertained. Go ice skating for the weekend at the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, or enjoy a cold brew at BRÜ Craft & Wurst. Big names like Philly soul queens Jazmine Sullivan and Jill Scott come to the WDAS Holiday Jam, as well as Earth, Wind & Fire in Atlantic City. And of course, if you’re still pumped for Christmas, get your family photos taken at Breakfast with Saint Nicholas or go see a performance of A Christmas Carol. Check out all that and more options in our list below.

Unique Philly Experiences

Benjamin Franklin - One Liberty Observation Deck

A futuristic-looking Benjamin Franklin head greets visitors at the new One Liberty Observation Deck. | Photo by Dan McQuade

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Opening Weekend

Get into the season with the first weekend of Winterfest with plenty of eventful entertainment. Enjoy ice skating and then warm up by the fire pits and cottages, or grab a hot meal in The Lodge. The Arden Theater Company will stop by for Christmas ornament-making inspired by their latest production Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates. Opening day will even have a Star Wars-themed performance with stormtroopers and other villains from the movie franchise. Through Sunday, November 29th, 11 am, $0-$13, 101 South Columbus Boulevard. 

One Liberty Observation Deck Opening

At long last, One Liberty will open its doors to the public this weekend. You can be one of the first to see Philly in the round at the city’s now tallest attraction, at 883 feet high. You’ll have to wait just a little bit longer to buy tickets online, but you can sign up to be notified via email, and there are also fast passes to skip the lines. Saturday, November 28th, $14-$19 general admission, 10 am, 1650 Market Street.

Philly Photo Day Exhibition

Did you take an amazing photo for Philly Photo Day? All 1412 photos submitted have been compiled for a full exhibition, so everyone can see you flex your camera chops. Even if you didn’t participate, you can order prints of your favorites and check out a geotagged map to see where all of the Philly day-in-the-life moments were captured. Through January 2, 2016, 10 am, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center Main Gallery.

Read more »

Cirque Du Soleil Breaks the Mold With Avatar-Themed Production

Toruk Header

I get off a 32-seat plane in the middle of Lafayette, Louisiana and head almost directly to the town’s Cajundome, an arena that houses the likes of Disney on Ice, monster truck shows, and Frozen sing-alongs. But they’ve never hosted a Cirque du Soleil production, until now.

It’s a low-pressure market to “try out” Cirque’s newest concept, and the locals are ecstatic (the clerk at my car rental window literally could not stop talking about it). Not only was the Cajundome getting Cirque, but they are the second city world wide to premiere a multi-million-dollar risk that involves not only Cirque’s artistic partnership with Hollywood mogul James Cameron, but a completely different style of presentation. Richmond, Virginia is next, followed by Allentown at the start of December.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime to work with Cameron,” says the production’s artistic director Fabrice Lemire. “We are thinking outside the box. The public needs to come in with an open mind. Usually with Cirque, there is a formula. If people are coming in to see that formula, they won’t get it.”

Read more »

What to Expect at Philly’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

2009 Thanksgiving Day parade in Philadelphia. Photo | AP/Matt Rourke

2009 Thanksgiving Day parade in Philadelphia. Photo | AP/Matt Rourke

Philadelphians will be able to walk on by at tomorrow’s 6ABC Thanksgiving Day Parade, as Grammy winner Dionne Warwick and a host of other celebrities headline the 96th annual festivities on the Parkway, billed as the oldest Thanksgiving parade in the nation. Read more »

5 Great Dysfunctional Family Movies on Netflix Streaming

We’re very quickly charging into what is the most family-intensive season of the year. Thanksgiving’s cattle drive draws together crazy aunts, grumpy uncles and too-cool-for-school cousins from all over the globe to sit at a table while packing carbo bombs into their mouths and relentlessly talking over one another. Maybe you are blessed enough to have a family that is loving, supportive, and totally in sync with your needs; for the rest of us, here are five dysfunctional family movies available on Netflix streaming that should make you feel a lot better about your own brood.

August: Osage County (2013)

We might as well start this list with one of the more exhaustively dispiriting offerings: John Wells’s adaption of the Tracy Letts play is loud, brutal, and only occasionally relenting (mostly in a tacked-on “happy” ending for co-star Julia Roberts that literally makes no sense in context of what came before it), but it also features a stellar cast, including Roberts, Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Meryl Streep — each pitted against one another in an emotional sort of Hunger Games. Just do yourself a favor and kill the picture immediately right after the last shot of Streep up on the stairs looking bewildered in order to preserve the vibe of abject misery.

Read more »

The Philadelphian’s Guide to Weekend Theater in New York City


The holiday season is almost here – often a perfect time for a weekend visit to New York City. For me, almost by definition, that includes a trip to the theater.

Well, I have good news and bad news. Bad news first: It will likely cost you more than $1,000 to get into Hamilton (if you even can).

But the good news is there’s more to life than Hamilton. It’s been a fine fall theater season in New York – especially for plays, both new and classic. Here are four current productions you may not know about — all of them thought-provoking (if not entirely festive) and very much worthy of your attention. Take advantage of the holidays to see some of them!

Read more »

WATCH: Adele Sings “Hello” With The Roots On Toy Instruments

Every once in a while Jimmy Fallon brings on a singer who has a huge hit and has her/him sing it with him and The Roots playing along on classroom instruments. Mariah Carey once sang “All I Want For Christmas,” Robin Thicke “Blurred Lines” and Madonna did “Holiday.”

Last night, British songbird Adele stopped by to sing her current hit that has changed the way we’ll greet people for years to come: “Hello.” As you can probably imagine, she tears it up. Check it out below. You’ll love it — even if you’re sick to death of hearing the song.

Keep up to date with Ticket’s local arts, culture and events coverage. Here’s how:

Dan Soder Taping his Comedy Central Special at the Trocadero


At 32, comedian Dan Soder is no longer the rookie on the comedy circuit. Nor is he quite the senior comic with bragging rights to his own sitcom or an appearance on Jerry Seinfeld’s cliquey Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. But things are breaking his way, and he is moving steadily up the comedy ladder. Yes, he played “dumpster guy” with no lines in Amy Schumer’s summer comedy, Trainwreck, but hey, he got to make out with Schumer, and that Judd Apatow movie was definitely the party to be at with A-list comedians, actors and athletes piled into every scene.

Soder is a Queens-based blunt talking regular guy — a self-described “Beta male smartass. I’m the least dude-bro-guy you could ever meet” — who’s taping his Comedy Central hour-long special at the Trocadero on December 3rd. The special is expected to run in early 2016. He also scored a regular radio gig this July when Comedy Central launched its first live weekly show on SiriusXM. Soder co-hosts the two-hour, twice-a-week radio show, The Bonfire, with Philadelphia comedian Big Jay Oakerson. He is a regular on Inside Amy Schumer and The Half Hours, as well as MTV’s Guy Code.

Read more »

Philadelphia Museum of Art Tree-Lighting

Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art

Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art

Tomorrow evening (November 25th), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) will hold a ceremony to light the 47-foot-tall Christmas tree on the Museum’s Eastern Terrace. The event starts at 5 pm, with hot chocolate, candy canes and cookies provided by the Museum, and a performance by the Haddonfield Madrigal Singers.

The tree will be lit with solar-powered lights and, for the first and only time, it will stand behind Robert Indiana‘s AMOR sculpture, that was unveiled in September for the pope’s visit. The sculpture is expected to stay at PMA through the end of January — long after the tree’s gone.

Read more »

House of Cards Writer Adapts Winter Classic for Arden Children’s Theater

Photo by Meredith Zinner

Photo by Meredith Zinner

The Arden’s production of Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates hopes to cast a spell on its young theatergoers and transport families from the theater in Old City to the frozen canals of 19th-century Amsterdam. Playwright, director and screenwriter Laura Eason’s sensitive adaptation of the story about Hans Brinker competing in a skating contest to win a shiny pair of silver skates is enhanced by director Whit McLaughlin’s clever conceptualization to recreate the exhilarating skating competition with the actors speeding along the “canal.” Be prepared for a lot of sock skating at home after the show!

Though the name Mary Mapes Dodge may not be very familiar, the American author’s 1865 novel Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates certainly is. Eason was given the challenge to adapt the classic novel for the Arden’s family series opening this week. Eason’s credits include more than 20 plays, including her recent hit Sex With Strangers, serving as executive story editor on season four of Netflix hit series House of Cards, and her children’s adaptations of Huckleberry Finn and Around the World in 80 Days. I caught up with Eason by phone at her Brooklyn home office to talk about the craft of writing, theatrical illusion and knowing when to diverge from the original text.

Read more »

« Older Posts