26 Things to Do in Philly Thanksgiving Weekend

One Liberty Observation Deck and Winterfest open, a Black Friday dark beer bar crawl, the Philly Full Moon Bike Ride and more post-Turkey Day fun.

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.

Holiday Fun and Shopping

The Made in Philadelphia pop-up market is open now at Dilworth Park. | Photo courtesy of Center City District Parks

The Made in Philadelphia pop-up market is open now at Dilworth Park. | Photo courtesy of Center City District Parks

Made in Philadelphia Market on Thanksgiving

If you’re looking for even more holiday shopping cheer, stop over to the new Dilworth Park pop-up market, envisioned by Christmas Village in LOVE Park creators. Enjoy local merchants like Philly Word Art, soapmaker Mahogany Essentials, and candlemaker Accent Aromaand. Yummy snacks, like donuts, hot chocolate, macaroons and gourmet chocolates, will be provided by T Bake Shoppe, Picket Fence Confections, Philly Pop Kettle Corn and more. Through December 27th, free, Dilworth Park.

Thanksgiving Weekend Cruises

It may not be the first way you think of celebrating the holiday, but Spirit Cruises is offering evenings on the river for the holiday. Let their folks take care of dinner with favorite dishes like turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce, stuffing and pumpkin pie. The best prices available are for Thanksgiving Day if you and your family are willing to swap the dinner table for one at sea. Through Saturday, November 28th, 7:30 pm, $29.95-$73.90, Penn’s Landing departure.

Breakfast with St. Nicholas

Get a picture of your little ones with Santa this year and a warm pancake breakfast too. Every Saturday until the weekend before Christmas, kids can come in for a photo, breakfast, and goodie bags, and also participate in arts and crafts. Cops N’ Kids will provide used children books and accept book donations. All guests will also get free admission into Christkindlmarkt, filled with artisan vendors, food and entertainment. Through December 19th, 9 am, $8.95-$16.95, Christkindlmarkt, Bethlehem, PA. 

Get Your Drink On

Black Friday spread at BRÜ Craft & Wurst

Black Friday spread at BRÜ Craft & Wurst

Fade to Black: Black Friday Happy Hour

According to BRÜ Craft & Wurst, you should spend this Black Friday drinking, not shopping. They’ll be offering an all day happy hour event, with dark beers from 11 different breweries for $4 to $5 dollars. There will also be a special snacks and sandwiches menu, as well as gift cards and other merchandise for those who still want to get their hands on some goods. Friday, November 27th, 11 am, pay as you go, Brü Craft & Wurst.

Go On a Black Friday Dark Beer Bar Crawl

Somewhere along the line someone got the good idea to tap some stouts, porters, black IPAs and other dark beers on Black Friday. And so now that’s becoming as much a tradition as heading out to the mall early. But we have to say, dark beers appeal to us a lot more than heading out to a big box store while its still dark out. So check out Foobooz’s list of dark beers on Black Friday specials here.

Burn Off That Stuffing

Photo via Facebook | Body Cycle Studio

Photo via Facebook | Body Cycle Studio

Post-Thanksgiving Fitness Classes

Looking to keep your bod in tip-top shape post-Thanksgiving pig out? Our health blog Be Well Philly has you covered with a roundup of 10 very sweaty fitness classes happening Friday after 10 a.m. — you know, so you can sleep off your food coma. Find them all here.

Philly Full Moon Bike Ride

This Philly cycling group will meet up at the Art Museum steps on Friday night for a ride across town under the full moon. It’s catered to riders of all levels, but be ready to pedal around 10 miles. There will be a midpoint stop at Fitler Square, and the whole thing will finish up at a bar that will be decided upon along the ride. Friday, November 27th, 8 pm start, Philadelphia Museum of Art. 


Artie Lange

Comedian Artie Lange, known for his work on Mad TV and his regular appearances on The Howard Stern Show, will bring a night of laughs to town. The former host of The Artie Lange Show, he has written, produced, acted and performed stand-up. Saturday, November 28th, 8 pm, Valley Forge Casino Resort, King of Prussia. 

Black Friday Comedy Marathon

Philly’s longest running comedy show is bringing you 38 straight hours of laughter this weekend. Catch a variety of improv, sketches and stand-up shows. You can also get in for free by shopping at local businesses in Rittenhouse Square and Midtown around the theater — just bring your receipt to the box office. Through Sunday, November 29th, 12 am, $0-$10, Philly Improv Theater.

Cultural Experiences

Celebrating Senegal

Led by Senegalese choreographer Marie Basse-Wiles, the Kule Mele African Drum and Dance Ensemble celebrates the rhythms of Senegal with dance, costumes, drumming and hip-hop. Check out the African Bazaar before the show with an African-American Santa Claus. Through Sunday, November 29th, various times, $15-$30, Painted Bride Art Center.

Ebony: The Black Celebration

Come in all-black attire to enjoy a night of DJs, fun and celebration. Bottle service is available, and VIP guests can enjoy an open bar and complementary food. A 30 percent discount off your ticket is still good with code EBONY2015. Friday, November 27th, 9 pm, $30-$60, African-American Museum.

Disney in Concert with the Philly POPS

Your favorite characters and movies come to life on the big stage with Disney in Concert, featuring songs from from Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Frozen and more. The Philly POPS orchestra and leading Broadway vocalists will make this performance that much more magical. Saturday, November 28th, 3 pm, Kimmel Center.

Catch a Show


From left to right: “Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates,” “A Knee That Can Bend” and “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery”

A Knee That Can Bend at Studio X

What happens when a gay American college student visits a country where she is told that people like her don’t exist? This weekend, you can check out the preview night for A Knee That Can Bend, where sociology student Kate finds herself in the underground queer scenes of Dakar, Senegal. This performance raises the questions of privilege, LGBT identity, and the blurred lines that arise when Americans try to tell the stories of other cultures. Through December 20th, 3 pm, $10-$20, Studio X.

Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates at the Arden

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!

Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery at PTC

Written by the author of Lend Me A Tenor and Moon Over Buffalo, the Philadelphia Theatre Company presents this comedic mystery and rendition of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classics. You can check out this adventure thriller for the preview days before the official December 2nd opening night. Through December 27th, various times, various prices, Suzanne Roberts Theatre.

A Christmas Carol at Walnut Street Theatre

Starting this Saturday, Dickens’ holiday classic tale of the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge is back. This production is part of a series of kid-friendly theater showings, so bring the whole family. Through December 20th, 11 am, various prices, Walnut Street Theatre. 

The Book of Mormon at Forrest Theatre

It’s back. After a record-breaking run in 2014, the totally inappropriate and totally fun musical by the creators of South Park opens this week. Can everyone say “Hasa Diga Eebowai?” Tuesday, November 24th through Sunday, December 27th, various times, $67-177, Forrest Theatre.

Check out our reviews of other shows open this weekend:

Becoming Dr. Ruth at Walnut Street Theatre | A Christmas Story at Walnut Street Theatre | Matilda: The Musical at Academy of Music (closes November 29th | Lantern Theater’s Underneath the Lintel  | Equivocation at Arden Theatre Company


Philly's Jill Scott returns home Saturday night to perform at the WDAS Holiday Jam.

Philly’s Jill Scott returns home Saturday night to perform at the WDAS Holiday Jam.

Circa Survive at Electric Factory

Formed out of the Philly suburbs, Circa Survive is wrapping up their fall 10th anniversary tour of their debut album Juturna at the Electric Factory. The record landed the alt/emo group in the middle of the booming indie rock scene. Check third-parties for tickets — according to the Electric Factory’s site, the show is sold out. Listen before you go: “Act Appalled.”  Friday, November 27th, 8 pm, Electric Factory.

The Machine: Pink Floyd Tribute

For 20 years, New York’s The Machine has continued the legend of Pink Floyd, one of the greatest rock acts to emerge from the UK. With worldwide tours, The Machine has paid tribute to one of the greats through recreating albums live, taking fan requests and even playing a song for every letter of the alphabet. Their performances and elaborate stage design carry on in the vein of Floyd’s own performative spirit. Friday, November 27th, 8 pm, $27.50-$32.50, Keswick Theatre.

38 Special

This Floridian Southern rock group had a quintessential classic sound, with arena rock anthems that propelled them to the height of their success. You’ve probably heard many of the band’s essential songs on 80s stations that preceded their name. Listen before you go: “Hold On Loosely.” Friday, November 27th, 8 pm, $35-$70, Valley Forge Casino Resort, King of Prussia.

Robin Schulz at the Fillmore

German deejay Robin Schulz, shot to fame last year in the world of electronic tropical house music. The phenom released his latest album, Sugar, last week and its funky EDM title track will tear up the charts. Last year’s remix of the single “Waves” went multi-platinum, and the follow-up single, “Prayer in C,” became a global dance hit. Regularly sending thousands of fans into a dancing frenzy with his melodically driven, bumping beats, he’s been busy working the festival circuit including London’s iTunes Festival, the Belgian Tomorrowland, Mayday and Miami’s Ultra Music Festival. Acts like Coldplay, David Guetta and Axwell have come calling to work with him. Not bad for the new kid on the block. Friday, November 27th, 9 pm, $18, The Fillmore Philadelphia. —Sarah Jordan.

WDAS Holiday Jam

This concert is packed with stars, from Philly’s own R&B singers Jazmine Sullivan and Jill Scott, to 80s boy band New Edition. Get your tickets at the end of the night by Friday to take advantage of a special holiday discount courtesy of Parx Casino. Saturday, November 28th, 6:30 pm, $29.50-$149.50, Wells Fargo Center.

Earth, Wind & Fire at the Borgata

The legendary group that has spanned genres, decades and lineups is playing two shows this weekend in Atlantic City. Their most recent album was a 2014 holiday record titled Holiday, including an amusing remake of their hit “September” called “December.” Listen before you go: “December.” Through Saturday, November 28th, 8 pm, $60-$90, The Borgata, Atlantic City.

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