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The best things to do in Philadelphia this weekend

The best things to do in Philadelphia, including popular events, festivals, attractions and tours, free activities and entertainment. See upcoming events and what’s on in Philly today.

The Christmas Village opens at City Hall and LOVE Park Nov. 19-Dec. 24.
The Christmas Village opens at City Hall and LOVE Park Nov. 19-Dec. 24.Read moreCourtesy of Christmas Village

Happy Friday! Below are some of our favorite things to do in the Philadelphia area this weekend. We put out new Philly weekend plans for you every week, so you’ll always have something to do on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

You can always find our favorite activities of the weekend at Have an event you’d like to feature in the Inquirer? Submit an event to our calendar.

LuminoCity Festival

(Community) Lean into the holiday season with this wonderland of light installations. This year’s Golden Holiday theme will include large-scale light displays, a 50-foot Christmas Tree, a holiday market, bar for festival cocktails and so much more. (Nov. 17 - Jan. 15, 100 Station Ave., Oaks,

Yuletide at Devon

(Community) This unique holiday market blends the elements of a traditional European Christmas market with the flair of a music festival. Come enjoy free rides, live music from national touring music acts, delicious farm-to-table food and more at this special holiday experience. (Nov. 24 - Dec. 31, 23 Dorset Rd., Devon,

Philly Pigeon: The Late(ish) Poetry Show

(Community) Join some of the city’s most beloved poets for a night of flowing poetry, open mics, games and more. Take a seat and enjoy as a fan or bring a few lines and take to the microphone yourself. Discounted tickets are available for students. ($10-25, Dec. 1, 8:30 p.m., 531 N. 12th St.,

Late Night Snacks: Leftovers

(Theater) This isn’t your typical late night snack. This unapologetically queer performance art pop up truly has it all. From opera singers to drag queens, come watch this one of a kind cabaret leave rainbows on the stage. (Dec. 1, 8 p.m., 140 N. Columbus Blvd.,

The Biggest Little Comedy Show

(Comedy) If you’re in need of a laugh, look no further. Bring a friend and come watch as a lineup of comedians deliver hilarious jokes and sketches. (Dec. 1, 8-11 p.m., 518 S. 5th St.,

First Friday with Laurin Talese

(Art) Head to The Barnes for live music, delicious drinks and networking with fellow art lovers. Laurin Talese, renowned jazz and soul singer, will perform two sets during the evening. Between sets, you’ll get the chance to explore the galleries at The Barnes. ($10-28, Dec. 1, 6-9 p.m., 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.,

A Very Philly Christmas

(Music) No one does the holidays like Philly. Join Broadway singers, choirs, and conductors for show stopping concerts featuring some of your favorite holiday songs. There will be plenty of surprises woven throughout and some essential Philly fun peppered in as well. (Dec. 1-23, 300 S. Broad St.,

The Philadelphia Dance Academy’s 14th Annual Nutcracker

(Theater) This production of the Nutcracker features performances by Dance Academy students, Youth Ballet members, and professional guest artists. Grab a ticket and watch this holiday classic come to life on the stage. (Dec. 2-3, 3220 Chestnut St.,

Zero-waste Weaving: Wall Hangings

(Art) Looking to declutter your yarn stash and learn some new hand weaving skills? Then this is the event for you. Bring your yarn and fabric scraps to be upcycled into beautiful works of art. Then, in a 3-hour workshop, you’ll learn the basics of hand weaving and create a beautiful wall hanging to bring home. ($45, Dec. 3, 1-4 p.m., 121 N. Columbus Blvd.,

Cookie & Beer Tasting

(Community) If you think cookies and milk are overdone, then this event is for you. Sam of Sam Shaw’s Treatery and Claire of Blind Bear Beverages will pair four fresh baked cookies with four beers. You’ll learn all of the basics of  food and beverage pairings and make it home in time for the Eagles game. ($40, Dec. 3, 2-3:30 p.m., 306 South St.,

Macy’s Light Show & Dickens Village

(Community) Nothing says the holidays in Philadelphia quite like the Macy’s holiday experience. The light show display features thousands of twinkling lights taking the shapes of snowflakes, candy canes and other holiday symbols. In Dickens Village, you’ll see a vintage retelling of the classic A Christmas Carol. (Nov. 24-Dec. 31, 1300 Market St.,

Holiday Markets at Cherry Street Pier

(Shopping) Tis the season for finding the most unique gifts from dozens of local makers. Head to Cherry Street Pier’s pop up holiday market to shop everything from handmade jewelry to custom art. (Nov. 25-Dec. 23, 121 S. Columbus Blvd.,

Tinseltown at FDR Park

(Community) It’s beginning to look a lot like winter at FDR Park. Prepare to be stunned by the twinkling lights and stunning displays arranged at this holiday spectacular. Grab snacks or a cocktail in the Union Forge Lounge, shop for gifts in the Mistletoe Marketplace or visit the special Ice Slide and Ice Trail. (Nov. 17 - Jan. 1, 1500 Pattison Ave.,


(Community) The Philadelphia Zoo is transforming into brilliant nighttime display of light. More than 1 million lights will brighten 16 different zones, creating an immersive lighting showcase. Come walk through, grab a bite and experience the zoo like you never have before. (Nov. 17 - Dec. 31, 3400 W. Girard Ave.,

Christmas Village in LOVE Park

(Shopping) Philly’s favorite traditional German Christmas marketplace is back for another year. Vendors offering various items and tasty treats for sale will fill LOVE Park for another holiday run. Be sure to stop by for mulled wine, unique gifts and special events and performances throughout the season. (Nov. 18-Dec. 24, 1500 Arch St. (and City Hall),

Craft Month

(Art) Celebrate fine arts and crafts all November long with events and expeditions across the city. The month will feature events at galleries, the chance to visit artist’s studios and even the chance to get artsy yourself. (November 1-30,

Marie Laurencin: Sapphic Paris

(Art) A new exhibit is coming to the Barnes this weekend. The exhibit explores artist Marie Laurencin’s work including self portraits and early cubist paintings. Her work is described as feminist and queer and pictures a modern world of women among women. Come take a walk through the galleries and enjoy browsing more than 50 of her paintings. (Oct. 22-Jan. 21, 2024, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.,

The best events for kids in Philly

Tis the season to get out of the house with the tots for obligatory photos with Santa, parades along main streets, and shopping for all the things to deck the halls.

UniverSoul Circus, Mann Center

(Circus) The most vibrant show on earth is a circus, and then some, featuring outrageous acrobatics, motorcycle stunts, Caribbean stilt walkers, roller-skating dynamos, dancing galore, and a better audience than Barnum & Bailey ever brought in. Ages 3+. ($26-$53, Nov. 10-Dec. 3, 5201 Parkside Ave.,

Holiday Lane, Variety

(Seasonal) This yearly benefit gets Variety’s 77-acre twinkling and invites guests in for tours with free hot cocoa and performances, plus pay-as-you-go fare (including s’mores), cider, games, and a holiday market featuring handmade items by Variety kids. Santa’s there too. All ages. (Driving on Nov. 30, 5-7 p.m.: $15 car, $20 van/bus; walking on Dec. 1, 4-9 p.m., Dec. 2, 3-9 p.m., $10 adult, $5 child, 2950 Potshop Rd., Worcester,

West Chester Christmas Parade

(Seasonal / free) This beloved 3,000-person procession of marching bands, dance teams, cheer squads, and choirs through charming downtown West Chester begins after a 6:30 p.m. tree lighting, and concludes with — who else? — Santa. All ages. (Free, Dec. 1, parade at 7 p.m., from W. Market and New sts. to W. Market and Gay Sts.,

Winterfest Market, Haddon Square

(Seasonal / shopping / free) Haddon Square fills with vendors — and a photo booth for pictures with Mr. Claus — during this annual outdoor shopping event. All ages. (Free, Dec. 2, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 51 Haddon Ave., Haddon Township, NJ,

Philly Holiday Parade

(Seasonal / free) This relatively new spectacle courtesy of Visit Philadelphia celebrates all the winter holidays — and then some — in one twilight procession from Old City to City Hall. (Also: Expect extra traffic for a Saturday night in Center City. Ages 3 and up. (Free, Dec. 2, 5 p.m., Market St. from 2nd to Broad St.,

Christmas Underwater, Adventure Aquarium

(Holiday) There’s no place that Santa’s isn’t this time of year, and that includes scuba diving in a 760,000-gallon fish tank containing sharks, sea turtles, and stingrays at this Jersey aquarium. Also underwater: a very tall Christmas tree. Ages 2-10. ($28-$48 ages 13-64, $18-38 ages 13 and under, Nov. 24-Dec. 24, 1 Riverside Dr., Camden, NJ,

Winterfest / RiverRink, Penn’s Landing

(Ice Skating / amusements) The popular riverside ice-skating rink is back for a few wintry months. On opening day, November 24, it’s free to get in (reserve ahead,). After that, you’ll need to pay a modest rink admission and slightly less modest skate rental fee, plus some more dollars in the arcade, for snacks, maybe a trinket … Tis the season. Ages 4+. ($5 to skate, $12 to rent skates, Nov. 24-Feb. 19, 101 S. Columbus Blvd.,

Santa on a Fire Truck, West Chester

(Holiday / free) Like the sanitation truck, box truck, and school bus phase, the time your child will be obsessed with fire trucks won’t last long. Best to take advantage while you can — and while you shop along Gay and High streets in West Chester. All ages. (Free, Nov. 25, Dec. 2, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m., downtown West Chester,

A Longwood Christmas

(Holiday / outdoors) The old DuPont place decorates dozens of trees, sets its fountains to carols, and instantly gets you in the holiday spirit. All ages. ($30 ages 19-61, $27 college student and ages 62 and up, $16 ages 5-18, $5 ACCESS/Snap cardholder, free ages 4 and under, Nov. 17-Jan. 7, 1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square,

Luminocity, Greater Philadelphia Expo Center

(Lights / holiday) This indoor walk-through feels a bit like being inside a life-size, trippy, Christmas Candyland — plus dinosaurs. ($29-$32 adult; $20-$24 ages 4-12, free ages 3 and under, Nov. 17-Jan. 15, 100 Station Ave., Oaks,

Tinseltown, FDR Park

(Holiday lights) The walk-through light show has moved across Broad Street to a little-used patch of grass on the edge of Pattison Avenue. Dogs are welcome on Wednesdays. Gritty’s there on Fridays. Closed select evenings (such as during Eagles games). All ages. ($15-$41, Nov. 17-Jan. 1,

Brandywine Railroad, Brandywine Museum of Art

(Trains / art / holiday) The classic scene returns to the Wyeths’ favorite art museum, with locomotives through trolleys chugging past tiny, festive scenes — village, farm, drive-in movie theater — and offering the chance to alter the display via buttons and pedals. Also onsite: A decorated Victorian dollhouse, and, later this month, critter-decorated trees. All ages. ($20-$25 adult, $18-$23 senior, $8-$10 student and ages 5-18, Nov. 18-Jan. 7, 1 Hoffman’s Mill Rd., Chadds Ford,

Holiday Light Show, Shady Brook Farm

(Holiday) This Bucks County farm has been doing lights longer than most, inviting cars to drive a two-mile loop of lights, and riders to disembark to hop aboard a wagon, hang out near a bonfire, or meet up with Santa. ($40-$50 per car, $75 mini bus or limo, $150 bus; wagon rides, $15-$23, free ages 2 and under, Nov. 18-Jan. 8, 931 Stony Hill Rd., Yardley,

Rothman Rink, Dilworth Park

(Ice skating) Rain or shine, freezing or hot, on November 10 at 11:30 a.m., City Hall’s front yard skating rink reopens with a pop-up snow shower and performance by ice skaters from West Philly’s Laura Sims Skate House. Ages 3+. ($9 adult, $6 ages 10 and under, $10 skate rental, open daily, Nov. 10-Feb. 25, 1 S. 15th St.,

Rooted: Family and Nature in Contemporary Children’s Book Illustration, Brandywine Museum of Art

(Art / books) Eight children’s book illustrators all Caldecott other book award winners and honorees, have their pages put up on walls to connect human stories to the natural world, and to demonstrate the many media and ways stories are told. This is one not to miss. Ages 2+. ($20 adult, $18 senior, $8 ages 6–18 and students with ID, Oct. 14-Feb. 25, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 1. Hoffman’s Mill Rd., Chadds Ford,

Sunday Family Art & Storytelling, Woodmere Museum

(Art / stories / free) During that magic hour before lunch (which is right before afternoon nap), museum educator Ginger Mimmo Rohlfing reads a story and leads an art-making session — both based on a piece on display. Ages 3-5. (Free, Oct. 1, Nov. 5, Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-noon, 9201 Germantown Ave.,

Dinosaur Train: The Traveling Exhibit, Please Touch Museum

(Paleontology) Philly gets a second, albeit temporary, dinosaur museum when the Please Touch debuts a bright, interactive visiting exhibit from the Jim Henson / PBS show that includes both digging for fossils and driving a train. Ages 1-8. ($22, $2 ACCESS cardholder, Sept. 22-Dec. 31, 4231 Ave. of the Republic, pleasetouchmus