Thanksgiving is only a week away and there are lots of great ways to get in the spirit this weekend. Take the kiddos out to one of these fun festive events to get yourself in the mood for merry!
Peddler’s Village annual Grand Illumination Celebration is the perfect way to kick-off the holidays right this weekend. It’s our annual family tradition and to me, it’s just not the holiday season until Santa flips the switch on the entire village at 6:15pm magically turning on over 1 million holiday lights and making your kiddies jaws drop with the delight. There’s also free hot apple cider and marshmallows for roasting for all as well as carols and walking entertainers throughout the village to enjoy. And, while you’re out there be sure to swing by Giggleberry Fair – an indoor play place for children complete with Carousel, discovery center and play mountain/ball bit. Grand Illumination is free. Giggleberry Fair prices vary between $1.99 for Grand Carousel rides – $14.99 for child’s full access to all attractions. If you end up going, send me a tweet so I can look for you there!
And, here is a video I found this morning of the illumination last year so you can see (and hear) how much everyone loves it when the lights go on.
Macy’s Center CIty Window Unveiling
Saturday Nov. 20
Believe in the magic of the season. Be a part of the excitement as Macy’s unveils their Holiday Window Display! Join Radio Disney Artist Josh Golden and some very special kids from the Make a Wish Foundation as they kick off the festivities outside on Market Street with Jolly Old St. Nick! Follow the magic inside to the Grand Court and enjoy live performances from the Walnut Street Theatre Company, Josh Golden and the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale. And while you are here, kids bring your camera up to 3pm to take your picture with the Macy’s Polar Bear, Percy the Penguin, Mad Dog from the Philadelphia Wings and the famous Philly Phanatic! Enjoy face painting, balloon art and create your own Smurf inspired holiday ornaments. Free.
The folks who bring you the semi-annual kids consignment mega-sale are now holding a mega holiday toy sale Friday and Saturday. Get great deals on toys, electronics and more. Everything goes half price on Saturday from 12noon-2pm. Now we know Santa’s trick!
Sat. Nov. 20
SMITH The Kids’ Play Place in the Park
East Fairmount Park
Families with children aged 5 and under can play with The Junior League of Philadelphia at SMITH The Kids’ Play Place in the Park on Saturday Nov. 20th at 10am. Children can partake in autumn-themed crafts, games and more and of course, enjoy the indoor play areas kids always enjoy at SMITH. Free.
If you and your little ones just can’t wait another week for the big Thanksgiving Day parade, you can head on over to Hatboro, PA on Sunday Nov. 21st for the 50th Annual Hatboro Holiday parade. The parade promises two hours of holiday festivities for your whole family including hundreds of participants, floats, marching bands, mummers and of course, Santa. Parade turnout is expected to be 50,000 people in attendance for this year’s Jingle Bells themed event. Pre-parade entertainment begins at 1:30 with the official kick-off to the parade starting at 2pm. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive at the end of the parade and children will have an opportunity to give their letters to Santa’s Helpers who will make sure they arrive safely at the North Pole. Free
Powwow: Keep the Spirit Alive
Sunday Nov. 21
West Deptford Free Public Library
West Deptford, NJ
The Native Nations Dance Theater will don full dress on Sunday Nov. 21st at 3:00pm at the West Deptford Public Library to perform a high-energy interactive program for families combining authentic dancing, drumming and flute traditions from American Indian nations. Free
And while these events below, aren’t free (or even most free) they sure are fun and only happening for a limited time. So if you’re looking for a special treat for the family this weekend, check out one of this wonderful events:
All about this special holiday train at the destined for the North Pole! Ride the rails at the New Hope Railroadwith Santa, Mrs. Claus and other holiday figures including local musicians playing holiday music and leading caroling for all. Families can sip cocoa and enjoy cookies as children get to have individual visits with Santa who present each child with a small gift. Professional photo packages also available. North Pole Express runs weekends starting Nov. 19th with hourly excursions starting at 12 Noon and a final depart time of 6:45pm. Adults $34, Children ages 2-11 $32.00, children aged 2 and under $9.00. First class updates also available. See website for full ticketing details.
The National Dog Show takes place right in our backyard this weekend at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA. This national event hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia helps raise money for the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine with support from Purina. This is the most widely viewed dog-show in America reaching more than 20 million viewers each year and is broadcast nationally in high definition on Thanksgiving Day. The dog show is especially kid and family friendly this year offering a chance for children to meet over 160 dog breeds up close and personal throughout the day as well as see them compete in diving, disc catching and more. On Sunday there is also a Please Touch Museum Play Patrol! center offering arts and crafts, games, giveaways and more. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for children aged 7-12, children 6 and under are free. Be sure to visit the dog show website to print out a coupon for $2.00 off adult and $1.00 of a child ticket before you go.
Start your own holiday tradition by taking the whole family to the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center’s version of Tchaikovsky’s classic The Nutcracker. Billed as “The Delaware Valley’s first and most affordable Nutcracker!” this family-friendly performance runs Friday November 19th through Sunday Nov. 21st with evening and afternoon shows available. Tickets $10-22.
It’s ballet for the whole family as the Metropolitan Ballet Company presents Cinderella geared for all ages. Children will enjoy this faerie-tale ballet with all the classic elements including glass slippers, a fairy godmother, pumpkin coaches, wicked stepsisters and more. Show runs Saturday Nov. 20th at 11am and 3pm and Sunday Nov. 21st at 3pm. Tickets are $12-15.
The Philadelphia Orchestra continues its Family Concert Series this Saturday Nov. 20th at 11:30 am with an introduction to Tchaikovsky for families and children. This wonderful introduction to the orchestra geared for children ages 6-12 tells the story of Tchaikovsky’s arrival in America accompanied by music from The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, the 1812 Overture, and more. After the show, families and children can join members of The Philadelphia Orchestra for a unique photo shoot – be sure to bring your cameras!! Tickets range from $7-$46. Please see website for full ticketing details.