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What To Do In Philly Over Thanksgiving Break

As Thanksgiving Break draws tantalizingly close, students are already thinking about what they’re not going to do over break. Sitting around for an entire week might seem appealing to you now, but cabin fever will start to set in eventually.

If you’re from the famous “just outside of Philly” area that 95 percent of Penn State’s student body seems to hail from, the City of Brotherly Love has plenty to offer over Thanksgiving break. Whether you’re driving in from South Jersey or catching a Septa out in the Main Line, it’ll be hard to get bored in the city.

Events & Attractions

The Franklin Institute

The source of many elementary school field trip memories for locals, the Franklin Institute has activities for all ages. Catch a remastered cut of Stanley Kubrick’s legendary film 2001: A Space Odyssey at the IMAX Theater showing until November 25, try out some of the Institute’s new Escape Rooms, or get ready to brave the cold of winter with the new “Vikings: Beyond the Legend” exhibit. 

Christmas Village at LOVE Park (opens November 17)

The Christmas Village has plenty to keep you occupied for a good chunk of the day. More than 80 vendors sell everything from ugly Christmas sweaters to Nepalese works of art, so this is a great way to get started on your Christmas shopping. Don’t forget to grab a beer and a brat for the true German experience.

A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens (opens November 22)

One of the Philly area’s best kept secrets, Longwood Gardens sits just outside the city in Kennett Square. The Gardens have some of the most beautiful fall foliage and Christmas light setups you could ask for, so enjoy a mug of hot chocolate as you stroll along the scenic grounds. If you get too chilly, there are always the greenhouses. 

Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade (November 22)

The oldest Thanksgiving Day parade in the country will take to the streets of Philly for the 99th time with a reworked finale. It’s sure to be a perfect start to your Thanksgiving with plenty of bands, floats, and Santa Claus himself. If you don’t want to brave the cold, watching this one from the comfort of your couch might be the better option.


Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at the Theatre of Living Arts (November 16 & 17)

If you want to get groovy, look no further than psychedelic funk band Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. Known for touring almost nonstop for nearly five years, the Baltimore group will hold a two-day event in Philly over break.

Mitski at Union Transfer (November 18)

The indie rock darling will stop in Philly as Thanksgiving week begins. After bursting onto the scene with her 2016 album Puberty 2, Mitski followed up with her newest record, Be the Cowboy, which was partially recorded in Philly.

BAS at the Theatre of Living Arts (November 18)

Signed to J. Cole’s label Dreamville Records, BAS is a rising star in the rap world known mainly for his song “Tribe,” which features J. Cole. You’ll be able to tell your friends that you saw the new talent live before he really blows up when he tours for his newest album Milky Way.

Pusha T at the Fillmore (November 23)

Still fresh off his Kanye-produced album Daytona, the GOOD Music president continues on Part 2 of his Daytona Tour.

Thom Yorke at the Franklin Music Hall (November 23)

The Radiohead frontman will kick off a solo American tour at the former Electric Factory after releasing his first ever movie soundtrack for Suspiria and promising the debut of brand new material.


Flyers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (November 17)
Flyers vs. New York Rangers (November 23)

Philadelphia’s professional hockey team will host a pair of matinee games during Thanksgiving break. The Tampa Bay Lightning will travel to Wells Fargo Center at 1 p.m. on November 17, followed by a meeting with the Rangers six days later.

76ers vs. Phoenix Suns (November 19)
76ers vs. New Orleans Pelicans (November 21)
76ers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (November 23)

The new-look Philadelphia 76ers will hold a three-game homestand over Thanksgiving break. Catch the NBA’s newest “Big Three” of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and the recently-acquired Jimmy Butler in action against the Phoenix Suns on Monday, the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday, and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Black Friday. Monday’s and Wednesday’s games will tip off at 7 p.m., while Friday’s game will begin at 7:30 p.m. following the Flyers’ clash with the Rangers in the afternoon.

Eagles vs. New York Giants (November 25)

If you miss Saquon Barkley terrorizing defenses at Beaver Stadium, you can watch him and the New York Giants take on the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles at 1 p.m. Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

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About the Author

Matt Paolizzi

Matt is a junior majoring in Secondary Education and minoring in Philosophy. He's a Philly sports fan, which causes him existential dread on the daily coupled with a deep distaste for the current state of Star Wars. Send him death threats at [email protected] and follow @m_paolizzi on Twitter for a near constant supply of second-hand embarrassment.


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