Everything Fun You Can Do in Philadelphia This Weekend

Sip and swirl at a wine festival, get started on holiday shopping, and more.

For the weekend leading up to Thanksgiving, you may feel tempted to lay low before your travels—or maybe you are a traveler touching down at PHL for the holiday. Either way, there’s no reason to stay cooped up this lovely fall weekend. Not when it’s the unofficial start to the holiday season, after all. Aside from the festive goings-on, have a blast at a local wine fest, a couple of art events, and the opening of a brand new gallery at a local museum. It’s all here on this list of the most fun things to do in Philadelphia this weekend.

Friday, November 18
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Inspired by Henri Matisse’s painting Woman in Blue (displayed in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s recently opened exhibition devoted to the artist), visitors to the museum on Friday are invited to wear their best blue attire. The soiree also features blue cocktails, snacks, and music. Plus, don’t miss taking a peek at Matisse in the 1930s while you’re there.
Cost: Pay-what-you-wish, $15 exhibition access

Friday, November 18 – Sunday, November 20
Longwood Gardens
It’s that time again! Longwood Gardens’ immaculate and expansive holiday display featuring whimsical botanical arrangements, dozens of garland-laced trees, and outdoor grounds decked to the nines with half a million lights opens this weekend. Running until January 8, 2023, you’ve got about a month and a half to check it out, but why wait?
Cost: $16-30

Friday, November 18 – Saturday, November 19
Cherry Street Pier
With the goal of amplifying Indigenous voices in the Philadelphia area, We Are The Seeds will host its annual festival at Cherry Street Pier this weekend. Expect art displays, music, dance, storytelling, panel discussions, and more. Check out work from carver David Farnham, jewelry designer Tchin, children’s book author Colleen Farwell, and painter Moses Buffalo Boy. Plus, there will be film screenings on Saturday.
Cost: $10 suggested donation

Saturday, November 19
Live! Casino & Hotel
Sure, Philly may not be known for its wine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate it. At Philly Wine Fest, dozens of wineries—like Harvest Ridge Winery, Valenzano Family Winery, and Line 39 Wines—will offer tastings and sell their wines by the bottle. Also expect eats from Luk Fu, Termini Bros, and The Prime Rib, among others.
Cost: $35-65

Advertiser Content From

Lunch spread with rolls and salad
Courtesy of King's Hawaiian

King’s Hawaiian—the No. 1 dinner roll in the US and a holiday must-have —invites you to “Roll Home in Style” at either their stationary train event or their moving journeys in custom King’s Hawaiian Dining Cars, where you’ll enjoy an irresistibly delicious pre-Thanksgiving meal, get an early taste of the holiday spirit and leave with plenty of Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls to share around your family table.

Head to www.RollHomeinStyle.com and reserve a spot to enjoy a “stationary” meal in railcars at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station on Friday, November 18, between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Or, if you’re headed to NYC for the holiday, you can even book a one-way ticket to enjoy a meal en route from Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station to New York’s Penn Station approximately between 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. that evening.

Saturday, November 19
Xfinity Live!
Philadelphia is a city of fine cuisine, but honestly nothing beats a gyro from a food truck when you’re in a rush. This festival is an ode to all things street food, where you can grab $5 bites, ranging from cheesesteaks to hot wings, from a plethora of food trucks. Plus, there will be a cheese fry bar, ax throwing, kids’ pumpkin patch, karaoke, mechanical bull riding, and games.
Cost: $20

Saturday, November 19 – Sunday, November 20
Rivers Casino
It’s never too early to start your holiday shopping. Find the best handmade clutches, unique jewelry, whimsical pottery and more at the Holiday Art Star Craft Bazaar. A time-honored tradition, the market features 80 hand-selected vendors featuring truly one-of-a-kind gifts you won’t find anywhere else. Plus, make-and-take craft activities and grub from Okie Dokie Donuts and Bourbon and Branch.
Cost: $3 admission, all else pay-as-you-go

Saturday, November 19 – Sunday, November 20
LOVE Park and City Hall
It’s soft launch weekend, as they say, for Christmas Village, which means it's prime time for the smell of Swiss raclette to fill the air downtown. Preview weekend for the popular holiday attraction gives revelers a sneak peak at the more than 100 shopping vendors—selling everything from knitted apparel to watches—and German food and drink, including the season’s fave mulled wine. Take a ride on the double-decker Christmas Village Carousel or ferris wheel to really get in on the action.
Cost: Pay-as-you-go

Saturday, November 19 – Sunday, November 20
South Street Off Center
Famed South Street punk store Zipperhead will get the retrospective treatment with a new exhibit featuring archival advertising and graphic work, photographs, and newly digitized films of South Street in the 80s. The exhibition, Keep An Open Mind, opens this weekend in a brand new multi-purpose space housed in the same building that Zipperhead once called home. Check out the never-before-seen material and the community space and feel more than a little nostalgic.
Cost: Free

Saturday, November 19 – Sunday, November 20
Penn Museum
With 400 artifacts ranging from the Middle Bronze Age to the 1800s, feast your eyes on the Penn Museum’s reimagined permanent gallery, the Eastern Mediterranean Gallery. The region that now encompasses Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Cyprus is the spotlight here and spawned the world’s first alphabet and the origins of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. During opening weekend, visitors can learn about the region through pop-up talks, view archival materials from excavations, enjoy live music, and partake in some craft activities.
Cost: $13-18

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Allie Volpe is a writer based in Philadelphia. She hasn't slept in days. Follow her on Twitter: @allieevolpe.