By Dorothy Sasso - For Weekender

Heading to Philadelphia? Here are 10 things to do in the city of brotherly love this weekend

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Enjoy a weekend in Philadelphia.

This weekend, among incredible live performances, Mrs. Claus is kicking off the holiday season at Peddler’s Village. Try skating at city hall or if you’re still hanging onto fall, check out Longwood Garden’s autumnal celebration. For foodies, the annual Beer and Bacon Festival returns to the 23rd St. Armory; a great weekend of free and inexpensive events in the city.

Skating at City Hall: Head to the Rothman Institute Skate Rink at Dilworth Park, which opens Nov. 13. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 10 and under. Rent skates for $9. Don’t know how to skate? Sunday mornings, sign up for four classes ($70) and learn to skate while taking in city views. This year, the Rothman Cabin is new. The heated tent will sell food and drinks. The rink will be open through Feb. 28.

Peddler’s Village: It’s one of the most magical places to bring the family for the holidays. Nov. 13, the holiday season kicks off at 6:30 p.m. when Mrs. Claus leads a light parade through the village and lights trees along the paths. The village’s shops are open until 9 p.m. Admission and parking are free.

Minus the Bear: Seattle, Washington’s, indie rock band celebrates 10 years together with their Menos el Oso tour. They are stopping in Philly on Nov. 13, to perform at the Electric Factory (421 N. 7th Street). Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets start at $28. For more information, visit

Ari Shaffir at Helium: Comedian Ari Shaffir takes stage at Helium Nov. 13 and 14. Shaffir has appeared on Comedy Central in “This Is Not Happening.” He is a regular guest on “@midnight” and has appeared on Showtime’s “The Green Room.” Friday performances are at 7:30 and 10 p.m. and at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $23. The show is 21 and older.

Bacon and Beer Festival: Back for the third year, the Philadelphia Bacon and Beer Festival, returns on Nov. 14, from 2:30-5 p.m. The festival takes place at the 23rd St. Armory. General admission is $46.50 and proceeds benefit MANNA, a non-profit that provides nutritious meals to locals with life-threatening diseases including cancer and HIV/AIDS. Tickets include samples of all bacon and beer on site.

Longwood Gardens: One of the best places to check out fall foliage is Longwood Gardens. Through Nov. 22, the gardens are alive with Autumn’s Colors, which showcase beautiful fall plants. The Chrysanthemum Festival features 20,000 flowers, including the Thousand Bloom chrysanthemum, which is made up of 1,300 arranged flowers. Wear comfortable shoes and prepare to spend a day taking in the gorgeous fall sights. General admission is $20.

First Person Arts Festival: Celebrate the 14th Annual First Person Arts Festival, which runs through Nov. 15. The unique festival showcases memoir and documentary arts. The celebration includes film premieres, live performances, author readings, art exhibits and workshops with artists. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit

UniverSoul Circus: For the last weekend, catch a mix of circus acts, music, and dance inspired by our multicultural world. Named one of Ticketmaster’s Top 25 Most Requested Family Events in the U.S., this incredible show runs at the Mann Center three times daily. To purchase tickets, visit

Dianne Reeves: This jazz vocalist is the only singer to win a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for three consecutive albums. On Nov. 15, she performs at the Annenberg Center Live (3680 Walnut Street, The Zellerbach Theatre). The show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $55. For more information, visit

Lights Rise on Grace: Sansom Street’s Azuka Theater hosts Lights Rise on Grace, a play about the common language of love which holds a family together. New York Fringe named the show Outstanding New Play so catch it during its Philadelphia run (through Nov. 22). The performance contains nudity. Tickets are $30. For more information, visit

By Dorothy Sasso

For Weekender

Enjoy a weekend in Philadelphia. a weekend in Philadelphia.