Things to do in Philadelphia this weekend

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Thanksgiving Day Parade. The oldest Thanksgiving parade in the country takes place Nov. 24 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This year is the 97th annual parade, featuring floats, massive balloons and a visit from Santa. Balloons include Frosty the Snowman, the Grinch and My Little Pony. Special guests and performers from local choirs and dance groups also appear. Catch performances from some of the musicals running in Philly from “Mamma Mia!” to “Wizard of Oz.” The best places to watch are all along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, especially Eakins Oval, Logan Circle and the steps on the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The Comcast Holiday Spectacular. Looking to warm up after the Thanksgiving Day parade? Head to the Comcast Center to check out the annual holiday spectacular. The video wall at The Comcast Center comes to life with sights and sounds of the holidays. The 15-minute show features classic holiday songs like “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Carol of the Bells.” It also includes a clip from The Nutcracker as performed by the Philadelphia Ballet. The show takes place at the top of every hour from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily (except weekdays at 5 p.m.) through Dec. 31 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on New Year’s Day.

The Macy’s Christmas Light Show. This beloved holiday tradition returns to Macy’s on Nov. 25. The historic Wanamaker Building features the famous light show which uses 100,000 LED lights to show holiday images from Santa to the Nutcracker. The show is accompanied by the Wanamaker Grand Organ. While this year’s showtimes have yet to be released, in years past, the show has run every two hours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Dec. 31. Come for the light show and stay to see the Holiday Windows and Dickens Village, the 6,000 square foot village on the third floor of Macy’s, which brings Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” to life.

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest. Running Nov. 25 through March 5, the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest transforms Penn’s Landing into a magical holiday park. The park includes an Olympic-size skating rink, a ski chalet-style lodge and a winter garden. Bring the kids to see the incredible holiday tree and play in the kids’ lodge with arcade games. Sit outside around fire pits or inside in front of fireplaces. Garces Group provides food, as does Chickie’s and Pete’s. There are two different bar locations featuring craft beers and hot cocktails, including a Jim Beam bourbon-spiked cider and vanilla vodka splashed hot chocolate. New this year is the Franklin Fountain’s Confectionery Cabin, which will offer seasonal ice cream flavors and s’mores kits. Winterfest is free to the public. Skate rental, food and drinks are pay as you go.

The Christmas Village. The annual European inspired holiday market has a new location this year: City Hall. The open air market sells holiday gifts through Christmas Eve. Eighty vendors sell ornaments, jewelry, toys and arts and crafts. While you shop, take in street-side performances and enjoy special events. Skate on the Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park and explore America’s Garden Capital Maze.

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