Winter in Franklin Square
Electrical Spectacle Light Show. Photo by M. Edlow for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® / EDITORIAL AND ADVERTISING USE APPROVED

From the annual Thanksgiving Day parade to a moving exhibit from the Free Library of Philadelphia about resistance, here are some local events to put on your calendar.

This is one of the most amazing Novembers in Philadelphia that’s happened in recent memory. The Phillies made it to the World Series. The undefeated Eagles have eight straight wins, a first for the team. And the local soccer team, the Union, made it to the MLS Finals. 

All in all, the vibe in the city is electric.

There are other cool things happening this month in Pennsylvania’s largest city, too. If you’re looking for something to enjoy in between one incredible sports team win after another, check out these events. 

(Pro-tip: For more events happening throughout the month of November in Philadelphia, Visit Philly’s Uwishunu is a great resource for events in the city and its surrounding communities.)

Winter in Franklin Square

Winter in Franklin Square begins on Nov. 16 and runs through the new year until Feb. 26. The highlight is the Electrical Spectacle Light Show that runs every 30 minutes from 5 p.m. to closing, any day that Franklin Square is open. This free outdoor, nighttime show features more than 200,000 lights that surround the historic Franklin Square Fountain. 

In addition to the light show, visitors can enjoy outdoor fire pits and seating, and purchase hot beverages, cocktails, hot chocolate, and seasonal wine or beer at Ben’s Sweets and Treats located in the square. The 18-hole mini golf (transformed into a winter wonderland) and the square’s carousel will also be open.

Location: 200 North 6th Street

Music of Elton John for Kids 

On Nov. 20, Philadelphia Brooklyn Bowl plays host to Rock and Roll Playhouse, a family concert series that shares the music of classic artists with a new generation of music lovers. Kids, who must be accompanied by an adult, can move, play, sing along, and Crocodile Rock-out while entertainer Jon Smith’s Voyages plays a family-friendly tribute to Sir Elton. 

The show starts at noon, and tickets are general admission. Children under 1 are free.

Location: 1009 Canal St.

Philadelphia’s 6abc Dunkin’ Thanksgiving Day Parade

Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® / EDITORIAL USE APPROVED; ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Before sitting down to turkey with all the fixings on Nov. 24, get some fresh air at the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade—hosted by Cecily Tynan and Rick Williams–starts on Ben Franklin Parkway at 9 a.m. with balloons, floats, marching bands, and performances. A pre-show begins at 8:30 a.m. For those who can’t attend the parade in person, 6abc will air what’s being called the “Party for the Holidays.”

The three-hour parade starts at 20th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard and ends at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 

Location: Art Museum Neighborhood

LumiNature at Philadelphia Zoo

Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® / EDITORIAL USE APPROVED; ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

2022’s Luminature at the Philadelphia Zoo is set to be the biggest and brightest holiday show the zoo has hosted yet. More than one million twinkling lights are spread across 14 illuminated zones. Visitors can stroll under a canopy of dazzling lights—including 14 uniquely themed light displays—and enjoy visually stunning performance artists, hot cocoa, adult beverages, s’mores, and other seasonal treats. You can also snap selfies at designated photo ops throughout the display, and much more. 

The sparkling event begins on Nov. 17 and runs on days the zoo is open through Jan. 7. Advance tickets are required. Children under 2 are free. 

Location: 3400 W Girard Avenue

Chronicling Resistance: The Exhibition

Running through Dec. 31, this exhibit from the Free Library of Philadelphia is a collection of what eight local Back, Brown, and LGBTQ+  activists, cultural organizers, and artists found when they took a deep dive into Philadelphia archives that have historically excluded their voice and perspective.

Chronicling Resistance counters the erasure of information from “the historical record, breaks silences, and uncovers new ways of understanding and enacting resistance.” The exhibition runs at the Parkway Central Library from the ground floor up to the William B. Dietrick Gallery with a satellite exhibition at South Philadelphia Library.

Location: Parkway Central Library (1901 Vine St.) and South Philadelphia Library (1700 S Broad St.)

Every Brilliant Thing

Running through Dec. 11 at Arden Theater, Every Brilliant Thing is a moving, insightful, and hilarious one-person play. Written by Duncan Macmillan, the play pulls back the curtain on what it’s like to be a child of a suicidal mother and the lengths we go for those we love. Based on true and untrue stories, it’s a funny, life-affirming story of how to achieve hope by focusing on the smallest miracles of life.

Tickets are required for the play that runs Tuesday through Sunday nights with Wednesday and Sunday matinees.

Location: 40 N Second St.

Modigliani Up Close

Amedeo Modigliani. Young Woman in a Yellow Dress (Renée Modot), 1918. Collezione Fondazione Francesco Federico Cerruti per l’Arte, on long-term loan to the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin. Image via Cerruti Foundation for Art, on long term loan to Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Turin

The most recent exhibit in the Roberts Gallery at the Barnes, Modigliani Up Close, explores Amedeo Modigliani’s working methods and materials, bringing together important pieces from museum collections. The Italian painter and sculptor created most of his art in France. His best-known works show surreal elongated faces, necks ,and figures. The exhibit includes new scholarship by specialists across Europe and the Americas that informs a detailed investigation of the artist’s unique style, casting new light on his practice.

The exhibit runs through Jan. 29. In addition to the daily gallery showings, trained docent tours happen twice daily. Tickets are required.

Location: 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway