Illuminate Your Weekend: Free and Affordable Fun to Do in, Around and Outside Philly for Nov. 22 to 24

We have you covered for free or affordable fun this weekend from Philly to the suburbs. And, it isn't too soon to get in the holiday spirit.

What to Know

  • We have you covered for free or affordable fun this weekend. And, it isn't too soon to get in the holiday spirit.
  • Get out and enjoy these events.

Philadelphia and its surrounding counties always have something going on.

Lights are beginning to twinkle in the area! The Philadelphia Zoo launches its new LumiNature walk-through light and sound display this weekend. It’s also Philadelphia Marathon weekend so get ready to cheer on your favorite racers. Plus, get in the spirit with a Christmas Village preview.

We’ve found the top free (and affordable) choices of what to do this weekend, Nov. 22 to 24, in Philly and New Jersey.

What: Philadelphia Marathon

Thousands of athletes will run through the city for the 26.2 mile marathon race. There will also be a half marathon, 8k and a health and a free health and fitness expo.

Where: Races start and finish on Ben Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia; Expo at Pennsylvania Convention Center

When: Friday through Sunday

Cost: Free to attend

What: Chestnut Hill Circle of Trees

Chestnut Hill kicks off the holiday season with this annual event filled with live music, hot chocolate and more. 

Where: Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia

When: Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

What: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Visit the grounds of the Physick Estate and await Santa’s arrival to turn on the tree lights. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the estate as well.

Where: Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ

When: Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Cost: Free

What: LumiNature

Visit the Zoo at night for this new walk-through light and sound display. More than 600,000 lights illuminate the zoo in 12 massive light displays that include penguins, big cat eyes and a 21-foot-tall snake. 

Where: Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Ave., Philadelphia

When: through Jan. 5

Cost: From $19, children under 2 are free. Time tickets required, limited availability.

What: Ocean City Shopping Extravaganza

Get an early start on holiday shopping the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Where: Downtown Ocean City, NJ

When: Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon

Cost: Free to roam but expect to buy

What: Franklin Square Holiday Festival

Twinkling lights, holiday music, food, beer and hot chocolate fill this ongoing holiday festival. The switched has been turned on for the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show presented by PECO that features more than 80,000 lights shimmering to holiday music.

Where: Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street, Philadelphia

When: through Dec. 31 at 4:30 p.m. daily

Cost: Free

What: Christmas Village Preview Weekend

Christmas Village Philadelphia is back and bigger than ever, expanding from Love Park to the City Hall apron with wood-lined shops, plenty of food and drink, a kiddie train and Ferris wheel.

Where: Love Park, Center City Philadelphia

When: Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Cost: Free to look

What: Deck the District Holiday Light Show

This first holiday season in the newly opened Fashion District Philadelphia. The 5-minute show, running every 30 minutes until close, features lights timed to holiday music, floating trees and decorations everywhere.

Where: Fashion District Philadelphia, 901 Market Street

When: through Dec. 31 at 4 p.m. daily

Cost: Free

What: Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival

This annual event celebrates Jewish filmmakers and films about the Jewish experience. More than 30 films are featured this year.

Where: Various locations

When: through Saturday

Cost: Varies

What: A Very Furry Christmas

Sesame Place transforms into a festive wonderland complete with lights, special Christmas shows, visits with Santa and Sesame Street characters and more.

Where: Sesame Place, 100 Sesame Rd., Langhorne, Pa.

When: Saturday through Jan. 1

Cost: From $36

What: Holiday Light Show Ride

More than 3 million lights will illuminate the farm. Families can drive through the magical displays or take a ride in the open-air wagon.

Where: Shady Brook Farm, 931 Stony Hill Rd., Yardley, Pa.

When: Saturday through Jan. 5

Cost: $30 per car load, $15 per person wagon ride

What: Winter at Dilworth Park

In the shadow of City Hall, families can enjoy ice skating, the Wintergarden, shopping and plenty of snacks and hot chocolate outside at Dilworth Park. Look for the light show projected onto City Hall at night, too!

Where: Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th Street, Philadelphia

When: through Feb. 23, 2019

Cost: Free to explore

What: Holiday Light Show

This first holiday season in the newly opened Fashion District will feature light shows timed to music, floating trees, and decorations everywhere.

Where: Fashion District in Philadelphia

When: Thursday through Dec. 31

Cost: Free

What: A Longwood Christmas

Thousands of poinsettias, Christmas trees, flowers and lights fill the indoor garden for the holidays. Seasonal music and the fountain dance outdoors is not to be missed either!

Where: Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, Pa.

When: Friday through Jan. 5

Cost: Varies. Timed tickets required.

What: Dinosaurs Around the World

Visit with dozens of animatronic dinosaurs as you discover and learn about things like volcano activity and fossils.

Where: The Academy of Natural Sciences

When: Through Jan. 20

Cost: From $7 in addition to general admission 

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