Twinkle, Twinkle: Free and Affordable Fun Things to Do in, Around and Outside Philly for Nov. 15 to 17

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! Peddlers Village and Franklin Square turn on their holiday lights this weekend as the holiday season fast approaches. It’s also the last weekend of Terror Behind the Walls, which wraps up another scary season.

We’ve found the top free (and affordable) choices of what to do this weekend, Nov. 15-17, in Philly and New Jersey.

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

Cost: Free

What: Grand Illumination Celebration

This holiday fest kicks off when Santa turns on the holiday lights to officially begin the holiday season in Bucks County. Enjoy festive holiday lights, food, visits with Santa and plenty of shopping opportunities throughout the season.

Where: Peddler’s Village, 2400 Street Road, New Hope

When: Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Cost: Free

What: Tape Philadelphia: Enter to Cocoon

A sprawling public art installation using 21.5 miles of translucent tape at the Philadelphia Navy Yard opens this weekend. People can check out the art from afar or go inside (reservation needed). 

Where: Philadelphia Navy Yard, 1701 Langley Ave, Philadelphia, PA

When: Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., runs through Dec. 1.

Cost: Free to view, must make reservations to enter.

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

Cost: Free

What: Los Trompos & Look Up! Look in.

Get your last chance to check out art installations inside the Kimmel Center that allow guests to get inside a spinning top and to look up at aerial art.

Where: Commonwealth Plaza inside the Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street, Philadelphia

When: Ends Sunday

Cost: Free

What: The National Dog Show

Which dog will be best in show? The National Dog Show Presented by Purina gives you a chance to see the best show dogs compete. If you can't catch the show in person this weekend, it will air on NBC10 on Thanksgiving.

Where: Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks, 100 Station Ave., Oaks, PA

When: Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Tickets are $16 for adults and $7 for children ages 4 to 12. Kids 3 and under are free

What: The Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

This over-a-weeklong film festival will spotlight Asian experiences and Asian filmmakers through Philadelphia.

Where: Various locations in Chinatown and Center City

When: Through Sunday

Cost: Varies

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 Nov. 23

Cost: Varies

What: Live at The District

The Fashion District Philadelphia is bringing some of the area's musical talents to Center City each Friday. This week Jodi Valentin takes the stage.

Where: The Cube at 9th and Market streets, Philadelphia

When: Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

What: Blooms and Bamboo

This new exhibit brings bamboo art and bamboo installations to the conservatory. 

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

When: through Sunday

Cost: Varies

What: Terror Behind the Walls

One of the country’s most popular Halloween attractions returns with more creepy zombies and ghosts that pop out as you explore the abandoned halls of this former penitentiary.

Where: Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia

When:  through Nov. 19 on select dates and times

Cost: Varies

What: Explore the New Penn Museum

This exhibit featuring a giant Egyptian Sphinx is celebrating its grand reopening this weekend with fun to be had for explorers of all ages.

Where: Penn Museum, 3260 South St, Philadelphia

When: Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Tickets cost $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $10 dollars for children 7 and over and are free to younger children.

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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