KYW To-Do List: Christmas Village, subaquatic Santa, and more for Thanksgiving weekend

Holli Stephens
November 28, 2019 - 4:00 am
Ferris Wheel at the Christmas Village

Kory Aversa

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The parade has passed, politics have been debated at the dinner table, and the turkey has been devoured. Now what?

If you’re not spending your time off with family or camped outside a Best Buy, you can kick off the next big holiday — and believe it or not, Santa Claus is already in town.

The end of Thanksgiving essentially marks the start of the Christmas season. Between Christmas Village in Center City, Santa Express in West Chester, and a scuba-diving Kris Kringle in Camden, you have plenty of chances to jump into the jolliness.

Plan your weekend with a special holiday edition of The KYW To-Do List, your guide for all things to do in the city and surrounding suburbs. Listen to our top picks below.



Christmas Underwater
Courtesy of Adventure Aquarium

EVENT: Christmas Underwater

DATE: Friday through Dec. 30

WHERE: Adventure Aquarium, 1 Riverside Drive, Camden

DETAILS: Watch Santa scuba dive with sharks and swim around an 18-foot underwater tree. There will be opportunities to meet Saint Nick during special Milk & Cookies member events. There will also be holiday light exhibits as part of the “World’s Largest Underwater Christmas Light Display.”  

PRICE: Included with daily admission


EVENT: Thanksgiving Day Parade

DATE/TIME: Thursday, starts at 8:15 a.m.

WHERE: Starts at 20th Street and JFK Boulevard 

DETAILS: In its 100th year, the nation's oldest Thanksgiving Day parade returns to the City of Brotherly Love with 23 marching bands, 30 performances, 15 balloons and more. 

PRICE: Free to watch


EVENT: Christmas Village opens

DATE: Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve

WHERE: LOVE Park, Arch Street between 15th and 16th streets, Center City

DETAILS: The Christmas market is back! More than 80 wooden booths will line LOVE Park and sell traditional European food, sweets and drinks. There will be international holiday gift opportunities, with vendors selling ornaments, jewelry and high-quality arts and crafts. 

PRICE: Free to attend


EVENT: Santa Express

DATE: Weekends through Dec. 22

WHERE: West Chester Railroad, 230 E. Market St., West Chester

DETAILS: Santa will greets everyone aboard the train as it journeys through the Chester Creek Valley. There will be photo opportunities on Santa’s lap and live entertainment.

PRICE: $25 for adults, $18 for kids


EVENT: 6th annual Media Christmas Parade

DATE/TIME: Sunday, 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Veterans Square, between Front and Baker streets, Media

DETAILS: Start the Christmas season with a block party, costume contest, a fun run/walk, and to close out the day, a festive parade that features mummers. 

PRICE: Free to attend


EVENT: Winter Wonderland

DATE/TIME: Sunday, 4 to 6 p.m.

WHERE: Headhouse Square, Second and Pine streets, Philadelphia

DETAILS: Celebrate the spirit of the season as South Street Headhouse District presents its annual Winter Wonderland. Santa Claus will arrive on a firetruck and greet children (parents: bring your own camera). There will also be music, treats, shopping, and the official tree lighting at 5 p.m.

PRICE: Free to attend



Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble
Jaci Downs

EVENT: Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble

DATE/TIME: Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m.

WHERE: Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut St., University City

DETAILS: Kulu Mele celebrates 50 years as an institution in the Delaware Valley. The traditional West African dance and drumming group will perform “Ogun & the People.” The production “explores the Afro-Cuban/Yoruba parable of the deity Ogun, a warrior and protector who abandons the other gods, wreaking terrible violence and famine on the world.”

PRICE: Tickets start at $29


EVENT: ‘A Christmas Carol’

DATE: Saturday through Dec. 22

WHERE: Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St., Philadelphia

PRICE: Tickets start at $17