Off to the (virtual races), streaming theater and holiday markets in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

(Rawf8 / BigStock)

(Rawf8 / BigStock)

It may be a very different Thanksgiving holiday this year given our current realities. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t socially distanced things to do and virtual events available to help you and your family celebrate responsibly.

Turkey Day jams

Thanksgiving can be a happy time for families but a lonely time for others, especially in the midst of a pandemic that has challenged social norms we take for granted. But this year, there are online options to help ease the sting of unwanted solitude. A meet-up for those spending the holiday alone happens on Thanksgiving Day as well as a virtual party showcasing American dance music from the last four decades. That party, featuring DJ Jerry Geraldo invites participants to sing and dance along in the holiday gear of their choice. And, as you should know by now from the ubiquitous Zoom work calls, if you’re shy you don’t even have to turn on your camera. You can also throw your own holiday party as Zoom’s free platform suspends its 40-minute meeting limit from midnight Eastern standard time on Nov. 26 through 6 a.m. on Nov. 27 to allow families unlimited time to bond online.

A Virtual Gathering for Those Who Are Alone on the Holidays 
Thursday, Nov. 26, 2-3:30 p.m., free

Thanksgiving Dance Party on Zoom – Dance Your Turkey Off
Thursday, Nov. 26  9 p.m. $10

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Two good music

The jazzy duo of Tuck Andress and Patti Cathcart have been performing together for 41 years and have been married for 38. So you can imagine they’ve had some practice in seamlessly making music that complements both of their talents. Tuck is the guitarist and Patti the main vocalist, writer and arranger. Though the couple has released ten albums together since 1988, they are probably best known for their remake of the 1984 Cyndi Lauper hit “Time After Time.” (Fun facts: indie rock artist St. Vincent is Tuck’s niece and Patti was once in the Brides of Funkenstein.) This year, they’re hosting their annual Thanksgiving concert online from the renowned Freight and Salvage coffeehouse in Berkeley, California. You can add merchandise and a collection of their music along with your streaming concert purchase.

Tuck and Patti annual Thanksgiving show
virtual, Friday. Nov. 27, 7 p.m. PST, 10 p.m. EST, $10 – $50

Hit the (virtual) road

Another holiday tradition upended by the coronavirus pandemic is the annual Turkey Day Trot races around the country. The races are often for a charitable cause but most can’t go on this year, although some have elected to do a hybrid model of in-person and virtual. How it works virtually is that each runner, with the help of digital tracking tools sent by mail can run their own race at the stated lengths from 5K to marathon and report their results. Participants still get a race T-shirt, medals and public posting of their finish times. There are varying types of these races including one to benefit the York, Pa. YMCA, and others here, here, and here.

Giving history

Princeton’s historic Morven Museum and Garden has been around for  250 years. One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Richard Stockton, built it as his private residence in the 1750’s then survived both a fire on the property and the home being ransacked when he was abducted and jailed by British troops in 1776. After his death, Morven was used as New Jersey’s first governor’s mansion, then underwent extensive restoration in the 80s and in 2018, the Stockton Education Center was built near the property. Known for its Festival of Trees holiday exhibit, the Morven is hosting a Winter Wonderland Holiday Preview party and fundraiser on its outside terrace and showcasing its holiday decorations curated by community organizations.

Morven Museum and Garden Festival of Trees Winter Wonderland Fundraising Party
55 Stockton St., Princeton, N.J. $175 and up.

Stage on screen

As they say in Hollywood – and anywhere there’s a stage – the show must go on. Though productions have been extremely difficult to mount in the midst of a pandemic, theater companies are now making them happen online. The Philadelphia Theatre Company will stream the “The Wolves” a coming-of-age story about a girl’s high school soccer team written by 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah DeLappe and reconfigured for streaming by director Nell Bang-Jensen. The Bucks County Playhouse’s annual version of the Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol” will also go on, online. The show starring Tony award winner Jefferson Mays, directed by Tony Award winner Michael Arden, was filmed based on the 2018 production that debuted at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. “The Wolves” Friday Nov. 27 – Sunday, Dec. 20, virtual, pay what you can. “A Christmas Carol” Saturday, Nov. 28 – Sunday, Jan. 3, virtual, $50.


Christmas wrappin’

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – if you like to shop. Not only are there a wide variety of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa decorations to buy, there is Black Friday – the high holiday of shopaholics. But this year, shopping means supporting a small business that might be relying on holiday sales to survive after the devastating pandemic shutdowns. The openings of Love Park’s Christmas Village and Dilworth Park’s Made In Philadelphia marketplaces allow you to both buy local and support small businesses. Christmas Village has over 60 vendors in the traditional German marketplace while dozens of local artists showcase their wares in the nearby Made in Philadelphia tents. All COVID-protocols are in place including mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing and most vendors offer contactless points of purchase.

Christmas Village
Love Park 1500 Arch St.
Thursday Nov. 26 – Thursday, Dec. 24
pay as you go (reserve discounted parking here for both markets.)

Made In Philadelphia market
Dilworth Plaza, 1 S. 15th St.
through Jan. 1, pay as you go.

Revolutionary holiday

The Museum of the American Revolution was planning several events over the Thanksgiving weekend until Philadelphia ordered museums to close until at least Jan. 1, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the city. However, the museum is continuing their plan to provide events for families by moving their schedule online. As November is Native American Heritage Month, you can see the Oneida Nation Gallery online, and learn more about the role of local Native Americans in the Revolutionary War. There are also family friendly make-at-home crafts and cooking demonstrations as well.

Thanksgiving Weekend with the Museum 
virtual, Friday, Nov. 27 – Sunday, Nov. 29.

Keep checking in with “Things To Do” as we continue to provide our picks for entertainment during the industry’s COVID-19 hiatus. Please consult our coronavirus updates to keep up with the latest information regionally.

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