Parades, presidents and comedy make up a movable feast for Thanksgiving weekend

Some Black Friday alternatives for you and the family.

Kevin Hart celebrated his 38th birthday in Philadelphia where a mural of him was dedicated on July 6th.

Kevin Hart celebrated his 38th birthday in Philadelphia where a mural of him was dedicated on July 6th. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

The post-Turkey Day trot toward the wide world of shopping is embraced by major retailers who are offering every manner of incentive in a wealth of Black Friday sales. While they enjoy their busiest time of year, many of us are trying to figure out what to do when most, if not all, of the family is underfoot.

Here are some ideas, including options for the more locally oriented Small Business Saturday events.

Kevin Hart – Irresponsible Tour
Wells Fargo Center
3601 S. Broad St., Philadelphia
Nov. 24, 7 p.m.

Philly homeboy Kevin Hart is in town to bring his self-deprecating brand of humor to the hometown crowd. Hart’s latest movie is “Night School” with ascendant star Tiffany Haddish, but he cut his teeth on comedy – and it only took him two decades of work to become an “overnight” success. But don’t bring your cellphone to the show, or at least don’t turn it on. Hart has prohibited cell phone use of any kind before and during the show. And he’s not kidding – violators will be escorted out, and with no refunds.

30th annual Collingswood Holiday Parade
Downtown Collingswood, New Jersey
Along Haddon Avenue, starting at Zane
Nov. 24, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Dancers, marching bands, classic cars and the Phillie Phanatic all will be on the scene for the parade once dubbed by South Jersey Magazine as “the best Main Street experience.” The parade will run along Haddon Avenue and its array of restaurants, coffee shops, and art galleries. A train show is also set for Saturday at Haddonfield’s First Baptist Church. With model trains on display and a kids’ zone with free snacks, it also offers a place for getting warmed up during or after the parade.

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Small Business Saturday in New Castle
Delaware Street, New Castle, Delaware
Nov. 24, 9 a.m.–11 p.m.

New Castle businesses, among many other retailers in the region, are celebrating Small Business Saturday. The Delaware shops will offer special discounts, live music and free gift wrapping, as well as coffee and doughnuts at the New Castle Courthouse Museum — while supplies last. While you’re there, you can pick up your New Castle Passport and fill it with stamps from your favorite stores.

Manyunk Small Business Saturday and Tree Lighting
Canal View Park,
4416 Main St., Philadelphia
Nov. 24

Closer to Philadelphia, you can sample the many offerings of Manyunk’s wealth of small businesses. Near the end of the day, 50 stores in the area are joining to host a tree-lighting celebration at 5:30. Santa Claus, decked out in all his crimson finery to pose for pictures with the kids, will lead a procession to the tree site.

The West Chester Griswold Christmas Light Show
304 Dutton Mill Road, West Chester, Pennsylvania
Through Jan. 1

The West Chester Plummer family really, really likes Christmas – so much so that family members have patterned themselves on the fictional Griswold family of the “National Lampoon” movies. Their West Chester home boasts more than 85,000 lights (mostly LED), and it’s one of the area’s most lavish Christmas attractions. The light show debuts this week and shines on until New Year’s Day.


Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum
Morris Arboretum
100 E. Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia
Nov. 23-Dec. 31, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Through Dec. 22, 4:30-7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday
Up to $19

The annual holiday attraction opens for the season Friday. With 30 miles of track, the model train display wends its way within neighborhoods of miniature Philadelphia landmarks, over nine bridges and through several tunnels. All the railway surroundings are made of natural materials, nature including bark, leaves and twigs. Cocoa, coffee and snacks are available at the Compton Café.

11th annual Black Friday Holiday Affair
Crowne Plaza Philadelphia-Cherry Hill
2349 Marlton Pike West, Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Nov. 23, 9 p.m.–2:30 a.m.

Don you now your black apparel … promoter Scott “Big Scott” Shepherd, who does a “white party” during the summer, organizes an all-black affair in the winter. The 11th annual holiday event will be hosted by hip-hop pioneer Doug E. Fresh and R&B singer Anthony Hamilton. Clothing should be fashionable and black for this celebratory and festive event.

Unwrapped new toys will be collected onsite for holiday distribution to area families in need.

The 139th Philadelphia Charity Ball
The Crystal Tea Room
100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia
Nov. 23, 7 p.m.
$150 and up

One of the longest-running charity events in the region, the Philadelphia Charity Ball has been going for nearly 140 years. The first took place on Feb. 1, 1881, at the Academy of Music with a menu that included Champagne, oysters and terrapin. The charity’s first beneficiary was the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

This year, the event will benefit the Special Olympics. While the musical offerings, menus and worthy causes may have changed over the years, the elegant Charity Ball remains one of the major highlights of the Philadelphia social calendar.

Broken Arrow Performing the Music Of Neil Young
New Hope Winery
6123 Lower York Road, New Hope, Pennsylvania
Nov. 23, 8-10 p.m.

Broken Arrow, fronted by lead singer Joe Mass along with Philly music veterans Marty Cohl, Dan Gold and Larry Freedman, is out on the weekend to perform the music of Neil Young. Young’s Crazy Horse period is covered, as well as his more acoustic work. While most of the show includes faithful renditions of Young’s oeuvre, Broken Arrow takes a flexible approach to the music, reworking it in some intriguingly different ways.

Thanksgiving Weekend at the National Constitution Center
National Constitution Center
525 Arch St., Philadelphia
Nov. 23-25
Up to $14.50

If the temps dip too low for outside activities this weekend, the National Constitution Center has a Thanksgiving program with a patriotic theme. A varied menu of children’s programs – including a presidential pumpkin-decorating contest and a town hall with Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln to discuss their role in creating the Thanksgiving holiday – is planned. There’s also a costume runway show and several Thanksgiving-themed craft-making activities.

“2001: A Space Odyssey” in Imax
Franklin Institute
222 N. 20 St., Philadelphia
Through Nov. 25

The classic movie, directed by Stanley Kubrick, will be screened in Imax on this 50th anniversary year in its newly restored version. Although critics were divided about when it debuted in 1968 release, ”2001’s” then-groundbreaking visuals and exploration of life beyond Earth have helped make it an enduring classic.

Insider tip: To get the best out of the Imax experience, sit in the middle of the theater near the top.

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