Philadelphia Marathon Weekend, The National Dog Show, Chicago & Friends, and holiday light shows in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

Nov. 16 - 19: Marathon weekend in Philly, Chicago and Friends in N.J., and First State Ballet in Delaware are among the weekend’s highlights.

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File photo: Runners weave their way through historic Philadelphia at the 23rd annual Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday November 19th, 2017. (Emily Cohen for WHYY)

File photo: Runners weave their way through historic Philadelphia at the 23rd annual Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday November 19th, 2017. (Emily Cohen for WHYY)

Lace up those sneakers — it’s Philadelphia Marathon weekend. The free two-day Marathon Expo might help you get off the couch next year. Plus, the (literal) top dogs are celebrated this weekend at the National Dog Show when they compete for Best in Show. And when icons come to town, you’ll want to check them out … Chicago celebrates the 50th anniversary of its debut with friends including Robin Thicke, Chris Daughtry, and Judith Hill for a two-day concert at Ovations Hall in Atlantic City that will be recorded for a concert film. Singer/songwriter Bob Dylan heads to the Fillmore for his Rough and Rowdy Ways Tour. And while he may not have achieved legend status yet, British Jamaican drummer Yussef Dayes is on his way. He’ll be at Union Transfer. All this, plus, the Delaware Valley glows up for the holiday season, as immersive light shows around the area make their seasonal debuts.

New Jersey | Delaware | Special Events | Kids | Arts & Culture | Food & Drink | Comedy | Music

New Jersey

Chicago & Friends Weekend

Robert Lamm plays the keyboard
File photo: American rock band Chicago, with keyboardist and vocalist Robert Lamm, performs at the Xfinity Center, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018, in Mansfield, Mass. (Photo by Robert E. Klein/Invision/AP)
  • Where: Ovations Hall at Ocean Resort and Casino, 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, N.J.
  • When: Friday, Nov. 17, 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m.
  • How much: $99 and up 

The iconic band Chicago is celebrating the 55th anniversary of its debut album, “Chicago Transit Authority.” Over two days, with the help of musical friends including Robin Thicke, Judith Hill, Robert Randolph, and Chris Daughtry, they’ll perform their hits and also record a concert film.


Up Front on Market

  • Where: Studio 1 at the Baby Grand, 818 N. Market St. 
  • When: Friday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 19, 2 p.m.
  • How much: $50

The First State Ballet Theater invites you to enjoy the ballet in a more intimate setting with its Up Front On Market performance. The company performs a combination of works from classical and contemporary ballets, including “The Dying Swan,” “Amici,” and the pas de deux from “Le Corsaire.” Note: Only 75 seats are available for sale at each show.

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Special Events

Philadelphia Marathon Weekend

Participants of the 2018 Philadelphia Marathon run past Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church while members of the church sing on the front steps. (Natalie Piserchio for WHYY)
  • Where: Health and Fitness Expo, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1100 Arch St. 
  • When: Friday, Nov. 17, noon – 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • How much: Free

It’s Philadelphia Marathon weekend, which we figure you already know if you’re running the 26.2-mile main course. There are a total of eight races, and onsite registration is still available for the Kid’s Fun Run. (The $15 registration fee is cash only!) The free two-day expo includes health, fitness, and running vendors, and a place to buy marathon merch. Here’s a full guide to the race, including where spectators can watch to cheer on participants.

The National Dog Show

Thor the bulldog napping
File: Thor the bulldog naps before competition at the 144th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in New York. Thor most recently won the Kennel Club of Philadelphia’s National Dog Show in November, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Everyone thinks their dog is special, but at the annual National Dog Show, at least one owner will have irrefutable proof. Over 2,000 dogs, in 250+ varieties and breeds, will vie for the coveted Best In Show title. The Saturday competition will air on NBC from noon – 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

Holiday Light Show Roundup

People walk through a light tunnel
Luminature (Courtesy of Aversa PR/Philadelphia Zoo, photo by Winnie Chung)
  • Where: Multiple locations
  • When: Through the holiday season
  • How much: Various prices

Lights, camera, (holiday) action! Lights turn on around the city this weekend at several city and suburban venues. Winter in Franklin Square begins Thursday with a free Electrical Spectacle Light Show, Chilly Philly Mini-Golf, and Street Curling. On Friday, LumiNature returns to the Philadelphia Zoo with two new zones. Also Friday, Tinseltown moves to FDR Park for the 2023 season with a skating rink, an ice trail, and an ice slide, among other attractions. In the ‘burbs, the LuminoCity Holiday Lights Festival comes to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center on Friday and the Shady Brook Farm Holiday Light Show opens Saturday. In South Jersey, Diggerland opens its drive-through light show on Friday, and Storybookland’s Christmas Fantasy with Lights kicks off on Saturday.

Chestnut Hill Holidays on the Hill 2023

  • Where: Multiple locations, Chestnut Hill
  • When: Saturday, Nov. 18 – Monday, Dec. 25
  • How much: Varied, pay as you go

Chestnut Hill’s winter season kicks off with Chestnut Hill Holidays on the Hill 2023. The celebration starts with the Circle of Trees on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Woodmere Museum is the site for Santa’s arrival on a fire truck escorted by the highway patrol. Once it arrives, Santa will hit the switch to turn on the museum’s holiday lights and will stick around to hear what kids want this year. Other events planned are Wednesday’s Stag & Doe Nights and the Holiday Parade on Dec. 10.

Christmas Village in Philadelphia

  • Where: Love Park, 1500 Arch St. 
  • When: Saturday, Nov. 18, Sunday, Nov. 19 noon – 8 p.m. (preview weekend) through Sunday, Dec. 24
  • How much: Free, pay as you go

In Germany, traditional Christmas markets are a common sight. Christmas Village in Philadelphia recreates this tradition with an outdoor market dedicated to local and international vendors. Arts and crafts, beauty, jewelry, glass, pottery and woodwork, and traditional German food and drink are available through Dec. 24.

Native American Heritage Month at AAMP

The African American Museum in Philadelphia
The African American Museum in Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)
  • Where: African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St. 
  • When: Saturday, Nov. 18, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • How much: Free

It’s Native American Heritage Month, and the African American Museum in Philadelphia is celebrating with a free event. Artist and educator Tchin will facilitate the event, telling stories, explaining, and playing the history of the courting flute, joined by We Are The Seeds Culture Trust and the Native Nations Dance Theater.


 Bluey’s Big Play

  • Where: Miller Theater, 250 S. Broad St. 
  • When: Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m., 1 p.m., (relaxed performance), 4 p.m.
  • How much: $30.50 and up 

“Bluey’s Big Play” heads to the stage for a musical version of the popular Australian kids TV show about Bluey, an energetic Blue Heeler puppy, and his family. Through the magic of puppetry, the characters come to life with a brand new storyline by “Bluey” creator Jon Brumm, along with new music. A free Family Fun Party happens in Commonwealth Plaza before and after the show Sunday. Tickets to “Bluey’s Big Play” are not required.

Children’s Book World Pop-Up Shop

Jennifer Weiner
File: Author/television producer Jennifer Weiner poses for a portrait at CBS Studios in Los Angeles, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
  • Where: Parlor Room and Porch at Media Borough Hall, 301 N. Jackson St., Media, Pa.
  • When: Friday, Nov. 17, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • How much: Free, pay as you go

Former Inquirer writer turned New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Weiner will appear at the Children’s Book World Pop-Up Shop. The two-day book fest raises funds for the Media-Upper Providence Free Library. Friday night includes “snacks and sips” for adult attendees, with author and illustrator signings on Saturday. Weiner will be there from 11 a.m. – noon Saturday.

Arts & Culture

CornuCopia Fest

  • Where: Yellow Bicycle Theater Company, 1435 Arch St. 
  • When: Friday, Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 19, 2 p.m.
  • How much: Free – $20

The Yellow Bicycle’s CornuCopia Fest encompasses music, comedy, theater, and film in a three-day event. The schedule includes short plays, a documentary, a full-length play described as a dark comedy about 9/11, a BYOB karaoke party, and a comedy show. On Sunday, it concludes with family-friendly programming and a father who’s the opening act for his son’s band.

Conversations for Sistas Only 2023

The indie stage play, “Conversations for Sistas Only,” written by radio personality Frankie Darcell, considers what happens when conversations Black women have among themselves turn into unexpected revelations. In the play, when Carol-Ann invites a group of women over for conversation and cocktails, she intends to share a secret — but soon finds out she’s not the only one with a story to tell.

Doug Varone and Dancers

  • Where: Zellerbach Theater, 3680 Walnut St. 
  • When: Friday, Nov. 17, 10:30 a.m., (student discovery) 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, 2 p.m., 8 p.m.
  • How much: $29 and up

Doug Varone and Dancers come to the Annenberg with the Philadelphia premiere of “Somewhere,” based on Leonard Bernstein’s score for “West Side Story.” The troupe also performs “Rise” and “Two Piano Pieces” with a solo by Varone.

Crumbs From The Table of Joy

Lynn Nottage
FILE – Lynn Nottage presents a performance by the cast of “Sweat” at the 71st annual Tony Awards on June 11, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Michael Zorn/Invision/AP)

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage wrote “Crumbs From the Table of Joy” about a Black family in the ‘50s whose father moved North to follow the teachings of Father Divine. But when their father’s restrictions grate on teenage sisters Ermina and Ernestine, it’s their Aunt Lily who provides them with some direction through her own fearless life.

Food and Drink

Assembly Lounge: Alpine Heights

A fire bowl and more on an outdoor table
Alpine Heights (Courtesy of Punch Media)
  • Where: The Logan Philadelphia, One Logan Square
  • When: Through Tuesday, Feb. 29
  • How much: $10 cover to reserve a spot, pay as you go from there

It’s the time of year that The Logan’s Assembly rooftop lounge morphs into an alpine getaway in the middle of the city. Alpine Heights gets the branding and wintry ski lodge decor right, but nothing compares to the view of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Walk-ins are welcome, but if you want a guaranteed outside seat, reserve it. Parties of seven or more can reserve a “pod” by emailing, if they’re willing to share the $200 hour food and beverage minimum. Specialty drinks and a pizza bar are part of that F&B offering, but it’s the fondue for us.


Howie Mandel

Howie Mandel
File: Howie Mandel arrives at a taping of “America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League” season one on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

“America’s Got Talent” host Howie Mandel has been one of America’s most beloved personalities through his more than three-decade run as a comedian and host. He’ll be at the Xcite Center at Parx Casino on Friday for a stand-up performance, something he says he still enjoys doing despite the challenges he’s admitted to as a germaphobe and someone who contends with OCD.


Brahms Requiem

VoxAmaDeuss returns Brahms to its repertoire after many years without playing music from the notable German composer. “Requiem,” “Ave Maria,” and the Alto Rhapsody are among the selections that make the cut, under the guidance of VoxAmaDeus’ musical director and conductor Valentin Radu. 

The Neon Queen Presents: Mamma Mia An Abba Fabulous Brunch

One thing is certain — the music of the Swedish band ABBA is here forever. The Neon Queen makes it the centerpiece of the Mama Mia An Abba Fabulous Brunch coming to City Winery Sunday. Sing and dance to ABBA’s greatest hits, while also enjoying music from pop and disco divas like Donna Summer, Madonna, and Britney Spears. You can dance and have the time of your life, while enjoying brunch, too.

Yussef Dayes

British Jamaican drummer Yussef Dayes is a drummer by trade who’s gaining more acclaim as part of a growing movement of contemporary jazz out of the U.K. He cites guidance from Miles Davis’ Billy Cobham and his family (his brothers are also musicians) for helping him create “Black Classical Music,” released earlier this year. He’ll be in Philly at Union Transfer Saturday.

Bob Dylan: Rough and Rowdy Ways Tour

Bob Dylan performs onstage
File photo: In this Jan. 12, 2012, file photo, Bob Dylan performs in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

If iconic musicians are your thing, then Bob Dylan is your artist. The singer/songwriter is one of the most influential artists of his generation, with songs that have been covered by everyone from Randy Crawford to Jimi Hendrix. On Sunday, the 82-year-old musician comes to the Fillmore on his Rough and Rowdy Ways tour.

Saturdays just got more interesting.

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