The first full week of November finds a bounty of things to do for a good cause—including exercising one of your most important civic duties, an official kick off to the holidays in Philly and the chance to spiff up your neighborhood park.
Before you do anything this week, make plans to vote. The general election is November 5, and we have a quick-and-nifty voter guide to everything that’s on the ballot so you can cast your vote with ease and confidence.
If you’re itching to get the holidays started in Philly, your wait is over: The annual outdoor ice skating rink opens this weekend at City Hall with a winter garden, warm, beer-stocked cabins and more.
When you’re not voting or ice skating, consider getting your hands dirty for the annual Love Your Park Fall Service Day, a fun citywide initiative that inspires folks to clean up their neighborhood park so it’s ready for the winter.
Find details on all that and more in our guide to the week’s best do-gooder events below.
Things to do in Philadelphia this week for a good cause
This is a given: Get out on Tuesday, November 5, to cast your vote in the Pennsylvania general election, when we’ll be deciding on all kinds of local and state offices like City Council At-Large, mayor, commissioners and judges, and a series of important ballot measures. Get the full rundown on who’s running and what else is on the ballot in our general election voter guide. Polls are open from 7am to 8pm across the state, so get out and make your voice heard. Let’s see a serious boost in turnout this year! Also, be sure to share photos of you and your voting sticker with us on social with #phillycitizenvotes. We’ll share our favorites throughout the day in the hopes of inspiring others to get out to the polls. Tuesday, November 5, 7am–8pm, free, your polling place (which can be found here).
You know the holidays are upon us when it’s time to pull out the ice skates. Winter festivities kick off at City Hall this weekend with a two-day festival that allows folks their first chance to hit the outdoor ice skating rink and try the variety of new seasonal food and drink options that will be at Dilworth Park through February. The annual attraction brings an extra burst of life and energy to Center City, and has become a vibrant place for neighborly fellowship and community-growing. Center City District says that the event drew 61,500 skaters last year—and even more to a series of events and pop-ups, like the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market, which returns on November 23. Regular activities include, of course, ice skating, a heated cabin outfitted with a bar and food options, and the lush Wintergarden, which fills a corner of Dilworth Park with plants, lights and a station offering warm mulled wine. November 8, 5:30–6:30pm and November 9, noon–2pm (opening festivities), open through February 23, pay-as-you-go, Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th Street.
The changing of the seasons means that parks across the city are in extra need of your help, because, well, the trees can’t rake up their fallen leaves on their own. Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation host the annual Love Your Park Fall Service Day to encourage folks to grab a rake and some garbage bags to help spiff up their favorite neighborhood green space. Hundreds of volunteer groups have organized cleanup events across the city to get parks ready for winter. Go here to find some activities closest to you, which could be anything from raking to planting trees and bulbs to picking up litter. Your park will love you for it. Saturday, November 9, free, various times and locations.
The City of Philadelphia saluted its vets during a big parade down Market Street last weekend, but the commemoration rolls on with special Veterans Day Weekend activities at Old City’s stellar Museum of the American Revolution. The multi-day series of events kicks off on the evening of November 7 with a panel discussion on the history of military service and trauma—from the Revolution to today. The weekend moves on to include other activities like walking tours to the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier in Washington Square, but the best part? From November 9 to 11, the museum is offering free admission to veterans, folks who are serving in the military and Blue Star Families. November 7–11, various times and prices, Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. 3rd Street.
More things to do in Philly this week for a good cause
- November 5: On Election Day, Young Involved Philadelphia hosts a convening of elected officials, voters and community organizers who will talk about the game-changing possibilities of open primaries in Pennsylvania.
- November 7: The Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival kicks off with dozens of films, panels, live music and more that spotlight the Asian-American experience.
- November 8: Best Day of My Life So Far, a nonprofit that empowers older adults to share their stories, hosts a storytelling day to highlight the work they’ve done over the past decade.
- November 8: The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus are throwing Wig Ball, a chance for you to don your most outrageous head o’ hair and dance the night away to raise money for the choir so that they can have representation at the GALA Festival 2020, an international celebration of the LGBTQ+ choral movement.
- November 9: Have you checked out the Food Trust Market at Cherry Street Pier yet? Head that direction Saturday afternoon for tons of farmers’ market produce, goods from local makers and more.
- November 9: Catch a flick during the Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, running through November 23.
- November 9: Circle Mobilizing Because Black Lives Matter hosts the third annual TurnUp to BailOut music festival that generates money for the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund to bail out incarcerated people during the holidays.
- November 9: Feeling lost during this break from RuPaul’s Drag Race? There will be plenty of sashay-shontay at the Philly Beauty Ball amateur drag contest at Voyeur Saturday night, which raises funds for the Attic Youth Center.
- Now through November 17: The First Person Arts Festival brings awesome and engaging storytelling events to venues across Philly