One of the best parts about Thanksgiving is getting the whole family together under one roof — including the kids. But it’s also hard to prepare a delicious Thanksgiving dinner when your attention is being pulled in a million directions at once, so here are a few kid-friendly places with holiday hours. Split the babysitting duties among the dads and the older siblings and dinner prep might be a little less stressful this year.
Go ice skating for some pre-dinner exercise
What better way to burn off some extra energy than ice skating? Your kids will definitely be hungry after taking a few laps at the Rothman Institute Ice Rink next to City Hall, surrounded by skyscrapers. Skaters of all ages and levels are welcome to get on the ice before warming up with a mug of hot chocolate in the Rothman Cabin at the tip of the rink. The rink will be open from noon to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, which means you’ll have plenty of time to make sure your turkey is perfect. Admission costs $3 for kids 10 and under and $5 for adults. You can also rent skates at the rink for $10.
1 South 15th St., rothmaninstitute.com
The IceWorks Skating Complex in Aston will also be open on Thanksgiving from noon to 1:30 p.m. Admission costs $10 for adults and kids over 4, while skate rentals cost $2.
3100 West Dutton Mills Rd., Aston; iceworks.net
Knock down some pins
Bowling is another engaging and fun pre-Thanksgiving activity for families, and many bowling alleys are offering holiday specials. Facenda Whitaker Lanes in East Norriton is offering two and a half hours of bowling, including shoe rental, for $16 per person from 9 a.m.Thanksgiving to 3 a.m. Black Friday. But be fast, because they’re not accepting reservations for lanes.
2912 Swede Rd., East Norriton; facendawhitaker.com.
Limerick Bowl is offering two hours of bowling, including shoe rental and a $5 arcade gift card, for $10 per person from 2 to 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
653 West Ridge Pike, Limerick; limerickbowl.com.
Chill out in a movie theater
Most movie theaters are open on Thanksgiving, which means your kids can catch up on the latest blockbusters (and stay out of your hair for a few hours while they’re at it). For the older kids, perhaps Justice League (although movie critic Gary Thompson found it “mopey,” calling it “another dour Zack Snyder DC Universe movie”). For the younger crew, Coco may be the pick. Check fandango.com for showtimes.
Get in the holiday spirit early
The annual German-style Christmas market will open on Thanksgiving this year. Featuring stalls of delicate handcrafted ornaments, cups of steaming cider, and authentic Belgian sugar waffles topped with Nutella. Located in LOVE Park, the market will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Local musicians will take the stage for some afternoon entertainment between 3 and 6 p.m — and don’t forget to stop by Santa’s House for a photo.
1500 Arch St., philachristmas.com.
Check out the fish at Adventure Aquarium
Adventure Aquarium is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving, so children can come nose-to-nose with hippos, sea turtles, sharks and stingrays. Make sure to check out the aquarium’s daily schedule for feeding and show times as well.
$21 for children under 12; $29 for adults. 1 Riverside Dr., Camden. adventureaquarium.com.