Get Outdoors

Parks to explore, leaves to peep 🍁

Fairmount Park is an idyllic spot to spend a warm Saturday or Sunday afternoon this fall. You could just show up and set out on one of its many hiking trails, or plan your day around park-based events. Here’s an idea: Veteran hike leader Brad Maule leads a once-monthly Morning on the Meadows hike to view the sunrise over Philly from Belmont Plateau. This digital guide tells you all you need to know to get the most out of the park.

You could live in Wissahickon Park for an entire year and never run out of things to do — whether it’s hiking one of its 50 miles of rugged, breathtaking trails, biking along Forbidden Drive, horseback riding, spin and fly fishing in Wissahickon Creek, or trying to find as many of the 200 species of birds that live in the park as you can. We also recommend Sunday brunch at the historic Valley Green Inn, which sits at the base of several hiking trails and streams to explore.

For even more, Philadelphia is surrounded by breathtaking places to get out around trees, open land, rivers and streams. Check out this guide by local nature hound Jared Brey for ideas on where to go hiking outside Philadelphia — including Bucks County’s Tohickon Valley Park, Carbon County’s Hickory Run State Park and that place where the rocks ring.


Also this fall:


The general election — Election Day! — is November 7. Deadline to register to vote this year is October 23, 2023.

Fall in Philadelphia

The biggest and best fall festivals, art openings, concerts and more happening this fall in Philly

Fall in Philadelphia

The biggest and best fall festivals, art openings, concerts and more happening this fall in Philly

Fall in Philadelphia can feel brief. Best to jump on all of these things to do in Philly while the weather’s still crisp, and the energy is high. Big-deal-every-fall arts events include Philly Fringe, Philadelphia Film Festival, O23, and anything and everything related to the Philadelphia Eagles, including home games. Of course, there’s loads more weekend fun.

It’s the start of the season for major arts and cultural institutions: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia Ballet, and exhibition openings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation … Tis also the season of neighborhood festivals — we call ’em block parties — and last chances for outdoor beer, wine and cocktail gardens.

Pace yourself for all these  …




Two women sit at a table with a screen top in the First Amendment Gallery of the National Constitution Center.
First Amendment Gallery, National Constitution Center. By Jason Miczek.

New First Amendment Gallery at the National Constitution Center

From September 6
Informational interactive displays and important artifacts tell the story of the First Amendment — the one protecting speech, assembly, religion and press — in a new,  permanent, 1,500-square-foot gallery at the National Constitution Center. $14.50, discounts for students, seniors, etc.; 525 Arch Street

Bowie in Berlin at Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

Philadelphia Fringe Festival

September 7 – 25, times vary
More than 300 separate productions — and way more performances — comprise Philly’s intimate take on the iconic Edinburgh, Scotland festival. There’s improv and interactive Tea Party at the End of the World, cabaret Auntieland, musicals for kids Sing the Rainbow, circus The Sculpture Gallery, and so much experimental theater. Venues include the MAAS Building, Fidget Space, the Icebox, Theatre Exile, the Ruba — all over. Ticket prices vary.

PHS Pop Up Garden at South Street.

Out in the Garden

September 7 – October 8, hours vary
In the lead-up to National Coming Out Day (October 11), PHS’ South Street Pop UP Garden serves a month of food, drink, live music, a Pride-centric floral display by Eric Schellack, and LGBTQ+ events: Sips City Mixer, September 7 from 6 to 9pm; Garden Party and concert with Astral Artists, September 17 from 12:30 to 2:30pm, and a performance from Lady Geisha, October 8. Free entry. 1438 South Street

City Pickle.

City Pickle

September 7 – October 21, from 10am to 6pm
Have you ever wanted to play a tennis-sized game of ping-pong? Dilworth Park features two outdoor professional PickleRoll pickleball courts operating daily, weather permitting. $40 per hour; reservations required for groups up to six; paddle rentals, $6. 1 S. 15th Street

Navy Yard Night Festival

September 7, from 4 to 7pm
The Navy Yard’s Central Green hosts an evening of food trucks (GiGi, Thai It Up, Barkley’s, El Tlaloc), drink vendors (Two Robbers, City Winery), makers and retail vendors, live music, a bounce house, yard games, ping pong, face-painting … Pre-register here. Rouse Boulevard & Normandy Drive

Little Amal, a giant puppet representing a 10-year-old Syrian refugee, walks through a crowd of people carrying signs.
Little Amal.

Welcoming Week

September 8 – 17
The City of Philadelphia contributes to this national holiday through the Office of Immigrant Affairs. Events planned include a Global Craft Market (September 9 from noon to 5pm, 301 S. Columbus Boulevard) an Indonesian Festival outside Fleisher Art Memorial (September 10 from 11am to 5pm at 700 Catharine Street) Celebrate Asia festival, and a visit from Little Amal (September 13 – 14), a giant puppet who represents half of all refugees — children. Free.

People stand on the Riverlink Ferry, crossing the Delaware River, while looking at the Ben Franklin Bridge connecting Philadelphia and Camden, NJ.
Riverlink Ferry.
Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia.

Delaware River Festival

September 9, from 10am to 4pm
Ride the ferry. Paddle a kayak. Explore both sides of the Delaware River with waterfront activities, all gratis, as part of this festival. 101 N. Columbus Boulevard, and 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ

Women in bright ruffled dresses dance onstage at the Mexican Independence Day Festival at Penn's Landing.
Mexican Independence Day Festival. Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia.

Mexican Independence Day Festival

September 10, from 2 to 8pm
Penn’s Landing hosts an all-afternoon celebration of Mexican culture, including cuisine, dancing, crafts, and music. Free. 101 S. Columbus Boulevard

Forsythia in Old City. Photo by Lexy Pierce.

Center City District Restaurant Week

September 10 – 23
The two-week tradition of discounted prix fixe meals throughout Center City turns 20 this year. Nearly 95 restaurants participate, serving $20 lunches, $60 dinners and other price points in between.

Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show.

Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show

September 15 – 17, from 11am to 6pm (until 5pm on Sunday)
You can find artists making — and selling — their work almost anytime in leafy Rittenhouse Square. But this is one of two yearly weekends when juried artists from the region set up tented booths to display and offer their work.

Simon Boccanegra, in Festival O23.

Festival O23

September 21 – October 1, times vary
Contemporary storytelling and fresh voices mark Opera Philadelphia’s fifth annual, season-opening festival. Don’t miss 10 Days in a Madhouse, recitals from Curtis Institute of Music and Academy of Vocal Arts alums, or The Bearded Ladies Cabaret show, Late Night Snacks. Ticket prices vary.

Musicians onstage at the outdoor Xponential Music Festival, one of the great things to do this fall.
Xponential Music Festival.

Xponential Music Festival

September 22 – 24
It’s the 30th anniversary of the Xponential Music Festival in Camden’s Wiggins Park. The long-weekend lineup features 88.5FM luminary-regulars: Old Crow Medicine Show, Margo Price, Tegan and Sara, The Hold Steady, and Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers, among two dozen acts. Passes available for individual days or the whole weekend. One-day pass, $75. 1 Riverside Drive


Polo players on horseback play on a field with the Philadelphia skyline in the background.
St. James Philadelphia Polo Classic.

St. James Philadelphia Polo Classic

September 23, from 10am to 4pm
Edgely Field in Fairmount Park hosts two world-class polo players — and all the pomp that goes along with this elegant, horse-centric sport. This includes: picnicking, carriage parading, fancy dressing, and divet stomping. Benefits Work to Ride. From $35. Reservoir Drive

Orchestra players onstage at Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus.
Fall Arts Fest.

Free Fall Arts Fest

September 23, from 11am to 3pm
The Kimmel Center Cultural Campus hosts a preview of the upcoming live arts season, then a free concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra at 3:30pm. (Reserve tickets in advance.) 300 S. Broad Street

South Philly Sausage Fest.

South Philly Sausage Fest

September 23, from noon to 7pm
West Passyunk hosts its annual block party starring processed meats, local beer and craft whiskey. Also there: a makers market and antiques vendors. Proceeds from drink ticket sales benefit Newbold CDC’s street cleaning initiative. Free (pay as you go). 1400 W. Passyunk Avenue

Fishtown Fall Festivale.

Fishtown Fall Festivale

September 23, from noon to 8pm
Frankford Ave becomes a street party, with dozens of food and drink vendors — making hearty brisket, burgers, pretzels, local cocktails and beer — plus a dunk tank, carnival games, artists, retailers and lots of music. Free. (Pay as you go.) Frankford Avenue between Girard Avenue and Palmer Street


The Puerto Rican Day Parade. Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia.

Puerto Rican Day Parade

September 24, from noon to 3pm
With 1,500 marchers and thousands more lookers-on, El Concilio’s annual parade celebrates Latino culture in and beyond Puerto Rico along the Ben Franklin Parkway. Free.

Philly AIDS Thrift Block Party.

Philly AIDS Thrift Fall Fest and Block Party

September 30, from noon to 6pm
DJ Robert Drake provides the soundtrack to a joyful block party outside one of the city’s biggest, best long-standing thrift shops. Expect sideshow acts, a dunk tank, a pie-eating contest, face-painting and loads of vendors. Free. (Pay as you go.) 710 S. 5th Street

All Star Beer, Wine and Cocktail Festival at Citizens Bank Park.

All-Star Craft Beer, Wine, and Cocktail Festival

September 30, from 1 to 4pm and 6 to 9pm
The home of the Phils hosts a ginormous, two-party beer festival that also has live music, wine, and cocktails. A ticket buys you unlimited samples of some 250 drink options. $45 – $55. 1 Citizens Bank Park Way

A crowd walks around the Midtown Village or Gayborhood section of Center City, Philadelphia during the Midtown Village Fall Festival, a great fall thing to do.
Midtown Village Fall Festival, courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.

Midtown Village Fall Festival

September 30, from noon to 8pm
This extra-large Center City neighborhood block party closes streets to vehicles (roughly 12th Street to Broad Street, Locust to Chestnut) and turns its businesses inside out. It’s an all-ages affair, but a mostly cocktail-y crowd. Free. (Pay as you go.) S. 13th and 12th streets


Design Philadelphia.

Design Philadelphia

October 4 – 15, times vary
Philadelphia’s design centers — the Center for Architecture and Design, Cherry Street Pier, The Braid Mill, Made Institute — host workshops, lectures, exhibits and open houses during this 10-day festival.

Harvest Festival at Dilworth Park.

Harvest Weekend at Dilworth Park

October 6 – 8, from noon to 8pm (Sunday until 6pm)
City Hall’s front yard offers pumpkin carving, bratwurst, Bavarian pretzels, beer, circus performers, live musicians and a hay maze. The Philly Goat Project pops by Friday evening. Saturday afternoon there’s a stein-hoisting contest. Free. (Pay as you go.) 1 S. 15th Street

Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts.

Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival

October 8, from 11am to 5pm
This artsy block party has lots of food and family fun along Belgian-blocked, tree-lined Germantown Avenue, between Willow Grove and Rex avenues. Free. (Pay as you go.)

People browse an outdoor art vendor at Old City Fest, a great fall thing to do in Philly.
Old City Fest, courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.

Old City Fest

October 8, from 11am to 6pm
Hay bales and art vendors replace parked cars during this annual stroll through historic Old City. Free. (Pay as you go.) N. 2nd and N. 3rd Street from Market to Arch Street

Cyclists prepare to start the Philly Bike Ride in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Philly Bike Ride.

Philly Bike Ride

October 14, from 7am to 12:30pm
The City closes down 20 miles of streets so that cyclists can ride from the Ben Franklin Parkway, past City Hall, Reading Terminal Market, Independence Hall, the Italian Market and back to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. $75; discounted rates for students

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST).

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST)

East of Broad: October 14 & 15; West of Broad: October 21 & 22, from noon to 6pm
Hundreds of Philadelphia artists open up their workspaces to the public two weekends per year. Free.

Philadelphia Film Festival

October 19 – 29
Like Sundance, except not quite, because … Philadelphia. If you’re lucky, Bradley Cooper will show up. If not, maybe Jamie Kennedy. Badges from $158. Individual tickets and student discounts available. Various locations in Center City

Head of the Schuylkill Regatta.

Head of the Schuylkill Regatta

October 28 & 29
One of the biggest crew competitions in the world, this regatta welcomes 9,000 rowers and 30,000 spectators to the waters and banks of the Schuylkill River. Free to attend.

PumpkinFest at Head House Square.

PumpkinFest, Head House Square

October 28, from noon to 4pm
Pumpkin decorating, costume competing, trick-or-treating. It’s Halloween, only early and before dark, just north of South Street. Free. 2nd and Pine streets


Asian American Film Festival

November 2 – 12
Our city hosts one of the country’s largest Asian American film festivals.

Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show.

Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show

November 3 – 5
This juried show is known as one of the best in the nation. $20, PA Convention Center, 12th and Arch streets

Philadelphia Marathon. Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Marathon

November 19, from 7am
An epic run past the sites and then some of Philadelphia, sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research, starts at 22nd Street and Ben Franklin Parkway. 

Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 23, from 8:30am to noon
Bundle up and go in person, or watch the country’s oldest continuous Thanksgiving parade on 6ABC. Free. Starts at 2600 Ben Franklin Parkway



PHS Pop Up Garden at South Street.

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