NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Fall in Philly 🍁

Make plans for leaf and pumpkin season

Despite the ups and downs of Covid-19, Philadelphia is planning for a somewhat normal autumn, with music festivals, neighborhood block parties, arts fairs and tons of outdoor opportunities for when you want to get out of the city to do all the quintessential fall things, such apple-picking, hay-riding, cider-chugging and hiking.

Make plans with our guide to fall in Philly, which lays out all the best to-dos happening now through Thanksgiving. Here are a few things you can do almost every day this season:

🍁 Go pumpkin- and apple-picking, climb on haystacks and more at Fall Fest at Shady Brook Farm (now through Oct. 31) and Pumpkinland at Linvilla Orchards (now through Nov. 7).

🍁 Ogle hundreds of locally made scarecrows (while trying yummy seasonal drinks and grub) at Peddler’s Village’s Scarecrows in the Village festival (now through–Oct. 30).

🍁 From November 6 to 7, you can reap all the benefits of the fruit-picking season at Peddler’s Village’s Apple Weekend, where you can try all the apple-based things you can imagine: pies, fritters, cider, and the list goes on and on …

🍁 Plan a day (or several of them!) to explore Fairmount Park, which is a gem of a spot to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon this fall—especially after the leaves change. You could just show up and set out on one of its many hiking trails, or plan your day around some events. Veteran hike leader Brad Maule leads a once-monthly Morning on the Meadows hike to view the sunrise over Philly from the Belmont Plateau. This digital guide will tell you all you need to know to get the most out of the park.

🍁 There’s so much to do in Wissahickon Park—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 spot some of the 200 species of birds that live in the park. Sunday brunch at Valley Green Inn is always a win.

🍁 We’re so lucky to live in Philadelphia, where there are so many nearby opportunities to be around trees, open land, rivers and streams. Check out this guide for ideas on where to go hiking near Philadelphia—including Tohickon Valley Park, Hickory Run State Park and that place where the rocks actually sing.

Happy Hours 🍸

Where to drink early and cheap

Bars and restaurants across town are back in the happy hour game, with special food and drink deals for after-work (and in some cases weekend) crowds. Here are some spots on our radar at locally owned businesses:

Art in the Age from 3 to 5pm daily: $2 off small batch bottled cocktails and $1 off local craft beer and cider

Assembly Rooftop Lounge from 4 to 6pm Tuesday through Saturday: various discounts on small plates and drinks

Devil’s Den from 4 to 6pm Tuesday through Friday: $4 draft beer, $5 wine, cider and exclusive bottled beers, $6 house Old Fashioned cocktails, and more

Cantina Los Caballitos from 4 to 6pm Monday through Friday: $5 classic margaritas, $16 classic margarita pitchers, and $2 off all drafts

Bing Bing Dim Sum from 4:30 to 6:30pm Monday through Friday; 3 to 5pm on Saturdays; and 4 to 6pm on Sundays: $8 bartender’s choice cocktail, $1 off draft beer, $8 house wine and house Junmai sake

Jet Wine Bar from 4 to 6pm Monday through Thursday; noon to 2pm on Saturday and Sunday: $6 white sangria, $7 rosé Aperol spritz ($7), $4 select craft beer, $6 soft pretzel sticks, $7 margherita flatbread and more

Sor Ynez from 4 to 6pm Tuesday through Friday: Discount on select small plates, craft cocktails and an in-house Citywide Special.

Square 1682 from 5 to 6pm Tuesday through Friday: $5 draft beer, $6 wine by the glass, and $7 craft cocktails, $6 on light fare like cornbread, truffle fries, cheeseburgers, duck wings, and burrata toast.

The Twisted Tail from 4 to 6pm every day of the week: $3 select draft beers and $4 house wine, and $6 small plates, such as oysters and smoked wings.

Our outdoor dining guide includes all the best places to eat outside this summer, mostly focusing on spots with beautiful patios and garden areas.

It’s beer garden season in Philadelphia! Check out some of the cities best outdoor watering holes, such as Parks On Tap, the Garden at Cherry Street Pier and the PHS Pop-Up Garden on South Street.

Local Attractions

To-dos at Philly museums, parks and more

Some of Philly’s most iconic attractions are back open for summer with fun, socially distant activities during Covid-19. Here’s some stuff worth checking out:

Spruce Street Harbor Park is open on the Delaware river with its covetable hammocks, arcade games, floating bar and Philly food staples galore—from pretzels to water ice to crab fries and tacos.

The carnival-like Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest is open for summer 2021. Visitors can stay entertained for hours with roller skating, ferris wheel rides, boardwalk games, mini-golf, an arcade and all kinds of summertime grub, such as funnel cakes, cotton candy, chicken wings, crab fries and beer, beer, beer. To align with safety protocols, masks are required on premises and roller skating tickets must be purchased in advance.

You can find Philly’s popular pop-up beer garden Parks On Tap operating at two locations along the Schuylkill River through the entire summer: one at Water Works behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the other in a brand new location, at Trail’s End just off the South Street Bridge. Besides idyllic views of the water, both locations offer menus of snacks, sandwiches and sweets, plus beers, wines and specialty cocktails. For more, including safety protocols and hours of operation, go here.

You could stop by Dilworth Park any day of the week for lunch or dinner at the Air Grille, watch kids playing in the fountains, try an outdoor fitness class (Mondays and Tuesdays, 6pm), hear live music at lunchtime (Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon–1pm), outdoor movies (Thursdays, 8:15pm) and check out evening arts performances (Wednesdays, 5–7:30pm).

There are all kinds of fun things to do at Franklin Square this summer, including mini golf, riding the carousel and ogling musical fountain shows attractions. See a full itinerary of events here.

South Philly rooftop destination Bok Bar, with gobsmacking views of the Philadelphia skyline (and then some), is back open with a brand new slate of weekly activities, such as restaurant pop-ups, drag brunches, rooftop yoga sessions, maker workshops and tons more. You can find the full schedule here. Plan ahead; reservations are required in lieu of Covid safety protocols.

There’s always something fun going on at Cherry Street Pier—from art shows to food markets to just sitting back, beer in hand, and gazing at the monstrous Benjamin Franklin Bridge looming above you.

Eastern State Penitentiary is offering after-dark tours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights through September 4. Guests will have a chance to explore everything the daytime tours offer (like Al Capone’s cell), but under the eery light of the moon—plus grab a beer from Triple Bottom Brewing Company in the prison’s Fair Chance Beer Garden.

Walk among massive animatronic dinosaurs in a prehistoric setting at special exhibition “Big Time: Life in an Endangerous Age” at the Philadelphia Zoo.

The Shofuso Japanese house and gardens in Fairmount Park is now open for summer tours.

Check out some of the city’s best murals on one of Mural Arts Philadelphia’s  walking tours.

Things to Do in Philly This Week

A cool new night market series debuts in Northern Liberties, Philly Fashion Week kicks off with parties and runway shows around town and more fun things to do in Philadelphia this week

Things to Do in Philly This Week

A cool new night market series debuts in Northern Liberties, Philly Fashion Week kicks off with parties and runway shows around town and more fun things to do in Philadelphia this week

The Philadelphia events scene is really revving up again as we inch closer to fall. Is it the cooler weather? Are our vaccines giving us more freedom to venture out into the world again? Whatever the reason, there’s an exciting energy in the air, and lots of fun, creative things to do around town to go along with it.

For starters, there’s a cool new Night Market series debuting in Northern Liberties on Thursday night, with food trucks, street games, live music and more happening along 2nd Street. Philly Fashion Week also kicks off, giving the local sartorial set a chance to schmooze with local and international designers at parties and runway shows Tuesday through Saturday.

Looking ahead, the weekend includes the start of Eastern State Penitentiary’s massive haunted attraction for 2021, the Rittenhouse Row Festival and Morgan’s Pier launches its weeks-long fall festival to the Delaware River Waterfront.

RELATED: Make plans for the season with our guide to fall in Philly 🍁

This list gets two major updates each week—usually on Mondays and Thursdays—so stop by regularly for an ever-growing list of the best things to do in Philadelphia throughout the week and weekend. Have event ideas or suggestions about how I could make this list better? Email me at [email protected].

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN PHILLY THIS WEEK


Dance with a Lo-Fi cocktail in hand at a late-summer soiree Wednesday night at R&D.
  • ENDLESS SUMMER COCKTAIL SOIREE: Fishtown cocktail bar R&D—a recent Best of Philly winner—welcomes California aperitif-maker Lo-Fi for a swanky Endless Summer-themed party that features delicious drinks made by Lo-Fi and live music from DJ Corey Duncan. It’s all going down on Hump Day, Wednesday, September 22, from 5 to 8pm.
Street games, food vendors and more descend on NoLibs Thursday for a night market event.
  • NORTHERN LIBERTIES NIGHT MARKET: The revelers behind 2nd St Festival debut its first-ever Northern Liberties Night Market on Thursday, September 23, from 5 to 10pm. Taking place on 2nd Street between Fairmount and Poplar streets, the gathering will include an energetic hub of food trucks, live music, circus performances, lawn games and more. Going forward, the series will continue on a biannual basis, with gatherings happening each spring and fall.
Rub shoulders with the chicest of the chic during Philly Fashion Week starting September 21.
  • PHILLY FASHION WEEK: Now that our sartorial appetites have been whetted by the Met Gala, Philly Fashion Week, happening now through September 25, is welcoming models and designers from around the world to showcase their latest fashions during five days of events throughout the city. Look out for a kickoff party in the Fashion District on September 22, and two runways shows on the 24th and 25th at 2300 Arena.
Philly gets ready for the spooky season with a new pop-up Halloween Bar in Midtown Village
  • CHECK OUT THE NEW HALLOWEEN BAR: The owners behind last winter’s holiday-themed cocktail bar Tinsel just opened a new pop-up Halloween bar known as Nightmare Before Tinsel. The concept is more of a bar-haunted house hybrid, with spooky rooms and hallways to explore, encounters with grim reapers and gory art displays. The menu features 10 beers on draft and in cans, and eight themed cocktails, including the glowing Ecto Cooler Shot, with Crystal Head vodka, Midori, pineapple juice and gummy-fied brains.
Diners eat on outdoor tables along 13th Street in Midtown Village
Center City Restaurant Week begins September 18 | Photo by J. Fusco / Visit Philadelphia
A scene from Arcadia Exhibitions Sun and Sea
Arcadia Exhibitions’ Sun & Sea is one of 179 productions taking place during the 2021 FringeArts Festival, happening September 9 to October 3 | Photo by Andrej Vasilenko
  • PHILLY FRINGE FESTIVAL 2021: The 25th annual festival of outside-the-box theater is running now through October 3 in venues across Philadelphia. The itinerary includes a whopping 179 productions and experiences by some of the city and world’s most inventive artists and groups, such as The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Nichole Canuso Dance Company, Pig Iron Theatre Company, New Paradise Laboratories and Elevator Repair Service.
This photo accompanies a writeup about fall events in and around Philadelphia
City dwellers can tap into their inner farmer on a fall hayride at Linvilla Orchards | Photo courtesy Linvilla Orchards / Visit Philadelphia
  • FALL FUN OUTSIDE THE CITY: For peak fall-in-Pennsylvania feels,  head outside the city beginning this week to visit some farms and villages throughout the region that are kicking off their seasonal activities.

 

WHAT TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN PHILLY


Philadelphia prison museum Eastern State Penitentiary at night, with cars going by. It looks spooky!
Ten spooky acres within Eastern State Penitentiary will be transformed into a major Halloween destination beginning September 24 | Photo by Sean Kelley
  • HALLOWEEN NIGHTS @ ESP: The imposing prison fortress is Fairmoung gears up for Halloween wit a festival-style event called Halloween Nights, happening September 24 to November 13. Fifteen different attractions—including two haunted houses—are spread throughout 10 acres of prison yards and spooky hallways. The experience is enhanced with state-of-the-art sound and light shows, live performances, and no less than four themed bars and lounges.
An evening shot of Morgan's Pier in Philadelphia, which is decorated with twinkling lights, hay, pumpkins and other fall ephemera.
Morgan’s Pier hosts its annual Fall Fest—with seasonal food, drink and games—for six straight weeks starting September 23.
  • FALL FEST @ MORGAN’S PIER: Waterfront beer garden Morgan’s Pier rounds out its open season with a five-week-long fall festival, happening September 24 to October 30. The fest finds the breezy oasis decked out in haystacks, seasonal flowers and foliage, and autumn-perfect brews galore. For $5 to $10, you can even head into the Pier’s Pumpkin Patch to grab a gourd that you can carve while you sip your adult beverages.
Rittenhouse Row Festival
The Rittenhouse Row Festival returns post-Covid this September
  • RITTENHOUSE ROW FESTIVAL: The popular street fest in one of Philly’s toniest ’hoods returns for a post-Covid romp on Saturday, September 25. More details are forthcoming.
Drink with goats this Saturday evening at The Farm at Awbury.
  • HANG WITH GOATS: The Philly Goat Project is bringing out its herd of bearded ones for two fun events this week: First up, on Saturday, September 25, from 11 to noon, do a 45-minute yoga flow with a small herd of Nigerian dwarf goats in the sunny atrium at West Laurel Hill Cemetery‘s conservatory. Later that night, from 5 to 7pm, it’s a happy hour with goats at The Farm at Awbury, where you can participate in a raffle to win some goat-made art.
You can shop till you drop while doing good at the Feminist Flea Market on Saturday.
  • FEMINIST FLEA MARKET: The roving market specializing in a variety of awesome, creative goods made by local female and female-identifying artists and curators hits the parking lot at Love City Brewing on Saturday, September 25, from noon to 7pm. Shoppers can browse through all kinds of goods—from homewares and greeting cards to artwork and reconstructed clothing. The best part? Every market that pops up benefits an worthy local nonprofit (here’s the impact shoppers made during the last market). This time around, more than half of your $5 entry fee will go straight to the Coalition for Black Trans Economic Liberation (CBTEL), an organization working to lift Black, transgender people in Philadelphia out of poverty.
Chestnut Hill’s Fall for the Arts Festival is a true shoppers delight, with goods from hundreds of artists from around the country. | Photo by Wendy Concannon
  • FALL FOR THE ARTS FESTIVAL: On September 26, from 11am to 5pm, Chestnut Hill welcomes more than 150 artists from around the country to sell their goods along Germantown Avenue during the Fall for the Arts Festival. Besides the chance to shop and browse all the art you can imagine, the day features live music on two stages, makers villages where you can make your own masterpieces, and of course seasonal food and drinks galore.
  • CONCERT IN WASHINGTON SQUARE: Head to Washington Square on Sunday, September 26, starting at 3pm, to see live classical, jazz and choral performances that speak to the park’s history as a gathering place for African-Americans. Ned Scharff of The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, a co-presenter of the free concert, says he hopes to make it a regular occurrence.
Stop into the Fabric Workshop and Museum starting September 24 to check out some of the quirky video works by Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley
  • NEW ART EXHIBITIONS: Art lovers can find two brand new exhibitions opening this week and weekend in Philly: “Blood Moon,” at the Fabric Workshop and Museum (Sept. 24 to Feb 20) showcases the darkly humorous video works of artists Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley. And over on the Parkway, the Barnes Foundation rolls out an exciting collection of paintings by groundbreaking French artist Suzanne Valadon in “Suzanne Valadon: Model, Painter, Rebel (Sept. 26 to Jan. 9).
Catch the performance arts truck the Beardmobile at two locations this weekend in South Philly.
  • TRAVELING ARTS MOBILE: Local performance-art troupe the Bearded Ladies are revving up the engine on their Beardmobile once again. The 1500-foot box truck transforms into a main stage, where the Beards and other local queer and queer-friendly creatives will perform in different locations throughout fall—through October 16. Go here to see the full itinerary, which this weekend includes a stop at William Way LGBT Community Center (Sept. 26, 6:30pm) with local band Ill Doots.

THINGS TO DO AT PHILADELPHIA ATTRACTIONS


The ferris wheel and other attractions at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest
Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest is open along the Delaware River with summertime fun galore. | Photo by Maria Young

Some of Philly’s most iconic attractions are booming this summer with fun, socially distant activities. Here’s some stuff worth checking out:

    • Spruce Street Harbor Park is open on the Delaware river with its covetable hammocks, arcade games, floating bar and Philly food staples galore—from pretzels to water ice to crab fries and tacos.
    • Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest keeps visitors entertained for hours with roller skating, ferris wheel rides, boardwalk games, mini-golf, an arcade and all kinds of summertime grub, such as funnel cakes, cotton candy, chicken wings, crab fries and beer, beer, beer.
    • Parks On Tap, Philly’s beloved pop-up beer garden, is open at Water Works behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Besides idyllic views of the museum and water, the setup offers a menu full of snacks, sandwiches and sweets, plus beers, wines and specialty cocktails. For more, including safety protocols and hours of operation, go here.
    • You could stop by Dilworth Park any day of the week for lunch or dinner at the Air Grille, watch kids playing in the fountains, try an outdoor fitness class (Mondays and Tuesdays, 6pm), hear live music at lunchtime (Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon–1pm), and catch an outdoor movie (Thursdays, 8:15pm).
    • There are all kinds of fun things to do at Franklin Square this summer, including mini golf, riding the carousel and ogling musical fountain shows. See a full itinerary of events here.
    • Bok Bar, the South Philly rooftop bar with gobsmacking views of the Philadelphia skyline (and then some), is open with a fun slate of weekly activities, such as restaurant pop-ups, drag brunches, rooftop yoga sessions, maker workshops and tons more. You can find the full schedule here. Plan ahead; reservations are required in lieu of Covid safety protocols.
    • Cherry Street Pier is always bustling with some kind of activity—whether it’s art shows or food markets or visitors just sitting back, beer in hand, and gazing at the beautiful Delaware River views.
    • Fairmount Park, Philadelphia’s largest park is a perfect place to spend a sunny Saturday or Sunday afternoon hiking trails, touring historic mansions or taking a kayak tour along the Schuylkill. Don’t know where to start? Consult the Fairmount Park Conservancy’s digital guide to the park to discover four different trails to explore. You could also check out the organization’s events calendar for upcoming to-dos, such as birdwatching tours, outdoor exercise classes and romantic moonlit strolls.
    • Eastern State Penitentiary is offering after-dark tours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights through September 4. Guests will have a chance to explore everything the daytime tours offer (like Al Capone’s cell), but under the eery light of the moon—plus grab a beer from Triple Bottom Brewing Company in the prison’s Fair Chance Beer Garden.
    • The Philadelphia Zoo, the nation’s oldest zoo, is always a fun place to spend a weekend or chill weekday afternoon. For now, guests can walk among massive animatronic dinosaurs in a prehistoric setting at special exhibition “Big Time: Life in an Endangerous Age.”
    • Shofuso Japanese house and gardens in Fairmount Park is now open for spring tours.
Header photo by 2nd Street Festival

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