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

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

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

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

Forsythia from 5 to 7pm, Wednesday through Wednesday through Friday: $5 IPA and Pilsner, $6 white, orange, rosé, red and sparkling wine, and $10 cocktails.

Jet Wine Bar from 4 to 6pm, Monday through Thursday; noon to 2pm, 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 fall, mostly focusing on spots with beautiful patios and garden areas.

It’s still 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.

Things to Do in Philly This Week

Dine Latino Restaurant Week begins, Philadelphia's Magic Gardens throws a garden party and more excellent ideas for what to do in Philly this week

Things to Do in Philly This Week

Dine Latino Restaurant Week begins, Philadelphia's Magic Gardens throws a garden party and more excellent ideas for what to do in Philly this week

There’s no shortage of fun things to do in Philly this week if you’re looking for a fun night (or afternoon) on the town.

New for the week is the launch of Dine Latino Restaurant Week, which offers deals at some of the best Latino-owned restaurants around town. Pick something new from the hefty list of eateries and give it a try. You may just find a new go-to.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is also throwing one of its popular garden party soirees on Wednesday, and you shouldn’t miss a chance to explore the ancient relic-filled Penn Museum with a gaggle of local drag queens and performance artists.

Looking to do something Halloween-y? Grab happy hour at the creepy new Midtown Village pop-up bar Nightmare Before Tinsel, then Uber over to Eastern State Penitentiary’s massive new haunted attraction to explore acres upon acres of frightful activities, including two haunted houses.

A perfect week this fall in Philadelphia also includes checking out some of the best outdoor dining in Philly, playing a round of spooky putt putt at Franklin Square, or lounging in a park around changing leaves as you make plans for things to do this weekend in Philly.

Find details on all that and more in the chronological list of to-dos below.

This list gets updated almost daily, so be sure to stop by regularly for more ideas about what to do this week. Is there anything I can do to make the list better? Email me at [email protected].

WHAT TO DO IN PHILADELPHIA THIS WEEK


A plate of food at Alma Del Mar in Philadelphia
Alma Del Mar, of Queer Eye fame, is one of dozens of restaurants taking part in Dine Latino Restaurant Week | Photo by Neal Santos/ Visit Philadelphia

DINE LATINO RESTAURANT WEEK: This five-day restaurant week event—happening now through October 15—is a great way to explore all the amazing Latin-owned eateries around Philly. Here’s the deal you get: Diners will receive one free appetizer or dessert with the purchase of two dinner entrees. You can find the list of participating restaurants here.

Read by 4th is hosting all kinds of book-centric events during its 2021 Reading Promise Week | Photo courtesy Read by 4th

READING PROMISE WEEK: Read by 4th’s family literacy festival, happening now through October 17, is a citywide, community-organized event featuring all kinds of free, educational events meant to encourage A-plus literacy skills among our youngest readers. Check out the schedule here to find something going on near you. Community leaders are hosting nearly four dozen events—from storytelling to arts and crafts workshops to book giveaways.

Check out a booze- and crafts-filled bash at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens on October 13.

GARDEN PARTY AT MAGIC GARDENS: Spend a late-summer evening at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens on Wednesday, October 13, from 5 to 8pm, during a garden party that features live DJs, beers, wine and cocktails, and arts workshops on how to make sun catchers and Shrinky Dinks. Tickets are $25.

Dancers in the Pennsylvania Ballet
The Philadelphia Ballet launches into its new season with The Spark—a program of three ballets, two of which are world premieres.

PHILLY BALLET @ PERFORMANCE GARAGE: The newly named Philadelphia Ballet kicks off its latest season with The Spark, a program of “bold, contemporary ballets,” at the Performance Garage in the Spring Arts District. The limited-run program is inspired by the notion that art can lift us up—be a spark, if you will—even in troubled times. The program includes three works, including two world premieres, that I’m told are “are deeply reflective of our contemporary moment.” Catch its debut on Wednesday, October 13, at 7:30pm, or catch it later running on select days through October 30.

Take a tour of the hallowed Penn Museum with this kooky cast of characters every Thursday evening in October. | Photo by Joe Mac

DRAG TOURS @ PENN MUSEUM: Two of Philly’s most Drag Race-worthy queens—and a cast of their wackiest pals—are leading hilarious, whimsical tours around the Penn Museum every Thursday night at 6pm through October 28. Lili St. Queer and Eric Jaffe (pictured above in the red and blue wigs) lead the charge through the galleries, delighting guests with witty banter and surprise pop-up performances from special guests.

WEEKEND: Looking for things to do in Philly this weekend? Check out our top picks for events happening this Thursday through Sunday. 

Grab a free slice of pizza on Friday afternoon to celebrate the grand openings of Figo Ristorante and Figo Pizzeria in NoLibs. } Photo by Eddy Marenco

FREE PIZZA ON FRIDAY: Northern Liberties is getting two new neighboring restaurants beginning this weekend: Figo Ristorante, a full-service Italian restaurant, and Figo Pizzeria, a more casual affair serving up fresh-made pies and hoagies for lunch and dinner. To celebrate, they’re offering a free slice of pizza to anyone who stops by on Friday, October 15, from 11:30am to 1:30pm. Combined, the two eateries will comprise the largest restaurant space along NoLibs Restaurant Row, with 10,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor dining space, and room for 250+ diners.

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 now through 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.

The welcoming sign to Philadelphia waterfront restaurant Morgan's Pier is decorated with pumpkins and other fall foliage.
Morgan’s Pier’s annual Fall Fest is happening now on the Delaware waterfront.

FALL FEST @ MORGAN’S PIER: Waterfront beer garden Morgan’s Pier rounds out its open season with a five-week-long fall festival, happening now through 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.

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.

Cherry Street Pier will serve as the hub for DesignPhiladelphia installations from October 6 to 17. | Photo courtesy Delaware Waterfront Corporation

DESIGNPHILADELPHIA: It’s DesignPhiladelphia time again in Philly. The annual showcase of local design innovation centers around a host of installations at Cherry Street Pier, but tons of other events are happening around the city through October 17. Check the DesignPhiladelphia schedule to find tons of things to do, including workshops, symposiums, and art tours.

This photo accompanies a writeup about Mural Arts Month in Philadelphia in 2021
October is Mural Arts Month in Philly. Find something arty to do from Mural Arts Philadelphia’s extensive list of events.

MURAL ARTS MONTH: October is Mural Arts Month in Philadelphia. The theme of this year’s observance is “Resilience,” with an emphasis on recognizing “the power of art to keep Philadelphia inspired and moving forward.” Mural Arts Philadelphia is hosting several events throughout the month, including the dedication of two important new murals created by artists who have been impacted by the criminal justice system.

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 ultimate fall feels, head outside the city to explore some farms and villages that are hosting seasonal activities You’ve got the annual Scarecrows in the Village festival at Peddler’s Village, running from now through October 30, where you can rub shoulders with hundreds of local-made scarecrows and enjoy seasonal drinks and food. You can do some pumpkin- and apple-picking, hay-riding and more at Fall Fest at Shady Brook Farm (through Oct. 31) and Pumpkinland at Linvilla Orchards (through Nov. 7).

 

ONGOING ACTIVITIES AT PHILADELPHIA ATTRACTIONS


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

Get in a round of Spooky Mini Golf, happening at Franklin Square throughout October. | Photo By J. Fusco

BARNES FOUNDATION: Besides its astounding permanent collection of world-famous impressionist and post-impressionist artworks, the Barnes is hosting a special exhibition that includes paintings by groundbreaking French artist Suzanne Valadon in “Suzanne Valadon: Model, Painter, Rebel (through Jan. 9).

BOK BAR: South Philly rooftop destination Bok Bar, with gobsmacking views of the Philadelphia skyline (and then some), is operating with a diverse new slate of weekly activities, such as restaurant pop-upsdrag brunchesrooftop yoga sessionsmaker 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: 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.

DILWORTH PARK: 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).

FRANKLIN SQUARE: The popular park in Old City is extending its hours throughout the month of October for Spooky Mini Golf, which transforms the park’s putt-putt area into a haunted attraction, filled with fog, spider webs, eerie music and lights. Guests can also take a ride on the historic carousel and ogle a music fountain show that happens every 30 minutes from noon to close.

PARKS ON TAP: You can find Philly’s roving pop-up beer garden Parks On Tap operating at Water Works behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art through October 30 (weather permitting). Besides idyllic views of the water, the breezy setup offers a menu of snacks, sandwiches and sweets, plus beers, wines and specialty cocktails. For more, including safety protocols and hours of operation, go here.

PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART: PMA teamed up with the Whitney in NYC for its current special exhibition, “Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror,” running now through February 13. The massive retrospective of the American painter is spread across nearly 30,000 square feet of gallery space between the two museums, and features more than 500 works of painting, sculpture, drawings and prints.

Header photo: Las Cazuelas is one of dozens of restaurants taking part in Dine Latino Restaurant Week | Photo by Neal Santos / Visit Philadelphia

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