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.

Local Attractions

Ongoing to-dos at Philly museums, parks and more

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:

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

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art 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.

Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

Halloween parties at the Bourse and Sister Cities Park, a fitness festival in Fishtown and more must-do things happening in Philadelphia this weekend

Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

Halloween parties at the Bourse and Sister Cities Park, a fitness festival in Fishtown and more must-do things happening in Philadelphia this weekend

Looking to make some plans for the weekend in Philly?

On the event front, there are tons of cool-sounding things happening—including costume-centric Halloween events for kids and dogs on Saturday, and the return of the Philadelphia Zoo’s annual Boo at the Zoo hoopla.

Looking for more Halloween fun? You can find spooks of all levels throughout the weekend. Franklin Square offers spooky putt-putt, where you can knock around balls amongst spider webs, fog and spooky lights. If you’re looking for something scarier, grab a ghoulish drink at the Halloween pop-up bar in Midtown Village, then hit up Eastern State Penitentiary for its latest haunted attraction—10 acres of spine-tingling activities, including two haunted houses.

On the food front, you could try one of Philly’s amazing outdoor dining setups—truly one of the best things to come out of the pandemic. Or check out a new Italian restaurant and bar opening in Northern Liberties.

You’ll find details on all that and more in our chronological list of things to do in Philadelphia this weekend below. This list gets updated throughout the week, so stop by regularly for more ideas for how to spend your weekends in Philly.


Watch out for the ferocious lions, tigers and bears taking over the Philadelphia Zoo during Boo at the Zoo, starting this weekend

BOO AT THE ZOO BEGINS: The Philadelphia Zoo’s popular annual Halloween fest for tots is back starting Saturday, October 16, at 9:30am, and will continue on select weekend days through October 31. The entire zoo grounds will be decorated for fall, and kids—who are encouraged to come in costume—will love all the moving beasts on display in the massive dinosaur exhibit Big Time, which has been extended through November 1.

Throw the kids in a costume for Sister Cities Park’s Halloween bash on October 16. | Photo by Matt Stanley

TRICK-OR-TREAT SCAVENGER HUNT: On October 16, from 11am to 1pm, Sister Cities Park invites kids and families to a Halloween fest, which is highlighted by pumpkin-painting opportunities, spooky storytelling, circus performances and loads of treats. Little ones are encouraged to come in costume so they can flaunt their duds in a Halloween parade.

You could take free hip-hop dance workshops in Fishtown on Saturday during Fit Fest.

FIT FEST IN FISHTOWN: Almanac Dance Circus Theatre hosts this daylong, art- and fitness-filled festival in Shackamaxon / Penn Treaty Park that’s meant to “celebrate public spaces as a gathering place for fitness and creation.” Happening Saturday, October 16 from noon till 10pm, the fest is highlighted by dance and movement workshops, live performances from area dance crews, and the debut of Almanac’s newest production, HAPPY HOUR.

The Bourse Food Hall is hosting a pet costume contest on October 16

HOWL-O-WEEN: Throw a costume on your pup and let it wobble down a red carpet at the Bourse Food Hall’s outdoor pet costume contest happening Saturday, October 16, from 1 to 3pm. Held in collaboration with Morris Animal Rescue, the event also includes music, family-friendly activities and photo ops with kitschy decor, such as a Ghostbusters car. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the entry gate.

A previous years’ Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood Gardens. | Photo by B. Krist / Visit Philadelphia

CHRYSANTHEMUM FESTIVAL @ LONGWOOD GARDENS: Lovers of fall blooms should plan a trip to Longwood Gardens October 16 through November 14 to ogle its imaginative—and largest of its kind—display of chrysanthemums. Guests will be treated to views that range from a massive Thousand Bloom Mum to the tiniest of bonsais.

PHILADELPHIA OPEN STUDIO TOURS: Artists across Philadelphia open up their studios, workshops and galleries to give locals a behind-the-scenes look at their creative process, and what kind of art is being made in Philly these days. This weekend it’s happening in two neighborhoods: Northeast Philly (October 16) and South Philly (October 17). You can click each of those links for maps and participating artists. The event continues next weekend with tours in the Northwest (October 23) and West Philly (October 24).

The 35th annual AIDS Walk Philly returns on Sunday, October 17. | Photo by David Muse

AIDS WALK PHILLY: The annual event that raises funds for HIV/AIDS care and awareness in Philadelphia is back for its 35th year with an in-person walk on Sunday, October 17, that begins and ends at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Besides the walk, the day includes an aerobic warmup at 8am that anyone is welcome to attend, and the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display. A closing ceremony at 10am wraps up the day.

MARCUS GARVEY CELEBRATION @ CITY HALL: Lively entertainment takes over City Hall on Sunday, October 17, starting at 10am, during a celebration honoring Marcus Garvey, the Jamaican native who founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League. The Jamaican Pennsylvania Association hosts the free hoopla, which promises Jamaican food, live entertainment and more.

Get expert assists from dwarf goats at a yoga class Sunday at West Laurel Hill Cemetery.

GOAT YOGA @ WEST LAUREL HILL CEMETERY: America’s most eco-friendly cemetery and the Philly Goat Project corral a herd of Nigerian dwarf goats into the cemetery’s sun-filled conservatory on Sunday, October 17, at 11am, when they’ll join a 45-minute yoga session with guests.

Chestnut Hill will be illuminated with lights, and historic films and images during Night of Lights starting October 8. | Photo by Bradley Maule

NIGHT OF LIGHTS: Through October 17, historic photography and films will be projected onto buildings and in storefront windows in Chestnut Hill to offer passersby a visual history of the neighborhood’s past.

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 is happening now through October 17 with installations at Cherry Street Pier, and events, such as workshops, symposiums, and art tours, happening daily around the city.

This photo of The Lawn at Loveluck accompanies an article about the best and most beautiful places to eat outdoors in Philadelphia
The Lawn at Loveluck is one of our favorite places to dine outdoors in Philly right now. | Photo by R. Rabena / Visit Philadelphia

EAT OUTSIDE: One of the best holdovers from the pandemic is Philly’s awesome outdoor dining scene. Check out some of our favorite places to have dinner and drink under the stars and amongst seasonal plants and flowers. There’s something for every palate and in nearly every neighborhood in the city.

Header photo shows locals gathering at the Fall Fest at Morgan’s Pier, happening through October 30.

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.

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

SPOOKY PUTT-PUTT @ FRANKLIN SQUARE: The historic and bustling green space in Old City is open from 10am to 10pm during the entire month of October for Spooky Mini Golf, where the park’s mini golf course will be transformed by fog, cobwebs, eerie sounds and lights.

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 already-creepy-enough prison in Fairmount is celebrating the spooky season during Halloween Nights, a festival-style event happening now through November 13. The setup contains 15 different attractions—including two haunted houses—across 10 acres of prison yards and dark 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.

Philly gets ready for the spooky season with a new pop-up Halloween Bar in Midtown Village

CHECK OUT THE NEW HALLOWEEN BAR: Swing through Midtown Village one night to have a drink and a scare at Halloween pop-up bar Nightmare Before Tinsel. The joint 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.

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. First off, you’ve got the 42nd 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).

Header photo by Matt Stanley

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