If you live in or plan on visiting the City of Brotherly Love this fall, you’ll need to know what to do to celebrate the season. We’ve compiled a guide of all the best autumn activities happening this year so that you don’t have to do the work! So pull on a beanie, shrug on a flannel, and head out into the city for some fall fun!
Family Fun in the City
Sure, there’s farms out in Bucks County with fall festivals, but you don’t need to travel that far out for fall festivities. There are plenty of fall events for the whole family right in the city! Save on transportation by staying within city limits for these all-ages autumn events.
- Morris Arboretum. All through October, The Morris Arboretum holds the Scarecrow Walk, and this year’s theme is famous musicians. Walk among scarecrows dressed as Elvis, Lady Gaga, Elton John, and so many more to pose with. Other than the Scarecrow Walk, the arboretum holds other family events, which you can find on their calendar.
- Franklin Square Halloween Events. This fall head down to historic Franklin Square for a plethora of Halloween events. Come down for Spooky Mini Golf, a Halloween Maze, Pumpkin Patch, Trick-or-Treat Trail, and Bark-or-Treat Trail. Dates and prices for the events vary, so check out their schedule to plan tons of family fun.
- Pumpkin Carving at Craft Hall. From Oct. 9 until Nov. 3, you can carve pumpkins on Wednesdays through Sundays at Craft Hall. The whole family can craft a spooky pumpkin for your porch! The cost ranges from $5 to $10.
- Harvest Festival at Gorgas Park. On Oct. 13 you can go to Gorgas Park for their annual Harvest Festival. Bring the whole family for food, games, and music from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- South Street Fall PumpkinFest. South Street’s Headhouse District is holding their fall festival on Oct. 26 this year. Last year, there was fun for the entire family in the form of live music, crafts, seasonal food, and even a pumpkin pie eating contest. This year will have most of the same fun, so bring your children and wear your favorite Halloween costumes!
- Fall Family Day at Laurel Hill Cemetery. For a day of family fun, visit Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Fall Family Day where there will be a Halloween picnic and parade. The cemetery’s location offers a beautiful fall view as well as plenty of room to roam and learn about history. The event will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and costs $5 per person.
- Philly sports. It’s football season, and you know we’re cheering on our Eagles. Head down to Lincoln Financial Field to join the city in yelling, “Go Birds!” on Oct. 6, Nov. 3, 17, and 24, and Dec. 9 and 22. If you’re not a football fan, you can join Gritty at Wells Fargo Center to root for the Flyers. Or if you prefer basketball, the 76ers start their regular season at the Wells Fargo Center as well on Oct. 23.
- Philadelphia International Unity Cup. Free for spectators, this Word-Cup style soccer tournament unites the city’s neighborhoods and their diverse immigrant communities. The championship game of the Philadelphia International Unity Cup will take place on Oct. 12 at the Philadelphia Union’s Talen Energy Stadium.
All of these events are great for families with kids, but sometimes you don’t want to bring them along. That’s why there’s events for adults only so you can leave the children with a sitter for the night while you, your significant other, and friends hit the town.
21 and Up Festivities
Maybe you’re not the family-friendly fall activity type. That’s okay! Halloween is known to be a good time to party, and Philly knows how to do that. There’s plenty of beer festivals, bar crawls, and parties around the city this season, and as it turns out, you’re invited!
- Oktoberfest at Craft Hall. Enjoy live music, beer specials, and German food with an American twist during this traditionally German festival. Fill your stein at Craft Hall’s Oktoberfest, Wednesdays through Sundays until Oct. 6.
- Oktoberfest at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Wednesday Nights program, Oktoberfest is a night of local craft brews, beer flights, and German-inspired food to pair with the beer. You can enjoy this event in the Great Stair Hall on Wednesdays through Oct. 30 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets start at $20.
- Octoberfest at Dilworth Park. This three-day festival is a celebration of all things autumn, and includes seasonal foods and craft beers, so it will really feel like fall. Stop by Oct. 11, 12, or 13 to listen to local music and DJs at Octoberfest at Dilworth Park.
- 23rd Street Armory Oktoberfest. If you want a more traditional festival, the Oktoberfest at the 23rd Street Armory is the one for you because it mimics an authentic Munich festival tent. With long tables imported from Germany, a lofted stage, and plenty of beer, you can drink and dance all night. General admission tickets start at $25 for both Oct. 18 and 19.
- Halloween Bar Crawl. Bar Crawl Live presents the Official Halloween Bar Crawls on Oct. 19 and 26 from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wear your costume to this crawl where you get a color changing cup, prizes, and drink specials at bars all over Philly. Tickets start at $19.99.
- Halloween After Dark. Prepare for a late night at the Reading Terminal Market. The Market will be vacant and creepy from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m., and the cost of your ticket includes a DJ, food, and alcoholic drinks for you to enjoy! You can buy tickets here, and they start at $100.
- The Devil’s Crawl. The Devil’s Crawl has over 50 venues that you get into without a cover charge when you buy your ticket for the crawl. There are plenty of drink specials to make it all worth it on Oct. 26 from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. There’s also an after party at Sunset Social where you can get your first drink for free.
- Halloweekend Pub Crawl. Put on by com, this costumed Halloween Pub Crawl ensures a spooky and spirited night throughout the city. The crawl begins at Howl at the Moon at 4 P.M. on Oct. 26. The price is $13, and you can get tickets here.
If you’re trying to save money and don’t want to go out partying a lot this fall, we understand. Instead of going out to the bars for the night, you could get scared to your core at a haunted house!
If every day skeleton costumes aren’t scary enough for you this Halloween, you can get a more visceral fright from some of these haunted locations. You can go to spots that are rumored to be haunted or to houses that are set up to scare you, but both are equally creepy. Most of these haunts warn that there are strobe lights, fog, and small spaces, so come at your own risk. Children and pregnant women are not recommended to attend most of these haunted houses.
- Eastern State Penitentiary. America’s most historic prison, the Eastern State Penitentiary, offers day tours through its crumbling, haunted halls. Your admission price lets you do everything they have to offer, like the audio tour “The Voices of Eastern State,” and the guide-led tour. Depending on your age and where you buy, tickets start at $10, and you can buy them here.
- Terror Behind the Walls. The Eastern Penn is creepy enough when it’s empty during the day, but at night during the Halloween season, it’s truly terrifying. Come to Terror Behind the Walls, a haunted house inside of the old prison. All six attractions, including Lock Down, Machine Shop, Infirmary, Blood Yard, Quarantine 4D, and Break Out, are included in your ticket price, which starts at $24.
- Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride. Named CNN’s Best Haunt of 2018, the Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride offers you terror in different forms. Whether you choose the Bates Motel haunted house, the Haunted Hayride, or the Revenge of the Scarecrows Haunted Trail, you’ll be sure to jump out of your skin. Operating on select dates until Oct. 31. Look at their schedule for ticketing and discount nights for military, families, and college students.
- Pennhurst Asylum. The Pennhurst Asylum offers a haunted house inside the actually haunted hospital complex and other attractions, like Mayflower After Dark, The Morgue at Pennhurst Asylum, and Containment. If you’re not into staged horror, you can also visit for real haunts, like the Paranormal Investigations and Overnight at Pennhurst Asylum, in the notoriously haunted halls and tunnels of the hospital. Individual tickets start at $18, and you can buy them here.
- Fright Factory. This adult-themed haunted house is located in the basement of an old factory, which is scary enough within itself. The Fright Factory is not for the faint of heart, so enter at your own risk. Tickets can be found here or at the ticket booth, and start at $20, depending on the day.
- Fort Mifflin. This isn’t a staged haunted house, but rather a candlelight ghost tour of haunted Fort Mifflin. You’ll walk nearly a mile through one of the most haunted sites in America, with only a candle to light your way in the dark. The tours start at 6 p.m. and last nearly an hour. You can find tickets and dates here.
- Soul Crawl. At the Laurel Hill Cemetery, you can go on a flashlight tour while hearing the cemetery’s history and possibly experience some of the spirits buried there. Though the paranormal investigations have proven inconclusive, the cemetery is believed to be haunted by many souls of the approximately 77,000 people buried there. Soul Crawls are only on Oct. 25 and 26 and start at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $12.50 and go up to $25.
- City Ghost Tours. With deep history comes old spirits. Every night through November, and just weekends starting in December, you can go on a City Ghost Tour through Independence Park, Old City, and Society Hill. On this path, you’ll visit real haunted areas, houses, and cemeteries to Tickets are $24 per person, but you can save $5 if you buy online.
If you aren’t one for haunted houses, we have put together a list of more calm places to go in the fall: farmers’ markets!
Philly Farmers’ Markets
Fall brings a special chill in the air that makes farmers’ markets even better than in the summer. Not only are they great places to buy farm fresh produce, but you can also get apple cider, pumpkins, and other fall goods from some of the vendors!
- Reading Terminal Market. As if the Reading Terminal Market wasn’t already packed with great things to buy, they have even more in the fall! On Oct. 19 you can visit the Harvest Festival where Filbert Street will be closed to vehicles and transformed into an urban farm. There will be hay bales, corn stalks, and an authentic farm tractor that will take you on a hayride around the Market. On Oct. 26 there’s Halloween at the Market, which includes trick-or-treating, story time, and other Halloween crafts and activities.
- The Food Trust’s Market at Cherry Street Pier. You can find fresh produce, local art, and so many other vendors at The Food Trust’s Market at Cherry Street Pier on select weekends through Nov. 16. Some weekends will even feature a flea market for antiques and vintage items set up by Phila Flea Markets at the Race Street Pier. The market is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The location allows dogs and is wheelchair accessible.
- Clark Park Farmers’ Market. Also operated by The Food Trust, the Clark Park Farmers’ Market is one of the largest and most well-populated farmers’ markets in Philly. Stop by to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and other goods, or come down just to meet new people from the same and different neighborhoods. The market is held on Saturdays year round, and on Thursdays until the end of November.
- Headhouse Farmers’ Market. Yet another market operated by The Food Trust, Headhouse Farmer’s Market located in Society Hill contains the standard fare of fresh produce. On top of that, there’s also soups, candles, ice cream, coffee, and wine for sale at this market that takes place on Sundays.
- Made in Philadelphia Fall Market. Joining the festivities of Octoberfest in Dilworth Park, the Made in Philadelphia Fall Market will also be held Oct. 11 through 13. Local vendors will be there selling art, photos, and jewelry as well as other typical farmers’ market goods. Admission is free so stop by to see for yourself!
- Rittenhouse Farmers’ Market. The Rittenhouse Square Farmers’ Market takes up a block of Walnut Street on Saturdays so vendors can sell produce and other goods to the people of Philadelphia. This market is organized by Farm to City, which is a program whose goal is to unite communities, families, and farmers year-round.
Now that you know about all the local festivals, bar crawls, haunts, and markets, your calendar must be filled. You’re sure to be busy this season, but make sure you also have fun!
Shrager & Sachs Wishes You a Spooky Fall
Shrager & Sachs serves Philadelphia as a personal injury law firm and has for over 30 years. We believe in the importance of community and supporting local business, so make sure you check out all of the spots on this comprehensive list. Remember to bundle up and stay safe this fall, Philly!
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