Philadelphia in the Fall: A Guide
Fun for Everyone!
OCTOBER 8, 2017
Artists, makers, designers, entertainers and restaurateurs all come out to celebrate the neighborhood’s creative spirit during the Old City Festival. Throughout several blocks along North 3rd and Arch streets, find activities, exhibitions and programs that appeal to families as well as the over-21 crowd.
Philadelphia Film Festival
OCTOBER 19-29, 2017
The annual Philadelphia Film Festival showcases the best in independent and foreign cinema in theaters and venues around the city. The Philly festival is filled with critically acclaimed and thought-provoking short films, feature-length films, animated movies and special guest appearances.
OCTOBER 20-21, 2017
Wands at the ready! Chestnut Hill’s massive (and massively popular!) Harry Potter Festival is set to return to 12 full blocks in the charming neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia. The biggest Harry Potter Festival in Chestnut Hill to date will feature Wands and Wizards Night on the Avenue, Magical Make and Take Zones, the Eighth Annual Philadelphia Brotherly Love Cup Quidditch Tournament at Chestnut Hill College, Harry Potter quizzo, a Deatheater’s dance party, potion making, wizarding demonstrations, a muggles read-a-thon, the popular straw maze at Woodmere Art Museum and so much more.
Pumpkinland at Linvilla Orchards
SEPTEMBER 9 - NOVEMBER 5, 2017
Pumpkins, apples and scarecrows, oh my! Linvilla Orchard’s annual Pumpkinland is filled with festive fall fun with activities that include a corn maze, a pumpkin ring toss game, apple picking and, of course, lots of chowing down on seasonal treats, like apple cider donuts. October 20 to 30 also brings a massive jack o’lantern display, which gets lit after 6 p.m. each night.
Rittenhouse Fine Craft Show
OCTOBER 13-15, 2017
Held biannually, the fall edition of the Rittenhouse Fine Craft Show brings 140 craft artists — curated by one of the nation’s largest and most recognized craft guilds — to Rittenhouse Square for a three-day bazaar. Look forward to a juried showcase of pieces ranging from ceramics to furniture to jewelry and beyond.
OCTOBER 28, 2017
South Street’s Pumpkin Fest takes over Headhouse Plaza on October 28 for an afternoon of music, shopping and plenty of other entertainment and hands-on activities for the whole family.
OCTOBER 7-NOVEMBER 19, 2017
The ultimate color crescendo hits Longwood Gardens this fall with the annual Chrysanthemum Festival, sweeping Longwood Gardens’ indoor grounds with a rainbow of floral shades. The centerpiece of the show is a Thousand Bloom Mum, made up of more than 1,500 meticulously arranged yellow flowers on one plant. Tickets are free with garden admission.
Join the royalty for the 37th Season of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire on the grounds of Mount Hope Estate! A cast of hundreds of colorfully costumed characters fill the Shire with music, dancing, and more. With over 90 stage shows daily, over 20 Royal Kitchens, and scores of artisan merchants with handcrafted wares, the PA Renaissance Faire invities guests to immerse themselves in the 35-acre village and experience the fantasy!
OCTOBER 28-29, 2017
Cheer on over 7,000 rowers during the two-day Head of the Schuylkill Regatta. One of the nation’s largest rowing events includes competitions among all ages of novice to elite scullers. Hundreds of spectators watch the races on the river’s eastern bank along Kelly Drive.
Get Alil' Spooky
For 27 years, the Haunted Hayride at Arasapha Farm has been scaring its visitors with amazing props, digital FX, great actors and extraordinary professional makeup. The Hayride has been featured several times on the Travel Channel and has been rated as the Number 1 Haunted Attraction in America by Hauntworld Magazine, USA Today and many other national publications. Be sure to check out this Delco attraction!
For all you history buffs out there...take a good long look at the eerie faces lurking in the architecture of the walls of Independence Hall. The only tour of its kind, Independence After Hours takes you on a realistic journey back to 1776. After an 18th-century-inspired dinner at historic City Tavern, and a visit by Thomas Jefferson, the group sneaks into Independence Hall where they eavesdrop on Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin discussing the Declaration of Independence. If you open your eyes (and mind) a little wider than usual, you just might see the spirits of historical greats.
American literature’s most beloved teller of dark and mysterious tales spent several years expounding on evil thoughts in Philadelphia. While you can stop by the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site on one of the city’s ghost tours, come on your own so you can stay and conjure the spirit of Poe, which is said to still linger here.
Pennhurst Asylum is a “Hospital” themed walk through attraction featuring many items and artifacts that are salvaged from the original State School. Located on the upper floors of the old Administration building, which dates to 1908, this attraction features fine detail and realism through a combination of high tech animatronics, digital sound and highly trained actors.
SEPTEMBER 22 - NOVEMBER 11, 2017 (SELECT NIGHTS)
The country’s biggest haunted house is a prison, actually. The famous, shuttered, Gothic former fortress that is Eastern State Penitentiary offers six attractions where guests can achieve the perfect level of fright. Purchasing tickets in advance online is suggested.
Terror Behind the Walls
SEPTEMBER 22 - NOVEMBER 11, 2017
Thrill-seekers test their nerves at Eastern State Penitentiary, an abandoned prison that turns into the country’s largest Halloween haunted attraction. Prepare for a historic spook inside a real former jail.
For the Drinkers, Cheers!
Every weekend in October!
Trick or Treat for wine at Chaddsford's wildly popular, adults-only Halloween program! You'll visit 5 Wine and Treat Pairing Stations as you weave and wind your way throughout the spooky Winery grounds. They have hand selected the best locally-made goodies to pair with a variety of seasonal wines for an experience like no other. Costumes are encouraged, and fun is guaranteed! All visitors who arrive in costume will receive 20% OFF any bottle purchases made that day.
OCTOBER 7, 2017
Morgan's Pier in the Historic District brings fall to the waterfront with its Oktoberfest celebration on October 7. Attendees can look forward to an open bar, unlimited soft pretzels and live music from Gypsy Wisdom for $35 per person. Plus, the first 200 attendees will receive a glass stein. Prost!
Many of Philly's excellent beer gardens continue into the fall. The open-air hangouts are perfect for a night out with friends, a happy hour with co-workers, dinner and drinks with the family and more. Head to a classic hot spot (Frankford Hall, Morgan’s Pier) or check out one of the city's newer additions (Uptown Beer Garden, Haas Biergarten).