As we breeze through the beginning of autumn without much breezy weather at all—it can be difficult to jump right into the fall spirit.
It’s the beginning of October, but it doesn’t quite feel like pumpkins, haunted hayrides, and sweater weather just yet. The sunny days and humid rain are letting beach-mode linger a bit longer. For me personally—I’m not really feelin’ pumpkin-spiced in 80-degree weather.
But no need to fear because that can be easily fixed with some local fall harvests and festivals that will make you want to throw on a nice pair of boots and hit a pumpkin patch as we finally approach fall weather. Even though we’re already halfway through October, the fall festivities are just getting started!Here are a few fall-themed events all throughout Philly:
1. Fall Fest at Morgan’s Pier—Historic District
Now through October 28 (weekends only)
Enjoy a seasonal beer alongside a waterfront view at Morgan Pier’s third annual Fall Fest located in Philly’s historic district. You can enjoy pumpkin carving, activities, live music, performances, fall menus, seasonal beers, specialty cocktails and apple cider donuts—which sound delicious. More info here.
2. Reading Terminal Market Harvest Festival—Filbert Street
Saturday, October 21
See Filbert Street (aka Harry Ochs Way) transform into an urban farm right in the middle of the city during their Harvest Festival. There will be a pumpkin patch, live music, tractor and hayrides, a beer garden featuring fall brews, snacks and if it’s anything like Reading Terminal Market—absolutely delicious food! It runs 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. More info here.
3. Spooky Mini Golf—Franklin Square
Weekend evenings through October 30
What could get Philly more in the Halloween spirit than a spooky putt-putt golf course all throughout its historic landmarks? The haunted decorations and Halloween-inspired lights, music, and surprises are sure to get you in the seasonal spirit. More info here.
4. South Street Headhouse District Fall Pumpkin Fest
Saturday, October 28
South Street’s Headhouse Plaza will be filled with music, shopping, plenty of entertainment and hands-on activities for people of all ages at the Fall Pumpkin Fest. Experience Halloween-themed activities, frights, trick-or-treating and scary movies under the shambles to get you feeling spooky. The festival runs from 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. More info here.
5. Historic Stenton’s Halloween Harvest Festival—Historic Germantown
Saturday, October 28
Get a taste of history during Halloween weekend at one of the oldest settlements in Philadelphia. This all-ages, free, neighborhood event will take place all along Germantown Avenue in Historic Stenton. From 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. there will be light refreshments, cider, games, crafts, face-painting, pumpkin painting and a "spooky cellar tour." More info here.
6. Hometown Harvest Fest At The Philadelphia History Museum—South 7th Street
Thursday, November 2
Eat pie, sip wine and enjoy some agricultural history at the Hometown Harvest Party. The Philadelphia History Museum will display harvest material from the museum’s collection and you can view everything from farm equipment like plows and tools to Farmers Almanacs dating back to the late eighteenth century. There will be refreshments and seasonal cocktails provide by Eight Oaks Craft Distillery, as well as a wine and pie paring. This is a ticketed event from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. More info here.
7. Fall At Morris Arboretum Scarecrow Walk—Chestnut Hill
Now through October 31
Walk along beautiful shades of leafy greens, reds, auburns and blood-orange orchards through fields of brown leaves falling from the trees. A longstanding festivity in its 18th year—The Morris Arboretum Scarecrow Walk is a fun contest and enjoyment of the beautiful scenery. More than 30 scarecrows are on display along Oak Allée for people to vote for their favorite in the theme “Halloween Spooky Favorites.” The contest runs until Halloween and will have top five prize winners. It runs weekdays 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and weekends 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. More info here.
8. Harry Potter Festival—Chestnut Hill
Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21
Go see Germantown Avenue transform into a magical, mini land of Hogwarts right in the middle of Chestnut Hill. There will be two spellbinding nights of food, drinks, shopping, live performances, wizardry and wonder—not to mention a costume contest! With a bigger festival than last year, the fictional world will fill 12 blocks from Cresheim Valley Drive to Chestnut Hill Avenue along Germantown Avenue. The festival kicks off with Wands and Wizards Night on the Avenue, running from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. on Friday, October 20. Then again on Saturday, October 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More info here.
9. Harvest Fest at Elmwood Park Zoo—Norristown, PA
Now through November 5 (Sunday's only)
What’s better than animals, nature and autumn all mixed in one? If you don’t mind driving 45 minutes outside of Philly, Harvest Fest at Elmwood Park Zoo is a scenic celebration of fall for everyone. There will live entertainment at the Zoo Brew Beer Garden, carnival games, activities, bonfire, s'mores and even a bison feeding. Check it out on Sunday afternoons from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. More info here.
10. Terror Behind the Walls—Eastern State Penitentiary
Now through November 11
Amongst all the history Philly holds within its neighborhoods, Eastern State Penitentiary is one of the most interesting historic sites. It draws people from all over the U.S. for its tours and haunted attractions. Terror Behind the Walls is a frightening yet educational event inside a castle-like structure that is will definitely leave you with a spooky feeling. All proceeds benefit the research and preservation of Eastern State Penitentiary, a National Historic Landmark. More info here.