Fall is my very favorite time of year. The weather gets chilly, the leaves start falling and changing color, and one of my very favorite holidays is on it's way (hint: it's Halloween, which is awesome). Autumn brings along with it beautiful foliage, spooky ghosts, boots, and lots and lots of pumpkin-flavored food. I've learned that living in a city during the fall season is proving to be way more fun than I thought. Here's a little list of a few things coming up in October in Philadelphia that I definitely don't want to miss!
1. Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary
OK, so I might be lying when I say I don't want to miss this one - I totally do. It's as terrifying as it sounds. One of the nation's top-rated Halloween attractions is right here in old Philadelphia. The Eastern State Penitentiary is one of the most famous prisons in the country, and now stands as a museum and serves as a heart-stopping haunted attraction. Patrons are free to do a tour, and if you're up for it, get scared courtesy of 200+ performers and 11 acres of utterly horrifying attractions.
Runs from September 16th to November 5th. View the full schedule here!
2. Harry Potter Festival in Chestnut Hill
From October 21-22, the little town of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia is transformed into the magical world of Harry Potter, complete with screenings of the films, scavenger hunts, and a pub crawl where you can get some butterbeer and more drink specials! (Guess where I'll be!!!!) Apparently, SEPTA's Chestnut Hill West regional rain line even turns into the Hogwarts Express for the weekend! I've also heard that costumes are encouraged!
See more here!
3. Old City Fest
If you're an art nerd like I am, come out on October 9th to Old City, Philly's historic district, to check out local artists and designers, restaurants, theaters and tons of culture. You can find all of the vendor information here.
4. Opera on the Mall
On October 2nd, enjoy an HD performance of Philadelphia Opera, located on Independence Mall! Lawn chairs and a picnic is what you'll want for this event, so bring some yummy treats and listen to live music. Plus, the event is open to pets! (I'd like to say I'm going for the music, but really, it's more for the puppies.) And don't worry, there's a rain date!
5. Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience at Longwood Gardens
This one's already been running for a little while, but go see it before it's over on October 29th! Located in Longwood Gardens, check out the beautiful botanical gardens and a moving, choreographed light show after the sun goes down.
More info here!
6. Philadelphia Open Studio Tours
If you've ever wondered what the inside of an artist's studio looks like, now's your chance to find out! (It's really super cool.) The second and fourth weekends in October, over 300 local artists open their studios to visitors to get a behind-the-scenes view of how Philly's most beautiful art is made. There are artist talks, galleries, demonstrations and even a few workshops! Philly features self-guided and traditionally guided tours of the neighborhoods and studios.
Check out more information here! Go support your local artists!
7. Philadelphia Film Festival
One of the things I'm most excited for is Philadelphia's own Film Festival, running October 20th through the 30th, there are tons of cinemas city-wide screening dozens of films from all over the world. The festival screens prize-winning films, shorts, animated movies, and even documentaries. Check out the catalogue for more information!
8. Ciao Philadelphia: Italian Cultural Month
Alright, I lied. This is what I'm the most excited for! Philadelphia is home to one of the largest Italian-American communities in the country (plus one, with me!), and Caio Philadelphia is a month-long festival of over 70 events! There are concerts, wine tastings, film screenings, and lots and lots of food. If you see me there, say hi! (I'll totally be there.)
Check out everything that's happening here!
9. True Tales from the Tombs: Mischief Night by Firelight
As if the Laurel Hill Cemetery weren't creepily beautiful enough at night, here we go making it even creepier. On October 28th, head over to meet some of the cemetery's most memorable "residents" (some pretty cool local famous folks are buried here - such as Thomas McKean, a signer of the Declaration of Independence). Stop by and the actors will make the past come to life, along with some light refreshments.
Find more here.
10. Night Market Philadelphia: Navy Yard
If you haven't been exploring to the Navy Yard yet, you definitely should. Take a walk down South Street to visit the sight of beautiful lights strung up on the ships and enjoy some really, really good food trucks. On October 6th, head over for lots of food, music, and the culture of Philly!
These are only a few of the cool things going on in Philly in October. Look for even more on visitphilly.com!