After all that time beaching, backpacking, festival-hopping, and road-tripping, we’re finally settling into fall. Don’t mourn those summer nights, but celebrate the annual re-tightening of your social circle. Text your boo, your bud, your mom, and bring them along on this collection of fall activities and events.
Eat some donuts
You don’t have to worry about your summer body anymore, so baked goods should be your focus.
To feed your need, Federal Donuts has rolled out its seasonal spread of fancy donuts, featuring Cinnamon Oatmeal and Peanut Butter Caramel. More of a traditionalist? Go West (Chester), young donut-seeker to Highland Orchards and snag a dozen of their Apple Cider Donuts. You’ll have plenty for the ride back.
Federal Donuts / Open Daily / 4 Philly Locations / Hot Fresh $1.75 each, Fancy $2.75 each
Highland Orchards / Open Daily / West Chester, PA / $4.96 per dozen
Bake it, submit it, win it: Apple Pie.
If you think you’ve got the chops (or, if you want to feel like you’re on Chopped), the Subaru Fall Fest at Greensgrow Farms is hosting an Apple Pie Bakeoff and Chili Cook-off for all you competitive cooks out there. Greensgrow welcomes submissions until September 23. Deets on that here.
If you’re less baker, more eater, that’s cool, too. Extra slices, post-judging, will go for $3 and pie profits will be donated to charity.
Apple Pie Competition at Subaru Fall Fest / Saturday, October 7 / 12 pm to 8 pm / Free Admission
Calling all baking enthusiasts, will you reign supreme? If you make the best apple pie in town, then check out our Apple Pie Baking Competition! Baking isn't your thing? Never fear, we're looking to crown TWO champions this year. In addition to the pie-off we're having a Chili Cook Off! It's all goin' down at our Subaru Fall Fest on October 7. Whether you're full of sugar or spice, check out our website to see our great prizes and entry info. Link for sign up info in the comments below! #greensgrow #farmyourcity #fallfest #applepie
Take a Saturday morning drive out to Morris Arboretum.
Tucked into Chestnut Hill, about a half-hour drive from Center City Philadelphia, Morris Arboretum is chock full of nature and a great way for anyone to take a beautiful break from city life.
If you plan your drive for October 7 or 8, you’ll be able to catch the Morris Arboretum Fall Fest. Make a scarecrow, paint a pumpkin, and sample apples to your varietal content.
Hike by night on the full Hunter’s Moon.
Smell the leaves, hear the hoots, and just take a minute. Event by the Wissahickon Environmental Center
Hunter’s Moon Full Moon Hike / Wednesday, October 4 / 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm / Free
Hike, bike, or (horse)ride the Wissahickon.
Do it for the foliage, the fresh air, or the company.
Trail info can be found here.
Wissahickon Valley Park / Open Daily / 6 am to 11 pm / Free
Check out 9th Annual Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin Beer Fest.
The “biggest pumpkin beer festival in the world” (they dare you to find a larger selection). Unlimited pours from 11 to 5. Plus, ciders, sours, and lambics! Oh my.
Pumpkin Beer Fest @ The Institute / Saturday, October 7 / 11 am to 5 pm / $40 tickets
Sample ciders on a South Philly Saturday.
Hawthorne’s Beer Cafe, the beloved neighborhood reboot, is throwing its 2nd annual ode to cider. Underground Donuts will be frying, pours ring in at $5 a draft, and live bands are promised throughout the day. Bring your kids, your pets, and your friends.
The Great Harvest Cider and Beer Fest / Saturday, November 4 / Noon to 8 pm / Free
Tour on the house, and drink.
Yards Brewing Co. offers free brewery tours every weekend afternoon. Take the opportunity to slurp on some seasonal drafts, such as the creamy perfection of the Yards Chocolate Love Stout, (on nitro, we hope), or the punchy, malty, bready Brawler.
Yards Brewery Tours / Saturdays, Sundays / Noon to 4 pm / Free
Creep up to Laurel Hill Cemetery, after dark.
As part of its seasonal line-up of events, Laurel Hill presents Into the Veil, a single night installation of “exploratory theater.” Bring a flashlight, and make your way into the cemetery’s depths for hidden art, cocktails, music, entertainment, and more.
Atlas Obscura: Into the Veil @ Laurel Hill Cemetery / Saturday, September 23 / 8 pm to Midnight / $50 tickets
Go to any (all?) of the horror film series at Schmitt’s Commons.
The line-up is legit to die-for. Just, bring your own chair, ‘cause sitting on cement is scary uncomfortable. All Films are free admission and BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair).
Here’s the schedule:
October 5: Get Out
October 7: Addams Family
October 12: Sleepaway Camp
October 14: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
October: 21: Halloweentown
October 23: The Babadook
October 24: Beetlejuice
October 25: Insidious
October 26: Bram Stoker’s Dracula
October 27: The Rocky Horror Picture Show
October 28: Hocus Pocus
October 29: The Final Girls
October 30: Paranormal Activity
October 31: Halloween
Start times vary between 7 and 8 pm / Admission is free / Visit the website for updated information
Take a tour of Philadelphia’s serial killers.
Apparently, Old City has a bit of a dark past. Allow your tour guide, a well-versed professor, to explain. Tour includes entrance to Christ Church and cemetery and a beer for your bravery.
Check out the Philadelphia Taxidermy Contest.
And don’t forget to dress up in your “furred or feathered finery.” Submit if you’re game/ Pieces may be created, collected, or altered. Presented by the Strange and Unusual Oddities Parlor.
4th Annual Philadelphia Alternative Taxidermy Contest / Saturday, October 14 / 7 pm to 10:30 pm / Ruba Club / $13
Sip cocktails and see skulls, sutures, and siamese twins.
The Mütter Museum is throwing it’s annual Mischief at the Mütter, a night to dress up, come out, and browse the museum’s medical oddities. Tickets go on sale September 18 at 8AM. A VIP ticket includes a 13-course dinner and a show.
Mischief at the Mütter / Friday, October 27 / 6:30 to 11 pm / $50
SAVE THE DATE: Friday, October 27. A precarious party full of marvel and fright is brewing at the Mütter for another night… As October quickly creeps upon us, we're ready with a full schedule of events, headlined by our third annual MISCHIEF AT THE MÜTTER on Friday, October 27. Mütter Members will be able to get 'first chance' tickets from 8am on Monday, September 11, a whole week before they go on sale to the public! This includes 'first chance' to our new exclusive VIP experience, Clüb 13. Want to find out more and learn how to get tickets? The link in our bio will take you to our events listing… see you soon! #muttermuseum #museum #mischief #philly #phillyevent #philadelphia #mischiefatthemutter is sponsored by @cateringbydesignevents @hendricksgin @qcmalt and more tba
Press your own cider on Forbidden Drive.
Throw in an apple, crank the press, out comes the cider. It’s free and you know it’s tasty.
Apple Pressing / Saturday, September 23 / 11 am to 3 pm / Free
Prep your own moisturizer, because, as we all know, winter is coming.
Concoct your own herbaceous, homemade salve. Only $5 for BYO jar, $10 for jar included.
Winter Salve Making / Saturday, November 4 / 2 pm to 3:30 pm / $5 to $10, registration required
Make your own candles, for basically none of the cost.
At $2 a person, it’s crafty and it’s thrifty.
Candle Dipping / Saturday, November 18 / 1 to 2:30 pm / $2
Good Old-Fashioned Fall Stuff
Embrace the basic and pick a pumpkin.
I’d call it a crime if you didn’t take a quick fall trip to Linvilla Orchards in Media, and pick yourself a Jack-o-lantern to-be. While you’re down there, check out the rest of Pumpkinland. Take a hayride, indulge in a Spiderman face painting, heck, slingshot a few apples across a field, or bag ‘em for later.
Pumpkinland @ Linvilla Orchards / Weekends through November / Pay per Activity
Tailgate the Birds, tickets optional.
Nobody says you have to go to the game to celebrate it. Jump on your sporty friend’s tailgate, slurp some Buds, eat a dog, and chant the chant. You know the one.
Go for squash, apples, figs and kale, at your local farmer’s market.
The end of summer does not spell the end of produce.
Check out Chinatown – by day.
The Mid-Autumn Fest kicks things off with a Saturday-style block party. Bop on over to 10th and Arch for Kung Fu Demonstrations, a Mooncake-Eating Contest, plus an evening Lantern Parade.
Chinatown’s 22nd Annual Mid-Autumn Fest / Saturday, September 23 /12:45 to 7 pm / Free
Then, go round two at night.
The 3rd Annual Chinatown Night Market will be serving up a medley of Asian and Western eats, including 35+ food trucks, a la Calle Sabor, and Nomad Pizza. Plus, Chinatown restaurants like Yakatori Boy will have doors open for drink specials, and DJs will be spinning ‘till 11pm.
Also, here’s hoping the Philadelphia Suns Lion Dance Group comes out to play! Tag your fun with #yeshinightmarket.
Chinatown Night Market / Thursday, October 12 / 7 to 11 pm / Free
Hit up a fall festival.
This is the obvious one, but it absolutely needs to be included. Check out one of the 29 festivals in Philadelphia this fall.