While we can’t celebrate the season in all the ways we’re used to this year, there ARE still ways to have some fall fun in Philly in 2020! With spooky tours, scarecrows, Oktoberfest celebrations and trick or treating amongst the animals, here are just 6 events that are bringing you some seasonal fun:
Night Tours at Eastern State Penitentiary
When: Select dates from September 18 through November 15
Where: 2027 Fairmount Avenue
The annual haunted house event, Terror Behind the Walls, is cancelled this year due to the pandemic. But you can STILL visit one of the most famous prisons in the world this fall! The penitentiary is offering Night Tours, allowing visitors to explore the dark, abandoned cellblocks like never before. These self-guided tours include access to historic locations in the complex such as Al Capone’s Cell and Death Row. You can also enjoy “The Voices of Eastern State” audio Tour, narrated by Steve Buscemi. Tickets start at $19 and vary by night. Find out more about the event and purchase tickets HERE.
PHLOktoberfest 2020 at Frankford Hall
When: September 19 through October 3
Where: 1210 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia
Frankford Hall is celebrating its 9th Annual Oktoberfest … the socially distanced edition! This year, the fun AND the tables will be spread out. They’ll be hosting weekly events including specialty beer and food packages, live music, German dance performances, stein holding contests, Quizzo and more. Admission is free, and they’re even offering takeout options and online events if you prefer to celebrate remotely.
Fall Fest at Morgan’s Pier
Where: 221 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia
Morgan’s Pier Fall Fest returns for the sixth season with with 6 weeks of stunning views, entertainment, fall food and cocktails, seasonal beers and much more. New for 2020, Morgan’s Pier Fall Fest for the first time ever in its history will operate fully at seven days a week. Hours once Fall Fest begins (and new times start in Philadelphia/Pennsylvania) will be from Monday to Sunday, from noon to last seating at 9:30 pm. (Hours are subject to change based on local and state guidelines.)
This year’s Chef in Residence Jon Adair will transform the current food offerings to adjust to new local, seasonal offerings. Featured favorite dishes this season include Mushroom FATbread featuring Lost Bread Co.’s dough, topped with white sauce, pancetta, ricotta and sage. For a sweet seasonal ending to the meal, don’t miss a throwback with the Pier’s Pumpkin Bread and Fried Apple Empanadas. The beer and cocktail menu also receive a seasonal revamping with local brews such as MainStay Octoberfest, Evil Genius Trick or Treat Choc Pumpkin Porter, Victory Festbier and 2SP Baby Bob Stout. For those looking to warm up with a hot, spiked drink, an Apple Spiced Toddy or S’mores cocktail with rum, hot chocolate, honey, chocolate drizzle and a ‘mallow will have you feeling cozy in no time.
For entertainment, pumpkin carving will be available on weekends from 11:00am to 5:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Patrons can pick a pumpkin from the Morgan’s Pier Pumpkin Patch for only $5/$10. Additionally, music will be provided by local entertainers every weekend on Thursday nights, Friday happy hour and night, Saturday day and night, and Sunday day.
For sports fans, the only thing more Fall than pumpkin spice is the return of the Philadelphia Eagles. Bleed green during games and catch them at the Pier with the game, with sound, from televisions playing the full game from kick-off until the last play. New for 2020, look for Morgan’s Pier Philly Sports Package, featuring appetizers, and open bar for $75 per person (not including tax and gratuity), from 30 minutes before the start of the game to 30 minutes after kick-off.
Reservations, masks and socially distancing are required during the global pandemic.
Oktoberfest at Brauhaus Schmitz
When: Friday, September 25 through Sunday, September 27 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: 718 South Street, Philadelphia
Grab your lederhosen and dust off those dirndls because you CAN still celebrate Oktoberfest this year! Come out for Oktoberfest music, Chef Val’s amazing food, Oktoberfest biers, and pop-up appearances by the United German Hungarians and Don Bitterlick on accordion. Tickets are $20 per person and gets you a table for 2 hours. (You can book a table for another 2 hours at $20 per person again. The money for the reservation will go toward your final bill amount.
13th Annual Scarecrow Walk at Morris Arboretum
When: October 3 – November 1
Where: 100 E. Northwestern Avenue, Chestnut Hill
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Morris Arboretum’s Scarecrow Design Contest is back for the 13th year (spooky right?) with the 2020 theme, “Fairy Tale ‘Crows.” Think back to your favorite fairy tales. Scarecrows will be on display throughout the Arboretum from October 3 through November 1. Vote for your favorite to determine the winners of the Scarecrow Design Contest.
Annual Boo at the Zoo at Philadelphia Zoo
When: October 16-18, October 23-25 and October 30-November 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Where: 3400 W. Girard Avenue, Philadelphia
Enjoy three wild weekends of Halloween fun with the family as Boo at the Zoo takes over Philadelphia Zoo. Come dressed in your favorite costume, enjoy a COVID-friendly, socially distanced parade, seasonal decor, the Great Pumpkin Wall, photo opportunities, and a spooktacular good time. Instead of trick or treating around the Zoo, there will be treat bags given away courtesy of Mars. The annual not-so-scary extinction graveyard will showcasing extinct animals and animals the Zoo is trying to save from extinction. Fall food and drink special offerings will include hot apple cider, sweets and treats, and more to be announced soon.
New for this year, post your families favorite photo on Instagram and tag @philadelphiazoo and hashtag #booatthezoophilly for a chance to win great prizes – and have your photo shared on the Philadelphia Zoo Instagram.
As Boo at the Zoo approaches, look for the leaves of the trees around Philadelphia Zoo to add to the enchantment as one of the very top spots in the city proper to watch the leaves and fall foliage change over to the beautiful oranges, yellows and reds of the fall season. All health and safety precautions are in place for Boo at the Zoo – including the wearing of COVID 19-safe face masks and practicing social distancing.
Timed reservations will go on sale on October 1. Boo at the Zoo is included with the price of admission. Zoo admission is $24.00 for adults (ages 12 and up), $19.00 for children (2 to 11), and free for children under two.