Fall Fun Guide: Celebrate the season in Philly

things to do in Philly this fall
Head to Craftsman Row Saloon if you’re looking for fun things to do in Philly this fall.
Craftsman Row Saloon.

Looking for some fun things to do in Philly this fall? We’ve got you covered. 

“Bad Things Happen in Philadelphia- The Philly True Crime Tour”

From Founding Footsteps, this new trolley-driven experience will bring Philadelphians all around the city to discover the darker side of its history. Topics being covered include the nation’s first serial killer, H.H. Holmes (who spend some time unfortunately, in Philly) plus some local stories including Gary Heidnik, a certified genius with a penchant for locking his victims in a pit he dug in his basement—which would later become a partial inspiration for Buffalo Bill from ‘Silence of the Lambs.’ 

There will also be some lighter topics covered on the tour spanning jewel heists, how corrupt politicians manipulated the court system and more tales all told through storytelling, live music and video presentations. 

As a release states, the tour runs Thursdays through Saturdays throughout October, starting Saturday, Oct. 8. Tickets are $48 and include one cocktail from PJ Clarke’s (6th And Walnut inside the Curtis Building), which is where the tour starts and ends. 

things to do in Philly this fall
The Bad Things Happen in Philadelphia Tour.Founding Footsteps


Harvest Weekend at Dilworth Park

If you’re looking for things to do in Philly this fall, this weekend holds a fan favorite that happens right in Center City. Harvest Weekend at Dilworth Park features a full schedule of entertainment, including local bands and DJs, live pumpkin carving demonstrations, and pumpkin painting for kids. And to add to the magic, scarecrow stilt walkers and magicians will also make regular appearances, as will the Temple University Spirit Squad and Pep Band (on Friday, Oct. 7, at 6 p.m.)

Other highlighted activities include the opportunity to make fresh cider with an authentic apple press (Oct. 8,) a stein-holding competition presented by Troeg’s Oktoberfest (Oct. 8 at 4:15 p.m.,) plus the Made in Philadelphia Fall Market, which is returning with more than 60 local vendors. 

Food and drink wise, the weekend will also feature fall staples such as bratwurst and Bavarian pretzels, a line-up of local and craft beer brands, plus cocktails made with Maker’s Mark bourbon and Haku Vodka. A full schedule of programming can be found online. 

 1 S. 15th St., centercityphila.org

Craftsman Row Saloon

For the month of October, Craftsman Row Saloon has undergone some major changes in the form of an all-new Halloween pop-up taking over their space and menu. 

While you walk through the Jeweler’s Row venue, you can find characters from popular Halloween movies such as Jack Skellington, Sally and the Boogie Man placed throughout the venue, plus, dozens of witches hats of all shapes and sizes, whimsical skeletons, spider cobwebs, installations inspired by pop culture, twinkling lights, giant hairy spiders and more. 

On the menu, some spooky updates have also been made. Highlights include the Haunted Mac and Cheese ($14, four cheese blend, pumpkin, toasted breadcrumbs and pumpkin seeds), Mummy Dog ($11, a puff pastry wrapped hot dog, crinkle fries and ketchup-mustard dip), Jack’s Burger ($16, two smashed patties, American cheese, maple-candied bacon, pumpkin aioli and pumpkin seed topping on a martin’s potato roll which can be made vegetarian) and more. 

And it wouldn’t quite be a trip to Craftsman Row without some milkshakes. Two new additions have hit the menu: This is Halloween (made with Bassetts chocolate ice cream, crushed Oreos, house-made Jack cookies, black rock candy, Oreo cookie crumble and black sprinkles), and the Gravedigger (made with Bassetts pumpkin ice cream and a donut crumble, vampire donut, rock candy and Halloween sprinkles). It’s an extra special treat if you’re itching for fun things to do in Philly this fall.

things to do in Philly this fall
Craftsman Row Saloon.Craftsman Row Saloon.

112 S. 8th St., craftsmanrowsaloon.com

Spooky activations with Historic Philadelphia

There are a few ways to celebrate the fall season with Historic Philadelphia. For one, the Spooky Twilight Tours are back at the Betsy Ross House (239 Arch St.) on Friday and Saturday evenings until Oct. 29. While on the tour, according to a release, visitors can take a trip back in time to Philadelphia in the 1700s to learn about the city’s gruesome history of infection and inoculation. Hear true, macabre tales about bloodletting, smallpox, yellow fever, and other gross experiences while finding out what it was like to live in the ghastly 18th century while there.

After the tour, visitors can then head into the house for another leg of the experience, a “spooky shadowy tour.” Tours run from 6 to 9 p.m. and cost $12.

At Franklin Square (200 N 6th St.), there’s another way to experience the season if you’re looking for fun things to do in Philly this fall. Spooky Mini Golf  is in full swing at Franklin Square and continues nightly, 6 to 9 p.m., through Oct. 31. All decked out in Halloween finery, the course will now feature spooky music, lights, smoke and special effects throughout the course. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children 3-12 and can be purchased on-site or in advance at Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

Even better, on Fridays and Saturdays, Philadelphians can make a night of it by purchasing a Spooky Twosome, which includes a Spooky Twilight Tour for two and a round of Spooky Mini Golf for just $25.


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