High Five! Philly Family-Friendly Weekend Events: October 20–21
From fall festivals to Halloween fun, and much more, this weekend has everything! Plan the perfect weekend with our picks.
Click here for ongoing events that run through the weekend.
1 S. 15th St.
October 17—21(Made in Philadelphia Market from October 19—21)
Enjoy the flavors of fall with craft beer and food (plus free apple cider), as well as music, games and entertainment. On Saturday, bring your already-carved pumpkins to Dilworth Park for a contest (register here). Made in Philadelphia market will be there too, with local Philadelphian vendors selling art, handmade gifts, food, and more.
October 20–21, 10 am—4 pm
Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Ave.
Put on your favorite costume and set out on a trick-or-treat safari around the zoo! There are also festive displays throughout the zoo that make for great photo ops, and a hay bale maze on Impala Lawn.
October 20—21, 10 am—5 pm
101 South Third Street
Meet soldiers, civilians, and spies during this “living history” event that recreates the dark days of the fall of 1777 when the British Army captured Philadelphia. Guests can complete a spy challenge to collect information on the British Army, and vignettes of street theater will recreate dramatic moments from the time.
Weekends through October 28
Cherry Street Pier, 121 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd.
The new Delaware River Waterfront attraction Cherry Street Pier is open, bringing recreation, food, performance space, artist studios, markets, gardens, and more. To celebrate this vibrant new public space, there will be an arts festival from October 13—28 featuring participatory programs, music, sculptures, installations, visual arts, and more.
Fridays through Sundays from October 5—28, 5—9 pm
Moshulu, 401 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.
The iconic Moshulu transforms into a pirate ship for a family-friendly celebration featuring costumed characters, spooky tours, an on-deck pumpkin patch, treats, and more! Tickets available online.
Thursdays through Sundays from October 4—28
West Fairmount Park, 5201 Parkside Ave.
Take a stroll down Jack’s path to see elaborate carved pumpkins and displays like you’ve never seen! New for this year, there’s a display dedicated to our champion Philadelphia Eagles. Tickets are available online.
Multiple dates from October 5—28
Meet at 211 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.
This spooky 90-minute “Phantoms of the River” tour is narrated by a pirate telling spooky tales of the “haunted” Delaware River. Tickets available online.
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from October 5—28, 6—9 pm
Franklin Square, 200 N. Sixth St.
Franklin Square’s Philly-themed mini golf is transformed into spooky fun for the Halloween season with fog, lights, music, and surprises!
Saturdays and Sundays in October, 10 am—5 pm
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Visit the museum and trick-or-treat as you visit the exhibits—each one has a small treat for you to take home and cool Halloween-themed specimens for you to check out. Wear a costume for $2 off admission.
October 20—21; 11 am, 1 pm, and 3:30 pm
Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia
The Citizen Science Lab at Independence Seaport Museum hosts hands-on, interactive experiences for the whole family centered around water, with a focus on the Delaware River’s biology, ecology and chemistry, plus language arts, history and basic engineering.
October 19, 7:30 pm—October 20, 8 pm
The Schooner Diligence outside Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Blvd.
Various Philadelphians will read Herman Melville’s classic novel over a 24-hour period on the board of a historic ship. This collaboration with between the Rosenbach and Independence Seaport Museum will feature a boatload of food and fun activities for all ages. Buy tickets in advance and come and go as you please throughout the reading.
October 20, 9—11 am
Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Children on the autism spectrum and their families are invited to experience the museum before the crowds. Pre-registration is required (same-day registration is available onsite). If you would like to attend, please contact visitor services at 215-299-1060 or ANS_reservations@drexel.edu.
October 20, 10 am–3 pm
Franklin Institute, 222 North 20th Street
Explore the evolution of robotics through hands-on activities using Ozobots and Scribble Bots, drone and Segway demonstrations, robot-related games — and an all-day robotics competition featuring 55 bots from across the country, including those built by The Franklin Institute’s PACTS students.
October 20, 10 am and 11:15 am
Academy of Music Ballroom, 240 S. Broad St.
Sound All Around is a great introduction to classical music for youngsters (ages 3-5), and features members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Philadelphia Orchestra musician Ernesto Tovar Torres will guide the audience through the brass family. The 10 am time is a sensory-friendly performance, which will have a smaller audience capacity and a relaxed environment for kids who may need to move, vocalize, or get up to walk around.
October 20, 10—10:45 am
62 N. Second Street
Kids age 2-4 (with a caregiver) will enjoy a story, then use theater games, music, and creative movement to bring it to life. Pre-register online.
October 20; 10 am—1 pm for Grades 6-8, 2—5 pm for Grades 9-12
Arden Drama School, Hamilton Family Arts Center, 62 N. Second Street
In this class taught by a professional choreographer, kids will be lead through a dance warm up, professional movement exercises, and choreography for a Broadway dance routine to perform at the end of class. Pre-register in advance.
October 20, 11 am—noon
300 S. Broad St.
This free monthly interactive kids’ concert at the Kimmel Center is a great way to kick off your weekend with some lively music and movement.
October 20, 11 am–1 pm
625 Wharton St.
Get your costumes on and celebrate with a magician, balloon animals, snacks, and some special surprises!
October 20, 11 am– 3 pm
St. Thomas Aquinas School, 1719 Morris St.
Free family-friendly activities and educational workshops, food from around the world for purchase, music, performances, games, and more.
October 20, 11 am–3 pm
FDR Park Boathouse, 1500 Pattison Ave.
Experience a temporary art installation by local artist Nicole Donnelly, and learn more about the park‘s environmental history. There will be guided walks exploring the park and educational programming for kids and families. You can even learn how to make paper using plants that grow in the park.
October 20, 11 am–4 pm
3260 South St.
Join museum archaeologists, conservators, curators, and collections staff for a behind-the-scenes look for aspiring explorers of all ages.
October 20, 11 am–3 pm (Rain Date: October 21)
Markward Playground, Taney and Pine streets
Celebrate fall with a bounce house, petting zoo, vendors, face painting, food and refreshments, raffles, and more.
October 20, noon—2 pm
Franklin Square, 200 N. Sixth St.
Kids 10 and under can select a free pumpkin, then decorate it with spooky designs to take home. Fair warning: people start to line up for this well in advance, and it gets crowded.
October 20, noon — 4 pm
8500 Pine Road
Get a taste of the country at this lovely event at city-owned Fox Chase Farm. Enjoy a day of cider pressing, apple butter making, hayrides, seasonal games, pumpkin painting, music, and more. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids.
October 20, noon—5 pm
Formerly known as the Harry Potter Festival, this annual event features traditions such as the Brotherly Love Cup Quidditch Tournament, creepy crafts for kids, live circus performers, an archery range, Mad Science demonstrations, harvest hayrides, shopping, and more. The event is free to attend, with some activities being pay-as-you-go—but registration is required. The day also includes a family-friendly circus festival at the Woodmere Art Museum, which includes art-making activities, outdoor circus and aerial performances at 2 pm, the Straw Maze, and more. Tickets for the Woodmere event are $5 per child, and a shuttle will be provided.
October 20, noon–2 pm
1199 N. Delaware Ave.
This annual event features a free pumpkin patch, Halloween games, prizes for best costumes, and some spooky surprises.
October 20, noon—2 pm
Woodford Mansion, 3400 West Dauphin Street
This free annual festival on the grounds of the historic Woodford Mansion includes cider making, apple tasting, pumpkin painting, live music, and children’s games. Mansion and Orchard Tours will be free.
October 20, 2 pm
South Philadelphia Library, 1700 S. Broad St.
Join host and drag queen Brittany Lynn who will test your knowledge of Harry Potter trivia and lore at this magical afternoon full of fun, laughs and prizes!
October 20, 2 pm
Northeast Regional Library, 2228 Cottman Ave.
Bring your aprons and make a recipe from a favorite children’s book. For kids in grades 1-6.
October 20, 6—8 pm
1 Riverside Dr., Camden, NJ
F.I.S.H. Night, or Family Inclusive Special Hours Night, is designed for the special needs community to visit Adventure Aquarium in a relaxed setting. Sound and lighting accommodations have been made to ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone. Pre-register online.
October 21, 9–10 am
Fitness Works Philadelphia, 714 Reed St., Philadelphia
The hour-long class, open to little ones age 5 months to 3 years, incorporates honed techniques developed by Holly Waters to teach children how to feel comfortable and move their bodies in the water, helping them build confidence while exploring new surroundings in a safe, fun, and supervised setting. A parent is required to be in the pool with the child.
October 21, 10:30 am—3 pm
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
During this family-friendly drop-in art studio, meet mixed-up mythological creatures in art from around the world. Then unleash wild imagination and create your own hybrid beasts.
October 21, 10:30 am—noon
Julian Abele Park, 913 S. 22nd Street
Come to the park for a free day of bracelet making, trick-or-treat bag decorating, Halloween themed coloring crafts, treats, and more. There will also be a 50/50 raffle benefiting the park.
October 21, 11 am and 1 pm
Curtis Institute of Music, 1616 Locust Street
This interactive exploration of rhythm is inspired by the classic children’s book Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins about a band of monkeys! The performance will use percussion as a tool for communication, teamwork, creativity, leadership, and discipline.
October 21, noon–3 pm
4000 Woodland Ave.
The Woodlands is hosting a free spooky family-friendly day to celebrate Halloween. Get mummified with the Penn Museum, make masks with Spiral Q, see creepy specimens at the Mutter Museum pop up, and more. Plus, at 2:30 pm, there will be a pet costume contest!
October 21, noon—3 pm
Solly Stables, 1140 Solly Ave.
This Fairmount Park stable hosts its annual Halloween celebration with horses in costume, trick-or-treating in the barn, games, crafts, and more! Kids are encouraged to wear costumes.
October 21, 1—4 pm
1001 N. Second St.
Come out and watch the Eagles take on the Panthers on the big screen!
October 21, 2—4 pm
118-128 N. Broad St.
At this free art program for the whole family, create a series of drawings and paintings that will be turned into a video animation.
October 21, 6:30—7:30 pm
Eastern State Penitentiary, 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue
Not for the very young or the faint of heart (they recommend ages 7 and up), this haunted attraction held in a historic prison stages six scary attractions. Family Nights are Sundays before 7:30 pm– kids (ages 7-12) get discounted tickets, and if they don’t want any trouble they can say, “Monster Be Good!,” and they will! Tickets are available online.
Looking for more? Here’s what’s going on in the suburbs!
Photograph courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.