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5 Spooky Date Night Ideas this October

Get a babysitter and break out of the dinner-and-a-movie routine with these unique events.

It’s been a minute since you’ve had a date, so you’ve called up your babysitter, and you’re all set. But where to go? If you’re looking for something a little more exciting than grabbing dinner and drinks, October in Philly has lots of fun—and spooky—options for you to have a unique date night soon!

Nightmare Before Tinsel

October 3–31

116 S. 12th St.


At the risk of sounding like SNL’s Stefon, this Halloween pop-up bar located in an abandoned jewelry store has everything: creepy clowns, a room lined with baby doll heads, and more spooky scares. The drink menu (or “Apothecary Recipe Book,” as they call it) has themed cocktails like Undertaker, Candy Corn, and the Ecto Cooler Shot, which comes in a skull-shaped glass (that you can keep) with a gummy brain surprise at the bottom. This instaworthy spot is only open for the month of October, but it will haunt your dreams long after–we talked about the clowns already, right?

.Terror Behind the Walls

September 20–November 9 (check their schedule)

Eastern State Penitentiary, 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue


The iconic Eastern State Penitentiary takes “haunted house” to a whole new level, staging six scary attractions in the historic prison. This event is said to be far too scary for little kids, so definitely leave them home (though you can bring older kids on Sunday afternoons for Family Days). Tickets can be purchased online or on-site.

Photograph courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary.


Brews and Broomsticks Pub Crawl

October 18, 7:30—10 pm

Six participating bars from 7700 to 8700 Germantown Avenue


Chestnut Hill’s totally-not-Harry-Potter Witches and Wizards Festival kicks off with an adults-only event the night before the festival. This evening of magical fun includes food and drink specials at six Germantown Avenue bars, The Haunting of Chestnut Hill escape room, music, performances by circus aerialists and fire-breathers, fortune tellers, glow-in-the-dark face painting, costumed actors, and more!

Gravediggers’ Ball

October 18, 7 pm–midnight

The Mütter Museum, 19 S. 22nd Street


This annual fundraiser of the Friends of Laurel Hill and West Laurel Hill Cemeteries invites guests to come in black tie, costume, or masquerade attire (and there are costume contests!), so if you’re looking for a spooky and swanky evening, this one’s for you. Dress to impress and take a tour of the museum; plus enjoy drinks, entertainment, raffles, and more.

Door 19: ‘Death and Taxidermy’

October 24, 6—9 pm

Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway


Come in costume—if you want—for a spooky, quirky science-themed soiree just for adults. Meet a couture taxidermist and a ghost hunting crew, make macabre mounted butterfly wing art, explore creepy specimens, and enjoy the open bar and bites. Plus you can experience the rest of the museum at night! Tickets available online.


Lead photograph by Laura Swartz.

Contributing Writer



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