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Home / Community  / Things To Do This Week  / High Five! Philly Family-Friendly Weekend Events: October 19–20

High Five! Philly Family-Friendly Weekend Events: October 19–20

Happy weekend! Plan the perfect weekend with our picks.

Plan the perfect weekend with our picks.

Click here for ongoing events that run through the weekend, like all the museum exhibits.

All Weekend

‘The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Experience’ Comes to the Franklin Institute

October 19–April 19

222 N. 20th St.


Based on the internationally best-selling survival handbook, that was created in Philadelphia, “The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Experience” makes its world premiere at the Franklin Institute, bringing hands-on, immersive challenges that show visitors how to survive unexpected but possible “worst-case scenarios” in fun and thought-provoking ways.

CityKids Consignment Sale

October 19 and 20

Neumann Goretti High School, entrance on 11th Street between Morris St. and Moore St.


Stock up for the season at this twice-yearly sale run by Lilypad in South Philly. Thousands of used kid and baby items fill the room, from toys to strollers, to lots of clothes!

Boo at the Zoo

October 19, 20, 26 and 27, 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 18—20

Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St.


Viva la vie bohème! RENT came to Philly this past winter, but it was so popular that the tour decided to come back for one weekend this fall, so if you missed out, now is your chance! Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Straw Maze Fun at Woodmere Museum

October 19–20

9201 Germantown Ave.


Built from massive straw bales, this year’s maze is fun for ages 4-11 with a parent. Entrance to the museum is free to parents and guardians whose children have tickets to the Straw Maze. On Saturday, it’s the Witches and Wizards festival throughout Chestnut Hill as well (see below) and the Circus Festival!


August 27–November 17

Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut St.


The Broadway sensation based on our ten dollar founding father is finally coming, so do not throw away your shot! Don’t have tickets? Enter the #HAM4HAM lottery! Still don’t have tickets? We rounded up ways to stay entertained with Hamilton-related activities in Philly until you do!

Young Frankenstein

September 3—October 20

Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St.


It’s alive! This musical stage adaptation of Mel Brooks’ hilarious film comes to WST. Tickets available online.

The GLOW: A Jack O’Lantern Experience

October 5—31

West Fairmount Park, 5201 Parkside Ave.


Take a stroll down Jack’s path to see elaborately carved pumpkins and displays like you’ve never seen!

Spooky Mini Golf

Thursdays through Sundays from October 3—31, 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!

Morgan’s Pier Fall Fest

September 25–October 26

Morgan’s Pier, 221 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd.


Fall Fest at Morgan’s Pier brings a full month of special events, beer festivals, and family fun to the waterfront. Events include weekend pumpkin carving.


Now open through January 9

Ninth and Market streets


Coming to the new Fashion District, Candytopia brings its wildly popular experiential installation art to Philly this fall. Favorites—like the marshmallow pit filled with over 250,000 foam marshmallows, and the rainbow-filled room with flying unicorn pigs and confetti explosions—will be joined by Philly-specific elements. It’s Instagram heaven, and you even get to eat candy throughout the experience! Tickets are available online, where you can reserve your timeslot. Kids age 3 and under get in free!

Ghost Ship

October 4– November 3; Wednesdays through Sundays from 7–10 pm

Race Street Pier


This a 90-foot, three-dimensional, light and water installation on the Delaware River depicts a giant 18th-century ship apparition! The art is dynamic, affected by the weather, so you’ll get a different experience each time! To add to your spooky boat experience, access recorded reflections of local experts and artists speak to the river’s importance to Philadelphia with diverse stories from before colonization to the present day. For the duration of the installation, the creators of Parks on Tap have created the pop-up River Beer Garden at Race Street Pier. featuring Mainstay Independent Brewing Company beers and fall-themed food options; along with a festive outdoor space featuring lighting, comfortable chairs, and hammocks.


Creepy Crawly Saturday at Please Touch Museum

October 19, 9 am–5 pm

4231 Avenue of the Republic


Put on your favorite costume and get ready for a creepy, crawly Halloween party! Decorate a trick-or-treat bag, then search the museum for charming characters who want to give you a treat! Create with PopUp Play, enjoy live music and cooking demos, and stick around for the costume parade at the end of the day!

Family Pollinator Walk in the Azalea Garden

October 19, 9—11 am

Azalea Garden


Bring the kids for a morning of pollinator fun at the Azalea Garden. Learn more about these important insects and what you can do at home with your family to help. There will also be an opportunity to volunteer in the garden with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society staff that manages and maintains this beautiful landscape.

Reading Terminal Market Harvest Festival

October 19, 10 am—4 pm

51 N. 12th St.


Reading Terminal Market will shut down Filbert Street with a mini farm, hayrides, pumpkins, arts and crafts for kids, live music, a beer garden, and of course plenty of food.

Philadelphia Orchestra’s Sound All Around: Woodwinds

October 19, 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. This month, learn about the woodwinds. Concerts are 45 minutes and are hosted by award-winning storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston. Saturday’s performances are sensory-friendly. Tickets available online.

Arden Bookworms

October 19, 10—10:45 am

Hamilton Family Arts Center, 62 N. Second Street


Preschoolers (age 2-4) will read Kitten’s First Full Moon, then use theater games, music, and creative movement to bring the story to life. Pre-register online.

Arden Workshop: Musical Theatre Dance

October 19, 10 am—1 pm (Grades 6-8); 2—5 pm (Grades 9-12)

Hamilton Family Arts Center, 62 N. Second Street


Tweens and teens will learn a dance warm up, professional movement exercises, and choreography for a Broadway dance routine to perform at the end of class. Pre-register online.

Vendor Fest and Global Cardboard Challenge

October 19, 10 am—4 pm

Smith Memorial Playground, 3500 Reservoir Dr.


Buy and sell family-friendly items at Smith (RSVP online to be a vendor). There will also be cardboard costume-making with Pop-Up Play and Fab Youth Philly as well as the usual fun in the playground! This event is free for the public.

Friends of Schuylkill River Park Fall Festival

October 19, 10 am—3 pm

Schuylkill River Park (Pine and Taney streets)


Celebrate fall with music, moon bounce, face painting, crafts, silent auction, raffles, and carnival games.

Pop Up Playground and Perphormance

October 19, 10 am—5 pm

Dickinson Square Park. E. Moyamensing Ave. at Morris St.


Participants will create structures (potentially a playground) from provided materials such as cardboard, fabric, paint, and PVC pipe. A “perphormative” reflection, inspired by authentic creativity, will happen among the created structures at 12:30 pm and 4:30 pm.

Song and Story with Sister Cities Girlchoir

October 19, 10:30 am—noon

Palmer Park, 1561 E. Palmer St.


Join Sister Cities Girlchoir – the girl empowerment choral academy with young singers from over 25 Philadelphia zip codes – for a free, family-friendly, musical adventure inspired by the connection between songs and stories. The concert will start with a shared story accompanied by sound and movement designed by youth participants, followed by songs and sing-alongs for families.

Drag Queen Storytime at LOVE Park

October 19, 11 am

15th St. and JFK Blvd.


Hear stories about love, diversity, anti-bullying, and friendship with Philly’s Drag Queen Brittany Lynn!

PNC Grow Up Great Free Concert at the Kimmel Center

October 19, 11 am

Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.


During this monthly interactive kids’ concert in Commonwealth Plaza, kids learn the basics of jazz, musical theater, and more. Dancing is highly encouraged, and every performance ends with a little parade around the Kimmel Center’s lobby to “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Special for the October show, stick around after the concert for a gravity-defying performance by the Youth Troupe of The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts! And then after that, sing along to Hamilton (see below)!


October 19, 12:30 pm

Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.


HAMILTUNES is an officially licensed sing-along set to the soundtrack of Hamilton. You can sing solo or as a group. Sign up online to sing your favorite Hamilton song on stage or just come out and enjoy this free event that is open to all. Costumes are encouraged (but no swords or dueling pistols)!

South Philadelphia Book Fiesta

October 19, 11 am—3 pm

Five library branches throughout South Philly: Charles Santore Library (932 S. Seventh St.), South Philadelphia Library (1700 S. Broad St.), Fumo Family Library (2437 S. Broad St.), Whitman Library (200 Snyder Ave.), Queen Memorial Library (1201 S. 23rd St.), and Thomas F. Donatucci, Sr. Library (1935 Shunk St.)


Explore the cultural and linguistic diversity of South Philadelphia as you travel between libraries and other locations for a day of fun family activities. Free activities include giveaways, treats, storytimes, crafts, and much more! Then, at 4 pm at Chew Playground there will be a free barbecue with storytime, and music.

Saturday Free Boating at Bartram’s Garden

October 19, 11 am—3 pm

Bartram’s Gardens’ Community Boathouse, 5400 Lindbergh Blvd.


Bartram’s Garden will provide the boats, life jackets, and basic instruction. Choose from a kayak (for 30 minutes) or rowboat (for 45 minutes). No experience is necessary. All ages are welcome, but minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Chestnut Hill Witches and Wizards Day

October 19, noon—5 pm

Chestnut Hill


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, shopping, and so much more. Head over to Hocus Pocus Headquarters (tickets required) for seasonal stations including monster dig, potion-making, and pumpkin-decorating. The Woodmere Art Museum straw maze will be open, too! The event is free to attend, with some activities being pay-as-you-go—but registration is required. And if you feel like getting a babysitter the night before, there is a Brews and Broomsticks pub crawl on October 18.

Circus Day at Woodmere Art Museum

October 19, 1—4 pm

9201 Germantown Ave.


Come for an afternoon of fun and performances in and around Woodmere’s legendary Straw Maze. Performers from Circadium: School of Contemporary Circus will demonstrate world-class juggling, acrobatics, and balancing skills for audiences of all ages. Plus, see performances by the kids of Philadelphia School of Circus Arts’ Youth Troupe!

Applefest at Fox Chase Farm

October 19, 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.

Franklin Square Pumpkin Patch

October 19, 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.

Dranoff Properties Construction Carnival

October 19, noon—3 pm

Arthaus Construction Site, 301 S. Broad Street


The family friendly event will include food, games, giveaways, and fun including Touch-A-Truck, Excavation Zone, and more.

Out and About in MNYK

October 19, noon—5 pm (Drag Queen Storytime at 2 pm)

Canal View Park, Manayunk


Manayunk is bringing a new event to Main Street in honor of National Coming Out Day. The event includes Drag Queen Storytime with Drag Queen Brittany Lynn at 2 pm. Plus face painting, vendors, and more.

Daniel Tiger at Mill Creek Playground

October 19, noon—2 pm

4700 Brown Street


Learn about WHYY and Mighty Writers’ new Mill Creek Early Learners programs while enjoying family activities and free giveaways including Daniel Tiger books, fuzzy ears, and a meet-and-greet with everyone’s favorite tiger.

Oktoberfest Performance at Independence Seaport Museum

October 19, 2—6 pm

211 S. Columbus Blvd.


Even non-drinkers can get in on the fun with this lively dance performance. Independence Seaport Museum and Auerhahn Schuhplattler Verein celebrate Oktoberfest with an evening of folk dances highlighting the Alpine regions of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The group’s specialty is the Schuhplattler (shoe slapping dance).

Fall Storytime and Pumpkin Painting

October 19, 3 pm

Oak Lane Library, 6614 N. 12th St.


A family storytime and festive snack, followed by painting your own mini pumpkin.  One pumpkin per child; first come, first served.  Program is best for preschoolers and younger school-age children, but all are welcome.

Little Night Out at Mama’s Wellness Joint

October 19, 5—8 pm

1100 Pine St.


Enjoy an adult night out and drop your kids (ages 6-12) off at Mama’s Wellness Joint for an evening filled with yoga, mindful activities, dinner, and crafts led by Little Yoga Collective. Pre-register online, and have your kid bring a yoga mat and a water bottle.

Haunted Circus Mansion

October 19; Family-friendly events from 6–8 pm, adult events later at night

Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, 6451 Greene Street


Philadelphia School of Circus Arts will host a haunted extravaganza. Explore the dark and spooky paths inside a mysterious and grand 100-year old building; if you’re bringing the family, the Cellar Path offers a spooky “PG experience” with classic Halloween characters, gentle scares, a trip on the tight-wire, and more. This spooky, family-friendly haunted pathway is where kids of all ages get to trick-or-treat, interact with Halloween characters and have a scary good time. This path will be upstairs this year, going to all the different rooms on the second floor.

Haunted River Cruise

October 19, 8 pm

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.


Halloween Family Fun Day at The Woodlands

October 20, noon–3 pm

4000 Woodland Ave.


The Woodlands is hosting a free spooky family-friendly day to celebrate Halloween. See creepy specimens at the Mutter Museum pop up, go on a Halloween scavenger hunt, and more. Plus, at 2:30 pm, there will be a pet costume contest!

Bartram’s Garden HarvestFest

October 20, noon—3 pm

5400 Lindbergh Blvd.


Enjoy pumpkin carving, cider pressing, hayrides, food workshops, paddling on the river, music, and more at this free family-friendly festival.

Springfield Mills Demonstration Day

October 20, noon—4 pm

Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave.


Bring your family to explore the arboretum’s historic grist mill situated along the picturesque Wissahickon Creek. For ages 3 and up.

Auntie and FUNcle Adventures: Sip and Paint

October 20, 1—3 pm

Wissahickon Environmental Center, 300 W. Northwestern Ave.


Aunts and uncles bring your nieces and nephews on an outdoor art adventure. Sip on juice and paint nature-themed masterpieces en plein air. Pre-register online.

PAFA Family Art Academy

October 20, 2—4 pm

PAFA, 118-128 N. Broad St.


Think beyond the surface of paper and learn how the ancient technique of wax painting can be used to alter photography and create magical landscapes. Free admission.

Beginner Haunted Pumpkin Patch Cake Workshop

October 20, 2—4 pm

Ella Vanilla, 7922 Germantown Avenue


Aspiring cake bosses ages 9 and older can create some creepy cake creations with cake artist and owner of Ella Vanilla, Noelle DeSantis. You’ll decorate a one-layer 6-inch vanilla cake with vanilla icing and spooky decorations! Pre-register by calling (215) 909-9392 or emailing Info@EllaVanilla.com.



Photograph courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.

Contributing Writer