Mask Up: Here’s How Philly is Celebrating Halloween in 2020
Let’s get spooky in a socially-distant way!
Halloween in Philly is always incredible, and this year it was set to be epic, falling on a Saturday, on a full moon—a true Halloweekend bash! But it’s 2020, so even though we’ve truly perfected the art of wearing masks, Halloween is going to be scaled back. The CDC advised against traditional trick-or-treating this week, so it’s time to get creative. Luckily, the city has been doing that throughout the whole COVID-19 pandemic, and Halloween is not canceled!
We are rounding up all the ways to celebrate around the city, and will be adding to our list as more events are added—be sure to bookmark this and check back as the situation is ever-changing. So, get your best mask-forward costume together and let’s get spooky in a socially-distant way!
Halloween Pumpkin Hunt
Inspired by the Rainbow Map this spring when COVID lockdown started, the Halloween Pumpkin Hunt is a fun, socially distanced activity that gets kids out on the street in costume! On Halloween, kids walk around in costumes to find the pumpkin pictures on their own time and with whatever route they make up. The Halloween Pumpkin Hunt was created by a mom in Brooklyn, but the hope is that other neighborhoods and cities join the fun, so find your neighborhood on the map, share, and join in the fun!
Morgan’s Pier Fall Fest
September 23–November 1
Morgan’s Pier, 221 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd.
Fall Fest at Morgan’s Pier always brings a full month of special events, fall food and drinks, and family fun to the waterfront. Events include weekend pumpkin carving, and Halloween fun as the festival goes on (stay tuned for more details). The waterfront spot will be decked out with fall decor, and seasonal treats like pumpkin bread and apple empanadas will be added to the menu; plus lots of autumn-flavored cocktails and beers (hot toddy, anyone?) will join their selection of local brews.
On Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am-5 pm, pumpkin carving will be available–pick a pumpkin from the Morgan’s Pier Pumpkin Patch for $5 or $10 and get started on your creation! Reservations, masks, and social distancing are required due to COVID-19.
Spooky Mini Golf at Franklin Square
October 1—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! Updated with COVID-related safety standards, masks are required and social distancing is enforced. While you’re there, the Franklin Square Fountain runs shows every 30 minutes with synchronized lights and music.
Spooky Movies at The Philly Drive-In
September 30—October 30
Fairmount Park, outside the Mann Center
From Hotel Transylvania to Hocus Pocus, you can enjoy free drive-in movies outside the Mann Center all October long! While these are free, you have to reserve tickets in advance. See the event link for the list of titles, and when each date’s tickets get released. Philly Parks & Rec is partnering with local food trucks offering pay-as-you-go food and beverages, or you can bring your own to enjoy in your car (no alcohol permitted). Attendees must remain in their vehicles at all times unless going to the food truck or restroom areas.
Paint Party at Yards Brewing Co.
October 4, 11 am
500 Spring Garden St.
Enjoy craft beers while your kids paint at a spooky Halloween canvas at this fun, family-friendly event. Pre-registration ($25 per child) is required, and includes a children’s meal and all supplies. This event is outdoors in a tented space, and each family or group will receive their own table to comply with social distancing requirements. All participants are required to wear masks when not seated.
Philly AIDS Thrift Drive-In: Beetlejuice
October 14, 7 pm
PFS Drive-In at the Navy Yard
Celebrate Philly AIDS Thrift’s 15 Year Anniversary with a drive-in screening of the spooky Tim Burton classic Beetlejuice. Advanced tickets are required; tickets will not be sold on site.
Boo at the Zoo
Weekends from October 16—November 1, 9:30 am—5 pm
Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Ave.
Put on your favorite costume and enjoy a (modified) Boo at the Zoo. Unlike previous years where kids trick-or-treat throughout the zoo, this year kids will receive a free candy bag upon exiting the zoo to minimize touchpoints. There are also festive displays throughout the zoo that make for great photo ops, and the annual “extinction graveyard.” Fall food and drink special offerings from zoo vendors will include hot apple cider, sweets and treats.
To limit capacity and ensure social distancing, all visitors must purchase advance timed-tickets—tickets will not be sold on site. Masks are required for guests ages 2 and up, and indoor exhibits remain closed. Learn more about the zoo’s reopening procedures and what you can do during your visit in our guide.
New for this year, post your family’s best Halloween style on Instagram (and tag @philadelphiazoo and hashtag #booatthezoophilly) for a chance to win great prizes, including a family membership! One or more photos will be shared each day during Boo at the Zoo for an online, virtual costume “parade” via the zoo’s Instagram Stories.
Parkway Pals Story Art
October 17, 11 am
Sister Cities Park, 210 N. 18th St.
Kids are invited to participate in a fun and festive scavenger hunt through the park, ending with a trick-or-treat bag of goodies. The Free Library of Philadelphia will host Story Art at noon, complete with Halloween-themed stories and take-away crafts. Costumes are encouraged, and masks are required.
Virtual Halloween Storytime with Calico Jack at Independence Seaport Museum
October 23, 3:30 pm; October 26, noon; October 28, 4 pm; and October 30, noon
Join Independence Seaport Museum and pirate in residence Calico Jack for some scary good fun! Calico Jack will be hosting a virtual storytime for kids on four different dates. Tickets available online.
Franklin Square Trick-or-Treat Street
October 24, noon—2 pm
Franklin Square, 200 N. Sixth St.
Get your costumes on and follow the map to special stops throughout Franklin Square to receive a treat! Free for children 12 and under, but reservations are required in advance and are limited to 25 visitors every 15 minutes to ensure social distancing. Masks are required at all times.
The Great Pumpkin Carve
October 24, noon
2301 S. Broad St.
Bring your kids (and your mask) for some creative fun on South Broad Street. Pumpkins and tools will be provided, and a balloon artist will be there too!
Howl-O-Ween Fall Fest at the Bourse
October 24, 1 pm
111 S. Independence Mall East
This family-friendly outdoor event will feature drinks, music, treats for your pet, and a dog costume contest to benefit The Morris Animal Refuge.
(Virtual) Spooky Halloween Treats with Chef Monica Glass
October 24, 1 pm
Cook along from home with Chef Monica Glass, and make bewitching baked goods for the holiday– costumes welcome! This spooktacular class is best for children 5 and up and their caregivers. Participants will receive a grocery and equipment list a week prior, for those who would like to cook along. Tickets ($10 per family) are available online.
Halloween with the Horses
October 24, 4-7:30 pm (in 15-minute timeslots)
Northwestern Stables, 120 W. Northwestern Ave.
Get your costumes on, and come to Northwestern Stables to trick-or-treat with the horses, who will be in costume too! Fully wrapped and pre-bagged candy will be handed out at the end of the walk. Reservation times will start at 4 pm, so be sure to pre-register online to save your spot. Mini riding lessons on a lead line can be ordered for an additional fee. Masks and social distancing are required at all times.
Book Launch and Halloween Party at AR Workshop Fishtown
October 25, 3 pm
2012 Frankford Ave.
Get your costumes on and join AR Workshop for an afternoon of Halloween crafts and fun for the whole family with Blake Nolan, author of I Love My Happy Mama! plus Halloween headshots, snacks, and a take-home craft. Free, but space is very limited so be sure to register to reserve your spot in advance.
Halloween Storytimes at Pennypack Environmental Center
October 27 and 29; 11 am and 4 pm
8600 Verree Rd.
Join Pete as he shares spooky stories in the campfire area. Afterwards, grab the family and head out for a self guided scavenger hunt to look for creatures of the forest. Due to social distancing requirements, space is extremely limited and walk-ups will not be available. Register in advance for your desired timeslot. All programs will be held outdoors (bathrooms won’t be open), and all participants must wear a mask.
Costume Parade at Parkway Central Library
October 29, 3:30 pm
1901 Vine St.
Meet on the sidewalk outside the front door of the library for a socially-distanced outdoor parade. Collect goodie bags from library departments with no-touch pick-up. Masks required for all kids and adults age 2 and up.
A Revolutionary Halloweekend at the Museum of the American Revolution
October 30-November 1
101 S. Third St.
Hear spooky stories from the Revolutionary War and learn how early Americans carved turnips — not pumpkins — to ward away evil spirits. Pick up custom pumpkin-carving templates inspired by the museum’s collection in a special Halloween-themed take-and-make bag. Kids who come in costume receive $3 off admission.
Virtual Halloween with the Art Museum
October 30, 4 pm
In this virtual experience, artworks come to life as you trick-or-treat through the museum’s galleries. Meet friendly costumed characters who challenge you with riddles, close-looking activities, and other “treats.” Have a pencil and paper handy for some spooky sketching. Then get ideas for ghostly artworks to create at home. Free; pre-registration required.
Halloween Kids and Family at The Land on Callowhill
October 30, 4-6 pm
1823 Callowhill St.
Music, Halloween movies, pumpkin painting, a COVID-friendly candy handout, and games all at a social distance. Watch their Instagram for ticket release.
Halloween Happy Hour at the Barn at Historic RittenhouseTown
October 30, 5 pm
Historic Rittenhouse Town, 211 Lincoln Drive
Outdoor family-friendly Halloween Happy Hour at the Barn at Historic RittenhouseTown. Guests are encouraged to bring their own picnic blankets and food and enjoy live music and kids’ activities for a pre-Halloween celebration! Costumes encouraged for a pumpkin scavenger hunt and Trick or TREEing! Personal protective gear and social distancing required. Pre-register online.
Ghostly Gathering at Morris ArBOOretum
October 30 and 31, 5-8 pm
100 E. Northwestern Ave.
Get your costume on, and get a trick-or-treat bag to fill as you hear spooky stories, play games, and see the Fairytale Scarecrows all lit up at night. Light snacks and hot drinks will be available for purchase. Tickets available online.
Halloween Weekend at the Academy of Natural Sciences
October 30-November 1
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Dress in your best (family-friendly) costume and visit with dinosaurs, dioramas, and more! All visitors will receive a treat bag while supplies last.
Halloween Celebration Family Concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra
October 30, 8 pm
Put on your favorite Halloween costumes and join The Philadelphia Orchestra as they explore the spooky and the silly in this orchestral adventure, an annual audience favorite! Tickets available online. Digital Stage concerts begin with a performance premiere, followed by on-demand access for 72 hours.
Halloween in Manayunk
October 31, 10 am—4 pm
4300 Silverwood St.
Halloween in Manayunk offers a fun and safe way to celebrate Halloween. Though trick-or-treating on Main Street is canceled this year, the Pretzel Park Farmers Market will host spooky vendors and a costume parade at 10 am. Then, stop by the Manayunk.com booth for kids’ activities and treats. Masks and social distancing is required.
Hocus Pocus Halloween Fun at Little City Activity Center
October 31; 10 am, 1 pm, and 4 pm
Fifth and Master streets
Little City hosts a free Halloween event with family activities like ghost bowling, “make your mask,” dancing, and more. Space is limited to maintain social distancing, so be sure to pre-register for your desired timeslot. Masks are required for adults and children two years and older to the best of their ability.
Franklin Fright Weekend
October 31 and November 1, 10 am–6 pm
Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St.
Spooky science, scary live shows, and other frightfully fun, family-friendly festivities take over the museum on Halloweekend. Come dressed in your best costume and trick-or-treat indoors, through iconic exhibits with surprises behind each of the festive doors! Plus, spooky eye and heart dissections at the Heart Bar, a festive outdoor atmosphere in Science Park, creepy crawlers visiting from the Philadlephia Insectarium, and a take-home activity: mini 3D printed pumpkins to decorate with LED lights. Included with general museum admission. Masks are required (costume masks are not a substitute!), as well as social distancing and temperature checks. Read more about the Franklin Institute’s reopening safety procedures in our post.
Healthy Halloween at Smith Memorial Playground
October 31, 10 am and 1 pm (timed tickets required)
3500 Reservoir Drive
Come in costume for a fun Halloween celebration including socially distanced treat giveaways, snacks, and other festive activities. Tickets are free, but per the COVID-19 safety guidelines, pre-registration is required for timed entry to this event. Smith will allow a maximum of 250 people on the Playground at one time.
Lil’ Monstars Halloween Bash at Hard Rock Cafe
October 31, 10 am
1113 Market St.
Hard Rock Cafe is hosting a screening of Monsters Inc., plus costume contest, snacks, individual cookie decorating, and goodie bags (upon departure). Menu will be available for purchase at tables. Tickets available online.
Halloween on East Passyunk Avenue
October 31, 11 am-1 pm
On Halloween, families can come in costume and grab pre-packaged trick or treat bags at two locations on East Passyunk Avenue (Society Hill Dance Academy and the driveway of the South Philadelphia Older Adult Center). These individually wrapped goodie bags will include candy, toys, and items from local businesses. 1,000 bags will be available on a first-come first serve basis. Elsewhere along the Avenue, Halloween lovers of all ages are encouraged to take part in a socially distanced digital scavenger hunt that can be filled out on mobile devices from October 24-31.
Halloween Bash at Lemon Hill
October 31, 11 am
Bring a blanket and meet Kith + Kin at Lemon Hill for socially-distanced Halloween fun. Enjoy a concert by Roots with Ruark, followed by a costume parade and goodie bags! Tickets available online.
Kids Halloween Party at Cherry Street Pier
October 31, noon-5 pm (in one-hour timeslots)
121 N. Columbus Blvd.
Families can participate in physically-distanced spider-web making and pumpkin painting led by resident artists Portside Art Center featuring pumpkins courtesy of Riverwards Produce. On the upper-level, kids can wander through a scary hallway featuring a smoke machine and other scary surprises! Plus, enjoy a scary scavenger hunt, monster mash dance party, and goody bags. Activities are recommended for children 4 to 11 years old, and masks must be worn at all times by everyone over age 2. Pre-registration for your desired one-hour timeslot is required to ensure social distancing.
Sunset Social Halloween Fun
October 31, noon-3 pm
Cira Green, 129 S. 30th Street (12 floors up)
This park atop University City will host a free event with activities such as pumpkin painting, costume contests, movies on the big screen, food, drinks, candy, prizes, and more!
Trick Or Treat at Philly Rock Gym
October 31, noon-8 pm
2412 E. York St. (Fishtown) and 3500 Scotts Lane (East Falls)
Climb in costume at the PRG and stop by the Halloween photobooth to enter a Virtual Halloween Costume Contest for even more fun! Reservations are required in advance for your desired timeslot.
School of Rock Philly Halloween Fundraiser Show for Greensgrow
October 31, 1-3 pm
Greensgrow, 2501 E. Cumberland Street
School of Rock Philadelphia’s House Band will be performing live, playing rock, pop, and soul classics. All ticket sales will go directly to benefit Greensgrow and the amazing services this urban farm provides to the community. Come in costume, rock out, shop the farmer’s market, and grab some candy! Tickets available online.
Trick or Treat Story Stroll at Kingsessing Library
October 31, 2 pm
1201 S. 51st St.
Come for an outdoor storytime stroll; then at the end of the story you’ll find your very own copy of Last Stop on Market Street and some additional treats while supplies last.
Halloween Candy Hunt
October 31, 2 pm
César Andreu Iglesias Community Garden, 427 Arlington St.
Come search for candy amidst flowers, herbs, friends, spirits, and a haunted tent! Costumes encouraged, masks required!
KCFC’s Halloween Backyard Smash
October 31, 3 pm
2670 Coral St.
Come for a free, socially distant Halloween hangout in the parking lot! Enjoy photos, costume awards, candy, and more.
Rutabaga Halloween Parade
October 31, 3:30 pm
3539 Vaux St.
Join Rutabaga Toy Library on Halloween for a socially distanced Halloween parade and event. The parade begins at Nou Vaux Market, will continue through East Falls, and ends at Rutabaga Toy Library. The Costume Contest will take place at the end of the parade.
Trick-or-Treat at Wharton Square Park
October 31, 5 pm
2300 Wharton St.
Socially distanced Halloween fun til 8 pm.
Movies on Broad
October 31 and November 1 (see schedule for times and movies)
Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad Street
A socially-distant, in-arena movie experience, Movies on Broad will take place within the Wells Fargo Center’s seating bowl and feature films on its recently-installed, massive center-hung scoreboard. It kicks off with Fright Week, including some family-friendly titles on the weekend of Halloween (earlier in the week are decided not kiddie fare) including Casper and E.T. Each night will immerse movie-goers in a complete Halloween experience, from themed food and drinks to spooky sights and creepy characters throughout the arena! Tickets available online.
Looking for more? Here’s what’s happening on the Main Line and beyond!
Lead photograph by Laura Swartz.
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