Events Outdoors

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Philadelphia is the quintessential city for outdoor activities.

October 27, 2017

Five outdoor activities in Philly you have to try this autumn

With its rich history and multitude of street festivals, events and gorgeous scenery, Philadelphia is the quintessential city for outdoor activities. In the fall, vibrant leaves and fresh air beg residents to venture outside and explore all that the city has to offer by foot.

From spooky fun for Halloween to community gatherings, races and parades, there’s something out there for everyone to enjoy this autumn. Get some exercise while embracing the diverse liveliness of Philadelphia with these five outdoor activities:

Philly Free Streets Day

Have you ever dreamed of a car-free city? On Saturday, Oct. 28, you can walk, run, bike or even dance down 7 miles of roads when Philly Free Streets Day hits the city!

Now in its second year, this creative event blocks off all traffic from Third and Chestnut streets all the way to Fifth Street and Indiana Avenue. From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., experience Philly by foot alongside incredible chalk art, live painting by Mural Arts and more. You won’t look at our city’s streets the same way again.

Ghost Tour

If you’re a sucker for history and haunted tales, you’re in luck. Open year-round, the Ghost Tour is particularly memorable in the fall, when Halloween welcomes all kinds of spookiness.

This candlelight walking tour passes through the storied back streets and gardens of Independence Park, Society Hill and Old City, where attendees will be scarily entertained by “ghostly spirits, haunted houses, and eerie graveyards.” What spirits still wander the streets of Old City? Now you can find out once and for all while adding some serious steps to your day.

Head of the Schuylkill Regatta

On Oct. 28-29, take in the thrill of one of the city’s most anticipated events — the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta — which attracts more than 7,000 rowers and 25,000 attendees over the course of two days.

Get some exercise while following the 2.5-mile race along picturesque Kelly Drive to Boathouse Row, and enjoy the excitement pulsing through the fresh fall air. A free event that’s open to all, the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta is an ideal family-friendly opportunity to explore Philly’s lovely Fairmount area and immerse yourself in a rich community tradition.

Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade

What better way to celebrate fall’s most festive holiday than by taking part in the oldest Thanksgiving Day parade in the country? On Thursday, Nov. 23, join in on the fun along this 1.4-mile parade that’s one of Philly’s most beloved traditions.

The streets will come alive with giant floats and balloons of fan-favorite characters, local performers, marching bands and much more. Not only that, Santa Claus makes a grand appearance to get folks into the holiday spirit. Recommended spots to watch the parade include the Art Museum’s steps, Eakins Oval or Logan Circle. Perfect for people of all ages, this spirited parade is not to be missed.

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest

Get your skates ready because Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest officially opens for the season right after Thanksgiving on Friday, Nov. 24. This festive outdoor ice skating rink, surrounded by colorfully decorated trees, warming cottages and fire pits, has become one of Philly’s go-to spots throughout late fall and the winter months.

After ice skating, be sure to head into The Lodge to warm up next to the fireplace, play some arcade games or enjoy dinner at Chickie’s & Pete’s or Village Burger by Garces.

Fall is an incredible opportunity to not only get outside and enjoy the fresh, crisp air but also to step out of your comfort zone and experience something new in Philadelphia. The monotony of everyday life can be stifling, but getting out and exploring the magic of the city can do wonders for your physical and mental well-being. Broaden your horizons this season and get “unstuck” by enjoying the lively fall offerings of our wonderful city!