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October 21, 2015

Ten family-friendly ways to celebrate Halloween in Philadelphia

Regional activities with no tricks, just treats

Events Halloween
Linvilla Orchards R. Kennedy/Visit Philadelphia™

Throughout the year, families visit Delaware County’s 300-acre Linvilla Orchards to pick their own in-season fruits and vegetables.

Did you know Philadelphia is one of the nation's best cities for trick-or-treating? It's also a great area for celebrating the Halloween holiday with festivals, activities and parties. While there will be plenty of adult parties this week and next, there are also many options for families with young children to enjoy. See below for a sampling of events in the area. 

Halloween in Manayunk

Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center
Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center. (Manayunk Development Corporation)

Enjoy fall activities and Halloween-themed treats in Manayunk all day. A children's and a dog's costume contest will parade through town beginning at Canal View Park. A pumpkin carving and painting contest will take place at Venice Island, as will children's crafts, mini golf, a straw maze and more. 

At night, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" will screen at 6:30 p.m. and "Evil Dead" will play for the older crowd at 8 p.m. 

Saturday, October 24
8 a.m.-8 p.m. | Free admission 
Venice Island Performing Arts & Recreation Center
7 Lock St., Manayunk.
(215) 482-9565

Fall Fest & Spooky Saturday

Fall Fest EPA
Children enjoy the East Passyunk Avenue Spooky Saturday. (Visit East Passyunk)

East Passyunk Avenue will be full of free activities like pumpkin decorating, Halloween-themed arts and crafts, a costume contest, trick-or-treating at local businesses, a moon bounce and DJ dance party. A craft show curated by Nice Things Handmade will bring dozens of local artists to the festival with jewelry, artwork and clothing. Food trucks and restaurants will be bringing plenty of snacks for purchase and live music will entertain the crowd from 1 p.m. on.

Saturday, October 24
11 a.m.-4 p.m. | Free admission
Singing Fountain
East Passyunk Ave. & Tasker St.

Monster Mash

Monster Mash
The Please Touch Museum's "Monster Mash" party is now open to the public. (Please Touch Museum)

The theme of this year's kid-friendly, not-so-scary Monster Mash is "DIY Halloween," meaning attendees will have many opportunities to create their own crafts, join a photo station or hear a ghostly storytime. Kids can trick-or-treat throughout the museum, dance with their favorite children's characters like Clifford the Big Red Dog and enjoy treats by Brulee Catering.

Saturday, October 24
5:30-8:30 p.m. | $25 general admission, $15 for members
Please Touch MuseumMemorial Hall, Fairmount Park
4231 Avenue of the Republic
(215) 581-3181

Boo at the Zoo

The Philadelphia Zoo in West Philadelphia. (Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice)

Philadelphia Zoo's annual Halloween event continues Oct. 24 and 25 and attendees are encouraged to dress in their best costumes. Kids can learn in the Extinction Graveyard, find out why Halloween is the orangutan's favorite time of year and join the Scarecrow Scavenger hunt. Halloween-themed treats will be available for purchase throughout the zoo and kids can trick-or-treat, too.

Saturday, October 24 and Sunday, October 25
10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Free with admission ($18-20)
Philadelphia Zoo
3400 W. Girard Ave.
(215) 243-1100

Target Community Night at the Franklin Institute

Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute along Benjamin Franklin Parkway. (Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice)

Thanks to Target, the museum is free and open to the public for the night. The evening will be free of Halloween-themed activities and events highlighting "Spooky Science." Be prepared for some ghoulish fun.

Wednesday, October 28
5-8 p.m. | Free admission
Franklin Institute
271 N. 21st St.
(215) 448-1200 

Mermaids at Adventure Aquarium

Nine-year-old Audrey Bruben, of South River, N.J., gets a look from Genny, a 4,000 pound hippopotamus, as Adventure Aquarium opened a hippopotamus exhibit, "Hippo Haven," Thursday, May 29, 2014, in Camden, N.J. (Mel Evans/Associated Press)

Magical creatures are on their way to Camden! The world-famous Weeki Wachee Mermaids are back by popular demand and guests will see them swimming with the sharks and stingrays during daily dives. Guests can also meet the mermaids and get some Halloween inspiration as they're turned into mermaids themselves or pirates with deluxe face painting packages ($14).

October 29-November 1 and November 5-8
Weekdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Weekends 10 a.m.-6 p.m. | $18.98-25.95
Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Dr., Camden NJ
(856) 365-3300

Dia de los Muertos

Penn Day of the Dead
Left, a Day of the Dead altar dedicated to Octavio Paz, Mexican writer and Nobel Prize winner. Right, decorations at Penn Museum's Day of the Dead celebration. (Simon Bolivar/Mexican Cultural Center)

As featured in our "Mexican 'Staycation'" guide to the Dia de los Muertos holiday, Penn Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Mutter Museum will all host "Day of the Dead" festivities over Halloween weekend. Each location will feature an exploration of Mexican culture and family-friendly activities. Click here for more information on Dia de los Muertos in Philadelphia. 

Pumpkinland at Linvilla Orchard

Linvilla Orchard's Pumpkinland in Media, Pa. (R. Kennedy/Visit Philadelphia)

Now through Halloween, Linvilla Orchard has over 100 tons of pumpkins on display, plus hayrides to the friendly witches' house (complete with storytelling) and a jack-o-lantern exhibit lit each night at dusk. Evening hay rides are followed by a bonfire and marshmallow roasting, too. For Halloween, Linvilla will be open 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Now through Saturday, October 31
Sunday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday & Saturday 8 a.m.-9 p.m. | Pay as you go
Linvilla Orchards
598 Linvill Rd., Media PA
(610) 876-7116

Trick Or Treat Trail

Trick or treat! (File Art)

Franklin Square will be filled with holiday goodies for children 10 and under. Attendees will decorate their own trick-or-treat bags then follow the map throughout the park to pick up their treats. Spooky Mini Golf will also be available from 6-9 p.m. ($9 adults, $7 children) for those who stick around.

Saturday, October 31
1-3 p.m. | Free for children under 10
Franklin Square
200 6th St.
(215) 629-4026

Fall Family Day

Laurel Hill Cemetery
Laurel Hill Cemetery does not conform to the typical “spooky” graveyard stereotype thanks to its green landscape, breathtaking views and beautiful sculptures and architecture. (R. Kennedy/Visit Philadelphia)

Check out the beautiful fall views atop Laurel Hill Cemetery with a day of arts and crafts, pumpkin patches, Halloween games and readings from the Storybook Fairy. Spot Burger will be on hand with meals for purchase or families can bring their own picnic and enjoy the cemetery's spooky atmosphere. Recommended for children ages 4-12, Laurel Hill encourages guests to wear comfortable shoes and their best costumes.

Saturday, October 31
1-3 p.m. | $5
Laurel Hill Cemetery
3822 Ridge Ave.
(215) 228-8200