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October 08, 2021

Where to celebrate Halloween in Philadelphia this year

From spooky pop-up bars to the revamped Eastern State Penitentiary event to festive mini golf, there is plenty going on for kids and adults

Entertainment Halloween
Nightmare Before Tinsel Courtesy/Society Hill Films

Nightmare Before Tinsel, the annual Halloween pop-up bar in Center City, Philadelphia, remains open through Oct. 31.

Halloween season is in full swing in the Philadelphia region, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate the holiday this year.

Many of the city's public spaces, including Franklin Square and Dilworth Park, are decked out in fall decor, and lots of restaurants are serving seasonal specialties.

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The Eastern State Penitentiary's usual Halloween event, Terror Behind the Walls, was revamped this year to become a new annual festival: Halloween Nights.

Other favorites, like Fall Fest at Morgan's Pier and Spooky mini golf in Franklin Square, are making a comeback.

Whether you're looking for tricks, treats or a combination of the two, here's a list of ways to celebrate:

Nightmare Before Tinsel barCourtesy/Society Hill Films

The Halloween pop-up bar is decorated with props and original art for the theme The Devil's Lair.

Nightmare Before Tinsel

Philadelphia's Halloween-themed pop-up bar, Nightmare Before Tinsel, is open for the season – offering themed cocktails and Instagram-worthy backdrops.

The bar will stay open through Oct. 31 before it transitions back into its Christmas set up.

Open through Oct. 31
Monday to Friday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. | Prices vary
116 S. 12th St. Philadelphia, PA 19107

Bloody Mary Monster MashCourtesy/Kris Kennedy

The Monster Mash: Northern Liberties Bloody Mary Challenge is back for a second year. The contest's 2020 winner, Jerry's Bar, 129 W. Laurel St., will again serve its signature brunch cocktail, The Devil Jerry.

Monster Mash Bloody Mary Contest

Sixteen restaurants in Northern Liberties are going head-to-head to compete for the title of best Halloween-themed Bloody Mary in the neighborhood. 

The contest commences Saturday, Oct. 9 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 17. Diners can rate their favorites online throughout the event.

Parking Lot Horrors

Catch a scary movie at the Haunted Drive-in at Exton Square Mall, where audiences are scared both on and off the screen.

Costumed staff will roam the crowd to give moviegoers a scare throughout the film. They will show a variety of family-friendly and horror movies every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Oct. 8-30.

For a full breakdown of movie showings and times, go to the Parking Lot Horrors website.

Oct. 8 to Oct. 30
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 7 & 9 p.m. | $32 per car
Exton Square Mall
260 Exton Square Parkway, Exton, PA 19341

Halloween NightsSean Kelley/Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary is replacing its famous Terror Behind the Walls attraction with a Halloween festival offering activities for people who want to be scared and others looking for more family-friendly events.

Halloween Nights at Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary revamped its usual Halloween event, Terror Behind the Walls, into Halloween Nights – a large-scale festival that lets the guest choose their path: family-friendly or terrifying.

The penitentiary will be decked out with haunted houses, speakeasies, live performances and more.

Nightly through Nov. 13
7-10 p.m. | $34 and up
Eastern State Penitentiary
2027 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19130

Trick-or-Treat Scavenger Hunt

Sister Cities Park will host a family-friendly trick-or-treat scavenger hunt in which kids are invited to search for candy.

There also will be free pumpkin painting, spooky story time with the Free Library of Philadelphia and a circus arts performance. There will be a costume parade through the park. Dressing up is encouraged.

Saturday, Oct. 16
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sister Cities Park
210 N. 18th St., Philadelphia, PA 19103

Vampire Pizza interactive dinner experience

The entertainment food delivery experience, Vampire Pizza, will deliver dinner from Pizzeria Stella along with a packet of clues for an immersive, family-friendly Halloween mystery experience.

Groups of up to six players can team up to solve the clues for a chance to win prizes like an Oculus Quest 2.

The event runs through Halloween. Reservations can be made online.

Six Flags Fright FestCourtesy/Six Flags

Fright Fest is coming back to Six Flags Great Adventure in September and will feature live performances, like 'Dead Man's Party.'

Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure

Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey will be decked out in seasonal decor for Fright Fest this fall.

The festival will feature trick-or-treating and events for kids by day and scare zones and haunted mazes by night. There also will be live shows, seasonal food, drink specials and fireworks.

Daily through Oct. 31
5:30 p.m. to midnight. | One-day tickets start at $30.99
Six Flags Great Adventure
1 Six Flags Blvd, Jackson Township, NJ 08527

Howl-O-WeenCourtesy/Howl-O-Ween at The Bourse Food Hall

The Bourse Food Hall is hosting Howl-O-Ween to raise money for the Morris Animal Refuge through dog costume contests, activities and more.

Howl-O-Ween Pet Costume Contest

The Bourse Food Hall partnered with Morris Animal Refuge to host Howl-O-Ween, an outdoor, family-friendly fall festival for Philadelphians and their dogs.

There will be pet costume contests, games, photo opportunities, music, snacks and more at the Oct. 16 event. All proceeds go toward Morris Animal Refuge.

Saturday, Oct.16
1-3 p.m. | $10 online, $12 at the door
The Bourse Food Hall
111 S. Independence Mall E, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Morgan's Pier fall festCourtesy/Morgan's Pier

The 7th annual Morgan's Pier Fall Fest runs through Oct. 30 and features seasonal food and cocktails, pumpkin carving and live music.

Morgan's Pier Fall Fest

The restaurant and beer garden on the Delaware River waterfront transformed into an autumnal wonderland for the fall season.

There is seasonal food and drink offerings like Fall Sangria, made with honey cinnamon syrup, and the Sugar 'n Spice, made with apple cider. Food includes pumpkin hummus, crispy Brussels sprouts, fall vegetable hoagies and apple pie empanadas.

Customers also can carve pumpkins and listen to live music.

Now through Oct. 30
Monday to Thursday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday to Sunday noon to 2 a.m. 
221 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19123

Spooky Mini GolfJeff Fusco/For Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

Franklin Square is decked out for the fall season, including a Halloween-themed mini golf course.

Spooky Mini Golf

Philly Mini Golf in Franklin Square was transformed into a seasonal, spooky experience with fog, lights, music and surprises.

Tickets are required for entry and cost $15 for adults and $12 for children. They can be purchased online.

Now through Oct. 31
6-10 p.m.
Franklin Square
200 N. 6th St., Philadelphia, PA 19106

Bar Crawl Live

Philadelphia will be one of many cities participating in Bar Crawl Live this year. The famous crawl will be in town Oct. 23, 30 and 31 from 3-11 p.m. 

The ticketed event includes door cover charges, up to 50% off drinks and 25% off some food items, free entrance to more than five venues, a costume contest and more. Tickets cost $39.99 and guests can add on a LED Halloween mask for $14.99.

Oct. 23 and Oct. 30-31
3-11 p.m. | $39.99
Rittenhouse Square

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