27 Ways to Celebrate Halloween Season in Philadelphia

Boo! Our picks for how to have a scary good time.

Halloween is fast approaching, friends, so it’s high time you locked down your plans. To help you out, we’ve rounded up 27 Halloween events happening around town, from costume fêtes to costume pub crawls to costume runs and plenty more. (Seriously, don’t be that guy who shows up without a costume, okay?) Here’s to a frighteningly fantastic Halloween in Philly.

Costume Parties

Allan Domb and friends at last year's Henri David Ball | Photo by HughE Dillon

Allan Domb and friends at last year’s Henri David Ball | Photo by HughE Dillon

Mischief at the Mütter

Throw on a costume and head to the Mütter Museum, where it’s kind of always Halloween. There will be dancing, food, free roam of the museum, and an open bar stocked with beer, wine, sangria and cider. Thursday, October 27th, 6:30 pm.

Boo! at bahdeebahdu

Presented by the Aids Law Project of Pennsylvania, this Halloween-themed event features a sit-down three-course dinner, drinks and a rotating cast of entertainers, including Brian Sanders’ JUNK, Miss Finesse Ross, Gunnar Montana, John Jarboe and Heath Allen of Bearded Ladies Cabaret, and DJ Sharyn Stone. Ticket prices benefit AIDS Law Project’s mission to provide free legal services to people with HIV. Friday, October 28th, 6 pm.

A Twisted Fairytale at Yakitori Boy

At this popular Chinatown karaoke bar, you’ll score drink specials all night — including a menu of festive Halloween-inspired cocktails — and vie for a prize for Most Creative Costume and Most Twisted Costume. Saturday, October 29th. 

Black Magic Bash at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Costumes are positively required at this party among the mosaics. The West Philadelphia Orchestra will set the mood with Balkan Beats while you nosh on eats from South Philly Barbacoa and sip glasses of Barefoot Wine and Bubbly and pints of beer from Saint Benjamin Brewing Company. Food and drink are included in your ticket price. Saturday, October 29th, 7 pm.

Monsters Ball Masquerade at the Ritz-Carlton

The Young Friends of the Academy of Music invite young, stylish professionals to don their finest cocktail attire and a masquerade mask for this soiree that benefits restoration and preservation projects at the Academy of Music. Friday, October 28th, 8 pm. 

Wicked: 7 Evil Parties at Xfinity Live

Seven great party areas all in one place, thanks to Xfinity Live!, with music, entertainment and beer. Show off your best costume for a chance to win over $4,000 in cash and prizes. Friday, October 28th, 8 pm.

Peter Sterling Halloween Ball at Barra Rossa Ristorante

Philly party producer Peter Sterling celebrates his sixth Halloween Ball with drink specials, light bites, and an appearance by the evening’s host, Philly drag queen Bev. Friday, October 28th, 9 pm.

Henri David Halloween Ball at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown

What can be said about Henri David’s annual Halloween Ball that hasn’t been said already? It’s a Philly institution. It’s where Heidi Klum would party if she was in Philly on the 30th. Are we getting our point across? Here are photos from last year’s bash, which included guests such as Ed Rendell and Allan Domb. Sunday, October 30th, 9 p.m.

The Devil’s Crawl in Center City

It’s Halloween — so treat yourself. The Devil’s Crawl will take you to 20 bars and restaurants, with access to drink specials all night, costume parties and prizes, including trips to the Bahamas and Las Vegas. Saturday, October 29th, 8 pm.

Voodoo Halloween Party at Twisted Tail

Two words: fire breathers. (There will also be live music by Mikey Junior Band and costumed dancers, plus fresh drink specials every 15 minutes beginning at 11 p.m.) Saturday, October 29th, 9 pm.

PEX Halloween Ball at Battleship New Jersey

The Philadelphia Experiment presents a Halloween bash with tons of live music and entertainment, food trucks and antics galore. Saturday, October 29th, 10 pm.

Halloween at the Rosenbach

This one’s for you, lit-nerds: The Rosenbach library’s Rare Book Library sets the backdrop for this costume soirée. Explore the collection and explore the mystic arts with vintage fortune cards. Light refreshments are included with your ticket. Saturday, October 29th, 6 pm.


Festivals

Family at TK PumpkinFest | Photo by South Street Headhouse District

Family at PumpkinFest | Photo by South Street Headhouse District

Eat, Drink and Be Scary at Crossing Vineyards

Leave the kids at home, and head to Crossing Vineyard to down a bottle of Pennsylvania’s finest. Visit the winery for an evening of wine tasting, palm readings and sweet treats. Friday, October 28th, 7 p.m.

South Street PumpkinFest

Live music! Pumpkin decorating! Hay bale maze! It’s an afternoon of fun for the kiddos. They can even go trick-or-treating between 3 and 5 p.m. at South Street businesses. Saturday, October 29th, 12 pm. 

Witch CRAFT Beer Crawl in East Passyunk

Don your pointiest witch’s hat for this East Passyunk pub crawl at more than a dozen local restaurants and bars that will be serving up a variety of seasonal craft beers. Wednesday, October 26th, 5:30 pm.


Kids

Day of the Dead at the Mütter Museum

A family-friendly afternoon of traditional craft-making with a Halloween twist. Participants can take part in activities such as decorating sugar-cookie skulls, making paper flower, face-painting and more. Sunday, October 30th, 10 am.

Trick or Treat at Franklin Square

First, your costumed child will decorate a trick-or-treating bag. Then she’ll follow a trail to get treats through the park. Saturday, October 29th, 12 pm. 

Fairmont Halloween Festival and Parade

Kids of all ages will enjoy making festive art and joining in a costume parade at this party hosted by Philly Art Center. Bring the littlest ones along for interactive music for toddlers and a special baby zone. Sunday, October 30th, 3:30 pm.

Boo at the Zoo

Take the kiddos trick-or-treating and on a Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt at the Philadelphia Zoo. Saturday, October 29th, and Sunday, October 30th.


Music / Dance

TJ Kong's Murdershow

TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb | Photo courtesy of Dan Bruskewicz

TJ Kong Halloween Costume Ball Rock N Roll Murdershow at Underground Arts

Philly band TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb host and headline this seventh annual Halloween music fest, with tunes from five other bands, like Straw Hats, Grubby Little Hands, and Ceramic Animal. Costumes are a must, so don’t be a party-pooper. Saturday, October 29th, 8 pm

Making Time PURE Halloween at 714

Making Time gets in the Halloween game with a bash featuring DJ Boys Noize and Stranger Things soundtrack producers S U R V I V E. Expect plenty of sexy, sweaty dancing, and there will be an open bar with free Tecate and and Sailor Jerry Rum cocktails until 11 pm. Saturday, October 29th, 9 pm.


Walks / Runs / Fitness

Laurel Hill Cemetery | Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia™

Laurel Hill Cemetery | Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia™

Fishtown Beer Runners Halloween Run

This nine-years running (get it?) tradition is a costumes-encouraged run that ends at Frankford Hall. You can choose to run a one-mile route, four-mile route or 6.5-mile route. It’s sponsored by the Philadelphia Marathon, so there will be registration discounts for the November race and marathon-swag giveaways. Thursday, October 27th, 7 pm.

Heavy Metal Halloween at Palo Santo Wellness Boutique

Get your costume on and head to South Philly’s Palo Santo Wellness Boutique for a candlelit yoga class set to heavy metal music. After class, stay for stick around for a glass of festive apple cider. Yes, it’s sure to be a very unique Halloween celebration. Monday, October 31st, 7 pm.

True Tales From the Tombs at Laurel Hill Cemetery

Join Laurel Hill Cemetery for candlelit tours of the grounds and some extra-spooky true stories from the depths of the grave, told by The Not Ready for After-Life Players. Try to ease the fright afterwards with fireside refreshments, but don’t forget your flashlight. Friday, October 30th, 7 pm.


Film / Lectures

The Piazza at Schmidt’s Commons

The Piazza at Schmidt’s Commons

Movie Night in the Piazza

Hocus Pocus, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare on Elm Street — these are just some of the fright-inducing films to be screened under the stars at the Piazza at Schmidt’s this month. Check out the website for the full lineup and schedule. Various dates.

24 Hour Horror-thon at International House

From noon on Saturday until noon on Sunday, you can catch 24 straight hours of 1980s horror classics — a total of 14 films in all — plus trailers, shorts and “other oddities.” The lineup is kept secret until the day of for some added suspense. Saturday, October 29th, 12 pm. 

Dracula Hands-on Tour at the Rosenbach

Get unprecedented access to the notes and scrawlings that became Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Sunday, October 30th, 3 pm.

Around the Web