You don’t need Universal Studios to experience the Wizarding World in real time. Chestnut Hill will host the annual Harry Potter Festival complete with a Quidditch Cup tournament (pictured), defense against the dark arts classes, a sorting hat demonstration and so much more. Friday and Saturday, October 16th and 17th, starts at 9 am, pay as you go, Chestnut Hill College. —Caralyn Dienstman
Philly Bike Ride hosts the October edition of their once-monthly social bike ride around Philadelphia. PBR's Anna Rehr says the ride begins at Philadelphia Art Museum and will cover 10 miles "at a pace brisk enough to keep you awake, but nothing so fast you need to be an athlete to pull it off." Organizers tried to pull together something spooky for this month, so they'll cruise through Mt. Moriah Cemetery, where they'll stop for rehydration and mingling with riders. As always, things close out at the end of the night at a bar, this time at The Station at 16th and McKean streets. See the complete route here. Friday, October 16th, starts at 8 pm at Philadelphia Art Museum steps, free.
Philly-based Johnny Showcase and his band are funky, fun, and well, a little strange. The first music video from the brand-new album The Octopus!, "Love is a Mystery," was released last week. It makes use of a well-known Philly visual spectacle: the Magic Gardens. They'll be joined by Minka, the West Philadelphia Orchestra and Miss Martha Graham Cracker. Listen before you go: "Love is a Mystery." Friday, October 16th, 8 pm. —Katiera Sordjan
Dance Affiliates kicks off its six-months-spanning NextMove Dance Festival at The Prince Theater with five performances this weekend by the Complexions Contemporary Ballet company. The renowned New York dance troupe will present new pieces by choreographers Dwight Roden and William Forsythe, showcasing diverse pieces with music ranging from jazz crooner Jimmy Scott to Metallica. Friday to Sunday, October 16-18, various times, $37-$57.
Tapping into our love and wonder of these maritime structures, the Friends of the Lighthouse host the 15th annual Lighthouse Challenge this weekend along the Jersey shore. If you choose to accept the challenge, you must visit all 11 lighthouses and the three life-saving museums in one weekend, running approximately 135 miles down the length of New Jersey from Sandy Hook to Cape May Point. It is a special weekend where all the lighthouses are open at the same time. Typically, some are open only in the summer or for special events. For those who complete the entire list, they become eligible for a raffle prize worth approximately $1,000 in lighthouse-related items. Saturday and Sunday, October 17th and 18th, 8 am to 6 pm, pay as you go, along the Jersey Shore. —Sarah Jordan
Filbert Street will close down to make way for an urban farm with hay bales and corn stalks. Get your palette ready to experience the foods of this past year's Pennsylvania harvest. Enjoy live entertainment and a beer garden along with a lavish array of seasonal treats. Saturday, October 17th, 10 am, pay as you go. —Caralyn Dienstman
This one’s for the gourds! Celebrate the harvest with Tyler Arboretum by selecting your very own prized pumpkin. The festivities continue with scarecrow building and inflatable obstacle course racing. Enjoy live entertainment and food from local vendors. Saturday and Sunday, October 17th and 18th, 10 am, $11 adults, $7 children ages 3 to 15, kids under 3 are free, Media. —Caralyn Dienstman
It’s sure to be one of the most adorable events of the year. The Broad Street Pet Parade will have Instagram overflowing with pictures of dogs dressed to the nines. Over 100 vendors will take over the streets and live entertainment will rock two stages at the Quakertown Autumn Alive festival. Saturday, October 17th, 10 am, pay as you go, Quakertown. —Caralyn Dienstman
The October edition of the Point Breeze Pop-Up Flea Market rolls on, giving shoppers a chance to buy up newfound treasures, and sellers to get clutter off their hands. There are no fees to vend, and PBPU's Kathryn Wiggins says there are plenty of tents available if you want to set up shop. (If interested, reach out to her at Kathryn@southphiladelphiataproom.com.) Besides buying and selling good, there will be food, local brews, and plenty of room to stretch out in the hood's "little slice of garden heaven." Saturday, October 17th, noon to 6 pm, free, Point Breeze Pop-Up.
Come play in the hay at Pennypacker Mills. Tractor riding and corn shucking will have you feeling farm-born in no time. Kids can paint their own pumpkin and create fall crafts to take home after the festivities. Saturday, October 17th, 1 pm, free. —Caralyn Dienstman
For the fourth year, XFINITY Live! hosts their own version of Oktoberfest with beer gardens galore, German-themed beer tents, food trucks and live music by Philly German Brass Band, Stellar Mojo and more. Organizers are expecting 15,000 people to show up, so they've expanded the shenanigans to the Wells Fargo Center parking lot. Saturday, October 17th, 3-7 pm, $45.
Philadelphia arts education nonprofit ArtWell presents its 2015 ArtWell Awards, in which it pays homage to "visionary leaders who transform the world and inspire through the power of the arts." Among the honorees is legendary filmmaker Spike Lee, who will be presented with the Visionary Leader Award honoring his contribution to American cinema and the arts, and his "unwavering commitment to social justice." Former Poet Laureate of Philadelphia Sonia Sanchez will present Lee with the award, and deliver the first public reading of a poem she wrote for him. There will be plethora of other poetry readings, music and live painting in an evening that celebrates all things arts in Philadelphia. Funds raised during the evening will benefit ArtWell’s programming and their work to bring arts education to underserved young people. Saturday, October 17th, 6 pm, $250, 2424 Studios.
The Swedish electro-pop princess's debut album, Queen of the Clouds, was a highly anticipated release after her EP Truth Serum. After moving from the originally scheduled venue TLA, Tove Lo will grace the newly opened Fillmore this weekend with fellow Swedish pop singer Erik Hassle. Listen before you go: "Not on Drugs." Saturday, October 17th, 8 pm, The Fillmore. —Katiera Sordjan
Ten-thousand do-gooders will crowd into Eakins Oval this Sunday for AIDS Fund's 24th annual AIDS Walk Philly and AIDS Run Philly 5K. The event raises money for HIV prevention education, public awareness, and HIV care services in the Greater Philadelphia Region. If you're not taking part in the walk or run, head over to cheer on participants and check out of a few of the exhibitions. There will be panels from The AIDS Memorial Quilt and the “1981-Until It's Over ... " AIDS Timeline, which brings to life 30 years of HIV/AIDS History. There will also be free, rapid HIV tests on site. Sunday, October 18th, 6:30 am to 11 am, Eakins Oval.
The Gala of The Royal Horses is a show created by riding master Rene Gasser that brings the renowned riding schools in Vienna and Spain to American audiences. Horse lovers can expect to witness majestic Andalusian, Friesian, Lipizzaner and Arabian breeds in a show that celebrates "the tradition, athleticism and grace of these revered creatures." There will also be flamenco dancing presentations and Spanish tunes. Sunday, October 18th, 4 pm, $28-$78, Trenton, New Jersey.
As part of the 2015/2016 Intercultural Journeys performance and dialogue series, classic violinist and Pennsylvania Ballet concertmaster Luigi Mazzocchi (pictured) has been invited to curate a concert that showcases music from his home country, Venezuela. The evening will feature a world-premiere chamber music composition by Efraín Amaya, and works from classical composers Antonio Lauro, Juan Bautista Plaza, Vicente Emilio Sojo and Manuel Contreras. A great way to take in some music and learn about work that came out of South America. Sunday, October 18th, 7 pm, $15, International House.
Touring with his new album, Tracker, which has received praise for its “understated refinement,” Knopfler gives us tasteful restraint. This virtuosic guitarist appears slightly ambivalent about the monster success of his former band, Dire Straits, and the concert excesses that set in after Brothers in Arms was released in 1985. His evolution as an artist and songwriter has moved him away from pyrotechnics on the axe, yet this is a must for guitar heads. Saturday, October 17th, 8 pm. —Sarah Jordan
Post-punkers Protomartyr have strong roots in their hometown of Detroit. As well as kicking off their latest tour in the city before hitting Philly this weekend, they have weaved its influence through their latest album. In The Agent Intellect, the group's third album, frontman Joe Casey threads together the thoughts of loss, mortality and innocence. Listen before you go: "Dope Cloud." Sunday, October 18th, 9 pm. —Katiera Sordjan
Can't fall festival it up this weekend? There are plenty more options throughout the season. We've rounded up some of our favorites at places like Linvilla Orchards and Shadybrook Farms taking place now through mid-November. It's all the pumpkin-carving, hay-riding and apple-picking your heart can handle. See our full list here.
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