Where to Celebrate Halloween With Kids in Philly

From kid-friendly Halloween parties to spooky science to pumpkin everything, Philly’s little ones will definitely get plenty of wear out of those costumes (and plenty of candy) this season.

Boo at the Zoo is one of our favorite ways to celebrate Halloween for kids in Philly. / Photograph by Laura Swartz

While Halloween isn’t just for kids, something about playing dress-up and eating candy seems to really appeal to them. Halloween for kids in Philly somehow lasts all month long (which is good because those costumes aren’t cheap), so we’re getting a jump on things with a gigantic roundup for you. Whatever your kids are into, there’s sure to be something on this list to appeal to your family, from science to putt-putt. And yes, lots of pumpkins.

Bookmark this page, and be sure to check back often, as we’ll add more things as they get announced.

Season-Long Halloween Events

Boo at the Zoo
For three weekends in October, the Zoo gets decked out for the season with festive displays (perfect for photo ops), a not-so-scary “extinction graveyard,” and treat stations. Bring your own bag and come in costume for a trick-or-treat safari.  New for this year: the Spiders Alive exhibit, a wand-making activity, a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt and more fun and games. Also, there’s an adorable new baby Francois langur! Boo at the Zoo is included with admission (and members get in free) but timed reservations are required.
Included with admission of $20-$25; weekends from October 14th-29th, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 West Girard Avenue.

Fintastic Fall Days at Adventure Aquarium
The aquarium is decked out with jack-o-lanterns, giant pumpkin displays in the shape of marine animals, and even underwater pumpkin carvers! They’ve also got fun Halloween-y activities like pumpkin-painting and the “What Goes Bump in the Midnight Zone” show where you’ll learn about the creatures of the deep.
$19-$48; through November 5th, Adventure Aquarium, 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, New Jersey.

Spooky Urban Campout / Photograph courtesy of the Logan

Spooky Urban Campout at the Logan Hotel
The ultimate family staycation is getting a Halloween twist this year. For those unfamiliar, the Logan’s Urban Campout package sets up a kids’ “camping” adventure in your suite, complete with a tent, sleeping bag, coloring book,  “Rocky robe,” star machine, and even an indoor s’mores kit (plus a bottle of wine for you to enjoy after the kids go to bed). Well, they’re taking it up a notch for October: You’ll also get a trick-or-treat bucket full of candy, Halloween crafts, and even a ghost stuffy to take home. Oh, and the room will be decorated … including a sleepy skeleton friend! Reservations are required at least seven days in advance.
Starting at $750; through October 31st, the Logan, 1 Logan Square.

Scarecrow Walk and More at Morris ArBOOretum
Every year, Morris Arboretum holds a scarecrow design contest around a theme, and this year it’s the ’90s! Through the month of October, you can see them on display, pose with them and even vote for your favorites. This year, the arboretum is also debuting the Morris Pumpkin Cottage, a 100-square-foot exhibit covered in hundreds of pumpkins! Kids’ events there include crafts on October 13th and a bubble dance party on October 24th — both are at 11 a.m. On October 28th, come in costume for trick-or-treating along the scarecrow walk from 1 to 3 p.m.
Free with admission of $5-$20 (kids under three and PennCard holders get in free); scarecrow display through October 31st, trick-or-treating on October 28th, 1-3 p.m., Morris Arboretum, 100 East Northwestern Avenue.

Spooky Mini Golf at Franklin Square
Franklin Square’s Philly-themed mini golf is transformed into spooky fun for the Halloween season with decorations, lights, fog and other fun surprises. While you’re there, you can also ride the carousel, hit the playground and watch the fountain show. The whole production with the lights and smoke runs from 6 to 9 p.m. nightly, but for little ones who are more daytime-oriented (or just scare easily), the Halloween decorations (and other attractions) are around all day long. Franklin Square also hosts two special kids’ events for the season: a pumpkin patch on October 21st and a trick-or-treat trail on October 28th. More on those later.
$12-$15; through October 31st, Franklin Square, 200 North 6th Street.

Spooky mini golf at Franklin Square / Photograph by Jeff Fusco

Colonial Gardens’ Pumpkinland
Celebrate fall with hayrides (haunted and regular), a corn maze, a haunted hedge maze, and a Halloween funhouse. Plus, there’s always a fun Halloween display involving colorful cartoon characters, scarecrows, a hay hutch and over 10 tons of pumpkins.
$4-$11; through October 31st, Colonial Gardens, 745 Schuylkill Road, Phoenixville.

Halloween House Philadelphia
This family-friendly Halloween attraction bills itself as “more fun, less fear, and more WOW than a haunted house,” with neither actors nor jump scares. Each room has a different theme, like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Stranger Things.
$25-$30,  through November 1st, Andorra Shopping Center, 701 Cathedral Road.

Franklin Fright
Spooky science, trick-or-treating, and other family-friendly frights take over the Franklin Institute weekends this October. Bring your own bags and come in costume to explore the exhibits, knock on festive doors for candy (from costumed museum educators), and watch live science with Gourd’n the Giant Pumpkin Robot. “The Lab” returns with “Halloween T.R.E.A.T.S. (Tricks, Robots, Experiments, Activities, Technology, Spooky fun),” including sensory activities, a maze, photo ops and more.
Included with admission of $21-$25; weekends through October 29th, Franklin Institute, 222 North 20th Street.

Kids can have Halloween fun with a side of science at Franklin Fright. / Photograph by Laura Swartz

Potion Making at the Cauldron
Here’s another all-ages surprise for you: Philly’s not-quite-Harry-Potter-themed bar seems like it’s just for grownups, but kids can get in on the magical fun with a potion making session. The nearly-two-hour experience includes “brewing” your own magical concoctions to drink (grownups get adult versions, if you get my drift), a drink poured by magic wand, and even a wizard robe to wear! Kids’ tickets are available for weekdays before 3 p.m. and Sundays before 7 p.m. (Saturdays are just for the grownups). This experience has to be booked online in advance, and the adult ticket price goes up the closer it gets to Halloween, so plan accordingly.
$40-$85; through October 31st, 1305 Locust Street.

Pumpkinland and Hayrides to the Witch’s House at Linvilla Orchards
Head to Linvilla for harvest hayrides, pony rides, train rides, mazes of both the corn and hay varieties, farm animals and pick-your-own apples. (Sorry, no pumpkin-picking here, though there are mounds of pumpkins already picked.) Photo ops abound, and things get spooky with hayrides to the witch’s house. She tells stories and jokes, gives the kids treats, and then the hayride ends with a campfire where you can roast marshmallows and enjoy apple cider.
Free to enter, $13-$15 for hayrides, $5 for mazes; through October 30th, Linvilla Orchards, 137 West Knowlton Road, Media.

Pumpkinland at Linvilla / Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Halloween Parties, Performances and More

Trick-or-Treat Scavenger Hunt at Sister Cities Park
Parkway Pals wraps up for the season with a free Halloween party including a scavenger hunt, free pumpkin painting, spooky story time with the Free Library of Philadelphia and a magic show.
Free; October 15th, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Sister Cities Park, 210 North 18th Street.

“Lights On” Saturday Scavenger Hunts at Lincoln Mill Haunted House
While Manayunk’s newest haunted attraction is decidedly adult, they will also have a daytime scavenger hunt suitable for kids ages 10 and up. Select Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m., you can walk through Lincoln Mill with the lights on and no scare-actors on site.
$24; October 14th, 21st and 28th, noon-4 p.m. Lincoln Mill Haunted House, 4100 Main Street.

Cricket BOO
Lulu’s Casita hosts their annual all-out kids’ Halloween block party in Ardmore. The playspace has quite a morning planned: Expect crafts, games, treats, a photo booth, pumpkin decorating, “make your own potion” station, character visits, face painting, story time, a costume parade, live music and more fun. Email info@luluscasita.com to purchase a ticket.
$30 ($5 for adults); October 14th, 9:30 a.m.-noon, first block of Cricket Avenue, Ardmore.

The Great Pumpkin Carve
An annual Chadds Ford tradition, the three-day event highlights over 70 giant pumpkins carved into spook-tacular creations. Carvers work through the early evening on Thursday and then illuminate their masterpieces by candlelight. You can view the carvers at work Thursday and the finished products Friday and Saturday. In addition to the pumpkins, there is a kid-friendly Haunted Trail, food and beer for sale and live music. Admission is available at the gate on each day of the event.
$5-$15 (free for kids ages six and under); October 19th-21st, 4-9 p.m., Chadds Ford Historical Society, 1736 Creek Road, Chadds Ford.

Beehive at Bok KIDRAVE
Beehive’s monthly dance party gets a Halloween twist this month, so come in costume and get ready for a techno, EDM and house DJ set by Music with Ry. Plus, open play, glow sticks, and treats.
$10-$15; October 20th, 6-8 p.m., Beehive at Bok, 1901 South 9th Street.

Franklin Square Pumpkin Patch
Kids ages 10 and under can come pick a free pumpkin and use craft supplies to decorate it. Pre-registration is required to make sure all the kids get a pumpkin. And while you’re there, you can play some spooky mini golf.
Free; October 21st, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Franklin Square, 200 North 6th Street.

Photograph by Jeff Fusco

Fall Fun Day at Laurel Hill Cemetery
Costumes are encouraged for a free, family-friendly day of outdoor fall festivities. There will be crafts, live kids’ music performances, storytelling, games, mini cemetery tours and more. Free, but pre-register online.
Free; October 21st, noon-3 p.m., Laurel Hill East, 3822 Ridge Avenue.

Kids’ Halloween at Sunset Social
Head to the roof of the Cira Centre for a free Halloween bash including lawn games, pumpkin-decorating, face-painting, costume contests (for kids and dogs!), and hot cocktails available for the grownups. RSVP online.
Free; October 22nd, noon, Sunset Social, 129 South 30th Street.

Halloween Drag Queen Story Time
Come to Fishtown Community Library for a Drag Queen Story Time with Miss Brittany Lynn sharing stories about love, diversity, and acceptance … and some spooky tales, too. Geared towards kids ages five and under and their families. Costumes are encouraged.
Free; October 23rd, 11:30 a.m., Fishtown Community Library, 1217 East Montgomery Avenue.

Autumn on the Avenue in Mount Airy
Bring kids in costume for a pre-Halloween trick-or-treat at Mount Airy businesses from the 6600 through 6900 blocks of Germantown Avenue. Fun activities include crafts with ARTrageous, storytelling with Thembi Palmer and treats.
Free; October 26th, 3:30-6 p.m., Germantown Avenue in Mount Airy.

Dinos After Dark: Halloween Edition
The Academy of Natural Sciences hosts their popular pay-what-you-wish event that sees a Dino Drafts beer garden set up in Dinosaur Hall, plus access to the museum and hands-on science activities. But this month, guests are invited to come in costume and trick-or-treat at stations throughout the museum, too! Want more spooky dino fun? The museum is also hosting a “Not-So-Spooky” sleepover on October 21st.
Pay-what-you-wish; October 27th, 4-9 p.m., Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Barely Scarely Halloween Spooktacular at Smith Memorial Playground
Come in costume for an evening of fun at the 6.5-acre playground. The party includes arts and crafts, a costume parade, trick-or-treating, free food trucks, giveaways and more. This event is free for Smith members and ACCESS Card holders. Tickets are available online.
$10 per child (accompanying adults free); October 27th, 4-7 p.m., Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse, 3500 Reservoir Drive.

Trick-or-Treating at the Art Museum
On the Friday night before Halloween, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is offering pay-what-you-wish admission for a family-friendly spooky jaunt. In addition to performances and hands-on art, the main event is a self-guided quest around the galleries where kids will follow clues and solve riddles from costumed museum staff members to get candy. Be sure to dress up and bring your own treat bags.
Pay-what-you-wish; October 27th, 5-8 p.m., Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Haunted Circus
The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts transforms their historic building and campus into a haunted circus experience for adults and kids alike. It all starts on the lawn with fire performances. Next, try your hand at circus arts at various pre-show stations: learn to juggle, walk the tightwire, even hang on the aerial sling! And for the main performance, a circus variety show by the talented adults and youth of the circus school. Costumes are encouraged; pre-registration is recommended.
$10-$20; October 27th and 28th, 6:30-9:30 p.m., Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, 6452 Greene Street.

Hound-O-Ween Fall Festival
Philly’s biggest Halloween dog costume contest is in Northern Liberties, and it’s back and shutting down the 700 block of North 2nd Street to accommodate all the cuteness! Dozens of furry contestants will compete for prizes in various categories, plus try to win best of show for a grand prize of $500, cash. That’s a lot of biscuits. In addition to the costume contest, expect food and drink, music, and general Halloween festiveness. All proceeds from the $30 registration fee (or $20 for an extra pup) benefit Street Tails Animal Rescue.
Free to attend, $30 to enter the contest; October 28th, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 700 block of 2nd Street. 

Photograph courtesy of Northern Liberties

Trick-or-Treat Trail at Franklin Square
Kids ages 10 and under are invited to come in costume at collect treats at stops throughout Franklin Square. This event is free, but pre-registration is required.
Free; October 28th, noon-2 p.m., Franklin Square, 200 North 6th Street.

Fall Fest and Spooky Saturday on East Passyunk Avenue
East Passyunk’s annual Halloween celebration takes over the Avenue with live performances, a costume parade, a mini pumpkin patch and trick-or-treating at local businesses. Adults, meanwhile, will enjoy vendors selling crafts, food specials, and even festive cocktails.
Free, pay-as-you-go; October 28th, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., East Passyunk Avenue.

Pumpkin Patch Tea at the Rittenhouse Hotel
For those of you whose kids love the holiday-season Teddy Bear Tea at the Rittenhouse, this ones for you. The Mary Cassatt Tea Room is debuting a Halloween-themed tea this year with special seasonal menu items (kids’ sandwiches will be pumpkin-shaped, too!), decor and kids’ activities. After a delicious tea service, head to the hotel courtyard decorated for fall, with miniature pumpkins scattered around the garden for the kids to take home. Another keepsake? A cuddly Peter Rabbit stuffy by Gund, to complement the Peter Rabbit storytime in the courtyard, too! Reservations are available online at Tock.
$79; October 28th and 29th, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Rittenhouse Hotel, 210 West Rittenhouse Square.

Manayunk Trick-or-Treating and Costume Parade
First, come to the annual Pretzel Park Farmers’ Market kid and pet costume parade, then go trick-or-treating at select small businesses on Main Street.
Free; October 28th, parade at 10:30 a.m., trick-or-treat from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Main Street, Manayunk.

East Falls Halloween Parade
Rutabaga Toy Library hosts its fourth annual Halloween parade in East Falls. Gather at 3 p.m., then the parade starts promptly at 3:30 p.m. with the Positive Movement Drumline setting the pace. There will also be kids’ activities like crafts, music and dance, a costume contest and more.
Free; October 28th, 3-6 p.m., 3400 Block of Conrad Street.

South Street PumpkinFest
This annual event takes place under the Shambles at Head House Square with pumpkin-decorating, circus performances, a costume contest and more fun. Plus, the South Street businesses host a trick-or-treat trail around town — pick up a map at the festival so you can hit up participating stores for candy.
Free; October 28th, noon-4 p.m., Headhouse Shambles, 2nd and Pine streets.

Stenton’s Halloween Harvest Festival
Enjoy crafts, face-painting, pumpkin-painting, spooky storytime with Logan Library, treats and a spooky cellar tour at this historic house. Pre-register online for the free event.
Free; October 28th, 1-3 p.m., 4601 North 18th Street.

Photograph courtesy of Narberth Online.

Witches of Narberth
All you Main Line ghouls, this is the hunt for you. Children of all ages are invited to join in this free event, where kids search downtown Narberth for “the witchiest witches around.” Collect treats along the way, and then return to the start to collect a Halloween prize. The hunt starts at the corner of Forrest and Haverford avenues and goes until 4 p.m. (or until the prizes run out).
Free; October 28th, 1-4 p.m., downtown Narberth (starts at Forrest and Haverford avenues).

Rittenhouse Row Halloween Celebration and Trick-or-Treat
From 10 am. to 1 p.m., there will be a costume contest: Pick up a trick-or-treat bag, pose for the judges, and enjoy candy from Frankford Candy Company. Then, go trick-or-treating throughout the businesses of Rittenhouse Row until 5 p.m. Participating businesses will have a poster in the window (or pick up a map from 19th and Walnut from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.).
Free; October 28th, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., various locations around Rittenhouse.

Allens Lane Art Center’s Spooky Spectacular
The Mount Airy art center holds a kid-friendly party with art-making stations, treats, a costume runway, dancing and theater games. All proceeds support the center’s youth arts programming.
$10; October 28th, 3-5 p.m., 601 West Allens Lane.

Haunted Horses
Northwestern Stables’ annual Halloween bash features costumed horses (and riders), and kids trick-or-treating amongst them. At the end of the night, vote for your favorite horse! Guided rides, as well as refreshments, will also be available at the event.
$7.50; October 28th, 4-7 p.m., Northwestern Stables, 120 West Northwestern Avenue.

Family Fright Day at PlayArts
Come in costume to this indoor Fishtown playspace for a morning of fun for little ones, including open play and pumpkin-painting.
$15; October 29th, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., PlayArts, 1241 North Front Street.

Trick-or-Treat at the Please Touch Museum
Come to PTM in costume for a Halloween Hunt, Monster Mash dance parties, and fun workshops like “Monster Improv” and wand-making.
$22; October 29th, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic.

That’s right, there is not one but two equestrian Halloween celebrations in Philly! Fairmount Park’s Solly Stables is also dressing the horses up for some trick-or-treating fun in the barn. If the horses are getting all dressed up, you’d better bring your dress-up game too (and a bag for some treats).
Free; October 29th, 1-3 p.m., Solly Stables, 1140 Solly Avenue.

PAFA’s Family Halloween Extravaganza
Get your costume on to explore some of the museum’s mysterious artworks and get inspired to create spooky art as a family. Best of all, admission to the museum and all activities are free — register online to reserve your spot.
Free; October 29th, 1-3 p.m., Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 118-128 North Broad Street.

Funky Brunch & Market at Ardmore Music Hall
This free, family-friendly event features local vendors and live music. Beer and brunch will be available for purchase as well.
Free (food and drink are pay-as-you-go); October 29th, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Ardmore Music Hall, 23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore.

Halloween Brunch at Positano Coast
The Old City restaurant continues its “vibe brunch” series with themed cocktails and menue items, photo stations, and a costume contest.
Pay-as-you-go; October 29th, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., 212 Walnut Street.

Halloween Bash at the Kimmel
This family-friendly event features face painting, “healthy treat tastings,” a Witches of Oz costume contest hosted by Starfire, and music by Joshua Mitchell, who will perform Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
Free, October 29th, 2:30-4:30 p.m., Commonwealth Plaza, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.

PopUpPlay’s Halloween Party at Cherry Street Pier
Come for free trick-or-treating, a kids’ dance party, a skull scavenger hunt, lots of craft activities and more at Cherry Street Pier.
Free, October 29th, 2-5 p.m., 121 North Columbus Boulevard.

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