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

Last week, we got Spooky Season started early with our roundup of grownup Halloween happenings. And 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 Disney to putt-putt to Prince! 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. And while you’re there, spring for the new giraffe-feeding encounter ($5-$6 add-on). There’s also a play experience called Habitat Hollow that lets kids climb, do hands-on activities and more. Boo at the Zoo is included with admission (and members get in free) but timed reservations are required.
Included with admission of $19-$24; weekends from October 15th-30th, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 West Girard 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 22nd and a trick-or-treat trail on October 29th. More on those later.
$12-$15; October 1st-31st, Franklin Square, 200 North 6th Street.

Spooky mini golf at Franklin Square / Photograph by Jeff Fusco

Halloween Weekends at the Please Touch Museum
It all kicks off on October 1st with Pumpkin-palooza, a day full of pumpkin-carving workshops and other fall-focused crafts. But the main event comes the final two weekends of October, when PTM hosts all-day programming including spooky science, story times, costume parades, performances, dance parties, and more hands-on fun. Plus, while you’re visiting, check out the new Lion Guard exhibit, which opens on October 7th.
Included with admission of $22; October 22nd, 23rd, 29th and 30th, Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic.

Spooky Sundays at the Seaport
Every Sunday in October, Independence Seaport Museum’s education staff explore different themes like “Mermaids and Monsters” and “Ghost Ships.”
Included with admission of $14-$18; Sundays in October, Independence Seaport Museum, 211 South Columbus Boulevard.

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. New for this year, “The Lab” will have “eerie-sistable Halloween T.R.E.A.T.S. (Tricks, Robots, Experiments, Activities, Technology, Spooky fun),” including spider-bot building, sensory activities, mazes, photo ops and more.
Included with admission of $19-$23; weekends from October 1st-30th, Franklin Institute, 222 North 20th Street.

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

Scarecrow Walk at Morris Arboretum
Every year, Morris Arboretum holds a scarecrow design contest around a theme, and this year it’s “Spooky Scarecrows!” Through the month of October, you can see them on display, pose with them and even vote for your favorites. On October 29th and 30th, come in costume for trick-or-treating along the scarecrow walk from 1 to 3 p.m. Plus, stick around the arboretum for the fall-themed train display and lots of other nature-based exploration.
Free with admission of $10-$20 (kids under 3 and PennCard holders get in free); scarecrow display from October 1st-31st, trick-or-treating on October 29th and 30th, 1-3 p.m., Morris Arboretum, 100 East Northwestern Avenue.

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-$10; through October 31st, Colonial Gardens, 745 Schuylkill Road, Phoenixville.

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, $9-$14 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

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 12 and up. Every Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., you can walk through Lincoln Mill with the lights on and no scare-actors on site — plus a trick-or-treat candy station and photo ops.
$24; Saturdays from October 6th-November 5th, Lincoln Mill Haunted House, 4100 Main Street.

Potion Making at the Cauldron
Here’s another all-ages surprise for you: Philly’s new 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 (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.
$50-$85; through October 31st, 1305 Locust Street.

Halloween Parties, Performances and More

Halloween Happenings at Primp and Play
This year’s Best of Philly-winning family spa has some parties planned with crafts, treats and more Halloween fun for the littles. On Friday, October 14th, they’re having two Ghouls & Ghost dance parties (one in the morning, and one at night), and then on Thursday, October 20th, they’ll add pumpkin-decorating to the mix with their Pumpkin Patch Party. Tickets are available online for all parties.
$20; October 14th and 20th, Primp and Play, 1520 Locust Street, 2nd floor.

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 special circus arts performance.
Free; October 15th, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Sister Cities Park, 210 North 18th Street.

Cricket BOO
Lulu’s Casita and pucciManuli team up for their annual all-out kids’ Halloween block party in Ardmore. The playspace and toy store have quite a morning planned: Expect crafts, games, treats, a photo booth, pumpkin decorating, pumpkin hunting, “make your own potion” station, face painting, story time, a costume parade, live music and more fun. Even better, loads of characters are coming, including Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Elmo, Elsa, Mirabel, and some more Disney princesses. Email info@luluscasita.com to purchase a ticket.
$30 ($5 for adults); October 15th, 9:30 a.m.-noon, first block of Cricket Avenue, Ardmore.

Fall Festival at Gold Star Park
Come in costume for crafts, music, balloon animals, and trick-or-treating stations at the playground.
Free; October 15th, 10 a.m.-noon, Gold Star Park, 613 Wharton Street.

Drag Queen Story Time
Come to Craft Hall for a free Drag Queen Story Time with stories about love, diversity, and acceptance read by Miss Dusty Rose. Stay after for Halloween-themed arts and crafts.
Free; October 16th, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Craft Hall, 901 North Delaware Avenue.

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 giant 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 6 and under), October 20th-22nd, 4-9 p.m., Chadds Ford Historical Society, 1736 Creek Road, Chadds Ford.

Funky Brunch & Market at Ardmore Music Hall
This free, family-friendly event features local vendors, live music (by David Bowie tribute band Hazy Cosmic Jive), and a costume contest with prizes. Beer and brunch will be available for purchase as well.
Free (food and drink are pay-as-you-go); October 22nd, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Ardmore Music Hall, 23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore.

Photograph by Jeff Fusco

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 22nd, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Franklin Square, 200 North 6th Street.

Outdoor Movie Night: Hocus Pocus
Bring your blankets and chairs to Wharton Square Park for a free screening of Hocus Pocus. Snacks, candy, and glow sticks will be handed out, and costumes are welcome.
Free; October 22nd, 6:30 p.m., Wharton Square Park, 2300 Wharton Street.

Halloween Family Fun Day at the Woodlands
The historic cemetery hosts its annual free, family-friendly Halloween party with performances by Tangle Movement Arts and Karen Smith’s “Spiritual Atmosferic Cleansing.”
Free; October 23rd, noon-3 p.m., 4000 Woodland Avenue.

Spooky Costume Paddle
If you come to Paddle Penn’s Landing in costume on October 23rd, you’ll get $5 off. Plus, you can enter a social media costume contest for a chance to win tickets to Independence Seaport Museum. Kids must be accompanied by an adult, and must weigh at least 35 pounds (so they fit in a life vest).
$7-$12; October 23rd, noon-dusk, Independence Seaport Museum, 211 South Columbus Boulevard.

Solloween
Fairmount Park’s Solly Stables is 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 23rd, noon-3 p.m., Solly Stables, 1140 Solly Avenue.

Hocus Pocus and Family Fun
Come to Glen Foerd for pumpkin-painting at 6 p.m., followed by an outdoor screening of Hocus Pocus around 7 p.m. Food and drinks will be available for purchase, and costumes are encouraged.
Free; October 25th, 6 p.m., Glen Foerd on the Delaware, 5001 Grant Avenue.

Hocus Pocus 2 Outdoor Movie
Complete the story the next night at Libertee Grounds, where they’ll be showing the new Hocus Pocus sequel in the beer garden for all ages. The food and drink menu will be available with table service throughout the movie.
Free; October 26th, 7 p.m., Libertee Grounds, 1600 West Girard Avenue.

Disney Junior Live: Costume Palooza
Disney Junior characters and Marvel Super Heroes team up on stage for a concert-style show for kids. Because this is Halloween, after all, they’ve got to work it into the plot, like so: “Mickey, Minnie, and their pals are getting ready to throw a huge costume party but mysterious green rain, wind, and smoke keep interrupting the fun. Can Spidey and his Amazing Friends help save the Costume Palooza?” I’m going to go out on a limb and say they can! Along the way, little ones will enjoy singing, dancing and even a pre-party and meet-and-greet if you feel like springing for the VIP package.
$35-$255; October 28th, 6 p.m., Academy of Music, 240 South Broad Street.

Fall Fest and Spooky Saturday on East Passyunk Avenue
East Passyunk’s annual Halloween celebration takes over the Avenue with pumpkin crafts, live performances (including Snacktime, as is required at proper Philly events), a photo booth, and trick-or-treating at local businesses. Adults will also enjoy vendors selling crafts, food specials, and even festive cocktails.
Free, pay-as-you-go; October 29th, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., East Passyunk Avenue.

Barely Scarely Halloween Spooktacular at Smith Memorial Playground
Come in costume for fun at the 6.5-acre playground, a spider scavenger hunt “a (hardly) haunted house,” a costume parade, 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 29th, noon-2 p.m., Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse, 3500 Reservoir Drive.

Craft Hall-oween
Head to the most kid-friendly beer hall in town for a kids’ costume parade (at noon), dance party, and even a doggy costume parade on the Puppy Porch (at 1 p.m.). A $50 gift card prize will be awarded to best individual costumes (kid and dog) and best group costume for families. You can also pick a pumpkin to decorate ($5-$10) and take home. And, as always, there’s the indoor pirate ship playground, old-school Nintendo games, and other fun to be had while the grownups enjoy craft beer and cocktails.
Pay-as-you-go; October 29th, noon-2 p.m., Craft Hall, 901 North Delaware Avenue.

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. All who participate in the contest will be entered to win autographed Eagles memorabilia from Firstrust Bank and prizes from Rittenhouse Row businesses. 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 29th, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (costume contest from 10 a.m.-1p.m.), various locations around Rittenhouse.

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 29th, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Main Street, Manayunk.

Photograph courtesy of Northern Liberties

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 29th, noon-5 p.m., 700 block of 2nd Street. 

Halloween in Campbell Square
Trick or treat with vendors, enter a costume contest (with prizes) and admire all the scarecrow contest entries (you can make one to display the week of the event to enter, too!) at this Port Richmond neighborhood party.
Free; October 29th, noon-4 p.m., Campbell Square, 2535 East Allegheny Avenue.

Trick-or-Treat Trail at Franklin Square
Kids are invited to come in costume at collect treats at stops throughout Franklin Square. This event is free, but pre-registration is required, and opens on October 22nd.
Free; October 29th, noon-2 p.m., Franklin Square, 200 North 6th Street.

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 29th, 1-4 p.m., downtown Narberth (starts at Forrest and Haverford avenues).

Photograph courtesy of Narberth Online.

East Falls Halloween Parade
Rutabaga Toy Library hosts its third annual Halloween parade in East Falls. Gather at 3 p.m., then the parade starts promptly at 3:30 p.m. Adorable photos ensue.
Free; October 29th, 3-6 p.m., 3400 Block of Conrad Street.

Halloween Weekend at the Museum of the American Revolution
Did you know that colonial-era Americans carved turnips instead of pumpkins? Well, if you want to see that in action, go to the Museum of the American Revolution on Halloweekend for turnip-carving demonstrations. (Want to carve your own at home? The museum’s got some revolutionary jack-o’-lantern stencils you can download!) Plus, learn about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and make a tin-punch lantern pattern. Kids 12 and under who wear a costume on their visit receive $2 off admission.
Included with admission of $13-$21 (free for kids ages 5 and under); October 29th-30th, Museum of the American Revolution, 101 South 3rd Street.

South Street PumpkinFest
This annual event will also be on Saturday, October 29th (a.k.a. the busiest Halloween events day of the year), and will take place under the Shambles at Head House Square with pumpkin-decorating, hayrides, performances, treats, and more fun. Plus, the South Street businesses host a trick-or-treat trail around town, so pick up a map at the festival so you can hit up participating stores for candy.
Free; October 29th, noon-4 p.m., Headhouse Shambles, 2nd and Pine streets.

Fitler Square Halloween Fun Fest
Celebrate the Halloween season with crafts, games, treats and a costume parade.
Free; October 29th, 3-5 p.m., Fitler Square, 2400 Pine Street.

Haunted Horses
That’s right, there is not one but two equestrian Halloween celebrations in Philly! This one, at Northwestern Stables, also involves costumed horses (and riders) and trick-or-treating amongst them. In addition, you can schedule mini riding lessons with the horses (reserve a timeslot on Eventbrite).
$7.50; October 29th, 4-7 p.m., Northwestern Stables, 120 West Northwestern Avenue.

cinéSPEAK Outdoor Movie: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Will this year be the year the Great Pumpkin finally visits Linus’s pumpkin patch? Come to Pentridge Station at 6 p.m. for a spooky story time and costume contest, then stick around for a pop-up free movie screening of the Peanuts classic at 7 p.m. Costumes are encouraged, and you can bring your own dinner. Additional drinks and concessions are pay-as-you-go.
Free; October 29th, 6 p.m. (movie at 7 p.m.), Pentridge Station, 5110-5120 Pentridge Street.

Rock and Roll Playhouse Halloween Spectacular Purple Party
Come in costume for a not-so-spooky kid-friendly concert at Brooklyn Bowl as the Rock and Roll Playhouse brings the music of Prince with a side of fun (think glow-sticks, freeze-dance games and a parachute). Food and drinks will be available during the concert (sip a craft beer while your kids groove on the dance floor), and you can stick around for Family Bowl at 1 p.m.
$15; October 30th, noon, Brooklyn Bowl, 1009 Canal Street.

PAFA’s Family Halloween Extravaganza
Get your costume on to explore some of the museum’s mysterious artworks and get inspired to create Halloween art as a family. Plus, enjoy festive music and spooky decorations. Best of all, admission to the museum and all activities are free — register online to reserve your spot.
Free; October 30th, 1-3 p.m., Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 118-128 North Broad Street.

Halloween Fun at Fette Sau
Head to Fette Sau in Fishtown for pumpkin painting with Play Arts, a dog costume competition, and spooky themed food specials (including dirt pudding dessert with candy worms)
Pay-as-you-go; October 30th, 2-6 p.m., Fette Sau, 1208 Frankford Avenue.

Fairmount Halloween Festival and Parade
Gather at Philly Art Center’s Fairmount location for art-making. Then, the neighborhood parade will kick-off at 4:45 p.m. with Positive Movement Drumline, and will end at 24th and Aspen streets. The event is free, but Philly Art Center requests online RSVP.
Free; October 30th, 3-5 p.m., Philly Art Center, 2333 Fairmount Avenue.

Halloween Bash at Kith + Kin
Philly’s littlest trick-or-treaters can start off Halloween at the Brewerytown playspace with storytelling, snacks, crafts and a costume parade, all before naptime. Tickets available online.
$30 per child, $15 per sibling; October 31st, 10 a.m.-noon, Kith + Kin, 3060 West Jefferson Street.

 

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