Fall in Love with Philadelphia

If there is one season that brings out the best in Philly, it’s Fall! When the air is crisp, leaves start to turn, and weekends beckon you to rediscover the City’s cultural offerings. Here are just a few ways to enjoy this special season and fall in love with Philadelphia all over again.

Fringe Arts Festival

Fringe Arts Festival 2021, Sept. 9 – Oct 3

This four-week-long, city-wide celebration of innovation and creativity explodes into every neighborhood with more than 1,000 artistically daring performances. Highlights include Bon Appetit, an opera about Julia Child, and Honky Tonkin, a country music satire. Tickets sell out fast. Reserve yours at  fringearts.com

Wissahickon Valley Park - Image: https://fow.org/

Wissahickon Valley Park – Open every day

To view Fall foliage at its most spectacular, visit Wissahickon Valley Park in mid to late October. Explore over 50 miles of hiking, walking, and biking trails, including Forbidden Drive, a wide, car-free road that follows the meandering Wissahickon Creek. Highlights include a covered bridge and waterfalls. Dogs on leashes welcome. Check out the fine dining options at Valley Green Inn and casual dining at Cedars House. Park Entrances and parking at 120 W Northwestern Ave, W. Bells Mill Rd, and Valley Green Rd. 

Mural Arts Walking Tour – Sept 25 

Explore Philadelphia’s Spring Arts District on a 90-minute tour featuring the world’s largest outdoor art gallery this fall. Starting at 1349 Spring Garden St, the tour is led by a trained guide who explains the mural-making process and how each community has participated in the City-wide Mural Arts Project. Tours are limited to 12 participants. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival – Sept 26

This annual arts festival celebrates the start of autumn by bringing together more than 150 artists from around the country.  Germantown Avenue, between Willow Grove and Rex Avenue, shuts down to traffic as the event transforms the area into an outdoor pop-up park. Stroll down the avenue to shop for art, unique gifts, or enjoy culinary delights and live music. Admission is free.

Gravediggers’ Ball – Oct. 15

Paris has Pere Lachaise, the celebrated eternal resting place of Edith Piaf, Rudolf Nureyev, and Jim Morrison. Philly has Laurel Hill Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark founded in 1863. Known for its monumental sculptures depicting angels lifting the deceased out of their graves, Laurel Hill Cemetery knows how to throw a good party. Their annual Gravedigger’s Ball is a costumed gala held at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The event is their largest fundraiser and proceeds benefit Friends of Laurel Hill & West Laurel Hill Cemeteries to continue their mission of preserving and protecting these historic sites.

This year, proof of a COVID vaccination is required to attend.  Attendees will also be required to wear masks while indoors and outdoors, except when eating or drinking.

One Africa! One Nation Uhuru Flea Market – October 16th 

This Clark Park open-air flea market happens every fall and features handmade crafts, home goods, clothing, food, and more. It is an economic development project of the African People’s Education and Defense Fund . 4300-4398 Baltimore Ave in West Philly.  9:00am to 5:00pm

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Through Oct 31st

The Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center, located on Horticultural Drive in Fairmount Park, offers a traditional-style Japanese house and a nationally-ranked garden reflecting the history of Japanese culture in the city. Tour the house, explore the garden, and feed the koi fish in the pond. Visit when the orange hues of fall foliage start to show for a spectacular view. Open Sundays only.

PAWS Mutt Strut. Image: PAWS

PAWS Mutt Strut – Oct. 23 

If you love dogs (and cats) you will want to participate in the 15th Annual PAWS Mutt Strut, a Fall festival for dogs and the people who love them. Proceeds raise lifesaving funds for Philly’s homeless pets. Bring your furry four-footed friend in costume to strut their stuff at The Navy Yard. Enjoy live music, food trucks, costume and talent contests, agility course, paw print painting, a raffle with great prizes, family-friendly activities, and much more! Learn more and register at pawsmuttstrut.org.  4747 S. Broad Street. 10am-1pm.

Pretzel Park Farmers Market – Saturdays through Dec 18

Here’s a great way to walk off your brunch. Visit Pretzel Park Farmers Market, located walking distance from Manayunk’s lively Main Street.  This weekly market at 4300 Silverwood Street features local, farm-fresh produce, cheese, baked goods, coffee, teas, jams, and more. Plus seasonal favorites like cider, pumpkins, apples, and gourds. 10 am – 2 pm. 

Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show – Nov 5-7

The 45th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show at Convention Hall presents 170 of the finest crafts artists in the United States. This includes furniture, ceramics, fiber arts, wearables, glass, jewelry, leather, basketry, metal, paper, wood, and mixed media.  Take advantage of the opportunity to meet with these talented artists and learn about their processes.  All work is for sale and all proceeds go to the artists. 

Ghost Tour of Philadelphia – Through Nov. 30th

Join the Ghost Tour of Philadelphia to welcome in the spooky season with a candlelight walking tour along the back streets and secret gardens of Independence National Park, Old City, and Society Hill. Your costumed tour guide will introduce you to ghostly spirits in haunted houses and graveyards. Departs from 5th & Chestnut at 7:30 pm.

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