Sure, creepy entertainment may conjure up your idea of Halloween, but goodie bags full of chocolate, candy corn and gummy sweets say All Hallows Eve nearly as plainly as ghosts, ghouls and witches.
Leave the tricks to the spirits of Philadelphia’s numerous haunted houses and eerie events.
We’re here to satisfy your sweet tooth with a roundup of neighborhood festivals, retail districts and special events providing adults and children alike with fun and convenient trick-or-treating outings and celebratory strolls (and even some craft beer) this Halloween season.
For those past the age of trick-or-treating, exploring neighborhoods and strolling though downtown corridors is also synonymous with Halloween. Lucky for us, after the candy-gathering is over, and even while it’s happening, tons of eateries and retailers are providing discounts for out-and-about Philadelphians this Halloween season. Be sure to stick around and shop or head to a nearby bar or restaurant for a bite and drink.
Sweetening the bounty, Philadelphia continually appears on Zillow’s list of the best U.S. cities for trick-or-treating year after year. The recently published list once again included the City of Brotherly Love as one of the top ten spots for family-friendly trick-or-treating. The list takes factors like safest streets and spots where children are expected to receive the most candy into account.
From Halloween night events to pre-Halloween festivals, this list is sure to have you up-to-your-eyes in treats… and hopefully no tricks.
Read on for our top picks for candy-gathering Halloween spots and downtown strolls in neighborhoods and retail districts across the Philadelphia region.
• Rittenhouse Row Halloween Celebration: October 26-27, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., $40 per family. This weekend, Rittenhouse Row ushers in a slew of family-friendly Halloween celebrations. On Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., stroll the bustling shopping area for free trick-or-treating at Rittenhouse Row member businesses. Trick-or-treaters will be given maps to ensure they make their way to all candy stations. In addition to trick-or-treating, more fun abounds at the two-day celebration. The party kicks off at the Radisson-Warwick Blu at 10:30 a.m. on October 26 with face painting, crafts music and more. On October 27, NEST presents a Halloween Nestival beginning at 10:30 a.m. and brings a costume contest, cookie decorating, a candy buffet and more to the spotlight. While the trick-or-treating is free, a ticket to both parties cost $40 per family.
• Trick-or-Treat on West Girard Avenue: Thursday, October 31, 4-6 p.m. On All Hallows Eve, the 2500 to 2900 blocks of West Girard Avenue welcome costumed guests for an evening of trick-or-treating. Participating businesses are slated to provide free candy for children and invite all guests in to explore the shopping offerings of the avenue.
• Trick-or-Treat in Mt. Airy: Thursday, October 31, 5 p.m. Fresh off its title of the best neighborhood for trick-or-treating in Philadelphia, Mt. Airy pleases the masses with tricks-and-treats along Germantown Avenue. Local businesses open their door to costumed trick-or-treaters beginning at 5 p.m. Click here for the list of participating businesses. Bonus: Halloween diners receive 10 percent off their bill at Wine Thief.
• East Passyunk Avenue’s Fall Fest and Spooky Saturday: Saturday, October 26, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Stroll East Passyunk Avenue on October 26 and score sweets from area businesses as part of the neighborhood’s Fall Fest and Spooky Saturday celebration. The festivities run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include a costume contest, seasonal treats, shopping and more. Tip: Arrive early, the first 500 children to get to East Passyunk’s Singing Fountain receive free tick-or-treat bags.
• Halloween in Manayunk: Saturday, October 26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. From noon to 4 p.m., Main Street Manayunk welcomes children and adults of all ages for spirited trick-or-treating along the avenue. Interested trick-or-treaters may pick up a Halloween candy bag from participating Main Street businesses or the MNYK table at Cotton Street. Participating businesses will be marked with a scarecrow. In addition to tricks-and-treats, the Philadelphia Flea Market sets up shops on the 4200 block of Main Street and a fall festival complete with seasonal food and drinks, a costume contest and a horror movie screening takes over Pretzel Park beginning at 10 a.m.
• Spruce Hill Halloween Parade: Thursday, October 31, 4:30 p.m. On October 31 at 4:30 p.m., a kid-centric Halloween parade departs from 45th Street and Baltimore Avenue in Spruce Hill and wraps around the neighborhood. Along the route, residents will welcome paraders with treats, cider and eerie Halloween decorations. The Penn marching band will lead children and their parents, around the course. After the parade, stay put in Spruce Hill for some eats. Our picks? Honest Tom’s Tacos and Desi Village.
• Ghost Walks of Chestnut Hill: Saturday, October 26, 6:30, 7, 7:30, 8, 8:30 p.m. Experience the downtown streets of Chestnut Hill under some eerie circumstances as seasoned tour guides lead thrill-seeking groups on ghost tours of some of the oldest and creepiest buildings in the town. Admission is $10 for those over 12 and $5 for those under 12. Tours depart from the Chestnut Hill Library on the half hour from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
• Trick-or-Treat at Joan Shepp: Saturday, October 26, noon-7 p.m. This one’s for kids and their parents. From noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 26, the recently moved Joan Shepp shop in Liberty Place offers children tricks-and-treats and parents a treat of their own — 30 percent off of select merchandise.
More picks for trick-or-treating, below.
• Trick-or-Treat Trail at Franklin Square: Saturday, October 26, noon-3 p.m. From noon to 3 p.m., the historic Franklin Square unveils a special, Halloween trail made just for young trick-or-treaters. Guests, ages 10 and under, are invited to decorate a treat bag and walk the route in search of candy from trick-or-treat trail stops along the way. Participants will be given maps to help them along the way.
• Monster Mash at the Please Touch Museum: Saturday, October 26, 6-9 p.m. On October 26, the Please Touch Museum hosts a members-only Halloween bash from 6 to 9 p.m. Trick-or-treat throughout the museum while exploring the galleries, enjoying light refreshments, crafting and partaking in a spooky dance party.
• Sesame Place: October 26-27, noon-5 p.m. Children are invited to trick-or-treat at Sesame Place every weekend in October. Treat stations fill the park and offer children something for their sweet tooth. This weekend also hosts the Count’s Halloween Party and a Halloween Costume Contest.
• Boo at the Zoo: October 26-27, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This weekend, the Philadelphia Zoo mixes a trip to the zoo with Halloween fun for its annual Boo at the Zoo event. For the folks who have ever wanted to dress up like a lion and go see a lion, now is the time. Throughout the zoo, guests will find trick-or-treat stations to fill goodie bags with sweets and treats. In addition to trick-or-treating, the weekend also boasts a haunted zoo house, live entertainment, costume parade, giant pumpkin wall and more.