Creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky - and fun

Fall events for the family


It’s the fall season, when a chill in the air means Halloween for some and less ghoulish events for others. In Northwest Philadelphia, the last few days of October are a time for scarecrow chic, haunted horses (and houses), window decorating, harvest festivals, a gruesome “character carnage,” trunks or treats that forget the tricks, a costume parade for Fido, and even opera - in a cemetery.

Here's an event round-up that Morticia and Gomez would love.

October 27

Morris Arboretum hosts a Spooky Scarecrow Walk through Oct. 31.  More than 30 scarecrows are on display and you can vote for your favorite. The arboretum is at 100 E. Northwestern Ave. For information on the scarecrow stroll and all of this year’s Morris “Arbooretum” events visit

The windows of many of Chestnut Hill’s businesses will be decorated for All Hallows Eve, and you can vote for your favs, some of which may be scary, elegant, eerie and fun. Vote through Oct. 31 and with each vote earn a chance at a $25 gift certificate.  Stop by and pick up a ballot at the Chestnut Hill Visitors Center, 8514 Germantown Ave.  

 The Mt. Airy CDC’s Autumn on the Avenue will include trick or treating for the kids, graveyard stories, and crafts and firetrucks, 3:30 to 6 p.m., in the 6600 to 6900 blocks of Germantown Avenue. For info,

 For adults who want an evening out, Mermaid Inn at 7673 Germantown Ave. in Chestnut Hill will host concerts by local musicians. Emmett Drueding & Friends perform. For info:


October 28

Stagecrafters’ Halloween Happening features stage performances, readings of scary stories and poems, a costume contest and yummy treats.  Costumes are encouraged and a prize will be bestowed on the best. 7 p.m. $6 for adults, children 12 and under free and must be accompanied by an adult. Reservations are recommended. The theater is at 8130 Germantown Ave. Call 215 247 8881 or email

The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts in Mt. Airy hosts a spooky experience featuring a walk through a haunted path, followed by a Halloween showcase of circus acts by our students and ending with a fire performance. 6:30 p.m. Tickets. $15 for adults, $10 for youth in advance. $5 more at the door (cash only). The school is at a 6452 Greene St.

There’s an event called the “Halloween Haunt Character Carnage” at the Lonnie Young Recreation Center in Germantown and the flesh-rotting ghouls on the poster look very scary. 6:30 p.m. The center is at 1100 El. Chelten Ave. $4. For info, call (215) 685-223.

The Waterview Recreation Center in Germantown invites neighbors to a Halloween Party and a wickedly good time. If. You. Dare. Costumes are optional. 4 to 8 p.m. The center is at 5826 McMahon St. For info, call (215) 685-2229.

Andy Maher 10 of Hearts plays classic rock at the Mermaid Inn in Chestnut Hill.

 October 29

Morris Arboretum invites youngsters to come in costume and walk the Spooky Scarecrow loop for trick-or-treating and candy. 1 to 3 p.m. Meet at the Widener Visitor Center. The event is weather permitting.

Join Historic Germantown for what organizers are calling “Ghosts in the Hood,” an exclusive, enchanted concert experience – in a cemetery. Opera on Tap is also, uh, on tap for the haunted Halloween escapade full of musical stories, ghouls, ghosts and goblins. Hood Cemetery (Lower Burial Ground), 4901 Germantown Ave. Gates open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $35 and include a free drink from Attic Brewing. For info, visit For tickets, visit and search for Ghosts in the Hood.

Manayunk will host a Halloween celebration along Main Street, starting at 11 a.m. The event includes trick or treating along the business strip from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pets are invited.

 At least two local churches are hosting “Trunk or Treat” events, ditching any affiliation with ghouls and goblins, but still offering plenty of treats and lots of fun. Second Baptist Church of Germantown’s event is 3 to 5 p.m. in the church’s rear parking lot. The church is 6459 Germantown Ave.  New Covenant Church of Philadelphia will also give youngsters a chance to trunk or treat. 4 to 6 p.m.  (Rain date is Oct. 31). The church is at 7500 Germantown Ave.

On repeat, see info above: The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts hosts its second spooky holiday experience. Stagecrafters’ Halloween Happening happens again.  

The Planets! play at the Mermaid Inn. 

October 30

Bring the kids to trick or treat on Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill. Look for the Halloween sign in the windows of participating businesses to receive a sweet treat and a happy welcome. The event is rain or shine, so come prepared. 1 to 3 p.m.

Awbury Arboretum’s Harvest Fest gives visitors the opportunity to explore the arboretum’s farm. They’ll be hay rides, a s’mores pit, food, brews, and live music featuring a Rolling Stones tribute band. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine, 6336 Ardleigh Street. Organizers ask that visitors park on Ardleigh or Washington Lane and walk to the farm.

Love Your Bark is a Halloween event for fur babies, but human family members are invited to be the plus-one.  Look for parades and contests for the biggest, smallest, best-dressed and ugliest dog. Best trick gets a prize too.  The event is 12 to 3 p.m. Judging begins at 1 p.m. Fern Hill Park, 4600 Morris Street, Germantown. For info, email

Haunted Horses at Northwest Stables in Chestnut Hill is a walk-through experience where visitors are greeted by horses and riders in creative costumes. The barns and grounds are decorated with candy distribution centers along the way. A mini-riding experience is available for youngsters 5 to 14, at an additional cost. The event is 4 to 8 p.m. (last entry is at 7:30 p.m.) Tickets are $7.50 and available on The stables are at 120 Northwestern Ave.

Come on over to the historic Rigby Mansion to party and make mischief with Johnny Shortcake, the funkiest kid’s band in Philadelphia. The band celebrates silliness and friendship and teaches important life lessons during one big disco party.  Special guest is Birdie Busch. Costumes encouraged. 3 p.m., 523 E. Church St. $12.

Grumblethorpe House and Gardens in Germantown will host a Spooky Garden & Sunset Candy Hunt from 4 to 6 p.m. Count on pumpkin painting, crafts and games. Costumes encouraged. $5 donation suggested per child, but free entry is available. Grumblethorpe is at 6267 Germantown Ave.

Booked independent bookstore will host a parade, concert and book signing during a “Music with Gina” program featuring the new book “Halloween Parade.” 1 to 2 p.m. Costumes are encouraged. Booked is at 8511 Germantown Ave. in Chestnut Hill.

Morris Arboretum’s Halloween events continue with a pumpkin carving party for people ages 8 and up. Organizers will supply the pumpkin, equipment and patterns. Meet at the Widener Visitor Center. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Members, $25. Nonmembers, $30.

On repeat, see info above: Morris Arboretum’s Trick or Treat Trail event continues for a second day.