October 2010 Things To Do In Philadelphia – Ghost Tours and More

There are many October 2010 Things To Do In Philadelphia - and naturally, for this month, we're going to focus primarily on the many macabre, memorable events available to visitors and locals alike, in America's most historic - and most haunted - city. Enjoy...

(And if you're interested in looking ahead, take a look at the events in Philadelphia for next month, on our ever-growing November 2010 Things to Do in Philadelphia Guide...)

Looking for the Philadelphia Halloween Parties 2010 section that used to be on this page? It now has its own page - just follow the link, below...

There were so many Philadelphia Halloween Parties 2010, that this page was getting too long to read. And so we've shifted that information to a completely new page - our Guide to Philadelphia Halloween Parties 2010...

October 2010 Things to Do in Philadelphia - Ghost Tours in Old City Philadelphia

RECOMMENDED - In Old City Philadelphia, Spirits of '76 Ghost Tour Offers Chills Every Night in October 2010

The Spirits of '76 Ghost Tours ramp up their schedule in October 2010. You can visit the official Spirits of '76 web site, for the most comprehensive and up-to-date information.

Although it is offered year-round, the schedule is greatly expanded in the ghostly month, naturally.

Spirits of '76 Ghost Tours - October 2010 Schedule

Every night in October - 7:30 PM

On other days in October 2010 -

Thursdays and Fridays - 7:30 PM and 9:30 PM

Saturdays - 1:00 PM, 6:00 PM, 7:30 PM, and 9:30 PM

Sundays - 6:00 PM, 7:30 PM

Halloween itself, Sunday, October 31 - 6:00 PM, 7:30 PM, 9:30 PM

Saturday, October 30 - The Franklin Institute Stages "Cleo-cat-ra and Bark Antony Pet Costume Contest" On Its Steps

From 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM on Saturday, October 30, the Franklin Institute - as a promotion for its ongoing Cleopatra blockbuster exhibit - will be staging its "Cleo-cat-ra and Bark Antony Pet Costume Contest" (Get it?) on its steps.

Prizes are $500 for first place, $250 for second place, and two free tickets to Cleopatra for third place. So start thinking about an Egyptian-themed costume - and owners are also encouraged to attend, in costume.

Saturday, October 30, and Sunday, October 31 - The National Constitution Center Has An Eclectic Halloween Celebration - Ghost Stories of Revolutionary War Soldiers, a "Haunted War History" Scavenger Hunt, A Unique Tour of Burial Rituals Throughout American History

As part of the promotion for its newest temporary exhibit, The Art of the American Soldier, the National Constitution Center offers plenty of family-oriented Halloween fun, during its two-day Halloween Celebration. It's also free, as it is included with the price of your admission ticket to the National Constitution Center.

Of course, we discuss both Cleopatra and The Art of the American Soldier in more detail, at the bottom of this page, as Ongoing Events.

Thursday, October 28 - 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM - Pumpkin Carving and Fall Cocktails, at Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction in Old City Philadelphia

A unique Halloween 2010 event takes place in Old City Philadelphia on Thursday night, October 28. Pumpkin carving will be demonstrated to the audience by expert artists Walter and Margaux Kent, along with Fall Cocktails. This event is free, but you have to make reservations in advance - e-mail nicoleATartintheage.com to save yourself a spot. The location is Art in the Age, at 116 North 3rd Street (3rd between Arch Street and Race Street).

Sunday, October 31, 2010 - 2:30 PM - Free Halloween 2010 Concert at Macy's in Center City, on the Storied Wanamaker Organ / 4:30 PM - Screening of the 1925 Phantom of the Opera Film, With Live Organ Accompaniment for $10

On Halloween afternoon, at 2:30 PM, you can hear accomplished organist Gordon Turk of Ocean Grove, New Jersey, perform a free Halloween concert on the 28.000 pipes of the celebrated Wanamaker Organ at what is now Macy's, at 13th and Market Streets in Center City - but for many Philadelphians, will always be Wanamakers. (This is the same place as the famous Macy's Christmas Light Show, which kicks off at Thanksgiving.)

Afterward, at 4:30 PM, for $10, there will be live organ accompaniment of the 1925 film Phantom of the Opera, by Jim Riggs, in the Greek Hall at Macy's. You can purchase tickets, starting at 4:00 PM, outside the Greek Hall, which is located on the third floor.

Chestnut Hill Offers Many Walkable October 2010 Events in Philadelphia - Including the 26th Annual Fall for the Arts Festival on Sunday, October 10 - Which Draws Over 22,000 People (Rain Date - Sunday, October 17)

Chestnut Hill - the quaint, historic, and highly walkable Northwest Philadelphia neighborhood - offers plenty of October 2010 things to do in Philadelphia.

The most significant is the 26th Annual Fall for the Arts Festival - scheduled for Sunday, October 10, from 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM - this is a perennial favorite in Chestnut Hill. Each year, over 22,000 people descend upon Germantown Avenue - which is closed to traffic - and over 150 vendors sell their wares. There are also many entertainment options for children - it is a very family-friendly event. (The rain date is Sunday, October 17.)

Chestnut Hill Ghost Walks, Every Friday and Saturday Night, From October 8 and 9, Through November 5 and 6

Each weekend night in October, visitors to Chestnut Hill can enjoy family-friendly Chestnut Hill Ghost Walks, at the price of $10 for adults, $6 for children.

Chestnut Hill Ghost Walks start at 8:00 PM, and begin at the historic Chestnut Hill Hotel (itself, a haunted site) at 8229 Germantown Avenue (215.242.5905). They last about 90 minutes - and many Germantown Avenue merchants offer ghost-themed dishes and drinks throughout October.

And every day in October 2010, visitors can enjoy the Scarecrow Window Contest Along the Avenue (i.e., Germantown Avenue) involves each participating business creating their own scarecrow - visitors can admire the creativity, as well as vote for their favorites.

Eastern State Penitentiary Stages Its Annual "Terror Behind the Walls" Haunted House Show in Tour, in the Fairmount Neighborhood, on Many Nights in October

Eastern State Penitentiary is once again offering its wildly popular, tremendously terrifying, and highly elaborate Terror Behind the Walls - which is consistently rated as among the top haunted houses in America.

Unlike most other Philadelphia things to do, we've never directly experienced Terror Behind the Walls, as haunted houses aren't in our taste for entertainment.

However, we do highly recommend that you take the (much less frightening, and much more sedate) daytime tour of Eastern State Penitentiary. While it is offered year-round, it is particularly suitable during October.

Eastern State Pen is located in the city's hip, vibrant neighborhood known as Fairmount - just north of Center City Philadelphia - the ruins of the 19th century prison are an imposing medieval castle, with elaborate turrets in the Gothic Revival architectural style.

But, if you're into heart-palpitating fear, you might want to check it out on our Complete Guide to schedule and ticketing information, for Terror Behind the Walls - this also includes recommendations on the best ways to get there, and for parking, which is difficult in that neighborhood. (It has no firsthand discussions of the show itself.)

As we discuss in the Guide - please exercise the utmost discretion. particularly if you have children, as the Terror Behind the Walls experience appears to be pretty intense.

We should note that Eastern State Penitentiary does offer "Family Nights" at Terror Behind the Walls, during which, ostensibly, a frightened child has the right to declare, "Monster be good!" to the ghoulish actor, who must comply, and cease and desist his/her frightening behavior. That having been said, we have no confidence whatsoever that your child is going to suddenly feel better, as a result of this right, even if the monster complies with the rule.

In addition, the ubiquitous disturbing elements throughout Terror Behind the Walls - the visuals, strobe lights, sound effects, etc. - are not subject to the "Monster be good!" rule, even on Family Nights. As Eastern State Penitentiary candidly acknowledges, "it's the same show, even on Family Nights."

Bottom line - don't make the mistake of thinking that if you go on one of the Family Nights, that you're just going to get a mildly spooky, mellow experience in the castle. You won't!

Accordingly, if you even think that there's a slight chance, that your child is going to be disturbed by it, don't go to Terror Behind the Walls. Find something else to do. There are a plethora of other October 2010 things to do in Philadelphia, some of which are described on this page, that your child can enjoy, without inducing nightmares.

Anyhow, if you decide that you want to attend Terror Behind the Walls, just click on the links above, for complete information. It will be running nearly every night in October - all Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, along with selected Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, as Halloween approaches.

Terror Behind the Walls @ Eastern State Penitentiary In Fairmount will run from 7 PM to midnight, on:

Friday, October 1
Saturday, October 2
Sunday, October 3

Friday, October 8
Saturday, October 9
Sunday, October 10

After October 10, some weeknights are available as well:

Wednesday, October 13
Thursday, October 14
Friday, October 15
Saturday, October 16
Sunday, October 17

Wednesday, October 20
Thursday, October 21
Friday, October 22
Saturday, October 23
Sunday, October 24

Wednesday, October 27
Thursday, October 28
Friday, October 29
Saturday, October 30

Sunday, October 31 - Halloween

Family Nights at Terror Behind the Walls

Every Sunday is a Family Night - October 3, October 10, October 17, and October 24. However, there is the critical exception of Halloween itself, which falls on a Sunday, in October 2010, and it is - most decidedly - not Family Night at Terror Behind the Walls!

In addition, Family Nights take place on Wednesday, October 13, Thursday, October 14, and Tuesday, October 19.

The 8th Annual Dracula Festival - Yes, That's Its Actual Name - Is An Entire Month of October 2010 Events, At the Rosenbach Museum and Library Near Rittenhouse Square

Of course, you know that you're visiting Pennsylvania, not Transylvania - but the City of Brotherly Love does have an intriguing tie to the world of vampires.

The Rosenbach Museum and Library is often overlooked, but its prize possessions are the original handwritten notes and outlines from Bram Stoker, the author of the original, Victorian novel, Dracula, in 1897. (Over a century later, the novel has never gone out of print.)

Accordingly, the Rosenbach - located near Rittenhouse Square - is currently staging, throughout October 2010, the 8th Annual Dracula Festival, to honor Stoker, and to sate the insatiable thirst for vampires that continues to persist in worldwide pop culture.

The main visitor attraction is Dracula: The Exhibit, which runs from September 8 through Halloween, October 31, 2010.

The Mütter Museum Collection of Outlandish Oddities, Morbid Medical Memorabilia, and Eerie Education Is Open Every Day in October - And There Are Two Special October Events: On October 18, At 6:30 PM - A Lecture on "Dissection: A Rite of Passage in American Medicine, 1880-1930" and Its 3rd Annual Day of the Dead Celebration, on October 30, 2010

Philadelphia's unique museum of medicine and medical history - The Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia - can always be relied upon, for inducing creepiness year-round, but it is particularly well-suited for October. Open every day in October 2010, the collection of skulls, organs, and other remains is the legacy of Philadelphia's long history of medical research and education.

(Note: The Mütter Museum - although highly educational - is not for the squeamish, and parents should use their discretion in considering whether to bring their children.)

On Monday, October 18, at 6:30 PM, the Mütter Museum sponsors a macabre presentation, featuring 138 rare, vintage photographs, on a new book - Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine - 1880-1930. A pair of speakers will discuss the morbid history of medical dissection photography, bridging the 19th and 20th centuries.

And, all day on Saturday, October 30, the Mütter Museum will host its 3rd Annual Day of the Dead Festival, the traditional Mexican festival, an eclectic celebration that merges elements of Mesoamerican culture, with European Halloween themes, both of which involve honoring the deceased. Admission to daytime events is free with Mütter Museum admission; the evening performances require both registration and an additional fee.

Complete information and the full schedule of events for both days - as well as all of the (literally) gory details - can be found at the Mütter Museum calendar of events - just scroll down to October 18 and October 30, respectively, for complete information.

And if all this weren't enough-

NEW - Added October 26, 2010:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - The Mütter Museum Offers Guided Flashlight Tours at 7:00 PM and 8:30 PM, One Night Only

As if the Mütter Museum wasn't sufficiently creepy even with the lights turned on-

It is now presenting a Flashlight Tour of the Mütter Museum, twice, on Wednesday, October 27. Tickets are $25 apiece for the general public (rather steep), but just $15 if you're a friend or fellow of the Museum.

In October 2010, Franklin Square Offers Many Halloween Family Activities - Spooky Mini Golf Every Day, Pumpkin Patch On October 23 and 24, and Trick or Treat Trail on October 30 and 31

Franklin Square - located in Old City, provides plenty of October 2010 things to do in Philadelphia for families. You can play Spooky Mini Golf, every day in October. On Saturday, October 23 and Sunday October 24, there is a Pumpkin Patch, and on Saturday, October 30, and Halloween - Sunday, October 31, kids can follow the Trick or Treat Trail.

Friday, October 29 - Sunday, October 31, 2010 - TRUST Stages A Weekend of Old City Halloween Events and Trick or Treating

On Tuesday, October 26, the Haunted Halloween exhibit at TRUST - the art gallery at 249 Arch Street, next door to the Betsy Ross House - opens, and will run through Election Day, Tuesday, November 2. On Friday, October 29, there is a reception from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM - and admission is free. (Note: we haven't seen the Haunted Halloween exhibit, and so we don't know if it's appropriate for children.)

On Saturday, the Haunting of the Corn Exchange party for adults will take place (please refer to the Philadelphia Halloween Parties 2010 page, linked at the top of this page, for more on that).

On Sunday, October 31, at the cost of $20/child, from 10 AM to 1 PM, children can visit TRUST and have their Trick or Treat bag filled, and enter a Costume Contest. However, from 1 PM to 3 PM, there will be free Trick or Treating throughout Old City, with over a dozen Old City institutions taking part (you'll be able to distinguish participants, since they will have orange balloons outside).

For all of these events, check out oldcityhalloween.com for more information.

Saturday, October 30, 2010 - Cajun Halloween Celebration Hosted by Beck's Cajun Cafe in Reading Terminal Market

Beck's Cajun Cafe in Reading Terminal Market hosts a Cajun Halloween celebration on Saturday, October 30, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Kent Courtney, a singer and storyteller, will play the role of historical pirate Jean Lafitte, and regale children and adults alike of his adventures in the pursuit of piracy. Other Cajun Halloween characters will also be there, such as Swamp Man, Voodoo Lady, and sundry skeletons and zombies. Beck's will also have its Cajun specialties for sale, including its signature bread pudding. Part of the proceeds will go to post-Katrina relief in New Orleans.

Saturday, October 30, 2010 - South Street Headhouse District Transforms Headhouse Square into a Pumpkin Patch for Pumpkinland 2010

On Saturday, October 30, 2010, from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM, historic Headhouse Square, located at 2nd and South Streets in Center City, will be transformed into a pumpkin patch as part of Pumpkinland 2010 festivities, with a plethora of family friendly events all day. Call 215.625.7988 for more information.

Saturday, October 30 - Peddler's Village in Lahaska, Bucks County, Hosts Halloween Spooktacular And Trick Or Treating For Families

On Saturday, October 30, from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Peddler's Village, in Lahaska, Bucks County - a recreation of a quaint English country village - will be hosting its Halloween Spooktacular and Trick or Treating, throughout the Village. There will be a costume contest at 4:00 PM, and various events for children. You can also see the entrants of the annual Scarecrow Festival Contest, which display some creativity. Located on Route 263, you can call 215.794.2000 for more information on these events.

Saturday, October 16, 2010 - The Betsy Ross House Opens A Temporary Exhibit - Death Parts United Hearts, Exploring Betsy Ross's Three Marriages - Runs Through April 3, 2011

The Betsy Ross House is opening a special, long-running temporary exhibit, Death Parts United Hearts beginning on Saturday, October 16, 2010, and running through April 3, 2011.

The exhibit is being jointly presented by the Museum of Mourning Art, located in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, in suburban Delaware County, and describes how mourning and death were approached in the 18th century. Betsy Ross was "thrice-widowed", and the exhibit explores her relationship with her three husbands, along with other relatives.

Saturday, October 30, 2010 - Elfreth's Alley Stages Yellow Fever Halloween Tour, Based on the Historical 1793 Yellow Fever Epidemic

Elfreth's Alley is offering a highly morbid tour on Saturday, October 30 - its Yellow Fever Halloween Tour. Your tour guide will be disguised as a victim of the 1793 Yellow Fever Epidemic, which claimed thousands of lives and was far and away the worst disaster to befall the city, in its over three centuries of existence. (We would not recommend this for children.) Ticket prices are $5.00 for adults, $2.00 for students.

October 2010 Things to Do in Philadelphia - Laurel Hill Cemetery in Fairmount Park Has Many Macabre Events

Friday, October 15, 2010, 7:00 PM - Laurel Hill Cemetery's Annual Gravediggers' Ball, At the Crystal Tea Room at Macy's

Laurel Hill Cemetery in East Falls - three miles northwest of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway - is celebrating its 175th Anniversary in 2010.

It is also staging its annual Gravediggers’ Ball, on Friday, October 15, 2010, at 7:00 PM. It will take place at the Crystal Tea Room, at Macy’s in Center City (i.e., 13th and Market Streets, at the former John Wanamakers store next to City Hall).

Tickets for the charity event are $175.00 per person (that’s not a typo), with all proceeds going to the Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery, for their preservation efforts at the unique 19th-century cemetery.

Sunday, October 24, 1:00 PM - Family Fun Day at Laurel Hill Cemetery - Autumn Activities For Children and a Tour of the Cemetery

On Sunday, October 24, at 1:00 PM, Laurel Hill Cemetery will host Fall Family Day, with a host of autumn-themed activities for children, who are encouraged to appear in costume. Behind-the-scenes tours of the cemetery are offered. The cost is $20 for a family of four, with $5 extra for each additional person.

Thursday, October 28, 2010 - Dining with the Dead Dinner and Graveyard Tour of Laurel Hill Cemetery, at 5:30 PM, 7:00 PM, and 8:30 PM

On Thursday, October 28, 2010, there will be three offerings of Dining with the Dead. The price is $50/person, and you must be at least 21 years of age to attend. Reservations are highly recommended, as seating is limited.

You receive a catered, candlelit dinner (it is BYOB) at the historic Gatehouse at Laurel Hill Cemetery, followed by a flashlight tour through the cemetery, recognized as a National Historic Landmark Cemetery. While doing so, you will encounter some highly restless spirits - residents of Laurel Hill Cemetery, played by actors.

Friday, October 29 - Saturday, October 30, 2010 - Many Halloween Flashlight Tours, Every Half Hour, Each Night - Featuring The Not Ready For Afterlife Players

On Halloween Weekend – Friday, October 29, and Saturday, October 30, 2010 – Laurel Hill Cemetery will offer frequent Halloween Flashlight Tours. While touring the historic cemetery, you will encounter the ghostly denizens of Laurel Hill Cemetery, known as the “Not Ready For Afterlife Players”.

Note: Laurel Hill’s official recommendation is that these tours “are not appropriate for children under the age of 12”. That having been said - as a practical matter, we personally would strongly recommend, that if you have any concerns, about your children – regardless of their ages – potentially being upset or frightened by the tour, you should look elsewhere for a Halloween event.

There are a plethora of other October 2010 things to do in Philadelphia, with a Halloween theme, that you and your family can enjoy, without any of these concerns, or similar ones.

The Halloween Flashlight Tour lasts about an hour. Each tour will leave every half hour, from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM. If you have a group of 10 or more visitors, Laurel Hill recommends that you make advance reservations. The cost is $20 per person. You should dress comfortably, as it will be a late October night in Philadelphia, and bring your own flashlight. (We don’t understand why you have to bring your own flashlight, but you must, apparently.) Light refreshments will be provided after your tour (assuming that you’ve survived it, unscathed).

October 2010 Things to Do in Philadelphia - On Stage

Macbeth - William Shakespeare's Immortal Tale of Darkness, Murders, Witches, Betrayals, and Treachery - Is Being Staged By the Wilma Theater on The Avenue Of the Arts, Throughout October 2010

The Wilma Theater - located at 265 South Broad Street, at the intersection of Broad and Spruce Streets - is a key anchor of the Avenue of the Arts. It is staging William Shakespeare's immortal 1603 play, Macbeth, throughout October.

Theatrical superstitions hold that the name "Macbeth" should never be spoken in a theater, unless it is during a performance, due to the seemingly inexplicable number of accidents that have befallen actors, actresses, stagehands, and theaters that have staged it. Instead, when in the theater, it is simply referred to as "the Scottish play", as the historical Macbeth was King of Scotland, in the eleventh century, over five centuries before Shakespeare wrote his masterpiece (in which, he took considerable dramatic license, with the historical facts of Macbeth's reign in Scotland).

For tickets, you can call the Wilma Theater Box Office at 215.546.7824. Prices range from $10 - $49 per ticket, depending on your age, the day of the week, whether you are a student, and the time of the performance (matinee or evening).

Schedule of Performances of William Shakespeare's Macbeth at the Wilma Theater

Friday, October 1 - Preview - 8:00 PM
Saturday, October 2 - Preview - 8:00 PM
Sunday, October 3 - Preview - 2:00 PM

Tuesday, October 5 - Preview - 6:30 PM
Wednesday, October 6 - Opening Night - 7:30 PM
Thursday, October 7 - 7:30 PM

Friday, October 8 - 8:00 PM
Saturday, October 9 - 2:00 PM Matinee; 8:00 PM Evening
Sunday, October 10 - 2:00 PM Matinee; 7:30 PM Evening

Tuesday, October 12 - 6:30 PM
Wednesday, October 13 - 7:30 PM
Thursday, October 14 - 7:30 PM

Friday, October 15 - 8:00 PM
Saturday, October 16 - 2:00 PM Matinee; 8:00 PM Evening
Sunday, October 17 - 2:00 PM Matinee; 7:30 PM Evening

Wednesday, October 20 - 7:30 PM
Thursday, October 21 - 7:30 PM

Friday, October 22 - 8:00 PM
Saturday, October 23 - 2:00 PM Matinee; 8:00 PM
Sunday, October 24 - 2:00 PM Matinee; 7:30 PM

Tuesday, October 26 - 6:30 PM
Wednesday, October 27 - 2:00 PM Matinee; 7:30 PM Evening
Thursday, October 28 - 7:30 PM

Friday, October 29 - 8:00 PM
Saturday, October 30 - 2:00 PM Matinee; 8:00 PM Evening
Sunday, October 31 - Halloween - 2:00 PM Matinee, only - no evening performance

After October ends, there will also be two performances of Macbeth, on November 5 and 6.

UPDATE: October 18, 2010 - Due to popular demand and frequent sellouts, Macbeth has been extended a week, through Saturday, November 13. For details, take a look at our November 2010 Things to Do in Philadelphia Guide.

October 2010 Things to Do in Philadelphia - Ongoing Events

The Blockbuster Temporary Exhibit - Cleopatra: The Search For the Last Queen of Egypt - Continues At The Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute continues to host the blockbuster traveling exhibit Cleopatra - The Search For the Last Queen of Egypt, through the rest of 2010. It is open every day, during October 2010.

The National Constitution Center Features the Temporary Exhibit "Art of the American Soldier" Through January 10, 2011

The National Constitution Center has a brand-new temporary exhibit, Art of the American Soldier, featuring the artwork of U.S. military personnel throughout American history. The exhibit opened in late September 2010, and will run through January 10, 2011 - and is open every day in October 2010.

October 2010 Things to Do in Philadelphia - Now-Concluded Events

Saturday, October 23, 2010 - Reading Terminal Market Closes Filbert Street For Its Annual Harvest Festival

The Reading Terminal Market hosts its annual Harvest Festival, which will take place on Saturday, October 23, 2010, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Filbert Street (also known as Harry Ochs Way) will be closed to traffic - and instead will be temporarily converted to a rural farm in the heart of Center City. The merchants' usual fine fall fare will be in abundance, for sale - and kids can walk through a pumpkin patch. And it's free! (And get the pumpkin ice cream at Bassetts, while they still have it!)

October 2010 Things to Do In Philadelphia - High-End, Historic Philadelphia Adventure Tours

This Month Is The Last Chance This Year, To Take Historic Philadelphia Adventure Tours - Independence After Hours, Tippler's Tour, and Valley Forge After Hours - These Tours Shut Down Till 2011

Historic Philadelphia, Inc., offers upscale, specialty tours - two in Old City Philadelphia, one out at Valley Forge in the suburbs - but October 2010 is your last chance at them, before they go into hibernation (just like General George Washington's Continental Army) till April 2011.

You can make reservations for these historic tours - which is highly recommended - by calling Historic Philadelphia at 215.629.4026.

Your options:

Independence After Hours - 5:30 PM on Fridays and Saturdays, Up To and Including Friday, October 22, and Saturday, October 23

(Note: Independence After Hours, specifically, does not offer tours on Halloween weekend.)

Independence After Hours is extremely expensive, and we don't have firsthand experience with it. But if you've got the cash and you want the all-in Philadelphia travel experience, go for it! Plus, you won't be able to do it again, until April 2011... and you will likely receive a tremendous behind the scenes opportunity to explore Historic Philadelphia. It's a very long tour, as it lasts approximately 2 ½ hours...


Adults - $75
Seniors, Military, and Students - $70
Children - $50

Tour Dates and Times

Friday, October 1, 2010 - 5:30 PM
Saturday, October 2, 2010 - 5:30 PM

Friday, October 8, 2010 - 5:30 PM
Saturday, October 9, 2010 - 5:30 PM

Friday, October 15, 2010 - 5:30 PM
Saturday, October 16, 2010 - 5:30 PM

Friday, October 22, 2010 - 5:30 PM
Saturday, October 23, 2010 - - 5:30 PM

All Independence After Hours tours leave from Historic Philadelphia at 6th and Chestnut Streets, the home of Lights of Liberty and the new, 3-D, Liberty 360 film. (Note - they do not depart from Independence Visitor Center, which is at 6th and Market Streets, one block north of Historic Philadelphia.

Every Thursday in October 2010, Tippler's Tour - the 18th Century Equivalent of a 21st Century Pub Crawl - Features Two Philadelphia Specialties - Authentic History and Craft Beer

On all October 2010 Thursdays, at 5:30 PM, Tippler's Tour takes visitors on an enjoyable trip back to the 18th century, hitting popular hangouts in Old City Philadelphia. (Much of the Revolutionary War was plotted in taverns, the common meeting place for news and politics.)

Your guide, in colonial garb, will lead you not only to four high-quality taverns, but also in authentic 18th-century drinking songs and stories. Thrown in are some of Benjamin Franklin's innovative phrases for imbibing. Your spots are all highly recommended by us - City Tavern, Society Hill Hotel and Restaurant, the Triumph Brewing Company, and National Mechanics.

Included with your ticket are craft beer tastings and gratuity.


Adults - $35
Seniors, Military, and Students - $30
Children are not permitted on Tippler's Tour. Visitors must be 21 years of age, and present a valid ID, in order to take the tour.

All Tippler's Tours leave from Historic Philadelphia, Lights of Liberty, at 6th and Chestnut Streets (as noted above, don't confuse it with Independence Visitor Center, which is one block north.) Tippler's Tours last about 2 ½ hours.

Tour Dates and Times

Thursday, October 7, 2010 - 5:30 PM
Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 5:30 PM
Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 5:30 PM
Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 5:30 PM

Valley Forge After Hours Offers Dinner with Martha Washington, A Visit to George Washington's Headquarters, and Campfire Stories with Continental Army Soldiers (i.e., American Soldiers)

Valley Forge After Hours - located in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, in the western suburbs of Philadelphia - offers you a chance to see the ghosts of General George Washington, his wife Martha, and some Continental Army soldiers, as they swap stories around a campfire.

Please bear in mind, especially if you're not from Philadelphia, that Valley Forge is about 20 miles west of Old City Philadelphia (although it can be easily accessed via I-76, the Schuylkill Expressway, if there's no traffic).

Ironically, the very distance from Philadelphia that made Valley Forge an attractive place for Washington to make his winter headquarters there, in December 1777 (it was sufficiently distant from Philadelphia, that the British occupiers of the city couldn't surprise him) - makes this event inconvenient for visitors in Center City. So just be sure that you're aware that you'd have to drive out there, for Valley Forge After Hours.


Adults - $55
Seniors, Military, Students, and Children under 12 - $50

Tour Dates and Times

Saturday, October 2, 2010 - 5:00 PM

Saturday, October 9, 2010 - 5:00 PM

Saturday, October 16, 2010 - 5:00 PM

Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 5:00 PM

Valley Forge After Hours lasts about 3 ½ hours, and includes dinner. It leaves from Valley Forge Visitor Center, which you can call for information and directions, at 610.783.1077.

For Two Weekends in October 2010, The Philadelphia Zoo Hosts "Boo at the Zoo" - A Great Philadelphia Halloween Event For Families

The Philadelphia Zoo will host Boo At the Zoo, a great event for families with children, on two different weekends. The dates and times:

Saturday, October 16, 2010 - Sunday, October 17, 2010 - 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Saturday, October 23, 2010 - Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Boo at the Zoo is included with the cost of general admission at the Zoo, and there is a full schedule of events, including a Halloween costume parade for visitors and participants, and features such as "The Animals of Harry Potter in the Treehouse". Check out our Philadelphia Zoo page, linked above, for more information.

Friday, October 22, 2010 - South Street Presents 4th Friday, With Discounts at Local Merchants and Restaurants

The bohemian South Street Headhouse District stages its monthly 4th Friday promotion, with many South Street merchants and restaurants offering discounts on food and merchandise.

RECOMMENDED - Revolutionary War Battle of Germantown Re-enactment at Cliveden, in Germantown - Saturday, October 3, 2010

We highly recommend this annual event in Germantown in Northwest Philadelphia. The Battle of Germantown - originally fought during the Revolutionary War, on October 4, 1777 - is re-enacted at the Cliveden estate on Germantown Avenue, in Northwest Philadelphia. While the British troops under Sir General William Howe invariably defeat the American army under General George Washington, the spectacle of 18th-century warfare is not to be missed. Check out our complete Battle of Germantown Guide - which has the complete schedule, logistical information, and recommendations to enjoy your visit to Cliveden.

The Philadelphia Phillies Will Be Hosting National League Division Series Games 1 and 2 at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday, October 6, and Friday, October 8

The Philadelphia Phillies - the National League East champions in each of the last four seasons - will be hosting National League Division Series games at Citizens Bank Park against the National League Central Division Champions, the Cincinnati Reds, on Wednesday, October 6, at 5:00 PM - and Friday, October 8, at 6:00 PM. A potential Game 5 would take place on Wednesday, October 13.

Update, Sunday, October 10, 2010 - The Philadelphia Phillies Will Be Hosting National League Championship Series Games, Against Either Atlanta or San Francisco - Game 1 on Saturday night, October 16, and Game 2 on Sunday night, October 17

Update, Tuesday, October 11, 2010 - The Phillies Will Be Hosting the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship Series

Games 1 and 2 of the NLCS will take place at Citizens Bank Park on October 16, 2010, and October 17, 2010.

Update, Thursday, October 21, 2010 - The Phillies Will Be Hosting the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship Series in Game 6, and Possibly Game 7

After the Phillies' thrilling 4-3 victory in Game 5 on Thursday, the NLCS returns to Citizens Bank Park for Game 6 on Saturday night, October 23, 2010, and (hopefully) Game 7 on Sunday night, October 24, 2010. The Phillies must win Game 6 on Saturday, due to trailing the Giants in the series, 3-2, in order to force a decisive Game 7 on Sunday night.

While you won't be able to get tickets, without spending a fortune, we highly recommend going out to one of the many Philadelphia bars and restaurants, to share in the camaraderie and excitement of October baseball in Philadelphia.

A good place to start, is by taking a look at our Guide to Philadelphia Irish Pubs - which offers many choices for conviviality.

Saturday, October 16, 2010 - Noon - 8:00 PM - The 2nd Annual Bloktoberfest Block Party, On the 2000 Block of Christian Street, In South of South / the Graduate Hospital Neighborhood in South Philadelphia

On the heels of last year's inaugural Bloktoberfest, the 2nd Annual Bloktoberfest will take place on Saturday, October 16, from noon to 8:00 PM. (Yes, it really is spelled that way - "Bloktoberfest", not "Blocktoberfest".)

The entire 2000 block of Christian Street, between 20th and 21st Streets in the neighborhood now known as South of South, or more formally, Graduate Hospital, in South Philadelphia, will be shut down for revelry.

Saturday, October 23, and Sunday, October 24 - Enchantment Theatre Company Stages Its First Annual BOO-HA Spooktacular Magic Show and Family Fun Fest at the Philadelphia Art Alliance

On Saturday, October 23, and Sunday, October 24, Enchantment Theatre Company will be presenting a new Halloween event for families - the First Annual BOO-HA Spooktacular Magic Show and Family Fun Fest. It will take place at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, which is located at 251 South 18th Street, near Rittenhouse Square. Tickets are $10.00 + a $1.50 fee, for both adults and children.

You can order online through Enchantment Theatre Company's web site, and reserve tickets with a credit card, or pay cash at the door.

There will be performances on Saturday, at 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 4:00 PM; on Sunday, they will be at 2:00 PM, and 4:00 PM.

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