Ah, Halloween. One of the best times of the year, no? While 2020 has been less than we’d hoped for (to say the least), the annual autumn festivities are just around the corner.
The holiday season will be looking a little different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate responsibly. Unfortunately, we can’t throw house parties or hand out candy to neighbors and friends like normal.
If you’re feeling wary about sending your kids trick-or-treating or even trying that new bar downtown that you’ve so desperately been eyeing, don’t worry – we’ve curated a list of healthy and safe alternatives to celebrate Halloween whether you’re with friends, family or a significant other. Please be sure to check and follow the most up-to-date city curfew guidelines.
From delightful corn mazes to the scariest haunted houses, we guarantee you’ll find something to enjoy on this list of the best Halloween activities and events in Philadelphia.
1835 Middletown Rd., Glen Mills, PA 19342| Website
Named by CNN as one of the 10 best haunted houses in America in 2019, the famed Bates Motel gives visitors a run for their money with professional performers, freaky pyrotechnics and spooky animatronic effects. This year, they’ve implemented safety changes due to COVID-19, transforming the ½-mile haunted hayride into an all new walk-through attraction that you won’t want to miss. Reserve your tickets online now.
Pumpkinland at Linvilla Orchards
137 W Knowlton Rd, Media, PA 19063 | Website
Open since mid-September, Pumpkinland is the perfect place to leave the busy city for a while and immerse yourself in nature. With over 100 pumpkins on display, hayrides to embark on and cornfield mazes to run around, Pumpkinland is family-friendly and has something for everyone in your group. The exhibit will be open through early November and sells tickets separately for each activity both during the day at night which can be bought online here.
Night Tours at Eastern State Penitentiary
2027 Fairmount Avenue | Website
For our thrill-seeking readers, we suggest a visit to the Eastern State Penitentiary to explore one of the most infamous prisons in the world. The tour takes visitors around historic locations within the prison such as Al Capone’s Cell and Death Row while the eerie voices of men and women who once lived and worked there echo around the halls. Reserve your tickets ahead of time here – whether you visit during day or night, you’re guaranteed to have a spooky time.
Halloween Movies at the PFS Drive-In
Admiral Peary Way & League Island Blvd. | Website
Craving a more relaxed Halloween? 2020 is definitely the year to try it and there’s no better place to go than the PFS Drive-In Theatre. On Saturday Oct. 31, they will be showing Monster House at 6:45pm, The Monster Squad at 7pm, Psycho Goreman at 9:15pm and Deadline at 9:30pm. Honestly, nothing sounds better than catching a double feature and bringing your own snacks. Get your tickets online here before they sell out.
2200 S Swanson St. | Website
Only the bravest may survive the Fright Factory, billed as a “high scare, high startle” haunted house and featured on the Travel Channel as one of the scariest haunted attractions in America. As if it doesn’t sound scary enough, it’s located within the basement of an 100-year-old factory with over 25,000 square feet of space and three different themed exhibits. You may get lost – or have the time of your life. If you dare to enter the haunted house, be sure to buy your tickets here first.
Boo at the Zoo at the Philadelphia Zoo
It’s not Halloween without Boo at the Zoo! The Philadelphia Zoo is once again hosting their special Halloween celebration for families, but with extra safety precautions this year. Costume-optional, but encouraged, Boo at the Zoo is the perfect event to have a relaxing Halloween celebration in the daytime, filled with wild animal sightings and special fall treats. Think it couldn’t get any better? Just wait – kids will receive a free candy bag when leaving the zoo. Buy your tickets here.
Candlelight Ghost Tours at Fort Mifflin
6400 Hog Island Rd. | Website
For our history buffs, we suggest visiting Fort Mifflin for the chance to brush up on your American history knowledge and interact with some real ghosts who passed in battle. Rumor has it that the fort is one of the most haunted sights in America – so, find out if that rings true this weekend. Tonight and tomorrow night, tours will begin every 20 minutes starting at 7pm and will last one hour. Tickets can be purchased early here.
Photography by: NOAM GALAI/GETTY IMAGES