Oh, Halloween. The one holiday where kids happily wear masks this year arrives while masks are a rule, not a costume option. Also not a smart option: Trick-or-treating. Sure, some neighborhoods have gone rogue by sneaking in private, week-ahead door-to-doors (we see you, Packer Park), but most folks are making the 31st about decorations, virtual happenings, and carefully distanced day-of events.
This last option, Halloween day parties, has become so popular, as of press time the Franklin Institute’s Franklin Fright was sold out, and Cherry Street Pier had little to no space left for its hour-long Halloween walk-throughs. There’s a midday tented affair on Saturday in Rittenhouse Square, while treats last. Meanwhile, here are some kids' Halloween happenings that still have room and some events that have nothing to do with Halloween.
Through Saturday, free, no reservations required (all ages)
If walking around adorable main streets is your family’s idea of Halloween fun, then Haddonfield could be the perfect spot to parade your dressed-up tots for an hour or two. Merchants along Haddon Avenue and Kings Highway are decorating to celebrate Halloween and showing local love for discovered-there dinosaur hadrosaurus foulkii “Haddy” (the big bronze statue on Lantern Lane). Shop windows with a Beetlejuice-meets-Barney theme will give your kids the oohs and aahs you feel they deserve.
Giggleberry Fair Kids' Meal Deal
Wednesdays–Sunday through Nov. 15, details at giggleberryfair.com, reservations not required (ages 3-9)
The Painted Pony Café, the on-site restaurant at play space Giggleberry Fair, is a very Peddler’s Village equivalent to McDonald’s: serving cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, and wine. Every purchase of a kids' combo meal — hotdog, fries, and a Capri Sun ($8.50); bratwurst with sauerkraut, potato pancakes, applesauce, and sour cream ($8.99) — earns unlimited rides on the (frequently sanitized) antique carousel and a scoop of ice cream.
Philadelphia Museum of Art Halloween Party
4 p.m.–4:40 p.m. Friday, free, registration required at philamuseum.org/calendar (scroll down to “Hands-on Activities”) for ages 4–10
It’s all tricks — art-centric riddles, really — at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Zoom-based pre-Halloween party. A virtual tour promises on-screen introductions to gargoyles, demons, and a friendly ghost or two, all creatures and characters inspired by the collection. The session is not interactive, but does take moments to make art, so keep a pencil and paper near the iPad. Capacity: 1,000.
Bilingual Bird Walk
8 a.m.–10 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Saturday, free, registration required at ttfwatershed.org/events (scroll down to “Upcoming Events,” limited space available) ages 4 and up
For some of us, a true treat would be spotting a blue-headed vireo, black-throated blue warbler, or magnolia warbler on its way south through Tacony Creek Park on Saturday morning. The Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership guides birders in small groups in both English and Spanish, loans binoculars and gloves, and doesn’t charge a nickel. You might also catch a glimpse of common yellowthroats, gray catbirds, and red-eyed vireos, soon leaving our region for the season, or golden-crowned kinglets, ruby-crowned kinglets, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, and brown creepers, just getting back to town.
Dance Day, Halloween Edition
11:30 a.m. (sold out) and 1:30 p.m. Saturday, $20 per group, reservations required at peopleslight.org (ages 5–7, with adult)
All this month, dance pro Daniella Brown has been giving lessons — Afro jazz, therapeutic dance, modern, hip-hop — on the ample lawn of Malvern’s People’s Light. This Saturday, groups of two to five (including at least one adult) stand in a socially distanced circle, observe the instructor, and learn the moves one has to know on Oct. 31: choreography to “Thriller” and “The Monster Mash.” (If class sells out, you can keep yourself moving by following the theater’s great YouTube tutorials on making window silhouettes, monster gnomes, and yarn spider nests.)