Sure, you can head outside the city for some Halloween-themed fun if you’re willing to travel. But you can also celebrate spooky season without ever leaving Philly.
As with everything else, Halloween is looking a little different this year, and you’ll of course want to take coronavirus mitigation precautions like social distancing and wearing your mask if you decide to go anywhere. Philly has plenty of options, though, so at least you won’t have to go far.
Here, we’ve rounded up a dozen Halloween attractions to help you celebrate the holiday, ranging from the kid-friendly to the possibly paranormal. Check out the list below:
Monsters, Myths, and Legends at the Penn Museum
Get a good Halloween scare without ever leaving your home thanks to this virtual Penn Museum event. Here, stories about the origins of classic monsters like werewolves and vampires are paired with a mystery six-pack of beer that you can pick up from local participating bottle shops.
Attend from home, running 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Oct. 17 and 30, 215-898-4000, penn.museum
Nightmare Before Tinsel
This annual pop-up bar from Teddy Sourias and Craft Concepts Group is back for 2020′s spooky season. Check it out for plenty of Halloween-themed drinks, plus a creepy ambiance thanks to a haunted house-like, asylum-themed vibe, as well as food from the newly opened Sueño next door.
116 S. 12th St., open daily through Nov. 1 (hours vary, advance timed tickets required), 215-909-9406, nightmare-before-tinsel.ticketleap.com
Franklin Fright Weekend
Costumes are encouraged at this Halloween event from the Franklin Institute. So don your best getup (don’t forget your mask), and head on down for indoor trick-or-treating, buggy visitors from the Insectarium, eye and heart dissections, and other spooky science displays.
222 N. 20th St., open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 (advance registration required), 215-448-1200, fi.edu
If you want to hit the (mini) links while getting a good scare, Franklin Square has you covered. Its mini-golf course has taken on a spooky season theme, complete with cobwebs, lights, fog, and other ghoulish, Halloween-y surprises. Good luck keeping it under par.
200 N. 6th St., open 6 p.m.-9 p.m. daily through Oct. 31 (advance tickets recommended), 215-629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
Extended Hours at the Mütter Museum
The Mütter Museum’s collection of historical medical items and specimens is creepy enough, but the museum has kicked it up a notch this season with after-hours tours and pop-up events. Among them: an examination of the use of the word monster as a medical term over the last 500 years.
19 S. 22nd St., open 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 21 and 29 (advance tickets required), 215-560-8564, muttermuseum.org
Night Tours at Eastern State Penitentiary
Eastern State’s Terror Behind the Walls haunt may be canceled, but the site is still ready to scare you good this season. Its Night Tours exhibit is a spooky nighttime tour of the penitentiary’s cellblocks and yards, complete with large-scale projections, artist installations, and an audio track narrated by actor Steve Buscemi.
2027 Fairmount Ave., opens at 6 p.m. on select evenings through Nov. 15 (advance timed tickets required), 215-236-3300, easternstate.org
Spooky Twilight Tours at the Betsy Ross House
Face masks are required for this hour-long tour, which probably hits closer to home this year than any other. The topic: Philadelphia’s ghastly history of infection, inoculation, bloodletting, yellow fever, and small pox during the 18th century. Plus, you’ll head inside the historic house for a few more frights.
239 Arch St., open 6 p.m.-8 p.m. on Oct. 16, 23, and 30, 215-629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
Boo at the Zoo
Head to the Philadelphia Zoo in costume for Boo at the Zoo, the zoo’s annual family-friendly Halloween celebration. Take in the animals and exhibits , all with festive fall offerings, and receive a free candy bag for the kids (and remember to wear your mask and social distance).
3400 W. Girard Ave., open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday to Sunday through Nov. 1 (advance tickets required), 215-243-1100, philadelphiazoo.org
It’s been 20 years running for this classic haunt, which operates out of a 25,000-square-foot, 120-year-old factory in South Philly. Check out three scary themed areas (none of which are family friendly), and try your best to make it out. COVID-19 precautions, including reduced capacity and mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing, are in effect.
2200 S. Swanson St., open select dates through Oct. 31 (hours vary, advance timed tickets required), 215-334-4678, frightfactoryphilly.com
Halloween at the PFS Drive-In
The Philadelphia Film Society is celebrating Halloween as part of the 29th Philadelphia Film Festival with four free movies atthe PFS Drive-In at the Navy Yard. There, you can catch screenings of spooky flicks like Monster House, The Monster Squad, Psycho Goreman, and Deadline.
4747 S. Broad St., first showtime at 6:45 p.m. on Oct. 31 (advance reservations required), 267-239-2941, filmadelphia.org
Candlelight Ghost Tours of Fort Mifflin
Some say that Fort Mifflin is among the most haunted places in the country, but you can find out yourself on its Candlelight Ghost Tour — if you dare. At three-fourths of a mile, the tour will lead you through the fort, which dates back to 1771, for what is bound to be a particularly paranormal evening.
6400 Hog Island Rd., open at 7 p.m. on select dates through Oct. 31 (advance timed tickets required), 215-685-4167, fortmifflin.us
The 13th Annual Scarecrow Walk
If you’re looking for a Halloween celebration that’s kid-friendly, head to Morris Arboretum for its annual Scarecrow Walk. This is its 13th year running, and the walk features more than 50 custom-made, fairytale-themed scarecrows throughout the garden grounds. And you can even vote for your favorite.
100 E. Northwestern Ave., open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily through Nov. 1 (advance timed tickets required), 215-247-5777, morrisarboretum.org