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To do this week: Prep your house for winter, and get out and enjoy the fall

Everything you need for a day-trip to Lancaster. We’ve got your winter-is-coming to-do list for getting your house ready. And we’ve got an easy way to keep up with the current guidelines.

Get out and enjoy the autumn.
Get out and enjoy the autumn.Read moreCynthia Greer

On your to-do list this week: We’ve got a little bit of everything this week. We have everything you need for a day-trip to Lancaster. We’ve got your winter-is-coming to-do list for getting your house ready. And we’ve got an easy way to keep up with the current guidelines, no matter where you are.

We’ve collected our best articles with our best Philly tips. They’re in one place here.

Stay healthy, stay safe, and, as much as possible, it’s still a good idea to stay home.

Know this

» Ask us a question through Curious Philly:

Stay safe, do stuff

Here is one highlight from our weekly events calendar:

  1. 🎥 Philadelphia Film Festival (Movies / virtual and in-person / festival) More than 90 films make up the 11-day Philadelphia Film Festival, which returns with at-home screenings on the Film Society’s website and drive-in movie nights at the Navy Yard. Screenings include film festival faves Ammonite and Nomadland, alongside riveting documentaries, shorts and a free Halloween night slate of drive-in frights including The Monster Squad and Deadline. (Prices vary, Oct. 23-Nov. 2,, add to calendar)

🔎 Find more of this week’s safe kid-friendly, outdoor and arts events.

Do this

It’s time to prep your house for winter. It can mean a lengthy to-do list, but getting it all done can mean energy cost savings and help avoid costly problems down the line. Cindy Henry has your homeowner seasonal chore checklist. Here are some things to get done:

  1. In the yard: Check your window wells and storm drains for debris or blockages. Repair driveway cracks and/or heaved or settled walkways. Trim your trees and shrubs, particularly any limbs too close to the house. Check — ideally during a rainstorm — that all rainwater drains away from the foundation. Drain and store your garden hoses.

  2. On the exterior of your house: Check the weather tightness of exterior surfaces. Caulk and seal all joints in the siding and around windows and doors. Look for deterioration of painted or finished areas. If it’s too late for a full paint job, touch up bare wood surfaces with a primer and at least one finish coat. Seal any foundation cracks. Repair or improve weather-stripping at exterior doors and windows. Reset storms and screens where required. Check window sills for signs of water damage.

  3. On the roof: Check for loose, damaged or missing roofing. Look for signs of moisture buildup or damage in the eaves. Inspect the condition of the chimney and roof vents. Check flashings, which cover any opening or gap on the roof, for signs of lifting or damage. Repair or seal as needed. Clean gutters and downspouts.

More of your house to-do list, including stuff to check in the attic, HVAC system, plumbing, and inside your house in Cindy’s full piece.

» READ MORE: Here’s what you need to do now to prepare your house for winter

Go out and do this

The fall colors are killing it right now. If you want to go for a drive, there are lots of spots worth a trip. Nick Vadala put together a day-trip guide for Lancaster, about a 90-minute drive from Philly, and it includes places to see, historical walking tours, outdoor adventures, kid-friendly activities, arts, and lots to eat and drink.

Get your full Lancaster day-trip adventure guide here.

» READ MORE: The day trip: Lancaster city guide

Know this

Wait, what are the rules right now? Keeping track of the ever-changing list of city and state pandemic guidelines can be quite a headache. So we’re trying to make it easy for you, by breaking them down into an overview of what’s allowed at restaurants, concert venues, sporting games, and beyond. Grace Dickinson has put together some really easy-to-use guides for Philly, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. For example, in Philly, here are all the current guidelines on dining:

  1. 🍽 + 🏠 Dining (indoor): 50% capacity (restaurants must complete a self-certification process confirming that they’re following all required public health and safety measures)

  2. 🍽 + 🏠+ 👥 Party sizes limited to 4 people or fewer indoors

  3. 🍻 Alcohol can only be served when food is ordered; seating at the bar is not allowed.

  4. 🍽 + 🌳 Dining (outdoor): 50 people or fewer, unless approved by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health

  5. 🍽 + 🌳 + 👥 Party sizes limited to 6 people or fewer outdoors

  6. 🍽 + 🌳 Food must be ordered by 11 p.m., and outdoor dining must close by midnight. Guests must leave by 12:30 a.m.

  7. 🍽 + 🌳 + ❄️ Rules for what settings are considered “outdoor” dining during the winter can be found here.

  8. 🍽 + 🚚 Dining (Food cart): 50 people or fewer; 10 people or fewer in line

We’ve got a complete rundown for Philly, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and we’re keeping them updated. Find the most current list here:

👉 The current Philadelphia guidelines

👉 The current Pennsylvania guidelines

👉 The current New Jersey guidelines