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The best things to do in Philly this week

Plus tons of Halloween events, PHILADANCO, Springsteen doc and more.

The Wells Fargo Center celebrates Halloween with socially distant movie screenings inside of its giant arena.
The Wells Fargo Center celebrates Halloween with socially distant movie screenings inside of its giant arena.Read moreMovies on Broad

📅 This calendar is updated every Thursday at noon with the best events for the week. You can always find it at


🎭 Not Yet Rated: Horror Halloween Improv Comedy (Performance / virtual) There are plenty of Halloween laughs to be had at this all-digital spooky improv show. Watch the scary-good comedy unfold from the comfort of your own couch. (Pay what you can, Oct. 22-24 and 29-31,, add to calendar)

👻 Boo at the Zoo (Fall event / in-person / outdoors / kid-friendly / multi-day) Masks and social distancing required at Philadelphia Zoo’s three-weekend Halloween event. Check out the sights, animals and exhibits throughout the zoo, and don’t forget to wear a costume. (Free-$10, Oct. 23-25, 30-Nov. 1,, map, add to calendar)

🎨 Da Vinci Fest Live (Festival / virtual and in-person / multi-day / kid-friendly) The Da Vinci Art Alliance debuts its first-ever live fest with virtual and in-person exhibitions, digital programs, a derby race, an art market and more. Celebrating both art and science in Philadelphia, the event kicks off on Oct. 22 with a live-streamed derby with cool creations by locals of all ages. (Free unless noted, through Oct. 29,, add to calendar)

🎥 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)

🚗 Drive-In Movie Weekend at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library (Movies / in-person / drive-in / multi-day / kid-friendly) The verdant Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library hosts a full weekend of drive-in movies under the night sky. The screenings start on Friday with Secretariat, continue on Saturday with Halloween favorite Hocus Pocus and conclude on Sunday night with Little Women. ($35-$40, Oct. 23-25, 5:30-9 p.m.,, map, add to calendar)

👹 Parking Lot Horrors Drive-Thru at King of Prussia Mall (Movies / in-person / drive-in / multi-day / kid-friendly) Parking lots are the new movie night hot spots. Through November 1, the parking lot at the King of Prussia Mall welcomes scary movie fans for drive-through Halloween screenings and concessions to boot. Up this weekend: Beetlejuice, Goosebumps, and Insidious. ($40-$55, through Nov. 1,, map, add to calendar)

🚂 Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway (Fall event / in-person / tour / day trip) It’s prime time to view Pennsylvania’s fall leaves and enjoy sweeping mountain views — through November 8, the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway lets leaf peepers take a guided tour of the Lehigh River, Glen Onoko and the Lehigh Gorge State Park. ($9-$20, through at least Nov. 22,, map, add to calendar)

» READ MORE: How to do everything better right now: A collection of our most useful stories

🗳️ OwnYourVote Performance Phest (Music / virtual / free / multi-day) Last day of the week-long fest headlined by DJ Jazzy Jeff, the celebration from Equally Informed Philly is a virtual lineup of the city’s hip-hop artists, poets, visual artists, and community leaders, all celebrating your power to vote, all streamed on the group’s Instagram account. (Free, Oct. 23,, add to calendar)

🧙‍♀️ Roald Dahl’s The Witches (Movie / virtual) Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future) reimagines Nicholas Roeg’s 1990 classic adaptation (starring Angelica Huston) of the 1983 YA novel, about a 7-year-old orphan and his mousy relationship with a coven of witches. Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer and Chris Rock star. (Rated PG, on HBO Max)

🌙 Over the Moon (Movie / virtual) Animated musical about a girl who builds a rocket ship so she can travel to the moon for an extraterrestrial encounter – and to prove her parents wrong. Featuring the voices of Phillipa Soo, Ken Jeong, Sandra Oh. (Rated PG, premieres Oct. 23 on Netflix)

📺 Bruce Springsteen’s Letter To You (Music / virtual) Thom Zimny’s black-and-white making-of movie is a companion to Springsteen’s death-haunted new album, Letter To You, which comes out Friday. It captures the Boss in his New Jersey home studio, working up arrangements to new songs and sharing stories with his buddies in the E Street Band. (Premieres Oct. 23, on Apple TV+)

🎸 Tom Petty 70th Birthday Bash Virtual Festival (Music / virtual / free) In part two of the fete, Jason Isbell, The Raconteurs, The Killers and Philadelphians Kurt Vile and Low Cut Connie pay tribute to the late rocker on Sirius/XM radio on Friday afternoon. In the evening, Lucinda Williams, Amos Lee, Norah Jones, Stevie Nicks, Eddie Vedder and Petty bandmates Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench perform via live stream. (Free, Oct 23, 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.,, add to calendar)

🎶 Planet Afropunk (Music / virtual / multi-day / free) The Afropunk festival goes virtual with a weekend on the theme “Past, Present + Future is Black.” Acts include Common, Bootsy Collins, Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage, Brazilian singer Larissa Luz with percussionist Carlinhos Brown, genre blending songwriter Moses Sumney and experimental pop artist Serpentwithfeet. Panelists and speakers include Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, Amanda Seales and Jesse Williams. (Free, Oct. 23-25, 11 a.m. Fri., 9 a.m. Sat., and 10 a.m. Sun.,, add to calendar)

🎺 Matt Cappy (Music / in-person / outdoors) South Jersey trumpeter Cappy has an impressive resume, mixing it up in the studio with Michael Jackson and Elvis Costello and touring with Jill Scott, Marah, Jay-Z and, lately, Patti LaBelle. His Tale Of The Tape is due this fall. This is an outdoor bring-your-own-chair show on the grounds of the Mansion of the Scottish Auditorium. Ross Bellenoit opens. ($15, Oct. 23, 7 p.m.,, map, add to calendar)

🎭 The Bridge PHL Theatre Festival (Theater / virtual / anti-racism) The Bridge PHL is a local organization that promotes equality and inclusion through performance-based dialogues about racial oppression and bias. The group’s all-virtual festival brings more than 20 free performances (but donations are encouraged) to YouTube, tackling important topics like white privilege, innate racism, brutality and oft-forgotten Black figures. (Donations encouraged, through Oct. 25,, add to calendar)

📜 Spooky Twilight Tours at the Betsy Ross House (Tours / in-person / history) The scariest thing about the Betsy Ross House’s Friday night spooky tours may just be that the subject matter — infection, inoculation and Philadelphia’s sickly history — hits close to home this year. Masks and social distancing required at the two-hour tour. ($10, Oct. 23 and 30, 6-8 p.m.,, map, add to calendar)


🎭 Philadelphia Artist Collective Presents Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress (Theater / virtual / anti-racism) The 10th anniversary season for the collective starts with a fundraiser for Black Lives Matter Philly with a free (but donations-encouraged) virtual reading of Trouble In Mind by renowned Black playwright Alice Childress. (Donations encouraged, Oct. 24, 7 p.m.,, add to calendar)

🎃 Pumpkinfest in Doylestown (Fall event / in-person / Halloween / outdoors) Admire masterfully carved pumpkins at Doylestown’s annual Pumpkinfest, which returns with social distancing measures and mask requirements. Pumpkins are available for viewing starting at 5 p.m. on both October 24 and 25. (Free, Oct. 24-25, 5 p.m.,, map, add to calendar)

🎼 Living Colour & Everyone Orchestra (Music / virtual and in-person / multi-day) Fronted by Corey Glover and featuring guitar great Vernon Reid, Living Colour were the leading Black rock band of the 1980s, and their politically astute “Cult Of Personality” has proved prophetic. Saturday is their only show of 2020. The next night, Matt Butler’s Everyone Orchestra, which includes Steve Kimock and Arnetta Johnson, play their first show since the pandemic began. (Free to stream, limited in-person tickets sold out. Oct. 24-25, 8 p.m.,, add to calendar)


🎶 Our City, Your Orchestra at The Franklin Institute (Performance / virtual / free) The Philadelphia Orchestra is doing shows to support Black-owned businesses and Philly’s iconic cultural institutions. Each concert is performed at a different location and streamed for free for music fans to watch at home. This week’s show takes place at the Franklin Institute. (Free, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2, 7 p.m.,, add to calendar)

» READ MORE: Keep your kids busy this week with our kids calendar


🇲🇽 The Penn Museum Presents At-Home Anthro Live: Día de los Muertos (Fall event / virtual / kid-friendly) The Penn Museum hosts a virtual Day of the Dead celebration. The event looks at the importance of the holiday, the meaning of the traditions and ends with a hands-on activity for kids. (Free, Oct. 27, 1-2 p.m.,, add to calendar)


🎥 Movies on Broad: Fright Week (Movies / in-person / Halloween) The Wells Fargo Center’s massive center-hung scoreboard turns into a Halloween movie screen for a week of socially distant screenings of spooky films. The movies kick off with a Hitchcock double feature (The Birds and Psycho) and continue throughout the week with a Jordan Peele double feature (Get Out and Us), The Invisible Man, Casper, Halloween and more. Masks required for all guests; seating is socially distant. ($7.50-$250, Oct. 28-Nov. 1,, map, add to calendar)

🎄 Holidate (Movie / virtual) The holiday movie season gets underway with this romcom about two unlucky-in-love strangers who decide to become each other’s special occasion dates for a year. Emma Roberts, Luke Bracey and Kristin Chenoweth star. (Not rated, premieres Oct. 28 on Netflix)


💃🏾 PHILADANCO (Dance / virtual) Two dancers from local troupe PHILADANCO, a dance group dedicated to showcasing modern African American dance, perform on the Annenberg Center’s stage at an online performance followed by a Q&A. ($25, Oct. 29, 7 p.m.,, add to calendar)

💀 October Extended Hours Pop-Up at the Mutter Museum (Museum / in-person) The Mutter Museum presents its final extended hours for the month with self-guided tours of the collection, in addition to a pop-up exhibit about 19th- and 20th-century home funeral items. (Free-$20, Oct. 29, 5-7 p.m.,, map, add to calendar)


🍴 Black Restaurant Week (Food / in-person / multi-day) Celebrate Philly’s Black-owned restaurants with delicious food and desserts from food trucks, restaurants, and dessert shops. Enjoy great deals on breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner during the food-centric 10-day fest. (Pay as you go, through Oct. 26,, add to calendar)

🎃 Passyunk Harvest Celebration (Fall event / in-person / multi-day) Restaurants, cafes and shops along East Passyunk dish out fall-themed specials to celebrate the season. Enjoy Halloween cookies at Essen, a seasonal whisky cocktail at Manatawny Still Works, a pumpkin cinnamon spice milkshake at P’unk Burger and more. (Pay as you go, through Oct. 25,, map, add to calendar)

Chestnut Hill’s Night of Lights (Arts / in-person / outdoors / free) For nearly the full month of October, Chestnut Hill’s Germantown Avenue turns into a free public art exhibit celebrating the area’s history and architecture. Every evening from October 9 to 25, businesses along the thoroughfare show historic films and images from the Chestnut Hill Conservancy while lights illuminate buildings throughout the neighborhood. (Free, through Oct. 25,, map, add to calendar)

👹 Monster Mash Bloody Mary Challenge in Northern Liberties (Food / in-person) Restaurants in Northern Liberties battle it out in the Bloody Mary challenge and all you have to do is drink up and vote for your favorite. The main event is on the 10th, but the participating restaurants will have their best Bloody Marys all month long. Masks and social distancing are required. (Pay as you go, through Oct. 31,, map, add to calendar)

🌳 13th Annual Scarecrow Walk (Outdoors / in-person / kid-friendly) Fall fun arrives at Morris Arboretum in the form of 50 carefully designed, fairytale-themed scarecrows. Walk the garden grounds and vote for your favorite scarecrow. (Free-$20, through Nov. 1,, map, add to calendar)

🌙 Night Tours at Eastern State Penitentiary (Tour / in-person / ongoing) Arriving in time for the spookiest season of them all is the penitentiary’s brand-new Night Tours, where you can explore the cell blocks by moonlight. The audio tour is narrated by Steve Buscemi, and features large-scale projections, artist installations and more. ($19-32, through Nov. 15,, map, add to calendar)

🇵🇷 Raúl Romero: Onomonopoetics of a Puerto Rican Landscape (Art / in-person / ongoing) Taller Puertorriqueño presents an immersive exhibit that transports viewers to Puerto Rico through sound. Sounds of the island’s tiny coquí frog can be heard throughout Fairhill’s El Centro de Oro, emanating from sculptures that celebrate Arecibo’s famous observatory. (Free, through Jan. 10,, add to calendar)

🎨 M.I.M.O.S.A. at the Navy Yard (Art / in-person / outdoors / ongoing) From Group X, the anonymous art group that brought a cocoon out of tape and a tentacled sea monster to the Navy Yard in years past, Mystery Island and the Marvelous Occurrence of Spontaneous Art lets you explore six new outdoor art installations, including a 1984 Ford Thunderbird decked out in a paper version of the Guatemalan flag, a cross-stitched vine that climbs a building and a Gritty-esque bridge troll decked out in a Jawn T-shirt. (Free, through Nov. 2,, map, add to calendar)

Calendar contributors include music critic Dan DeLuca (music), Howard Gensler (movies), and Jane M. Von Bergen (theater).