Map all locationsFall Events
Fall in Philadelphia means beautiful changing leaves, fantastic outdoor festivals, harvest celebrations and the start of a fantastic holiday season.
During early fall, prepare to be frightened during Terror Behind the Walls – the largest haunted attraction in the country – at Eastern State Penitentiary, celebrate the grand opening of the new Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk and discover the artwork of acclaimed director David Lynch at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
This year, the city also welcomes new attractions and bigger and better holiday traditions. The expanded Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest offers outdoor ice skating and nighttime fun at Penn’s Landing while the brand-new Dilworth Park laces up its skates for fun with the Rothman Ice Rink. Get into the spirit of the season with the long-running Macy’s Christmas Light Show in Center City and cross off your holiday shopping at the traditional German-inspired Christmas Village in LOVE Park.
Elsewhere, Philadelphia-born painter William Glackens, one of the most important artists of the 20th century, gets his first comprehensive exhibition in town in nearly 50 years at The Barnes Foundation, while The Franklin Institute's Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out gives visitors a rare and unprecedented view of nature through the exhibition of more than 100 plastinated specimens including octopuses, goats, ostriches and even a giraffe.
Check out more upcoming events, exhibitions and exciting openings below.
HOLIDAY EVENT GUIDES:
Three months of ice skating in the shadow of City Hall
Open through February 22
The brand-new Dilworth Park has transformed the west side of City Hall into a multi-use public plaza. This winter, the transformation continues in the form of an awesome ice rink.
A Philadelphia holiday tradition since 1956
Open through December 31
A perfect family outing, the Macy’s Christmas Light Show has been a Philadelphia tradition since 1956. More than 100,000 lights combine to create snowflakes, ballerinas and reindeer floating beyond the four-story-high velvet curtain in the Grand Court.
Seasonal park on the Delaware River Waterfront
Opens November 27
The Delaware River Waterfront is getting into the winter spirit with the opening of the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest. Building off the success of the summer’s Spruce Street Harbor Park, the revamped seasonal attraction features ice skating, food and drink, shopping and family-fun on the waterfront.
Get into the holiday spirit in the heart of Philadelphia
November 27 – December 28
Philadelphia will once again transform into European wonderland for the annual Christmas Village at Love Park.
A must-see holiday tradition in the lobby of the Comcast Center
Open through January 1
Shown on the state-of-the-art Comcast Experience video wall at Comcast Center, The Comcast Holiday Spectacular is a family-friendly holiday tradition featuring the sights and sounds of the season. The 15-minute show takes visitors on a festive, musical journey.
Brilliant bright display inspired by the imagination of Benjamin Franklin
Open through December 31
Winter nights are joyfully brighter this holiday season with Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle, a free holiday nighttime light show that’s bigger and brighter than ever in 2014.
Dazzling lights highlight this incredible holiday celebration
Open through January 11
No holiday is complete without a visit to Longwood Gardens, where more than 500,000 twinkling lights and spectacular fountain shows compose a brilliant wonderland your family is sure to love.
Celebrate the holiday season at Peddler’s Village
November 27 – December 28
Visit Peddler’s Village in beautiful Bucks County to celebrate the holidays! With more than 70 specialty shops — perfect for your holiday shopping — and eight restaurants, you will love the Village’s charm and beautiful, festive decorations.
Philadelphia holiday tradition with Pennsylvania Ballet
Through December 31
Celebrate the 46th year of one of Philadelphia’s favorite holiday traditions during as the Pennsylvania Ballet presents George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ at the Academy of Music.
A striking and rare look at the anatomy of the animal kingdom
Open through April 12
Get a literal look inside the animal kingdom as Body Worlds returns to the Franklin Institute. Housed in the new Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion, Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out features a rare and unprecedented view of the anatomy of nature with more than 100 specimens including sharks, goats, ostriches, a giraffe and even a giant squid.
Free, outdoor performance screening on Indepedence Mall by Opera Philadelphia
October 3, 2015View More
Now in it’s fifth year, Opera on the Mall is a free, big-screen HD broadcast performance from Opera Philadelphia in front of Independence Hall.
Rarely seen collection of historic artifacts and objects from Vatican
September 19, 2015 – February 15, 2016View More
As Philadelphia prepares to welcome Pope Francis in September 2015, the Franklin Institute is celebrating the historical and cultural impact of the Vatican.
Celebrate fall with chrysanthemums, music and more
September 12-November 22, 2015View More
Longwood Gardens celebrates the harvest season with Autumn’s Colors, a festive showcase of fall colors, and the Chrysanthemum Festival, when more than 20,000 blooming chrysanthemums take over Longwood’s four-acre conservatory.
Scare up some fun during this Bucks County tradition
September 19-20, 2015View More
You’ll have a scary good time at the Annual Scarecrow Festival and Competition in Peddler’s Village, a fall family tradition in Bucks County.
Premier haunted house in Philadelphia’s historic prison
Opens September 18, 2015View More
The massive Eastern State Penitentiary — a gothic, castle-like structure in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood — is home to one of the nation’s largest and most ambitious haunted attractions, Terror Behind the Walls.
Annual award recognizing those who strive for liberty
October 26, 2015View More
The Liberty Medal is awarded by the National Constitution Center to individuals who strive to secure liberty for people all over the world. Recipients include men, women and organizations responsible for shaping and guiding the world.
Pope Francis and a global celebration come to Philadelphia
September 22-27, 2015View More
Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia during his first trip the United States during World Meeting of Families, an inspirational week of family-centered events and activities at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Acclaimed art exhibition created entirely from LEGO®
Through October 4, 2015View More
An art exhibition unlike any you’ve ever seen, The Art of the Brick at The Franklin Institute features the world’s largest collection of art created entirely from the popular toy.
Day-long celebration of city’s signature sandwich at Lincoln Financial Field
October 24, 2015View More
Philadelphia is finally hosting its first festival devoted entirely to the cheesesteak in October 2015. Held at Lincoln Financial Field, the home of the Philadelphia Eagles, the Cheesesteak Festival will celebrate the city’s signature sandwich.
Philadelphia’s favorite street food festival coming to a neighborhood near you
October 1, 2015View More
A popular series of outdoor street festivals, Night Market Philadelphia is a seasonal celebration of food, music and community held in the city’s vibrant neighborhoods.
An immersive garden-wide after-dark installation
Through October 31, 2015View More
The chance to see stunning sights at Longwood Gardens will continue after dark in the summer and fall of 2015 with the launch of the immersive after-dark-only installation Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience.
How a 13th-century Mongolian warrior changed the world
Through January 3, 2016View More
The treasures and stories of Genghis Khan’s 13th-century Mongol Empire debut in Philadelphia when the Genghis Khan exhibit opens at The Franklin Institute, showing visitors how this warrior nomad had such a profound impact on world politics.
A behind-the-scenes view of art in the making
October 3-4; 17-18, 2015View More
Ever wonder what an artist’s studio really looks like? Philadelphia Open Studio Tours allows everyone a chance to take a sneak peek inside the city’s most creative spaces. For two weekends in October, artists around the city open their studios to curious visitors, inviting them to talk, check out how they work and purchase artwork.
City-wide celebration of though-provoking progressive performing arts
September 3-19, 2015View More
For fans of new and experimental theater, the Fringe Festival presented by FringeArts features hundreds of must-see performances each September.
Philadelphia Museum of Art is the only place in the U.S. stop to view this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition
Through September 13, 2015View More
This groundbreaking special exhibition will showcase more than 80 works by Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Sisley, Degas, Manet and others to trace Parisian art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel’s role in the development of impressionism.