Fall descends on the city colorfully, and brings with it cooler temperatures and better weather for strolling around the historic city of Philadelphia. This is a time of visiting with family and friends, eating and picking pumpkins and enjoying the foliage and crisp air before the cold of winter sets in. Make the most of the autumn season at the top five fall festivals in the Philadelphia area for 2013.
Sip, Savor, Stroll
Mt. Airy Food Festival
6703 Germantown Ave., Suite 200
Mt. Airy, PA 19119
Date: Sept. 19
Forty gourmet street trucks will line Germantown Avenue for your eating enjoyment. This event is in its third year and has been delighting foodies and regular people who like a variety of food, beverages and music to kick off the season. This year, there will be two stages set up with numerous musical acts scheduled to perform, including Sharon Katz and the Peace Train. The rain date is scheduled for September 26, 2013, but cross your fingers for good weather!
Peddler’s Village Route 202 & 263
Lahaska, PA 18931
Dates: Sept. 21-22, 2013
During the weekend of September 21, there will be tons of family fun at Peddler’s Village. You can make a scarecrow, watch or participate in a pumpkin pie eating contest, or just enjoy the music and kids’ activities. Admission is free, as is parking. Building a scarecrow costs $30.
Brandywine Valley Wine Trail
Chester County, PA 19351
Dates: Sept. 28-29 and Oct. 5-6
This harvest festival along the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail is dedicated to the grape. The wineries will be making their debut of beverages for your sipping pleasure, and in addition to this, there will be a multitude of fall activities to enjoy like hayrides, barbecuing, picnicking and live music. The festival will also feature tours of the wineries: purchase a ‘passport’ for $20 and you’ll be able to participate in all the tastings, plus get a commemorative wine glass.
Midtown Village Fall Festival
13th St. between Chestnut & Locust Sts.
Date: Oct. 6, Noon – 7 p.m.
The Midtown Village Fall Fest returns for its eighth year, with seven hours of food, drinks, live music and vendors lining 13th Street. Check out the beer garden and sample food from great restaurants like Barbuzzo, Jamonera, Sampan and El Vez, or bring the kids for some family-friendly entertainment and activities.
Reading Terminal Market’s Harvest Festival
12th & Arch Sts
Date: Oct. 12, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
What better place to get a taste of fall than at Reading Terminal? Stop by during this festival and see Filbert Street converted into an urban farm, complete with corn stalks, hay bales and an on-site pumpkin patch. Plus, there will be fall treats galore – including cider donuts, caramel apples, pie and more.
South St. Broad to 18th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Date: Oct. 19
Bloktoberfest is an annual tradition in the heart of South Philly when both street vendors and people looking for some food and fun take to the streets. This event will have a variety of craft beer, delicious foods and music to enjoy on what will hopefully be a lovely fall afternoon. Plus, it is an all-ages event, so feel free to bring the kids to this not-for-profit party that benefits the neighborhood.
The World’s Greatest Farmer Showdown
The Longview Center for Agriculture
3215 Stump Hall Rd
Date: Oct. 20
Take the whole family to this old-school hoedown of sorts, which is “a celebration of the folks that work so hard to bring us the local bounty of the season. Think lumberjack festival-meets-farmer’s market!” Watch local teams compete in games like Pumpkin Shot Put, a Wheel Barrow Obstacle Course, and the farmer-led harvesting competition (whatever that is!). Plus, listen to live music from the Whiskeyhickon Boys, vote for your favorite chili during the chili cookoff and nosh on delicious offerings from Street Food Philly and Cupcake Wars’ Dia Doce.
Race St. between 6th and 7th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Date: Oct. 26
This family-friendly event is all about the pumpkin and takes place in picturesque Franklin Square. Besides looking at beautiful pumpkins and having pumpkin pie around to eat and enjoy, there will also be activities involving (of course!) pumpkins. Both children and adults can delight in painting and carving pumpkins as well as partaking in face painting, carnival games, cupcake decorating, spooky mini golf and unlimited rides on the carousel. This is a fundraising event for Historic Philadelphia, so tickets are $35 a piece or $125 for family of four. The ticket price includes all of the activities at the event.
1001 Longwood Rd
Kennett Square, PA
Date: Oct. 26 – Nov. 24
Longwood is beautiful at any time of year, but perhaps even more so in the fall. During late October and November, mums take center stage, with more than 20,000 of ‘em arranged throughout the gardens in shapes and designs.
Peddler’s Village Apple Festival
Routes 202 and 263
Dates: Nov. 2 & 3, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
While apple-picking season is long over, Peddler’s Village is now celebrating the end of the harvest with a festival dedicated to all things apple. In addition to live pie-eating contests and all manner of apple goodies (fritters, donuts, ciders, caramel apples, etc), expect tons of vendors as well as live entertainment.
Christina Dagnelli is a freelance writer in Philadelphia and the author of Little Squares with Colors: A Different way to look at autism. Her work on examiner can be found here Examiner.com.