As the warmth of summer gives way to cool, crisp autumn days in Philadelphia, the changing colors and falling leaves signal an annual tradition. Folks venture out to celebrate the harvest with hayrides, apple picking, cider tasting, pumpkin carving and the proverbial Octoberfest beer garden. Last year, in Top Fall Festivals In Philadelphia, we shared some of our favorite fall festivals in and around the Philly area, and this year we invite you to check out some of our top picks for 2014.
Peddler’s Village Route 202 & 263
Lahaska, PA 18931
Dates: Sept. 20-21, 2014
Families won’t want to miss this year’s Peddler’s Village Scarecrow Festival the weekend of September 20 and 21. Peddler’s Village, an easy drive from Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs, is home to over 60 specialty shops, five restaurants and the 70-room Golden Plough Inn and Giggleberry Fair family entertainment center. The Scarecrow Festival’s annual scarecrow-making workshop is a long-standing family favorite for those who live in and around the City of Brotherly Love, and reservations are recommended. Activities include pie eating contests, live entertainment and plenty of seasonal fun and shopping.
Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival
Along the 8000 and 8600 blocks of Germantown Ave.
Chestnut Hill Neighborhood
Philadelphia, PA 19118
Date: Oct. 5, 2014
The Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival takes place this year on Sunday, October 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This popular festival attracts art and music lovers, crafters and foodies eager to sample family fun, good food and boutique shopping. Visitors will be delighted by the festive, outdoor marketplace that transforms Germantown Avenue for this festival, drawing visitors and artists from all around the Mid-Atlantic region. The event is free with parking available for only $5 for the entire day. Festival attendees will delight in the quintessential charm that is Chestnut Hill with its quaint shops and abundance of restaurants and bakeries that support local farms by buying fresh and local.
The World’s Greatest Farmer Showdown
The Longview Center for Agriculture
3215 Stump Hall Road
Collegeville, PA 19426
Date: Oct. 19, 2014
Sunday, October 19, 2014 is this year’s date for The World’s Greatest Farmer Showdown, a family favorite each year at Longview Farm in Collegeville. Admission is $10 per carload or $5 per individual at the gate for this event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Local vendors, farmer and lumberjack competitions, delicious food, games for the family and numerous educational activities will delight children and the young at heart; and the Chili Cook-Off held each year at this festival is not to be missed. This event is hosted in partnership with Greener Partners, a non-profit organization that builds community through sustainable farming and farm-based education.
Midtown Village Fall Festival
13th St. between Chestnut & Locust Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Date: Oct. 4, 2014
The 9th Annual Midtown Village Fall Festival takes place from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 4 this year. Festival goers will enjoy food, drinks, live music and vendors along 13th Street. In Octoberfest-like spirit, there will be a beer garden as well as food from many of the local restaurants, which in the past have included Barbuzzo, Jamonera, Sampan and El Vez. Midtown Village Fall Festival is sponsored this year by Penn Medicine and will feature live music on five different stages, children’s programming by Nest, sumo wrestling at Raw and mechanical bull riding at Finn McCool’s.
Linvilla Orchards Apple Festival and Pie Eating Contest
137 W. Knowlton Road
Media, PA 19063
Dates: Sept. 27-28, 2014
Hayrides, music, baked goods and a pie eating contest are in store this year at the annual Apple Festival and Pie Eating Contest at Linvilla Orchards the weekend of September 27 and 28. This well-known Philly-area pick-your-own farm is a top spot for family fun, fresh produce, fishing and agricultural education. Bushels of fresh produce stock the tables as tractors pull scores of basket-laden visitors through the fields and orchards of this 300-acre farm to hand-pick their own fruits and veggies. Apple season runs from mid-September through late October, coinciding with Linvilla’s Pumpkinland Festival and pumpkin picking season.
Pumpkin Fall Fest
200 Pine St
Date: Oct. 25, 2014
Circus aerials, live music, magic tricks, dance performances and, obviously, TONS of pumpkins combine for the sixth annual Pumpkin Fall Festival in Headhouse Square. Take a hayride around the square, decorate a pumpkin and nosh on delicious seasonal treats at this family-friendly autumnal event.
1001 Longwood Rd
Kennett Square, PA
Date: Oct. 25 – Nov. 23
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.
Reading Terminal Market Festival
12th & Arch Sts
Date: Oct. 18, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Get a taste of all things fall at this annual foodie-fest at Reading Terminal. In addition to treats like cider doughnuts, pies, caramel apples and more, Filbert Street will also be transformed into an urban farm that offers fun for the entire family.
Related: Top Fall Festivals in South Jersey
Christy Ayala covers sports, recreation, the outdoors, and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. She earned a masters degree in recreation administration from George Williams College and managed programs in the Midwest, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.