Americans sure love Halloween, shelling out almost $7 billion annually for costumes, decorations, tricks and treats, and the City of Brotherly Love is right up there with its passion for frightening fun. Each Halloween surpasses the last as the country’s most historic city transforms into a spooky yet spectacular destination. From packed pumpkin patches to harrowing hayrides, here are the top 2014 Halloween events for kids in Philadelphia.

Boo At The Zoo
Philadelphia Zoo
3400 W. Girard Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 243-1100

Date: Oct. 18-19, 25-26, 2014

The Philadelphia Zoo attracts more volunteers to help with Boo At The Zoo than any other annual event. That’s because even the workers absolutely adore this popular, thrilling and entertaining offering. The whole family can enjoy a costume party and trick-or-treat time around the creepy crawlers’ cages and tanks. A Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt, a walk around the Extinction Graveyard, crafts, games, music and storytelling make this a Halloween happening for little party animals.

The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular
Sesame Place
100 Sesame Road
Langhorne, PA 19047
(866) 464-3566

Date: Sept. 20 – Oct. 26, 2014

Count your kids in for some silly, not-too-scary fun at The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place. The Halloween haven features a Neighborhood Street parade, themed mazes and amazing rides. Cookie Monster’s Land, story time and two brand new Halloween shows are sure to keep your little ninjas and princesses happy. Don your costume as you trick or treat with the Sesame Street gang and take a hayride with your favorite characters.

Longwood Gardens’ Pumpkin Playground
Longwood Gardens
1001 Longwood Rd.
Kennett Square, PA 19348
(610) 388-1000

Date: Oct. 1-31, 2014

Longwood Gardens’ Children’s Corner has is covered when it comes to monster-size fun. The gardens’ Pumpkin Playground offers young ones the chance to manipulate, move, jump and play with, in and on a peculiar patch of pumpkins and gourds. Take a photo with the Great Pumpkin, an 800-lb. behemoth, over at the Vegetable Garden. Wrap the day up with a visit to the Birdhouse, a wooden shed high in the trees, for a bird’s eye view of the lush landscape.

Related: Top Botanical Gardens In Philadelphia

Morris Arboretum Fall Festival
University of Pennsylvania
100 E. Northwestern Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19118
(215) 247-5777

Date: Oct. 4-5, 2014

Morris Arboretum Fall Festival has long been an autumn tradition for families in the Philadelphia area. With so many activities and so little time, your tiny tikes won’t know whether to head over to the pumpkin painting and apple tasting first, visit the animal guests from the Elmwood Zoo or help build a super-sized Lego owl. Delicious, juicy apples will be available for purchase both days, and a Radio Disney performance will take place on Sunday. And, of course, the annual make-your-own-scarecrow activity is the highlight of this spellbinding weekend.

Related: Top Fall Festivals In Philadelphia

Pumpkinland Harvest Festival
Linvilla Orchards
137 W. Knowlton Rd.
Media, PA 19063
(610) 876-7116

Date: Sept. 20 – Oct. 30, 2014

Take on the great pumpkin patch during the Pumpkinland Harvest Festival at Linvilla Orchards. Treats include pumpkins, pick-your-own apples and pie-eating contests. For tricks, get a load of the jack-o-lantern exhibit, kids’ annual costume parade, music, face painting and pony rides. Don’t miss the Autumn Moon Hayrides followed by an evening of bonfires, apple cider and marshmallow roasting. For the slightly more adventurous, a visit to the friendly Witches House in the woods will get your blood boiling.

Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey’s “Cape May County Herald” for more than a decade. A writer for numerous online publications, Susan has covered health, fitness, beauty and travel, all subjects that are near and dear to her as a married mother of seven children. Her work can be found at