Autumn is an exciting time in Philadelphia. As the leaves change color and the weather cools down, fall-themed community events become abundant throughout the city and its suburbs.
Throughout the Main Line, fall festivities abound, with something for everyone in the family to enjoy, regardless of age. Below are just a few suggestions to help you and your family celebrate the beauty and energy of the fall season.
1. Pumpkinland at Linvilla Orchards
Open from mid-September through early November, Pumpkinland at Linvilla Orchards has been a staple for generations of residents of Delaware County and the greater Philadelphia area. Enjoy the best that the harvest season has to offer, with dozens of family-friendly fall activities, such as live music, hayrides, train rides, pony rides, and face painting.
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Also, be sure to check out the vast selection of pumpkins, which come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. The vintage fall look of Pumpkinland features straw bales, corn shocks, toys, and fall decorations of all kinds.
Pumpkinland offers three unique, fall-themed rides for the whole family. For instance, the Harvest Hayrides offer a relaxing view of the farm on a 15-minute ride. Or, you can take a hayride to the friendly witch’s house where kids can get a Halloween treat. The ride ends at a campfire where passengers get a sample of apple cider and marshmallows for roasting.
If you prefer night hayrides, then be sure to take the 20-minute Autumn Moon hayride through the field (this ride also ends with apple cider samples and marshmallows for roasting). Other attractions at Pumpkinland include the Straw Bale Maze, Pumpkin Ring Toss, and the Corn Maze, as well as pick your own apples, a staple for the fall season.
For adults, check out the Ship Bottom Brewery Beer Garden for a pint of Ship Bottom Brewery’s finest ales made with flavors of malts and hops. Some ales are even crafted with Linvilla’s own farm-grown products. For children, take a trip to the Playland Playground for a fun, safe place for kids to play. Playland features a giant custom play structure with wooden trucks, boats, tractors, and trains.
The fall-themed wonderland that is Pumpkinland at Linvilla Orchards is a must-attend for Philadelphia-area families.
2. Harvest Hayride at Arasapha Farm
Arasapha Farm’s Harvest Hayride is a great fall location for family members of all ages. Located in Glen Mills, PA, Arasapha Farms is a true working farm on 80 acres of land with origins dating back to 1816. The Farm is also home to Bates Motel, the number one rated haunted attraction in America by CNN Travel.
In addition to the Harvest Hayride and Motel, families can visit the Pumpkin Garden, where kids will enjoy the pillow bounce, moon bounce, barn bounce, and pumpkin jump. Other attractions at Arasapha Farm include the corn cannon, pumpkin golf, petting zoo, sand box, and duck races.
See how fast you can navigate the five-acre corn maze, and afterwards, relax and grab a caramel apple and hot chocolate at the concession stand. Arasapha Farm also has fall festive decorations you can purchase for your home, including pumpkins, gourds, straw, and cornstalks.
3. Fall-Themed Events at Franklin Square
History is abundant at Franklin Square—one of Philadelphia’s five original squares. Centered around its famous fountain, Franklin Square comes alive with fall-themed festivities this time of year. Find a place on the lawn or relax on a bench and enjoy one of the square’s free fountain show performances complete with choreographed music and synchronized color illuminations.
The square’s mini golf course is transformed into a spooky theme for the season, with fog, lights, music, and other surprises for adults and children alike. Be sure to check out the Halloween Maze and pick out your favorite pumpkin in the Pumpkin Patch to decorate and take home.
Franklin Square even offers an event for the furry members of your family with the Bark-or-Treat Trail presented by Merck Animal Health. Dogs are encouraged to dress in costume, follow a trail of treats, and collect helpful information for their owners. Live music, photo opportunities, and a safe place for your dogs to run and play highlight this entertaining family event.
Check out the list of upcoming events and enjoy the fall season at historic Franklin Square for a fun, festive afternoon or evening for the whole family!
4. Take in the Fall Foliage
The Philadelphia area features vibrant fall colors as the leaves turn to stunning reds, oranges, and yellows in a quintessential autumn look. Experts agree that peak foliage season run from mid-October to early November and some of the best places to enjoy the changing leaves include Morris Arboretum, Tyler Arboretum, and Longwood Gardens.
With origins tracing back to 1887, the Morris Arboretum is a historic Philadelphia landmark that comes alive with plenty of family-friendly festivities in the fall. As the “Official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” the Morris Arboretum has six unique plants in full bloom for visitors to enjoy around the fall season.
Check out the Scarecrow Walk featuring more than 40 scarecrows on display along the Oak Allee and vote for your favorite. Other events during the season include a Bloomfield Farm Day/Insider Art Show and Sale and a Hidden Gems Tour.
With a central location in the heart of Delaware County, Tyler Arboretum is one of the oldest arboreta in the northeast. With 650 acres of plant collections, heritage and champion trees, historic buildings and over a dozen miles of hiking trails through woodlands, wetlands, and meadows, Tyler Arboretum offers a vibrant family-oriented atmosphere to enjoy the fall foliage.
Enjoy fall themes this season including pumpkin days, musical entertainment, and live animal events, such as the Bay Wings Falconry and the Philly Metro Wildlife Center Owl Program. Throughout the season, kids of all ages can enjoy crafts, games, face painting, discovery stations, and much more!
With nearly 400 acres open to the public, Longwood Gardens offers a vibrant outdoor experience for the whole family to enjoy this fall. Group tours are offered for the four-acre conservatory, historic Peirce-du pont House, the Webb Farmhouse and Galleries, The Terrace, and much more.
Take in the Open Air Theatre Fountain Shows and Main Fountain Garden Performances for water-themed shows synchronized to music and lights. For the kids, be sure to check out the Pumpkin Playground in the Children’s Corner for an interactive play and a perfect opportunity for a festive fall photo.
From fall blooms to a garden railway, a day at Longwood Gardens offers something for adults and children of all ages to enjoy.
5. West Chester Railroad
Take in the sights of fall with the West Chester Railroad, including rides like the Fall Foliage Express and Great Pumpkin Express. With roots dating back to the mid 19th century, the West Chester Railroad boards at Market Street station in West Chester.
Bring the family aboard the Great Pumpkin Express for food, pumpkins, and a relaxing look at the fall foliage along the Chester Creek Valley. The 90-minute journey takes riders to Glen Mills where kids will be given treats during the short layover at the historic Glen Mills Station. Parents and kids are encouraged to dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes, as well!
6. FCS Lower School Pumpkin Fair
Many local schools offer autumn themed activities during this time of year, including Friends' Central’s annual Pumpkin Fair. The fair typically occurs on a weekend in mid-October and features plenty of fun, interactive events.
Activities include arts and crafts, face painting, jugglers, carnival games and prizes, a haunted house, and of course, the pumpkin sale. Overall, the Pumpkin Fair is a fun, safe event full of fall themed festivities for the whole family.
7. Winged Wonders
Winged Wonders is a program offered by Friends’ Central School which is designed to teach children of all ages about the magic of the monarch butterfly.
The event is led by butterfly enthusiast and Winged Wonders Education founder Ann Ward, who will teach children about Monarch migration and the wonders of the outdoors. Additionally, the event features a butterfly laboratory where children can see butterflies in every stage of their life cycle (egg, caterpillar, chrysalides, butterfly), learn about nectar and host plants, and even handle and feed a live butterfly. Afterwards, families are encouraged to explore our campus.
Winged Wonders will take place on Saturday, September 17 at 9 am at Friends’ Central Lower School, which is located at 228 Old Gulph Road in Wynnewood. The event is free, but registration is required.
Plan Your Fall Event Today!
As you can see, there are plenty of options for family-friendly fall activities along the Main Line and in the greater Philadelphia area.
Whether you choose to take a train ride through the picturesque Chester Creek Valley, view the vibrant fall foliage in one of the many area gardens, or attend a local event, there are endless opportunities for your family to enjoy the fall season along Philadelphia’s Main Line.