Philadelphia in Fall: 2024 Festivals and Foliage Guide

Sipping cider by Independence Hall, gazing at fall foliage in Fairmount Park, or cozying up to creatures at the Philadelphia Zoo. Fall in Philadelphia is simply irresistible!

Follow along to discover the best things to do in Philadelphia in the fall.

From imbibing ale at authentic German beer gardens to marveling at immersive installations at the art museum, the Cradle of Liberty is overflowing with autumnal allure.

Cover buckets of Revolutionary History, awe-inspiring architecture, and autumn festivals when you visit Philly this fall.

Cast a spell with Harry Potter, sneak a peek at the Liberty Bell, or hang out with everyone’s favorite yellow Big Bird.

Ready to welcome in the fall season? The City of Brotherly Love is waiting with open arms.

Fall Colors in Philadelphia

Wondering how to ease into the Autmunmal season? One of the best fall things to do in Philadelphia is leaf-peeping. Prime your peepers for an arresting assortment of fall foliage in Philadelphia.

Capture the changing colors of Japanese Maple, Dogwood, and Oak trees when you explore Franklin Square, Old City, or the romantic landscape of Morris Arboretum & Gardens. Further fall foliage can be appreciated throughout the 2,000-plus acres of Fairmount Park, or with a stroll through the Schuylkill River Trail.

Thankfully, the Quaker State has a longer and more varied foliage season than any other state in the Nation. This means the best time to see fall colors in Philadelphia stretches from early October through mid-November.

The brightest and most brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow can generally be spotted around Mid October.

interior room of La Reserve Bed & Breakfast hotel room in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USAFall Things To Do in Philadelphia

Go Philadelphia All-Inclusive Pass

Craving some flexibility with your Cradle of Liberty plans? Squeeze out even more things to do in Philadelphia in the fall when you reserve your Go Philadelphia All-Inclusive Pass. Choose from a 1-5 day pass and kick off your exploring. Your handy pass grants you access to over 30 of the city’s premier attractions.

Scope out the Philadelphia Museum of Art, tour Betsy Ross’ house, or experience underwater excitement at the Adventure Aquarium. Embrace the spooky season with a ghost tour, or wander through the creepy Eastern State Penitentiary.

There’s absolutely no limit to the number of attractions you can visit each day. For example, you can have breakfast with the birds of prey at the Philadelphia Zoo and lunch at Longwood Gardens. 

The front of the historic Betsy Ross house in the daylight with a flag flying on the front of it in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
photo credit: Betsy Ross House via Facebook

Go Philadelphia Explorer Pass

Got your Philadelphia bucket list locked and loaded? The Philadelphia Multi-Attraction Explorer Pass is the way for travelers with specific tastes. Select a 3, 4, 5, or 7-choice explorer pass and dive into the most storied sights and landmarks of the Quaker City.

Go brick crazy at LEGOLAND Discovery Center, or appreciate the city’s mural art scene. Adults will adore the mystery and thrill of an after-dark tour, while budding scientists will flip over a visit to the Franklin Institute. Hop on and off a barreling tour bus or swoon over sculptures at the Rodin Museum.

Feel like the thriftiest traveler in Philly when you save up to 40% on normal ticketed attraction prices. 

Psst..need even more brick building in your life? Kick off fall in Philly with laser mazes and rides on the Imagination Express when you hightail it to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. A nirvana of ninjas, bricks, and master Miniland creations, brick lovers of all ages will be in heaven here.

entrance to legoland discovery center with people browsing merchandise for sale in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
photo credit: Hyatt Place Philadelphia/King of Prussia via Facebook

City Sightseeing Philadelphia

Old City, Independence Hall, and Elfreth’s Alley, oh my! Make your mark on the City of Brotherly Love when you enjoy a riveting City Sightseeing Philadelphia tour. Whether you are angling for a 48 Hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour or a historic Franklin Footsteps Founding Fathers & Mothers walking tour, City Sightseeing delivers. Jump headfirst into the City of Firsts as you immerse yourself in Philly’s food, culture, and rich legacy.

Take the city in stride as you hop on /off at your leisure. Tackle over 100 sites and 16 miles of Philadelphia as you scout out the Bourse Building in the Independence National Historical Park, or pay your respects at Ben Franklin’s grave. Observe the dazzling view from the One Liberty Observation Deck, or get up close to the country’s most famous crack.

Don’t forget to wind down your day of revolutionary history, art, and architecture with a serene drive along the banks of the Delaware River.

Close up shot looking up at the Liberty BellSesame Place

Ready to watch your favorite tot freak out over meeting Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Big Bird? Delight your little one with one of the most wholesome fall activities near Philadelphia when you hightail it to Sesame Place.

Related Post: 12 Things to Do in Philadelphia for Kids That Are Fun for Adults Too

Conveniently located outside of Philadelphia, this kid-friendly oasis features 16 rides, three live shows, and mountains of Grover and Grouch-induced fun.

Fly high with an Elmo Fish, or conquer the turns and drops of Oscar’s Wacky Wooden Taxi Coaster. Fuel up on a Big Burger doused in honey BBQ sauce at Big Bird’s restaurant, or settle in for a lively Neighborhood Street Party Parade.

Relish plenty of silly, not too spooky fun when you time your visit to coincide with the Count’s Halloween Spooktacular, from mid-September through early November. Tiny tots will go crazy for trick or treating, Halloween-themed shows, and interactive Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt.

Close up of Elmo and the Cookie Monster walking with kids on Sesame Street plus Big Bird and Zoey in the background with more kids and families at Sesame Place San Diego in San Diego, California, USA
photo credit: Sesame Place via Facebook 

Philadelphia Museum of Art

While the Philadelphia Museum of Art more than earns its place on any Philadelphia itinerary, this fall, it garners even more artistic excitement with a bounty of globe-trotting immersive exhibits.

El Origen de la Noche

Let the rhythms, myths, and awe-inspiring nature of the Amazon wash over you when you delve into El Origen de la Noche. This inspired sound installation will make its debut on September 7th, and features eight sequential chapters of stories, rituals, and chants all accompanied by narration.

Structured like a ‘maloca’ or traditional social unit integral to the communities of the Amazon, this exhibit is a unique collaboration between traditional authorities from indigenous communities of the northwest Amazon, anthropologists, musicians, and linguists.

Viewers will be treated to both new and archival recordings from indigenous nations in Columbia, all centering around the creation and ethos of night.

close up of painting called Woman In Blue by Henri Matisse viewable at Matisse in the 1930s exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
photo credit: Philadelphia Museum of Art via Facebook

The Shape of Time: Korean Art after 1989

How is collective memory shaped under an authoritarian regime? Explore this question and many others, when you take in contemporary works by artists of Korean descent in The Shape of Time.

From October 21st through February 11th, 2024, visitors can take a peek behind the collective unconscious of Korean artists who immersed themselves in Euro-American ideals. A dynamic dive into the complex cultural experience of coming of age in Korea, these pieces touch on everything from unresolved political tensions to societal gender norms and sexuality.

See the rapid change of Korea reflected in the world of ceramics, painting, embroidery, metalwork, and performance.

Stephen Burks: Shelter in Place

Do you go ga ga over industrial design? Glean some design inspiration of your own, or just appreciate the raw creativity and talent of one of the most recognized American industrial designers of this generation at Shelter in Place.

A celebration of Stephen Burks, this Chicago native has garnered international acclaim through his innovative approach to craft, community, and industry. This exhibit will illuminate the last 10 years of Burk’s craft-centered award-winning workshop design practice.

Showcasing furniture, lighting fixtures, and other industrial projects, this thrilling debut will also pry into our personal relationships with our homes. Visitors will be asked to participate and reevaluate their own feelings towards their dwellings in a post-pandemic world.

Shot of a hallway with white walls and a blue ceiling with several pieces of abstract art hanging in it at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
photo credit: Philadelphia Museum of Art via Facebook

Chrysanthemum Festival

Behold fall’s most stunning flower at Longwood Gardens this Fall Bulbous and bright, in shades of ruby red, orange, and yellow, Chrysanthemum takes center stage at this annual event. The Chrysanthemum Festival commences on September 30th, and will run through October 28th.

Related Post: One Day in Philadelphia: How to Make the Most of 24 Hours

Capture the beauty of this flower in all its forms as you wander through displays and the picture-perfect Meadows Garden. Don’t forget to take in the other tantalizing fall vistas at the Webb Farmhouse and galleries or gander at the family-friendly Garden Railway.

Pumpkin Playground

Heaps of gorgeous gourds await families at the Pumpkin Playground. From October 6th through October 30th, round up your rugrats for some fun family time in the Children’s Corner in the Idea Garden. Or, break out your very best flannel for charming autumnal photo opportunities amid the piles of pumpkins, gourds, and corn husk towers.

photo credit: Philadelphia Marriott Downtown via Facebook

Downington Fall Fest

Autumn flavors, ice-cold beer, and football. What could be better than a local family-friendly Fall Fest? Prime yourself for an afternoon of mouth-watering eats, local crafts, and delicious Victory Beer when you attend the Downingtown Fall Fest.

For over a decade, this event has entertained locals and visitors alike with live music, artisanal goods, crafts, and a bustling beer garden.

This year Fall Fest will take place on September 24th, and promises to entice thousands of attendees into Downingtown. Sample succulent offerings from Holy Smoked Meats, or chow down on Kettle Korn.

photo credit: Downingtown Fall Fest via Facebook

OctoberFeast at Peddler’s Village

Want to watch the city of Philadelphia embrace its German heritage? Whisk yourself away for some Oktoberfest-inspired fun when you head to Bucks County this fall. The annual OctoberFeast at Peddler’s Village is a two-day event featuring plenty of beer, food, and live entertainment.

Related Post: Philadelphia Historic Sites: The Ultimate Visitor’s Guide

Beginning October 14th, grab your lederhosen and prepare to get down with the Philadelphia German Brass Band. Try your hand at a german folk dance, sip plenty of ale from your own custom stein, or sample the many food truck offerings. Tiny kinder will have a thrill checking out the towering scarecrows on display as part of the 44th Annual Scarecrows in the Village competition. 

photo credit: Peddler’s Village via Facebook

Philadelphia Orchestra

Treat your ears to the thrilling sounds of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Yo-Yo Ma, when you make a date with the season’s opening night. Celebrate the Orchestra’s 124th season with the unparalleled cello artistry of Yo-Yo Ma and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Nothing ushers in the cooler months more perfectly than the lyrical alto saxophone and haunting violin solo of Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1. Can’t wait to lock in your evening of rhythmic motion and energy? Purchase tickets to the September 28th performance here.

Philadelphia Fall Arts Fest

Looking high and low for some free entertainment in the City of Brotherly Love? Swing by the Kimmel Center on September 23, for a diverse array of live music, engaging activities, and local arts organizations.

The Philadelphia Fall Arts Fest is an awesome way to reconnect with the arts this autumn. Dive into the programming for the upcoming season, and show some support for their world-renowned Resident Companies. 

6abc Dunkin’ Thanksgiving Day Parade

Lucky enough to visit the Cradle of Liberty over Thanksgiving Day weekend? Participate in a true Philadelphia tradition when you attend the oldest Thanksgiving parade in the country. The 6abc Dunkin’ Thanksgiving Day Parade will take place on November 23rd at 8:15 a.m. and promises to delight guests young and old.

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Feast your eyes on massive floats, local performers, dance groups, marching bands, and more. Glimpse at giant Bugs Bunny, Tweety, and Peppa Pig as they make their way down Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Finally, usher in the happiest season of the year with a finale from Santa himself. 

people walking in parade with float with large inflatable turkey with crowd on the side watching at 6abc Dunkin Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
photo credit: Philadelphia’s 6abc Dunkin’ Thanksgiving Day Parade via Facebook

Philadelphia Hotels

Uncover unique art experiences, wander through Fairmount Park, or sample the most succulent cheesesteaks. The Quaker City is always an inspiring escape, but come autumn, this east coast metropolis stuns. Take in the sparkling Delaware River framed by vermillion, orange, and gold leaves, or appreciate the enchantment of seasonal light shows.

Things to do in the fall in Philadelphia will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Make the most of Philadelphia in fall, when you reserve first-class accommodations. Whether you opt to stay in South Street or Center City, we have a wide array of Philadelphia hotels to choose from.

Rest your head just minutes from the famous Reading Terminal Market. Or, quickly pop by City Hall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Liberty Bell Center.

Experience the Enchantment that is Philadelphia in the Fall

Piping hot cups of cocoa, sampling traditional Dutch fare at Reading Terminal Market and running up the Rocky steps. The Quaker City truly hits its stride come autumn. Fall activities in Philadelphia run the gamut from eerie tours of Eastern State Penitentiary to blooming Chrysanthemum Festivals at Longwood Gardens. 

Entertain little ones with millions of bricks at LEGOLAND Discovery Center or fawn over giant scarecrows at Downingtown. Engage in an aquatic adventure at the Aquarium, or uncover Revolutionary History with your GO Philadelphia pass.

Discover pumpkin photo ops, Amazon chants, authentic beer gardens, and more when you visit Philly this fall!

Tell us, What are Your Favorite Fall Things to Do Philadelphia?

Did we miss any of the best things to do in Philly this fall?

Leave us a comment below!

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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...

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