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10 Ways to Celebrate the Start of Fall in Philly

Image by Susan

Image by Susan

In some ways, the beginning of fall feels a lot like a second New Year. There’s an indescribable feeling of newness in the air, peppered with the literal turning over of leaves as we transition into long nights and all of the sights, smells, and sounds the season brings. Us Center City dwellers often feel like we’re missing out on the quintessential fall activities – pumpkin picking, apple baking, taking hay rides, and running through haunted houses – that happen outside of city limits where a car is required for travel.

Fortunately, Philadelphia offers its own series of magical moments; you just have to know where to look for them! Take our advice with these fun upcoming events and activities, perfect for celebrating the start of the season in Philly:

1. Shop at a Craft Fair – There’s something so thrilling about perusing through unique, handmade wares in the great outdoors. Grab a cup of coffee and explore fantastic finds from local artisans during the following: CRAFT PHILA*, taking over Independence Mall on October 3 and 4; Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts, Germantown Avenue’s outdoor arts and crafts fest, on October 4; Fishtown RiverCity Festival, back for its 8th year on October 10; and Uhuru Flea Market and Book Fair on October 17.

2. Celebrate Oktoberfest – What’s a more Philadelphian way to celebrate the holidays than with a pint on South Street? Kick off fall at Bloktoberfest 2015, an all-day, rain or shine event. Trust any of our German beer halls and pubs to have the best specials on deck and beers on tap this time of year. We’ll also recommend McGillin’s Oktoberfest and the German Heritage Festival, hosted by the German Society of Pennsylvania.

3. Indulge in Pumpkin Spice – Do yourself and local businesses a favor and pass on the Starbucks this fall. You can find deliciously decadent seasonal brews at any number of venues in the area, including Cafe Twelve, Cake and the Beanstalk, and Double Shots Espresso Bar. In addition to the highly coveted pumpkin spice latte, these and other shops also offer ambiance, amazing food options, and best of all, real mugs and dishware!

4. Watch Football over Beers – If the start of the season is any indicator, our Birds will need some good vibes over the next few weeks. There are dozens of bars across town offering game day specials so you can cheer for the Eagles while getting your grub on, including Cav’s Headhouse and Rittenhouse locations, Crabby Cafe and Sports Bar at The Piazza, and Yakitori Boy*.

5. Enjoy Seasonal Fare – Philadelphia’s food scene reigns supreme all year round, but there are a few particular restaurants citywide where the executive chef takes a special interest in seasonal produce to inspire their menus. We recommend booking a table at The Farm & Fisherman, Talula’s Garden, M Restaurant, Fork, Supper, and FARMiCiA to see what they have in store!

6. Load up on Desserts – Nothing says fall like sweet, freshly baked pies. You could save yours for after dinner, but we won’t judge if you grab a few bites for breakfast, too. We’re salivating just thinking about Flying Monkey Bakery’s pumpkin cream, Magpie’s butterscotch bourbon, and the sweet potato pie from Tiffany’s Bakery.

7. Celebrate Fall Fashion – In the list of top favorite things about fall, clothing always makes the list! Whether it’s the boots, the jackets, or scarves, the changing of the seasons provides a fresh wave of inspiration for playing dress up. From catwalks to trunk shows to happy hours, stay on top of what’s trending in 2015 by checking out the rest of the events slated during The Philadelphia Collection, taking place October 7th through October 14th, with a special event on October 19th.

8. Sip on Hard Cider – Amongst all of the Oktoberfest and pumpkin-style beers that will soon be prominent on every beer list, you can bet that hard ciders will also be on rotation. While we’re fans of Woodchuck, there are so many other ciders to taste test this season! Your safest bet for finding at least a few options available would be a visit to some of Philly’s most outstanding bars, including Eulogy Belgian Tavern, Monk’s Cafe, Memphis Taproom, Standard Tap, 12 Steps Down, and BRÜ.

9. Take Part in Halloween-Themed Events – Just because we don’t have corn mazes or abandoned historic asylums inside city limits, doesn’t mean we don’t know how to give a good fright! You’ll find that Philly’s social calendar is filled with fun alternatives to Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls. Check out Grim Philly Twilight Tours, the Trocadero’s yearly Zombie Prom, and ghost tours of the haunted USS Olympia on the Delaware River.

10. Take it All in – When this season rolls in, it’s hard to ignore. The best way to enjoy it is to spend your time outdoors soaking up every moment of it! Take a stroll around sundown (remember, the sun sets around 6:58 p.m. now!) wrapped up in a hoodie or shawl. Breathe in the cool air and marvel at the glow as it settles around the Schuylkill Banks, Spruce Street Harbor Park, picturesque Addison Street, Rittenhouse Square, and Passyunk Avenue. Fall can vanish as quickly as it appears, so make time to ensure you get to enjoy it!

How do you like to welcome fall in Center City, Philadelphia?

*CRAFT PHILA and Yakitori Boy are clients of Philly PR Girl.