Spooky Autumn Activities Around the Philadelphia Area

Chloe Miller, Staff Writer

Looking for fun and spooky activities to do during the month of October? With the current state of campus, finding ways to get into the upcoming holiday spirit can be especially challenging. There has been an influx of yearly Halloween events that have been cancelled, like the Harvest Festival at Reading Terminal Market. However, there are still many activities you can partake in around the area while, of course, following COVID-19 guidelines.

Linvilla Orchards and Halloweenland

Linvilla Orchards in Media, PA is open daily 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Specifically for the fall season, Linvilla has reopened Halloweenland. At this seasonal event, Linvilla offers train and hayrides, corn mazes and a jack-o-lantern exhibit. Not only are there a multitude of activities in Halloweenland, but Linvilla also allows for on-site fishing at Orchard Lake. Linvilla also offers other activities, such as the Witches and Autumn Moon hayride at night.

Looking to spend the day at Linvilla? Some of the orchard’s fall food attractions include the Apple Cider Donut Tent, Candy and Caramel Apples Tent, Linvilla Cafe, Roasty Toasty, Funnel Cake and Apple Fritters, Cotton Candy and Caramel Corn, Blooming Onion and more. It also has its own Farm Market for which you can place orders online. All of the produce available is from Linvilla itself or is locally sourced. It also offers homemade pies, fudge, ice cream, donuts, cookies and custom cakes. With a plethora of activities day through night, Linvilla Orchards is a fantastic day trip if you are looking to get off campus.

Wolff’s Apple House

Wolff’s Apple House, started in 1910 in Media, PA, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. At the farmers market, Wolff’s offers fresh produce, vegetables, baked goods, meats and a garden center where you can buy fall plant decor and pumpkins. Inside, local vendors, such as A Casa Pizza, My House Cookies and Di Bruno Brothers, sell freshly prepared foods. If you want to go to a simple farmers market for some local food options or a place to buy pumpkins to carve, Wolff’s is the place to check out.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Want something especially scary? The Eastern State Penitentiary is open Friday through Sunday for daytime tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Special night tours for the fall open on select days. The penitentiary is located at 22nd Street and Fairmount, which is five blocks down from the Philadelphia Art Museum. In the past, the prison used strict isolation for inmates inspired by the values of Quakerism and was closed in 1971. Since then, it has been claimed a National historic landmark that contains art installations and stories from inmates.

At this creepy exhibit, you can explore the cell blocks and yards, including Al Capone’s cell. Along with being able to walk around the ruins, there are projections on the walls of the penitentiary including silent and short films created by former inmates. The tours are self-guided to ensure social distancing with an audio guide narrated by Steve Buscemi. Masks are also required.

Bates Motel Haunted Attraction

Another option, not for the faint of heart, is Bates Motel Haunted Attraction in Glen Mills, PA. The haunted attraction is open from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, with shortened hours Sunday through Wednesday. They offer a plethora of haunted events such as a haunted house, a haunted hayride and a haunted corn maze.

They also offer an escape room option that is available for teams of 6-10 (a slightly less horrifying option if needed). There are food stands and gift shops available on the site as well to give you the full experience for the entirety of the night. Bates Motel uses a combination of live actors, sound, animatronics and pyrotechnics to provide the full horrifying experience. Many visitors have called it a must-see Halloween attraction, especially if you want something more heart-dropping.

As you can see, there is no shortage of Halloween events in and around the Main Line. Even in a pandemic, you can make the most of this glorious season.