37 Fun Fall Activities to Do with Philly Kids
Fall foliage, cooler temperatures, and doorways decorated in cornstalks and gourds create a welcome change from summer throughout Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley. As autumn settles into the region, Philly families anticipate traditions they know and love, including day trips to nearby corn mazes and hay rides, apple or pumpkin picking, and plenty more.
These are among our favorite fall activities, even in this era of COVID. This year, Mommy Poppins Philadelphia has rounded up the classics as well as some new ideas. Families can expect mask wearing and social distancing at these Philly-area day trip destinations, and some might require advance or timed ticketing. Savor this time of year by enjoying the activities on our list.
Don't forget to review our comprehensive Fall Activity Guide for Philadelphia Kids and create a customized bucket list of fun for your family. For even more ideas, browse our ultimate Philly bucket list, 100 Things To Do in Philly with Kids Before They Grow Up.
Fun Fall Activities for Philly Families and Kids
1. Bake an apple pie from scratch with fruits picked at one of the area's orchards or farms.
2. Spend the afternoon playing in the cool, autumn air at a local park or playground.
3. Explore covered bridges throughout Bucks County in a self-guided driving tour.
4. Climb onto a (pretend) zebra or dragon and take a spin at Franklin Square's Parx Liberty Carousel.
5. Get lost in a corn maze at a local farm.
6. Let imaginations take flight for a few hours at the American Helicopter Museum.
Ride the Great Pumpkin Train to the perfect patch. Photo courtesy of Delaware River Railroad Excursions
7. Admire the colors of autumn and pick up a pumpkin with a ride on the Great Pumpkin Train.
8. Ride the amusements at Sesame Place and see the fall decorations.
9. Create fall family traditions at Linvilla Orchards with a hayride to the Witch's House.
10. Scurry into the Canopy Cathedral Treehouse at Longwood Gardens to get a view of the changing fall foliage.
11. Take a trip back in time at the Pennsaylvania Renaissance Faire.
12. Enjoy the changing colors of the season at these some great foliage viewing spots.
13. Discover the beauty of the trails found in local Pennsylvania State Parks.
14. Bring a scarecrow to life at Peddler's Village and then view all of the creations on display and vote for your fave.
15. Escape to the outdoors with an autumn camping trip. There are dozens of great camping destinations in and around Philly. Some seasons extend into late October.
17. Learn about the art of oral storytelling with the help of Griot Tales Saturdays presented by The African American Museum in Philadelphia in conjunction with Franklin Square and Keepers of the Culture.
18. See all of the beauty Pennsylvania has to offer while hiking by a nearby waterfall.
19. Pay a visit to the animals on the farm or at the zoo.
20. Pack up the car with the kids and take in a family-friendly drive-in movie.
Harken back to the darkest days of the Revolution at Valley Forge National Historic Park. Photo by Jonathan Kolbe, courtesy of Valley Forge
21. Journey back to Colonial days with a visit to Valley Forge National Historical Park and learn about the Revolutionary War.
23. While you're there, play some mini-golf in the shadow of America's historical landmarks in Franklin Square.
24. Discover the wonders of our natural world at Awbury Arboretum.
25. Plan a family-friendly weekend getaway. Some of our favorites destinations include Gettysburg, the Poconos, Lancaster, and Cape May. N.J.
26. Take a kid-friendly hike through a local park to glimpse the changing leaves. There are some legendary hiking trails an hour or less from Philly.
27. Sample the delicious autumn specialty foods at Reading Terminal Market.
28. Is your kid a doodler? Take a trip to Crayola Experience Pennsylvania in nearby Easton, where social distancing guidelines are in place.
29. Less than 60 miles from Center City is a storybook play land for preschoolers. That's right, Storybook Land is just a short hop along the Atlantic City Expressway. Ride the Happy Hayride to pick a pumpkin.
30. While trick-or-treating might be different this year, the Philly area's Halloween destinations, including Hersheypark, Dutch Wonderland, and Six Flags, remain open for seasonal fun with social distancing protocols in place.
31. Sign up for a horseback riding lesson. There are stables in Lafayette, Berwyn, West Chester, and even Philly itself.
Find the perfect autumn gourd in the Philly area. Photo by Christine Mooney of Mommy Poppins
32. Find the perfect pumpkin in the patch and carve a scary or silly face to make a fall decoration.
33. Pack a picnic lunch and visit a new lunchtime spot.
34. Take an outdoor class for fun. Discover yoga, horseback riding, tennis, martial arts, and more.
35. Get spooked on a tour of the nation's most infamous prison, the Eastern State Penitentiary, which once housed some of America's most notorious criminals.
36. Observe the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment with a virtual tour of Votes for Women: A Visual History.
37. Marvel at the simplicity of Amish life with a visit to The Amish Farm and House.
This post was originally published in Sept. 2015 and has been updated for 2020.