Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Jul 9 2009

23 Reasons To Visit Philadelphia And The Countryside® In Fall 2009

Mark The Calendar For Princess Diana, Jim Henson, Halloween, Philadelphia Marathon And The Thanksgiving Day Parade

As summer’s high temperatures subside and leaves turn red, orange and yellow, Philadelphia and The Countryside® welcomes autumn with special exhibitions, Halloween haunts and all-ages annual events. Princess Diana, Jim Henson, Henri Matisse, George Washington Carver and Barkley L. Hendricks lead the lineup, which also includes Body Worlds 2 at The Franklin Institute Science Museum, tattoos galore at the Independence Seaport Museum, Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls, fall festivals and much more.

Fall Into A Philadelphia Hotel:
As part of the new With Love, Philadelphia XOXO™ campaign, fall-loving visitors who book one of the 80 featured packages on will receive a special gift at check-in. The giveaway includes a Philadelphia Privileges coupon book, a Dining Guide that gives hotel guests a pass to exclusive prix-fixe menus around the city, a five-pack of With Love postcards, a With Love pin and Philly Fill-Ins word games, along with other brochures, coupons and maps. Soon, it will also include the Official Philly Brag Book, featuring 200 reasons to love the Philadelphia region. After checking the Web site, visitors can book their selected packages online or by calling the hotel directly.

Here are some of the events making the Philadelphia region a great destination for a fun fall getaway:

Historic And Scientific Events:

  • Diana: A Celebration, a 10,000-square-foot National Constitution Center exhibition, showcases the life and work of the popular princess of Wales. Royals and commoners alike can explore Diana’s childhood, her engagement to Prince Charles, her lavish royal wedding, her children and her works as a global humanitarian. October 2-January 3. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700,
  • Visitors to The Franklin Institute can uncover the incredible intricacies of human anatomy during Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds 2 & The Brain. More than 200 specimens, including 20 whole bodies, healthy and unhealthy organs and body sections, provide an unprecedented view inside the human body. And the “The Three Pound Gem” feature delves into the mysterious world of the brain. October 17, 2009-April 18, 2010. 222 N. 20th Street, (215) 448-1200,
  • Born into slavery, George Washington Carver devoted his life to science, education and humanitarian efforts. Videos, hands-on activities and more than 150 artifacts at The Academy of Natural Sciences guide visitors through the life and work of this visionary. November 14, 2009-February 28, 2010. 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 299-1000,

The Arts, From Matisse To Kermit:

  • Including approximately 35 paintings and sculptures, Matisse and Modern Art on the French Riviera at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Perelman Building celebrates the French Riviera’s mythic allure for modern artists. Museum-goers experience the dazzling optical effects of the sun-drenched coastline—all without leaving the country. Through October 25. Fairmount & Pennsylvania Avenues, (215) 763-8100,
  • The Independence Seaport Museum presents Skin & Bones – Tattoos in the Life of the American Sailor, a new and original exhibition using historical and contemporary images, objects and tattoos to illustrate sailors’ stories and recount the meaning of their tattoos and the belief in their power to protect sailors at sea. Through January 3, 2010. Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street, (215) 413-8655,
  • Jim Henson’s Fantastic World at the James A. Michener Art Museum documents the beloved figure’s process of visual thinking through works of art, photographs, documents, puppets and film and video clips. September 12-November 29. 138 Pine Street, Doylestown, (215) 340-9800,
  • During the 10th annual Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, or “Post” to locals, visitors can look into the workshops of local artists across all mediums in neighborhoods throughout the city. October 3-4, 10-11. (215) 546-7775,
  • Barkley Hendricks’ strong and powerful images created a whole new level of cool. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts presents Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool, which includes 57 stunning works by the trendsetting Civil Rights-era artist who set the standard for hip, in-your-face images that celebrate the beauty and complexity of black identity. October 17, 2009-January 3, 2010. 118-128 N. Broad Street, (215) 972-7600,
  • It’s all about me at the First Person Festival of Memoir and Documentary Art, the only event in the nation dedicated to artistic creation based on real-life experiences. The multidisciplinary festival features performance art, experiential tours, visual art exhibitions, concerts, film screenings and more at The Painted Bride Art Center. November 4-8. 230 Vine Street, (267) 402-2055,

Stylish Happenings:

  • DesignPhiladelphia marks year five with a week-long celebration that includes more than 110 events and 450 designers focused on all-things, well, design. Venues throughout the city host exhibits, workshops, studio tours, lectures, runway shows and more. Among this year’s most noteworthy events: the redevelopment of an urban lot into a community park and a walking dinner tour that highlights good eats along with interesting design and architecture. October 7-13.
  • The first-ever Philadelphia Fashion Week hits the 23rd Street Armory and features the work of student, local and national designers sold in shops throughout Greater Philadelphia. Throughout the event, visitors will be treated to at least 15 runway shows showcasing 2009 holiday fashions and 2010 spring lines, musical performances, 12 pop-up boutiques, food, drink and more. October 8-10. 23rd Street between Market & Chestnut Streets,

Halloween All Month Long:

  • A free family favorite, the 31st annual Scarecrow Festival at Peddler’s Village celebrates the season with scarecrow displays, pumpkin-painting workshops and pie-eating contests. September 12-13. Routes 202 & 263, Lahaska, (215) 794-4000,
  • True thrill-seekers celebrate the Halloween season at Eastern State Penitentiary with Terror Behind the Walls, a spooky haunted house inside an abandoned prison that once held notorious criminals like Al Capone. September 18-November 7. 22nd Street & Fairmount Avenue, (215) 236-3300,
  • Miniature ghosts and goblins can wear costumes, trick-or-treat throughout the park, watch Elmo’s Halloween show and take a hayride during The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place. Weekends, September 26-October 31. 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, (866) GO-4-ELMO,
  • The area’s creative crafters display their best scarecrows for Morris Arboretum’s Scarecrow Walk (October 3-18). After picking their favorites, visitors can catch the Great American Lighthouses-themed Garden Railway display (Through October 13) set against the backdrop of fabulous fall colors. 100 E. Northwestern Avenue, (215) 247-5777,
  • Historic Laurel Hill Cemetery can be unsettling even when programming doesn’t include happenings like Dead Men Do Tell Tales, the South Jersey Ghost Research presentation of paranormal investigations at Laurel Hill (October 10); Halloween flashlight tours (October 23-24, 30); or Fall Family Day, celebrating costumes and all-things Halloween (October 25). 3822 Ridge Avenue, (215) 228-8200,
  • The revitalized Franklin Square, one of Philadelphia’s original public parks, gets fun in a creepy sort of way in October with Spooky Mini Golf every Saturday and Sunday night, scary storytelling and pumpkin decorating (October 10, 17) and a trick-or-treat trail (October 24, 31). 6th & Race Streets, (215) 629-4026,
  • The Philadelphia Zoo calls all kids to Boo at the Zoo, a masquerade party and trick-or-treating extravaganza. And storytelling, face painting, games and music add to the fun. October 24-25. 3400 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 243-1100,

Annual Festivals, Parades And Runs:

  • Throughout Longwood Gardens’ Autumn’s Colors festival, monster pumpkins, unusual gourds, a garden railway and live entertainment convert the floral sanctuary into an autumnal wonderland. September 7-November 22. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, (610) 388-1000,
  • The 27th annual Philadelphia Shell Show and Festival at The Academy of Natural Sciences features exotic treasures of the seas on display and for sale. Visitors can shop and enjoy free shells, naturalist presentations and crafts for kids. October 10-11. 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 299-1000,
  • The free and fruity 38th annual Apple Festival at Peddler’s Village honors the healthy treat with old-fashioned country apple butter, apple cider, apple dumplings, apple fritters and caramel-dipped apples. November 7-8. Routes 202 & 263, Lahaska, (215) 794-4000,
  • With a fast course that winds through the city’s historic downtown, past the world-famous Philadelphia Museum of Art and along scenic Boathouse Row, the Philadelphia Marathon has been one of the country’s premier running events since 1994. November 22. (215) 683-2122,
  • The Channel 6 ABC/IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade travels down Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway and ends with the big man in red. November 26. (215) 581-4507,

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.

For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit or, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to Hear Philly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.

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Philadelphia And The Countryside® Calendar Of Events

Festivals, Exhibitions And Events In The Greater Philadelphia Region February 2018 Through February 2019

The Calendar of Events is organized as follows:

February 2018
March 2018
April 2018
May 2018
June 2018
July 2018
August 2018
September 2018
October 2018
November 2018
December 2018
January 2019
February 2019


Through February 2, 2018
The exhibition and walking tour in the always-free Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation) explores the life and afterlife of things and why (and how) we preserve them. (215) 925-2222,

Through February 4, 2018
The automotive industry’s latest creations are on a 700,000-square-foot display at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the showplace