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Where to Celebrate Halloween 2020 in Philly

Stock up on pop-up hoagies, candy bar-flavored gelato, and themed wine kits this holiday weekend

Daily Life in Philadelphia, PA Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

While Halloween may look a lot different in Philly this year, several local restaurants and establishment managed to conjure up themed takeout deals and socially-distanced happenings to observe the ghoulish holiday.

Halloween festivities are still permitted in Philadelphia this weekend, but city health officials are asking residents to adhere to safety guidelines to stem the spread of COVID-19. The Saturday, October 31 holiday falls at the end of the same week the state reported a scary spike in cases. On Tuesday, October 27, the Pennsylvania Department of Health had confirmed more than 2,750 additional positive cases — the biggest daily increase yet.

Instead of going trick-or-treating, recommended alternatives to celebrate the holiday safely include carving pumpkins, watching Halloween movies, or creating a “scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search” with family members at home. Those stuck on going door to door for candy should only go with members of their own household and stay as far away from the treat-giver as possible. And remember: costume masks aren’t substitutes for medical masks, adds public health officials.

Multiple cities across the country, including Austin, Dallas, Detroit, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, aren’t recommending trick-or-treating either. San Francisco also banned Halloween parties, festivals, and live events. Under current state and local guidelines, Halloween events in Philly are capped at 25 people inside and 150 people outside.

Here are a few ways to ring in Halloween around Philly:

La Llorona

1551 W. Passyunk Avenue

Snag a seat at Philly’s newest Mexican restaurant and agave bar for a Dia de Los Muertos-themed dinner on Friday, October 30. Costume contest winners will be rewarded with bottles of mezcal and dinner for two. Reservations are strictly required and social distancing will be enforced. A live mariachi band will go on at 7:30 p.m.

Philly River Stroll

Multiple locations

FCM Hospitality’s cluster of all-outdoor eateries and beer gardens along the Delaware River will close out its first season over Halloween weekend. The Garden at Cherry Street Pier plans to play up both Dia de los Muertos and Halloween (a kid-friendly fete on Saturday is already sold out), and the Water Garden at Spruce Street Harbor Park will serve warm cocktails on its barges.

It’s also last call for Parks on Tap’s gigantic FDR Park and Water Works outdoor locations this season. Hours are Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday noon to 10 p.m.

Chaddsford Winery

Multiple locations

Chadds Ford Township’s high-volume winery cancelled its big Halloween party for obvious reasons this year. Instead, it’s selling Adult Trick or Treat Wine Kits for adults ($49) at its winery or Peddler’s Village tasting room. The kit includes three best-selling fall wines with a suggested pairing guide to celebrate Halloween at home. Or, bring an included “passport” to West Chester businesses for a 10-percent discount on goods that go well with its wines (think: bourbon chocolate pecan pie and dark chocolate gelato).

Poi Dog x Musi

100 Morris Street

Center City’s dearly missed Hawaiian destination Poi Dog comes back from the dead on Halloween. It’s popping up at Musi BYOB, reviving beloved dishes like spicy ahi poke, spam cheesesteaks, and chocolate tahina bibingka ($6-$34).

Fiore Fine Foods

757 S. Front Street

For a creative candy fix, pre-order a couple of pints of Fiore Fine Foods’ gelato. The wood-fired Italian restaurant in Queen Village is offering special Halloween pints inspired by candy bars like 100 Grand, Junior Mints, Take 5, and Milky Way.

Hoagie Dom x Bloomsday

414 S 2nd Street

Honor Halloween like a true Philadelphian by biting into a hoagie. Hoagie Dom will be popping up at Headhouse Square’s beautiful all-day cafe Bloomsday for an afternoon of natural wine, meat and veggie hoagies, and sides (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.).

Linvilla Orchards

137 W Knowlton Road

The Media, Penn. farm’s beloved Pumpkinland extravaganza returns with 100 tons of orange gourds in all sizes on display and Jack-O-Lantern exhibits at nightfall. Guests can also stock up on caramel apples, fresh apple cider, and Linvilla’s famous pies at its market, along with brews made using products grown on the farm at the Ship Bottom Brewery Beer Garden. Timed tickets are required for some activities.

Nightmare Before Tinsel

116 S. 12th Street

While roving around Midtown Village’s mental hospital–themed pop-up sounds particularly nightmarish this year, get into the spooky spirit by grabbing “Blood Bag” and “Elvira” cocktails from its takeout window.