Weekend Planner: October 17, 2014


Top Picks for This Weekend

Do you solemnly swear that you’re up to no good? Bring the family to Hogsmeade — the transformed Chestnut Hill, PA — for the Harry Potter Festival. The fun begins Fri. night, but the real magic sets in Sat. with a live wizard chess tournament, Quidditch practice, spell writing lessons, potions quizzes, Sorting Hat demos, Defense Against the Dark Arts classes, herbology tours, fortune telling, a themed straw maze, Knight Bus trolley rides and a Quidditch tournament. Don’t forget to wear your dress robes and wield your wands!

Don your best ’50s attire and climb aboard the Wilmington & Western Railroad’s Murder Mystery Trains Fri. for an old-fashioned whodunit. Inspired by the likes of Nancy Drew, this family-friendly, interactive, comedy mystery asks passengers to help two girl detectives piece together clues to determine “The Case of the Shaken, Rattled and Rolled Reporter.” Think you’ve got what it takes to suss out the truth?

Celebrate Halloween a few weeks early during Shiverfest at Gladwyne, PA’s Riverbend Environmental Education Center Sat. This one-night-only, “slightly spooky but always friendly” festival keeps all ages — no matter the scare threshold — entertained with pumpkin decorating, campfires, storytelling, ghostly stargazing, a trick-or-treat trail, reptile show, moon bounce, pony rides and, for those brave enough to walk it, the infamous Haunted Trail.


More Local Events the Kids Will Love

Find art for all ages at the Barnes Foundation in Philly this weekend. Kids get hands-on with cubism during the FREE ARTSee Activities: Picturing Picasso Fri.-Sun. and tweens & teens get a dose of the scary season during the Gore Tour Fri.

Join best-selling author Andrew Solomon for the Devereux Family Resilience Conference, complete with interactive workshops, at St. Joseph’s University in Philly Sat.

Philly’s Queen Village Art Center and the Mural Arts Program teamed up for the FREE Fall Arts Festival Sun. where families take to the streets for creative, mural-themed art stations, demos and food trucks.

Get a dose of the holidays to come by a previewing the International Ballet Classique’s Nutcracker ballet and decorating your own take-home pointe shoe during the FREE Family Arts Academy Program at PAFA in Philly Sun.

Parents enjoy snacks in the galleries while kids create masks and candy-included treat bags, one for themselves and one for a child in Bryn Mawr Hospital, during the Family Happy Hour & Make, Give & Take Workshop at Haverford, PA’s Main Line Art Center Sat.

Mini firefighters enjoy themed demos, contests and kids’ events during the FREE Fireman’s Hall Museum Fire Safety Exposition and Muster at the Philadelphia Fire Academy Sun.

Philly’s Filbert Street in is transformed into an urban farm with hay bales, cornstalks, tractor hayrides, live music and a pumpkin patch for Reading Terminal Market’s Harvest Festival Sat.

Come face-to-face with an ancient mummy, conquer an Indiana Jones-worthy obstacle course, play the “What in the World” game show and decorate your own tomb walls at Penn Museum’s International Archaeology Day Sat. in Philly.

Do-si-do the night away during the Square Dancing Family Night Out at Elmer, NJ’s Appel Farm Arts & Music Center Fri.

Introduce the whole family to farm-themed fun during the World’s Greatest Farmer Showdown at Collegeville, PA’s Longview Center for Agriculture Sun., when they play showdown games, join in “lost arts” workshops and meet-and-greet alpacas.

Looking for some Halloween fun this weekend? Check out these boo-tiful events:

            Pennypacker MillsAll Hallow’s Eve Fall Festival, Sat. in Schwenksville, PA

            Tabora Farm & Orchard’s Fall Festival, Sat. & Sun. in Chalfont, PA

            Old Swedes Church’s Ghosts in the Graveyard, Sat. in Wilmington, DE

            Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy’s Halloween Night Hike,
            Fri. & Sat. in Schwenksville, PA

            Norristown Farm Park’s Park in the Dark!, Fri. in E. Norriton, PA

            Tyler Arboretum’s Pumpkin Days Celebration, Sat. & Sun. in Media, PA

            Historic Cold Spring Village’s FREE Pumpkin Festival, Sat. in Cape May, NJ         

            Mood’s Farm Market’s Pumpkin Painting, Sun. in Mullica Hill, NJ



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