10 Artsy Things To Do In Philadelphia This Fall

The City of Brotherly Love has a great arts scene. After Labor Day there is a run of things to do in Philadelphia that explore the city’s creative side. There is something fun scheduled during every week in September and October this year.

Some of these events are annual fall festivals. The Haverford Music Festival and Philadelphia Film Festival are cool local attractions. Others, like the Keystone Comic Con and Parkway 100 bash are unique to 2018. The Cherry Street Pier is a brand new attraction that is set to be a staple of the Philly arts scene for years.

“I guess I have to face the fact as real,

I think I feel my back up against the wall,

I’m gonna spend another Fall in Philadelphia.” – Hall & Oates, “Fall In Philadelphia”

Artsy Things To Do In Philadelphia This Fall

Philadelphia Fringe Festival (September 6 – 23) – The annual contemporary arts festival takes place in different neighborhoods across the region. Fringe performances include short films, comedy, dance, visual art, spoken word, and music.

Fringe Festival Is One Of Many Things To Do In Philadelphia This Fall

The Fringe Festival showcases over 1,000 independently produced performances. Local, national, and international artists are included in the lineup. The Women’s Film Festival’s Animation Nation event on September 12 is also considered to be part of the Fringe Festival.

There are ten locations for the event. Bryn Mawr College is the only suburban spot. Prime venues include the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fringe Arts building on Columbus Boulevard.

For more information about the Fringe Festival, check out this comprehensive guide.


Haverford Music Festival (September 8) – The eighth edition of the annual fall event boasts 30 bands on four different stages. The Haverford Music Festival is headlined by John Paul White (The Civil Wars) and Canadian band Sloan. Cliff Hillis, Pi Power Trio, and Lilly & Madeline are among the other acts scheduled to play that day.

Admission to the festival is free, although donations are encouraged. The event is a fundraiser for the Haverford Township Civic Council. The festival starts at noon and runs until 9:30 PM. All four stages are located near the Oakmont School in Havertown.

Click here for more information about the Haverford music festival.


Open Screen Monday (September 10, October 1, November 5, December 3) – The Bryn Mawr Film Institute has an open invitation to Philadelphia-area filmmakers to screen their short films for free on select Monday nights. Each of the movies runs under ten minutes. The monthly event runs from 9:15 PM to 11:00 PM.

For cat lovers: Bryn Mawr Film Institute is also screening two programs of the NY Cat Film Festival on October 20.

For theater fans: Several London performances of William Shakespeare productions are being live streamed at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute throughout 2018.  You can find BMFI’s schedule here.


Keystone Comic Con (September 14 – 16) – A true pop-culture event featuring celebrities from Lord of the Rings, Batman: The Animated Series, and Sin City arrives in Philadelphia this fall. Andy Serkis, Frank Miller, Anna Paquin, Kevin Conroy, and Joe Manganiello are among the celebrities who are scheduled to appear at Keystone Comic Con.

Fans of The Office can see a reunion of the beloved sitcom’s cast. Angela Kinsey, Catherine Tate, Brian Baumgartner, Creed Bratton, Leslie David Baker, and Oscar Nunez will all be at the Keystone Comic Con.

The first-year event takes place at the Philadelphia Convention Center. General admission tickets begin at $35. Three-day passes are $75. There are also premium and VIP ticket packages that guarantee reservations at up to three panels.

Click here for the full list of Keystone Comic Con guests.


Outlaw Music Festival (September 15) – Of all the things to do in Philadelphia this fall, none represent a better bargain for music fans than the Outlaw Music Festival. The traveling concert festival lands at Camden’s BB&T Pavilion in September. Willie Nelson, Van Morrison, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Lukas Nelson + Promise of the Real, Greensky Bluegrass, and Particle Kid are slated to appear.

The Outlaw Music Festival Is One Of The Most Afforidable Things To Do In Philadelphia This Fall

Despite its high-end lineup, the festival is surprisingly affordable. Lawn tickets to the Outlaw Music Festival are only $18.* You can also sit in the nether regions of the BB&T Pavilion for just $20*

*Plus ticket fees.


Philly Music Fest (September 27-30) – This is a premium event for the Adult Alternative listening crowd. The non-profit Philly Music Fest features great bands that are regularly played on WXPN. Waxahatchee, Low Cut Connie, The Districts, Vita and the Wolf, Eric Wortham II, and Justin Faulkner are among the scheduled acts.

The festival encourages locals to support Philadelphia musicians. It also raises money for area music programs.

The three-day event takes place at Johnny Brenda’s, World Café Live, and Milkboy. The Philly Music Fest is a good deal for fans. Ticket prices range from $15-30. Local craft beer, chefs, and visual artists will also bolster the event’s Philly flavor.

You can find the full artist roster and event schedule here.


Cherry Street Pier (Beginning October 12) – This is a brand new space on the Delaware River Waterfront. The pier was built in 1919 and has been renovated as a space for artists to create, educate, and showcase their work.

The Cherry Street Pier will initially include artists who specialize in photography, moving imagery, fiber, theater, sculpture and poetry.

An artist rendering of the Cherry Street Pier.
An artist rendering of the Cherry Street Pier. Source: delawareriverwaterfront.com

The facility opens on October 12. In addition to the current group of artists, there will be an open-air market, a performance space, and casual dining. There will also be an art exhibition area. The Cherry Street Pier looks like the next must-visit spot in Philly (especially during the summer and fall).


Design Philadelphia (October 4 – 13) – An annual event that celebrates the region’s creativity, Design Philadelphia hosts panel discussions, signings, fashion shows, classes, and interactive workshops.

While there are mostly indoor open house events throughout the city, some outdoor events are scheduled for Design Philadelphia as well. Chestnut Hill’s Night Of Lights is slated for October 5. The family-friend #DPKidsFest takes place at Smith Playground on October 6.

Design Philadelphia is in its thirteenth year. It officially begins with a launch party on October 3 at BOK Bar.

Click here for the Design Philadelphia event map and schedule.


Philadelphia Film Festival (October 18 – 28) – The 27th Philadelphia Film Festival has yet to release their schedule, but the coming promise of Oscar season makes this year’s event enticing.

Screenings of popular and independent films take place at the Roxy Theater and Prince Theater in Center City. The event is hosted by the Philadelphia Film Society, whose advisory board includes actress Aubrey Plaza and director Adam McKay.

The Philadelphia Film Festival Is Another Great Thing To Do In Philadelphia This Fall

Films screened at the 2017 Philadelphia Film Festival included I, Tonya, Chappaquiddick, Lady Bird, and The Florida Project.


Parkway 100 (October 26) – Fall 2018 concludes with a big bash at the end of October. The yearlong celebration of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s centennial began last year, but wraps with a massive evening block-party on October 26.

The Parkway Soirée lasts from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM. The event will have indoor and outdoor options that showcase the Parkway. Different museums along the Parkway are offering special events and extended hours on October 26. The Mütter Museum and Eastern State Penitentiary also offer Halloween-themed events on the same night.

Food trucks, live music, and roving entertainers will bolster the affair. A 14-piece brass orchestra and Ballet X are among the advertised performers for the Parkway Soirée.

Philadelphia photo courtesy of Pixabay. 


6 thoughts on “10 Artsy Things To Do In Philadelphia This Fall

Add yours

    1. Welcome to Philly! The fall is a great season in Philadelphia. There are a ton of events and it is the best time to become familiar with the city.


    1. Thanks for reading… The fall is the best time to visit Philadelphia, but if you live on the East Coast you might be able to catch Outlaw in different cities (they have a few different stops left).



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