Witches and Wizards Weekend: Free and Affordable Fun Things to Do in, Around and Outside Philly for Oct. 18 to 20

We have you covered for free or affordable fun this weekend from the shore to the suburbs

Philadelphia and its surrounding counties always have something going on. Halloween is fast approaching and the witches, wizards and boos at the zoo have arrived! Boo at the Zoo, Chestnut Hill’s Witches and Wizards Weekend, a Halloween parade and dance party and more fall fun is all taking place this weekend. We’ve found the top free (and affordable) things to do this weekend, Oct. 18 to 20, in Philly and New Jersey.

Halloween shopping is in full swing. As you search for the perfect costume, NBC10 Responds and Erin Coleman have tips for avoiding a fright at the cash register.

What: Boo at the Zoo

For three weekends in October, "America's first zoo" becomes a Halloween haven with hay mazes, trick-or-treating and more. Kids are encouraged to wear Halloween attire!

Where: Philadelphia Zoo, 34th Street and Girard Avenue, Philadelphia

When:  through Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: Included with zoo admission

What: Witches and Wizards Weekend

This two-day event is filled with wizardry with straw mazes, scavenger hunts, pub crawls and more

Where: Various locations in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia

When: Friday and Saturday

Cost: Free to attend

Chestnut Hill’s Witches and Wizards Festival begins Friday night and features themed shops, circus performers, a straw maze and a Quidditch tournament.

What: Philadelphia Film Festival

Enjoy 11 days and more than 100 films at this annual festival that showcases a variety of filmmakers.

Where: Various locations

When: through Oct. 27

Cost: $15

What: Halloween Parade and Family Dancy Party

Check out the costumes, floats, music, mascots and more at the parade and then enjoy a dance party in the street.

Where: Landis Avenue between 45th and JFK Blvd., Sea Isle City, NJ

When: Friday from 7 to 9 p.m.

Cost: Free

What:  Fabulous 50s and Beyond Celebration

Enjoy a 50s-themed dance party on Friday night and then a street festival with classic cars, crafts, live music, food and more on Saturday.

Where: Wildwoods Convention Center and Fox Park, 4501 Boardwalk, Wildwood NJ

When: Friday from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Cost: $16 for dance party, free street festival

What: Reading Terminal Market's Harvest Festival

Taste the fall flavors of the area as the street outside the iconic Reading Terminal Market is transformed into and urban farm and market. There will be hay rides, arts and crafts, live music and plenty of food to eat.

Where: Outside the market on the 1100 block of Filbert Street, Philadelphia, PA

When: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: Free

What: Oktoberfest

The Independence Seaport Museum will celebrate Oktoberfest with German dancing, German beer, light fare and more. Tickets include admission to the museum and performance.

Where: Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia

When: Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m.

Cost: $18 for adults, $14 for children

What: Bonfire on the Beach

Enjoy a bonfire on the beach with live entertainment, food and fun under the stars

Where: 1st and Surf Avenue, North Wildwood, NJ

When: Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m.

Cost: $10, children under 12 are $2

What: Pumpkin Festival

Celebrate all things fall with food, music, pumpkin painting and more.

Where: Historic Cold Spring Village, 720 Route 9 S., Cape May, NJ

When: Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: Free

What: Indoor Antique & Vintage Market

Find that special something at the indoor flea market brought to you by Phila Flea Markets.

Where: Cherry Street Pier No. 9, 121 N Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 

When: Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free, but bring that cash to buy something

What: Philadelphia Open Studio Tours

Check out the studios of Philadelphia’s most talented artists at this two-weekend event. See what they are working on in a variety of mediums.

Where: Various locations

When Saturday and Sunday

Cost: Free

What: AIDS Walk Philly

Participate in this walk/run to support zero new HIV/AIDS infections, deaths and stigma.

Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art steps, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

When: Sunday from 7 to 10:30 a.m.

Cost: Free to watch

What: Find Your 'Happy Place'

The Happy Place is a bright, interactive, immersive and Instagram-ready pop-up exhibition featuring themed rooms, including a "Pot of Happiness" ball pit.

Where: King of Prussia Mall, upper level of the Plaza between Dick's Sporting Goods and H&M, 160 N. Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA

When: through Jan. 5

Cost: $30 for adults, $20 for children, free for 3 and under

The Happy Place is an Instagram-ready limited time experience at the King of Prussia Mall. NBC10’s Miguel Martinez-Valle got a preview Friday.

What: Jack’s Pumpkin Glow

Numerous hand-carved pumpkins will illuminate Fairmount Park. Marvel at the artistic pumpkins and get inspired to create your own at home.

Where: West Fairmount Park, 5201 Parkside Avenue, Philadelphia

When: through Nov. 3

Cost: $23 for adults

What: Ghost Ship Hologram

A 90-foot-tall "ghost ship" will be projected docked along the Delaware River near the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

Where: Race Street Pier, N Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA

When: Wednesdays through Sundays from 7 to 10 p.m. through Nov. 3

Cost: Free

You will soon see a difference below the Benjamin Franklin Bridge as a ghost ship hovers over the water just in time for Halloween.

What: Mural Arts Month

Stroll the streets of Philadelphia or take a trolley tour this month and explore Philadelphia’s many artworks and the positive impact the program has had on the city.

Where: Varies locations

When: October

What: LGBT History Month

Throughout October there will be events and festivals celebrating the LGBT community.

Where: Varies locations

When: October

What: Blooms and Bamboo

This new exhibit brings bamboo art and bamboo installations to the conservatory. 

Where: Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, Pa.

When: through Nov. 17

Cost: Varies

WhatTerror Behind the Walls

One of the country’s most popular Halloween attractions returns with more creepy zombies and ghosts that pop out as you explore the abandoned halls of this former penitentiary.

Where: Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia

When: Friday through Nov. 19 on select dates and times

Cost: Varies

What: PHS Pop Up Garden

Throughout the summer this garden will host creative events, planet exchanges, arts and crafts for the kids and flower crown Fridays.

Where: 15th and South Street, Philadelphia

When: Open through October, Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 2 p.m. to midnight and on Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.

Cost: Free to enter

What: Dinosaurs Around the World

Visit with dozens of animatronic dinosaurs as you discover and learn about things like volcano activity and fossils.

Where: The Academy of Natural Sciences

When: Through Jan. 20

Cost: From $7 in addition to general admission 

The Dinosaurs Around the World exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is now open for all ages.
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