Black restaurant week, fall foliage by train, celebrating Latin heritage in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

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(Syntheticmessiah/BigStock)

(Syntheticmessiah/BigStock)

This week restaurants are the focus along with fall scenery. COVID-19 mandates remain in place everywhere so keep in mind reservations are required for most events, venues and restaurants. It means advance planning, but consider that what we lose in spontaneity is gained in safety.

Training fall

The West Chester Railroad is a tourist train that runs several holiday-themed rides including ones for Halloween and Christmas. Their Fall Foliage Express route runs through Nov. 8. Trains originate from the Market Street station in West Chester on the way to Glen Mills, Pa. This ride allows patrons the time to truly appreciate the wealth of gorgeously changing leaves that make fall so picturesque in the Delaware Valley. COVID-19 protocols include mandatory masks and trains operating at 50% capacity. Advance tickets are required.

Fall Foliage Express
West Chester Railroad, 230 E. Market St. West
West Chester, Pa.
Saturdays, noon, 2 p.m. $15, $17.

Virtual culture

Some weekends are best spent on the couch. If this weekend happens to be one of them for you, there are a number of virtual events on tap. The Delaware Art Museum celebrates Korean culture with the Korean Festival through Oct. 31. The festival is on demand (and you can watch the video below). Penn Museum’s CultureFest Día de los Muertos has ten events scheduled, including a virtual trip to Mexico, a tutorial on creating an ofrenda, or Day of the Dead altar, and a cooking workshop through Oct. 27. And if your weekend includes children, Drexel University’s Academy of Natural Sciences presents their annual Paleopalooza online. Via Zoom, Facebook Live and the academy’s website, you and the kids can interact with paleontologists, learn more about dinosaurs and work on dinosaur-related projects from home. Saturday, Oct. 17 – Sunday, Oct. 25. Free with advance registration, one event is pay-as-you wish.

Mix it up

Before the pandemic changed our world, artisanal cocktails were having a moment. Now, you can create your own moments with the help of the mixologists at Powel House, who are hosting a socially-distanced Cocktail Kit and Workshop series. It’s part of Art in the Age and each ticket for two comes with the supplies you need to craft your own cocktail as well as spirits you can take with you. The workshops will take place in the Powel House’s rear garden and cocktail kits must be pre-ordered for pickup on site the day of the event.

AITA Cocktail Kit and Workshop
Powel House 116 N. 3rd St.
Tuesdays, Oct. 20, Oct. 27, 5 p.m. $125

Two spooky

Historic Philadelphia is gearing up for Halloween although it’s still two weeks away. They’re offering a Spooky Twosome, where one ticket gives you access to two events – mini-golf at Franklin Square with a course that’s been specially decorated for the holiday, and a Spooky Twilight tour at the Betsy Ross House that promises true tales of smallpox and yellow fever epidemics of the past. Although that hits a little close to home for contemporary Philadelphians, consider that your story may, too, become a part of history.

Spooky Twosome
Franklin Square Mini-Golf
200 N. 6th, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.,

Betsy Ross House
239 Arch St.,
6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Fridays through Oct. 30, 6 – $17, $19.

Foodie’s choice

The Delaware Valley has long enjoyed a reputation for great restaurants. Unfortunately, the pandemic first prohibited eating out, then limited it. But restaurateurs are hardy folks and they scrambled to provide alternate dining options, first with takeout, delivery and curbside pickup, then with expanded outdoor dining options. Collingswood, N.J.’s Restaurant Week includes a curbside meal kit with ingredients from its ten participating restaurants for patrons to cook at home, as well as indoors and outdoors dining. Philadelphia’s Black Restaurant Week showcases Black-owned restaurants featuring cuisines that go beyond traditional soul food, from Mediterranean to vegan.

Collingswood Restaurant Week
Sunday, Oct. 18, Friday, Oct. 23.

Black Restaurant Week
 Friday. Oct. 16 – Sunday, Oct. 25.

Embrace the harvest

East Passyunk is enjoying the season with a 10-day Harvest Celebration that incorporates the strip’s shopping and restaurants. The Celebration includes discounted dining on seasonal dishes (think lots of pumpkin-based foods) drinks and desserts, as well as specials at the neighborhood’s retail outlets. That includes fall décor Halloween-themed book bundles, and even Halloween costumes for your canine compadres.

Harvest Celebration
East Passyunk Ave.
Friday, Oct. 16 – Sunday, Oct. 25.

Straw man view

Looking for a straw man argument? Head to Morris Arboretum where the 13th annual Scarecrow Walk is underway. Fifty scarecrows dressed in fanciful outfits are on display and you can walk the grounds to see them and vote on the best-dressed. The top three vote-getters will be awarded prizes. Timed tickets must be reserved in advance.

Scarecrow Walk
Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave.
through Nov. 1. Times based on availability, advance tickets required.

Keep checking in with “Things To Do” as we continue to provide our picks for entertainment during the industry’s COVID-19 hiatus. Please consult our coronavirus updates to keep up with the latest information regionally.

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