Pennsylvania Wine Month, fun at the zoo, Philadelphia Film Festival and chrysanthemums abloom in this week’s ‘Things to Do’

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(Courtesy of PA Winery Association)

(Courtesy of PA Winery Association)

This week, a venerated Philadelphia festival pivots to a hybrid model for their annual event, Longwood Gardens’ flower fest is here, and zoos around the area highlight pre-Halloween activities for families as we head deeper into the altered, but still vibrant, fall events schedule.

Screen time

The 29th Philadelphia Film Festival, like many other annual events, had to find a way to alter their programming, which usually includes packed theaters, parties and panels. They found a solution by going to a hybrid model — most of the 100 films screening over the next 11 days are on-demand online. But a few are offered via Philadelphia Film Society’s popular drive-in series at the Navy Yard. This year’s highlights include two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand’s latest star turn, “Nomadland” and actress/director Regina King’s highly anticipated feature film debut “One Night in Miami.” As with the regular festival, screening tickets can be purchased for the entire festival or per film, though marquee showings at the Navy Yard are ticketed separately. Festival films are on Cinesend, available through your web browsers on a computer, tablet or phone. You can also view them on Roku or Apple TV with the PFF app.

Philadelphia Film Festival
virtual/Navy Yard
Oct. 23 – Nov. 2, $15 – $300

Justice for all

The Social Justice Now film festival, also a hybrid festival out of Los Angeles, continues through the weekend with a slate of free, on-demand films, panels and discussions that encompass the fight for equality across several fronts. Actor Michael B. Jordan and Black Lives Matter co-Founder Opal Tometi are co-ambassadors for the festival. Feature film screenings include “The Obituary of Tunde Johnson” one of the most talked-about films at Toronto International Film Festival in 2019, “Riding With Sugar” and documentaries including “SNCC” the story of the social justice group told through the photos of Danny Lyon, and “Us Kids” about student activism in the wake of the Parkland High School shooting.

Social Justice Now Film Festival
virtual, free, through Oct. 25

Wine time

It’s Pennsylvania Wine Month during the duration of October and that means that local wineries are rolling out discounts and hosting special events. Everything from yoga and mimosas to Halloween costume parties is on the schedule at varying wineries around the state. With 300+ wineries to choose from, you can either select the event that interests you most or create your own itinerary. Due to changing COVID protocols, the Pennsylvania wine website strongly recommends that you call ahead, not just reserve an event through the individual winery website, but call first to make sure of any new restrictions or rescheduling.

Pennsylvania Wine Month
through Oct. 31, various venues, prices.

A taste of the Caribbean

If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the Caribbean, Taste the Islands Philly month will bring the Caribbean to you by virtue of the 16 participating restaurants that specialize in island cuisine. Eateries include Upper Darby’s Carib Grill, Talk of the Town and 48th Street Grille.

Taste the Islands Philly
various venues, prices, through Oct. 30

Mum’s the word

Nothing says fall more than the colorful chrysanthemums that show up in landscape displays and on porches to herald the season. Longwood Gardens gives them their due during the annual Chrysanthemum Festival which begins today. The garden’s four acres will showcase the flower with the Thousand Bloom Mum created from one plant stem as the featured attraction.

Chrysanthemum Festival
Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square, Pa.,
Oct. 22 – Nov. 15, free with garden admission, which ranges from $13 – $25.

Boo zoo

While there are some legitimate concerns about trick-or-treating during this Halloween season, two of the area’s zoos are using their sizable spaces to offer some safer alternatives for parents. The Philadelphia Zoo’s annual “Boo at the Zoo” event, which welcomes kids in costumes and provides candy bags at the visit’s end, goes through Sunday, Nov. 1. Elmwood Park Zoo’s “Trick or Treat Nights” include a carousel ride and animal meet-and-greets and happens through Oct. 31. And yes, you and the kids can come in costume, but make sure it has a mask as COVID protocols will be enforced.

“Boo At the Zoo,”
Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 West Girard Ave.
through Nov. 1, $20, various times

“Trick or Treat Nights”
Elmwood Park Zoo, 1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown, Pa.
$15, 2 adults free with purchase of a child’s ticket.

Food drive

Tailgating is out and the Eagles’ 2020 season has been disappointing so far, but that’s no reason to give up on the team… yet. Center City’s Misconduct Tavern locations are offering the Misconduct Party Pack for game days that includes two orders of chicken tenders, six cheeseburgers and two orders of chicken wings, along with six different sauces for your family or quarantine pod. You can also add on your adult beverage of choice including mixed drinks, wine, six packs and frozen drinks. They can’t guarantee an Eagles victory, but at least you have food and drink to help you through. The party pack is available for pickup seven days a week, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. at both the Logan Square and Rittenhouse locations.

Misconduct Tavern
1511 Locust St., 1801 John F. Kennedy Blvd.

Scary night up

As if it wasn’t scary enough, Treetop Quest in Fairmount Park has a Scary Night Climb scheduled for two nights for intrepid adventurers brave enough to do their aerial course in the dark. They’re advertising two hours on the course with just a headlamp and the moonlight to guide your way. Though Treeptop Quest is usually open to seven and up, tickets are limited to 18 and over for this event.

Scary Night Climb Treetop Quest Philly 
51 Chamounix Drive
Saturday, Oct. 24, Saturday, Oct. 31, 6:30 p.m., $45
(NOTE: This event may have sold out but you can also do Treetop Quest in the daytime, and keep checking back for potential cancellations.)

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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