Things To Do: Scary-good times for Halloween, and some soulful musical options

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Three angel statues seen at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pa. (Image courtesy of Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery)

Three angel statues seen at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pa. (Image courtesy of Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery)

Halloween is on the horizon, bringing the promise of scary-good times. And while spooky events are in season, there are also some soulful musical options among this week’s “Things To Do.”

Halloween Hootenanny
Garden State Discovery Museum
2040 Springdale Rd.
Cherry Hill, N.J.
Friday, Oct. 25; 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
$5 – $20

This Halloween event includes inside trick-or-treat, outside trunk-or-treat, a costume contest, holiday-themed arts and crafts, and that ubiquitous kiddie favorite, a bounce house. Here are some other events suitable for kids during the Halloween season.

Terror Behind the Walls
Eastern State Penitentiary
2027 Fairmount Ave.
Through Saturday, Nov. 9
$24 and up

Pennsylvania is home to several of the nation’s top scary entertainment attractions, and Eastern State Penitentiary is one of them. Its annual “Terror Behind the Walls” attraction now features six experiences that take place in what is considered to be the first penitentiary of its kind in the world, including an After Dark VIP Tour that might feature the punishment cells and the prison operating room. All six attractions are included in the general admission price. If you’re not sure if you can handle the fear, take a look at the YouTube reviews, though some new attractions have been added this year.

Costume Parade
Linvilla Orchards
137 W. Knowlton Rd.
Media, Pa.
Sunday, Oct. 27; registration noon – 2 p.m., parade line-up 2:45 p.m.
Free with registration

Linvilla Orchards is one of the region’s most popular farms, judging by the weekend crowds this time of year for the annual Pumpkinland event. One of its highlights is the Costume Parade, where kids and their parents can get dressed up and claim the coveted grand prize. The top three winners in each category, which range from babies to families and groups, will receive prizes, and there is an overall grand prize of $100 in Linvilla cash. Every child who participates gets a treat. Check the Linvilla website to make sure the parade is going on if the forecast includes rain. While you’re at the orchards, try the pumpkin spice ice cream — it’s delicious.

Nightmare On the Schuylkill
Sunset Social (in the Cira Center South)
129 S. 30th St.
Saturday, Oct. 26; 8 p.m.
$29.95 – $49.95

A costume contest and bar crawl, Nightmare on the Schuylkill, includes three different locations with three different themes. Sideshow Carnival takes advantage of the Cira’s Center’s Sunset Social rooftop, Jungle Safari at Walnut Street Café has on-theme cocktails including “Into the Wild” and Stranger Things at the Post means you’ll be partying like it’s 1983, the era the Netflix TV show is set in. A $500 prize for Best Costume and a $1000 prize for Best Group Costume should provide the necessary motivation to find the most innovative outfits.

Soul Crawl: Haunted Halloween History Tours
Laurel Hill Cemetery
3822 Ridge Ave.
Friday, Oct. 25; Saturday, Oct. 26: 7 p.m.
$12.50 – $25, children 5 and under are free

Laurel Hill Cemetery hosts Halloween flashlight tours that lead visitors along its dark pathways, revealing both the historical and supernatural history associated with the burial ground. At the end, you can indulge in some refreshments, and if you’re 21 or over, a cocktail or two with festive fire pits as the backdrop. Comfortable, seasonally appropriate attire is a must, and it’s BYOF — bring your own flashlight.

Haunted Hops and Ghoulish Grub Fest
V & V Adventure Farm
1339 Old Indian Mills Rd.
Shamong, N.J.
Saturday, Oct. 26; 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

$5 – $20, children 2 and under free, tickets for Super Spooky Souvenir Package must be purchased online in advance, All other tickets purchased at the gate are cash-only.
V&V Adventure Farm is the location for a family-friendly day of fun in celebration of fall harvest season and Halloween. All its usual activities — rodeo roping, a corn maze, pedal karts — are included in the general admission price; certain other activities require tokens. Craft breweries, wineries, food trucks, and crafters will be there, with a “Ghastly Goblins” costume contest specifically for kids and a “Spooky Spirits” costume contest for adults on the schedule. Self-described “New Jersey party band” Stealing Savanah performs live music at noon, 2 and 4 p.m. For an additional fee, after-dark programming includes a zombie-themed hayride and a flashlight-carrying corn maze.

Fright Factory Philly
2200 S. Swanson St.
Through Nov. 2; Halloween night 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
$20 – $30

It’s not for the faint of heart and is described as a “high-startle” attraction, but if you can take it, the 120-year-old former factory warehouse transforms into the Fright Factory Philly for several weeks during the fall months. A haunted house takes advantage of the 25,000-square-foot space to scare the daylights out of those who dare to enter, but if you’re the kind of person who enjoys it, you’ll be fine. The attraction makes sure to note that there is both security and surveillance on the premises, but that it is not responsible for any physical or mental limitations you may have that might cause problems. Kids are allowed, but parents will need to be mindful of what their children can tolerate. There are emergency exits, but no refunds, so consider your own sensibilities as well.

Posing Beauty In African American Culture
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, Del.
Through Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020
Free with admission

African American images have been scrutinized, glorified, vilified and deified in popular culture. Philadelphia-born artist and scholar Deborah Willis, a former MacArthur fellow, curated the exhibit “Posing Beauty In African American Culture” to explore the multimedia imaging of African Americans and its impact on observers. There are several events scheduled in conjunction with the exhibit throughout its run, including a conversation with Willis, an exhibition of community portraits, and a newly commissioned contemporary ballet.

Fantasia – The Sketchbook Tour with Robin Thicke and Tank
Liacouras Center
1776 N. Broad St.
Saturday, Oct. 26; 8 p.m.
$48.50 – $105

“American Idol” winner Fantasia Barrino has crafted a career that includes stage, screen and the powerful vocals that led her to the competition in the first place. The Grammy-winning artist, considered one of R&B’s most authentically soulful vocalists, released her seventh studio album, “Sketchbook,” earlier this month. She’s bringing with her blue-eyed soul man Robin Thicke, whose latest single, “When You Love Somebody,” dropped earlier this year, and R&B singer/songwriter Tank, whose explicit song “When We” lit up the charts in 2017. His latest release, “Elevation,” comes out this week.

Eliot Fisk
Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral
23 S. 38th St.
Saturday, Oct. 26; 7:30 p.m.
$50 – $100

Classical guitarist Eliot Fisk has an important incentive to play his Philadelphia show — the memory of the tutelage of Bill Viola, who was one of the founders of the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society. According to his bio, Fisk, a Philadelphia native, was also the last direct student of Spanish guitar legend Andres Segovia. Fisk went on to become a world-renowned guitarist himself, founding the guitar department at Yale University, his alma mater. A proponent of accessible music education, Fisk has played at schools, prisons, senior citizen centers and even at a logging camp.

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