10 Great Things to Do in Pennsylvania in October

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Of all the months of the year, October might be my favorite. Not only is the weather amazing, but trees are colorful and waterfalls are flowing. And, while things might still look a little different from years past, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of great things to do in PA in October.

In fact, I’ve come up with a list of 10 of the most interesting and fun things to do in Pennsylvania this October. These include things to do highlighting the fall colors in PA, Halloween festivities, and so much more.

Check out our list of great things to do throughout the state in October and then start planning your travels today.

(Article Updated September 12, 2021, for Pennsylvania events in October 2021. Note that some events may change plans or be forced to cancel due to current circumstances.) 

Creepy Caboose at the Ligonier Valley Railroad Museum in Ligonier – October 23 (Sponsored)

Creepy Caboose at the Ligonier Valley Railroad Museum
Don’t miss the family-friendly Creepy Caboose Event at the Ligonier Valley Railroad Museum. (Photo used courtesy of Westmoreland Heritage)

If you are looking for a fun, historic, and family-friendly thing to do this Halloween season, check out the Creepy Caboose event at the Ligonier Valley Railroad Museum in Westmoreland County.

The museum, which is located in the historic Darlington Station in Ligonier, offers a look into the history and impact of the railroad in the Laurel Highlands. During the Creepy Caboose event, visitors can tour a spooky caboose, listen to ghost stories, and much more.

 In addition to this event, the museum is open every Saturday in the month for regular tours.

Find out more information on the museum’s website

Reopening of the Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department Museum in Greensburg – All Month (Sponsored)

One of the many displays inside of the Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department Museum.
One of the many displays inside of the Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department Museum.

Greensburg, PA has a rich firefighting history, and those wanting to learn more about it can visit the Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department Museum.

This museum offers a great overview of firefighting in the city but also lets you better understand the history and tradition of firefighting throughout Pennsylvania. On display, you’ll find many historic pieces of Greensburg firefighting history, including two early 19th-century hand fire pumpers.

The museum offers open houses on the second Tuesday and the fourth Saturday of each month (October 12 and 23 in 2021). You can also call 724-832-7904 to schedule a private tour.

Find out more about the museum on their website.

Applefest in Franklin – October 1-3

Applefest in the northwestern PA city of Franklin is one of the region’s largest autumn events. Now in its 38th year, Applefest celebrates the bounty of fall and the region’s beautiful foliage.

During Applefest, visitors can browse wares from more than 300 vendors, run in a 5k race, take historic downtown tours, enjoy an antique car show, and much more. There will also be many apple-related events including pie-eating contests and an apple pancake breakfast.

Find out more about this event on its website.

Doors Open in Pittsburgh – October 2

Pittsburgh's Skyline from Troy Hill
Go inside many of Pittsburgh’s most beautiful and historic buildings with Doors Open’s annual event.

Doors Open Pittsburgh will be holding its annual event on Saturday, October 2.

During this event, participants can enter and tour nearly two dozen buildings in and around downtown Pittsburgh that are typically closed to the public. This is a great chance to explore some of the city’s most beautiful spaces.

There are also a variety of guided tours happening on both days this weekend including history tours and tours that take you to the top of some of Pittsburgh’s most historic skyscrapers.

Find out more information on the event’s website.

National Apple Harvest Festival in Arendtsville – October 2-3, 9-10

National Apple Harvest Festival Biglerville PA
The National Apple Harvest Festival is held every October in Adams County, PA.

Love apples? Head to the largest apple-growing region in Pennsylvania for the National Apple Harvest Festival. Held at the South Mountain Fairgrounds in Arendtsville near Gettysburg, this fantastic fall festival in PA celebrates the harvesting of this delicious fruit.

Visitors can browse more than 300 vendors, enjoy a classic car show, sample delicious foods made from apples, and learn about antique machines. There is also a wide variety of live entertainment, activities for children, hayrides, and much more.

For more information and tickets, go to AppleHarvest.com.

And, if you are looking for somewhere to go apple picking in PA, there are plenty of nearby options.

Fall Foliage Weekends in Jim Thorpe – October 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24

Things to do in Pennsylvania in October: Jim Thorpe Fall Festival
Fall is a beautiful time to visit the quaint town of Jim Thorpe.

Jim Thorpe, one of my favorite small towns in Pennsylvania, comes alive during the annual Fall Foliage Weekends in October. Held the first three weekends of the month, visitors can explore the town’s shops, take a tour of their old jail, see live music, and enjoy food and crafts from the many vendors set up throughout town.

Also, don’t miss the chance to see the fall foliage of Lehigh Gorge State Park aboard the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railroad. This is definitely one of the most beautiful things to do in PA in October.

Find out all the details of the event on the town’s website.

Covered Bridge and Arts Festival in Elysburg – October 7-10

Things to do in Pennsylvania in October: Covered Bridge tour in Columbia County
Hollingshead Covered Bridge is one of the stops on the festival’s covered bridge tour.

Now in its 39th year, don’t miss the Covered Bridge and Arts Festival at the Bloomsburg Fair Grounds. This festival highlights the beautiful covered bridges in Columbia County and the colors of fall. Visitors will also be able to browse the nearly 350 vendors set up in the fairgrounds.

The event will also feature live music, kiddie rides, wagon rides, and guided bus tours to some of the most beautiful covered bridges in the county.

For more information on the festival, click here.

Ghosts and Goblins at Lincoln Caverns in Huntingdon – October 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 29-30

Things to do in Pennsylvania in October: Lincoln Caverns Tours
Lincoln Caverns will host their Ghosts and Goblins tours in October.

Lincoln Caverns in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, will be hosting its annual Ghosts and Goblins tours on Fridays and Saturdays in October. Now in its 38th year, visitors can experience several different activities during their visit.

New this year, the cave will transform from being family-friendly on Friday and Saturday nights into an Evening Terror Tour. For those looking for a fun family experience, visit during the daytime on Saturdays for a much more tame haunted cave.

After touring the haunted cave, take a walk through a haunted forest, go on a haunted hayride, and more.

For more information about this spooky event and to get pre-timed tickets, check out LincolnCaverns.com.

Field of Screams in Lancaster County – All Month

If you are looking for scary things to do in Pennsylvania in October, don’t miss Field of Screams in Lancaster County.

Voted the #1 haunted attraction in the United States, this Lancaster County institution is back again for its 29th year.

There are a total of four haunted attractions here including a haunted hayride, two haunted mansions, and a haunted field, all of which are sure to give you the Halloween frights you expect at Field of Screams.

Find out more about visiting on their website.

Paulus Mount Airy Orchard in Dillsburg – Weekends All Month

Fall at Paulu's Orchard in Dillsburg PA
Paulus Orchard features many fun activities for kids and adults in October.

If you are looking for a bit of family fun this October in the Harrisburg area, Paulus Mount Airy Orchard in Dillsburg is a fun place to head.

Open Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month, there are a variety of fun activities here for both kids and adults.

In addition to things like apple and pumpkin picking, the big activity here is their PlayLand. This area features many fun and unique activities including a corn maze, a cow train, a giant jumping pillow, and much more.

Find out more about visiting this fun fall-time activity here.

Do you know of a great event happening in Pennsylvania in October? Let us know in the comments section below!

Looking for other things to do in Pennsylvania? Check out our list of events in PA in September and things to do in PA in November.

Do you have an upcoming event that you would like to promote in a future monthly edition? Click here for more information and to submit your event.


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5 thoughts on “10 Great Things to Do in Pennsylvania in October”

  1. Elk viewing at the Elk Visitor Center and surrounding area, 950 Winslow Hill Road, Benezette, PA 15821 is prime around Columbus Day weekend.

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