October To-Do List

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Enjoy the colorful view.
Leaves are turning all over the state, so it if you haven’t been to the Wissahickon in a while, put on your hiking shoes and take the family and the dog on a walk. 

Reprogram the thermostat.
It will only take a minute to realign your temperature settings with the season, and it will pay you back in energy savings, comfort and sustainability street cred. 

Divide and conquer.
Take a look at your perennial flower beds and dig in to divide them if you’re trying to establish a second spot of sun-loving lilies or your shady-spot Solomon’s seal.

Collect leaves to make compost.
If you have a tree or two in your life, it’s easy to make some of the best garden enhancements in the world from collecting, shredding and composting leaves. 

Update your annuals.
Cold-tolerant annuals such as violas, snapdragons, mums and pansies will make it through most of the fall season, giving you some color before winter really sets in.

Clean up the garden plot.
If some of your annuals are past their prime, don’t forget to compost them. Leaving too much vegetation to over-winter in your plot can invite pests and disease.  

Scare yourself silly.
It seems as though Eastern State Penitentiary ups its ghost-and-ghoul game every year, and tickets go fast. Make your reservations now if a scare-fest inside one of America’s most infamous prisons has eluded your Halloween plans in years past.  

Pick your pumpkin.
Nothing says autumn in the city like strolling along the streets and seeing  tea lights glowing inside your neighbor’s best attempts to carve a funny face. Don’t forget that you can save the seeds you scoop out and toast them in the oven for a post-carving treat.

Hit the (free) streets.
The hugely popular “free streets” day, in which Center City traffic is shut down in certain areas to allow bikers and pedestrians free rein, is on Oct. 28 this year from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Frolic without fear of cars from 3rd and Chestnut over to 5th and Indiana Avenue, and don’t miss chalk art activities and live painting with the Mural Arts program. 

Go to a fall fest.
Linvilla Orchards is just a 30-minute drive from the city, and you’ll be immersed in your choice of fall activities no matter when you go. Apple picking is on your list? Check. Hayrides? Check. Haunted houses, maize mazes and fields full of pumpkins? Check, check and check. While you’re there, you can stock up on apple cider and candy apples for your own party.