Reading Terminal Market brings the farm to the city

Harvest Festival takes place Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hop on board a bale of hay at the Harvest Festival.
Credit: Reading Terminal Market

Sometimes it’s all about traditions. When October rolls around, set out to pumpkin patches and apple orchards for fresh air and fresh produce. For plenty of city dwellers, though, that isn’t really an option. That’s why there’s the Harvest Festival at Reading Terminal Market, which has become its own autumn tradition.

Now in its 13th year, the outdoor festival is a family-friendly event that closes down the streets to traffic in order to bring the country to the city by creating a farm in the middle of Philadelphia. And this farm boasts some of the celebrated market’s finest products.

For just one day, the exterior will be transformed with seasonal decorations, produce displays, and even a tractor piled with hay, available for rides.

“It was started by the Iovine Brothers,” says Sarah Levitsky of Reading Terminal Market, referring to Iovine Brothers Produce. “They wanted to showcase the market in the fall and create an event that was fun, seasonal and family-friendly for people living in the city. The goal, Levitsky adds, “it doesn’t cost a lot for families to enjoy.” In fact, it’s free to participate in the fall fun; you’ll have to fork over some cash to sample the food, which will be hard to resist. Along with autumnal produce you’ll find caramel apples, ribs, pumpkin ice cream sundaes, butternut squash soup and apple cider for sale from local favorites like Bassetts Ice Cream, Molly Malloy’s, Hatville Deli, and Down Home Diner.

When asked what was new at the Harvest Festival this year, Levitsky mentioned a few different crafts and kid’s activities, but she also talked about what will stay the same. “We’ll still have the pumpkin patch backdrop set up for people to get their photos taken in front of. And there will be someone there dressed up in a pumpkin costume. We try to vary it each year,” says Levitsky, “but you can’t take away people’s favorite things.”

Harvest Festival
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Reading Terminal Market
Filbert Street, between 11th and 12th streets
Free, 215-222-2317

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