The next mayor, a busy model, a TV reporter, a celebrated chef and a celebrity paparazzo break down the best of October’s social scene in Philadelphia — plus little-known spots to get away from it all. 

Jim Kenney, Mayoral candidate 

Reading Terminal Market — it’s where tourists and locals from all over the city and every walk of life converge. It’s worth it just to walk around, though I usually stop by the Famous 4th Street Cookie Stand. 

• I grew up in a South Philly rowhome with six people and one bathroom, so when I needed a little space, I used to ride my banana bike down to fish at the Franklin Roosevelt Park — aka The Lakes — as a kid. I go back there every once in a while now. 

• The Prodigal Son statue at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts — it’s very difficult for marble statuary to invoke that much emotion. I tear up a little whenever I see it, which admittedly isn’t hard, but there ya go. 

• You can feel the history when you walk into the Palestra. It’s such an iconic part of basketball. I also
have a lot of good memories of watching Prep and Big 5 games there. I also watched my favorite high school team, Neumann Goretti, win two Catholic League championships there. 

Luke Palladino, Chef/owner, Palladino’s  

• We’re hard at work getting LP Steak at Valley Forge Casino Resort ready to open in the middle of October. As part of the launch, I’m excited to host the afterparty for the 17th annual Philadelphia Food, Wine and Spirits Festival on Oct. 17. It will be a chance to meet all of the Main Line’s top foodies
and cook for them in the new space. 

• Back in Philadelphia, I look forward to my first fall season [at Palladino’s] on East Passyunk Avenue. The Avenue is coming alive after the end of summer — and the neighborhood is such a tight community. I run into other chefs and owners in Chhaya Cafe over coffee, at Sweat Fitness working out, or picking out vegetables at the Fountain Farmers’ Market. 

• Fall means football in our house. We try to get to as many games as possible to cheer on the Eagles

• I love to support other chefs in the city. Zahav is one of my favorites; the food is always amazing and the service is hands down the best. Petruce has a great wine and spirits program by Timothy Kweeder. I’m also a huge fan of Tom Harkins and his cooking at Bank & Bourbon. When it comes to a date night with my fianceé Kristine, we like to escape to Townsend for a late-night snack after service. We’re big supporters of chef Tod Wentz.

Jim Donovan, Consumer reporter, CBS 3

Lights for the Cure holds a special place in my heart. For the 14th year, CBS 3 helps Susan G. Komen Philadelphia turn the city’s skyline pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The private launch reception is Thursday. The public can participate by pledging to do at least one thing in October to help fight breast cancer. You can also go to and make a donation directly to Komen. 

• For a great night of socializing and networking, I’ll be headed to Our Night Out on Oct. 19. Philadelphia’s largest LGBT monthly happy hour stops by a different hot spot every month. For October, the fun moves to the Ritz-Carlton. 

• Fall theater is back and I am a huge supporter of the arts. One of my top picks is Inis Nua Theatre Company’s production of “Hooked!” at Fergie’s Pub [Oct. 7-25]. I’ve known Fergie for years and years, plus this dark and eerie Irish pub tale is perfect for Halloween season. Playwright Gillian Grattan is also flying in for opening night and a special talkback. 

• One of my favorite restaurants is celebrating 20 years in business. Congratulations to the Continental in Old City. It’s been my go-to spot for years.

HughE Dillon, Photographer, Philly Chit Chat blogger

Opera on the Mall returns to Independence Mall with “La travita” this Saturday. I love this free event — it brings together the city’s top art and music lovers and mixes them with people that may not otherwise have been exposed to opera. I’ll be on the look out for familiar faces, but the real joy here is seeing people fall in love with the music for the first time. 

• Whoopi Goldberg is coming to the Valley Forge Casino Resort on Oct. 10. I can’t wait to hear her honest take on current events. I secretly hope she’ll reveal some behind-the-scenes gossip from “The View” — Whoopi, please whisper in my ear. While there I’ll be one of the first to dine at Luke Palladino’s LP Steak, plus I’ll be getting a sneak peek at The Vault bar that opens on Halloween weekend. 

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Southeastern Pennsylvania is the hottest ticket on the charity circuit as they celebrate their 100th anniversary on Oct. 13. Marlon Wayans and Mo’ne Davis will help honor local celebs at the Kimmel Center, with surprise celebrity entertainment from Live Nation. Look for me in the crowd snapping away at the who’s who.

• The stars are shining in South Jersey on Oct. 18 during the third annual Night of Wigs and Wishes at Lucien’s Manor. Paula Abdul, Ruben Studdard, Cake Boss Buddy Valastro, Heather Thomson (“Real Housewives of New York City”), Tabatha Coffey (“Tabatha Takes Over”) and Gayle Giacomo (“Jerseylicious”) will raise money so women can get natural hair wigs and styling services when they are going through chemo. It’s truly a beautiful night in more ways than one. 

Cory Wade, “America’s Next Top Model” finalist, musician, host  

Philly AIDS Thrift has been a great staple in our city for years! You can shop for crazy inexpensive vintage wear and support a great cause at the same time. On Saturday, definitely check out their 10th anniversary block party. 

Voyeur Nightclub — how could I not include the venue that I had some of my first and most memorable experiences performing in drag at? Voyeur was great back then but it has significantly improved over the years. After going through a complete interior redesign, this magical place is as fierce as ever. 

If you are a lover of art, the Old City Fest [Oct. 11] is not to be missed. Local fashion, visual art, live music, food and more are showcased and celebrated at this event. The arts scene in Philadelphia is truly special. 

• Last October, I hosted Philadelphia’s first ever open-air runway show in the South Street Headhouse District, right under the Shambles at Second and Lombard. The show featured some amazing looks from local designer boutiques and salons. After receiving rave reviews we are set to put on another show Oct. 14. Come join me at Fashion Under The Shambles.