Cuddle up with the Academy of Natural Sciences’ creepiest creatures while enjoying special treats at the Halloween Spook-tacular Sleepover Oct. 25-26. A costume contest kicks off the evening, with prizes for the most creative, scariest and best outfit in each age group, along with an award for best group costume. Then snoop around and check out the lions, tigers and Tyrannosaurus Rex—all with the guidance of academy staff—before breaking for refreshments and snacks. Halloween-themed programs and activities feature living (and dead) animals. And when the fun’s over, choose where you’d like to spend the night, whether it’s with mummies, dinosaurs or something equally menacing. Awake to a light breakfast and more fun exploring the exhibits. Each child receives a participation patch. 6:30 p.m.-9 a.m. $35-$40. 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. Visit ansp.org or call (215) 299-1060. —Christina Lamsback
Whale of a Time
Show your support for Avondale’s Stroud Water Research Center at its annual fund-raising gala, “The Water’s Edge,” at Longwood Gardens Oct. 2. This year’s speaker, Flip Nicklin, an acclaimed author and a National Geographic contributor, is one of the world’s foremost whale photographers. That makes him uniquely qualified to offer insight into the habits of these magnificent mammals. Stroud has been focusing on fresh- water research since 1967. The organization is committed to “science without bias,” its researchers providing public and private organizations with findings from studies of freshwater ecosystems. Proceeds from the event support the center’s research and watershed education programs. 6:15 p.m. Route 1, Kennett Square. Call (610) 268-2153, ext. 247, or visit stroudcenter.org. —Christina Pitcher-Cozzone
Slash and Burn
Johnny Depp’s got nothing on Capt. “Black Sam” Bellamy and the rest of the swashbucklers who are the focus of National Geographic’s traveling exhibit, Real Pirates, running through Nov. 2 at the Franklin Institute. Bellamy’s ship, the Whydah, wrecked off the coast of Cape Cod in 1717, killing most of his crew. It was discovered in 1984 by underwater explorer Barry Clifford. The exhibition features more than 200 artifacts recovered from the ocean floor, including jewelry, coins and gold, along with a re-creation of the Whydah’s stern and captain’s quarters. Real Pirates is the first exhibition of authenticated pirate treasure ever displayed. $6-$23.25. 222 N. 20th St., Philadelphia. Call (215) 448-1200 or visit fi.edu. —C.L.
For more upcoming events, see our Calendar.