Halloween is almost here, and you know what that means:
Black cats and swoopy bats,
Trick-or-treats and savory sweets,
Witches’ brooms and impending doom.
Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of spooktacular events around the U.S. so that you – and your family – can be sure to get your fill of Halloween fun this year!
We have assembled a list of our favorite kid-friendly events that dole out more sweet than scary.
- Pendleton Scarecrow Contest: Pendleton, South Carolina (Oct. 22)
Part of the Fall Harvest Festival in Pendleton, South Carolina, the Pendleton Scarecrow Contest – featuring many silly, straw-stuffed participants – is sure to bring smiles to the faces of everyone in the family.
Keep a close eye out as you meander through the display because, afterward, you will be able to vote for your favorite scarecrows. Be sure to also pay a visit to the other attractions that will make up the festival: old fashioned kiddie games, live entertainment, and food and craft vendors. The fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival: Laconia, New Hampshire (Oct. 22)
Be sure to carve out some time in your schedule to make a stop at the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival in Laconia. The event used to be named the Keene Pumpkin Festival, and was once a Guinness World Record holder for number of jack-o-lanterns, with the town housing 28,000 pumpkins and just 24,000 inhabitants.
While the festival has since been relocated and is no longer the reigning record holder, the event still boasts live music, scenic train rides, haunted attractions, food and craft vendors, a parade, live entertainment, and 5k and 10k races. So be ready for this festival to light up your weekend as you gaze up at the tower of over 20,000 jack-o-lanterns glowing in the New Hampshire dusk.
- Howl-o-ween: Park City, Utah (Oct. 31)
What’s better than trick-or-treating with the kids followed by a parade full of our four-legged friends in costume? If you can’t think of anything better, then the Howl-O-Ween festival in Park City – or “bark” city – is the place for you.
You and your kids will get your fill of sweets and treats by trick-or-treating along the historic Main Street from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. And then, at 5 p.m., if you still haven’t gotten enough of the sweet stuff, you will be able to watch our fuzzy friends strut their stuff in fur-tastic costumes!
Are you the type of person who loves to get scared out of your socks on Halloween? If you are brave enough to answer yes, then find a babysitter for the kids and check out the following venues for your fill of the Halloween chills. But beware! We don’t recommend taking this list lightly!
- Eastern State Penitentiary: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
A haunted house staged in an actual prison is sure to be on top of the hair-raising haunted houses list. Will yourself through the penitentiary’s six major attractions: the ghost bus, lock down, the machine shop, the infirmity, break out, and the detritus.
Face all kinds of fears in this creepy haunted house, but if you buy tickets ahead of time online, you at least will not have to face your fear of an overpriced ticket. So go on, explore this haunted attraction – if you dare!
Located in a New Orleans-style cemetery, Necropolis 13 is teeming with scores of the living dead, all of whom will fill you with terror as you shriek your way through the half-mile walk across the cemetery. The Necropolis also features a Voodoo Fire Show at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
If you still haven’t gotten enough of the creeps, be sure to also visit 13th Gate, deemed one of the most realistic and detailed haunted houses in existence. Find yourself wide awake in the settings of your worst nightmares as you make your way through the haunted house, never knowing what to expect around the next corner.
- Haunted Pub Crawl and Spooky Speakeasies: Los Angeles, California
Do you ever wonder about the dark past lurking just beneath Hollywood’s sparkling façade? Wonder no more as you head out on the haunted pub crawl, featuring tales and stories of the spirits that continue to haunt historic Hollywood.
The tour is about 1 mile and lasts approximately 3.5 hours, with stops at three of four different pubs and speakeasies. The tours will fall during the week – to avoid the extraneous madness that characterizes Hollywood – and, although the tour price does not include the price of drinks, tour participants – who must be 21 or older – are welcome to enjoy a drink at the stops along the way.
Not so much of a fright-lover? Below are a few quirky Halloween events that’ll be sure to put you in the Halloween spirit!
- Emma Crawford Festival: Manitou Springs, Colorado (Oct. 29)
Pop on over to Manitou Springs, Colorado on the 29th of October for the annual coffin racing festival. Commemorating the legendary Emma Crawford – whose coffin slid down Red Mountain in a rainstorm, after she died of tuberculosis – 50 teams of coffin racers will participate in the race, vying for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. Free to guests of all ages, the Emma Crawford Festival also includes a parade.
For those who are up for a little extra fright, the Ghosts Stories of Old Manitou walking tours unveil the spooky history of Old Manitou. Tours begin at 5:30 p.m. and run until 9:00 p.m., and are free for children under 8.
- Auburn Community Festival and Pumpkin Weigh-Off: Auburn, California (Oct. 15)
Do you ever think that there is no pumpkin in the world big enough to satisfy your pumpkin spice latte cravings? Make an appearance at the Auburn Community Festival’s pumpkin weigh-off and think again! Be prepared to take a step – or two! – back for the humungous plumpkins – erm, pumpkins – many of which weigh in at over 100 pounds.
The festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and also includes a costume contest and parade, a scarecrow contest, carnival rides, arts and crafts booths, and live music.
- Little 5 Points Halloween Festival and Parade: Atlanta, Georgia (Oct. 15)
Deemed the best Halloween parade in the South, the Little 5 Points parade prides itself on its outrageously costumed participants, extravagant floats, and Halloween-themed marching bands all strutting their stuff down the parade route.
Taking place in Little 5 Points – a neighborhood in Atlanta known for its funky vibes – the parade begins at 4 p.m. and is scheduled to go through 6 p.m. The event also features live bands, food and drink. So head on down to Atlanta to join in on the spectacle for your dose of wacky Halloween fun.