Halloween Happenings for Kids and Families in New Jersey
Enter at your own risk! Spooky stories, devilish disguises, and hair-raising haunts can be found at these frightfully delightful ghostly gatherings. (And you'll find even more Halloween events on our calendar of events.)
Whippany Station, Whippany, 973-887-8177
Walk among the pumpkins and scarecrows, browse the Pumpkin Marketplace Crafts Fair, check out antique farm tractors and operating model railroad layouts, then climb aboard the Pumpkinliner excursion train for a ride along the Historic Whippanong Trail.
Cooper Gristmill, Chester Twp., 908-879-5463
Visitors can come in costume and enjoy spooky storytelling at 1 and 2:30 pm. Children create corn husk dolls, color pumpkins, and play old-time games. Be alert for spooks, spiders, skeletons, and surprises!
Insectropolis, Toms River, 732-349-7090
When the Scooby gang visits the museum, they discover that the sacred gold beetle is missing. Help uncover clues as you explore spooky exhibits escorted by one of the Scooby gang. Meet up with Scooby at the end when you solve the case. Advance tickets recommended.
Weis Ecology Center, Ringwood, 973-835-2160
Bring your pumpkin(s) and carving tools and get to work making silly or scary faces. Then gather ‘round the campfire for marshmallow toasting and stories. Registration required.
Newark Public Library, Clinton Branch
8th graders and younger are invited to a pre-Halloween program with spooky stories, crafts, and Halloween treats.
Dover Little Theater, Dover, 973-328-9202
Scott Morley the illusionist-magician will be appearing (and disappearing?) in this not-too-scary haunted theater event with plenty of tricks. Costumes welcomed. Limited seating.
St. Paul's Church, Westfield, 908-578-0756
Hedgehog and Feather Theatre Co. presents a double feature: a live stage performance of both Frankenstein and Dracula, back-to-back, with intermission. Strobe lighting, loud sounds, and smoke effects will be used in this show. Doors open at 7 pm for some pre-show spooky fun, then the show begins at 7:30 pm.
Planetarium at RVCC, Branchburg, 908-231-8805
For this Halloween laser-light show, hear Alive by Meatloaf and Thriller by Michael Jackson. Registration suggested. Also on Oct. 20 and 27, take in a showing of Spooky Skies, in which you’ll see celestial tricks and treats and learn about Halloween.
Camden Children’s Garden, Camden
Take a haunted train ride, dodge costumed characters in the haunted maze, meet the bumbling burglars, and have your fortune told. Trick-or-treat during the costume parade and celebrate Dia de los Muertos.
Alpine Boat Basin and Picnic Area, Alpine
201-768-1360 x 108
Meet at the Kearney House for a guided, easy, 3-mi. hike that will take approximately 2 hours. Remember to bring a flashlight!
Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield
Come in costume for Halloween storytelling, games, crafts, and other activities.
Berkeley Heights YMCA, Berkeley Heights
Free, open to all, and costumes encouraged! Prizes, snacks, and Halloween family fun.
John Fell House, Allendale, 201-825-8805
Spooky walking tours by lantern-light bring to life six horrific tales from Edgar Allen Poe. Guests will encounter costumed characters from the Saddle River Youth Theatre throughout the house and grounds as they weave their tales. Ages 8 and up.
Trailside Nature and Science Center
Purchase tickets in advance for haunted hayrides in the Deserted Village of Feltville. A portion of the program occurs on the hayride; the remainder involves walking on a footpath in the forest. Bring flashlights! For ages 6 and up with adults.
Rue Building, Hoboken, 201-870-1393
Toddler rock concert, free gift bags, organic treats, and a musical appearance by The Fuzzy Lemons. Tickets required.
Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, Morristown
Play Halloween games, sing songs, go on a scavenger hunt, decorate cookies, and try on costumes of the past.
Historic Speedwell, Morristown, 973-285-6537
Listen to terrifying ghost stories and participate in a variety of Halloween fun and games.
Princeton Cemetery, Palmer Sq., Paul Robeson Center, YMCA, Princeton
609-921-6748 x 102
First, go on a walk through Princeton Cemetery (ages 8 and up). The parade then starts at 5 pm at Palmer Square Green and marches to the Paul Robeson Center where children are invited to enter the not-too-scary Haunted House. A scarier version for older kids and adults starts at 7:30 pm. Then, head to the YMCA for trunk-or-treating, a spooky trail, carnival games, and more.
Macculloch Hall, Morristown, 973-538-2404 x 10
Children are invited to trick-or-treat at the museum, so stop in for some candy.
Colonial Park Putting Course, Somerset
Play mini-golf with the ghouls, wear your Halloween costume, and get a Halloween goodie bag. There will be Spooky Tales from the Witches Cauldron and Moonlight Hayrides (non-scary). Enter your jack-o-lantern in the Best Carved Pumpkin Contest.
Garden State Discovery Museum, Cherry Hill
This Halloween event includes ghostly games and goblin goodies, as you trick-or-treat around happily haunted exhibits.
Environmental Education Center, Basking Ridge
This is an entertaining and educational walk, scheduled for departure every 15 minutes. Indoor activities include a maze, live critters, refreshments, and more.
Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed, Pennington
Join a non-scary hike to learn about the ecology of the night and the magic of Halloween. Ends in the woods with a campfire, stories, and marshmallows. No costumes. Ages 4–10 with adult. Registration required.
Newark Public Library, Vailsburg Branch
Get out the paint and brushes to create a Halloween pumpkin monster. All ages.
Lodi Memorial Library, Lodi, 973-365-4044
The Lodi Library’s Children’s Room hosts a Halloween costume parade and party for children ages 18 mos.–5 yrs. and their families. Everyone is invited to come in costume for stories, songs, treats, and fun!
Montclair Art Museum, Montclair
Come in costume (optional) for a pumpkin carving and decorating night. You can trick-or-treat, nosh on seasonal snacks, and more. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Porch Light Productions, Glen Rock
Join the Old Lady Fargus and her infamous cronies: Medusa, The Vampire, The Mummy, The Werewolf, and The Headless Horseman in this comedic look at a monster’s life. This production is for youth and families.
Adjacent to State Fair Halloween Superstore
This interactive haunted attraction has more than 30 intricately designed rooms of fear with live actors in full costumes, special effects, hand-made props, and makeup talent from the pros. Not-so-scary matinees are held for young children, Sundays in Oct., 4–6 pm.
New Jersey Children’s Museum, Paramus
DJ Polka Dot gets this Halloween party for toddlers and preschoolers started! Surprise visits from superheroes and a princess, pizza, dessert, trick-or-treating, pumpkin decorating, a costume contest, and more.
Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, Madison
973-377-2982 x 13
Come in costume and participate in Halloween games and crafts. Registration suggested.
Garden State Discovery Museum, Cherry Hill
Get dressed up in your favorite costume and enjoy a fun-filled evening of trunk-or-treating!
Parker Press Park, Woodbridge, 732-602-6045
Costumed guides and actors representing famous Woodbridge historical characters will lead tours every 15 minutes that include several recognized historical sites in a blend of education and entertainment.
Bergen County Zoo, Paramus, 201-262-3771
Kids ride the train and stop at 12 stations throughout the zoo to receive goodies. The program involves costumed characters and spooks on Friday and Saturday evening. Little ones (ages 5 and under) can go daytime on Saturday, when they will receive treats but no one will jump out to scare. Call ahead for times and tickets. No tickets sold at door.