There is so much fall fun in New Jersey, including Halloween parades, activities and haunted hayrides. But if your family is looking for some time away for a mid-autumn break, head to one of these great places for some extra Fall-O-Ween fun. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World is sold out for the season, but information will be released soon on the 2023 dates. Be sure to check dates and times for parks that have been impacted by Hurricane Ian.
LEGOLAND New York, Goshen, NY
Saturdays and Sundays in October
With special events such as costume contests and parades, spooky exhibits, dance parties, Halloween shows, meet-and-greets with LEGOLAND Halloween characters, goodie bag giveaways and trick-or-treat stations, your kids will love this Halloween festival. BOO-gie down on The Disco Dragon Coaster. Laugh along in the 4-d Great Monster Chase. Join the Monster Party and trick-or-treat around the park.
The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular
Sesame Place, Langhorne, PA
Select dates, Sept. 17 – Nov. 6
Come dressed in costume to this family-friendly, silly-not-spooky Halloween party for kids. They’ll enjoy trick-or-treating around the park, Halloween-themed shows and parades, participating in the interactive Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt and taking pictures with all the characters who will be dressed up in their own costumes. Mark your calendar for Oct. 30, when there will be a special Halloween Costume Contest.
Hershey Park, Hershey, PA
Weekends through Oct. 30
After enjoying all the chocolate treats you possibly can, it’s time for some tricks at four “spine-tingling” haunted houses. You will need a separate ticket for this event.
Knoebels, Elysburg, PA
Fridays – Sundays in October
Here’s where you can enjoy dozens of your favorite rides and games, fall treats and spook-tacular live entertainment without scaring your pants off! Take note of all the great Halloween decorations and fall foliage around the park. You can make your own treat bag, decorate cookies, paint pumpkins, play bingo and even try spin art. Make sure to book the Character Breakfast with The Boo Crew in advance.
Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
Select days and nights, Sept. 15 – Oct. 30
Get ready for spooky sights and blood-curdling delights and frights. The outdoor fall event offers Halloween activities and shows for the family during the daytime. There’s trick-or-treating and the Magical House on Boo Hill. But as darkness falls, fright zones, haunted houses and scary scenes come alive at night – are you tempted to enter the Blood Bath or Slaughter House? Anyone over 13 cannot wear costumes, masks or Halloween makeup while at the park.
Dorney Park, Allentown, PA
“Fear is Waiting for You”: Dorney Park will release hundreds of terrifying ghouls and ghosts into the park, all ready to turn your nightmares into reality. Every corner is cursed with haunted scare mazes, scare zones and live (or maybe not live) entertainment. Hordes of hungry zombies and blood-thirsty vampires eagerly await you – i.e. their next meal. Keep in mind, these activities are not recommended for children under 13.
Halloween Horror Nights
Universal Studios, Orlando, FL
Select nights, Sept. 2 – Oct. 31
This is no Dr. Seuss Land or “Harry Potter” fantasy – this is 10 haunted houses, five scare zones, two live shows and some of the best frights you can experience. You’ll come face-to-face with legendary Michael Myers; get caught in a battle between The Wolf Man, Dracula and The Mummy; and even listen to The Weeknd in a surreal display of his music. If you need to cool your throat from all the screaming, there will be speciality menus and drinks sold throughout the park. This event is ticketed separately from theme park admission.
Although it sounds scary, Family Frights at Jamestown Settlement, Oct. 23 and 24, is a family activity that allows you to explore the outdoor areas of Jamestown Settlement. Children will be given pre-packaged candy from the various outdoor interpretive areas while enjoying staff in costumes, lighted crescents, bonfires, storytelling and creatively-themed areas. Haunted Williamsburg returns to Colonial Williamsburg, with authentic 18th-century colonial ghost stories to creepy modern-day encounters, costumed storytellers, candlelit walking ghost tours, explorations of haunted sites, and more.
Busch Gardens, Tampa, FL
Select nights, Sept. 9 – Oct. 31
It’s worth the plane ride to visit the theme park for its roller coasters and crazy rides, but you can kick it up a notch with haunted houses, scare zones and a variety of thrilling shows. Stranglewood Estate is the newest haunted house, a house filled with lavish parties has turned into its own ghost story. The Residence: Home for the Holidays has been revamped for this season; Christmas arrives early this year, but will you live to see it? The Ravens Mill corn field and Beyond the Veil path will test even the bravest Scream Queens. The new show 50/50 lets you choose your fate – or does it? The rides, too, are given a Halloween twist. There is a lot of blood and violence throughout the event, so it’s not really suitable for kids. You’ll need a separate ticket from theme park admission to attend. Costumes are not allowed.
SeaWorld, Orlando, FL
Select dates, Sept. 9 – Oct. 31
Who would think danger and fright would lurk behind the cute and cuddly marine life you see in the daytime at this park? Prepare yourself for 10 haunted houses, seven scare zones, three terrifying live shows, roaming hoards and pulse-pounding coasters in the dark. There is a lot of violence, blood and gore, so let the grandparents watch the kids at the hotel while the adults go out to play.
Take a Ghost & Graveyard Tour and while you walk through the streets of historic Old Town Alexandria, follow a colonial-costumed guide by lantern to hear ghost stories, legends, folklore, unsolved mysteries, tales of romance and angry ghosts looking for revenge. On Oct. 30, join the Del Ray Halloween Parade with your children, pets and strollers in costumes.
If your family is fascinated by haunted history, Apparition Trail Ghost Tours hosts a haunted tour of the streets, alleys and public houses of Old Town. Listen to the tales of the ghosts and spirits of the soldiers who lived, fought and died there. Or you can opt for a Haunted History Ghost Tour that takes place only on Oct. 29 and 30. Learn of the spirits from the Colonial and Civil War eras, who people say can still be seen and heard in the streets and historic buildings. During History & Hauntings, you’ll hear firsthand accounts of the activity of the resident ghosts – from the woman in the cellar who calls for help to the spirit of a boy perpetually locked in an attic room. The Wayside Inn welcomes overnight guests – but reportedly has some permanent residents who have been recorded through paranormal activities like objects disappearing and turning up later in a different location, items flying off the shelf, the dishwasher’s apron getting untied, and fully charged camera batteries dying in the former slave kitchen.