halloween events for kids in new jersey 2012Enter 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.)

12th Annual Pumpkin Festival

Oct. 7; 12–5:30 pm
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.

A Miller’s Halloween

Oct. 27; 1–3:30 pm
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!

Boo at the Zoo with Scooby-Doo

Oct. 12 and 13; 5–8 pm
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.

Campfire in the Pumpkin Patch

Oct. 20 and 27; 7:30–9:30 pm
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.

Celebrate Halloween

Oct. 30; 3:30–4:30 pm
Newark Public Library, Clinton Branch
Newark, 973-733-7754

8th graders and younger are invited to a pre-Halloween program with spooky stories, crafts, and Halloween treats.

Children’s Spooktacular Magic Show

Oct. 20; 1 and 4 pm
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.


Creature Double Feature

Oct. 19, 20, 26, and 27; 7 pm
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.

Fright Light (Family Version)

Oct. 20 and 27; 4 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.

Goblins in the Garden Family Festival

Oct. 27 and 28; 1–4 pm
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.

Hallowe’en Hike

Oct. 28; 5 pm
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!

Halloween Hocus Pocus

Oct. 28; 1:30–4 pm
Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Come in costume for Halloween storytelling, games, crafts, and other activities.

Halloween Spooktacular

Oct. 27; 10 am–12 pm
Berkeley Heights YMCA, Berkeley Heights

Free, open to all, and costumes encouraged! Prizes, snacks, and Halloween family fun.


Haunted Happenings

Oct. 12–14; 6:30–8:30 pm Fri and Sat, 1–3:30 pm Sun
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.

Haunted Hayrides

Oct. 26–28; 6:30 pm
Trailside Nature and Science Center
Mountainside, 908-789-3670

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.

Healthy Green Halloween Bash

Oct. 27; 2–5 pm
Rue Building, Hoboken, 201-870-1393

Toddler rock concert, free gift bags, organic treats, and a musical appearance by The Fuzzy Lemons. Tickets required.       

Historic Halloween Happenings

Oct. 28; 1–3:30 pm
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 Haunting

Oct. 28; 12–4 pm
Historic Speedwell, Morristown, 973-285-6537

Listen to terrifying ghost stories and participate in a variety of Halloween fun and games.


Hometown Halloween Parade

Oct. 26; 4 pm
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 Welcomes Trick-or-Treaters

Oct. 31; 1–5 pm
Macculloch Hall, Morristown, 973-538-2404 x 10

Children are invited to trick-or-treat at the museum, so stop in for some candy.

Mischief Night Madness

Oct. 26 (rain date: Oct. 27); 4–9 pm
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.

Monster Mash Bash

Oct. 26; 6:30–8:30 pm
Garden State Discovery Museum, Cherry Hill

This Halloween event includes ghostly games and goblin goodies, as you trick-or-treat around happily haunted exhibits.


The Nature of Halloween

Oct. 20; 3:15–5:30 pm
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.

Nature of the Night Halloween Hike

Oct. 20; 7–9 pm
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.

Painting Pumpkins Monster Night

Oct. 31; 6 pm
Newark Public Library, Vailsburg Branch
Newark, 973-733-7755

Get out the paint and brushes to create a Halloween pumpkin monster. All ages.

Preschool Halloween Party

Oct. 29; 10:30–11:30 am
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!

Pumpkin Carving

Oct. 26; 6–8 pm
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.

Stage Fright The Musical

Oct. 26–28; 7:30 pm Fri, 1:30 and 7:30 pm Sat, 1:30 pm Sun
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.


State Scare

Sept. 29–30, Oct. 5–7, 12–14, 18–21, 25–28, 30–31, Nov. 1–3; 7 pm–midnight
Adjacent to State Fair Halloween Superstore
Belleville, 973-450-1070

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.

Too Cute to Spook

Oct. 26; 5:30–9 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.


Oct. 27; 1–3 pm
Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, Madison
973-377-2982 x 13

Come in costume and participate in Halloween games and crafts. Registration suggested.

Trunk or Treat

Oct. 27; 6–8 pm
Garden State Discovery Museum, Cherry Hill

Get dressed up in your favorite costume and enjoy a fun-filled evening of trunk-or-treating!

Woodbridge Ghost Walk

Oct. 5–6; 6:30–9:30 pm
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.

Zoo Boo

Oct. 26 and 27
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.