Photo courtesy of AddamsFest

Your Halloweekend just got a major upgrade. From October 26-28 in Westfield, your coven can take part in AddamsFest, a town-wide shindig dedicated to Charles Addams, the Westfield cartoonist who created The Addams Family characters. This new weekend-long event has stuff for artists, grown-ups and little monsters alike.

Photo courtesy of AddamsFest: Westfield Celebrates Charles Addams


October 27: Get to the Mindowaskin Park Bandstand at 10:30 am to see the mayor hand off a Skeleton Key to a surprise guest and find out the winner of the Charles Addams Cartoon Contest. Hang there from 11 am-2 pm and let the kids run wild on The Addams Family Fun Zone. You can also catch one of Morticia’s Movies at the Rialto Movie Theater. The family-friendly screening is, of course, The Addams Family (advanced tix required; sensory-friendly showing on Oct. 28 at 11 am). There’s even more fall fun to be had from 11 am-5 pm. Chill on Quimby and Elm Streets (inspired by Charles Addams’ high school nickname Chil) for live tunes, street entertainment, giant chess and wow-worthy demos put on by Maniac Pumpkin Carvers.

October 28: Deck your little Wednesday and Pugsley out in their best get-ups for The Optimist Club of Westfield’s Annual Halloween Parade and Costume Contest at South Avenue station at 1:30 pm. Then start their inevitable sugar rush early at Pugsley’s Trunk or Treat at 2:30 pm (there’s even an allergy-free zone for those who need to play it safe).

Photo courtesy of AddamsFest


October 26 (SOLD OUT): Morticia and Gomez’s Masquerade Ball at The James Ward Mansion is a classy (and kooky!) affair. Wear your darkest threads for a walk down the purple carpet, chow down on Addams-inspired gourmet bits, sample spine-chilling cocktails and boogie down on the dance floor. $125/ticket, four per person limit.

October 27: Those interested in the history and life that inspired the event won’t want to miss Gomez’s Lecture Series throughout the weekend. Sit in on talks like The Life of Charles Addams, The Chas Addams Family Workshop (10/28) and The Lighter Side of Darkness: A Conversation About the Addams Aesthetic. If you’re more a movie buff, reserve seats to a late night screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, part of Morticia’s Movies (advanced tix required). Before the movie, grab a pint at Charlie’s Ale Garden from 5-11 pm on Quimby and Elm. Sip a signature Addams Ale under the stars while tasting your way through local fare and live music. If you have a hankering for a haunting, get your tix ASAP for Paranormal Investigations at the Westfield Historical Society’s Reeve House (6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 pm). The Reeve House has been around since 1870, so there are lots of specters you and your pro paranormal guides may find.

Pregame the big weekend by visiting The Addams Family House on Mindowaskin Lake, perusing downtown shops’ Wicked Windows of Westfield, showing off your spooky skills in the Haunt Your House home decorating contest and the Westfield High School Charles Addams Cartoon Contest. Macabre Picassos also won’t want to miss the Charles Addams Art Exhibit, running from October 22-30.