Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Lantern Parade and Head of the Charles, October 22-23

I grew up in Boston and it has been so much fun to rediscover as a parent some of the seasonal activities I remember from when I was a kid. Many are not only still around but are bigger and better than ever. Several are happening this weekend, like the Lantern Parade (pictured) with approximately 4,000 people walking around Jamaica Pond at sunset with brightly colored lanterns. King Richard's Faire is now in its 35th year of offering jousting and minstrels every weekend in the fall. Of course, it wouldn't be fall in Cambridge without the Head of the Charles, the world's largest regatta.

Halloween happenings are in full swing with creepy haunted attractions for older kids, not-so-scary activities for the little ones, and plenty of free festivities. October is also a great time to visit Witch City, where the Halloween celebration runs all month long.

Enjoy the weekend of fall fun here in Boston and beyond. Help us pick our Besties and don't forget to check out the full events calendar!


Head of the Charles - Cambridge
Since 1965, rowers have come from far and near to the banks of the Charles River to take part in the world's largest regatta.

Jamaica Pond Lantern Parade - Jamaica Plain
Each year approximately 4,000 people arrive at Jamaica Pond at sunset with lanterns; many children arriving in full Halloween costume as well.

The Midnight Zoo - Boston
The Midnight Zoo surrounds visitors with never-before-seen creatures from the farthest realms of the imagination in a 360-degree immersive experience.

Halloween Brick or Treat - Somerville
Families can join LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston for some spooky fun on weekends in October with all kinds of festive activities.

King Richard's Faire - Carver
A visit to King Richard’s Faire, New England’s largest and longest-running Renaissance festival that is tucked away on 80 acres of enchanted forest, offers a full day of live, interactive entertainment. 

Maudslay is HauntedNewburyport
Join a cast of all ages for a one-hour walk through eerie vignettes, spooky sketches and haunting scenes, all in the autumn grandeur of Maudslay State Park.

Boo at the ZooStoneham
Children throughout New England are invited to trick-or-treat among the animals at Stone Zoo.


Trick-or-Treat at the Street - Chestnut Hill
This year’s event will offer the most festive fall activities: trick-or-treating throughout the property, a Pooch Parade and Canine Costume Contest, a make your own “Monster Mix” station, a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, and live music from acclaimed kids dance band Josh and the Jamtones.

The Great Pumpkin Fest - Worcester
More than a thousand pumpkins are lit up at this fall festival.

Halloween Romp - Easton
Activities include chilling crafts, ghoulish games, spine-tingling science experiments, creepy-crawly animals from New England Reptile and Raptor, and many more myst-eerie-ous activities.

Ghosts and Graves of Lexington - Lexington
This candlelit tour of the Old Burying Ground and Buckman Tavern departs from the Lexington Depot. Colonial ancestors tell tales of what brought them to the grave. 

Halloween Happenings at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary - Ipswich
The sanctuary is hosting a safe, fun-filled, guided family night walk through the forest to learn about the creatures of the night.


Frog Pond Halloween Pumpkin Festival - Boston
This family-friendly event includes decoration of Halloween luminaries, refreshments, and more. 

Canine Promenade - Boston
The Canine Promenade invites dog owners to dress up their pets in festive costume and parade around the park.

Professor Wunder's School of Magic - Salem
This special show is just for families and children who want to enjoy Salem without being scared!

Pumpkinfest - Brookline
Carnival rides, games, and attractions for all ages including Dunk Tank, Spooky Space, Harvest Table, Carnival Snacks, international food, gym & field games, Wheel of Fortune, Glitter Spa, live performances, and much more.

Photo courtesy of Lucie Wicker/Spontaneous Celebrations