Fall Activities

Queen Mary's Dark Harbor: Are Your Kids Ready for this Scary Halloween Haunt?

No parent likes to contemplate it, but the day will come for our kids when trick-or-treating is no more. If your family is as hooked on Halloween as ours is, you'll want to find a way to keep the magic going, even once your baby starts to look really big to other people (particularly people opening their doors at night). Filling this void is the main reason for the many seriously spooky big kid haunts around the Southland—haunts like Universal Horror Nights, Knott's Scary Farm, and Dark Harbor. But how to transition? You can't just hit the brakes on collecting candy with Elsa and suddenly start running from chainsaw wielding zombies.

The first time I visited this haunt, I had a theory that Dark Harbor at the Queen Mary might be the perfect tween transition to a different way of celebrating All Hallows' Eve, and I committed so fully to this theory that I booked our whole family (and some friends) for an overnight on the haunted, haunting ship. And guess what? It worked! Three tweens I know had the time of their lives screaming with the spooks all night at the Queen Mary. The evening was enormous fun, and I think a few things we did to prepare helped stack the deck in favor of success.

Ultimate Guide to FREE Spooktacular Events on Halloween in Houston

Halloween is almost here, and Houston is jam-packed full of spooky fun events for kids of all ages!

There are tons of trunk-or-treats happening around Houston during the month of October and of course pumpkin patches to visit. Find it all in our Halloween Fun Guide for Houston. We even have adorable last-minute costume ideas. But if you've already overspent on the candy and costumes...read on for the very best FREE Halloween events and happenings around Houston.

Best Free Halloween Events for Kids in New York City

What's the one way to make a costume-and-candy-filled Halloween celebration even sweeter? Make it FREE. In New York City there are loads of no-cost Halloween celebrations in 2019, and we've decided to give parents the best treat of all: a roundup of FREE Halloween events for kids across the city, including big annual family favorites like Fort Greene's BAMboo! block party, the Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla in Central Park, and more.

So bring your costumes, but leave your wallets at home for these gratis gatherings, and then check out our Halloween Fun Guide for details on the best costume parades, trick-or-treat spots, and other seasonal activities.

Pumpkin Picking Patches in the Hartford Area

The farm fields are brimming with bright orange pumpkins just waiting to be picked and painted, carved, or baked into scrumptious desserts. Pumpkin picking is one of the most beloved fall activities and there is no shortage of patches in the greater Hartford area. Head out on a crisp autumn day and find just the right pumpkin to decorate with your child. Don't forget to roast and enjoy the seeds!

If you live in southwest Connecticut, see our picks for Fairfield pumpkin patches. For even more seasonal activities, check out our Connecticut Fall Fun and Halloween Guide.

Free Halloween Fun for Kids near Philly

Children throughout the Delaware Valley await Halloween with great anticipation. After all, how often do Philly kids get to pretend to be their favorite superhero, princess, or storybook character plus get free candy? Nothing could be better!

Even though Halloween is only one night, there are plenty of ways to start the festivities early. Best of all, Mommy Poppins Philadelphia has rounded up Halloween activities that are FREE. Townships and libraries are venues that offer free excitement for young ones and older kids alike. Many events distribute treats and most encourage kids to wear costumes. It's a great way to get your money's worth out of that Halloween gear. Don't forget to browse through the entire event calendar filtering by location, age, and tags to discover even more options, perfect for your family.

Free Things to Do with Houston Kids in October

Houston, fall is technically here. There is a ton happening around the city in October, including many free events for the family. Most fall festivals and pumpkin patches around Houston are free, and don't forget to check out our guide to free Halloween events or see what organization near you is hosting a fun trunk-or-treat (yes, also free). 

This month enjoy free concerts at Market Street, story hour at McGovern Centennial Gardens, and so much more - check our calendar every day for things to do around Houston with your kids. And for more free fun year-round, see our Guide to Free Events & Activities for Houston Families.

50+ Free Things To Do with Kids This October in NYC

Now that we're fully into the back-to-school groove, families might be looking to escape the weekday routine with some festive—and better yet, FREE!—NYC weekend events. This October is brimming over with autumn activities, including lots of Harvest fests and of course, heaps of Halloween fun.

This month also boasts some great fall festivals like the Little Red Lighthouse Festival and the Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival. The FREE family fun doesn't stop there: October brings lots of non-Halloween events like the Blessing of the Animals, Pickle Day, plenty of arts workshops, and Skate Night on the Upper East Side. 

Read on for over 50 FREE things to do this October in New York City, including events in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Find more top events in our October GoList, or our always-packed daily NYC event calendar and don't forget to sign up for our FREE newsletters to get the best local events and reviews delivered right to your inbox.

Día de los Muertos: What Other City Has This Many Day of the Dead Celebrations?

Hauntingly close to Halloween, El Día de los Muertos – the Day of the Dead – is a magical holiday that's also a living history lesson, demonstrating the tendency of conquerors to absorb indigenous customs into their own. Christian Europeans arrived in Mexico already fans of All Hallows Eve (modern-day Halloween), only to stumble upon an ancient tradition celebrated by the Aztecs on November 2, with a spookily similar theme. Day of the Dead is a time when the door between worlds is meant to open so that celebrants can honor departed loved ones and hopefully lure them back for a visit.

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