Fall Activities

13 Not-So-Scary Halloween Events in NYC for the Preschool Set

When my son was a baby, I wondered if he'd ever know the joy of trick-or-treating door to door like his suburban counterparts. But over the years, I've learned that NYC really knows how to celebrate Halloween. There are tons of FREE Halloween celebrations, kid-friendly costume parades, and close-knit communities that dole out copious amounts of candy to trick-or-treaters.

For little New Yorkers, Halloween can sometimes seem more scary than sweet—and a lot of it takes place after bedtime. So we've put together a list of 13 Halloween events perfect for the preschool set, many of them FREE. Enjoy the gentle spirit of these Halloween events while you can—your kids will be celebrating at the Village Halloween Parade before you know it.

For more Halloween happenings, check out our Halloween Guide and our events calendar, which is continually updated with new, fun events as we find out about them.

Halloween in Salem, MA: Spooky, Not-Too-Scary Activities for Kids

If your kids are like mine, they started getting excited for Halloween about the time the 4th of July fireworks ended. From the costumes to carving pumpkins, it’s a whimsical time full of imagination, and revolves around children like no other holiday. And we’re lucky to live very close to what may be the Halloween capital of the country: Salem

But despite what you might have heard about "Witch City," it’s not all scary stuff. Many of the events happening in Salem over the next month are tailor-made for families, replacing most of the tricks with treats. There's a Wednesday program just for kids, and some old favorites have slowly become more fun than frightening over the years. If you've never done fall in Salem, it's time!

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.

I had a theory (having visited a few of these fright nights) 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.

Halloween Festivals and Theme Park Haunts LA Kids Can't Do Without

I have a mama friend who refers to this time of year as the High Holidays, and she ain't talking Yom Kippur. She's also not wrong; there really is no higher holiday on the kid calendar than Halloween. And Southland families can enjoy a long slow build to All Hallows' Eve with more spooky celebrations, haunted happenings, and evil events per capita than any other urban area. Little ghouls and goblins have their pick of pumpkin patches, haunted houses, corn mazes, and ghost trains—but wait; there's more! SoCal theme parks get all creepy at this time of year, too, and the annual festivals below scream Halloween like nobody's business.

Houston's Spookiest Haunted Houses and Attractions for Halloween

While Houston offers several Halloween-themed events and attractions safe for the littlest trick-or-treater, like the Zoo Boo or Scream on the Green, those of you with older children may want something a little stronger in the scare department. We've rounded up a list of Houston area haunted houses that are not for the faint of heart - most of these destinations have age requirements of 12 and up. If you're feeling daring, take a trip to one of these haunted horrors, and don't forget to scream at least a little softer than your pre-teen.

Check out our Halloween Fun Guide for more seasonal events and activities.

15 Fun Things To Do with Westchester Kids on Columbus Day

Didn’t school just start?

While it’s not a holiday that’s recognized nationwide, many schools in Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley will indeed be closed for Columbus Day on Monday, October 8, 2018. Lucky for you, we’ve gathered up some of the best things to do in our area on that day, including some of our favorite fall activities. Many of the farms that are traditionally open only on weekends are up and running on Columbus Day. 

Use our list to plan a fun family day, and be sure to sign up for our newsletters to have these ideas delivered straight to your inbox.

25+ Fun Things To Do with NJ Kids on Columbus Day

If you're scratching your head to come up with some fun ways to spend Columbus Day with kids who are home from school, look no further. We've pulled together a list of more than two dozen fun family outings that NJ kids are bound to love, from picking pumpkins to visiting sea turtles. You can find many more options in our Fall Fun Guide—and if the weather's looking iffy, check out our Indoor Playspace Guide for a backup plan!

25 Fun Things To Do with NYC Kids on Columbus Day

New York City kids have been in school for less than a month and weary parents are staring down another off-day. But don’t panic. There are plenty of New York City kid spots and activities ready to entertain you and your brood on Columbus Day, October 8.

Fall weather offers the perfect chance to hit one of New York City’s many destination playgrounds, of course, but we’ve also scoured our event calendar and museum listings, and combed through our day trip guides to put together a list of 25 things to do with the family on Columbus Day. Read on, desperate parent, read on.

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