Is there a reason for why every Halloween movie is set in New England? YES! Because Halloween in New England is AWESOME!
With its creaky floorboards, leaning gravestones and dank forests, what better place to enjoy the absolute BEST holiday of the year? From the thrill of corn mazes to the terror of haunted houses, there is NO better place in the world than autumn right here! So I say: let's start celebrating starting RIGHT NOW with one of these over-the-top Halloween excursions that take the world's greatest holiday to the next level. For even MORE fun in the autumn sun, check out our complete Halloween and Fall Fun Guide.
Pumpkintown, USA - East Hampton, CT
September 23 - October 31
Photo courtesy of Pumpkintown U.S.A.
Not everything about Halloween has to be spooky, right? So let's start out with this absolutely brilliant, inexpensive pumpkin-based event in Connecticut that has the family in mind. As many as 25,000 people will visit this non-scary Halloween event, hosted by local shop, Paul and Sandy's Too. The feature of the event is the Pumpkinhead Village, where more than 70 cheerful, pumpkinheaded folk greet visitors. Portion of the proceeds support The Sandy Peszynski Breast Cancer Foundation.
Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Zoo - Providence, RI
October 5 - November 5
This Halloween event takes "boo at the zoo" up to the next level! This family-friendly event sculpts "seasonal art aimed to delight and amaze, not to scare anyone." At the end of the Pumpkin Trail, fly high on on the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride for a bird's-eye view of the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular and the beautiful bay. On Thursday through Sunday nights, performers add to the festive environment and entertain the kids. Costumes encouraged!
The Great Jack-O-Lantern Blaze - Croton-on-Hudson, NY
September 29 through November 25
Photo courtesy of The Great Jack-o-Lantern Blaze
The tri-state area's HUGEST jack-o-lantern event sells out every year, even as it blazes on past Halloween! Hey, there is a reason for that! It's AMAZING! Thousands of carved pumpkins, synchronized music, and sculptures that will blow your mind. Book now, before it's too late.
The Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce - Bristol, CT
Friday through Sunday, September 29th – October 29th
This favorite family theme park turns positively terrifying in the off-season. With 14 different "houses" and 200 ghouls and goblins, The Haunted Graveyard will thrill your tweens and teens. Buy a graveyard-only ticket (about 45 minutes), or get an all-access pass to add some thrill to your scare on the Lake Compounce rides.
Haunted Happenings - Salem, MA
Daily through Halloween, and beyond
This is less of an event, per se, than an all-out takeover of an entire town by Halloween. If you are a spook-buff, a weekend in Salem is just what the doctor ordered. Start with a nighttime walking tour of the town and the Gallows Hill Museum. From there, you can pick from the dozens of haunted houses, tours, museums and more that suit your family's scare level.
Rails to the Darkside - East Windsor, CT
Fridays and Saturdays in October
Do you dare an encounter with the abandoned dead? A visit to the CT Trolley Museum in October could mean encountering your worst nightmare! This event is for you and your teens and is not recommended for children. Have young kids? Consider the museum's Pumpkin Patch trolley ride instead.
main image courtesy of the Roger Williams Park Zoo