Just-Spooky-Enough Haunted Houses and Halloween Attractions for Boston Kids

Halloween is a holiday that everyone from toddlers to grandparents can enjoy, but the fear factor can be a little intense for some kids. While there are many gory and gruesome options for 'tweens and teens, it can be hard to find Halloween activities that can feel suitably exciting (but not terrifying) for the elementary-school set. Here are six local activities with varying levels of scariness that will entertain kids ages 6 to 12 without scaring the pants off of them. For more ideas for littler folk, check out our free Halloween picks.

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NYC Hotel Rooms with Views of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Chances are you're not even thinking about Thanksgiving yet. After all, we still have Halloween to get through! But as anyone in the NYC hotel industry will tell you, families looking to book a hotel where they can watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Midtown Manhattan do so up to a year ahead of time. For a room with a view of Snoopy, Spidey, Hello Kitty, and their other inflatable pals, you've really got to plan in advance.

It's not just NYC tourists who splurge on hotels for the Thanksgiving parade, either. Over the past few years, we've had many New Yorkers write in asking which hotels looked out on the Macy's Parade route (it sure beats watching from the street). While most of these hotels still have availability at the time of this writing, call right away as they'll most likely sell out soon. And if you do get shut out, it's worth checking closer to Thanksgiving since there are sometimes last-minute cancelations.

For a budget-saving alternative, catch a prime viewing spot the night before the parade as the giant balloons are inflated on the Upper West Side.

The Gerber Baby Photo Search Is Happening Now on Instagram

Think your kid is the cutest? Well, baby food maker Gerber just opened its annual Gerber Baby photo contest, so it’s time to take your best shot.

Parents can enter newborns to children up to age 4 in the photo search contest that selects a child ambassador for the brand. Simply post a photo of your cutie to Instagram with the hashtag #GerberPhotoSearch2018 between October 1 and October 20 to join in the fun. Remember to make your profile public, so Gerber can see your photo.

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: Boo at the Zoo, Coast Open Streets, and Mark in the Park

It's beginning to look a lot like pumpkins, everywhere I go. And so it begins! The Harvest. The Corn Mazes. The Hatchimals  (not sure what that has to do with the season, but just go with it). We are on a crazed, giddy run to the end of the month.

But don't get spooked! Yes, there are scary things afoot. Yes, you can choose the dark and shadowy path. But you can also choose to welcome the season with laughs (and science!). You can fear the night or you can get in on the fun. Halloween is what you make it, and LA makes it easy to choose family-friendly. Or not.

Public service announcement for purists who wait to celebrate Halloween until, well, Halloween. There's still lots to do! This weekend sees festivals Greek and Korean, Manhattan Beachian and Encinoish. You can buy a ticket to the 20s, catch a plane, train, or (very small) automobileThis land is both your land and my land, and Children's Book World is 32. (Um, me too. More or less.) The streets of Santa Monica are open wide, and you can make your mark in Grand Park. So go out there and scare up some fun.

Keep reading for our favorite treats for this weekend, no trick!

Weekend Fun for Houston Kids: Centennial Oktober Kids-Fest, Celebration Seabrook, Oct. 6-7

Don your favorite set of PJs, because we're kicking off this upcoming weekend early with a special family-friendly pajama party at Discovery Green's moonGARDEN exhibit on Friday. The evening, which concludes the exhibit's run in the park, features stargazing and special celebrity readings of "Goodnight Moon," plus a serving of milk and cookies. 

Can we all say a little hooray for the (slightly) cooler weather we've been enjoying? Even a marginal break in the heat means that outdoor activities are infinitely more enjoyable, which is why we think now is the perfect time to take the kids to the Renaissance Festival this weekend or out for a family camping trip (or you could even camp at RenFest...). Let's celebrate the change in seasons with all the outdoor activities! 

Speaking of activities, if you have an event or activity coming up that you want to share, we want to share it too! Submit your event to our event calendar and we'll add it to our ever-growing list of awesome happenings around town. The start of a new month also means we have a brand new October GoList up, so be sure to stop by and check out some of the best events that are going on throughout the month so you can plan out your weekends with the kids and GO! 

We also recommend signing up for our weekly newsletter so you can stay up to speed with everything happening on Mommy Poppins. We promise not to bombard you with superfluous emails; just a weekly check-in or two sharing the best of the best! 

Without any further delay, let's check out what this lovely first weekend in October has in store for us.

Columbus Day Weekend Fun: Pumpkins, HONK!, and Mini Maker Faire; Oct 6-7

The long Columbus Day weekend comes at a perfect time: There are just too many cool musical, spooky, and fall-themed activities to fit into two short days! Carve out time for some patriotic and musical parading: The annual Columbus Day Parade returns to East Boston and HONK!, is back for three days of rooting, tooting fun. Also on the festival front: STEM-loving kids can rejoice, because the Mini Maker Faire is happening all weekend long. 

Weekend Fun: Columbus Day, Fall Fests, Harry Potter, and Animal Blessings

Columbus Day weekend is here, and there's so much to do with kids around NYC it would take another three-day weekend to fit everything in. The annual Columbus Day Parade steps off in Midtown, of course, and there are Indigenous Peoples' Day celebrations at the National Museum of the American Indian and the Museum of the City of New York.

This weekend also brings FREE fall festivals in full force, including the Harlem Harvest Festival, the Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival, and the Jefferson Market Garden Children's Festival. Plus there's Fall Family Day at the Museum of the Moving Image, Honey and Harvest Festival at the NYBG, and the rocking and rolling 25th Annual Bus Festival in Dumbo.

Great kid-friendly concerts, exhibits, and shows abound, too: It's opening weekend for the Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibit at the New-York Historical Society (and as of this writing, there are still ticket times available Monday afternoon) as well as Laurie Berkner's Pillowland at New York City Children's Theater. Michael and the Rockness Monsters kick off the season at Symphony Space, Charlotte's Web spins its enchantment on Saturday in Tribeca, and two Fringe Jr shows open their doors (The Odyssey and Super: The Musical). There's also a FREE performance by Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards Saturday at Lincoln Center.

And it's time for animal blessings! Head to Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn on Saturday and St. John the Divine on Sunday to watch a parade of animals both exotic and domestic—bring your own Horace T. Goldfish or Woofs A. Pup for a blessing on the pulpit green. To the delight of tiny creature fans, the butterflies are back at the American Museum of Natural History this weekend, too.

Read on for our top picks for the coming weekend, or check out our list of 25 Fun Things to Do on Columbus Day in NYC. Also, be sure to check our October GoList and just released Halloween Guide to help you plan out the rest of this fall. As always, our Event Calendar is full of activities and events for every day of the week.

What Happened to Columbus Day? What's Indigenous Peoples Day? And Is There School?

If, like many Angelenos, you were once a resident of another state—or even if you can remember to way back before 2009—you may be experiencing your annual attack of Columbus Day confusion. Is there school on Monday? Is it a holiday? Should you be picking something to do from the Mommy Poppins events calendar? And what about Indigenous Peoples Day—is that a thing? Go ahead and check your school district’s calendar if it makes you feel better, but we can end the mystery for you right here: yes, your public school kids have school on Monday.

Columbus Day Weekend Fun: Fall Fests, Jack-O'-Lanterns, Frontier Days

This Columbus Day weekend plan a group sunset wagon ride along Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank. Or support the recently flood-damaged Theatre Three with its family-friendly Halloween show, A Kooky Spooky Halloween.

Visit a fall farm festival at Harbes, Fink's, Schmitt's, BrightwatersWhite Post or Dee's Nursery.

See our Fall Family Fun Guide for the best in seasonal entertainment, including day trip ideas, fall festivals, corn mazes. and plenty of FREE events and activities. As always, our Event Calendar and October GoList are loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids.

Pumpkins, Explorers, and Hero Hounds - Columbus Day Weekend Fun for CT Kids

The calendar has turned over to October, meaning it's time to dig the sweaters and windbreakers out of the closet. The month-long celebration of spooky that is all things Halloween begins in earnest this weekend, with haunted houses, a haunted street, a haunted island, and even a haunted town. Not quite ready for ghosts and goblins? There are more traditional fall fairs going on in Warren and Portland. There also is an animal benefit fair in Stratford, and you can share your favorite hobbies at the annual Maker Faire in Hartford.

To make sure that you don't miss any of the seasonal fun, subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Have fun!

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