Best Halloween Events for New Jersey Preschoolers

Get on your costume, grab your pumpkin or bag and head to the Maplewood Halloween Parade. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
Safe Trick-or-Treat Options for Young Children in New Jersey

"Trick-or-treat!" Kids of all ages love reciting those magic words in exchange for bags filled with goodies. Walking through the streets and knocking on strangers’ doors late in the evening, however, may not be the best option for toddlers and preschoolers. Luckily, New Jersey offers plenty of opportunities for safe trick-or-treating in controlled environments. From pumpkin farms to amusement parks to community events, you can experience the fun of trick-or-treating without worry at these structured, family-friendly outings.

Read on for 20 fun ways to celebrate the holiday with little ones, and find even more Halloween happenings in our Event Calendar and Halloween Guide.

Fright Fest at Six Flags is scare-free during the day.

Fright Fest – Jackson
Saturdays and Sundays through October 28; plus October 8, 29, 30, and 31, 2018
Don’t get put off by the name. Six Flags Great Adventure's Fright Fest offers family-friendly “thrills by day,” including trick-or-treating with characters, Professor Slithers' Creepy Critters, a Spooky Kooky Magic Show and a Spooktacular Dance Party at the Main Street Fountain. The park is scare-free until 6pm.

Dinosaurs After Dark – Leonia
Fridays and Saturdays through October 27, 2018
Go big this Halloween at Field Station: Dinosaurs After Dark, open Friday and Saturday nights. Kids can enjoy amazing adventures filled with laughter and suspense. Reservations are suggested for this popular event.

DiggerFest 2018 – West Berlin
Weekends Saturday, October 6 – Sunday, November 11, 2018
Kids will dig the weekend fun at Diggerland. Fall festivities include hayrides, a corn maze, pumpkin launching and decorating, face painting, live music, and more. Kids are invited to come in costume October 20, 21, 27, and 28 for trick-or-treating and a costume contest. Check out a stilt walker and juggler November 3,4,10, and 11.

RELATED: Cool Pumpkin Displays, Festivals, and Decorating Events in NJ

Enjoy animal encounters and candy stations at Cohanzick Zoo. 

Boo at Cohanzick Zoo – Bridgeton
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Kids can come in costume for Halloween treats, crafts, and face painting.

Boo at the Boardwalk – Point Pleasant Beach 
Saturdays and Sundays, October 20-21 and 27-28, 2018
The Jersey Shore offers more than just summer fun. Get treats, conquer a beach maze, and participate in a pumpkin derby at Boo at the Boardwalk. In a nod to the event's seaside location, check out some underwater pumpkin carving. FREE

Trick-or-Treat Street and Howl-O-Ween – Seaside Heights
Sunday, October 21, 2018
Seaside Heights' event features prizes and fun for everyone, including pumpkin decorating, a dog and kids' costume parade, trick-or-treating, and a pumpkin chunkin' competition among local businesses. FREE

Halloween Hootenanny – Cherry Hill 
Friday, October 26, 2018
Celebrate Halloween at the Garden State Discovery Museum. Kids can check out a special holiday-themed exhibit, make a holiday craft, and show off their best dance moves before heading outside for trick-or-treating in the museum’s parking lot.

Zoo Boo – Paramus
Friday, October 26 – Saturday, October 27, 2018
Head to the zoo for trick-or-treating, spooky stories, a magic show, and a friendly train ride. Tickets must be purchased in advance as this popular event always sells out.

Trick-or-Treat Weekend at Storybook Land – Egg Harbor Township 
Friday, October 26 – Sunday, October 28, 2018
Come in costume for a hayride, hay maze, and pumpkin decorating. Kids receive a tree trick-or-treat bag which they can take to more than 20 goody stations. Plus, visit Storybook Land for kid-friendly October Fun all month long. 

Boo at the Zoo – Cape May Court House
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Head to Cape May County Zoo for games, candy, entertainment, and an inflatable obstacle course. FREE

Goblins in the Garden – Camden
Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28, 2018
Treats are plentiful at the Camden Children’s Garden Halloween party. A haunted hayride, costume parade, and trick-or-treating are all part of the excitement. Kids in costume get $1 off admission.

Trunk-or-Treating – Wyckoff 
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Gather goodies from decked-out cars and enjoy a ride to the pumpkin patch at Abma's Farm.

Halloween Block Party – Wildwood
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Owners of tricked-out vehicles will give out treats at Wildwood Crest Pier. The festivities will include a DJ, refreshments, and other Halloween activities. FREE

Trunk or Treat – Sparta
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Sparta Evangelical Free Church hosts an afternoon of fun with refreshments, candy, and cars decorated for the holiday. FREE

Witch's Day Out – Smithville
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Grab your favorite little witches and head over to Smithville. Participate in scavenger hunts, and stop in the Sweet Shop to guess how many candy corns are in the cauldron. Enter to win best witch's hat, best witch's shoes, and best junior witch. FREE

HalloWheaton – Millville
This scare-free event at WheatonArts features trick-or-treating and interactive performances for families. Children will have a chance to trick-or-treat and take pictures with traditional costumed characters such as the Mummy, the Grymm Witches, the too-tall scarecrow, and many others. FREE

RELATED: Best Events This Fall for New Jersey Preschoolers

Have a Historic Halloween at Physick Estate in Cape May.

A Historic Halloween – Cape May
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Trick-or-treat and take a stroll through Scarecrow Alley at Cape May’s historic Physick Estate, a 19th-century mansion. FREE

Downtown Trick-or-Treat – Summit 
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Collect treats at participating downtown businesses during this special trick-or-treat afternoon for preschoolers. FREE

Safe Howl-o-Ween – West Orange
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Visit your favorite animal friends while trick-or-treating at the Turtle Back Zoo, featuring candy stations throughout the zoo and live music at the amphitheater.

Maplewood Village Halloween Parade – Maplewood
Wednesday October 31, 2018
Maplewood closes off its streets for an afternoon of Halloween fun, including trick-or-treating, a costume contest, music, prizes, and more. FREE

Unless noted, photos courtesy of the venues

Originally published September 2014; updated for 2018.