Halloween seems to get bigger and better every year--and I'm not just talking about the size of the candy bars. Back in the day, we were happy just to trick or treat in our neighborhood, but these days, you can start celebrating at the beginning of October and continue celebrating all month long! Even if you don't live for Halloween, we've got a lot of great ideas for ways to get out there and enjoy (both spooky and non-spooky) in our Connecticut Halloween and Fall Fun Guide.
Here in Fairfield County we have a huge variety of activities and events from Halloween parades to hayrides to pumpkin patches and more. We've collected some of our favorite Halloween happenings here, but don't forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletters and keep tabs on our event calendar so that you won't miss any Halloween fun!
Howl-o-Ween - Beardsley Zoo, Bridgeport
Visit Beardsley Zoo on October 15, 21 & 22, 28 & 29 for their annual Howl-O-Ween event. This evening of spooky fun runs from 6:30-9pm on Fridays, and 6:30-10pm on Saturdays. The annual event includes a Hayride, a Haunted Farmyard, a Gruesome Greenhouse, and a magic show. Free face painting and candy are included with admission. The event is recommended for kids 8-15.
25th Annual "Well Adjusted, LLC" Halloween Run - Brookfield
Burn off a few extra calories before all that candy hits the house by entering the "Well Adjusted, LLC" 5K and kids race. This USATF certified course has a 10:00am start time and walkers are welcome. The kid's race starts right before the 5K at 9:30. Kids compete on a 1K course with divisions for 5 and under, 6-8, and 9-11. Costumes are encouraged, and there are post race refreshments and raffle drawings to be had once you've completed the course.
Danbury Railway Museum Pumpkin Patch Train - Danbury
Ride a vintage train to the pumpkin patch where each child is given a FREE pumpkin and everyone enjoys cider and cookies. Costumes are encouraged and there are plenty of activities including a Thomas the Train table and a coloring station for the kids to enjoy. Trains run hourly Saturdays October 15, 22, and 29 from 10:30-3:30, and Sundays October 16, 23, and 30 from 12:30-3:30. No reservations are required.
Legends and Hauntings - Fairfield
Head to the Fairfield Museum on Friday, October 28 or Saturday, October 29 from 6-9pm, for a nighttime walking tour of haunted Fairfield. Hear about body snatching and ghost legends, and stand on the spot where the 17th-century witch trials took place. Pre-registration is recommended and prices are $13 for non-museum members, $10 for members.
Build a Scarecrow Workshop - Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouse, Greenwich
Bring your family to this beautiful, sprawling back-country nursery every Saturdays, October 1, 15, and 22 (or Monday, October 10) for scarecrow making and pumpkin painting. For $39.99, they supply the frame (4ft or 6ft), head, stuffing and a place to make a mess. You supply the pants, long-sleeve shirt, and whatever accessories you want to create a one-of-a-kind scarecrow. Each workshop will be judged and the winner gets a prize. Reservations are a must. Pumpkin Painting is available on the same schedule as the scarecrow workshop and each pumpkin is $8. They offer FREE hayrides to their Pumpkin Patch from September 29- October 29 including Columbus Day. Check their website for details.
Halloween Happenings - Bendheim Greenwich Western Civic Center, Greenwich
Come in costume for this Halloween themed dance party with games, music, candy, prizes and refreshments. Friday, October 28, 6:00-8:00pm. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Halloween Spooktacular - New Canaan Nature Center, New Canaan
On Saturday, October 28 from 6:30-8:00pm your kids can meet creepy critters like bats, snakes, spiders and more before getting a chance to make your own slime. This year NCNC is hosting a jack-o-lantern carving contest--families are invited to carve a pumpkin at home and deliver it to the center. The Halloween Spooktacular will end with a walk through the woods to view the pumpkins all-aglow. Costumes encouraged, appropriate for all ages, but please note it's not a drop-off activity.
Monster Mash - Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Norwalk
This not-so-scary event will be held Saturday, October 22 from 6:00-8:30pm. Kids can dress up in their favorite costumes and enjoy a magical train ride (weather permitting), a magic show, and a treasure hunt along with much more. They can create fluttery paper bats, concoct magical potions, and show off their costume during the Wizard and Witch Walk Halloween Parade through the museum at night's end!
Mill Hill Haunting - Norwalk
October 21 & 22, take a lantern tour through Norwalk’s historic Mill Hill graveyard. Your guide will chill you with tales of death, haunting, murders, and Norwalk’s most colorful past residents. Tours run at 6:00, 7:30, and 9:00 pm (under a tent during inclement weather). Refreshments follow each tour in the historic 1826 “Little Red Schoolhouse." Don’t forget your flashlight! (Not recommended for children under 8.)
Stew Leonard's - Norwalk CT and Danbury
This popular theme park of a store has all kinds of Halloween fun throughout the month of October. Stew's is already a great stop to find your perfect pumpkin, but they also have the Halloween Hay Bale Theater which shows a FREE children's Halloween movie every Friday night in October in Norwalk and Danbury. Seating is first come, first served so get there early. There's a family-friendly Halloween Hay Ride Spooktacular running daily starting October 3rd in Norwalk and Danbury. Check out the store's Trick-or-Treat day where your little ones can trick-or-treat at the Danbury and Norwalk store and take their pictures with Stew Leonard's characters including their mascot, Wow the Cow. Children who go to the store on Halloween Day in costume in both the Danbury and Norwalk locations receive a free ice cream. Dates and times of Halloween activities vary by store so be sure to check our events calendar.
#ACAMHalloween - Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield
Trick or Treat at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum on October 31st between 5:00-8:00pm and have your photo taken in front of multiple "spooktacular" photo walls. See your image projected on the museum, add it to the live Instagram feed, and leave with a treat.
Haunted Hayride and Haunted Trail - Fairview Tree Farm, Shelton
Looking for something a little scarier? Try Fairview Tree Farms Halloween offerings. The Haunted Hayride will scare you senseless, and the mile-long Melon Head Revenge Trail is designed for ages 12 and up. These events are the real deal, little kids are strongly discouraged. Both feature live creatures in costume along the way. Food and drinks available for purchase.
Harvest Festival and Trick or Treat on Hecksher Farm/Ick Fest - Stamford Museum and Nature Center, Stamford
Vote for your favorite scarecrow, learn how apple cider is made, and participate in a costume parade during Harvest Festival Weekend, October 15 and 16 from 11:00-3:00. On October 30 from 1:00-3:00pm, kids can trick-or-treat on the farm where they will look for the clues that lead them to five trick-or-treat stations. Head over to the Ick Fest at the Overbrook Nature Center to check out the "slime table" and visit snakes, tarantulas, and other creepy crawlies.
Fright Night at Ambler Farm - Wilton
This drop-off activity for kids in grades 3-5 includes haunted activities and frightful stories, creepy sights, mysterious sounds, and a ghost dog who frequents the farm. Top it off with a moonlit hay-ride. Advance registration required.
Ghosts of Ridgefield - Hemlock Hills Open Space, Ridgefield
Step out into the night for this annual ghost hike through Ridgefield's Hemlock Hills. Encounter the ghosts of Connecticut past who will thrill you and educate about days gone by. There are refreshments to keep your energy up along the trail. Ghosts of Ridgefield is one night only, October 22 at 6:00pm, with tours leaving every 15 minutes. Advanced reservations are required.
Great Pumpkin Festival - Boothe Memorial Park, Stratford
On Saturday, October 15, Stratford's Boothe Memorial Park will burst into autumnal glory with the annual Great Pumpkin Festival. Watch talented artists carve 100-pound pumpkins into works of art, learn about falconry and encounter live animals, take a horse-drawn hay-ride, and much more. There is a costume parade at 3:00 sharp, and plenty of fun for the whole family.
History Ablaze! - Trumbull Historical Society, Trumbull
Wander through the jack-o-lantern lit grounds of Trumbull Historical Society and encounter ghoulish figures with tales from the past. Inside warm up with refreshments. There is a jack-o-lantern carving contest prior to the event that is open to individuals, families, and groups. October 29, time TBD, check website for details.
Ghostly Sightings Tours - Lockwood-Mathews Mansion, Norwalk
You are invited to partake in an evening of the macabre. Tour the mansion to encounter ghosts and dark memories. Tours run October 21, 22, 23, and 28, 29, 30 at 4:00, 5:00, and 6:30. Advanced payment and reservations are required.
There’s nothing quite like the cuteness of a town Halloween parade! Here are a few that are coming up in Fairfield County:
Rowayton Halloween Celebration
Sunday, October 23 at the Rowayton Community Center
In addition to a parade, this event has a hay maze, petting zoo, pony rides and a haunted house.
Westport Halloween Spectacular,
Thursday, October 27
Children in costume parade up Main Street and trick-or-treat along the way. There are more treats to be had at Town Hall, not to mention snacks and a DJ dance party. The Main Street parade leaves from the YMCA at the corner of Post Road and Main Street at 3:30pm. The Town Green party starts at 4:30pm.
Darien Halloween Parade,
Friday, October 28
Meet at the Darien Fire Station (opposite Post Corner Pizza) to participate in this annual parade for toddlers and pre-school aged children. Costumed kids trick-or-treat with local merchants on their way to Tilley Pond for snacks and a special magic show with The Amazing Andy.
Danbury Halloween on the Green
Saturday, October 29 at City Center
Party on the green from 2:00-4:00pm, costume parade 3:30. They'll have a costume contest, games, food, and more.
Ridgefield Halloween Walk on Main Street
Saturday, October 29
Trick or treat along Main Street in Ridgefield.
New Canaan Halloween Parade
Sunday, October 30
Goody bags will be handed out and the parade starts at 1:00pm, led by the Old Faithful Antique Fire Truck. Children of all ages, and their dogs are welcome.
Photo Credit: Julia Tolstrup
Originally published October 22, 2012.