Sesame Place's Not-Too-Spooky Drive-thru is tailor-made for preschool fun. Photo courtesy of Sesame Place
Sesame Place's Not-Too-Spooky Drive-thru is tailor-made for preschool fun. Photo courtesy of Sesame Place

Halloween Drive-thrus Near Tristate Area: Pumpkins, Lights, and Haunted Activities for 2021

With Halloween on the horizon, we’re looking forward to some safe, spooky family-friendly fun this season and many of our favorite annual Halloween attractions are returning in drive-thru form again in 2021. Ranging from sweet to spooky, visiting one of these Halloween light shows makes for an out-of-the-ordinary celebration.

So, don your costume and hop in the car to visit one of these drive-thru Halloween attractions in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. We've even got the details on a particularly preschool-friendly pick in Pennsylvania. There are plenty of options for ghosts and goblins big and little, from drive-thru jack-o'-lantern displays to haunted houses. We've got more seasonal picks in our Guide to Halloween Fun for Families.

Subscribe to our FREE newsletters to get stories like these delivered to your inbox.

RELATED: 30 Halloween Movies with Kid-Friendly Thrills and Chills

Drive-Thru Halloween Attractions Near New Jersey

Bloodshed Farms: The Last Drive – Columbus

Friday, Saturdays, and select Sundays from Friday, October 1-Sunday, October 31
All-ages
Purchase tickets in advance online.
Theatrical sets and live actors transport you from the comfort of your car to Bloodshed Farms in this haunted attraction. If you want a real scare, consider upgrading to the gory VIP package where actors and their props prod your car along the route, dousing it in fake blood, water, soap, and (of course!) ectoplasmic goo. Organizers say the attraction is all-ages, but we're more inclined to recommend it for ages 10+.

RELATED: Easy Halloween Treats for Kids

Stacked jack-o'-lantern's await at Wagner Farm Arboretums Halloween lights drive -thru
Volunteers spend months crafting the intricate displays at Wagner Farm Arboretum's Brite Nights event.

Wagner Farm Arboretum Brite Nites Drive-Thru – Warren

Thursdays through Saturdays from Thursday-October 7-Saturday, October 30
All-ages
Purchase tickets in advance online.
Wagner Farm Arboretum's popular Brite Nite attraction returns for a 10th season. The family-focused Halloween-themed Brite Nites showcases an elaborate display of intricate, creative hand-carved, and lit pumpkins. Drive through the Pumpkin Path to view the many different displays meant to delight old and young alike and see the complex pumpkin sculptures that take volunteers months to carve.

Halloween Light Show at Demarest Farms – Hillsdale

Daily through Sunday, October 31
Purchase tickets in advance online.
Following the popularity of its 2020 holiday lights show, Demarest Farms is at it again mounting a spooktacular Halloween display spread over 32 acres and purported to be the largest display in the state. Once you've navigated the orchard light show, step out of your vehicle to warm up with s'mores and hot cocoa around the fire.

RELATED: Easy Pumpkin Carving Ideas and Stencils for Halloween

The D&R Greenway car parade returns as a drive-thru attraction in 2021
Participants from the 2020 car parade, photo courtesy of drgreenway.org

D&R Greenway Land Trust Masquerade Parade – Princeton

Sunday, October 31
All-ages
Purchase tickets in advance online.
Celebrate Halloween safely from your vehicle in this festive car parade. You'll decorate your car and then navigate the parade route, passing by themed floats positioned along the bucolic farm road on the St. Michaels Farm Preserve. Goody bags filled with nature-inspired surprises are doled out to participants. The parade is limited to 300 cars, and you must preregister.

RELATED: Easy Halloween Costumes for Kids

See a skeleton stage coach at Stew Leonards Halloween drive-thru attraction
Skeletons and other signs of the season abound at Stew Leonard's Halloween drive-thru attractions. Photo courtesy of Stew Leonards Drive-Thru.

Halloween Lights Drive-thrus Near Long Island

Halloween Drive-Thru at Stew’s – East Meadow & Farmingdale

Daily through Sunday, October 31
Ages 10 and younger
Families are invited to Stew Leonard's for a drive-thru Halloween celebration. Cars follow a path through more than a dozen family-friendly Halloween-themed scenes featuring inflatable characters. It's all conveniently located in the parking lot just steps from Stew’s pumpkin patch. Customers can also tune their car’s radio to the right station to catch Clover the Cow’s spooky Halloween soundtrack. This Halloween attraction isn't limited to the Long Island locations. Stew Leonard's is hosting similar drive-thrus at its Norwalk, Connecticut, Paramus, New Jersey, and Yonkers, New York, locations, too.

The Forgotten Road at Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse – Yaphank

Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from Friday, October 1-Sunday, October 31
Ages 13+
Purchase tickets in advance online.
Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse returns with another iteration of its Forgotten Road drive-thru. In 2021, guests traverse through Campers Pike on The Forgotten Road, a drive-thru attraction at Southaven Park. If you're ready to leave the comfort and safety of the car behind, hit up Gateway's walk-through Camp Terror, opening Wednesday, October 6, in Bellport instead.

RELATED: 20 Hilariously Spooky Halloween Jokes for Kids

Friendly painted pumpkins welcome visitors to the Pumpkin Town USA drive-thru
Take a ride around the popular and non-scary Pumpkintown USA.

Halloween Drive-thrus Near Connecticut

The "Ride" at Pumpkintown USA – East Hampton

Daily through Sunday, October 31
All-ages
Purchase tickets in advance online.
One of New England's premier non-scary Halloween villages, Pumpkintown USA annually draws about 25,000 visitors. During a 1-mile drive, guests traverse the seasonal landscape to view more than 30 pumpkin-head people set up in whimsical woodland scenes. Reservations are required. If you want to up the fun factor, pre-purchase seasonal treats to enjoy while you roll down the Pumpkintown trail. An adjacent Pumpkintown Village can be explored on foot—for an additional fee.

Ray of Light Farm's Not-So-Scary Halloween Drive Through – East Haddam

Select dates from Friday, October 15-Saturday, October 30
All-ages
Purchase tickets in advance online.
Exciting sights await on the magical Pony Trail at Ray of Light Farm. The evening comes to life with costumed characters greeting visitors along the way and doling out treats to little ghouls and goblins as they glide by.

Where to See Halloween Lights Near Pennsylvania

Sesame Place's Not-Too-Spooky Halloween Drive-Thru – Langhorne

Tuesdays and Wednesdays through Wednesday, October 27
All-ages
We realize this pick is a little further afield, but parents of preschoolers may appreciate a little mid-week diversion. Earn some cool parent cred when you take your little one on a drive down Sesame Street as they spot their favorite characters costumed for the holiday. Lights, festive decor, and a spooky soundtrack round out the experience. Of course, there are treats to collect when you exit!

All photos courtesy of the respective attractions

Activity Guides