For little kids, Halloween is usually more about the treats than the tricks. The excitement is in getting dressed up, making decorations and enjoying sweet treats from neighbors—not gore, creepy stuff, or being scared silly.
For fun, not-so-scary (but maybe slightly spooky) Halloween happenings in and around Boston this month, read on. These activities are for kids and families who just want the Halloween festivities to be sweet.
The Midnight Zoo at Franklin Park Zoo
Fridays - Sundays through Oct 30, 2016
The Midnight Zoo, presented in partnership with Puppet Showplace Theater, surrounds visitors with never-before-seen creatures from the farthest realms of the imagination in a 360-degree immersive experience featuring elaborate costumes, masterful design, and moonlit surprises. The event runs from 6 to 10pm, with doors opening at 6 and performances beginning at 6:30pm.
Spooky Haymaze at Wilson Farm
Fridays - Sundays through Oct 30, 2016
The Spooky Haymaze at Wilson Farm is fun, free, and more silly than scary. Tip: the giant caramel apples for sale in the outdoor stands are very good for keeping the kids occupied during the wait in line for the ride.
Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND Discovery Center
Weekends through Oct 30, 2016 and Oct 31, 2016
Included with admission
Brick-or-Treat! Join LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston for some spooky fun every weekend in October. Put your building skills to the test with a Spooky Creative Challenge, find the Monster Minifigures in MINILAND, and follow the Spooktacular LEGO Pumpkin Trail through the attraction. Wear costumes for the Boo Crew Costume Contest—the best dressed of each weekend wins a prize. Buy your tickets online before you go to guarantee entry.
Pumpkins Aglow at Edaville USA
Thursdays - Sundays through Oct 30, 2016
$29-37 per person (ages 2 and up)
Pumpkins Aglow at Edaville USA is back! Dress in your favorite Halloween costume and join the Costume Parade. Walk in Edaville's garden of endless jack-o-lanterns and trick-or-treat at the rides in the park. All park rides and attractions are included in admission. Edaville is also hosting a Spooktacular Halloween Bash the Saturday before Halloween.
Halloween Happenings at Ipswich River Sanctuary
Fri - Sat, Oct 22 - 23, 2016
$10 per person
At sundown, Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary is transformed into a magical forest. During Halloween Happenings join in on a guided walk along the Halloween trail, home to some interesting creatures that come out just for Halloween. Learn about the creatures of the night and some history and myths that surround this spooky holiday. Children (ages 4-10) and adults are encouraged to come in costume, but dress for the weather.
Boo at the Zoo & Zoo Howl at Zoo New England
Boo at the Zoo - Stone Zoo: Sat & Sun, Oct 22 - 23, 2016
Zoo Howl - Franklin Park Zoo: Sat & Sun, Oct 29 - 30, 2016
Included with zoo admission
Visiting the zoo each October for its Halloween event is as much of a Halloween tradition for my family as trick-or-treating. Both Stone Zoo (pictured) and Franklin Park Zoo feature Halloween-themed enrichment for the animals (our favorite part), crafts, a trick-or-treat trail, and a Haunted Maze.
Tales of the Night at Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary
Thurs - Fri, Oct 27 - 28, 2016
$13-15 per person (ages 2 and up)
Drumlin Farm becomes Halloween central during Tales of the Night. Prowl the farm with curious creatures of the night on candlelit paths and view over 100 jack-o-lanterns, creatively carved by volunteers. When the kids start turning into hungry monsters, visit the ghoulish graveyard for witch's brew, hot chocolate, and spooky snacks. Step into a story on the Nursery Rhyme Trail and visit the Creepy Critter Mansion. If your kids are up for a little more spookiness, enjoy a haunted hayride through the fields. Dress in costume if you wish, and bring a flashlight to light your way. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Halloween Storytime with Curious George at The World's Only Curious George Store
Fri, Oct 28, 2016
Curious George is back for Halloween Storytime with candy, costumes, and fun, spooky stories! If you haven’t decided on your costume yet, join in for some quick and easy costume masks. Then share some hugs, take pictures, and enjoy treats (no tricks!) with the one and only Curious George. Everyone is encouraged to dress up. This event is perfect for children ages 2-6, but all ages are welcome. Spaces fill up fast and well in advance, so get your free tickets now. One ticket is required for each child attending.
North End Halloween Party and Parade
Sat, Oct 29, 2016 (rain date: Sun, Oct 30)
Hosted by the Madonna Della Cava Society, the North End Halloween Party and Parade is an annual outdoor event. A parade through the North End streets starts at about 1pm (tickets for prizes are given to every child). Entertainment includes includes D.J. Amo, games, inflatable bounce houses, and face painting.
Trick or Treat to the Beat at New School of Music
Sat, Oct 29, 2016
Don your costumes and head to New School of Music in Cambridge for Trick or Treat to the Beat, a musical Halloween celebration. During this open house you can trick-or-treat in the studios, try an instrument in the petting zoo, and belt out favorite tunes during the family sing-along. (Wouldn't it be awesome to do M.J.’s “Thriller”?)
Originally published October 2012; updated October 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Photo by the author