Haunt O'Ween Debuts in New Jersey

A fun and frightful immersive Halloween adventure has made its East Coast debut in Holmdel, New Jersey: Haunt O'Ween 2022. This spooky, but whimsical, haunted carnival has everything a family could want in an outdoor Halloween experience: amazing decor, costumes, trick-or-treating, inflatables, games, and pumpkins galore!

Haunt O'Ween hits the perfect sweet spot of being spooky, but not overly frightening—and definitely not gory. It's just plain thrilling, chilling fun that's perfect for kids ages 3-12. But don't wait to buy tickets. The event runs only on select dates through Monday, October 31. Here's what to expect on your trip through this ghost-filled city.

You can find even more seasonal events in our Guide to New Jersey Fall Fun and Guide to Halloween Events in New Jersey.

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What to Expect at Haunt O'Ween

This 200,000-square-foot immersive experience known as Haunt O'Ween is separated into nine mini-sections, each with its own elaborate Halloween displays. Wander first through Funny Bones Ranch and see tons of pumpkins, pumpkin-headed scarecrows, and a skeleton or two. You can even pick a pumpkin to take with you! From there, you'll wander through the Hidden Hollows graveyard, where the inhabitants are just dying to meet you. Say "I do" to a haunted bride, see spooky tombstones, and take pics under a gigantic skeleton.

Before long, you'll be in Ghoul Town, a ghostly alley where the action starts to pick up. A large rock-climbing wall, amazing face painters, a 3D reality experience, and some ghastly street performers add to the carnival feel. This was also the first area I saw a food truck–churros and empanadas from the Empanada Guy–and where the lines started to build. Face painting easily took about 10 minutes per guest, and with a line of about 15 anxious kids ahead of us, we decided to move on after a 30-minute wait. Ultimately, this was definitely the right decision for my family since there's so much fun up ahead! (Tip: The line for hair spray-painting is just past the face painters, and moved super quickly when we were there!)

RELATED: NJ's Most Amazing Halloween Pumpkin Displays and Pumpkin Festivals

Haunt O'Ween kids trick-or-treating
Trick-or-treat through the town of Haunt O'Ween.

Moonlight Magic, aglow with lights, gives you the chance to walk through a town of witches. You can walk through one house, take pictures in front of witch's houses, and make your own potion to take home. Wander through the amazing blinking Pumpkin Tunnel, and get ready to trick-or-treat in the Town of Haunt O'Ween! The organizers have invested more than $1 million in candy this year, and it showed. My kids brought home quite a stash! BYO bag or pick up one from the venue.

Lastly, make your way through The Fantastic Fair with food trucks and picnic tables. I saw vendors selling Italian food and rice balls (Ralphie's Rice Balls), burgers and barbecue sandwiches (Oink & Moo), ice cream (Jersey Freeze), and adult beverages. The lines were pretty long, and it took a while to make your way to this area. So, it would be smart to eat before heading to the event or to bring some small snacks with you.

RELATED: Halloween Drive-thrus in the Tri-State Area: Pumpkins, Lights, and Haunted Scenes

Haunt O'Ween "ordering" a drink from a skeleton
"Order'" a drink from a friendly skeleton. 

This section also has a bunch of carnival games where you can win candy for prizes. Or, check the height sticks and join the lines for the pumpkin bounce house, open bounce arena, huge inflatable slide, and carousel. Like any bounce house situation, this section felt a little chaotic, but the rides are timed (e.g., a strict five minutes in the bounce house!) so they'll move along pretty well. Heads up on the carousel: there's a maximum-height rule. Don't bother getting in the line if your kids are taller than 48 inches; I saw lots of tweens and teens getting turned away. And, you'll be on a bench if your kids are too small.

From there, your moonlit adventure will be complete and you can head home with little dreamers in the back seat. 

Know Before You Go to Haunt O'Ween

  • Most activities are included in the ticket price, including a pumpkin, games, face painting, crafts, a carousel, and bounce houses.
  • Ticket entries are timed, but you spend as much time as you'd like. We easily filled 2.5 hours.
  • Kids under 2 are FREE.
  • Your only bathroom options are the portable kind.
  • Parking is FREE!
  • Location: Bell Works, 101 Crawfords Corner Road, Holmdel, New Jersey

Photos by the author

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