13 Places You Should Visit This Halloween
Sometimes it seems like there’s little else to do on Halloween other than dress up and maybe hit a party or two. Throw in a haunted house and a trip to the pumpkin patch, and you may be somewhat fulfilled. But if you really love this haunted time of year, there’s so much more to do than make a one-night candy grab. Here are a 13 events and festivals you should consider treating yourself to this year.
Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze - Croton-on-Hudson, NY
Get out of the city and enter an entire world populated by pumpkins. This annual Blaze is home to thousands of hand-carved jack-o-lanterns arranged in incredible structures you can pass through and sculptures of everything from dinosaurs and dragons to skeletons and spider webs. Finish off with a hot apple cider for the train ride home.
Horseman’s Hollow - Tarrytown, NY
What could be more appropriate than visiting the setting of one of America’s best-known scary stories, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow?” Historic Philipsburg Manor hosts a haunted experience featuring an appearance by the Headless Horseman himself.
Richardson Adventure Farm Corn Maze - Spring Grove, IL
Try your hand at navigating the largest continuously operating corn maze in the world! This year’s theme celebrates the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, so if you thought you could get lost in William Shatner’s eyes before…
Festival of the Dead Witches Ball - Salem, MA
While there may not have been any actual spells being cast in Salem, Massachusetts back in the 1600s, the dark time in colonial American history has certainly entranced us ever since. The Festival of the Dead Witches Ball is the highlight of a whole weekend of witchery, including a witchcraft expo, séances, graveyard frolics and a Dinner With The Dead.
The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor - Long Beach, CA
While it may be hard to resist singing “I’m On a Boat” while you board this luxury liner, you’ll be screaming to get off of it after you realize the whole ship is haunted.
Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival - Half Moon Bay, CA
Half Moon Bay is known as the world’s pumpkin capital, so it’s no wonder they host an epic carving competition and pumpkin festival. Watch giant pumpkins carved by masters and sample just about everything pumpkin-flavored you could possibly want.
Halloween Carnaval - West Hollywood, CA
L.A.’s Gayborhood goes all out every year, as Santa Monica Blvd. shuts down and everyone hits the streets in costume to stroll, bar hop and people watch. Combined with the area’s entertainment industry ties, crazy costumes and characters are in ample supply.
Terror Behind the Walls - Philadelphia, PA
Few things are more terrifying than prison, except maybe abandoned buildings and haunted houses. Well, combine all three and that’s what you get at Terror Behind the Walls, the annual fright fest held at Eastern State Penitentiary. There are six different experiences included, like a prison break, a quarantine breach and a mutant creature uprising. It’s a one-stop-shop for spooky stuff.
Krewe of Boo Parade - New Orleans, LA
From the people that brought you Mardi Gras, here’s a Halloween parade that’s won’t disappoint. Combined with the spooky black magic vibe around the bayou this time of year, New Orleans should definitely be on your Halloween travel bucket list.
Voodoo Experience Festival - New Orleans, LA
If you’re headed down for the Krewe of Boo Parade, you may want to add on this annual music festival. Past acts have included Ozzy Osbourne and Foo Fighters, while this year’s lineup will feature The Weekend, Tool and Arcade Fire.
The Portland Erotic Ball - Portland, OR
For those who’d like to mix their “boo” with burlesque, this three-story adults-only party includes erotic performers, aerialists, and fetish demonstrations. There’s even a costume contest with a $5,000 prize, so make sure to dress up! (Or undress up, if you wish.)
Village Halloween Parade - NYC
As the website describes, this decades-old Halloween celebration includes “hundreds of PUPPETS, 53 BANDS of Different Types of Music, DANCERS and ARTISTS, and thousands of other New Yorkers in costumes of their own creation.” You had us at “puppets.”
Louisville Zoo Halloween - Louisville, KY
If you love animals, the Louisville Zoo’s “World’s Largest Halloween Party” is the place to get your spook on. Granted it’s a little kid-focused, but who can resist a chance to taunt a tiger while dressed as one?