It’s that time of year again — time to carve the pumpkins, buy the candy and don the costumes: It’s Halloween! Even if you and your family are traveling Oct. 31, there are plenty of places to join in the celebration while on the road. Here, we take a look at spots to do just that.
There are plenty of spots to get spooked throughout Connecticut, starting in Hartford. Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours are offered on select nights throughout the month at the Mark Twain House, home of the famous American writer and thought to be haunted by a “lady in white.” Another famous Hartford house may be haunted, too. The Spirits of Stowe: An Otherworldly Tour, offered late October, takes visitors through Harriet Beecher Stowe’s home, where she herself died in the upstairs bedroom in 1896, one of five reported deaths in the home.
In Wethersfield, just south of Hartford, the annual Witches and Tombstones Tour will be offered Oct. 21–22, giving visitors a look into the town’s haunted past, including a confession of witchcraft in 1648. And in Wallingford, even further south of Hartford, what is perhaps the state’s best-known haunted house tour, Trail of Terror, has a “Blood Line” theme this year. On the coast in Mystic, the Seaside Shadows Tours expose the town’s haunted legends and spooks.
Neighboring Connecticut to the east, Rhode Island gets in on the Halloween fun, too, with a few spook-tacular events of its own. Just outside of Newport, Rail Explorers’ Terror on the Tracks Halloween Special Tours take guests on haunted train rides along Narragansett Bay after dark, compete with hot chocolate and s’mores. And in Providence, the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo has more than 5,000 carved pumpkins on display. Perhaps your family will find inspiration for its pumpkin designs for next Halloween!
Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, Elmo, Grover, Rosita, Bert and Ernie, The Count and other familiar Sesame Street faces will be dressed in their Halloween best throughout the month when they host kids during Safari of Fun Kids’ Weekends at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and The Count’s Spooktacular at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Think crafts, scavenger hunts, parades and many more haunted good times.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is back for another year of festive Halloween fun at the Magic Kingdom, and is appropriate for the entire family. The after-hours event features trick-or-treating, live shows, parades, fireworks and many more ghoulish good times.
Kids 13 and older (not recommended for younger children) can get their scares at Knott’s Scary Farm, known as the largest and most haunting Halloween experience in Southern California. On select nights through Halloween, Knott’s Berry Farm is transformed into 13 haunted mazes and attractions, made scarier by the more than 1,000 creatures lurking in the fog and darkness.
Halloween Horror Nights is back at Universal Orlando Resort with this year’s theme: The Festival of the Deadliest. The heartiest of Halloween enthusiasts will find their frights in five scare zones, two based on horror films Trick ‘r Treat and The Purge, and the other three original ideas from the Universal Orlando creative team. At Universal Studios Hollywood, The Walking Dead and Ash vs. Evil Dead take the scares up a notch, not to mention the Titans of Terror Tram: Hosted by Chucky, pitting guests in terrifying matches against Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Leatherface, not to mention the infamous serial killer doll himself, Chucky. The Shining, Saw and American Horror Story add to the chills at both parks.
You’ve heard of pub crawls, where beer enthusiasts explore a new city by visiting — and tasting — bars and pubs in the company of an expert guide. Well, this year, visitors to New York City can have a similar experience tailor-made for kids and anyone in the family who loves dessert. Sugartooth Tours created a destination tour of Manhattan called Village to Village Cupcake and Cookie Crawl.
As we enter the height of the busy holiday season families everywhere make plans to celebrate together. While many families find the biggest obstacle is juggling how to fairly spend time with more than one side of the family, many families face a much more complex problem — one of not just blended families but blended faiths.
Traveling with the whole crew, solo or with your partner can really shake up your routine. Whether you’re an early morning runner, late afternoon city explorer or looking for any excuse to get to the park and tire out the rambunctious kids on your next family trip, wouldn’t it all be so much more fun if you had a rescue dog along?