Photo courtesy of Zoo New England
Halloween is a big deal these days, and with that come events that take horror and fright to the next level. For families looking for more mild-mannered Halloween events, there are plenty of options.
Movies, Parades and Animals
If you like horror movies, check out Regal Cinemas Horror Fest 2017 at the Regal Fenway Stadium theater in Boston. Every Monday and Tuesday throughout the month of October (beginning October 2), watch a scary-themed movie. A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Shining are among horror classics, with Jaws and King Kong thrown in for good measure. Single shows are $5, and double features are $10.
The 22nd Annual Salem Chamber of Commerce Haunted Happenings Grand Parade will be held on October 5, 2017 and begins at 6:30 pm. This year’s theme is Movie Monsters. Walking in the parade as well as watching the parade are both free. Visit the Salem Chamber of Commerce for more details.
Gore Place in Waltham offers three Friday nights of spooky tales and haunted happenings at Frightful Fridays, October 13, 20 & 27. The one hour tour is geared for families in that it avoids the usual gruesome focus. Tickets cost $15 or $10 for members and kids under 12.
On Friday night October 20, bring the kids and a carved pumpkin to the 4th Annual Pumpkin Float 2017 at the Frog Pond on Boston Common. This free event features family-friendly activities, music and refreshments. Where else can you float your own pumpkin?
Photo courtesy of Zoo New England
For wild animal lovers, there are two Halloween events at Boston area zoos. On October 21 & 22, Stone Zoo hosts Boo at the Zoo, an afternoon trick-or-treat event for children that includes crafts, games and a haunted maze. In Boston at the Franklin Park Zoo on October 28 & 29, kids can enjoy the same activities at the Zoo Howl. Both events are free for members, and are included in the regular admission.
Lest you think Halloween is just for people or wild animals, Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston is holding its annual Halloween Pet Parade and Costume Contest on October 28. Pets and their human companions are invited to come in costumes with prizes awarded for the best pet/owner combo.
On October 28, hit the high seas (okay, just Boston Harbor) with the Spirit of Boston for a Family Halloween Lunch Cruise. Enjoy music, games, goodie bags, and of course a costume contest. Kids are free with a paying adult.
Halloween at a Sanctuary Near You
Mass Audubon is a conservation and educational organization aimed at protecting land and wildlife throughout the state. Throughout the year, Mass Audubon offers programs to educate and entertain as it promotes its mission, and Halloween is no exception. Mass Audubon holds several family-friendly Halloween-themed events at its sanctuaries throughout the Boston area and beyond. Costs for specific events vary (members get a discount) and range from $6 to $17.
- Attleboro Springs Wildlife Sanctuary in Attleboro aims to appeal to all in a fun, non-scary, Halloween Spooktacular event on October 14. Walk through pumpkin-lit trails while learning some interesting natural history facts. Games, crafts, a bake sale and campfire are part of the fun.
- Attend Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary’s Halloween Happenings, October 20 & 21 in Topsfield. Take an early evening trail walk guided by illuminated jack o’lanterns followed by cider and donuts around a bonfire.
- For those who dare to venture west, “Boo” Meadow Brook (aka Broad Meadow Brook) in Worcester offers a Halloween Hike October 20 & 21. The festivities begin at sundown with guided tour through a slightly haunted forest. Partake in games, face painting and more.
- On October 26 from 3:00-4:30 the Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton hosts a Halloween at the Museum party that features animal encounters, crafts and games.
- Take a walk on candlelit paths, go for a haunted hayride and enjoy snacks in the “graveyard” at Tales of the Night, Drumlin Farm’s all-ages event on October 26 & 27 in Lincoln. Make sure to bring a flashlight and a sense of adventure.