Explore the Halloween Scene in These NYC Suburbs

Oct 17, 2020

No trick-or-treating? No problem! There’s lots to do in these towns…

Even if you’re planning to hold on trick-or-treating this year, there are plenty of ways to fill your pumpkin buckets and have some (not-so) spooky fun, all while getting a taste of what the ‘burbs have to offer. Check out these family-friendly local events happening over the next two weeks and start mapping out your search. Strut Your Mutt Halloween Dog Parade (Montclair, NJ) Got a pup who’s equally eager to make a move to the ‘burbs—or just love spending time with dogs in costumes? Head to the Brookdale Park Dog in Montclair on Saturday, October 24 at 9:30am for its annual “Strut Your Mutt” dog parade and costume contest. Bonus points for the best owner/pet costumes! Tice’s Corner Harvest Fest & Trick-or-Treating (Woodcliff Lake, NJ) On Saturday, October 17, Tice’s Corner is hosting its free annual fall fest, complete with Halloween activities and plenty of opportunities to trick-or-treat onsite. The event runs from 10:00am to 2:00pm. All families must register in advance on the Tice’s Corner Facebook page. AddamsFest (Westfield, NJ) It wouldn’t be Halloween without Westfield’s annual AddamsFest. This yearly event celebrates Charles Addams, a Westfield resident and creator of the Addams Family. While, this year, many of the popular events like pumpkin carving are happening via Zoom, you can still head to Westfield and check out some very Addams attractions. On Friday, October 23 and 30, Dudley’s Drive-In is open for business. This four-screen drive-in movie at the South Avenue Train Station will screen family favorites at 6:30/7:00pm and 9:00/10:00pm, respectively. Bring the kids in their PJs and hunker down. Movies include Hotel Transylvania, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and, of course, The Addams Family. Check the site for the full movie schedule—and note that some films are better for grownups. Also upcoming: Tamaques Haunted Trail on October 24 and 25. This drive-through experience happens in Tamaques Park—during the day, there’s a trick-or-treat trail with plenty of age-appropriate stops then, at night, the space becomes a Trail of Terror drive, ideal for older kids. Wagner Farm Arboretum Brite Nites Drive-Thru (Warren, NJ) Hop in your car and drive through one of the area’s most popular Halloween events: Brite Nites at Wagner Farm Arboretum! Now in its ninth season, this year’s event runs Wednesday through Sunday until November 1—and this not-so-scary drive-thru is perfect for all ages. During the ride you’ll see amazing pumpkin displays all throughout the farm and enjoy plenty of seasonal fun. Tickets are $25-$30 per car. D&R Greenway Land Trust Masquerade Parade (Princeton, NJ) On Halloween, get your kids—and your car—in costume and join this festive car parade through Princeton, kicking off at 1:00pm. The road to St. Michaels Farm Preserve in Hopewell—your final destination—will be lined with Halloween-themed floats, carved pumpkin displays and more. Then, when you arrive, grab a goody bag (or two) and some special nature-inspired fall treats, then stay to meet Mutts characters Earl and Mooch and Trenton Thunder’s mascot Boomer. The event is limited to 300 cars, so be sure to register in advance. Pumpkin Decorating at the Darien Nature Center (Darien, CT) Happening Monday, October 26 and Friday, October 30, this hands-on activity starts at Cherry Lawn Park, where you and your kids will gather natural materials to decorate Halloween pumpkins. Then, groups will head to the outdoor space behind the Nature Center and decorate their chosen pumpkin—the more creative, the better! Pumpkins will be provided, but families are asked to bring a drop cloth or picnic blanket to sit and work on. Halloween Spooktacular at the New Canaan Nature Center (New Canaan, CT) On Friday, October 30, the New Canaan Nature Center is hosting its annual spook-tacular celebration, complete with spiders, bats, snakes and plenty of other critters. Kids are encouraged to come in costume and meet the creepy animal guests, then can head over to the Halloween slime-making station to make their own gooey take-away. The fun starts at 5:30pm. Tickets are $10-$15. Halloween at Jumpin’ Jams (Old Greenwich & New Canaan, CT) On Halloween day, Jumpin’ Jams will host two Halloween classes—one starting at 9:30am at the Old Greenwich Civic Center and one starting at 11:30am at the New Canaan Historical Society. This is a Halloween version of the group’s popular Hoppin’ Music Class, ideal for kids five and under. Participants are encouraged to come in costume and (non-candy) goody bags will be available after class. Register in advance—tickets are $30. Groove Halloween JAM in the Park (Larchmont, NY) From October 27-30, Groove Family Music will be rocking out to Halloween tunes at Addison Park in Larchmont. Wear a costume and get ready for 30 minutes of fun seasonal beats, starting at 10:00am each day. On Wednesday at 9:30, there’s a special 30-minute session for kids 18 months to 3 years old. Halloween Spook-tacular (Rye, NY) On Thursday, October 29, head to Rye for their annual Halloween Spook-tacular. Kids can participate in tons of Halloween games and crafts before taking in a few spooky stories. Activities begin at 3:30pm and runs until 5:30pm, right on Village Green. Costumes are encouraged and kids will have a chance to snag a bag of treats to take home. Be sure to sign up in advance for a 30-minute time slot. The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze (Croton-on-Hudson & Old Bethpage, NY) It wouldn’t be Halloween with the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze! This year there are two locations: Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson and Old Bethpage Restoration on Long Island. Both are open down through November 21—advanced tickets are recommended, especially pre-Halloween. Source: Historic Hudson Valley This year’s event features more than 7,000 illuminated jack o’lanterns, hand-carved onsite. In addition to annual favorites, artists have created several new must-sees in 2020 including a fire truck and witches stirring up a spell. Then, tour the “Museum of Pumpkin Art” and see your favorite classic paintings with a gourd treatment. There’s also a pumpkin carousel, windmill and planetarium, complete with star shows. Tickets are $24. Kids under 2 are free. Spooky Fest! At the Center for Science Teaching and Learning (Rockville Centre, NY) Kicking off this weekend and running through November 1, RVC’s not-so-spooky event at Tanglewood Preserve features a host of family-friendly activities and experiences. For three weekends, this beautiful 16 acres grounds will be transformed with amazing lighting, special effects, hands-on activities and tons of wacky characters lining the paths. Tickets are $10 for the non-scary experience—which includes the Not-So-Spooky Walk and arts and crafts—and $15 all-inclusive, which gives kids access to the Haunted Woods, too. Book tickets in advance—each ticket holder has a specific entry time (6:30pm, 7:30pm or 8:30pm). Bayville Scream Park (Bayville, NY) Ideal for older kids, the popular Halloween attraction features a full haunted theme park including Bloodworth Haunted Mansion, Uncle Needle’s Funhouse of Fear, a spooky asylum, evil woods and a drive-in horror movie experience. Tickets start at $23.75. The theme park is open through November 8. Source: Bayville Scream Park Looking to explore the suburbs this Halloween? Let’s talk! Schedule your free Suburbs Strategy session now.

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