Halloween Events for the Whole Family

Traditionally, Halloween is a holiday dedicated to scaring the pants off your friends, family, strangers, and yourself. However, some of the haunts are probably too scary for young children or too hectic for busy families. If you’re looking for something the whole family can do together on Halloween night that’s more exciting than popping Practical Magic into the DVD player and handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, you’re in luck! We’ve picked a selection of awesome family friendly events that take place across the nation. The best part–most of them are very affordable and some events are free!


Every fall in Southern California, Anaheim’s Disneyland adds a bunch of special Halloween themed events to their normal amusement park lineup. Overnight, the Haunted Mansion is transformed into something straight out of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Jack Skellington brings a jolly combination of Halloween and Christmas decorations to Disneyland Park that will remain in place until the New Year. However, the “Halloween Screams” fireworks show is a special event only to be seen during Halloween time. Other Disneyland Halloween celebrations include Mickey’s Costume Party, trick-or-treating in the park, and the Halloween Roundup – a show with farm animals in costumes.


Photo provided courtesy of the SF Exploratorium.

Looking for something out of the ordinary to do in the Bay Area on Halloween? Check out the Halloween Haunts and Happenings at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. On Sunday, October 30th, the Exploratorium museum invites folks to throw on a costume and check out some special exhibits that are included in the normal admission price, like the selection of creepy crawlies and giant insects. Walk through the Garden of Carnivorous Plants, and stop by the Graveyard of Dead Science Ideas before making candy skulls. Unwind in the McBean Theater with some classic 20th-century Halloween themed animated films, which include characters like Betty Boop, Bugs Bunny, and Felix the Cat. Halloween exhibits are available for one day only, from 12pm to 4pm.


Photo courtesy of the Coral Gables BID.

Miami families can enjoy the 14th Annual Halloween on the Mile, a family-oriented Halloween party that takes over the Miracle Mile on Halloween day. The event happens from 4pm to 7pm, but make sure to get there early if your children want to enter the costume contest, as it is limited to the first 100 kids who sign up. Other entertainment includes musical performances, Halloween photo spots, trick-or-treating, a storyteller, and spooky crafts. There’s also a doggie costume contest for Miami’s pooch friends!


Folks in New England can check out the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island. The Spectacular is an extraordinary nighttime experience featuring thousands of artfully carved pumpkins and gourds in many shapes and sizes. This year’s theme is “A Journey Around the World,” and will include pumpkins carved in depiction of famous locations all around the world, as well as a great variety of other carvings. The trail is open to visitors to the Zoo everyday from October 6th to October 31st, from 6pm to 11pm.


Photo brovided courtesy of New York's Village Halloween Parade. Photo by The Smoking Gun.

New York City is famous for many events, including the biggest public Halloween celebration in the country–the 39th Annual Village Halloween Parade. On Halloween night around 6:30pm, thousands of New Yorkers dress up in elaborate costumes and take over 6th Avenue for the evening. There will be over 50 bands playing live music, artistic floats, giant puppets, and a costume contest. The theme of this year’s Parade is “The i of the Beholder.” The Parade is free, fabulous and fun for Halloween lovers of all ages.


Franken Plaza in Chicago. Photo provided courtesy of the city of Chicago.

Chicago’s Daley Plaza is transformed into Franken Plaza during the weekend before Halloween. There will be lots of live entertainment including the Midnight Circus and a Mad Scientist show. Other activities include the Monster Bash costume contest, trick-or-treating, hayrides, movie screenings, a game show with opportunities to win prizes, and arts and crafts, to name a few. Best of all, the events are free! There will also be a farmers market selling local fall produce and artisan products. Check the online schedule for more information.


Photo provided courtesy of Las Vegas Halloween Parade. Photo by Glenn Pinkerton.

This year marks the second year of the annual Las Vegas Halloween Parade, inspired by the popular New York Village Halloween Parade. Participants arrive in costume at 4th Street and Hoover Street at 6pm on Halloween day and march northbound. There is a costume contest, but remember that all costumes must be homemade to be considered. If part of your costume is your car, or your car has its own costume, you may also drive in the parade, though you must fill out a vehicle form before you go.


The 6-6-6 on Haunted Locations in the U.S.

America’s Top 13 Haunted Houses and Attractions


Disneyland Halloween Time

San Francisco Exploratorium Halloween Haunt

Halloween on the Mile in Miami

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular Official Website

New York Village Halloween Parade

Chicago’s Franken Plaza

Las Vegas Halloween Parade

What fun stuff are you doing with family for Halloween this year? Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to give us a shout and let us know. You can stay on top of exciting events from around the world by downloading the eventseekr app for Android, iPhone or Ovi.


About Katie Kopacz
Blog Intern. Creative Writing student at San Francisco State University. When she's not busy with one of the aforementioned occupations, Katie can be found geeking out over good music, good food, conspiracy theories, cats, and well-written words.

2 Responses to Halloween Events for the Whole Family

  1. Pingback: Top 6 Halloween Hot Spots & Parties in the U.S. | eventseekr blog

  2. Pingback: Top 6 Halloween Hot Spots & Parties in the U.S. « eventseekr

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