We love Halloween here at Out and About Mom. I mean, costumes, parties, candy…what’s not to love?! And every year, we look forward to getting the kiddos gussied up and heading out for some spooky new adventures.
This year, we wanted to put a bit of a different spin on our annual Halloween Happenings list. Since there are so many wonderful Halloween events going on across our state, and we couldn’t possibly compile each and every one here, we thought it would be more helpful to par down our list instead and hopefully make your planning even easier.
To help you quickly find the kind of activity you’re looking for, we’ve grouped the activities by the type of venue where they take place. Not only will this make it quick and easy for you to identify the familiar places that are nearest to you (or those that are farther away in case you’re looking for an adventure!), but it also gives you ideas for where to look for additional Halloween events and activities. Don’t see a nearby library listed here? Check with your local branch to see if they have any Halloween fun planned!
We’ve also tried to narrow it down to one-time, extra special Halloween events. There are lots of ongoing events and activities throughout October that have a fall/Halloween theme, but we’ve included most of them on our 2015 FALL BUCKET LIST. So be sure to check out that post for even more ideas for festive, seasonal fun.
And most importantly, this year we have ONLY INCLUDED VENUES THAT WE HAVE VISITED. While we haven’t attended every one of these special Halloween events, we have personally been to each of these destinations, which means that you can use our “OAAM Venue Previews” to get that signature OAAM virtual tour of each place before you head out on your Halloween adventures. Now, just a word of caution that we have been at this blogging thing for FOUR YEARS now, so some of these posts might be showing their age. And while they should still give you a good visual tour of the places, you’ll want to check the venue’s website for any updates to hours and pricing information.
We hope these little adjustments will be a BIG help as you narrow down your Halloween options and find the spooky destination that’s just right for your family. And while none of these 25+ activities are scary (thank goodness!), we know you’ll have a frighteningly good time 🙂
Shawna & Mandy
We love children’s museums the other 364 days of the year too, but on (or around) Halloween, they are even more fun! Many offer special parties or events with activities like trick-or-treating, crafts, pumpkin decorating, and the opportunity to wear your Halloween costume, of course. Here are a few events to get you started, but be sure to check out other museums near you as well to see if they have anything special planned.
Stepping Stones Museum in Norwalk, CT hosts their annual Monster Mash. More details here. Saturday, October 31st; all day during regular Museum hours. Mostly free with paid museum admission; some activities require an additional fee. OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
The New Children’s Museum in West Hartford, CT hosts their annual Spooktacular. Get details and purchase tickets here. Friday, October 30th; 5:00pm-8:00pm. Members $5; Nonmembers $10. Preregistration strongly encouraged. OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
The Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester, CT hosts their Halloween Costume Party for kids ages 4-10. See their current Sept./Oct. Newsletter for more details. Friday, October 30th; 10:00am-11:00am & 4:00pm-5:00pm. Members $13; Nonmembers $15. OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
The Connecticut Science Center in Hartford, CT celebrates with their 5th annual Spooktacular Science Weekend. See their events page for more info. October 24th & 25th; 11:00am-3:00pm. All activities are included FREE with Connecticut Science Center Membership or the purchase of General Admission. OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
Zoos, Nature Centers, Farms & Aquariums
Kids always seem to love visiting with animals, so it just makes sense to combine one of their favorite activities with one of their favorite holidays. Below are a few haunted events to get you started, but you’re sure to find more if you check with similar venues across the state.
Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton, CT hosts the Hobgoblin Fair for children ages 3-8. Find out more here. Saturday, October 31st; choose between A.M. (10-12) or P.M. (1-3) session. Adults $8; Children $4. Preregistration with payment (in person or by mail) is required. OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
Stamford Museum and Nature Center in Stamford, CT hosts a special Halloween Trick-or-Treat with the animals at Heckscher Farm. Get more info here. Sunday, October 25th; 1:00-3:00pm. Price of general admission includes all activities. OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT hosts AquaScarium. Check out their events page for more info. Saturday, October 31st; during normal museum hours. Special activities are included with general admission. Kids in costume get in FREE (one free child admission per paying adult). Bonus activity: meet and pose with Spiderman between 11:00 and 3:00! OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, CT offers their popular Boo at the Zoo. See their events page for more info. Sunday, October 25th; noon-3:00pm. Activities included with general admission. Kids under 12 in costume get in FREE (one free child admission per paying adult). OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
Ray of Light Farm in East Haddam, CT is offering Not-So-Scary Hayrides. Find details here. October 16th, 17th, 23rd and 24th from 6:15pm – 8:00pm (last wagon leaves at 7:45pm); $7 per person. OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
Flamig Farm in Simsbury, CT runs their non-scary daytime hayrides (not to be confused with their famous nighttime hayrides, which are meant to frighten and are not recommended for kids under 8). Weekends in October; 11:00am-2:00pm. For more information call: (860) 658-5070. OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
Town Parties & Trick-or-Treating Alternatives
Maybe you want to let your kiddos get some extra mileage out of those costumes or maybe you’re looking for a more family-friendly alternative to traditional trick-or-treating (not every little one loves dark streets and chilly temps!). Either way, these local events at places like community centers, shopping plazas, and town greens fit the bill. And best of all, many of them are FREE! Check out these great events below, or see what your town may have planned for the spookiest day/night of the year.
Elmwood Community Center in West Hartford, CT hosts a Goblin Gathering for ages 2 to 5. More info here. Thursday, October 29th; 10:00am-11:00pm. $7 per person. Call 860.561.8160 or visit the Elmwood Community center to register. Registration by 10/27 is required. OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
FREE EVENT! Stew Leonards in Newington, CT hosts a storewide trick-or-treat with Stew’s characters. Wednesday, October 28th; 4:00pm-5:00pm. Don’t forget to check out the FREE hay bale maze too. Find more info on this and other fun Halloween-themed events from Stew’s here. OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
FREE EVENT! The Shoppes at Farmington Valley in Canton, CT host their annual food drive and trick-or-treating event for kids 10 and under: Give a Treat, Get a Treat. Get more info here. Monday, October 26th; 5:00pm-7:00pm. Free, but please bring a non-perishable food item to donate. OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
FREE EVENT! The Town of New Milford, CT hosts Trunk or Treat. Saturday, October 31st; 5:30pm-7:30pm. Free but it is requested that you bring a bag of candy to New Milford Parks & Recreation at 47 Bridge Street by Oct. 31st or drop a bag off at the sidewalk on the Green, across from the Post Office at the “Graveyard.” OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT hosts a special Trick or Treat event for children under 10. Saturday, October 31st; 3:00pm-6:00pm. Pre-registration is appreciated by calling the Membership Office at 860.572.5331. You can also check out their Sights & Frights event for more Halloween fun. OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
FREE EVENT! The Town of Putnam, CT celebrates with the annual Great Pumpkin Festival. Saturday, October 24th; 10:00am. Also check out Trick-or-Treat Street. Friday, October 30th; 5:00pm-7:00pm. OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
Libraries & Bookstores
If you follow our blog, you know that we are always raving about the wonderful children’s programs offered by so many of our local public libraries– and Halloween is no exception! We’ve also found some great storytime events at local bookstores. Check out these haunted happenings from some of our favorites (and check with your local library/children’s bookstore to see if they have anything fun planned too!). Did we mention these are all FREE?!
FREE EVENT! The Farmington Library Tots & Tunes Halloween Parade celebrates with music and a costume parade. Best suited for children ages birth to 3. More info (and additional events!) in their Fall Newsletter. Friday, October 30th; 3 sessions: 9:30, 10:15, 11:00. Choose one parade, please. No registration required. OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
FREE EVENT! The Ridgefield Library offers Halloween Fun for the Very Young. See their events calendar for more info. For children ages 6 and under. Saturday, October 31st; 11:30am-12:15pm. Come in costume and enjoy a spirited celebration! OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
FREE EVENT! The West Hartford Library (Main Branch) is hosting Halloween Happening! for preschool children and their parents. Find additional info on their events page or call the Children’s Department at 860.561.6980. Friday, October 30th; 10:15-11:00am OR 11:30-12:15pm. Tickets will be available beginning Saturday, October 17th at the Children’s Circulation Desk. Everyone must have a ticket to attend. Costumes encouraged! OAAM VENU PREVIEW
FREE EVENT! The Wethersfield Library hosts their famous Pumpkin Judging Contest and Costume Parade. See their events calendar for more info. Thursday, October 29th; 6:00pm. Registration is required and begins October 1st for residents and October 21st for nonresidents. OAAM VENUE PREVIEW
FREE EVENT! Barnes & Noble offers Halloween Storytimes at stores nationwide including Blue Back Square in West Hartford, CT on Saturday, October 24th at 11:00a.m.; Somerset Square in Glastonbury, CT on Saturday, October 24th at 11:00am; and Buckland Hills in Manchester, CT on Saturday, October 31st at 11:00am. OAAM VENUE PREVIEW (Glastonbury location)
So that’s our roundup of 2015 Halloween Happenings. We hope this list helps your family plan plenty of Halloween fun! Now, get to work on those costumes 🙂
We’ve listed a lot of events here, but we know there are many more great ones. If you have a favorite event that you’d like to add (only non-scary events please! Unless you want to get up with our kids in the middle of the night ), let us know by leaving a comment on this post. Thanks!
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