While scary Halloween attractions are fun to visit during September and October, some children are just too young to enjoy them. We've compiled a list of haunts that the little crowd can enjoy, including some big, well-known haunted houses that offer "lights on" fun and family-specific events.
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Florida
Fall is a great time to visit Walt Disney World in Orlando, with less crowds and cooler Florida temperatures. On select dates from Sept. 13 to Nov. 3, the Magic Kingdom hosts Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, where guests of all ages can arrive in costume, trick or treat around the park, take pictures with Disney characters dressed in Halloween costumes (like the Nightmare Before Christmas' Jack Skellington and Sally!), catch the Boo-to-You Halloween Parade led by the Headless Horseman, and witness Happy HalloWishes fireworks nightly. The event takes place 7 p.m. to midnight, and requires a ticket in addition to a regular park admission ticket. In Anaheim, Calif., visit Disneyland for its Halloween Time spooktacular that runs Sept. 13 through Oct. 31, and includes a Halloween party and special attractions. For more information, visit Disney's Web sites, Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Halloween Time.
Scream Portland, Oregon
During Weekend Little Screamer Fairs, young kids can enjoy Scream Portland's new location at the Portland International Raceway, where everything but the haunted houses are open. Open weekends from Oct. 5 through Oct. 31 (12 p.m. to 5 p.m.), young tykes can enjoy carnival rides, pony rides, scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, face painting, story time, and more. Even better, admission is just $3 per person, and characters roaming the grounds are less scary and more kid-friendly, too.
Hersheypark in the Dark, Pennsylvania
Hershey's sweet amusement park remains open in the fall for Hersheypark in the Dark, with "roller ghosters" and holiday-themed attractions and entertainment. Younger kids will enjoy Hershey's Trick-or-Treat Adventure, which offers 11 stops for kids 12 and younger dressed in costume. Visit ZooAmerica for a "Creatures of the Night" exhibit, with nocturnal animal encounters. For more information, visit their Web site, Hersheypark.
Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND, California
LEGOLAND, just outside of San Diego, in Carlsbad, Calif., features its annual Halloween-themed fun throughout October weekends. Besides "Brick-or-Treating" in costume, kids will enjoy a costume contest, BOO Crew entertainment, Saturday night fireworks and dance parties. Tickets are available for full-day or evening-only admission, and include the park's regular attractions. The new LEGOLAND Florida will also be offering its second annual Brick-or-Treat this October, with LEGO pumpkin builds, Monster Fighters Scavenger Hunts and its own costume contests, dance parties and treating trails. For more information, visit the Web sites, LEGOLAND California Resort and LEGOLAND Florida Resort.
Time Warp, Indiana
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis relives its past this October, as it celebrates its 50th year running! Guests are taken back in time and, with their Ghoulish Guide Dr. Timestein, explores 50 years of petrifying pop culture. The haunted house is available for both "friendly" and "frightening" hours, with the friendly hours providing a Lights-On schedule. Kids can also enjoy a Friendly Feast with the Witches: Breakfast, lunch or dinner "boo-ffets" with friendly witches and Halloween entertainment, as well as other exciting fall break activities, like the Black Hat Bash and Bat Encounters. Events begin Oct. 10 through Halloween, with feasts happening on varying dates. For more information, visit their Web site, Children's Museum of Indianapolis.
Howl-O-Ween at Great Wolf Lodge, Nationwide
Great Wolf Lodges across the country are popular for families due to its indoor water parks, but every fall they become even more fun. Kids can enjoy nightly costume parades, trick or treating, "Spooktacular Story Time," seasonal crafts and pumpkin painting, and a Monster Bash Dance Party on weekends that's filled with games and prizes. Great Wolf can be found in popular destinations like the Wisconsin Dells, the Poconos, and Sandusky, Ohio. For more information, visit their Web site, Great Wolf Lodge.
Boo at the Zoo, Nationwide
Zoos across the country, including Washington, D.C., New York, San Antonio and Atlanta, offer special Halloween-themed events that appeal to younger kids. Atlanta's popular, four-day Boo at the Zoo features a costume contest for all ages, a hay maze and character meet-and-greets in Zoo Boo Town. In Washington, kids can trick or treat and enjoy animal encounters during its three-day event. For more information, visit the Web sites, Smithsonian National Zoological Park and Zoo Atlanta.
HalloWeekends at Cedar Point, Ohio
One of the Midwest's best amusement parks turns into a haunting place to visit over fall weekends. HalloWeekends, which can be quite scary at night for those under 13, is also family-friendly during the day. Kids can explore the Magical House on Boo Hill, visit Planet Spooky and catch a Halloween-themed parade, all included in the regular admission price, along with rides and attractions. HalloWeekend festivities take place Fridays through Sundays, Sept. 13 through Oct. 27. For more information, visit their Web site, Cedar Point.
Fright Fest at Six Flags, Nationwide
Six Flags locations nationwide also turn its amusement parks into a haunted Halloween attraction during its fall Fright Fest, open weekends from Sept. 13 through Oct. 27. Again, the park's after dark activities may be too frightening for little ones, but it provides "Thrills by Day" and "Frights by Night" with not-so-scary Halloween-themed shows, offered before 6 p.m. You'll find the fest taking place at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, Six Flags America outside Washington, D.C. and Six Flags New England in Massachusetts, as well as other locations across the country. For more information, visit their Web site, Six Flags Great Adventure.
The Count's Halloween Spooktacular, Pennsylvania
Just outside of Philadelphia is the kid-friendly Sesame Place, an amusement park for the younger crowd featuring Sesame Street characters. On weekends Saturday, Sept. 28 through Oct. 27, the park is transformed into a less-than-frightening Halloween attraction. Kids in costume can enjoy the new "Ernie's Rubber Duckie Costume Party" disco, the Neighborhood Street Party Halloween Parade, hayrides with Sesame Street characters, trick or treating across the park, and Halloween-themed shows. For more information, visit their Web site, Sesame Place.
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