Halloween Events in New Jersey and Beyond

It’s never to early to start celebrating Halloween. Okay, candy corn displays popping up on the 5th of July feels a little early, but now it’s October and time to get your scare on. The problem is, there’s so much happening, even 31 days might not be enough to tackle these Halloween events in New Jersey and beyond.



Mummies, American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY)

Kick off October with a visit to the American Museum of Natural History for their special exhibit, Mummies. Get up close and personal and learn when, how and why people were mummified. Then stick around for a sleepover at the Museum or, on Halloween night, spooky stories of frightening objects in space at Astronomy Live: Spooky Astronomy.

The Great Jack-O’-Lantern Blaze, Van Cortlandt Manor (Croton-on-Hudson, NY)

The Great Jack-O’-Lantern Blaze is guaranteed to sell out, so grab your tickets soon. Walk along Pumpkin Promenade on Van Cortlandt Manor and the surrounding historic 18th century landscape and marvel at the jack-o’-lantern Statue of Liberty, dinosaurs, the Pumpkin Zee Bridge and the all new jack-in-the-box jack-o’-lanterns. Then stop by the Café Blaze for donuts and cider before heading home with visions of pumpkins dancing in your head. (September 29 – November 25/Online tickets start at $20 for adults/$16 for kids. Fridays and Saturdays $25 for adults/$20 for kids)



Zoo Boo, Bergen County Zoo, Van Saun Park (Paramus, NJ)

At Zoo Boo, hop on the Eerie Express train ride for a spine-tingling loop around the zoo. Then gather for ghost stories, have fun trick-or-treating and watch a magic show during this two-day event. (October 27 – 28/Tickets went on sale at the zoo on October 2. $6/per person, age 2 and under are free. Train rides are $5/per person.)


Haunted Forest, Tenafly Nature Center (Tenafly, NJ)

Don’t be scared. No really, don’t. The Haunted Forest 90-minute walking tour is designed to be entertaining and educational—not scary. Arrive early or come after dark to visit the “haunts” (places they like to hang out) of several nocturnal animals and learn how they adapt. Then stick around for treats and crafts around the bonfire. (Saturday, October 28 at 4:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m. and 5 p.m. $11 for members/$16 for non-members. Children under 2 are free. Space is limited and reservations are highly recommended.)


Scarecrows & Pumpkins, New York Botanical Garden (Bronx, NY)

Scarecrows & Pumpkins and so much more await at the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. During Giant Pumpkin Weekend (October 21 – 22) you can marvel at pumpkins that weigh over a ton and speak with the folks who grew them. Plus, wear your costume, decorate a bag and collect healthy treats on the Whole Foods Trick-or-Treat Trail, then meet some Creepy Creatures during a live animal presentation and discussion of habitat and adaptations on Saturdays and Sundays through October. (September 23 – October 31/Prices start at $23 for adults/$10 for children 2 – 12. Under 2 are free.)


Night of 1,000 Jack-O’-Lanterns, Governors Island (New York, NY)

Begin your Night of 1,000 Jack-O’-Lanterns with a short ferry ride from South Street to the Jack-O’-Lantern trail on Governors Island, where you’ll see dozens of 100+ lb. carved pumpkins, sculpted pumpkins, 1,000 fresh pumpkins and carving demonstrations, all with the city as your backdrop. (October 26 – 29/ $24 for adults/$22 for children 3-12/Under 2 are free.)

Boo at the Zoo, Bronx Zoo (Bronx, NY)

You’ve come to love Boo at the Zoo for the magic shows, interactive presentations with zoo keepers and animals, expert pumpkin carving, candy trail and costume parade. But wait, there’s more! New this year for guests 12 and up is the Haunted Forest— you never know what’s lurking, crawling or flying overhead. Plus, there’s Bootoberfest, a chance to try seasonal food and new brews, a harvest hayride, fairy and gnome homes at Nature Trek and The Very Hungry Caterpillar show. (Weekends September 30 – October 29 plus Monday, October 9/$36.95 for adults/$26.95 for children 3-12. 2 and under are free.)


Halloweenie, Fresh & Fancy Farms (New Milford, NJ)

Halloweenie does it up right with hot dogs topped with seasonal flavors like pumpkin parmigiana and maple bacon. Order a side of rosemary roasted sweet & russet potatoes and an apple cider doughnut, and you’ve got yourself a mouthful of fall. (Saturday, October 28 from 12 – 3 p.m.)



Cemetery Walk, Valleau Cemetery (Ridgewood, NJ)

Join the Ridgewood Historical Society for a Cemetery Walk. Start at the Schoolhouse Museum then stroll by lantern light through Valleau Cemetery, where you will meet soldiers and civilians come back to life to tell their stories. The festivities continue back at the museum with stories, cider and doughnuts. (Friday, October 20, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m./$10 per adult/$5 per child/$20 per family.)


Ridgewood Halloween Maze (Ridgewood, NJ)

By day, the Ridgewood Halloween Maze is a seasonal labyrinth. By night, it's a haunted morass frequented by an evil clown. (Maze season has started and will be open through October 31, weather permitting. Day time non-spooky hours are recommended for younger children.)


Poe’s Phantoms, John Fell House (Allendale, NJ)

Settle in for six tales of terror as Poe’s Phantoms are brought to life by storytellers in the lantern-lit John Fell House. This family-friendly show is appropriate for children 8 and up. (Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21/$20 for adults and $18 for students and seniors.)


Fright Fair of Ghoul Rock

Fifth-grade students from Glen Rock's Central School give participants a ghouly good time at the school's haunted house fundraiser, “Fright Fair of Ghoul Rock.” (Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21 from 6 to 9 p.m./ $5 single entry and $10 for unlimited viewings. Lights-on tours for younger viewers from 6 to 6:30 p.m. each night.)


Spooky Sleepover, Liberty Science Center (Jersey City, NJ)

Your family is in for a night of spooky activities and experiments when you visit Liberty Science Center for their Spooky Sleepover. You’ll attend exhibits like “The Better to Smell You With, My Dear” and the Spider Maze, watch a 3-D movie, have an evening snack and then, after a good night’s sleep, a light breakfast. And, for the 13 and up crowd, get good and scared at the Doom Zoo, LSC’s horrifying walkthrough haunted house. Or, on October 19, head over for the adults only Zombtoberfest, a night where adults mix zombies and beer and anything can happen. (Spooky Sleepover – Friday, October 20. Price is $60/per person and is recommended for ages 5 and up.)



Irving’s ‘Legend,’ Old Dutch Church (Sleepy Hollow, NY)

Join master storyteller Jonathan Kruk as he offers a 45-minute dramatic performance of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Organ music enhances this tale of Ichabod Crane, the Headless Horseman and all the other characters in this unforgettable tale. (Weekends in October/$25 for adults/$20 for children under 18.)


Something Wicked This Way Comes, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (Madison, NJ)

Introduce the kids to some old-fashioned spooky storytelling when The Shakespeare Theatre company presets Something Wicked This Way Comes, staged readings of classic horror tales from Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft and Bram Stoker. Actors dress in street clothes and hold their scripts as they perform, and the readings are accompanied by live music from a theremin, an electronic instrument that emits an eerie, high-pitched sound. (Monday, Oct. 30 at 7:30/$35.)



Nightmare on River Road (New Milford, NJ)

You don't have to be asleep for this nightmare to crawl up on you. For some strange reason, everyone ends up in River Road's hospital - unless the creepy clown forgets to lead you in to the local cemetery first. Be sure to bring a friend all the way to the end. (Opens October 6 – Friday-Saturday: 6pm - 10pm, ​Sunday: 2pm - 6pm/ $15)


Brighton Asylum, Brighton Industrial Complex (Passaic, NJ)

Legend has it that hundreds of inmates lost their minds amidst the harsh living conditions and grotesque medical experiments conducted at the Brighton Asylum in the 1940s. Now you can visit and see the place where insane patients still roam the halls, then descend in an old elevator to The Tunnel where more horrors await. For even more chills, visit the Horror Museum, new this year, or add an Escape Room adventure to your trip. This attraction is not for the faint of heart (pregnant visitors are advised to consult their doctors first!) (Through November 11/Prices start at $25.)


Pure Terror Scream Park (Monroe, NY)

Pure Terror Scream Park is really six terrifying experiences in one. Enter Necropolis, the home of the evil dead, then get Quarantined and hope you make it out alive. Walk through the clown’s mouth and into Twisted Terror Under the Big Top, then match wits with flesh-eating witches in Coven. Plunge into total darkness in Terror in the Dark, and run from horrifying killers in Legends of Horror. (September 29 – November 4/Prices start at $45.)

The Red Mill Haunted Village (Clinton, NJ)

Set in a historical wool mill, the Haunted Village is three stories based on the theme Infection.

Twists and turns abound with ghouls and zombies lurking around every corner. But if you don’t relish the idea of terrified kids with nightmares, let your little ones enjoy the Happy Haunts instead. (October 14, 21, 28/Admission starts at $30.)


Fright Factor (Florham Park, NJ)

On Friday and Saturday nights, older kids will want to try this scary maze, the Ultimate Pathway to Terror, which benefits Halos for Angels, a nonprofit that supports local families in need. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, take the whole family to the Halloween festival. (Maze is Fridays and Saturdays from 7 to 11 p.m. through October. Festival is Saturdays 3 to 6 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 4 p.m. through October/$10.)  


The Horseman’s Hollow, Phillipsburg Manor (Sleepy Hollow NY)

What’s more scary than a headless horseman? How about Horseman’s Hollow, a trail haunted by the Horseman, with creatures lurking in the shadows and special effects in full force. At the end, enter Ichabod’s Schoolhouse maze then end up in the lair of the horseman. (Weekends through October, Monday, October 30 and Tuesday, October 31/Tickets start at $22 and must be bought in advance.)


Fright Fest, Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, NJ)

Beware! There is no place to hide as the ghouls are set free for their daily hunting excursions at Fright Fest. Terror is around every corner, or seek it out at the haunted attractions, seven haunted mazes and five scare zones. New for 2017, “Unleashed,” a steampunk circus show, and Lady of the Lake Cemetery scare area. Your skin will crawl for days. (Weekends September 16 – October 31/$56.99­-$66.99.)


Scared in Jersey (Holmdel, NJ)

Expose teens to the legend of the Jersey Devil in this fright-filled Scared in Jersey experience that includes finding your way through the Pine Barren Maze, visiting Mother Leeds’ Haunted Cottage and meeting the ghosts of the Devil’s victims. Enjoy live music by The Blood Drums while enjoying spooky food and merch. (Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 6 p.m. through October/$25.)


Haunted Scarehouse (Wharton, NJ)

Wander through two floors of fear in this haunted house filled with special effects, movie props and actors just waiting to jump out and scare you. If you find a hidden key before exiting, you can win back your admission fee. (Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 – 11 p.m., Sundays 7:30 – 10 p.m. through October/$28.)

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