BOO-levard of Fun Events for Halloween

Ok I apologize for that title but I didn’t want to do Spooktober, Howl-o-Ween, Fright Night etc, etc, etc. It might not be great but at least it’s original!

Can anyone guess where a holiday that features free candy at every front door in the U.S. ranks on my “favorite” holiday list? LOL well you might think at the top but not really. There are a lot of food centric holidays and it really hard to pick just one.

My affection for Halloween encompasses more than just my love of candy. ( I want to make it clear however I am not discounting that part, just bypassing it for this blog) It is just that I was always a little disappointed in my costumes as a kid and it wasn’t until years later that I realized they were, in fact, really great.  Few things are more fun then watching kids parade the streets Trick or Treating wearing their favorite super hero, cartoon or Disney character costume. My costumes were always custom made because my mom is a seamstress.  I always envied those kids who could be anything they wanted by going to Woolworths and getting a costume in a box with a mask. I was always limited by what few selections were available in the McCall’s pattern books. Also I never had a really cool mask. Just a smaller version of the one the Lone Ranger wore. But looking back I realize that my mom spent more time and money doing it that way and they really were quite wonderful costumes. I guess I was just too young to appreciate them. Today homemade costumes are all the rage. Who knew? My mom, the trend setter!

The events that I have chosen this week are all excellent examples of Halloween fun and fright. I tried to mix up the variety with a few parades, some scary attractions and some festivals. Most are wonderful fun for the whole family but please check the descriptions or call ahead before you assume that it is family friendly. Halloween after all is a “scare”fest and some attractions might be too much for children and some of us adults! And then others are geared for a more “adult” crowd because of some outrageous costumes so beware. As always, these events are some great examples of what is taking place this week all around the country. You can use the search box above to find out what events are taking place in your backyard so you can enjoy the holiday. Why not grab your ghosts and goblins and have some “spooktacular” fun? Oops, sorry, that just sort of slipped out.

Fantasy Fest

Oct 19, 2012 – Oct 28, 2012

Bahama Village Key West, FL US 33040

Since 1979. This is a U.S. Halloween event but more along the lines of Caribbean celebrations. It is Mardi Gras in October with just a hint of scary and a big dose of outrageous. It is an adult’s only event which lasts 10 days with costumes, masked balls and grand parade. Takes place at various locations.
60,000 Attendees

Sea Witch Halloween Festival

Oct 26, 2012 – Oct 28, 2012

Downtown Rehoboth Beach, DE US 19971

Since 1990, this event features broom tossing contests, sea witch hunt, costumed pet contest, haunted houses, fiddler’s convention, hay rides, scarecrow making, costume parade and contest, Maryland rough riders horse show, kid’s treasure hunt, 5K foot race, surfing and skimboarding contest, trick or treating and so much more. Takes place at many locations.
100,000+ Attendees


Oct 27, 2012

Downtown Tampa, FL US 33697

Since 1985, this Latin-style Halloween celebration is held at Ybor City. This festival includes daytime activities, a night parade and a street party featuring multiple stages of entertainment. Each year the celebration features the mythical Mama Guava.
125,000 Attendees

Newark’s Halloween Parade

Oct 28, 2012

Downtown Newark Newark, DE US 19702

Since 1947. Lions, Tigers and Bears on Main Street – OH MY! Don’t worry-it’s all part of our Halloween Parade on Main Street. Trick or treating on Main Street begins immediately following the parade.Bring the kids for a safe alternative to trick-or-treat.
6,000 Attendees

Halloween Parade and Costume Contest

Oct 31, 2012

Downtown New Smyrna Beach, FL US 32168

Since 1976, show up in your costume, and scare up a ghost of a time. The Annual Halloween Parade and Costume Contest will begin at the Orange Street parking lot and will proceed east down Canal Street to the Chamber of Commerce parking lot. The costume contest will begin immediately following the parade. Various age groups will be judged…including adults! Only homemade costumes will be judged and no pre- registration is required.
10,000 Attendees

Halloween Parade and Frolic

Oct 29, 2012 – Oct 31, 2012

Downtown Hiawatha, KS US 66434

Since 1914, one of the nation’s oldest Halloween parades. Show up in your costume, and scare up a ghost of a time.The Kiddie Parade in the afternoon starts with hundreds of youngsters in costume. Prizes are awarded for best costumes, decorated bikes, trikes, wagons, family floats, small motorized vehicles and horses. The Grand Parade in the evening includes dignitaries such as the Governor of Kansas and other distinguished political leaders. High school bands, floats, horses, Shrine units and the ever-present natives in costume make the night parade something very special and the OLDEST IN THE NATION! There is no parade entry fee and everyone is welcome to participate.
6,000+ Attendees

Greenwich Village Halloween Parade

Oct 31, 2012

Greenwich Village New York, NY US 10019

All those in costume are welcome to join hundreds of puppets, 53 bands of different types of music, dancers and artists, and thousands of other New Yorkers in costumes of their own in this new brand of Carnivale! Takes place on 6th Avenue, Spring to 23rd Streets. Because of the nature of the parade, it is themed more for adults and not so much for children but it is like nothing else you have ever seen.

Haunted Happenings in Salem

Oct 01, 2012 – Oct 31, 2012

Downtown Salem, MA US 01970

This is certainly a city celebration that takes advantage of the history for which it is known. Salem casts it’s spell with exciting haunted happenings in Salem. Events include Witch Trails, costume contests, tours, treasure hunts, and a charity ball at the Hawthorne Hotel. The events take place throughout the month of October through Halloween. There are events at different venues throughout town.
500,000 Attendees

Prospect Park’s Haunted Walk and Carnival

Oct 27, 2012

Prospect Park Brooklyn, NY US 11215

The beloved Halloween Haunted Walk is back and scarier than ever! Lurking high on Lookout Hill are zombies, wolf men, headless horsemen, good and bad witches, and other creepy characters. Visitors brave enough to experience this harrowing hike should head to Lookout Hill. The Halloween Haunted Walk is suitable for young children accompanied by parents/guardians or older siblings. There’s also a carnival on the Nethermead featuring all kinds of fun, games and seasonal treats. Begin at Prospect Park Southwest and 16th St. The Haunted Walk and Carnival is open to all and completely free of charge. And this year you can enjoy some tasty treats from NYC food trucks parked along Center Drive near the Nethermead. They will be serving up snacks and beverages from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
50,000 Attendees

Medford Halloween Parade

Oct 27, 2012

Downtown Historic Medford Village Medford, NJ US 08055

Since 1946. Sponsored by the Medford-Vincentown Rotary, this annual event will excite young and old with colorful costumed characters and music to celebrate Halloween. The parade now boasts over 10 marching bands, 40 hand built floats, hundreds of costumed marchers and draws in excess of 20,000 spectators yearly. The parade has been a labor of love to many members of the Rotary Club over the years, some of which participated in the first. The parade is the single largest yearly undertaking by the club and serves as its biggest fundraiser. 100% of the funds raised from the parade go directly to the many community projects and scholarships sponsored by the Medford-Vincentown Rotary Club.
20,000 Attendees

Terror Behind the Walls Haunted House at Eastern State

Sep 21, 2012 – Nov 10, 2012

Eastern State Penitentiary Philadelphia, PA US 19130

Terror Behind the Walls is the region’s premier haunted attraction. Imagine being in an old Prison, with scary things…Please note, this attraction is really scary. No one under the age of 7 is even allowed on the grounds. Children 7-12 should attend only on Family Nights which are listed online at the site.
40,000 Attendees

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

Oct 25, 2012 – Oct 31, 2012

Washington Irving’s Cottage Sunnyside Tarrytown, NY US 10591

See more than 4,000 individually hand-carved, illuminated jack o’ lanterns in this elaborate walk- through experience. Meander through an historic, 18th-century riverside landscape and discover a breathtaking display – all made of jack o’ lanterns! Tens of thousands of visitors experienced last year’s sold-out Blaze. Complete with sound effects, elaborate synchronized lighting and original, atmospheric music, this not-to-be- missed spectacle is the area’s most innovative Halloween happening.

Maria can be reached directly at or visit her website at
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