Halloween is possibly my favorite day of the year. I love to decorate and dress up and it’s exciting when other people share my love of the day. This year, we’ll be spending Halloween at Disneyland Paris. Unlike the Disney parks in the U.S., Paris only has one celebratory night for the season. I’m happy to say I got tickets to that party on the 31st and will be trick-or-treating along with everyone else. I’m a little sad to be missing things happening here at home, but it also means I’ll be on vacation on my wedding anniversary (Oct 28th), which is always fun.
While I was thinking about the cool ways to spend Halloween in the future, I decided to check out what there was to do in New England, because when I think spooky, it conjures up witches and Stephen King, both of which hail from the Northeastern states. Did you know there are crazy amounts of things to do the whole month of October? It’s true! Whether you want to be scared witless or just learn the history behind this fun holiday.
This photo of Lake Compounce is courtesy of TripAdvisor
The Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce is Southern New England’s largest Halloween attraction. It has evolved from Ernie and Carol Romegialli’s creative yard decorations 22 years ago. The decorations grew more elaborate and eventually outgrew their yard and they have been occupying a larger area ever since. Donations go towards their upkeep and diabetes research, which is pretty awesome if you ask me. They are open Friday through Sunday, October 4-27.
Witch’s Dungeon Halloween Classic Movies Museum - For just a $2 donation per person, you can visit the longest-running Halloween attraction in the country. Opened in 1966, you can view memorabilia from your favorite classic horror and sci-fi films and also watch them on the silver screen. Open Friday through Sunday from October 4 - Nov 3.
Nightmare New England is 40 acres of non-stop scary-thrills, located in Litchfield, NH. Along the Merrimack River, the landscape plays its part in making the six themed areas even spookier. There’s so much to do in this “scream park” including zombie paintball, five haunted attractions, tarot card readings and even a restaurant. I wouldn’t expect normal fare, but this is a place that tries to scare you the moment you step out of your car. Nightmare New England wants to make Halloween a destination. Open selected days and weekends from September 28 - November 3.
Keene Pumpkin Festival - Keene townsfolk plan all year to break the record for the most jack-o-lanterns in their downtown square. They have done it, too! 8 times! Enjoy food, fun and music during this one-night family-friendly celebration on October 19. The food and craft court sounds like a place I would be happy to lose myself in. Candy apples and handmade Halloween decorations are pretty high on my list of things that make me go “Yes please!”.
Salem – Where better to celebrate Halloween than witch-central? All October long you’ll find themed festivities and attractions including a carnival, haunted house, spooky tours and more. Every day of the month you’ll find something going on. This is my kind of town. Where else can you hit the farmers’ market during the day and then see the Crucibal at night and get your palm read and shop witchcraft shop in between? There might be some places, but I doubt many. And there are even fewer places where you can visit the actual places where witch trials took place. This is definitely on my list of must-see places.
Six Flags New England Fright Fest is fun for the whole family, with daytime and nighttime activities to please everyone. During the day, families will be able to fill their bags on the trick or treat trail and then get up close and personal with creepy crawlies like snakes and lizards. Once the sun goes down, the scares come out with a haunted house and scare zones. All rides stay open during Fright Fest, but beware, you might find yourself sitting next to a ghoul. Fright fest runs on weekends from September 21-November 3.
The Haunted Forest - A more family-friendly Halloween activity, the Haunted Forest takes visitors down a jack-o-lantern-lighted path to view a dozen different scenes presented by community theater performers. It’s just spooky enough for older ones and tame enough for little ones. The “performance” runs on various times October 24 - 26.
Looking for deals to get to and stay in the area? Check out these travel merchants:
- Airbnb - For a great deal on an apartment/condo/house, browse what's available from private renters through Airbnb. I've used them to book my lodgings in London and Paris this fall and I feel like I'm going to be really happy, and not just because I save a bunch of money.
- HomeAway - Not quite brave enough to deal directly with a homeowner? Then go bigger with HomeAway. They also have competitive pricing on private rentals and a really big selection anywhere you want to go.
- Hotels.com - If you want someone to clean up after you and overall feel a bit pampered, then you might be interested in the rebate deal going on at Hotels.com. Earn up to $100 cash back on stays from 3 to 12 nights.
- Expedia - Save big with a package deal where you bundle your airfare and lodging together. Using Expedia, you can save up to $525 when you book this way.
- CheapOair - Save more over their lowest rates with promo code FALL15, which will knock an extra $15 off on hotel and airfare rates.
If New England doesn’t sound in the (tarot) cards for you this year, FareCompare has some ideas for trips to scare you. You can also look back at my post from last year on trips to theme parks that have special celebrations as well as other places around the world you might want to visit (including the Paris catacombs, which I will be venturing into in November). What are your favorite fall/Halloween activities?