Candy sales, haunted houses, character costumes and spooky weekend breaks make all Halloween ideas an estimated $10.14 billion holiday. According to the National Retail Federation, sales will continue to soar in this vaccinated year. Autumn attractions are going all out to frighten guests while recommending masks indoors (scary, right?) Expect socially distanced lines and super clean monsters. And who among the 20% of trick-or-treaters who invest in pet costumes will want to leave their family pets at home?
It’s no wonder that kids have ghost stories and candy — a $3 billion market — on their minds. If your kids are dreaming of family Halloween ideas, take them to America’s haunted houses, many designed for all ages. Tote toddlers on an outing to a creepy place. Or, take everyone, including your pets, for a costume shopping spree.
Halloween Ideas, Fall’s Top Tricks & Treats
What better way to celebrate this Halloween season than to dress up and partake in the frightful festivities around America? September and October are the months to feel the change of seasons. Fall trips should combine nature’s beauty and spooktacular events all in one vacation.
Across the country, families will find a variety of haunted houses for kids and scares and other organized Halloween ideas and activities, plus activities to suit toddlers and younger kids during this special harvest season.
Refresh creativity, restore your sanity and revive your family’s best spooky stories. Here are plenty of Halloween ideas to suit the entire family.
Haunted House Chills & Thrills for the Weekend
Below, each of these regional feature stories has all of the gruesome (and fun) details about local Halloween ideas and fall festivities. Some are also slightly off-the-radar for an entertaining, educational (not to mention affordable) experience that the whole family can enjoy.
Please note that due to possible travel restrictions, schedules and facilities may be limited this season, so doublecheck the websites before visiting.
Halloween Ideas and Wailing Weekends in the South
Houston, Texas – The city offers a Nightmare on the Bayou tour located right next to the oldest graveyard in town. Plus, enjoy other, tamer haunted experiences at the NASA center, zoo and elsewhere for families.
Baton Rouge and Southern Louisiana – Home to the famously scary haunted house: The 13th Gate. Baton Rouge is an affordable alternative to New Orleans. Look for a ton of moss-encrusted, spooky events on land and in the bayou for the family’s Halloween weekend break.
Spooky Thrills in Orlando, Florida – For pro scare tactics, there’s nowhere better than the theme parks of Orlando and central Florida, except maybe for those in Los Angeles…
Regional Frights and Halloween Ideas in the Burbs
Fun & Frights in Pennsylvania – Pittsburgh, Scranton, Philadelphia, and Lancaster boast an amazing variety of weirdly fun outings… especially when you think about what a mellow state this is.
Salt Lake City and Environs, Utah – Whether you are looking for sweet candy, haunted mazes or haunted houses for kids, SLC families know how to Halloween party. After surviving the terrifying Nightmare on 13th pick a family-friendly farm experience. We’ll say it again: Salt Lake has it in for you this fall.
Monster Madness in Missouri – If you’re within a day’s drive of Kansas City, those are the places to go to get your freak (out) on.
New York Halloween Ideas & Frightfully Fun Weekends
Each fall, the FTF staff does a roundup of some of our favorite Halloween ideas. Our home base of New York excels when it comes to holiday events. Take a look at this year’s picks of outings and day-long adventures. Save money while maximizing the anticipation, experience and recovery time from a day trip. Even 8 hours of terror will make your family feel like they’ve been “away” for a lifetime.
New York City Free and Cheap Halloween Festivities – Of course, there’s the world-famous Village Halloween Parade through Greenwich Village, where millions watch thousands of revelers, but local-in-the-boroughs Halloween ideas and events in NYC are fun too and even better for your little ones.
Westchester and Ulster Counties, Upstate New York – In upstate New York, cringe at the Headless Horseman hayride while searching for the skull. Admire the skill of pumpkin butchers who carve thousands of Jack-o-lanterns. Wander through the creepy Horseman’s Hollow and have plenty of fresh haunted house tales to tell.
Halloween Weekends and Spooky Road Trips for the Fearless
Happiness & Horror in California – Los Angeles area theme parks use all the Hollywood talent at their disposal to create magical frights. Local families also enjoy the no-cost spectacle of the annual West Hollywood Parade and other fine Halloween ideas and events in LA and The Valley.
Fall Frights and Halloween Fun in Idaho – Ready for an 825-mile road trip through the scenic beauty and terrifying tree groves of Idaho? From Boise to Coeur d’Alene we’ve got your back… or maybe not.
Enjoy these spooky fun Halloween ideas and events, and let us know if we forgot to mention your favorites!
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