Halloween is sneaking up on us! If you’re like the parents at SGC, you’re excited to partake in all the fun festivities surrounding this spooky holiday, from selecting costumes to trick-or-treat night to (OK, we admit it) stealing a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or two from your child’s haul.
In between all that, why not make time for a night or day of Halloween-themed family fun? Here are 12 great local events you and your family can enjoy this October.
1. Trick or Treat at the Mall
A number of area malls hold trick-or-treating events, where kids can collect candy by going store to store.
Capital City Mall: Oct. 26 (Wednesday) from 5-8 p.m.
Colonial Park Mall: Oct. (Friday) 28 from 6:30-8 p.m.
The Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg: Oct. 28 (Friday) from 5-7 p.m.
Park City Center: Oct. 31 (Monday) from 5-6 p.m.
York Galleria: Oct. 31 (Monday) from 6-8 p.m.
2. Walk the Streets of Mechanicsburg
The borough’s annual Streets of Treats takes place Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Take your kids to the locally owned shops in downtown, or participate in the fun games and crafts set up outside just for the occasion. There are also free hayrides!
3. Go to a Parade
Nearly every town in the area has its own Halloween parade, complete with lit-up fire trucks, marching bands, scout troops in cute costumes and of course at least one group doing the “Thriller” dance! Check out this list from PennLive to find one near you.
You need to drive a bit for this one, but if you have a baseball or softball player at home, it’s worth the trip. Kids who wear a costume to visit Williamsport’s Little League Museum on weekends in October get free admission and can enter a costume contest. At the end of the month, they’ll pick a winner to receive a prize.
5. Take Your Goblins to Knoebels
The most cost-effective amusement park in the area offers three fun Halloween-themed weekends this month:
Kids 12 and under who wear costumes will even scare up some candy.
6. Learn About Halloween Chemistry
Do you have a budding scientist at your house? Help them learn more about chemistry by heading to Bucknell University on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m., for this unique event: the Bucknell University Chemistry Department Halloween Show. It features “puking” and fire-breathing pumpkins.
7. Get Your Spirits up at Dutch Wonderland
From Oct. 15-30, Dutch Wonderland hosts Happy Hauntings, where families can bring their kids trick or treating and enjoy holiday-themed rides and delicious food made just for this time of year.
8. See Glowing Pumpkins at Hershey Gardens
The gorgeous gardens at Hershey get a new look with glowing pumpkins and, for the most adventurous kids, live tarantulas on display (don’t worry, they’re not roaming free). Bring flashlights to navigate a mile-long stretch set up with jack o’lanterns, and beware the scarecrows along the path—some of them are alive.
9. Get Out on the Farm
Fall means apple cider and pumpkins, and what better place to find them than at farm stores? While you’re picking up those Halloween provisions, you can also do some outdoor activities with the kids. In Dillsburg, the Paulus Farm Fun Fort arrives every fall with corn mazes, slides and playhouses for kids to climb on. Or go to Mechanicsburg’s Ashcombe Farm and Greenhouse for Fall Harvest Days, when kids can make scarecrows or see a 600-pound (!) carved pumpkin.
10. Get Schooled at the State Museum
The Night of the Great Pumpkin event takes place Friday, Oct. 14, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Have your kids wear their costumes so they can trick or treat and visit the planetarium for a Halloween-themed show.
11. Who You Gonna Call? ‘Ghostbusters!’
You no doubt remember “Ghostbusters” fondly from your childhood. Introduce your kids to this ‘80s classic at Whitaker Center for the Science and Arts, which offers a special showing of the movie Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at its theater. Even little ones won’t be scared by these silly ghosts.
12. Introduce the Kids to ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’
For all those families who flock to “The Nutcracker” at Christmas, why not start a new Halloween tradition? Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet performs “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” on Oct. 22 and 23.