The latest update for this article is written by Lindsay Podolak.
WWhile trick-or-treating and costume parades are traditional Halloween favorites, there are many unique holiday events throughout New Jersey offering Halloween enthusiasts the chance for outside-the-box celebrations. Zombies, ghosts and even the family dog are spicing up this year’s unconventional Halloween roster.
If you’re ready for something a little different this Halloween, check out these unconventional festivities.
Where: Sahara Sam’s Oasis, 535 North Route 73, West Berlin
When: October 19 & 26 from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Price: $32.99 per person or free for season passholders
Details: Groove along to your favorite Halloween tunes as you enjoy all the splashtastic fun that Sahara Sam’s has to offer! Contests and giveaways as well as a foam party are all included in the price of admission.
Why I like it: The kids will be excited to get some post-summer pool time and you’ll be excited at how tired they’ll be after an afternoon in the water!
More info: Visit www.saharasams.com or call 856-767-7580
Dog Walk of the Dead VI
Where: The Sussex County Fairgrounds, 37 Plains Rd, Augusta
When: October 20 from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Price: Donations for One Step Closer Animal Rescue welcome
Details: Halloween has definitely gone to the dogs at this annual K9 event, where all the festivities are geared toward pups. Pet-friendly activities include costume contests, music, animal adoptions, food, vendors, classic cars and more doggone fun than you can throw a skeleton’s leg at. New this year is the zombie pin-up girl contest – winner takes home a $100 cash prize!
Why I like it: Community Blood Services will be hosting a blood drive at the event, but donors are required to sign up online ahead of time.
More info: Visit www.dogwalkofthedead.com
Woodbridge Haunted Ghost Tours
Where: Parker Press, 400 Rahway Ave, Woodbridge
When: October 20. The first tour is at 6:30 pm, then every 15 minutes until 9:00 pm
Price: $8 (strollers are free)
Details: Take a walk on the haunted side, as costumed guides lead participants through the spirit-filled past of New Jersey’s oldest chartered settlement. One may encounter the ghosts of famous and infamous local residents along the way, including New Jersey’s first European settlers, Revolutionary War heroes and members of Victorian society.
Why I like it: Come 15 minutes before your tour time to enjoy the pre-show, which includes exciting characters and photo opportunities. All proceeds benefit local charities.
More info: Visit www.hauntedhistoryproductions.com or call 732-738-6022
Boo at the Boardwalk
Where: Jenkinson’s Boardwalk, 300 Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach
When: October 20, 21, 27 and 28 from noon to 4:00 pm
Details: Get your fill of post-summer Jersey shore fun when Jenkinson’s Boardwalk gets decked out for Halloween. Festivities include trick-or-treating, crafts, games, a pumpkin patch, a pumpkin derby, a beach maze, underwater pumpkin carving and more. Attendees are encouraged to come in costume!
Why I like it: What better time to enjoy a stroll on the boardwalk than fall – the weather is cooler and the summer vacationers have all gone home.
More info: Visit jenkinsons.com or call 732-892-0600
Tuckerton Haunted Seaport
Where: Tuckerton Seaport, 120 West Main Street, Tuckerton
When: October 18, 19, 20, 21 from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Price: $10 for adults, $5 for children 5-12, free for both kids under 5 and Seaport members
Details: The normally peaceful seaport gets ghostly for four nights in late October, with appearances by The Jersey Devil, along with long-lost pirates and sea captains. But don’t let that description scare you, the event is actually family-friendly with a haunted hayride, crafts, stories and pumpkin slime on tap.
Why I like it: The expanded kids’ activity area will have non-scary activities like make your own trick-or-treat bag, pumpkin coloring, a hay bale maze and a Halloween Dance Party!
More info: www.tuckertonseaport.org or call 609-296-8868
Zombie Mud Run
Where: 831 Windsor Perrineville Road, East Windsor
When: October 27; gates open at 7:30 am and wave times are every half hour between 9:30 am and 11:30 am
Price: See website for various runner and spectator options. Parking is $10.
Details: Get a workout while you outrun zombies on the hunt for brains in this unorthodox course through the Field of Terror Haunted Farm. (Don’t worry, we’re pretty sure zombies can’t move fast… usually.) The run features mud, a corn maze, natural obstacles, dilapidated buildings and an abundance of zombies. For budding zombie hunters in training, kids age 12 and under can participate in the Zombie Mud Run Jr. at 11:30 am.
Why I like it: You choose whether to sign up as a human or a zombie. Humans try to get through the race without a zombie grabbing their flags (representing the brains, heart and entrails). Finish the race with at least one flag and you have survived!
More info: Visit www.thezombiemudrun.com
The Great Pumpkin Sail
Where: Echo Lake Park, Park Drive, Mountainside
When: November 1 from 5:15 pm – 9:30 pm
Price: $12 for Union County families of 6, $16 for out-of-county families of 6
Details: Wondering what to do with all those leftover jack-o-lanterns? Well, if you want to do something unconventional (and if you’ve made it to the end of this article, you probably do!), then let them set sail at Echo Lake Park the day after Halloween. This event is quite a spectacle, as the glowing jack-o-lanterns float on the lake. The evening also includes campfire songs with hot chocolate and marshmallows.
Why I like it: This is a nice, relaxing way to spend the evening of November 1 as the kids recover from their sugar binge.
More info: Visit ucnj.org or call 908-527-4000