The latest update for The Best Halloween Events for Families in NJ is written by Lindsay Podolak.
Filling the calendar with various Halloween events has become a big part of the season. But with so many interesting attractions going on in New Jersey, it can be hard to choose which ones to attend with your family. To help, we’ve put together a list of some of the state’s most popular destinations, all of which are offering Halloween events and activities this year.
Dinosaurs after Dark
Where: Field Station Dinosaurs, Overpeck County Park, Henry Hoebel area, Leonia
When: Friday and Saturday nights, Sept. 28 to Oct. 27
Details: Chase after a missing T-Rex by lantern light, sing by a campfire about the chills you experience with the Dinosaur Troubadour and enjoy a guided tour of Field Station Dinosaurs at night. Dinosaurs after Dark is a unique family experience that promises to be as educational as it is enjoyable.
Why I like it: These evenings are not scary in the traditional Halloween sense and are sure to delight all the dino-loving kids (and adults)!
More info: Visit fieldstationdinosaurs.com or call 855-999-9010
Halloween Family Camp In
Where: Liberty Science Center, 222 Jersey City Blvd., Jersey City
When: Oct. 27
Details: This is your chance to spend the night at Liberty Science Center and partake in “spooky activities and experiments.” The activities available include measuring animal skulls to determine which has the best sense of smell; learning about brains and other organs; and trying to get through a maze that puts you face-to-face with various spider species. There’s also a “Wizard Workshop” where apprentice witches and wizards can learn how to brew potions.
Why I like it: The $60 fee for the sleepover includes access to Liberty Science Center for the whole next day, as well.
More info: Visit lsc.org or call 201-253-1310
Where: Turtle Back Zoo, 560 Northfield Ave., West Orange
When: Oct. 31 from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Details: During Turtle Back Zoo’s Howl-O-Ween event, visitors can go on the Not-So-Scary train ride and trick-or-treat at candy stations throughout the zoo. The best part is you can check out the animals as you go. For families that don’t want to stray too far outside the comfort zone of going trick-or-treating, this event is the perfect choice.
Why I like it: If your neighborhood isn’t pedestrian-friendly, going “door to door” at the zoo is a perfect alternative.
More info: Visit turtlebackzoo.com or call 973-731-5800
Honorable Mention: You can also check out Zoo Boo 2018 at the Bergen County Zoo on Oct. 26 and 27 for trick-or-treating, a magic show, ghost stories and more.
Brite Nites 2018
Where: Wagner Farm Arboretum, 197 Mountain Ave., Warren
When: Oct. 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28
Details: This annual fundraiser for the arboretum features the “Barn of Fear,” a haunted house experience for the whole family. You will also get to stroll the path of beautifully carved pumpkins and see the new wizard and castle display.
Why I like it: Specialty food trucks plus a dining pavilion guarantee no one will leave hungry, just happy and entertained!
More info: Visit www.wfafnj.org or call 908-350-7383
Harvest Moon Hayride and Night Time Corn Maze
Where: Alstede Farms, 1 Alstede Farms Ln., Chester
When: Sept. 28, 29; Oct. 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
Details: Take a ride in a hay wagon by the light of the moon; use a flashlight to make your way through a corn maze; pick pumpkins (for an additional cost); or just get cozy by the campfire or take in the live entertainment. You can do all this and more at Alstede Farms during their “Harvest Moon Hayride” event taking place on select evenings throughout September and October.
Why I like it: You can roast s’mores in the fire, plus enjoy homemade apple cider…hot or cold, however you like it!
More info: Visit alstedefarms.com/ or call 908-528-8823
Where: Red Mill Museum, 56 Main St., Clinton
When: Oct. 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
Details: This long-running annual event (2018 marks the 28th year, to be exact) aims to frighten you, so it’s not for little ones. But if you have younger kids, you can check out Happy Haunts, the lights-on, family-friendly version of the creepier village which includes a hay ride, face-painting and snacks. The Haunted Village is Red Mill Museum’s biggest annual fundraiser.
Why I like it: New this year is the Behind-the-Scenes Haunted Village Tour on October 18, where you will see just what it takes to put on this terrifying event each fall.
More info: Visit www.theredmill.org or call 908-735-4101
Schaefer Farms Farm of Horrors
Where: Schaefer Farms, 1051 Flemington Whitehouse Rd., Flemington
When: Weekends, Sept. 28 to Nov.
Details: Families with older kids looking to be terrified will appreciate this event. The four attractions – Hair Raising Hay Ride, Trail of Terror in the middle of nowhere, MassAcre Maze, and the Carnival of Chaos – are not for the faint of heart. Attendees are guaranteed to encounter ghosts, ghouls, monsters and open graves. Beware of what lurks in the dark.
Why I like it: People come from all over the tri-state area to experience 45 minutes of scares. A word to the wise, leave the little ones at home.
More info: Visit www.schaefersfrightfest.com or call 908-782-2705
Six Flags Fright Fest
Where: Six Flags Great Adventure, 1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson
When: Weekends, Sept. 15 to Oct. 31
Details: Six Flags claims to host the scariest Halloween party ever. Haunted mazes, scare zones, and “the stuff of nightmares” are among the highlights mentioned. Of course, by day, you can still enjoy all the amusement rides and entertainment the park has to offer.
Why I like it: New this year is the “Fear” attraction, which promises to have your worst childhood dreams (clowns, scary dolls and more!) brought to life.
More info:Visit www.sixflags.com/greatadventure or call 732-928-2000
Where: Moorestown Mall, 400 W. Route 38, Moorestown
When: October 19 from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Details: Families will love the spooky tricks and treats taking over Moorestown Mall for its annual Thriller Night. Children in costumes can trunk or treat, watch an outdoor screening of The Nightmare before Christmas from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, and catch two live reenactments of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video from the Bowman School of Dance. Restaurants will have food sampling tables outside and the Fall Auto Show will also be on-site during this event. Plus, check out the various CANstruction sculptures throughout the mall and vote for your favorite!
Why I like it: Everyone participating in Trunk or Treat should bring a non-perishable food item to benefit the Food Bank of South Jersey, a great way to help out those in need locally.
More info: Visit www.moorestown-mall.com or call 856-231-4444
Pumpkin Patch Party
Where: Landis Avenue & SW Boulevard, Vineland
When: October 27 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Details: Celebrate Halloween with the kids at the annual Pumpkin Patch Party. Come in your costumes and get candy, play games and win prizes. Check out the entries in the “Scarecrow Challenge on The Ave” competition and don’t miss when the winner is announced during the party!
Why I like it: It’s free, it’s outdoors and it’s fun for the whole family!
More info: Visit www.theave.biz or call 856-794-8653
Hero (Top) Photo: © famveldman / Adobe Stock
Other Photos (in Order) Courtesy:
Field Station Dinosaurs / Website
Liberty Science Center / Website
Turtle Back Zoo / Website
Wagner Farms Aboretum / Facebook
Alstede Farms / Facebook
Red Mill Haunted Village / Website
Schaefer Farms / Facebook
Six Flags Great Adventure / Facebook
Moorestown Mall / Facebook
Main Street Vineland / Facebook