Knott's Scary Farm
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17 Halloween Celebrations At Theme Parks Across America

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Knott's Scary Farm
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Mazes and Merry-Go-Rounds

Halloween is a special time when costume stores pop up, pumpkin patches open to the public, and haunted houses put on a show to scare customers. Many amusement parks open special attractions just for Halloween, and not only the majors like Six Flags, Disney, and Universal. Theme parks around the country get into the Halloween spirit and try to create the ultimate scary night out for visitors in the area. Here are 17 such celebrations for all ages.


Related: 17 Abandoned Theme Parks to Explore for Thrills, Chills, and Nostalgia

Halloween Time at Disneyland
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Halloween Time at Disneyland and Disney World

Anaheim, California, and Orlando, Florida
The happiest place on earth gets into the Halloween spirit with an after-hours Boo Bash select nights Sept. 3 until Halloween and a kid-friendly Oogie Boogie Bash starting Sept. 9. Whether or not you get tickets to either event, there's still plenty of fun to be had just getting into the park. The already-scary Haunted Mansion's holiday makeover lasts until January, since the Pumpkin King's festivities cover both Halloween and Christmas. Mickey and Minnie don their trick-or-treating costumes, and you can meet Jack Skellington and Sally from "The Nightmare Before Christmas."  The Main Street Pumpkin Festival shows off spooky gourds, and even Radiator Springs puts on haunted attractions for the kids. 


Related: How to Do Disney on a Budget 


Fright Fest at Six Flags
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Fright Fest at Six Flags

Multiple locations
Every Six Flags park transforms into Fright Fest for Halloween, where thrill rides run in the dark, and spooky new attractions open that are unique to each location. The parks also have their own unique scare zones, where themed performers get in your face, and seasonal shows featuring hypnotists or horror-themed dances. Expect vampires, zombies, clowns, and more — Fright Fest has 'em all. At Magic Mountain, come with your vaccination card or proof of a negative Covid-19 test if you're over 12 on select days, or you will be turned away. 


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Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios
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Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios

Universal City, California, and Orlando, Florida
Universal Studios is conjuring small and big screen chills, including haunted houses themed to "Beetlejuice," "The Haunting of Hill House" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Universal also has scare zones, including one themed to the Halloween Horror Night's 30th anniversary. You can get a personal RIP Tour, which not only includes express passes, but a personal guide who will tell you spooky Hollywood legends while you're waiting in line or walking between mazes.

Knott's Scary Farm at Knott's Berry Farm
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Knott's Scary Farm at Knott's Berry Farm

Buena Park, California
Knott's turns its California theme park into a fully decked out Halloween attraction with mazes, scare zones, shows, and experiences. The Timber Mountain Log Ride incorporates witches, jack-o-lanterns, and Halloween music. You can still walk through many of the classic mazes you've heard about in past years, but new ones include the magic-inspired Mesmer. The original Ghost Town Street is still a haven for human/animal hybrids to lunge at the average parkgoer, Forsaken Lake and The Hollow unleash more creatures on the park, and CarnEVIL turns the boardwalk into a freak show with more scary clowns.


Related: The World's Oddest Theme Parks

Legoland
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Brick or Treat at Legoland

Winter Haven, Florida, and Carlsbad, California
Your kids won't have to wait until Halloween night for trick-or-treating — Legoland Florida has a Brick-or-Treat trail weekends in October, where kids can score plenty of candy. The Park also brings out scary Lego characters like Lego Dracula and puts on a fireworks show. Legoland California scatters its Brick-or-Treat stations all around the park, encourages costumes for its Costume Contest, and hosts family-friendly activities like a Lego build and working with the park's Monster Model Builders to craft an enormous mosaic masterpiece.


Related: Popular Chocolate Halloween Candies Ranked from Worst to Best

Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens
Erick N./Yelp

Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens

Williamsburg, Virginia, and Tampa, Florida
These two Busch Gardens' parks are open for Halloween, and kids' rides close at 5 p.m. so parents can get the little ones home before the monsters come out. On top of five haunted-house mazes in each park, Busch Gardens' monsters may ride the roller coasters with you, and Busch Gardens Tampa has eight scare zones where you can face fears like swamp-water mutants, overgrown toys, and carnival folks — which means more terrifying clowns.

HalloWeekends at Cedar Point
Jennifer K./Yelp

HalloWeekends at Cedar Point

Sandusky, Ohio
Cedar Point has day and nighttime Halloween activities from now until Oct. 31. The Great Pumpkin Fest has trick-or-treating with the Peanuts characters. There's also The Great Pumpkin Parade on weekend afternoons, and indoor, monster-free mazes for young children. On weekend nights, things get decidedly scarier, with five haunted mazes, six scare zones, five shows, lots of Halloween-themed buffets, and more. 

Hersheypark in the Dark
Kristina G./Yelp

Hersheypark in the Dark

Hershey, Pennsylvania
For three weekends in October, Hersheypark turns out the lights on five of its roller coasters — but fear not, the Hershey's Characters Glow Dance Party lights things up a bit. And it wouldn't be Hersheypark without candy, so expect 13 trick-or-treat stops,.

Luna Park in Coney Island
Esmeralda C./Yelp

Halloween Harvest at Luna Park in Coney Island

Brooklyn, New York
Coney Island's theme park adds Halloween activities and attractions for the kids. Decorate your own pumpkin in the pumpkin patch, or watch the Maniac Carvers carve their elaborate works of pumpkin art. You'll find stilt-walkers meandering through the park. The Tillie's Tractor Race combines mini-tractors with the safety of a hay bale-lined track. 


Related: The Best Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches in America

Dollywood
Ryan M./Yelp

Great Pumpkin Luminights at Dollywood

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Dolly Parton's theme park gets into the Halloween spirit with its Harvest Festival featuring thousands of candlelit jack-o-lanterns. The festivities also include characters like a Pumpkin Tree and treats like Candy Corn Cotton Candy, Pumpkin Funnel Cakes, and Caramel Apple Sundaes. Limited costumes are allowed but no masks, and absolutely no Dolly Parton costumes — there is only one Dolly.


Related: Halloween Costumes to Buy Now Before They Sell Out

Nickelodeon Universe
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Boo-niverse and Halloween Havoc at Nickelodeon Universe

Bloomington, Minnesota
Nickelodeon's Mall of America theme park has a kid-friendly Halloween celebration. Boo-niverse has a funky witch manipulating music and lights, plus a Shock and Ride dance party with a live DJ. There's also a hula-hooping show, a magician, and Rad Zoo, a group of haunting animals to get you in the Halloween spirit. 

Happy Hauntings at Dutch Wonderland
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Happy Hauntings at Dutch Wonderland

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

If you're looking for a mild, strictly family-friendly, Happy Hauntings at Dutch Wonderland might be the ticket. After Oct. 16, this weekends-only event promises a "safe, non-scary environment for kids" and, in addition to Halloween revamps of 30 rides and attractions, kids can trick-or-treat with 20 lifelike dinosaurs who just happen to have candy. 

Santa's Village Jefferson, New Hampshire
Jociane A. H./Yelp

Merry Trick or Treat at Santa's Village

Jefferson, New Hampshire
This park celebrates Christmas all year, except for weekends until Oct. 24. While the park has let Halloween take over in the past, this year will be more Santa, less spooks, stating that the previous Silly Spooky Halloween of the past has been canceled. "Some Halloween flavor complements our focus on Christmas, with trick-or-treating around the park even as Christmas music fills the air." Get in the holiday spirit early, and get candy, to boot. 

Kings Dominion Doswell, Virginia
Leilani M./Yelp

Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion

Doswell, Virginia
This theme park has Halloween Haunt on weekend nights through early Halloeen, which includes five haunted mazes, including Blood on the Bayou, four terrifying scare zones, and seven bloody or bewitching musical shows. Kings Dominion also promises to cover the park with fog as over 400 monsters lurk in its cover. Those with children will want to head out by 7 p.m., as the park recommends that Haunt is too intense for kids.


Related: 25 Amusement Parks That Aren't Horrible for Parents

Kennywood West Mifflin, Pennsylvania
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Phantom Fright Nights at Kennywood

West Mifflin, Pennsylvania
This Pittsburgh-area theme park boasts the Phantom's Revenge roller coaster and, lore has it, at Halloween, the ride's "forces" grow stronger, taking over the entire park. This translates to five haunts including Shady Grove Memorial Hospital, which features an evil doctor running wild — don't become one of his victims. There's also a "Voodoo Bayou" haunt, with swamp creatures and priestesses. Kennywood also offers kid-friendly rides and fun during the day.

Carowinds Charlotte, North Carolina
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SCarowinds at Carowinds

Charlotte, North Carolina
All it takes is an extra "S" — and more than 500 "ghastly monsters" — to transform Carowinds for Halloween. Five mazes include the new entries The Reaping and Tooth Fairy. Eight scare zones feature grave robbers, Wild West outlaws, zombies and a carnival (yay, more clowns!). And there are three live shows, including Ghouling Pianos (get it?).

Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce
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Happy Hauntings at Lake Compounce

Bristol, Connecticut
This park is the oldest amusement park still operating, and it doesn't shut down for Halloween. Previously home to a dusk-to-dark Haunted Graveyard tour, this year a milder event is planned: the more family-friendly Happy Hauntings. Activities include trips around the lake on the Compounce Railway, hay mazes, and trick-or-treating.