KID-FRIENDLY HALLOWEEN
Boisterous, Not Blood-Curdling, Seasonal Sights

When your Halloween to-do list is geared for the under 10s, it may be time to mute the mayhem just a little. The following recommended things to do are 100 percent fun with only perhaps 10-20 percent creepiness:

PUMPKINS AND CORN MAZE
Weekends throughout October
Varner Farms
Varner Farms

More than six acres of plump pumpkins (plumpkins?) are available for browsing, ensuring that visitors can find one that fits their jack o'lantern profile perfectly. The other big draw at Varner Farms is the corn maze, five acres of challenging twists and turns. It's hard to notice while navigating its blind alleys, but from above, the architected rows form a giant barrel racer. 

FREDDY'S FALLFEST
Weekends throughout October
Freddy Hill Farms

Freddy's Fallfest

Freddy Hill Farms has been ferrying kids of all ages to its pumpkin patch for a quarter-century. The family-fun center also offers a giant slide, pony rides and plenty of food - from ice cream to funnel cake. On the more off-beat side is a series of piglet races.

FALL FEST WEEKENDS
Weekends throughout October
Northern Star Farm

Northern Star Farm Fall Fest Weekends

Once the perfect pumpkin has been picked from the patch, Northern Star Farm has enough to make a whole autumnal day out of a visit. Two mazes that cover 14 acres are available for exploring. And small fall fans will love the play barn, where they can practice milking a cow, drive a small pedal-tractor and climb through a giant hay fort.

HARVEST FESTIVITIES
Weekends throughout October
Maple Acres Farm

maple acres farm
Adults decorating for the season can access all the essentials at Maple Acres Farm: corn stalks, hay bales, Indian corn, gourds and mums. Kids interested in carving (or painting) goofy or scary faces on pumpkins will have an abundance of options as well. Two audiences. One fun stop.
 

FALL FUN
Weekends throughout October
Merrymead Farm
Great Pumpkin

The crop of pumpkins at Merrymead Farm offers multiple shades of orange, of course. But for kids looking for something a little different, the farmers here are also producing the unusual white varieties, perfect for a ghostly scowl or a skeleton grin. Tucked amid the animal pens are a number of large-scale decorations, including a giant "Great Pumpkin" on the front lawn that is lit nightly.

AUTUMN IN SOUDERTON
Weekends throughout October
R&J Farm Market

Helpers at R&J Farm Market will not only help kids select a gorgeous gourd, they'll help them decorate it as well. The market also has a terrific maze, sculpted to create a giant shark. Kids can dig in the corn crib, which they will surely find a-"maize"-ing. 

BOYERTOWN'S BOUNTEOUS HARVEST
Weekends throughout October
Wilcox Farms

Pumpkin Drop

There are plenty of pumpkins to pick, grown in the open-air beauty of the western edges of Montgomery County. Bigger kids will want to tackle the corn maze at Wilcox Farms; at an impressive 25 acres, it's the largest in the entire region, with trails that wind for eight miles! Smaller explorers can opt for scaled-down versions, one made of hay bales, the other in the shape of a cartoonish monkey.

PUMPKIN PICKING AND MAZE
Weekends throughout October
Abby's Pumpkin Farm

Considering the name of this farm (Abby's Pumpkin Farm), it's hard to imagine not walking away with a beauty. The onsite corn maze has been especially designed for the little ones; it's challenging but not frustratingly so, decorated in a spiders and bats theme. 

SCARECROW WALK
October 1-23
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

Morris Arboretum Scarecrow

More than 30 locally crafted scarecrows are on display in the Morris Arboretum's Oak Allée, ready for the public to judge the best. The theme this year is "Sense of Adventure," inspiring a bumper crop of creativity to turn ordinary straw, burlap and twine into something magical.

BOO AT THE ZOO
Weekends, October 8-30
Elmwood Park Zoo

Boo at the Zoo

These Halloween weekends at Elmwood Park Zoo are something kids from across Montgomery County go bats for, year after year. In addition to experiencing the zoo's usual menagerie, attendees can rock to live entertainment, line up for a costume parade and hit the candy stops tucked throughout the property.

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FALL HAYRIDE
October 8
Green Lane Park

Green Lane Park

Jostling along in a hay wagon, smelling the rich scent of harvested straw, is one of the season's richest pleasures for kids of all ages. Green Lane Park will be beautifully dressed for two departures, one at 4 p.m. and the other at 6 p.m. A singalong should chase away any late-afternoon chill that may happen to settle in.

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EERIE LIMITED
October 14
Colebrookdale Railroad

Colebrookdale Railroad Twilight

The round-trip journey that the Colebrookdale Railroad makes between Boyertown and Pottstown is ordinarily a scenic, relaxing and beautiful trip. But each fall, when the early sunset causes shadows to puddle beneath the thickets, the effect can be unsettling. Add a few spooky stories - and perhaps an errant moan floating across the countryside - and the trip takes on a special Halloween feel.

ALL HALLOW'S EVE FALL FESTIVAL
October 15
Peter Wentz Farmstead

Peter Wentz Farmstead

A tractor-pulled cart takes families on a scenic circuit of historic Peter Wentz Farmstead, after which it's time to get more physical. Kids can paint a pumpkin, work on some seasonally stunning crafts, shuck corn using hand-cranked machinery and press apples into cider. If there's still energy to burn, they can hop in the hay pile and toss straw at each other.

BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON
October 15
Upper Schuylkill Valley Park

This evening walk through Upper Schuylkill Valley Park is all about the sense of hearing. So attune your ears for the chilling hoot of an owl, screech of a hawk, or unidentified rustling among the fallen leaves. This program has been scheduled for October's full moon, illuminating the landscape in a ghostly glow.

SCARECROW MAKING
October 16
Norristown Farm Park

Norristown Farm Park

The park supplies the stuffin'; families supply the clothing, decorations and imaginative spark. The results can then be taken home to decorate a front porch, picket fence or even inside foyer. Make yours goofy, gruesome, or something in between. A return visit to Norristown Farm Park on October 26 enables kids to make some spidery/batty/catty crafts.

CANDY APPLE WORKSHOP
October 23
Carinwood Estate

Cairnwood Candy Apple Workshop

Beautiful Cairnwood Estate, part of the Bryn Athyn Historic District, sheds its seemingly austere exterior for some good, old-fashioned fun at the October 23 Candy Apple Workshop. From 10 a.m. to noon, the grounds will come alive with candy apple-making (and plenty of toppings), Victorian dress-up (and photos) and plenty of spiced cider and s'mores.

WITCHES OF NARBERTH/HALLOWEEN PARADE
October 29-30
Downtown Narberth

witches of narberth 2016

Part treasure hunt, part exercise in treat-collection, the Witches of Narberth invites costumed kids to seek out 13 witches hidden around town. Each located sorceress earns a treat, and the sharp-eyed hunters who find all of them get a special Halloween prize. The following day, October 30, is the downtown Narberth Halloween parade, whose participants shamble off at 6:30 p.m.

LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
October 29
Pennypacker Mills

Pennypacker Mills Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Washington Irving's tale of Ichibod Crane is an October staple, given plot points that revolve around a headless horseman, flaming pumpkin, a scary bridge and a mysterious disappearance. Actor Neill Hartley brings it all to life in this interactive adaptation that includes plenty of audience participation.


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MORE FALL FUN

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Montco Spotlight
Visitors Guide Request 2016

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