Not-So-Spooky Fun in Montgomery County
Halloween is supposed to be fun for all ages, and if you've got a family of youngsters who aren't quite ready for haunted houses, there's no reason you should miss out on the excitement. Some of our favorite attractions are offering kid-friendly activities like pumpkin painting, hayrides and costume contests. Here are our picks for Montco's best family Halloween events:
THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
The stage of DCP Theatre will resonate with the cackle of laughter and the sound of thundering hoof beats as the cast brings to life The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Performances are October 2-4, with the Friday curtain rising at 8 p.m. and the Saturday/Sunday performances at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
HAUNTED TRAIN AND BONFIRE
October 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23, 30-31
Weekends in October, the Colebrookdale Railroad trundles through the Boyertown-Pottstown countryside that, by day is picturesque and tranquil but by night is filled with the hoot of owls and the rustle of prowlers. Fear not, however. A cheery bonfire and kids' costume contest keep things from becoming too intense.
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania
Morris Arboretum's yearly Scarecrow Walk is the "stuff" that fall afternoons are made of. Open daily from October 3-26, the display features more than 30 scarecrows, created by kids and families. There are bragging rights at stake here; members of the public vote for the best creation.
FALL FEST WEEKENDS
Northern Star Farm
Northern Star Farm in Trappe invites fall fans and families to its Fall Fest Weekends, running each Saturday and Sunday from September 26 to October 25. There are pumpkins to pick, a corn maze to navigate and ponies to ride, but the big attraction is the giant apple slingshot, the chance to turn the season's ripest fruit into soaring missiles.
KINNERGSCHPIEL - LIGHT THE NIGHT
Peter Wentz Farmstead
On October 7, kids can discover how Colonial families learned not to be afraid of the dark. The program at Peter Wentz Farmstead at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. shows how chores were still completed, even with sunset occurring earlier and earlier. The presentation will also teach them how to make a paper lantern that can be taken home.
BOO AT THE ZOO
October 10-11, 17-18, 24-25, 31
Elmwood Park Zoo
Elmwood Park Zoo's Boo at the Zoo weekends return October 10-31 from noon to 3 p.m. The calendar is stuffed with live entertainment, costume contests, costume parades and trick-or-treat stations with candy, prizes, crafts and educational pieces. Activities through the month include boat-building instructions, followed by a race in a 10-foot pool. A photobooth is also on the docket.
ALL HALLOW'S EVE FALL FESTIVAL
Pennypacker Mills presents its All Hallow's Eve Fall Festival on October 17 from 1-4 p.m. Kids and adults will soak up the autumn air and bask in the yellowing sunlight as they enjoy pumpkin painting, a tractor-pulled hayride, corn-shucking, apple-pressing and jumping in the hay pile.
A HOWLING GOOD TIME
Upper Schuylkill Valley Park
Here's one to make the kids howl with delight: The October 23 presentation at Upper Schuylkill Valley Park centers on the park's resident wolves, Hunter and Scout. Animal lovers will learn about their habitats, diets and how they communicate. A craft and snack (sure to be wolfed down) are also part of the event, which has a 10 a.m. start time.
WITCHES OF NARBERTH
Part treasure hunt, part exercise in treat-collection, the Witches of Narberth invites costumed kids to seek out 13 witches hidden around town. Each sorceress successfully identified earns a treat, and the sharp-eyed hunters who find all of them get a special Halloween prize. The search launches October 24 from 1-4 p.m.
HARVEST MOON HAYRIDE
Green Lane Park
Green Lane Park hosts a family-friendly Halloween event with its Harvest Moon Hayride, October 25 (two hour-long departures at 7 p.m. and again at 8 p.m.). Illumination is courtesy of the harvest moon, used to guide the driver of the hayride as a spooky tale or two is told. Chills may ensue, but by the end of the ride - with the distribution of a special treat - all is well for even the youngest riders.
Norristown Farm Park
The trees at Norristown Farm Park will most likely be bare and spindly on October 27, adding an eerie feel to the Spooky Crafts program. Thankfully, it takes place during daylight (1 p.m.). The afternoon includes a seasonal story and a craft, plus some information on black cats, spiders, bats, owls and other creatures of the night. There may be a trick in store. There will also likely be a treat.
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 31 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.
Philadelphia Premium Outlets
Philadelphia Premium Outlets is throwing a Halloween Spooktacular on October 30 from 5-7 p.m. In addition to trick-or-treating, the afternoon features prizes and a costume contest. Little monsters can report to the Center Court, near Starbucks.