Not-So-Scary Halloween Happenings for Boston Kids
For little kids, Halloween is usually more about the treats than the tricks. The excitement is in getting dressed up, making decorations, and enjoying sweet treats from neighbors – not gore, creepy stuff, or being scared silly (I think that usually comes later, although it’s hard for me to imagine a time when my kids will appreciate the more macabre side of Halloween).
For fun, not-so-scary – but maybe slightly spooky – Halloween happenings in and around Boston this month, read on. I’ve rounded up activities for creative types, nature nuts, and animal lovers who just want the Halloween festivities to be sweet.
Spooky Hayrides at Wilson Farm
The really, truly un-spooky hayrides at Wilson Farm are lots of fun, plus they’re free. The UFO, tractor-eating monster and giant you encounter on the ride are more silly than scary. Prepare to wait in line, especially if you go on a weekend. My kids were perfectly content to wait – they were occupied with giant caramel apples that we got in one of the outside stands at Wilson Farm. You may also want to check out pumpkin decorating on the 27th and the Halloween Costume Contest on the 31st.
Boo at the Zoo at Stone Zoo & Zoo Howl at Franklin Park Zoo
Visiting the zoo each October for their Halloween event is as much of a tradition for my family as trick-or-treating. Both Stone Zoo and Franklin Park Zoo will feature creature encounters (our favorite part), crafts, a trick-or-treat trail, and a Haunted Maze. Magic 106.7 keeps the tunes rolling for a festive atmosphere. Even better, this year the zoo is partnering with nonprofit org Green Halloween for a more sustainable and healthy Halloween celebration.
Jolly Ol' Jack-O-Lanterns at Boston Nature Center
Who knew there was so much to learn about pumpkins, and so many fun things to do with them? Jolly Ol’ Jack-O-Lanterns on October 27th and 30th at Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center celebrates all things pumpkin. You’ll learn amazing techniques to carve your own pumpkin, discover the history of pumpkins and story behind the Jack-O-Lantern tradition, and participate in pumpkin seed experiments and contests. Pre-registration required.
Trick or Treat to the Beat at New School of Music
Don your costumes and head to New School of Music in Cambridge for a unique Halloween celebration – a musical one. During this open house, you can trick-or-treat in the studios, try an instrument in the petting zoo, and belt out favorite tunes during the family sing-along. (Wouldn't it be awesome to do MJ’s “Thriller”?)
Wicked Weekend Workshops at Artbeat
Halloween is a great time to unleash the creative monster within! Every weekend between now and the end of the month, Artbeat will have arts and crafts workshops with spooky themes. The projects are offered at special prices, and the final one – where you can jazz up a big trick-or-treat bag with glow-in-the-dark decorations – is free.
Halloween Fun with Author Eileen Christelow at Brookline Public Library
The Children's Bookshop and the Brookline Public Library welcome award winning author and illustrator Eileen Christelow for a reading of Five Little Monkeys Trick-or-Treat, her newest book featuring the hijinks of preschoolers' favorite monkey family. Book signing will follow.
Originally published October 8, 2012; updated October 7, 2013