The Best Kid-Friendly Theme Park Halloween Celebrations in the U.S.

·7 min read

Amusement parks around the country go all out for Halloween, combining frightening activities with exciting rides for an over-the-top family thrill. Younger kids will love themed dance parties, sweet treats, and seeing their favorite characters in costume. Older kids can venture out when it gets dark for some hair-raising scares, from haunted houses to darkened roller coasters.

An image of Disneyland during Halloween time.
An image of Disneyland during Halloween time.

Getty Images.

If you're looking for a Halloween amusement park celebration near you, check out these nine options for kids of all ages.

Disneyland — Anaheim, California

Join Mickey, Minnie, and more favorites as they don their best Halloween costumes! Get into the fall spirit by strolling down the Main Street Pumpkin Festival with intricately carved jack-o-lanterns displayed in store fronts. Keep your eyes peeled for the spooky Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas, who has transformed the park's Haunted Mansion Holiday attraction with "frightfully festive touches."

At night, brave patrons can watch the Halloween Screams projection and special effects show filled with Disney villains from Maleficent to Ursula. Or head to Frontierland to celebrate Día de los Muertos with skeleton figurines, flowers, and more.

The park's Halloween festivities take place through October 31. Visit the website here.

Legoland New York Resort — Goshen, New York

The Brick-or-Treat Halloween celebration at the Legoland park in New York is simply awesome. Meet characters like Count de Bricks and Zappo the Mummy as kids visit six trick-or-treating stations, get lost a hay maze, and even compete in a costume contest on the Brick Street Stage.

Participate in a dance party or look out for the Spider Show—a non-verbal show designed for the youngest park goers complete with a spider-inspired floor and aerial movement—before treating the kids to fall sweets like caramel apples and cider donuts.

The event takes place every Saturday and Sunday in October from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Visit the website here.

Cedar Point — Sandusky, Ohio

The park's HalloWeekends celebration will appeal to people of all ages, with fall fun during the day and spookier attractions at night. Young kids will love the Tricks and Treats Fall Fest, featuring corn and hay mazes, "pint-sized" tractor rides, spooky selfie stations, interactive trick-or-treating, and more. Later, fill up on fall treats like autumn mac and cheese, candy corn cupcakes, and Day of the Dead fries. Parents can sample "Specialty Brews & Booze" drinks like the Hocus Pocus Punch made with orange soda and essence of black cherry with a gummy worm garnish, "bewitched" with vodka.

Brave older kids will love the haunted CornStalkers maze, as well as getting a glimpse into their future with the park's fortune teller during the evening Haunt at HalloWeekends event.

HalloWeekends takes place on select days and nights through October 31. Visit the website here.

Sesame Place — Langhorne, Pennsylvania

Kids can rock out to the Monster Mash at the Furry Friends Halloween Dance Party, participate in an interactive Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt for a Halloween prize, or try their hand at the Monster Mayhem Game Show complete with a Monster Pumpkin Toss and Monster Matching Game. Have some classic Halloween fun with trick-or-treating—or watch the Neighborhood Street Party Halloween Parade and look out for your favorite characters in their Halloween best, from Elmo and Cookie Monster to Big Bird.

Families who prefer a more socially-distanced experience can head to the park's Not-Too-Spooky Halloween Drive-Thru with zones like Abby's Magical Pumpkin Patch, Bert & Ernie's Halloween Hoedown, and Cookie Monster's Treat Fleet.

The Count's Halloween Spooktacular takes place on most Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through November 7. The drive-thru event is open on Wednesdays in October from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Visit the website here.

Santa's Village — Jefferson, New Hampshire

This Christmas-themed park combines two of the best holidays with its Merry Trick-or-Treating celebration, featuring Halloween tree ornaments, costumes aplenty (ugly Christmas sweaters count at this park), and—of course—plenty of trick-or-treating. Ride the dark and spooky-ish The Great Humbug Adventure with black lights and strobe lights, or hop on the Reindeer Carousel for some early Yuletide fun. Need even more sweets? Head to the Jolly Lolly Candy Store, where kids can find everything from fudge to jelly beans.

The event takes place each Saturday and Sunday through October 24. Visit the website here.

Hersheypark — Hershey, Pennsylvania

It doesn't get much better than celebrating Halloween in a theme park that's all about chocolate. Get your fill on the Hershey's Trick Or Treat Trail, featuring 13 different stops, or try one of the fall-themed sweets like a pumpkin shake or a pumpkin pie funnel cake sundae. Looking for a thrill? Hop on one of the lights-out rides like the Candymonium roller coaster with a hair-raising 210-foot ascent and maximum speeds of 76 miles per hour. Or find out how chocolate is made on the free Hershey's Chocolate Tour (there's even a candy surprise at the end).

Hersheypark In The Dark runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through October 31. Visit the website here.

Knott's Berry Farm — Buena Park, California

Decorate cookies in the pumpkin patch before heading to meet the "creepy crawly critters" at Livery Stable as part of the Knott's Spooky Farm event. Trick-or-treaters can fill their bags with a walk through Ghost Town before catching one of the Halloween-themed shows or riding the Timber Mountain Log Ride, which has undergone a "spooky" transformation complete with a labyrinth of jack-o-lanterns.

Kids 13 and up looking for a real fright can head to Knott's Scary Farm, which features blood-curdling attractions, haunted mazes, and elaborate scare zones. Head to the park's boardwalk for the CarnEVIL freak show featuring deviant clowns, or make your way to the Dark Ride: Castle of Chaos where brave thrill seekers will journey through an abandoned carnival ride.

Knott's Spooky Farm takes place on Saturdays and Sundays through October 31. Knott's Scary Farm takes place starting at 7 p.m. on select nights through October 31. Visit the website here.

SeaWorld Orlando — Orlando, Florida

Explore the candy stations on the trick-or-treat trail, meet a Halloween mermaid, and get your groove on with a dance party at this Spooktacular event. Later, head to the park's pumpkin garden to see pumpkin-shaped "fish" and keep your eyes peeled for the Pumpkin Princess who reads stories to kids. Fans of Elmo and Cookie Monster should head over to Sesame Street Land, where they can hang with their favorites during events like Storytime with Big Bird.

SeaWorld Spooktacular takes place on weekends through October 31, including Fridays on October 15 and 29. Visit the website here.

Six Flags Great America — Gurnee, Illinois

This park's Fright Fest isn't for the faint of heart—or young children—and is geared toward high school aged kids and up. Those brave enough to enter the park after dark will find multiple haunted houses, scare zones with monsters lurking around every corner, and frighteningly thrilling roller coasters. Later, kids can treat themselves to a plate of churro fries with fright night sprinkles or some pumpkin fudge for a sweet break.

For the younger set, the park offers calmer thrills on Saturdays and Sundays with events like the Kid's Club Monster Dance Party and trick-or-treating with Tweety Bird and more on the Character Candy Trail.

Fright Fest takes place on select dates through October 31. Visit the website here.