Aug 29, 201203:09 PMMommy-logues

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Happy Hauntings

Happy Hauntings

Fall is many people’s favorite season, with the picturesque, Rockwellian loveliness of vivid autumn leaves, orchards overflowing with apples and pumpkins, weekend football games and fingertips warmed by mugs of hot apple cider. But October doesn’t just usher in rosy cheeks and cardigan sweaters—something decidedly spookier is afoot, too, with Halloween on its way. This year, celebrate the holiday in style by checking out some of these fun, family-friendly activities.

Hershey Gardens Pumpkin Glow

At Hershey Gardens, being led down the garden path is a good thing. Kids ages 12 and under can don costumes to trick-or-treat in the gardens by the light of more than 150 jack-o-lanterns. (Bring a flashlight, too.) Oct. 19–20, 6–8pm


Turkey Hill Experience Trick or Treat

The Turkey Hill Experience in Columbia, Lancaster County, isn’t just ice cream and iced tea—during one weekend at the end of October, it becomes a destination for costumed trick-or-treaters who search for treats all over the building. Free for children up to age 12. Oct. 26–28, 5–7pm.


Fall Furnace Fest

Head outdoors to Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Cumberland County for food, crafts, pumpkin-carving, hikes, hayrides and more. Don’t miss the traditional telling of the legend of the Hairy Hand of Fuller Lake and pumpkin float on Saturday night (it’s more goofy than scary). Follow up the tall tale with a bonfire at the Ironmaster’s Mansion. Oct. 20–21.


Hersheypark in the Dark

Is there a better place to trick-or-treat than the Sweetest Place on Earth? Kids ages 12 and under begin the Hershey’s Trick or Treat Adventure at Chocolate World and continues to “Treatville” in Hersheypark. Looking for more thrills? Take a ride on the Great Scare, Ghost Runner, Mummyrail and Bats in the Belfry (known throughout the rest of the year as the Great Bear, Storm Runner, Monorail and Kissing Tower). Bring your flashlights to check out owls, bats and other nocturnal species in the Creatures of the Night event at ZooAmerica (Oct. 14–15, 6–10 p.m.; Oct. 16., 6–9pm. Entrance included in Hersheypark in the Dark admission). Hersheypark: Oct. 19–21, Oct. 26–28 and Nov. 2–4. Fridays 5–10pm., Saturdays 2–10pm., Sundays 2–9pm.


Family Fright at Back Stage Horrors, Harrisburg Mall

Starting in late September, the Harrisburg Mall gets its own “Little Shop of Horrors” when Back Stage Horrors comes to life in the shopping center’s former Boscov’s department store. While the walk-through attraction is too gory and frightening for small children during its normal hours (kids under 13 must accompanied by an adult), on two Sundays in October, the whole family can visit and have a less intense experience with a maze, coloring and photo ops with spooky creatures. Oct. 14 and 28.


Happy Hauntings at Dutch Wonderland

The Kingdom for Kids in Lancaster opens for three fun weekends in October, with rides, storytelling, games, crafts and other altogether ooky fun. Little ones can ride the Scareee-Go-Round or take a Ghoulish Gondola Ride, paint a pumpkin, see magic shows and gather sweets on Trick-or-Treat Trail (all in costume, of course). Oct. 13–14, Oct. 20–21, Oct. 27–28.


Family Friendly Ghost Hunt

There’s no better spot in Central PA for kids to try their hands at being real ghostbusters than in Gettysburg. Tour-goers can use actual paranormal equipment, such as k2 meters and laser thermometers, just like the as-seen-on-TV Gettysburg Paranormal Society uses, while hearing creepy stories about Gettysburg’s haunted history. The 90-minute hunts (7:30–9pm.) take place every Friday and Saturday night. Meet at 7pm. at Gettysburg Ghost Tours, 47 Steinwehr Ave.