5 Theme Parks That Go All Out for Halloween (& Aren’t Disney World or Six Flags)
Summer may be officially behind us, but that doesn’t mean all sense of adventure goes out the window as we put away our short shorts and replace them with comfy sweats. And while we love a trip to Disney World or Six Flags for their world-renowned Halloween festivities, they aren’t the only amusement parks that truly embrace the spooky season. Below, five theme parks that bring out all the ghouls, vampires, zombies and more for Halloween.
1. Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena, California
Feeling like a trip to California but don’t want to go to Disneyland? Then opt for Knott’s Berry Farm. While it doesn’t have the international prominence that the house of Mickey Mouse has, Knotts Berry Farm is a hot spot for dedicated Halloweenies. Dubbed “Knott’s Scary Farm” during spooky season, this 57-acre amusement park has everything you can ask for when it comes to great Halloween adventure—from thrilling rides decorated with all sorts of monsters and ghouls to haunted mazes and attractions as well as sinister shows. Don’t want to scare the bejesus out of your younger tots? Then visit Knott’s Spooky Farm—a weekend venture that has events suitable for kids three to 11 years old.
2. Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Florida
Get sucked into the Halloween spirit when you visit Busch Gardens’ annual Howl-O-Scream fest. Not only is the park bringing back their renowned scare zones (eight in total), fan favorite shows such as “Fiends” and “The Rolling Bones” and revamping all their popular attractions, but Howl-O-Scream will also see the addition of three haunted houses to the festivities, giving visitors plenty of creepy abodes to check out for that adrenaline high this year. While Howl-O-Scream typically runs for 19 days, the Busch Gardens extravaganza is running for 28 days this year, opening from September 10 to October 31.
3. Kings Island in Cincinnati, Ohio
Fear is waiting for you at Kings Island’s Halloween Haunt, which opens September 24 to October 30 on weekends only. Sure, you can scream your lungs out while riding one of their numerous rollercoasters, but the acrophobics among us don’t have to board The Beast, Orion or Bansheethe in order to get a good scare. The park will be littered with horrifying creatures lurking in the fog and hiding in every nook and cranny imaginable. While theme parks are typically reserved for the kiddos, it’s advised that you bring children 13 or older since it’s all terror all the time at this spooky spot.
4. Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania
Is it even Halloween if you don’t have access to more chocolate than you can consume? Dress up and put a spin on trick-or-treating by hitting the sugary streets of Hersheypark. This year, the wildly revered land of all things chocolate will be offering 13 sweet stops where your tiny humans can trick-or-treat, load up on chocolate and interact with Hershey characters such as Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, Reese, Milk Dud and more. The Hershey's Trick Or Treat Trail, as it’s called, will begin at the Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction and end at The Boardwalk at Hersheypark. Hersheypark in the Dark is open only for last three weekends in October.
5. Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte’s whimsical park goes dark and freakishly transforms into Scarowinds from September 17 to October 31 this year. Whether you’ve visited before or you’re going for the first time, prepare to have the daylights scared out of you because the park will have every creature imaginable crawling from its crevices. Enjoy its wide array of haunted mazes—that promise to wreck your idea of the tooth fairy or piece of corn—spike up that heart rate by taking a stroll near their scare zones or sit down for some live entertainment. The bloodcurdling choice is yours.