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16 Best Halloween Events in the U.S.

Without a doubt, Halloween is my favorite holiday of the entire year. Since I was a little girl, throughout my adult years, and even now that I have a kid of my own, I’ve loved everything about the quirky decorations, creative costumes, fall flavors, and spooky fun that October 31 brings each year. I have lived in and traveled to various places for Halloween over the years and enjoy getting to know how different cities celebrate the holiday in unique ways.

To inspire you close to home or perhaps even a festive trip somewhere new, here are some of the best Halloween events to check out across the U.S.

Scream-A-Geddon – Dade City, Florida Scream-A-Geddon
Credit: Scream-A-Geddon by Scream-A-Geddon

Scream-A-Geddon – Dade City, Florida

One of the best Halloween events in Florida, Scream-A-Geddon returns to Dade City as the area’s premier horror park. Starting in September, it will offer a new attraction called “Breach,” an interactive experience that transports guests to a research lab with a mutated species. Overall, there are six bone-chilling attractions with pyrotechnic effects spread across 60 acres of Old Florida forest here. Two of the experiences are interactive, where guests ages 18 and over can choose to be victims and targets for more intense thrills. At the venue, you can also stop by the Monster Midway hub for craft beer and wine, fresh food, a gift shop, games, and photo spots.

Official Website
Dates: September 8-November 4, 2023

Festival of the Dead – Salem, Massachusetts Festival of the Dead, Salem
Credit: Festival of the Dead, Salem by Festival of the Dead

Festival of the Dead – Salem, Massachusetts

One of the best places to celebrate Halloween in the U.S. is Salem, Massachusetts, the site of the historic witch trials. The Festival of the Dead takes place daily in October at the Salem Psychic Fair and Witches’ Market. There are other events already planned for 2023, including cemetery sorcery at Graveyard Magic, stories at The Mourning Tea, honoring loved ones at Dinner with the Dead, and the Salem Witches’ Magic Circle on Halloween night. Tickets for individual events can be purchased on the event website and take place at various venues.

Official Website
Dates: October 1-31, 2023

The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze – Hudson Valley, New York Halloween in Sleepy Hollow has something for everyone
Credit: Halloween in Sleepy Hollow has something for everyone by visitsleepyhollow.com

The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze – Hudson Valley, New York

To really get in the Halloween spirit, plan to visit Sleepy Hollow, New York this October. This is the original home of the headless horseman and a magical time of year filled with seasonal events. In October, you can hop on a haunted hayride, tour a Gothic mansion, listen to live music, run while wearing a costume in the 10K race, and attend the Halloween parade. The Tarrytown Halloween Parade is followed by a block party, and day and evening guided walking tours are offered at the historic 90-acre cemetery. The Great JackO’Lantern Blaze is one of the most anticipated events in Hudson Valley, featuring more than 7,000 illuminated jack o’lanterns all hand-carved with synchronized lighting and music, while it also features a twirling pumpkin Ferris wheel and circus sideshow.

Official Website
Dates: September – October, 2023

Krewe of Boo – New Orleans, Louisiana Krewe of Boo
Credit: Krewe of Boo by Krewe of Boo

Krewe of Boo – New Orleans, Louisiana

Krewe of Boo is the official Halloween parade of New Orleans and has been a local tradition since 2007. It combines the best aspects of the city and All Hallow’s Eve with floats, terrifying props, and creative sculptures. You’ll be in awe of the 3D fiberglass and paper-mâché props from Kern Studios, the premier float-building organization in America. It assembles at Elysian Fields Avenue and goes down that street first before ending up at Tchoupitoulas Street, heading to Andrew Higgins Drive. The party gets bigger and wilder every year, so check out the photos and videos on the event website to get a feel for what you’re in for!

Official Website
Dates: October 21, 2023

NYC Village Halloween Parade – New York City, New York NYC Village Halloween Parade
Credit: NYC Village Halloween Parade by NYC Village Halloween Parade

NYC Village Halloween Parade – New York City, New York

The Village Halloween Parade is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023, so it’s an extra special year to attend it in New York City. This is the nation’s largest public Halloween parade and is attended by over two million people and seen on TV by over a million people. The parade is held rain or shine and will take place on Tuesday, October 31. The afterparty is held at Webster Hall. You can skip the line and get your parade tickets in advance. The parade is free to attend and does not require tickets. But you can buy tickets for a VIP entrance and viewing area as a way to support the parade.

Official Website
Dates: October 31, 2023

Halloween Capital of the World Events – Anoka, Minnesota Huge pumpkins and lots of festivities around town
Credit: Huge pumpkins and lots of festivities around town by anokahalloween.com

Halloween Capital of the World Events – Anoka, Minnesota

Although you might not have heard of it before, Anoka, Minnesota is considered to be the Halloween capital of the world. It is believed to be the first city in the U.S. to host a Halloween celebration to divert young people from playing pranks instead. The very first parade was scheduled for Halloween evening in the year 1920. There are lots of local events to check out here, including a pumpkin weigh-off contest, Pumpkin bowl football game, children’s costume contest, pumpkin carving contest, and light-up night parade and bonfire on October 21. There are also parades and a 5K race to participate in during your visit.

Official Website
Dates: Pumpkin Weigh-Off, Scarecrow Contest, and Adult Pumpkin Carving Contest is on October 1, 2023

Screams Halloween Theme Park – Waxahachie, Texas Get ready for the ultimate scary Halloween experience
Credit: Get ready for the ultimate scary Halloween experience by screamspark.com

Screams Halloween Theme Park – Waxahachie, Texas

Screams Halloween Theme Park is available to check out for your thrills and chills on Fridays and Saturdays in September and October. There are strobe lights and fog machines in use in the haunted houses. This is an exciting attraction in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area with five haunted houses that each have a unique theme. You can also experience the attraction with walk-throughs, live stage entertainment, games, food and drink stops, and adult beverages in five on-site pubs. This attraction is best for people aged 16 and older, and there are fast passes available to cut the wait time in half each night.

Official Website
Dates: September 29 – October 28, 2023

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – Walt Disney World, Florida Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Credit: Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party by Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – Walt Disney World, Florida

For your little ones who love Halloween, head to Disney World in Florida for this event. The experience is held on select nights between August 11 and November 1. Here, you’ll find your favorite costumed characters, a parade, singing, dancing, and other entertainment. Table-service dining is available to treat you like royalty, and there are photo experiences to make memories with your loved ones.

Official Website
Dates: August 11 – November 1, 2023

New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival – Laconia, New Hampshire New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival
Credit: New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival by New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival

New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival – Laconia, New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a magical place to be in the fall because of the changing leaves and vibrant colors. There’s also the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival, which takes place over two days in downtown Laconia. Here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, the Friday events take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and include a kids’ zone with games, a craft show, food trucks, street performers, a beer garden, jack-o-lantern lighting, and a zombie walk. On Saturday, the events continue from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and include a 5K and 10K run/walk, train rides, a cornhole tournament, live music, and a costume contest.

Official Website
Dates: October 27-28, 2023

Knott’s Scary Farm – Buena Park, California The longest-running and most haunting Halloween theme park event in Southern California
Credit: The longest-running and most haunting Halloween theme park event in Southern California by knotts.com

Knott’s Scary Farm – Buena Park, California

Knott’s Scary Farm is the longest-running Halloween theme park in Southern California and has been delivering over 50 years of nightmares. It is recommended for guests aged 13 and older, and ticket prices start at about $59.99 for a single night admission. There are various packages and tours that you can book for a tailored experience. Inside the attraction, you’ll find 10 frightening mazes, five scare zones, four scary shows, themed food and drink, and other offerings.

Official Website
Dates: September 21 – October 21, 2023

Spirit of Halloweentown – St. Helens, Oregon This is such an exciting place to be for Halloween
Credit: This is such an exciting place to be for Halloween by Spirit of Halloweentown

Spirit of Halloweentown – St. Helens, Oregon

In St. Helens, Oregon, the Spirit of Halloween event takes place each year. The big pumpkin is at the courthouse plaza and is lit on the first Saturday of October after the big parade. Weekends are when this town really comes alive with Halloween attractions, but the festive events are scheduled to take place in September and October. Some things to look forward to are the Halloween parade on October 7 at 6:30 p.m., the 25th-anniversary celebration of the “Halloween” movie on October 21 and 22, and the Witches Celebration and Little Trick-or-Treaters Parade on October 28 and 29.

Official Website
Dates: September 16 – October 31, 2023

Halloween Festival and Thriller Parade – Lexington, Kentucky Halloween Festival and Thriller Parade – Lexington, Kentucky
Credit: Halloween Festival and Thriller Parade – Lexington, Kentucky by City of Lexington, Ky - Government - Amy Wallot

Halloween Festival and Thriller Parade – Lexington, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky is also a fun place to be this Halloween because of the annual festival and parade. The event is free to attend and features Halloween-inspired art and performances. There will be food and beverage vendors on-site and events taking place at several downtown locations. For example, there’s the Halloween Variety Show and zombie dance lessons for the Thriller Parade. Both kids and adults can reenact the “Thriller” music video and participate as zombies in the parade!

Official Website
Dates: October 29, 2023

Neewollah Festival – Independence, Kansas Halloween spelled backwards means lots of quirky, festive fun
Credit: Halloween spelled backwards means lots of quirky, festive fun by Neewollah (Independence, Kansas)

Neewollah Festival – Independence, Kansas

Neewollah is “Halloween” spelled backyards and the name of a festival that dates back to 1919 in Independence, Kansas. There are multiple events that are part of this festival, including a musical, 5K/10K run, BBQ cookoff, Medallion Hunt, and carnival. However, the parades are among the biggest events in town and a big cause for celebration. There’s the DooDah Parade with adults in creative costumes, the Kiddie Parade featuring elementary school students, and the Grand Parade with marching bands and floats.

Official Website
Dates: October 20-28, 2023

Little 5 Points Halloween Festival & Parade – Atlanta, Georgia A cool neighborhood to explore while celebrating Halloween
Credit: A cool neighborhood to explore while celebrating Halloween by l5phalloween.com

Little 5 Points Halloween Festival & Parade – Atlanta, Georgia

The quirky and eclectic Little 5 Points neighborhood of Atlanta hosts an exciting Halloween festival and parade each year. The parade is on Sunday and is one of the top Halloween parades in the country. This is a family-oriented parade with floats, costumes, and lots of fun. Other typical things to do during the festival include an artist market and ghost tours.

Official Website
Dates: October 21-22, 2023

Emma Crawford Coffin Races and Festival – Manitou Springs, Colorado Emma Crawford Coffin Races
Credit: Emma Crawford Coffin Races by Emma Crawford Coffin Races

Emma Crawford Coffin Races and Festival – Manitou Springs, Colorado

The Emma Crawford Coffin Races and Festival will celebrate 29 years of Halloween fun this year. The race is a tradition that dates back to 1995 when the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce first started this unique race in memory of a beloved resident. The deceased Emma Crawford and her coffin came racing down the 7,200-foot mountainside after harsh seasons of weather uprooted her resting place in 1929…eek! For the event, teams of five people race a coffin 195 yards up Manitou Avenue. Four people push the coffin, while one person (designated as “Emma”) rides inside.

Official Website
Dates: October 28, 2023

Irvington Halloween Festival – Indianapolis, Indiana The Historic Irvington Halloween Festival
Credit: The Historic Irvington Halloween Festival by The Historic Irvington Halloween Festival

Irvington Halloween Festival – Indianapolis, Indiana

The 77th annual Historic Irvington Halloween Festival takes place this year and is worth checking out if you love Halloween. This festival has been bringing people together for generations and is organized by the Irvington Community Council. There are multiple events that are part of the festival, including a Masquerade Ball on Saturday, October 21 and a Spooky Organ Concert on Sunday, October 22. There’s a séance and readings session on the 24th, a vampire run if you feel like getting active, and a festive street fair to enjoy lots of Halloween fun with the people you love.

Official Website
Dates: October 21-28, 2023

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