Not-so-scary, family-friendly Halloween events
Halloween doesn't have to be scary — it can just be fun and silly. Grab your costume and check out these not-so-scary Halloween events perfect for younger kids. There are also some downtown areas that offer special trick-or-treating opportunities at local businesses.
Note: events are listed in order by date.
Spirit Encounters Tours
When: Fridays, October 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2018 | tours are at 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Where: Canterbury Shaker Village
288 Shaker Road in Canterbury
About: Today, we enjoy telling ghost stories, reveling in a well-timed fright or harrowing tale. Few of us still believe in the power of the spiritual world, the world known to the Shakers as “the Summerland.” To the Shakers, however, the spiritual world was an important part of community life. Learn about the growth of spiritualism as part of Shaker religion and hear firsthand accounts of otherworldly encounters on this 60-75 minute tour.
More info: www.shakers.org
Admission: $12 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-17, under 5 free. Members pay half price.
RiverFire and Horror Fest
When: Saturday, October 13, 2018
Where: Northern Forest Heritage Park
942 Main Street in Berlin, NH
What: Take part in hayrides, a duck race, a children’s costume parade and river walks during the day, and then wait for the main event at nightfall. Berlin’s Androscoggin River will be set ablaze, and Theatre North will create a bone-chilling haunted village.
More info: Visit riverfirenh.com for more information.
Children’s Trick or Treat
Date: October 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28, 2018 | check-in times are 10 a.m. through 1:30 p.m.
Where: Charmingfare Farm
Route 27 in Candia, NH
More info: visitthefarm.com or call 603-483-5623
About: Charmingfare Farm's Children's Trick or Treat is perfect for little ghouls and boils who don’t wish to be frightened, but still want the excitement of wearing their favorite costume and having a fun-filled Halloween adventure. This trick-or-treat event is merry-not-scary! Five special attractions featuring candy stops for trick or treating.
Admission: $22 per person; children 23 months and younger are free.
Pumpkin Patch Express
Date: Friday-Sunday, October 19-21 and October 26-28, 2018
Where: Conway Scenic Railroad
38 Norcross Circle in North Conway, NH
More info: conwayscenic.com or call 603-356-5251
About: All departures are from the North Conway Station for a leisurely roundtrip train ride aboard vintage coaches to the Cider Company in Glen, where each child can visit the “Pumpkin Patch” and select their own pumpkin. Costumes are encouraged. Reservations also strongly encouraged.
Admission: Call or visit online for pricing.
Silly, Spooky Halloween Extravaganza
Date: October 20 and 27, 2018 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Santa's Village in Jefferson, NH
More info: santasvillage.com
About: The entire Santa's Village park is transformed into a magical Halloween adventure. Children are invited to come in costume and celebrate this holiday in a safe and friendly atmosphere. There are "spooky" areas for the older children; some "fun" areas for the younger goblins. Rides will be open.
Admission: $28 per person (includes full access to the park) and children ages 3 and younger are free.
26th Annual Spooktacular Halloween Party
Date: Friday, October 26, 2018 | 5-8 p.m.
Where: Wasserman Park in Merrimack, NH
About: Wear your Halloween costumes and head to Wasserman park for an evening of fun and games including: pumpkin decorating and carving, hot apple cider, free glow sticks, face painting, music and arts and crafts.
More info: Visit merrimackparksandrec.org for more information
Date: Friday, October 26, 2018; 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Main Street and surrounding areas in downtown Concord, NH
More info: intownconcord.org
About: This fun event is perfect for the kiddos and the parents. Families are invited to walk around downtown Concord and trick-or-treat at local businesses. Don't miss hayrides, a costume parade, live music and more.
Admission: Free to attend. (Some activities cost money.)
Ghosts on the Banke
Date: October 26-27, 2018 | 5:30-8 p.m.
Where: Strawbery Banke Museum
14 Hancock Street in Portsmouth, NH
More info: strawberybanke.org or call 603-433-1107
About: Come and meet the Ghosts on the Banke at Strawbery Banke’s famous Halloween celebration from 6-8 p.m. Long-dead sea captains, 17th-century shopkeepers and wayward pirates haunt the streets and houses of Portsmouth’s oldest neighborhood as you trick-or-treat safely from house to historic house.
Admission: $8; children 1 and younger free, members pay half price.
Trick-or-Treat on the Town and Zombie Walk
Date: Friday, October 26, 2018 | trick-or-treat is from 4-6 p.m. and the Zombie Walk starts at 6 p.m.
Where: Union Street parking lot in Rochester, NH
More info: Visit rochestermainstreet.org for more information
About: This trick or treat event is for costumed children 10-years-old and younger. The children are invited to go door-to-door at the local businesses to get treats and goodies. This year's Zombie Walk for teens and adults features individuals and participants from Corinne's School of Dance and Studio 109. Enjoy their choreographed performance as they tread from the Union Street parking lot to the Commons. Participants are asked to gather in the Union Street parking lot by 5:45 p.m. for a 6 p.m. police-escorted walk down Union, North Main, and South Main Streets to the Commons where they will be treated to cider, donuts, and "brains" for the zombies!
Spooktacular Halloween Costume Contest and Parade
Date: Saturday, October 27, 2018 | 11:30 a.m.
Where: Veterans Hall Gymnasium, 31 West Broadway in Derry, NH
More info: derrynh.org
About: This event is intended for children under 12 and prizes will be awarded for most creative costume, spookiest costume, family costume and judges choice. Following the parade, there will be downtown trick-or-treating from 12-3 p.m.
Halloween Hoot 'N Howl
Date: Saturday, October 27, 2018 | 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
Route 113 in Holderness, NH
More info: nhnature.org or call 603-968-7194
About: Enjoy an eerily entertaining 40-minute guided tour around the Science Center grounds. Trail walks feature live skits with a seasonal theme and depart every 10 minutes from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Children are invited to come in costume and are encourage to dress accordingly for outdoor weather. After the journey, warm up with Halloween games and tasty treats!
Admission: $9/members; $11/non-members. Advanced registration is required for this popular event.
Exeter Halloween Parade
Date: Saturday, October 27, 2018 | costume judging starts at 10 a.m. and the parade starts at 10:30 a.m.
Where: Swasey Parkway in Exeter, NH
About: This annual event is family-friendly and prizes will be awarded to many children in different age groups for the best costumes. Children will also be able to go trick-or-treating in the stores from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
More info: exeternh.gov
Date: Saturday, October 27, 2018 | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Children’s Museum of New Hampshire
6 Washington Street in Dover, NH
About: Don't miss this Halloween event that focuses on fun – not fright! The Children's Museum will be celebrating throughout the day with all kinds of special activities. Kids and adults are encouraged to come in costume to explore new exhibits like the Cave Explorers Bat Cave, Dino Detective and Green Screen Adventures in Travel. Kids can meet the museum’s very own Wacky Scientist and check out his fantastical experiments, visit the Fairy Circle to make fairy doors and friendly spiders, create take-home crafts, get their faces painted in the Muse Studio, and more.
More info: childrens-museum.org or call 603-742-2002
Admission: All activities are free with regular Museum admission ($9, adults and children; $8, seniors; free for children younger than 1 and museum members).
Harvest Festival and Gathering of the Jack O Lanterns
Date: Saturday, October 27, 2018
Where: Main Street in Littleton, NH
More info: Visit littletonchamber.com for more information
About: Head to Littleton for a weekend of downtown trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving and displays and a full day festival at the high school on Saturday.
23rd Annual Family Halloween
Date: Sunday, October 28, 2018 | 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Billings Farm & Museum
Route 12 in Woodstock, VT
More info: www.billingsfarm.org or call 1-802-457-2355
About: Horse-drawn wagon rides and cranking pumpkin ice cream, plus pumpkin carving, doughnuts-on-a-string, not-so-scary Halloween stories, pumpkin games and animal programs. Costume parades at noon and 2 p.m. will be led by one of the Billings Farm's friendly steers-in-training, George & Marsh, and all children receive a ribbon.
Admission: Adults, $14; age 5-15, $8; age 3-4, $4; age 2 and younger: free. Children in costume admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
Portsmouth Halloween Parade
When: October 31, 2018
What: This grassroots community event is held rain or (moon) shine. Come in costume or come to watch and share in the Halloween festivities. Parade begins at 7 p.m.
More info: Visit portsmouthhalloweenparade.org for more information.