By Kim McNeill
I don’t know what it is about Halloween in Connecticut. It is such a quintessentially New England event here in the Nutmeg State. Perhaps it’s trick-or-treating along a Main Street with some homes that are over 200 years old. Maybe it’s the many agricultural entertainment options for hayrides, corn mazes, and pumpkin picking. It could even be the history of witchcraft trials that happened here. For all of those reasons and more, I adore Halloween in Connecticut. Here are a few examples of the variety of ways you can celebrate Halloween.
Lyman’s Orchard Corn Maze
Junction of Rtes 147 and 157
Meriden, CT 06455
Hours: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends, weather permitting
Admission: $10 for adults and $5 for children under 13
Corn mazes are an excellent way to get some activity outdoors in the fall. The Lyman Orchard maze is so large that it can take 45 minutes to navigate. It is big, but don’t worry about getting lost. Lyman’s has helpfully stationed staff in the maze if you, I mean the kids, need help getting your bearings.
Stew Leonard’s Halloween Happenings
Locations in Danbury, Norwalk, and Newington, CT
100 Westport Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06851
If you are any where near a Stew Leonard’s store, you have probably sampled their products and taken your kids to enjoy the baby animal farm and animatronic performers. October is an especially fun time at Stew Leonard’s. Not only can you get the biggest carving pumpkin for the price, Stew’s hosts very kid-friendly events for Halloween. There are hayrides every day in the afternoon through evenings around the decorated lot. On Friday nights they have the Halloween Hay Bale theatre where you can enjoy a kid’s Halloween movie with complimentary juice and popcorn starting after dinner. On Halloween day, trick or treat through the store and children wearing costumes can get free ice cream.
Trail of Terror
60 North Plains Highway
Open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in October
General admission $10, Speed Pass $20
The Trail of Terror in Wallingford is worth a drive for many haunted house enthusiasts. This fright fest was named the “Best in Connecticut” by Connecticut Magazine. Wait times to get in can be long, so purchase your tickets on-line to be sure they won’t be sold out. While you’re being scared, you are also helping out local organizations as this haunt also donates money raised to local charitable organizations. It’s a five-scream attraction, so it’s not recommended for children under 10.
Action Wildlife Hayrides
337 Torrington Rd (Rte 4)
Goshen, CT 06756
Hours: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekday and until 5 p.m. on weekends, weather permitting
Admission: $10 for adults and $8 for children under 12
Hayrides are Halloween. And most hayrides drop you off at a pumpkin patch. This hayride is a tour. See oryx, llama, emus, bison, ostriches, fainting goats and more.
The Witch’s Dungeon Classic Movie Museum
90 Battle St
Open 7 p.m.to 10 p.m. weekends in October
Cost: $2 donation
If you are a sucker for the classics, then classic horror movie villains are just what will make this Halloween special. The Witch’s Dungeon is a labor of love that hosts famous monsters from movies that scared your grandparents.Vincent Price, Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, and Boris Karloff’s famous portrayals are included. Frighten yourself with the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Fly, Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, the Wolfman, the Phantom of the Opera, and more. Since the characters are all waxworks, it’s a great way to introduce your kids to classic horror films.
Noah Webster House West Hartford Hauntings Nighttime Cemetery Tour
227 South Main St.
West Hartford, CT 06107
Take place the last two weekends of October from 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Admission: $13 for adults and $9 for children under 17
Halloween wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a graveyard – no I mean a real one.Story-tellers in period attire will take you through the North Cemetery by lantern-light. Hear about restless spirits and untimely deaths. The tour is not recommended for children under 12. It is very popular, so reservations are recommended.
Kim McNeill writes at Nutmeg Families, is a publisher mom with Macaroni Kid of Southbury, Middlebury, Roxbury, Bridgewater, and Oxford, Connecticut, a hyper-local community website for families, and also blogs about more Connecticut family fun at Hearst Connecticut Media Group.