Halloween may not be an official holiday, but try telling that to the millions of children (and adults) who start planning their costumes on Nov. 1—of the year before! Satisfy your craving for creepy creatures, spooky stories, and haunted hayrides at these family-friendly events in Connecticut, including Norwalk, Danbury, Bridgeport, Wilton, Stamford, and beyond.
Beardsley Zoo, Bridgeport
Oct. 17-18, 24-25
Spend a truly fun and frightful evening at the zoo featuring a "Greek Mythology" Hayride, Haunted Farmyard, Gruesome Greenhouse, and magic show by Jim Sisti. Tickets also include face painting, and of course, candy. Event recommended for children ages 6-12, but some of the "scarier" activities of the evening may be better suited for children ages 8 and older.
The Enchanted Castle
Burr Homestead, Fairfield
Oct. 18-19, 22-30
The Enchanted Castle is a Halloween event with colorful storybook-themed rooms and friendly costumed characters. Parents and their children can tour seven fantasy theme rooms: Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, The Little Mermaid, Candy land, The Pirates of the Carribean, and Aladdin. This event is designed for children ages 2-10. Funds raised at the Castle benefit The Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers at Bridgeport Hospital
Family Y Halloween Spooktacular
Y Gymnastics Center, Norwalk
The Westport Weston Family Y's annual Halloween Spooktacular is taking place this year at the Y's newly opened Gymnastics Center at 145 Main St. in Norwalk. This fun occasion includes a costume contest, Halloween craft, haunted hallway, fortune telling and more, all in the Y's new gymnastics center. Wear a costume to the party. Children must attend with an adult.
Monster Mash Halloween Party
Stepping Stones Museum, Norwalk
This 10th annual not-so-scary, popular Halloween event is filled with tricks and treats for the whole family to enjoy. Dress up as your favorite hero or heroine and join the costume party and parade.
Spooktacular Science Weekend
Connecticut Science Center, Hartford
Visitors will be treated to extra special fun for the whole family, including trick-or-treating, a photo booth, and Halloween arts and crafts. Costumes are encouraged, but adult masks are not permitted.
Legends & Hauntings Walking Tour
Fairfield Museum and History Center, Fairfield
Get chilled to the bone on this walking tour that explores haunting legends and folklore as night descends. Hear about body snatching in the cemetery, ghost legends at the Tavern, and stand on the site where wary townsfolk tested alleged witches in the 17th century.
Trick or Treat on Heckscher Farm & Ick Fest at Overbrook
Stamford Museum and Nature Center, Stamford
Don your Halloween costume and head to Heckscher Farm to trick-or-treat with your favorite farm friends. Make your first stop at the otter pond to collect a bag and get your first Clue. Follow the clues to find the 5 "trick-or-treat" stations. Stop by Overbrook for "Ick-Fest" and get slimy with the slime table, visit live reptiles and bugs, and create crafts around some favorite Halloween critters. Don't forget your treat bag!
Boo at the Zoo
Beardsley Zoo, Bridgeport
This spooktacular afternoon includes harvest hayrides and many other seasonal enjoyments. Plus there will be announcement of the winners of the Scarecrow competition. Guaranteed to delight and fright all those who pass through. If you're younger than 12, in costume, and are accompanied by a paying adult, you get in to the zoo for free.
Aldrich Museum Halloween
Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield
Trick-or-treat at the museum and pose in your costume in front of spooktacular photo booths created by mother-daughter artist teams from Ridgefield's own National Charity League Nutmeg Chapter. See your image projected on the museum and post your photo to share with friends and family.
Trick-or-Treat at Mystic Seaport
Mystic Seaport, Mystic
Get dressed up in your favorite costume and go trick-or-treating at Mystic Seaport before darkness falls. Additional Halloween festivities will include spooky treats in the Planetarium pumpkin patch, carnival games and prizes, a face painter, and a balloon twister. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Bring your own trick or treat bag.
Check out the best Halloween events in nearby Westchester, including The Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze and other Historic Hudson Valley events.