October 31st looms near, and we all know what that means: kids will be running amok inside spooky haunted houses and setting out to snap up as much candy as they can get, while many adults will be hitting up thrilling concerts, sizzling nightclubs and other venues. No matter what their age, a flurry of events awaits travelers seeking thrills and chills this Halloween. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly fun or blood-curdling entertainment with friends, check out some popular events taking place in major destinations this year:
- New York City: The Big Apple plays host to the Village Halloween Parade, the nation’s largest Halloween celebration. A bevy of floats, artists, and bands will make their way through the bustling streets of downtown Manhattan on Halloween day. The parade, which began in 1973, draws more than 40,000 costumed participants each year and is expected to attract more than one million spectators in 2009. You can also visit the Central Park and Bronx zoos for Boo at The Zoos to gaze out at animals, make Halloween arts and crafts, and enjoy other activities.
- Los Angeles: If you want to experience a fun Halloween night in LA, don’t miss The Hollywood Halloween Street Fair, where kids donning costumes will be able to trick-o-treat from one shop to another on Hollywood Boulevard. Party-lovers should not miss the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival, where guests are invited to sport their strangest and most daring costumes. Santa Monica Boulevard will close for the event on Halloween night, giving visitors ample space to lap up a parade, costume contest, non-stop music and much more.
- Boston: Head to the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Street for the Beacon Hill Halloween Walking Tour. Visitors can learn about Boston’s chilling history on Halloween night as they explore graveyards and hanging sites. For something a little more kid-friendly, check out Halloween Town, an annual event at the Seaport World Trade Center. Running October 24-25, it will enthrall kids with dancers, musicians, face painting and many other activities.
- Orlando: Hordes of travelers flock to Orlando each year to revel in theme park excitement, but October brings an added incentive: Halloween events galore! If you’re planning to visit SeaWorld with the kids, you can have them take part in Halloween Spooktacular 2009, where they’ll get the opportunity to trick-or-treat and frolic among fish, mermaids and octopuses. The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is hosting Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2009 through November 1st. With storytelling, costume parties, fireworks and special live shows, this promises to be a memorable event for the youngsters. Travelers who would rather pass on the kiddy stuff and experience eerie scare zones and frightening creatures can head to Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, which will be bringing popular horror films to life through October 31st.
- Chicago: Travelers in the Windy City can get into the Halloween spirit at Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America, where everything from kid-friendly activities to parades and haunted houses make for a fun-filled day with friends and family. The Shedd Aquarium will also be hosting its annual Spooky Seas Family Overnight event, featuring gallery activities, presentations and animal encounters.