A Fun Guide For All Ages
‘Tis the season for Halloween ghosts and ghouls, candy apples and carved pumpkins! With Halloween just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to take your family or friends on a spooky (or not-so-spooky) adventure. Hampton Roads has something for all ages!
Family Halloween Fun
Halloween doesn’t have to be scary! There’s plenty of family friendly, non-spooky options for children (and scaredy cats) throughout Hampton Roads! Museums, parks, and gardens throughout Hampton Roads have added a little Halloween flair and are fun for the whole family.
Almost all day on October 21, the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk offers families a safe environment at the Virginia Zoo to trick-or-treat and enjoy fall fun with ‘Zoo Boo’. With animal pumpkin encounters, crafts, bounces houses and more, it’s fun for all the little ones.
Designed for those 12 and under, on October 20 and 21, the Virginia Living Museum is offering a wild night of spooky animals, trail walks pumpkin carving and more. The museum encourages costumes, and offers trick-or-treating throughout the museum as well as crafts and Halloween games.. You’ll get to walk through themed galleries filled with characters and themed decorations as well as enjoy live animal shows featuring Halloween critters. Step into a world of “Forest Friends” and “Monster Lab” in transformed indoor exhibits..
The theme at this year’s Halloween Town & Treat is Superheroes! On Saturday, October 28 at Virginia Beach Town Center, enjoy this free event with the kids and dress up in your finest Halloween attire. Participate in family-friendly games, crafts, and other fun activities like arts & crafts, balloon art, face painting, pumpkin decorating, etc. Visit Candy Stations all around Town Center, and enjoy circus acts at the Fountain Plaza featuring several performances.
The Trick ‘R Trees Garden Stroll in Norfolk on Friday, October 20 and Thursday, October 26 invites you to learn about weird plants and creepy critters at the Norfolk Botanical Garden! Take a “trick ‘r trees” stroll through the Garden as the sun sets.
Family Frights on Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21, located at Jamestown Settlement, is a Halloween-themed museum night for your youngest kids. Smoke, lanterns, and sound effects set the mood in Jamestown Settlement’s living-history areas. The event includes trick-or-treating at buildings in the re-created early 1600s fort as well as a witch trial. You can also explore friendly -- and frightening -- haunted houses, including houses with “Harry Potter” and “Wizard of Oz” themes. Along the ships’ pier, visitors can play games and make crafts along the riverfront, a bonfire, and a sailor’s graveyard before boarding a ‘haunted’ Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery, each with its own theme, for trick-or-treating. Packed with ghost stories, crafts, face painting, and fortunetelling, the “Forest of Frights” boardwalk is the place to be.
Also getting in on the Halloween fun is Yankee Candle in Williamsburg! Hosting a Halloween Bash on Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 12:00 PM until 6:00 PM, Yankee Candles invites you to dress your best for an all ages costume contest! Super spooky prizes go to the winners, and there’s plenty of Halloween snacks and punch for everyone. Children can also paint a pumpkin with Mrs. Claus, visit a face painter and balloon artist, and a fortune teller.
Haunted Halloween Happenings:
If you’re looking for something a little spookier this Halloween, Hampton Roads also has some truly scary sites as well! From ghost tours to Halloween hayrides to haunted houses, there’s plenty of options for a good scare.
The Ghost Train is a half-hour ride through the supposedly haunted woods of Northwest River Park. As you wander deeper and deeper into the dark forest, a storyteller shares terrifying tale along several spooky stops The Train operates from Oct. 17–19, 24–26. Reservations are required, but tickets available on-site if space permits.
Inspired by the infamous Jack the Ripper Walks in London, the Olde Towne Ghost Walk tour takes you on a guided walking tour past haunted houses and mysterious mansions in historic Olde Towne Portsmouth. Actors in costume share legends of ghostly encounters and things that go bump in the night at each house along the route, starting at Trinity Church Graveyard. The tour is approximately 45 minutes long and ends at Middle Street Park, where hot cider will be served to warm up after a spooky cool walk.
Inspired by The Ghosts of Williamsburg by L.B. Taylor, Jr., the Original Ghosts of Williamsburg Tour takes you throughout the historic city. Stops includes homes, buildings, and shops where you hear the stories and interviews L.B. had with people who lived, visited and worked inside. Tours are held every night through October. Then, from the 15th to the 31st of October, the Haunting on DoG Street in Williamsburg goes all out! Host to evening programs, ghost tours, spooky carriage rides, museum talks, and special events, this gathering has something for everyone!
Jamestown also gets in on the Halloween fun with Tales of “The Devil, the Witches, & the Enchanters…”: A Haunted Evening at Historic Jamestowne, on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at the Historic Jamestowne Visitor Center! Here you’ll get the chance to look into the world of our 17th-century ancestors and find out what fears haunted them at night. Actual eyewitness accounts of conjurations and witchcraft from 17th-century Virginia are brought to life. Each story includes historical context to help explain how the perceived “supernatural” events blurred logic and created fear amongst colonists.
Haunted Houses & Trails:
On the Haunted Ship on Nauticus you’ll get to explore three decks of darkness aboard the Battleship Wisconsin. This year a new tour route runs through the ship’s lower decks and is sure to scare those who dare to wander its dark halls. Tours are held on Oct. 17–19, so be sure to go this weekend before the event ends!
One of the country’s top 10 rated haunted attractions can be found right here in Virginia Beach! The Nightmare Mansion is a walk-through haunted house complete with live actors, the five to 10 minute tour of terror may feel like a lifetime. Definitely not for the faint of heart, this haunted house operates Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at noon.
A local favorite, Hunt Club, is celebrating is 25th year bringing fear to residents. Attractions include the Field of Screams, the Village of the Dead, and everyone’s favorite Haunted Hayride along with a beer tent to sooth your nerves after a good scare. The farm is open from Wednesday through Sunday.
If you’re looking to stay warm while getting your scares in, the March of Dimes annual Spooky Acres Haunted House is perfect for you! Hosted inside Chesapeake Square Mall for almost two decades, this haunted house is no less scary for being inside a mall. Check it out on the following dates -- if you dare (Oct. 17–19, 24–26, 28–31 and Nov 1–2).
Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens is every Halloween fanatic’s favorite spot in Hampton Roads! Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, the park has introduced four massively themed Terror-tories™. The “countries” France, Italy, Germany and England have all been transformed into over-the-top Halloween experiences sure to take you to another time and place with a boogey-man around every corner.
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Links to Events:
Zoo Boo at the Virginia Zoo http://virginiazoo.org/events/zoo-boo-2017/
Night of the Living Museum at Virginia Living Museum https://thevlm.org/events/museum-events/night-of-the-living-museum/
Halloween Town & Treat at Virginia Beach Town Center https://www.beachstreetusa.com/halloween-town-treat
Trick ‘R Trees Garden Stroll at the Norfolk Botanical Garden http://norfolkbotanicalgarden.org/events/categories/type/holiday-programs/
Family Frights at Jamestown Settlement http://www.visitwilliamsburg.com/events/family-frights-jamestown-settlement
Halloween Bash at Williamsburg Yankee Candle http://www.yankeecandle.com/about-us/visit-our-village-stores/williamsburg-events
Haunted Halloween Happenings:
Ghost Train at Northwest River Park http://www.cityofchesapeake.net/page3084.aspx
Olde Towne Ghost Walk at Olde Towne Portsmouth http://portsmouthghostwalk.com/
The Original Ghosts of Williamsburg Tour at Williamsburg http://www.theghosttour.com/
The Haunting on DoG Street in Williamsburg https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/special-events/haunting
A Haunted Evening at Historic Jamestown at Jamestown http://www.williamsburgfamilies.com/haunted-evening/
The Haunted Ship on Nauticus in Norfolk https://nauticus.org/education-exhibits/haunted-ship-alien-terror/
The Nightmare Mansion in VA Beach http://www.youwillscream.com/
Hunt Club in VA Beach http://www.huntclubfarm.com/events/
Spooky Acres Haunted House in Norfolk http://www.spookyacres.com/
Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens https://seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-williamsburg/howloscream/event-info/calendar-hours
Page, Derek. “Nine Best Halloween Attractions in Coastal Virginia”. CoastalVirginiaMag. Coast Virginia Mag. n.d. Web. 15 Oct 2017. http://www.coastalvirginiamag.com/The-List/October-2013/Nine-Best-Halloween-Attractions-in-Coastal-Virginia/
Palmer, Christine. “Family Friendly Halloween Events Across Hampton Roads”. rutter mills. Rutter Mills. 11 Oct 2017. Web. 15 Oct 2017. http://www.ruttermills.com/family-friendly-halloween-events-across-hampton-roads/
Web Staff. “Guide to Halloween 2017 events in Hampton Roads, NE North Carolina”. WKTR. WKTR. 27 Sept 2017. Web. 14 Oct 2017. http://wtkr.com/2017/09/27/guide-to-halloween-2017-events-in-hampton-roads-ne-north-carolina