Jack-o-lanterns, scarecrows, bats and witches: It’s that time of year again. Soon the kids will be dressing up as their favorite Fresh Beat or Disney character to hit the streets for oodles of goodies. If you’re not comfortable letting your young’uns run around in the dark, don’t fret. Below you’ll find the five best alternatives in the city if you’re looking for something a bit more whole-family friendly, or if you want to add a few more fun activities to your Halloween repertoire this year.
528 Trax Road
Finleyville, PA 15332
Price: $8 adults/$6 children 3 to 12/free children younger than 3
Hours: Sept. 22 to Oct. 28 weekends – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Visit this 147-year-old farm during its 43rd annual Fall Festival for tons of Halloween-themed activities for the entire family. From enticing hayrides to enormous corn mazes, choose-your-own-pumpkin patch to a petting zoo, Trax has lots of fun in store. Make sure to try one of its 15 varieties of home-grown orchard apples, or treat yourself to a candy apple, mug of freshly pressed cider or pumpkin gob. Its enormous (no, seriously – it’s huge!) Christmas warehouse is also stocked and ready for visitors. Please be advised that some activities require a ticket (like the bounce house), while some are cash-only (pony rides and glitter tattoos). There is no ATM on the premise, but every register is equipped to give up to $50 cash back.
Ross Park Mall
1000 Ross Park Mall Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Price: $5 annual Kidgit membership
Hours: Oct. 29 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Head on out to Ross Park Mall for the biggest Kidgit event of the year. If you’re not familiar with Kidgit, or the Halloween Kidgit Trick or Treat, the Simon Kidgit club offers programming focused on education, health and wellness, safety and entertainment via a quarterly newsletter, Web site and live events at nearly 100 participating Simon malls across the country. Radio Disney and the crew will be in the mall’s center court for this awesome event providing music and fun activities including face painting crafts and giveaways. Bring the kids’ goodie bags, because this is shaping up to be another 10-ton candy fest.
Route 30 East
Price: $26.99/free kids 2 and younger
Hours: Oct. 6 to Oct. 28 – 11: 30 a.m.
This family friendly event will have your little ghouls screaming with delight. Kids 12 and younger are invited to dress up in their favorite costume for a wild day of trick-or-treating through Storybook Forest. Make sure to grab your free treat bags at “The Book” before embarking on your journey. Check out a show, or hop on board the Haunted Hollow Train Ride while you’re there. After all of the goodies are collected, visit Confusing Hilda’s Crazy Hay Maze, or treat your littlest goblins to some tasty make-it-yourself s’mores at the end of the trick-or-treat trail. Many of the park’s rides are still open as well, so make sure to clear your calendar for an entire day of non-stop Halloween fun
708 Casselman St.
Confluence, PA 15424
Hours: Oct. 5 – 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Oct. 6 – 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Oct. 7 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A festival to delight old and young alike, the Confluence Pumpkin Fest has something for everyone. Originally intended to give arts and craft and food vendors the opportunity to showcase their wares, this annual fete has grown to include the Pumpkin Fest Queen pageant, largest pumpkin contest, classic car show, parade, live music, tractor pull and strong man contest. Test your agility in the Great Pumpkin Race 5k Walk/Run or test your best recipe against fierce competition in the PumpkinFest recipe contest. For more information, to enter one of the challenges or to find out about becoming a vendor, click here.
1001 Layfayette Drive
Farmington, PA 15437
(724 ) 329-8555
Price: $5 for all ages, unless otherwise noted
Hours: Oct. 12 – 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Oct. 13 – 89 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Oct. 14 – 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
A new endeavor for the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Roctober Fest 2012 is your one-stop shop for family friendly Halloween fun. All-day activities include corn hole, bounce houses, horse shoes, live bands, ziplines and food galore. Adults may try their hands at a mixology class given by Dayna Hair Chateau Lobby Bar while the kids rock out a few games of paintball. The whole family may also enjoy a few rounds of mini golf or check out the sumo wrestling competition.