Family Fun Guide To Halloween Events & Activities

October 21, 2011 5:55 AM

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By Christine Mouser

When you have kids of your own, Halloween can be a lot of fun, and it gives you a valid excuse to still pull out a costume of your own. Pittsburgh has a ton of Halloween happenings around town, but not all of them are kid-friendly. So instead of accidentally scarring your children for life, take a look at these family fun activities that will get you and the kids into the Halloween spirit.

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(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

KDKA ZooBoo For Kids’ Sake

7340 Butler Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 665-3640
Event Dates: Sat., Oct. 22-Sun. Oct. 23; Sat., Oct. 29-Sun., Oct. 30
Event Hours: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Admission: children (ages 2-13), $12; adults, $14
Reviews, Directions & More Info

The zoo can be a magical place for kids who get the chance to see their animals up-close and personal. Add Halloween to the mix, and your kids won’t want to leave. At ZooBoo, kids can check out the zoo, while taking part in some Halloween festivities. While costumes aren’t required, dress up the whole family and take part in the Halloween Parade and Costume Contest at Water’s Edge. If you want to check out some “haunted” spots at the zoo, visit Gymkhana’s Haunted Hideaway, check out Docent Council’s Haunted House or take a ride on the “not so spooky” train. And what’s Halloween without a little candy? The zoo will provide trick-or-treat bags so that the little ones can collect candy throughout the day. Be sure to also look out for special animal activities.

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(Photo by Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

Spooky Science Sleepover

Carnegie Science Center
One Allegheny Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 237-3400
Event Date/Time: Fri, Oct. 28- Sat, Oct. 29; 6 p.m. – 10 a.m., Sat.
Pricing: $35/per person
Reviews, Directions & More Info

If you and the family are science junkies, then this may just be the perfect Halloween celebration for you. The Carnegie Science Center hosts its annual Spooky Science Sleepover, a great event for families, scout troops, church groups, clubs and more. The staff recreates all of the floors of interactive exhibits into an all-night good time. There will be theme-related activities, a late night snack, a laser show and an Omnimax movie.

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(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Bushy Run Battlefield’s Annual Haunted History Hayride

1253 Bushy Run Road
Jeannette, PA 15664
(724) 527-5584
Date/Hours: Oct. 22, 7 p.m.– 10 p.m.
Admission: $5, 12 and under (no children under 4 permitted); $8, adults
Reservations necessary
Reviews, Directions & More Info

With this family outing, you may even be able to sneak in a couple history lessons or two. Bushy Run Battlefield will put on its annual haunted hayride this Halloween. The hayride will take you through the American frontier, where you will pass by a soldier’s camp, Native Americans and Andrew Byerly. You never know who or what you may run into, but that’s half the fun. Also included in this fun outing is storytelling, admission to the museum, gift shop and concessions.

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(Photo by Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/Getty Images)

Trolley Rails & Spooky Tales

1 Museum Road
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 228-9256
Event Dates: Fri & Sat, Oct. 21,22,28,29
Event Hours: 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m.
Admission: $6, children (3-15); $9, adults: $35, family rate (2 adults and 4 children); $1 off admission with costume
Reviews, Directions & More Info

If you have a little boy or girl obsessed with trains, then you can’t miss Trolley Rails & Spooky Tales, a Halloween event put on by the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. If you’ve never heard of this unique place, it’s a museum entirely dedicated to trolleys and even includes some restored ones. A storyteller will recite spooky Halloween stories as you ride a trolley into the Halloween night. This excursion is recommended for adults and children, ages 5-12.

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(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)


Rt. 30 East
Ligonier, PA 15658
(724) 238-3666
Dates: Oct. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23
Hours: Park opens at 11:30 a.m.: attractions open, Noon – 6 p.m.
Admission: $24.99 (check participating Giant Eagle locations for discounts)
Reviews, Directions & More Info

If you and the family are into rollercoasters and Ferris wheels, then head on over to Idlewild’s HallowBoo! If you’re used to visiting the park in the scorching summer, then you may not recognize the park come Halloween. The park is decorated from entrance to exit in Halloween decorations, with pumpkins, cornstalks, scarecrows and more. Of course, you can check out their many rides, which are very kid-friendly and specially – themed. Head on over to Story Book Forest for some fun trick or treating. Concessions will be available as well as a tricky hay bale maze.

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(Photo by Nikolay Doychinov/AFP/Getty Images)

The Great Pumpkin Spooktacular

Fern Hollow Nature Center
1901 Glen Mitchell Rd.
Sewickley, PA 15143
(412) 741-6136
Event Date & Hours: Sat., Oct. 22; 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Admission: FHNC Members, $15 per family; non-members, $25 per family; pre-registration requested
Reviews, Directions & More Info

Most parents can remember gathering around their television sets to watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” every time Halloween rolled around. Continue that tradition with your kids in a unique and spooky setting at Fern Hollow Nature Center’s The Great Pumpkin Spooktacular. You’ll hear some scary stories and munch on S’mores around the campfire. Once it’s dark, grab a flashlight and you and your family can go on a hunt for nocturnal creepy crawlers. And that’s not it—you’ll finish the night watching the classic Charlie Brown flick. Now, you can start another Halloween tradition of your own.

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(Photo by Dimitar Dilkoff/Getty Images)

Phipps’ Halloween Happenings

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
One Schenley Park
Pittsburgh PA, 15213
(412) 622-6914
Event Date/Hours: Fri., Oct. 28: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Admission: $9, children, $12, adults.
Free event with regular admission
Reviews, Directions & More Info

What better way to celebrate this fall holiday than to spend it in a beautiful setting—at the Phipps Halloween Happenings. Grab your kids, dress them up in costumes and take part in some great activities organized by the Conservatory. While you’re there, be sure to take in the scenery, with 17 distinct botanical experiences.

Christine Mouser is currently living in the Pittsburgh area, where she is an editorial intern for Pittsburgh Magazine. She is set to graduate from Penn State University this summer, with a degree in print journalism. She has written for, Town&Gown magazine and Penn State’s Valley magazine.

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