places to visit for halloween with kids

Best Places To Go For Halloween With Kids Around The World

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Take your Halloween adventures around the globe to find where the best places to go for Halloween with kids, all around the world. Discover the best Halloween cities and events to celebrate all things spooky.

In this guide, we asked travel experts where are the best places to visit for Halloween around the world and why, sharing some of the most impressive Halloween towns and the biggest October festivals so you can start planning your Halloween travels beyond your local trick or treat traditions.

places to visit for halloween with kids

The Best Places To Go For Halloween With Kids

The best cities for Halloween are scattered around the world. From Salem to Romania, there are many places that will appeal to your love of the creepy and obscure this Halloween. You can go on haunted tours through the streets of London and get spooked by all sorts of ghosts and ghouls!

For those looking for something more unique, you can head to Japan where they have festivals during October with tons of activities and food choices!

Halloween is a fun tradition for kids, with dressing up and trick or treating being a favourite time of year for many. But what about celebrating somewhere truly special.

We’ve put together a list of the best places around the world to celebrate Halloween with kids, from family-friendly festivals and events to the spookiest towns around the world.

The History of Halloween

best places to celebrate halloween with kids around the world

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now mostly Ireland, the United Kingdom and Northern France celebrated their new year on November 1.

This day marked the end of summer and harvest time, but also a reminder that winter was coming with its coldness. On October 31st they would have celebrations for those no longer able to be present in this world, believing on this day the ghosts would return to earth.

They would celebrate this night with rituals such as dressing up as ghosts or witches to scare children away.

The word Halloween derives from “All Hallows’ Eve,” meaning that it is celebrated on the eve before All Saints Day, which falls on November first.

It became commercialized in the 1900s when it started to be celebrated more widely on October 31st, with stores putting up decorations for children that would visit them after they had finished trick-or-treating.

Best Halloween Places In The USA

While Halloween is becoming an increasingly more popular holiday tradition around the world, it is certainly most popular in the United States.

Halloween is a holiday that brings families together, especially for children. It’s a time when they can dress up and play tricks with their friends.

There is no shortage of spooky fun to be had around the United States with some of the best Halloween towns, celebrations and cities.

Savannah, GA

savannah at halloween with decorations

Contributed by Erin from Savannah First-Timers Guide

Savannah is known as one of the most haunted cities in the U.S, so it’s a fitting place to celebrate Halloween. You’ll find a variety of ghost tours to suit all ages and plenty of pretty fall décor.

Savannah’s fall weather is relatively mild, which makes it ideal for families who like to get out and about. You might need a light sweater or jacket for cooler evening weather, but don’t be surprised if afternoons call for shorts and a t-shirt.

A few popular costume-friendly activities during the month of October include Wag-O-Ween and the Tybee Pirate Fest. It’s also fun to put on a costume and take the family for a stroll through the Historic District to see all of the pumpkins and spooky decor lining the entrances to Savannah’s fanciest mansions.

Make sure to walk along River Street to grab a caramel apple from River Street Sweets or Savannah Candy Kitchen while you’re in town! They have a variety of spiced nuts and other fall treats, as well. Afterwards, go for a sunset stroll along the waterfront to watch the giant container ships come into port.

Need a family-friendly place to stay? The Marshall House is a fantastic option! You might even get lucky and hear a ghost or two if you stay in one of their (potentially) haunted rooms.

Salem, MA

Salem Massachusetts witch house

Contributed by Keri from Bon Voyage With Kids

One of the absolute best places to celebrate Halloween with kids around the world is in Salem, Massachusetts, USA.  Just about a 45-minute drive north of Boston, this “Halloween headquarters” is a fantastic place for the spooky holiday.

Many Halloween movies have been based here, and the town runs Salem Haunted Happenings the entire month of October.  One of the most historically significant towns in Massachusetts, Salem was the site of the Salem Witch Trials in the 1600s.

In fact, the Salem Witch Museum is a great thing to visit and one of the best things to do when visiting Boston with kids.  But the town itself gets into the Halloween spirit, and devoted Halloween fans come from around the world to see this town in its full glory during October. 

My kids love the festivities and Halloween spirit that abounds during this month, from bewitched walking tours, ghost tours, Frankenstein’s haunted house, a Haunted Witch Village, historical tours, and more.  It is not uncommon to find many people dressed in costume as they go around to the various “happenings” during this festive month. 

salem street decorations
Credit: Copyright Louriv | Megapxl.com

If nighttime tours are too spooky for the little ones, there are daytime tours as well.  My kids also have loved Wicked Wednesdays, which are fully dedicated to kids under 12.  With family-friendly walking tours, musicians, interactive events, and more, there is something even the littlest monsters will enjoy.  Salem, MA is definitely one of the best places for Halloween with kids around the world.

Miami, FL

Contributed by Lavina from Continent Hop

Miami, a city known for its Art Deco architecture and sandy beaches, is more than just the popular beach destination it has become. Though late-night parties by the ocean and with some of the country’s most epic clubs are the norm here, family vacationers can still very much find their way around the city with a whole lot of fun, PG-13 activities to do!

Of these, Halloween in Miami has always been special. For a tasteful Miami itinerary that includes a great Halloween experience, go down to Lincoln Road over at South Beach. Once night falls, this lane becomes a walking parade of people – from kids to adults – dressed in their most creatively outrageous Halloween costumes!

Another fun thing to do is to go trick-or-treating through the 17 galleries of Miami Children’s Museum during the Not So Scary Family Halloween Bash that takes place on 20 October every year.

From 25 to 27 October every year, the Miami Seaquarium organizes the Monster Splash with ghosts and goblins and Halloween-themed dance parties and animal shows – the perfect way to spend Halloween with children!

Lastly, Frost Science deserves a special mention here for their annual  Spooky Science Monster Mash where children can get grossed out by creepy science stuff – like making slime or learning about the germs that live on our hands!

New York City, NY

new york city halloween parade

Contributed by Claire from Claire Pins Travel 

New York City is a great place for families to enjoy Halloween, as events and celebrations take place all over the city, with many homes and businesses showcasing fun and spooky decorations. Plus you can enjoy the beautiful colours of the fall foliage in Central Park. 

The most iconic NYC Halloween event is the Village Halloween Parade, which takes place every year on October 31st at 7pm and proceeds up Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to Sixteenth Street.

This is the world’s largest Halloween parade and the only requirement for marching in the parade is that participants must be in costume. There is no registration or tickets required. Expect to see a range of costumes from homemade to elaborate, along with marching bands, life-size puppets and lots of noise and excitement.

While very young children might find this nighttime parade overwhelming, it is a memorable and unique Halloween experience.  

For a more relaxed evening, stop by the annual Central Park Halloween Pumpkin Flotilla, which takes place during the week of Halloween and offers activities like crafts, storytelling, and a costume parade. The highlight of the evening is watching brightly lit jack-o-lanterns being floated across the Harlem Meer Lake as the sun goes down.

Both the Village Parade and Central Park Flotilla are free to attend, which makes them a great choice for travellers who are visiting New York City on a budget

Several museums and major attractions also offer Halloween themed programming, though most charge an entrance fee. Fun options for families include the ‘Boo at the Zoo’ celebration at the Bronx Zoo which features magic shows, animal puppets and a costume parade or consider taking an afternoon walk along the Great Pumpkin Path at the New York Botanical Garden to enjoy a variety of pumpkins and scarecrows. 

Hudson Valley, NY

jack o lantern blaze New York

Contributed by James Ian from Travel Collecting

A really fun way to celebrate Halloween with kids is to go to the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in New York. 

The Blaze has two locations. The original, one of the top things to do in the Hudson Valley in the fall, is located at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on Harmon, about 1.5 hours north of New York City (you can take a train from Grand Central).

The newest location is at Old Bethpage Village on Long Island, an hour’s drive from New York City. 

At each site, there are over 7,000 pumpkins hand carved and arranged into elaborate lighted displays.  You wander around the site past dozens of incredible dioramas all created from Jack O’Lanterns. They are eerily lit and synchronized with a spooky soundtrack. 

There is a full-sized merry-go-round, a Statue of Liberty, a covered Headless Horseman Bridge, a gigantic spider web, all 12 signs of the zodiac, and even a full-sized ambulance – all made out of carved pumpkins! 

Pumpkin art is elevated to a whole other level at the Museum of Pumpkin Art where the traditional grinning faces are replaced with elaborate carvings of Marilyn Monroe, famous works of art, and a whole scene from the Headless Horseman (which was set in nearby Sleep Hollow). 

You can also stop and get some hot apple cider donuts and hot chocolate to keep you warm.

The Blaze is kid-friendly, but families with very young kids may prefer to go early, before it gets completely dark.

New Orleans, LA

skeleton decorations in new orleans

Contributed by Telak from Travels With Telak

Halloween and New Orleans go together like a dream.  The Big Easy, Birthplace of Jazz, N’awlins, NOLA. New Orleans has been called many things, but it has never been called dull.

On the contrary. The city is pure excitement.  And at no time of the year is this truer than during Halloween (with the possible exception of Mardi Gras).

Have you ever been trapped in a locked embalming room with a zombie chained to one end of the room while his chain loosened little by little as the zombie’s grasping fingers reached for you closer and closer? No? Well, I have. And let me tell you, it is quite the bummer!

That’s just a little taste of what you can expect for Halloween in New Orleans in the Escape the Embalming Room attraction.

Other scary Halloween activities in NOLA include a visit to one of the many historical cemeteries where you can expect to see the grave of a voodoo priestess, Marie Leveau.

The famous Crew of Boo parade welcomes participants dressed up as deadly denizens of the dark. Of course, the guided haunted house visits are legendary as the home of restless spirits that can pop out from behind doors and curtains to wish you a Happy, if disturbing, Halloween.    

Wisconsin Dells, WI

One of the places where you can enjoy Halloween with your kids to the fullest is Wisconsin Dells. It is a great place to celebrate the occasion because of the fun activities.

From trick-or-treaters roaming around the streets, families celebrating together with warm fireplaces to the events taking over throughout October, everything is a perfect sort of celebration for the kids. You can rent out some spooky amenities with your kids and enjoy fun activities.

There are a lot of events and activities happening around the town. You can start off with experiencing a Ghost Boat “Season of the Witch” cruise on the suspicious Wisconsin River. It is a 1.5-hour tour that goes on with spine-tingling horror tales of Dells. You and your kids will also get to experience an adventurous hike through the dark gorge at Witches Gulch.

After the boat ride, you can enjoy a fun 5K race with your kids at Dells Monster Dash. It is a great Halloween-themed run/walk where people enjoy the race in interesting costumes.

What makes Wisconsin Dells great for kids are the fun activities ranging from rides to costume gatherings. Take them to Leatherberry Acres Fun Farm & Corn Maze to enjoy kids’ barrel train, corn maze, pumpkin patch, petting zoo, and more.

Wisconsin Dells also hosts special events for Wilderness guests. The Wilderness Resort throws a big bash mega family Halloween party where guests are allowed to enjoy for free. The bash features a fun Dj, exciting games for the kids, and a costume competition where winners get interesting prizes. You can also take your kid on a free horse ride on Saturday and enjoy a trick-or-treat trail.

At last, relish a great stay at one of the best Airbnbs in Wisconsin Dells and wave the evening with a warm fireplace.

Magic Kingdom, Orlando, FL

Halloween decorations at Magic Kingdom

Contributed by Erica Riley of Travels With Erica

Magic Kingdom at Disney World is one of the most incredible places to celebrate Halloween with kids. 

Every year from mid-August to October 31st, Magic Kingdom is decorated for Halloween.  There are pumpkins, leaves, and even special Halloween treats all around the park. 

Magic Kingdom is also home to Mickey’s Not-So Scary Halloween Party, which runs various nights of the week from mid-August to Halloween night. 

The Halloween party is a separate ticketed event that you have to pay for on top of your normal park tickets.  It is worth the additional cost, and you kids will love it!

You get to watch an exclusive fireworks show, parade, and stage show that isn’t shown anywhere else but the Halloween party. 

All your favorite Magic Kingdom characters put on their Halloween costumes, and it makes for some of the best photos you’ll get at the park.   

The best part of the party is that you get to go trick or treating! 

There are multiple locations throughout the park where you and your kids can trick or treat and collect candy bars from cast members! 

You can trick or treat as much as you want, and there is no limit on how much candy you can go home with at the end of the night. 

Needless to say, your kids will love spending Halloween at Magic Kingdom, and you’ll leave with a bunch of new, magical memories. 

Don’t forget the essentials with our Disney theme park packing list.

Los Angeles, CA

los angeles halloween decorations

Los Angeles is a great destination for families with children. There are many places to visit that have spooky fun, including the Haunted Hayride for older kids and adults and Maze in Griffith Park, and the Hollywood Wax Museum.

Night of the Jacks offers a drive-through Halloween experience, as you make your way around King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas. Kids will love seeing the decorations galore out the window as you make your way around.

Disneyland holds an annual Halloween event with specialty themed decorations and activities around both Disneyland and California Adventure Park making it an exciting time to visit. And of course, there’s The Haunted Mansion ride! Universal Studios also put on their own Halloween event each year.

Best Places To Go For Halloween Around The World

halloween around the world with kids

With Halloween just around the corner, you’re probably trying to figure out where to go. You want to find a place that has the best haunted houses and attractions for kids of all ages.

Travelling to the USA might not be an option right now and you are wanting something closer to home. Or maybe you just want to explore a whole new place!

Well here’s the good news! There are many places across the world that offer up some great options for celebrating Halloween in style.

Discover the international destinations with some of the best experiences on offer during the popular celebration – Halloween!

Dublin, Ireland

Halloween in Ireland is one of the most important holidays, with its origins beginning from the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain. It is celebrated with a spooky traditional celebration – the Festival of Light, in which children dress up and walk from house to house singing songs.

Ireland’s capital Dublin is not only home to one of Europe’s best Halloween parties but also an impressive number of events and festivals, including the Samhain Festival, Bram Stoker Festival and Púca Festival.

The Hellfire Halloween walks perfect for some good scares! But for something a little more kid-friendly, check out the Halloween Roller Disco or head to Dracula Castle Museum for this special time of year.

Find more events for Halloween in Dublin.

London, England

world zombie day halloween in london

Contributed by Alice from Adventures of Alice

London is a magical place. What’s more magical than spending Halloween in London with kids? The entire city transforms into a spooky and fun-filled destination for everyone to enjoy, and it’s perfect for families with children (no matter what age). 

From trick-or-treating at the Tower of London to visiting museums that showcase the spine-tingling history, there are plenty of family-friendly activities available on October 31st. Plus, there are many wonderful free things to do in London too.

If you want to get into the spirit of things with your kids, here are some of the best things to do with kids in London at Halloween: take them to see one or more of the famous haunted houses in London, visit Madame Tussauds and see their newest attraction, “The Walking Dead” exhibition, explore all The Wizarding World has to offer at Universal Studios, enjoy a family-friendly ghost walk through St Paul’s Cathedral or Drury Lane Theatre District.

As one of the most popular cities in Europe and a hotspot for history buffs, London will not disappoint on your time away from home. From haunted houses to ghost tours, there are plenty of spooky activities to keep kids entertained while adults can enjoy some delicious pumpkin spice lattes at their favourite coffee shop. One thing’s for sure, Halloween in London won’t be boring.

Older kids and those not so easily spooked may also love to watch or join in the parade at World Zombie day, which is celebrated in London and around 50 other cities around the world too.

For more ideas, check out this epic guide to the best UK family-attractions.

York, England

black cat trail york england

Contributed by Hannah from Get Lost Travel Blog

York in England is considered one of the most haunted cities in the world. And with a history stretching back to the Romans in 71 AD, it’s unsurprising that York is home to many spooks and spirits.

The city has a wonderful collection of attractions to learn about York’s past in a family-friendly way. It is the perfect spooky destination for Halloween!

In an evening, the streets of York play host to several Ghost Walks. These guided trails take you to some of the most haunted spots in York and tell you tales of the resident ghosts. There are a number of walks available, some are more family-friendly than others, so check when booking which one is most appropriate for your family.

Black cats are a Halloween icon, and they also happen to be a symbol of York. There are 22 cat statues hidden on the buildings of York. You can discover them on the free, self-guided York Cat Trail. It’s a wonderful way to see the sights of York while seeking out those sneaky felines!

If your children are aged eight and above, they can enter York Dungeon, an attraction that tells the dark history of York using live actors. You should note that this attraction can be frightening so use discretion when booking tickets. It is most suited to older children.

During the Halloween season, several family events take place throughout the city including pumpkin carving and a ghost hunt.

Finally, if you want a unique souvenir from your trip, make sure you visit York Ghost Merchant in The Shambles and choose your own ghost to take home with you! If you’re lucky enough to be spending a few days in York, there are loads of attractions you can add to your York bucket list.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Contributed by Gemma from Everything Edinburgh

Did you know that Edinburgh has an Old Town with cobbled streets, vaults that take you underground and local spiritual legends that still roam the city?

One of the best times to visit Scotland’s capital is in October as there are many things to do to celebrate Halloween.

Firstly, you can explore one of the oldest fortified sites in Europe, Edinburgh Castle. One of the buildings dates back to the 12th-century. 

The castle is located on the Royal Mile, where you will also find many of Edinburgh’s spooky ghost tours, including my favourite, the Edinburgh Ghost Bus tour – a comedic take on the gory past and city ghouls.

One of the most popular attractions is the Edinburgh Vaults at South Bridge, as you get to see how people lived down below the cobbled streets as tourists and locals walk above. 

What about a visit to Edinburgh Dungeons to learn about the local legend Maggie Dickson aka Half-Hangit Maggie?

Finally, there’s magic in the air in Edinburgh! As you walk around this fairytale city, can you spot the locations that inspired the Harry Potter books? Head to Victoria Street to see the original Diagon Alley…

Be aware at lunchtime you might get a fright, as the noise from One o’clock Gun fire penetrates the city!

Can’t visit in October? No stress! These tours and attractions are open all year round, so you can schedule a family trip in any season and not miss out!

Transylvania, Romania

bran castle transylvania

Contributed by Jade from The Migrant Yogi

For an unconventional Halloween vacation with kids, why not check out the legendary Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania, Romania?  A verbal description of Bran Castle, as it is officially named, served as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula’s Castle, thus gaining its spooky nickname.  

Dracula is an imaginary character, conceived by Bram Stoker (who had never, in fact, even visited Romania) in his legendary novel.  The character of Dracula is said to be inspired by Wallachian Voievod, Vlad III (aka Vlad Dracul/Vlad Tepes/Vlad the Impaler).  Although he never lived in the castle, there are documents that support claims that he was imprisoned there for a time.  

Regardless, Bran Castle is now strongly associated with Dracula and Vlad Dracul and capitalises on that association. 

In the autumn months, particularly mid-late October, events and celebrations in the village of Bran bring in crowds from all over the world.  Kids, particularly tweens and teens, will love the spooky tales and local legends.  Additionally, there is a “Museum of Torture” particularly popular with young boys!  Be forewarned, however, that the actual dinner and party that take place on Halloween night inside the castle are both adults-only.  

You will probably be based in Brasov for your visit to Bran Castle.  There are a number of things to do in Brasov in addition to exploring the castle.  Nearby, you can also visit Râşnov Fortress and the Libearty Bear Sanctuary.  Transylvania in general is a marvellous time to enjoy Halloween with kids!

Mexico City, Mexico

day of the dead parade mexico city

Mexico City is known for their traditional Day of the Dead festivals or ‘Dia de los Muertos’. It’s a celebration to honour and remember those who have died. You can find altars in graveyards, homes and schools with offerings such as flowers, food (especially the favourite foods of the deceased), candles, photographs and personal possessions.

It typically falls in late October and early November, over 3 days of celebration. In Mexico City, there is an annual Day of the Dead parade, which is the second-largest parade in Mexico after the New Year’s Parade.

One of the best places to celebrate Day of the Dead in Mexico City is Coyoacán Centro. This artsy neighbourhood goes all out for Día de Muertos by incorporating altars, homes adorned with candy sugar skulls and flowers, beautifully decorated cemeteries that pay homage to loved ones lost too soon. There are also many Day of The Dead celebrations outside Mexico City.

Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada

Contributed by Stephanie from The World As I See It

If you’re looking for fun places to celebrate Halloween, that are also kid-friendly, then PumpkInferno is a perfect choice. Located in the charming small town of Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada, is where you’ll find Discovery Harbour.

This incredible living museum, set on the shores of Georgian Bay, is considered one of the most haunted places in Ontario.

Discovery Harbour is where a British military base was built to protect access to Upper Canada after the War of 1812. It now welcomes visitors to learn about the area’s history through its historic buildings, artifacts, replica navy ships, and fun ghost tours and events like PumpkInferno.

PumpkInferno takes place during the month of October and is considered one of Ontario’s top events. There are a host of activities and events taking place throughout the day and evening that are great for all ages.

There’s a haunted mansion set in an over 150-year-old building, an escape room, zombie axe throwing, a terror zone with motion-detecting animatronics, and the main attraction – the pumpkins. Take a walk around the grounds to see a ton of incredible carved pumpkins ranging from a forty-foot long dragon created out of pumpkins to other Halloween inspired figures.

Dating back over 200 years, Discovery Harbour is ripe with ghost stories, making it a perfect place to celebrate Halloween with the family.

Disneyland Paris, France

Phantom Manor Disneyland Paris

Contributed by Elisa from World in Paris

Disneyland Paris is one of the best places in France to celebrate Halloween with the family. The theme park is located 40 km east of Paris, and it is very easy to reach by public transportation.

For one week, Disneyland Paris hosts the Disney’s Halloween Festival, run by the mischievous Disney villains. The Disney heroes and heroines are hanging around the park too, happy to pose for a selfie with you in their Halloween costumes.

During Disney’s Halloween Festival, there are also special decorations for a total creepy atmosphere. If you celebrate Halloween in Disneyland Paris, a visit to the Phantom Manor in Frontierland is a must. This abandoned mansion, off the beaten path, is full of mystery and spirits.

For more creepy experiences, head to Adventure Island in Adventureland. Walk through the fog and strange noises and uncover the secrets of the Skull Rock!

Last but not least, visit the Temple of Peril, one of the last archaeological sites explored by Indiana Jones. It seems to be cursed!

Disneyland Paris is one of the most popular day trips from Paris, especially for Halloween. For a total Halloween experience, consider spending one night on-site in one of the Disney hotels. They are all fun places to rest your head and offer excellent facilities and a free shuttle to the park.

Find more ideas of things to do in Paris while visiting & get some great money-saving tips for your stay.

Melbourne, Australia

Halloween in Melbourne

Contributed by Chontelle from Mum’s Little Explorers

Melbourne, Australia is a great place to celebrate Halloween with kids. Being such a multicultural city there are so many different family events and activities going on in October.

While it isn’t is big as in some parts of the world like the USA, there are still many families in Melbourne who celebrate this cultural holiday.

For many families, the main tradition on Halloween is to get together with friends in the neighbourhood, dressed up and go out to “trick or treat”. This is usually in the late afternoon for younger children, and in the early evening for the older ones. You won’t really find people out after dark like in the movies.

Home owners usually put out balloons on the letterbox or decorate their house if they celebrate, as an invitation for children to knock on their doors. It makes it easier for the kids, as they know which houses to go to without the risk of being disappointed. 

There are some restaurants and businesses in Melbourne that get involved and many hold small events at their venues too which is great. Some even have special Halloween themed meals.

Find more information on Halloween in Melbourne each year.

Plan your visit to Melbourne with the best family attractions and rainy day activities in Melbourne.

We’ve compiled a list of the best places to go for Halloween with kids around the world. So get out your costume, pack up some treats (or tricks) and prepare yourself for an epic adventure that will be both fun and frightful! No matter what your family’s budget is, there are plenty of options to choose from for a fun-filled Halloween.

From the spooky and traditional to creative and one-of-a-kind, you can find something perfect for any type of kid (or grown-up) in just about every corner of the world. Whether it’s trick or treating at home with friends or exploring new places – we’ve got you covered with the ultimate Halloween bucket list for around the world! Happy haunting!

So where will you be celebrating Halloween this year? Are you travelling abroad to celebrate the holiday or staying closer to home? Share with us below.

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best places to go for Halloween with kids