Jack O’ Lanterns and Scary Trails
Pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins! Add a little light to a dark and scary October evening by strolling through the beautiful Van Cortlandt Manor grounds (500 S Riverside Ave, Croton-on-Hudson 914-631-8200; hudsonvalley.org/content/view/195/198) for the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze, where you’ll be surrounded by more than 4,000 hand-carved, lit Jack O’ Lanterns. The blaze takes place October 1-2, 7-10, 14-16, 20-23, 27-31, and November 4-6. Tickets are $16 for adults, $12 for kids age 5 to 17, and free for the little tykes, except on Saturdays, when prices are raised to $20 for adults and $16 for kids. This is a rain-or-shine event.
Want to be really scared out of your wits—or just giggle very loudly? Try the Horseman’s Hollow at Philipsburg Manor (381 N Broadway, Sleepy Hollow 914-631-8200; hudsonvalley.org/content/view/196/199). Experience the torturous terror trail that tells the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Be wary of witches, dead soldiers, and other hidden frights waiting to leap out and make your skin crawl. Brave survivors can confront the Horseman’s lair. If you’re not faint of heart, head down on October 8-9, 14-16, 21-23, and 27-30 for $20, or $25 on Saturdays.
Bring along the whole gang, because the Scarecrows & Pumpkins Parade is actually fun for the entire family—even the little ones. Head down to the Greenburgh Nature Center from 1 to 3:30 pm (99 Dromore Rd, Scarsdale 914-813-1831; gncscarecrowspumpkinsparade2011.eventbrite.com) on Sunday, October 23, for pumpkin trails lined with friendly looking scarecrows. Top it all off with some hot cider, temporary tattoos, and tasty treats. Signing up early allows you to save money on tickets—$4 for members, $7 for non-members. Tickets at the door are $6 for members and $9 for non-members. Have no fear; the event is on rain or shine.
See hundreds and hundreds of scarecrows at Lyndhurst (635 S Broadway, Tarrytown 914-631-4481; lyndhurst.wordpress.com) between October 10 and the 31st, from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm. And each one will be unique, as local elementary-school students have created them to represent people from all walks of life. After the walk, partake in other frightful activities—if you dare—such as a scavenger hunt, a raffle to win a family pass to Lyndhurts’ Boofest, and more. Enjoy the day for a small fee of $5. Kids under the age of 6 are admitted free.
For a howlin’ good time, head over to the Wolf Conservation Center (7 Buck Run, South Salem 914-763-2373; nywolf.org) for the Evening Howl on October 9, from 5:30 to 7 pm. Ice cream will be provided, but make sure to bring a flashlight. Registration is required.
Decorate a haunted mansion—with cream and frosting. The Halloween Houses program at Chef Central (45 S Central Ave, Hartsdale 914-328-1376; chefcentral.com) lets kids satisfy their sweet tooth by creating their own Halloween treats. On October 25, 26, and 28, at 1 pm, 4 pm, and 7 pm, youngsters can each decorate a haunted mansion with Halloween-themed candy, black-and-orange frosting, and—best of all—their imaginations. Instructors will be on hand to help them bring their creations to life. Spooky and delicious!
Film and Theatre
The Jacob Burns Film Center (364 Manville Rd, Pleasantville, 914-747-5555; burnsfilmcenter.org) celebrates all things otherworldly this Halloween by bringing back two films: Alien and E.T. On Friday, October 28, Alien will be shown at 9:45 pm as part of the Fridays After Dark series—and you can snag tickets up for $11, $6 for members, or $6.80 for kids. For a more family-friendly film, catch the screening of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial on Saturday, October 29, or Sunday, October 30. Adult tickets are being $11, student tickets are $8, member tickets are $6, and kids’ tickets are just $1.
Sometimes, all you need are lions and tigers and bears. That’s right; for live entertainment, enjoy one of the classics at the Westchester Broadway Theatre (1 Broadway Plz, Elmsford 914-592-2222; broadwaytheatre.com/). On Saturday October 15 and 22, Westco Productions presents The Wizard of Oz, with showings at 9:30 am, noon, and 2:30 pm. Tickets are $25 for each show.
Warning to the faint-of-heart: Scared by the Sound (877-SCARY-FUN; scaredbythesound.com/ ) at Playland Parkway in Rye is not for the weak or feeble. Walk through a terrifying house with tons of creatures and spirits that want nothing more than to hear the musical sound of screaming children. The event runs nearly every Friday and Saturday in October. Head over between 8 pm and 11 pm on Fridays, and 7 pm to 11 pm on Saturdays. The little ones can enjoy a Hardly Haunted Matinee on the 29th and 30th between noon and 4pm. Tickets for adults are $15 and $7 for kids under 12.
Scarecrows, square dancing, and fresh produce—oh my! The Halloween spirit will be in full force on Sunday, October 9, at the Lyndhurst’s (635 S Broadway, Tarrytown, NY, 914-631-4481; lyndhurst.wordpress.com) Scarecrow Autumn Festival. Between 11 am and 4 pm, enjoy the view of hundreds of scarecrows, learn how to square dance, play old-fashioned country games, have your fortune read, and more. No reservations are needed, so make sure to get there a bit early to get tickets. Adults are $15; kids between the ages of 4 and 12 are $5.
Learn how to make cider, enter a scarecrow-building contest, run around during a scavenger hunt, ride on a tractor, or visit the petting zoo at the Greenburgh Nature Center’s (99 Dromore Rd, Scarsdale, 914-813-1831; gncscarecrowspumpkinsparade2011.eventbrite.com) fantastic Fall Festival. Tickets for the event, which runs from 1 to 4 pm on Sunday, October 16, costs $5 for members and $8 for non-members, when purchased in advance. Alternately, at the door, you can buy $7 tickets for members and $10 for non-members. The event will take place rain or shine.
Lyndhurt’s Boofest is chock full of frights. On Friday, October 28, from 5 to 9 pm, the interactive festival will feature dancing in the barn, an amusing 19th-century tour of the mansion, trick-or-treating, storytelling witches, and more. If you’re a scout leader, tickets are only $12; if you’re a scout, the cost is $7. Friends of Lyndhurst get a half-price discount. Otherwise, adults pay $13 and kids between the ages of 3 and 12 get in for $8. Reservations are required.