23 October 2017
Get your kids’ pulses racing by planning a scary Halloween trip. Here are seven of the spookiest spots to visit for an awesome family Halloween that’s sure to give you the fright of your lives
This town was made famous in the 17th Century by the Salem Witch trials, making it an ideal Halloween destination. Visit the Salem Witch Museum and learn about these tragic trials, as well as how the popular image of witches has evolved over the ages. Take part in one of the Halloween events Salem throws in October like the Grand Parade which kicks off the season, where creepy floats take over the streets. Meet creepy ghouls by going trick or treating in downtown Salem, enjoy scary 4D fun at haunted houses in the town’s Gallows Hill Museum and a whole lot more!
Learn about another culture by celebrating the traditional holiday of Samhain (feast of the dead) in Dublin. Join the fun as Dubliners feast, hold bonfires and go trick or treating. See if you can figure out what goes bump in the night by taking a haunting tour of 12th Century Malahide Castle. Meet the undead by attending the city’s iconic annual Bram Stoker Festival, with its series of events inspired by vampire novel Dracula. Whizz by Dublin’s most hair-raising spots on the Dublin Ghost Bus Tour, which stops at the Medieval crypt at Dublin Castle and the atmospheric St Kevin’s Graveyard.
Fly to Hong Kong for a unique Halloween experience. Every year the city throws its Yu Lan (hungry ghost) Festival across October to honour the ‘restless spirits’ that wander the earth. Take part in traditional activities such as money burning and roadside bonfires, or watch the Chinese opera which features as the festival’s centrepiece. Other fun Halloween places and activities in Hong Kong include the celebrations at Hong Kong Disneyland, spooky street parties and haunted Victorian mansions.
Lose yourselves in the joyous atmosphere that takes over Mexico City as it celebrates Día de Muertos – the ‘day of the dead’ festival over Halloween. Visit the city’s ‘pan de muerto’ event and sample treats from over 50 vendors such as chocolate skulls. Stop by the iconic Feria de las Calacas where you can meet skeletons dressed as humans. Check out a traditional Día de Muertos ceremony, where offerings of items like sugar skulls are made to departed ancestors, or set your spines tingling by cycling around the famous Bosque de Chapultepec forest in fancy dress at night!
New Orleans comes alive at Halloween, so there’s plenty of family activities to try. We’d suggest that you head to the French Quarter – supposedly one of the most haunted places in the US. Tour one of its world-famous cemeteries such as the spooky 19th Century St Louis Cemetery, or visit the massive street party – where revellers don elaborate costumes – which takes over Frenchman Street. Go trick or treating in the French Market – a popular spot for seafood, try activities like pumpkin painting in public spaces and take a ghost train at Audubon Zoo’s annual ‘Boo at the Zoo’ event.
Get into the spirit of the season by travelling to Transylvania, renowned for its creepy gothic architecture, atmospheric forests and as the home of Dracula! The highlight for any itinerary is the magical Bran Castle – once the home of the real Dracula, Prince Vlad the Impaler. Tour this gothic fort, enjoy medieval folk music, sample traditional Romanian dishes and even attend its massive annual Halloween party! Make the most of Transylvania by visiting scary structures like the Curtea de Arges Monastery or touring Bucharest old town’s winding cobbled streets at night.
See your children’s eyes light up when you take them to the famous Halloween Parade in Kawasaki, Japan. The largest Halloween parade in the country, during this event people dress up as everything from fairytale figures to manga characters and parade down the streets, creating a vibrant colourful display for the whole family to enjoy. There’s a special kid’s parade the day before, giving your youngsters the chance to play dress up, and there’s even a Halloween make-up booth! Get into the Halloween vibe by attending a cult scary movie screening at venues across the city, while its other family-friendly attractions include the Yomiuriland theme park where you can ride water flumes!