October has become a month-long "Halloween Season" with special events everywhere from theme parks to country inns.
Every year brings more Halloween events, from Boos at Zoos, to Haunted Houses, to creepy fun staged everywhere from science museums to theme parks to corn mazes. Here's a round-up of Halloween fun in many locations.
Columbus Day is a federal holiday in the US, celebrated on the second Monday in October, and many families take the opportunity to enjoy a long-weekend getaway. (Meanwhile, across the border, Canadians are having a long weekend too, for Thanksgiving.)
3. Fall Foliage
Nature's autumn color show peaks in different weeks in different locations, and October has the best weeks in many places.
Suggestions include the Kids Euro Festival in Washington DC (a performing arts festival with more than 200 free events), Montreal Quebec, Cooperstown NY, Asheville NC, a great spot in the Colorado Rockies to hear elk bugling, and more.
Families can take the opportunity to have a fall weekend getaway in the country, with Halloween themes. See suggestions at country inns, grand hotel, indoor waterpark resort...
6. Corn Mazes
Visiting a corn maze is a great family outing, and many corn mazes stay open into October. Check for night-time hours: kids can enjoy the spooky atmosphere of a tromp through a dark maze.
Get ready for Halloween by personally selecting the pumpkin you're going to carve. Combine a weekend in the country with a visit to a corn maze and a pumpkin patch (-often you can find both at one place.)
Great Wolf Lodge is a big name in indoor waterpark resorts, and every October brings "Howl-O-Ween", with trick-or-treat trails, special story-time, costume contests, hay-rides, and more.
This popular event -- held on multiple nights in October at Walt Disney World -- sells out early.
Unlike Mickey's party, Universal Orlando gets very scary indeed, with multiple Halloween Horror Nights in October. About.com's Guide for Theme Parks has the scoop; he also overviews Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood in California.
Weekend getaways in New England, family weekends at YMCA of the Rockies...