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October Vacation Ideas

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October has become a month-long "Halloween Season" with special events everywhere from theme parks to country inns.

1. Halloween Events

October vacations - Halloween events - Photo ©  Teresa Plowright
Photo © Teresa Plowright
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.

2. Columbus Day Weekend Getaway Ideas

Columbus Day Weekend, Central Park, lake  - photo ©  Teresa Plowright.
Photo © Teresa Plowright.
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

fall foliage - Photo courtesy of Smugglers' Notch Resort.
Photo courtesy of Smugglers' Notch Resort.
Nature's autumn color show peaks in different weeks in different locations, and October has the best weeks in many places.

4. Ten Top Destinations with Kids in October

Montreal, Old Port. Photo © Teresa Plowright.
Montreal, Old Port. Photo © Teresa Plowright.
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.

5. October Packages at Country Inns & More

October getaways - Photo courtesy of Wildflower Inn, VT
Photo courtesy of Wildflower Inn, VT
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

corn mazes - Photo ©  Teresa Plowright
Photo © Teresa Plowright
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.

7. Pumpkin Patches

photo courtesy of PickaPumpkin.com
Photo courtesy of PickaPumpkin.com.
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.)

8. Howl-O-Ween at Great Wolf Lodges

Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge.
Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge.
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.

9. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World.
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World.
This popular event -- held on multiple nights in October at Walt Disney World -- sells out early.

10. Halloween Horror Nights

October vacations - Halloween Horror Nights - photo courtesy of Universal Orlando.
Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando.
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.

11. More Fall Travel Ideas

October getaway ideas - hay bale art - photo © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius.
"Hay bale art" in New England, photo © 2008 Kim Knox Beckius.
Weekend getaways in New England, family weekends at YMCA of the Rockies...

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