Looking for new ways to celebrate the spooky season (or just want to get more use out of your little ghoul's pricey getup)? Here's a roundup of fun-filled Halloween happenings in Boston and beyond:
Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, RI. Through Nov. 3, 6-11 p.m. Mon. - Thurs.: adults $12; seniors, $10 seniors; ages 3-12, $9; under 3, free. Fri. - Sun.: adults, $15; seniors, $13; ages 3-12, $12; under 3, free. Thousands of illuminated pumpkins on display in a woodland setting, hundreds of which are carved with amazing artistry. www.rwpzoo.org
Great Pumpkin Fest, Ecotarium, 222 Harrington Way, Worcester. Sat., Oct 19, noon-9 p.m. $15; members, $12; under 2, free. Halloween fun, as well as a display of 1,500 carved jack-o'-lanterns, which are lit after dark. The museum and grounds will be open for exploring exhibits, visiting animals, taking in a free digital planetarium show, and enjoying free hayrides and train rides, as well as face painting, pumpkin-carving demonstration, crafts, animal encounters, and much more. Family-friendly costumes are encouraged. www.ecotarium.org (Photo: Scott Erb)
19th Annual Children's Haunted Playground, Martin's Pond, 61 Burroughs Rd., North Reading. Sat., Oct. 19, 5:30-9 p.m. Free. Haunted tour tickets $5 (3 and under free). Family-friendly Halloween festival that includes a kid's costume parade, games, a free scavenger hunt, magic shows, haunted tour, and food.
Martin's Pond, 61 Burroughs Road, North Reading. www.martinspond.org
Boo at the Zoo. Stone Zoo, 149 Pond St., Stoneham. Sat. & Sun., Oct. 19-20, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Free with admission: adults, $14; seniors, $12; ages 2-12, $10; under 2, free. Trick-or-treat among the animals. Thrills, chills, and animals lurk around every corner on the Trick-or-Treat Trail. Other haunted happenings offered throughout the day include creepy crafts, ghoulish games, howling and costume contests, and a haunted maze. www.zoonewengland.org (Photo: Dayle Sullivan Taylor)
Fort Point Channel Pumpkin Pageant, 300 Congress St., Boston. Thurs., Oct. 24, noon - 4 p.m. Free. Children and their families are invited to celebrate ghouls, ghosts and all things Halloween during an afternoon of pumpkin carving and fall fun. All pumpkins, child-friendly carving utensils, and refreshments are free throughout the afternoon. www.friendsoffortpointchannel.org
Treats and Tricks, Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge. Thurs., Oct. 24, 6-8 p.m. Adults $24; seniors, $22; ages 3-17, $8.00; 2 and under free. Safe, family-friendly trick-or-treating. See living scarecrows, cackling witches, and grizzled wizards. Other events include puppetry, juggling, and magic. www.osv.org
Franklin Park Halloween Night Hike, Franklin Park, Circuit Dr. and Glen Rd., Dorchester. Fri., Oct. 25, free. Appropriate for toddlers through adults. Walk through the spooky forest, explore the old stone ruins, and hike under the moonlight. You'll be safely led through the woods of Franklin Park. Costumes and strollers not recommended. Participants should wear sneakers. www.franklinparkcoalition.org
Frightful Fridays: Ghost Stories in the Museum, Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham. Fri., Oct. 25, 7 & 8:30 p.m. $15; members and ages 5-12, $10. Guides lead visitors through the 1806 Governor Gore mansion where they'll hear ghost stories from New England and beyond. www.goreplace.org
Trunk or Treat. Covenant Christian Academy,83 Pine St., Peabody. Sat., Oct. 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Free. A parking lot full of decorated cars for kids to trick-or-treat from trunk to trunk. Free candy, bouncy house, food and drink. Visit the event's Facebook page for more information.
Halloween Zoo Howl, Franklin Park Zoo, One Franklin Park Rd., Dorchester. Sat. & Sun., Oct. 26-27, 11 a.m. 3 p.m. Adults, $17; seniors, $14; ages 2-12, $11; under 2 free. Creature encounters, creepy crafts, ghoulish games, a trick-or-treat trail and the haunted maze. Other activities include music by Magic 106.7, the chance to view special Halloween-themed animal enrichment, and hay rides. www.zoonewengland.org (Photo: Franklin Park Zoo)
Halloween Romp, Children's Museum in Easton, 9 Sullivan Ave., Easton. Sat., Oct. 26, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. $7.50; under 1, free. Witness creepy creatures by New England Reptile and Raptor, create some creepy Halloween crafts, and take part in spooky games and mind-blowing science experiments. Catch Awesome Robb’s Mad Scientist Magic Shows at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.Those who are brave enough to participate in all of these activities will earn a special treat. www.childrensmuseumineaston.org
Haunted Higgins, Higgins Armory Museum. 100 Berber St., Worcester. Sat., Oct. 26, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Adults, $12; ages 4-16, $8; 3 and under, free. A spooktacular Halloween Party for the entire family. Storytelling, trick-or-treating, creepy crafts, and ghouls and goblins around every corner. www.higgins.org
Pumpkin Float. 170 Hallet St., Dorchester. Sat., Oct. 26, 5:30 - 7 p.m. Free. Bring your carved jack-o'-lanterns and watch them float in Davenport Creek. Halloween costumes encouraged. Pumpkins can be no larger than 8 inches, or they won’t float. Free candy bags for kids and hot chocolate and float materials provided. After the event, pumpkins are collected for compost and used in Boston's gardens. www.bostonnatural.org
Annual Pumpkins in the Park, Polley Lane, Walpole. Sat., Oct. 26, 5-7 p.m. Free. Visit the park with a carved pumpkin and small candle to help illuminate the field and walkways. Participants should prepare their carvings for one of the following categories: scariest, funniest, most unusual, most creative, most traditional, and senior (adults). There will be storytelling and games, and costumes are encouraged. www.thetrustees.org
Pru Boo Trick-or-Treat for Charity,The Shops at the Prudential Center, Boston. Sun., Oct. 27, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. $4 donation to benefit The Home for Little Wanderers. Your donation buys you a bag for trick-or-treating at more than 50 stores. There will be entertainment and appearances, including Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys, characters such as Elmo, members of the Boston Ballet, and interactive activities from the New England Aquarium. Parking at Prudential Center, $16. www.prudentialcenter.com (Photo: Prudential Center)
Boo Bash, Providence Children's Museum, Providence, RI. Sun., Oct. 27, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. $9. Play bewitching games, have hands-on fun with imaginative arts and “witch crafts,” explore an eerie environment, mix it up in the mad scientist’s laboratory and much more. Come in costume and have a blast at the biggest Halloween bash around. www.childrenmuseum.org
Fall Pumpkin Festival at Frog Pond., Boston Common, Boston. Sun., Oct. 27, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Free. Hundreds of illuminated jack-o’-lanterns will be floated on the water and ParkSCIENCE activities will be offered. Attendees are asked to bring 8-inch or smaller carved pumpkins that will be lit and then floated on the Frog Pond for an early evening display. All are encouraged to wear costumes for the Halloween parade. Other activities include a puppet show, a magic show, and a giant bubble show. www.cityofboston.gov
Jungle Jim Halloween Show, Watertown Free Public Library. Thurs., Oct. 31, 3:30 p.m. Free. Ages 5-12. Focusing on Halloween safety and fun, our mad scientist presents challenges to prepare children for the adventure that is Halloween. www.watertownlib.org
Halloween with Curious George, Curious George Store, 1 JFK St., Cambridge. Thurs., Oct. 31. RSVP required for either of the two remaining programs at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Listen to a reading of Curious George Goes to A Costume Party and other great Halloween stories. Other activities include quick and easy costume crafts, and treats. Free. www.thecuriousgeorgestore.com (Photo: Kristi Palma/Boston.com staff)
Spooky Story Slam by Massmouth, Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. Thurs., Oct. 31, 8-10 p.m. $10; members, $8. Ages 13 and up. Professional storytellers duke it out in an uncensored scary story showdown. After the show, head to the lobby to make your very own fairy tale character finger puppet. www.puppetshowplace.org
Sweet Swap, 61 Cedar St., East Greenwich, RI. Fri., Nov. 1, 5-7:30 p.m. In exchange for unopened Halloween candy, children will have the opportunity to play games for prizes, enter raffles, and receive oral health goodies. Cards will be available for kids to write special messages that will be included in the care packages. All candy will be sent to U.S.troops in holiday care packages. Free. www.eventful.com/eastgreenwich/events
More Halloween fun...
If your kids love haunted houses, check out our haunted houses map to discover the location, as well as the cost and description (and maybe even a coupon!), for a haunted house near you. (Photo: John Tlumacki/Boston Globe)
Boston-area folks are showing off their creative pumpkin-carving skills. Share your jack-o'-lantern photos! (Photo: Submitted by a reader)
We want to see your little cuties in costume! Please share a photo with us. This is Nina, from Newton, as a bumblebee. (Photo: Submitted by Yelena of Newton)
Does your pet need a costume this Halloween? Get some ideas by checking out these popular pet costumes for 2013. (Photo: Pawsh Dog Boutique)
Do you have a black cat? Share a photo and a story about your black kitty. This is Jinx, owned by Kevin in Cambridge. (Photo: Submitted by Kevin in Cambridge)
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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.