There are a ton of Halloween events happening this month all over the greater Cleveland/Akron region. How do you know which ones are fun, which ones are scary, which ones are crazy crowded, and which ones are worth your time?
Well, lucky for you, I have hit a ton of these events over the last four years and am happy to share my hard-earned experience with you! Each event is ranked in categories of Scare Factor, Bedtime Buster, and Crowd Control, plus I’ve included information on dates, times and prices. Happy Halloween-ing!
Cleveland Metroparks Boo at the Zoo
Where: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
When: October 12 through October 28 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights from 5-9 p.m.
Tickets: $10 for zoo members and $11 for non-members in advance, $14 for all at the box office, free for children under 2. Purchase here.
Scare Factor: 1/10. This event is designed to appeal to every child and focuses on fun Halloween décor, rather than scary elements. Even the train ride, which goes through a decorated tunnel, is filled with friendly ghosts, rather than scary ghouls.
Bedtime Buster: 4/10. If you have a wee one whose bedtime is sacrosanct, you can easily arrive at 5 p.m. and be done in time for bedtime.
Crowd Control: 5/10. It can get busy for sure. But really the only place you’ll notice it is in the parking lot. The zoo is so big and there are so many things to do while at Boo at the Zoo that we’ve never felt crowded.
Cleveland Museum of Natural History Owls & Howls
When: Saturday, October 27 at 10 a.m.
Tickets: Included with general museum admission, which is free for members, $17 for adults age 19 and older, $14 for children ages 3-18, and free for children under 3. All children under 12 dressed in costume receive free admission for this event. Purchase admission here.
Scare Factor: 1/10. This is another event that focuses on fun, child-friendly Halloween elements, with pumpkin decorating, special animal shows, and more.
Bedtime Buster: 0/10. A daytime event means no bedtime worries!
Crowd Control: 7/10. It definitely gets crowded, especially since this is a one-time event. As much as I enjoy the Museum café, I would have a back-up plan for lunch particularly.
Greater Cleveland Aquarium Captain NEO’s Hauntaquarium
Where: Greater Cleveland Aquarium
When: Fridays and Saturdays, October 19, 20, 26, and 27 from 6-9 p.m.
Tickets: $10 for members, $12 for non-members, children under 2 are free. Purchase tickets here.
Scare Factor: 1/10. This pirate-themed party focuses on underseas adventure, rather than scares.
Bedtime Buster: 8/10. While you can go on the early end of the party, to get your full enjoyment, you will likely bypass bedtime that night.
Crowd Control: 5/10. There are lots of things to do that keep the crowd moving through the aquarium, so it doesn’t feel too crowded.
Lake Metroparks Farmpark Haunted Hayrides
Where: Lake Metroparks Farmpark
When: Fridays and Saturdays, October 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and 27 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Tickets: Sold out for 2018. Stay tuned in September 2019 for next year’s tickets.
Scare Factor: 5/10. Some of the “stops” that you pass on the hayride can be a bit scary for younger children. After the hayride, you have two trails you can take for more Halloween fun: scary and not scary. If you take the not scary path, the scare factor drops to 0/10.
Bedtime Buster: 9/10. Even if you’re on the 6:30 p.m. wagon, by the time you take the ride and enjoy the fun after the hayride (which is optional), you’ve passed up bedtime.
Crowd Control: 5/10. The busiest part is waiting in line to get on your wagon. Beyond that, the pacing is such that you won’t realize how many people are there!
Cedar Point Halloweekends
Where: Cedar Point
When: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through October 28
Tickets: Starting at $44. Click here for information and to purchase.
Scare Factor: For the Great Pumpkin Fest (during the day), 5/10. There are some scarier decorations out in the park, but they are mostly avoidable and not active during day hours. If you stay past dark for Haunt, the scare factor is definitely 10/10.
Bedtime Buster: 3/10. It all depends what part of Halloweekends you want to participate in, but for those for whom bedtime is a concern, you’ll want to do the Great Pumpkin Fest, which only occurs during daylight hours.
Crowd Control: 5/10. Halloweekends can get busy, but similar to the zoo, the area is so large and there are so many things to do that you don’t really notice it.
I hope this helps in your Halloween revelry! Enjoy — and tell me about your favorite Halloween activities, too!
From Cleveland That I Love,