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2011 - Best Family Halloween Events Around Boston

- By Christy MatteCelebrating Halloween in Massachusetts provides plenty of options. For the true fans, you can simply head over to Salem during the month of October for your fill of spooky delights. For those who won't settle for anything less, check out our Salem Halloween Guide. But for those with younger kids and less patience for traffic, there are other treats in store.
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Boo at the Zoo/Zoo Howl

Stone Zoo/Franklin Park Zoo
October 22-23/October 29-30
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for both zoos
Free with Regular Admission

Stone Zoo
149 Pond Street
Stoneham, MA 02180
(781) 438-5100

Franklin Park Zoo
One Franklin Park Road
Boston, MA 02121
(617) 541-5466

Halloween at either zoo is pretty tame so it's a perfect choice for your littlest ghouls and goblins. Go trick-or-treating among your favorite animals. Settle in for crafts. Get your Halloween game on. And then navigate the Haunted Maze. If that doesn't wear you out, there are still plenty of exhibits to explore. The zoos run their events on different weekends, so you can mark your calendar to do them both. If you have to choose, though, Stone Zoo is much more manageable for toddlers due to the size. Don't forget your costumes…

(Photo Credit: Boston Red Sox)

SpookyWorld Presents The Fear at Fenway

4 Yawkey Way
Boston, MA 02215
(603) 913-9098
October 28-November 6
5 p.m.-10:00 p.m. daily, additional family matinee 11 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on weekends
Admission: Adults $45.00, VIP: $69, Matinee: $19

Halloween scares at Boston landmark Fenway Park? Sounds like more of a dream than a nightmare to me. Hold your breath through the Hancock Hill Cemetery, tiptoe through Brigham Manor, and try to stay calm through the 3D Freakout. If you're bringing the kids, aim for the family-friendly matinee shows on the weekends.

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Ghost Train at Edaville Railroad

5 Pine Street
Carver, MA 02330
(508) 866-8190
October 29 & 30
5:30 p.m., 6 p.m & 8 p.m.
Admission: $13 per person

There isn't a lot creepier than cranberry bogs at night on Halloween weekend. Edaville's Ghost train travels right through those bogs, as they weave their own version of a ghost story involving the founder of the park. Other attractions in the park are closed during this event, and it is open only to ages 8 and up with adult accompaniment for those under the age of 14. In other words, this is slated to be a scary ride.

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Things That Go Bump in the Night

Old Sturbridge Village
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road
Sturbridge, MA 01566
(508) 347-3362
October 29
5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Admission: $15 per person in advance, $17 at the door, Kids under 3 are free

Surely there must be at one ghost haunting the grounds of Old Sturbridge Village. Take your chances as you visit the haunted pumpkin patch and trick-or-treat around the Center Village. Your family will also enjoy ghost stories, juggling, a puppet show and more. For the extra daring, those 11 and older can tackle the Trail of Terror (requiring additional ticket fees of $8 per person) as they head out into the darkness beyond the Center Village. Advance registration is suggested.

(Photo credit: GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

Pru Boo

800 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02199
(617) 236-3100
October 30
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Admission: $4

This annual event at the Shops at the Prudential Center is a charitable one. This year, the entry fee goes to support Room to Grow, an organization that supports infants born into poverty. The fee includes a goodie bag that your trick-or-treater can then fill by visiting shops around the mall. Kids will enjoy other activities, as well, such as face painting and a magic show.

Christy Matte is a local freelance writer and blogger, as well as co-founder of Boston Parent Bloggers. She blogs about parenting, travel, tech, and philanthropy at

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