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In many parts of the country, a crisp October chill gives the air an edge, seasonal autumn ciders join on-tap offerings and bright orange pumpkin patches dot street corners. The month is a flagship for all things fall and brings the arrival of Halloween, a.k.a. one of the best holidays of the year. But what to do when you have easily frightened little ones in tow, or just prefer your Halloween festivities of the kitten-peeping-out-of-a-pumpkin variety rather than a gory zombie chase? Here are 5 non-scary, all ages events to try this Halloween season:

RELATED: 19 trips to put on your fall bucket list


Flickr CC: Loren Javier

Disney Parks: Anaheim, CA and Orlando, FL

As you can guess, Disney’s Anaheim and Orlando theme parks are all about catering to families and when it comes to Halloween parties, they deliver with large doses of cuteness, fun and sugar. Both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom host special evening gatherings throughout October with themed parades, fireworks and trick-or-treat stations. If you can’t make it to the party, stop by the parks anytime throughout the month to enjoy colorful Halloween decorations, meet Mickey and Friends in their Halloween apparel (FACT: vampire Pluto is the cutest), and sample seasonal, pumpkin-flavored treats without having to worry about someone jumping out at you from behind a corner.

ALSO: Don’t be frightened of the scary savings you’ll get with Orbitz Rewards!

Pumpkin People in the Park: Chatham, MA

Visit Chatham, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod anytime between October 14–31 and gaze upon dozens of examples of pumpkin art. Residents and local business pour creative energy into transforming pumpkins into so much more (we can only presume their artistic endeavors are fueled by pumpkin spice lattes). The finished pumpkin masterpieces depict everything from historic scenes to lobsters. Attend during the city’s Oktoberfest (Saturday, October 22) for an entire day’s worth of charming Halloween amusement in Kate Gould Park.

Spooky Pooch Parade

Spooky Pooch Parade | Photo courtesy of @chicagobotanic

Spooky Pooch Parade: Chicago, IL

Pets in costumes are adorable and the Chicago Botanic Garden, 24 miles north of downtown Chicago in suburban Glencoe, embraces this precious quotient and the dressing up aspects of Halloween with their Spooky Pooch Parade. Pups and owners alike are encouraged to don costumes during their stroll through the gardens for the Halloween celebration. Dogs usually aren’t allowed, so it’s a special treat for all. Viewing the October 29 parade is free, so bring the family and stake a spot—or if you have a canine companion, make a costume and join the show.


Flickr CC: Chris

LEGOLAND: Carlsbad, CA and Winter Haven, FL

Why trick or treat when you can Brick-or-Treat? (#SeeWhatWeDidThere) LEGOLAND’s California and Florida locations play host to special blocky gatherings throughout the month of October. Each location has candy stations, character meet-and-greets, and craft opportunities, plus offerings likea Ghost Cruise and street shows that embrace the spirit of scares without actually frightening attendees.

Hayride to the Witches’ House: Media, PA

Halloween usually portrays witches with sinister intentions. (Just think of how many fairy tales involve witches eating children.) You can flip the narrative by taking Linvilla Orchard’s Hayride to the Witches’ House from October 7-30 in the charming Delaware County town of Media. A cozy hayride takes children and their parents to visit a kind, storytelling witch in the woods. Her jokes and tales come with a treat, and kids also get to stop by a campfire and roast marshmallows while sampling apple cider.

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Tagged: California, Disney, Family time, Florida, Midwest

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Amy Ratcliffe

Amy Ratcliffe

Amy is a Los Angeles-based writer who covers all things pop culture and is constantly afflicted with wanderlust. Follow her on Twitter at @amy_geek.

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