Sep 17, 2020

Weekly Top Picks for Sept 18th - 23rd, 2020

We wait all year for this moment - the start of our favorite season!

(Cue: Record scratch) 

Let's get down to what you really want to know - what on earth will this Halloween season look like? Nobody saw this year shaping up the way it has... will our beloved season, celebrations, and traditions be yet another casualty of 2020? 

It will feel and be different--it just has to. We might not cram in two dozen haunt visits like we do most years or hit up your favorite Halloween parade --that's okay, it's just for now. But we definitely can all go out of our way to support those events and attractions that have found a way to adapt for public health considerations. 
Some Halloween events are taking a pause this year --that's also okay -- and we will be there at their door next year when they return, you can be sure of it.

What can you expect this year?
Fewer live-person events, more virtual event options. The in-person events will be smaller, customers spread out, ticket prices might be ever-so-slightly higher, and the experience might be uniquely different than what you experienced there in the past. 

There will be few festivals this year - not like we've always thought of them. Yet there will be smaller events with plenty of things you love and count on. There may or may not be a hayride this year to take you to the pumpkin patch. Several places have adjusted their event to a drive-through or even a drive-in experience which is no small feat for them to do. These in-person events are ultra-safe choices for people of any age to enjoy as they are experienced from the comfort and safety of their vehicles. 

You'll find new health and safety protocols in place - everything from handwashing stations to disposable gloves to temperature checks to marked out spaced out queues. As you would expect, wearing a mask is a non-negotiable requirement on all these properties, even outdoors.

Many attractions now require advanced ticket purchases (no walk-ups) and have implemented timed ticketing which means you'll need to show up at a specific time to your event. These are essential ways for event producers to manage the customer flow and stay within state and local restrictions for gathering limits. Without these restrictions and new ticket rules in place, many would not be permitted to open so please comply and support them--it's for your health and those you care about. Don't give them a hard time - they are looking out for you and for their staff.
But here we are - mid-September! The sleeping weather has been fabulous and the leaves are predictably starting to color. Pumpkins are still showing up on display at every local farm stand. Salem IS open for business with smaller distanced tours, boutiques fully-stocked, and the Salem restaurants are amazing as ever as they offer outdoor dining. September is an incredible time of year to visit the Witch City so get out to support our Salem folks.

As every year, Halloween New England will keep you posted all season long with upcoming events to help you stay on top of new Halloween experiences and alerted to new attractions. 
Tune in each Thursday for our Top Picks, highlights for the weekend, special events not to be missed, incredible contests, and other essential info to keep you on top of everything this Halloween. We add dozens of new events every week and you'll never find more Halloween events in a single place than on Halloween New England.

If you are looking to narrow down our events listings to all-ages experiences, try our Family-Friendly Halloween Event Guides in several states will help you spot wonderful Halloween and pumpkin events for making memories and starting new traditions this year.

At this point in September, there is just a smattering of Halloween themed and seasonally-inspired events. As we get closer to October 31st you'll see more highlighted events to consider across New England...and of course, we always have more listings than what you see here--plus events in the future--listed on the website. To whet your appetite for the season, here are a few worthwhile events for this weekend.


Our top picks this weekend are no-brainers - it's the opening weekend for Barrett's Haunted Mansion's new Screens and Screams experience - a drive-in horror movie double-features with an extra layer of scary piled on in a way only THEY would be able to pull off! Remember that horror movie where the person is trapped in a car with the serial killer outside the window and there's no way to escape? Yeah, that's basically you now... but with on-site food delivered to your car if you want.
Go check out the Friday, Sept 18th doubleheader of "An American Werewolf in London" / "The Thing" and Saturday, Sept 19th is "Insidious" / "The Conjuring". Advance tickets are required so get them before they sell out! More details.

For a virtual event (open to anyone) hosted out of the Groveland Public Library, you might enjoy checking out the "Spirits of New England" Presentation with Dustin Pari, a paranormal investigator you might recognize from his time on Ghost Hunters on the SyFy Channel. This online presentation does require advance registration in order to receive the Zoom link. 


In Torrington this Thursday, Sept 17th is the All Hallow's Eve Tea Party - a free, outdoor event hosted by the local library. You can join the renowned Mrs. Gordon for a spooktacular evening to kick off the Halloween season with tales of the supernatural and a discussion of 19th and 20th Century Halloween traditions. Pre-registration required - Event Details 

In downtown New Haven, the weekly Wednesday outdoor movies in Pitkin Plaza have been extended through October! No registration needed - just show up early to check out "Ghostbusters" on Wednesday, Sept 23rd for some family-friendly cinema. Event Details. Events like these are always weather dependent to be sure to watch the forecast.

Rhode Island

Our top pick in Rhode Island this weekend will be the perfect way to soak up a gorgeous weekend of crisp fall weather! The annual Harry Potter Day festivities at Escobar Farm in Portsmouth, RI is lined up for this Saturday, Sept 19th - Event Details
Escobar Farm has a HUGE corn maze which is always well-run and creatively designed--and you couldn't find a more scenic farm!


Our highlight of this weekend in the Green Mountain State takes place in Danville with an outdoor screening of  "The Goonies" right on Danville Green! No pre-registration is required and weather is always a consideration so be sure to check in with them before you head out! Event Details.

The always popular Giant Pumpkin Weigh-in at Sam Mazza Farms is lined up for this Saturday, September 19th which is accompanied by plenty of outdoor harvest activities and family fun at one of their most beloved pumpkin events of the fall season! There is a ton of other farm fun to be had at this scenic farm in northern Vermont- corn maze, stunning baked good, you name it!.

CONTESTS: Opening Weekend Giveaways, Invite-Only Nights, and Tickets Galore!

We've got six contests live on Halloween New England right now plus more posted over the weekend! Find ALL the contests that you can enter HERE.

Enter to WIN a four-pack of tickets to 13th World Haunted Trail in Cumberland, RI or enter our latest chance to win entry to the special invite-only night at Haunted Overload in Lee, NH. We're running our first of only two chances to win a tour with Seaside Shadows Haunted History Tours in Mystic, CT, and you'll definitely want to try your luck winning admission to The Dark Manor Haunted House in Baltic. CT.

We've got an amazing contest up for a car-load ticket (up to 6 people!) to experience Screens and Screams Horror Drive-in experience at Barrett's Haunted Mansion in Abington and your first shot at winning a vehicle admission to the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular new drive-through carved pumpkin festival where you will experience the magic of thousands of carved pumpkins in a (gently) spooky atmosphere!

Visit Halloween New England's home page for contest details and links for entering to win!

Haunted Houses, Haunted Mazes, and Haunted Hayrides Opening Friday, September 18th

The Haunted Isle (CT)

Haunted Houses, Haunted Mazes, and Haunted Hayrides Opening Saturday, September 19th

Coppal House Farm (NH) – non-haunted Flashlight Corn Maze

We're thrilled to have teamed up again with the uber-talented The Pixel Perfection: After Dark whose incredibly creepy and inspiring haunt photos populate the guides again this year. As always, we know you love their photos...just please don't steal their photos! Why not just follow them on Facebook or Instagram or hire them to capture your Halloween attraction or event?

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