I’ll admit that I go a bit overboard when the first crisp breeze rolls through New Orleans. I NEVER, and I mean never wait until October to put my Halloween decorations up. And I cannot pass up the Halloween section at Hobby Lobby without filling my cart. I LOVE HALLOWEEN and all things that celebrate it. Haunted houses, haunted hayrides, 80’s horror films, and creepy décor. But, not all Halloween festivities are appropriate for kiddos … especially the itty bitty ones. So, what are parents to do with their young ones who still need Halloween to be silly and not spooky?!
I’m so glad you asked! Here is a list of my favorite Halloween festivities around the city that are kiddo approved.
- Ghost In The Oaks at City Park: This is HANDS DOWN the best event in the city for kiddos. The ticket includes access to Story Land and City Park Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. There are “spooky” decorations in the form of purple, orange, and green lights, spider webs, and creepy crawlies all over the park. The event is from Thursday, October 20th – Sunday, October 23rd this year, and each day has limited ticket numbers. So, the park is always pleasantly full but not packed for this event. There are also trick-or-treat stations, craft stations, and a pumpkin patch set up in the park for added fun. Costumes are encouraged, but not required. Tickets sell out FAST! So, be sure to check out freindsofcitypark.com for details about when tickets go on sale.
- Peek-a-Boo at the Zoo: This event is fun for the whole family but is especially great for little kiddos. Friends are encouraged to wear their favorite costumes and bring goodie bags for trick or treating. There are also several craft activities, scary & non-scary haunted houses, a ghost train, and entertainment stages throughout the zoo. The event is free for Audubon members with advanced reservations. All proceeds for this event benefit Children’s Hospital of New Orleans. The date for this year has not been finalized, but you can find info on event dates and ticket prices at audubonnatureinstitue.com
- Krewe of Boo: You don’t want to miss New Orleans’ official Halloween Parade! This parade was originated by Blaine Kern as a way to raise relief funds after Katrina and was so successful, that it’s become a New Orleans staple. This Krewe boasts 450 riders, 15 floats, and 35 marching groups….and the costumes are larger than life! The parade is very kid-friendly, so the whole family can enjoy it! Costumes are highly encouraged, and throw bags are recommended to keep track of all your loot. The parade will roll through downtown NOLA on Saturday, October 22 at Sunset. Be sure to get a great spot so you don’t miss any of the action! You can find event details at kreweofboo.com
- Ghost Manor: This is a free experience right in the heart of NOLA. This local Victorian-style home, appropriately re-named “Ghost Manor” during Halloween is on the corner of Magazine and Second street and is a MUST-SEE for anyone living in or traveling to NOLA. The house is decorated from roof to ground in animatronic pumpkins, singing skeletons, spooky lights, and insane technological displays….all set to Halloween music. It truly is an incredible sight to see. The display typically “opens” the second week of October every year as a static display, and the animatronics are in full force by the last two weeks of the month. For exact details on dates and times, the display will be running, check ghostmanor.org for details.