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 any store 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 19th – Sunday, October 22nd 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 get your tickets here.
- Boo at the Zoo: This spooktacular, daytime 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, maze, food truck, and entertainment stages throughout the zoo. There is even an extinct species graveyard! The event will take place from Thursday October 20th – Sunday October 22nd, and will require tickets fort entry. All proceeds for this event benefit Children’s Hospital of New Orleans and the Audubon Zoo.
- 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 21st at 6:30pm. Be sure to get a great spot so you don’t miss any of the action! You can find event details here.
- 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 here for details.
- Halloweekend at Louisiana Children’s Museum: Get ready for a spooky good time at the Louisiana Children’s Museum! This event will run Saturday, October 28th through Sunday, October 29th. Friends are invited to partake in spooky stories by the campfire, magic potion brewing, pumpkin painting, and a look at some creepy crawlies in the edible garden. All guest, including the adults, are encouraged to come in costume. Find more information on the event here.
- LOOP NOLA Trick-Or-Treat Treasure Hunt: While I have not experienced this personally, I have some friends who have done this and say it’s a great experience for little and big kids alike. Although some invasive aquatic species have limited the ability to be water bound this year, the LOOP NOLA team has still found a way to keep this adventure fun and interactive. This year’s treasure hunt will be pirate themed, and will include a treasure map of Scout Island that is sure to test even the most experienced pirates’ hunting skills. The hunt lasts about an hour, and offers other fun activities like s’more roasts, and Halloween themed games upon your return. Costumes for all participants are encouraged, and all ages are welcome! The event will take place nightly October 20th through the 23rd, and October 27th through the 29th. You can find more details about the event here.
7. The Monster Mash by St. Tammany Parenting Center: While this is another one I have not personally experienced, I have heard wonderful things from friends! This family friendly fall festival has been part of the Northshore community for 35 years, and provides a fun and safe Halloween experience for kids of all ages. The festival offers trick-or-treating, music, cookie decorating, crafts, carnival rides and so much more! Costumes are encouraged, and all proceeds support the St. Tammany Health System’s Parenting Center. The event will take place on Saturday, October 21st from 10 am to 2 pm. You can find more information on the event here.