Our Favorite NOLA Halloween Tradition
I just love this time of year. For me, fall marks the beginning of a time of the year filled with traditions. I enjoy checking items off our fall bucket list, trips to the pumpkin patch, and all the fall activities, but I also treasure our family’s simple Halloween date. Six years ago, as I drove down St. Charles Avenue, a house decked out in skeletons caught my eye, and our Spooky Season tradition was born. We make a night of it, and I love this outing because it’s so easy, inexpensive, and customizable. You can make it your own regardless of your kids’ ages, time constraint, or budget.
We start our evening heading Uptown around 5 o’clock for dinner at Superior Grill. After dinner, we head to The Skeleton House. We’ve done this different ways. If the weather is nice, we will make the 1.5-mile walk (with my 11 and 8-year-old in tow, it takes us about 30 minutes one way). If we opt not to walk (like when the kids were smaller), we leave our car parked at Superior and hop on the streetcar. Either way, it’s a nice way to spend time together and admire the décor of the mansions on The Avenue. The Skeleton House is located at 6000 St. Charles Avenue and showcases a hilarious, creative, and punny display of probably over 75 skeletons. Each year we notice new skeletons, but still, some of our classic favorites, such as “Beanie BOO” and “TromBONE Shorty” appear annually. We spend about 20 minutes there walking the perimeter and posing for pictures (make sure to tag @skeletonhousenola on Insta!) as we laugh and appreciate the effort and ingenuity. Have a creative suggestion for next year? Drop your idea in their suggestion box, and you might see it next season!
Then, we take the streetcar to the beautiful and massive St. Andrew’s Pumpkin Patch, select a few of the best pumpkins (only what we can hold on the streetcar), and ride the streetcar back to our vehicle to finish the night at Ghost Manor. The Queen Anne-style Victorian is located at the corner of Magazine and Second. The full experience here probably takes another 20 minutes. A band of animatronic skeletons is synchronized to “play” along with spooky music. Projection technology and coordinated lighting effects enhance the show, which consists of a few Halloween-themed songs. For instance, one year, the “band” played “Thriller” as ghosts danced in the windows. I can’t really put how impressive Ghost Manor is into words—you just have to go there to appreciate it.
Important note: There is presently ongoing construction on the Carrollton streetcar route. Do your research to see that construction doesn’t interfere with your plans.
I love this night because there’s no pressure. We don’t need to dress up. We don’t need to buy tickets or spend a fortune. We can adjust our plans on the fly to shorten the evening or stretch it out. If it sounds like a lot for you, move the pumpkin patch to a separate day. Or, skip dinner, and grab takeout on the way home. The are a lot of ways to make this fall date suit your family. We tweak it a bit each year, but however we do it, we truly enjoy being together and marveling at our favorite decorations. We come home happy and energized, ready to kick off the holiday season.