Local Happenings for the Entire Family

By Alicia Dziak

Halloween is almost here, which means there’s limited time left to squeeze in all the chills and thrills of the season. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly activities for the younger set or scary activities for a large group of friends, this area has something for everyone.

Family fun is synonymous with Pumpkinville, located at 4844 Sugartown Rd. in Great Valley. There, you’ll find endless activities for kids and adults alike. Enjoy the all-new pedal car track, a newly designed giant corn maze, Jumpin’ Pillows, hayrides, a corn cannon, cow train and loads of food options, including their famous pumpkin donuts. Daily hours are 9 a.m.–7 p.m. through Halloween. For more information, visit www.pumpkinville.com.

The second annual HallowScream Spooktacular takes place this weekend, on Sunday, Oct. 26 in Little Valley. The event includes the obstacle run Monster Dash, the Pumpkin Derby, a pumpkin carving contest, a costume parade, a haunted house and a trick or treat trail for children 12 and under. There will also be food and craft vendors in the fire hall parking lot throughout the day. For more information, visit www.LVVFD.com.

On Oct. 28, enjoy Halloween story telling at the Seneca Iroquois National Museum. The museum staff will be joined by creatures of the night for this event, 6–8:30 p.m., when you can hear and participate in scary stories.  Guests will also enjoy crafts and festive treats. For more information, visit the museum’s Facebook page (Seneca-Iroquois-National-Museum).

Take part in the Community Halloween Party on Oct. 31, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Ellicottville, Foundation for Youth and The American Legion. The party, held at the American Legion on Maples Road in Ellicottville, runs from 6–8 p.m., and admission is free. Kids will be able to trick or treat at the safe indoor location, as well as enjoy games, crafts, hayrides and scary fun for the whole family. (If you would like to donate candy/prizes or volunteer to help, please contact Colleen Blanchard at 699-8066.)

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ellicottville is holding a “Trunk or Treat” event on Friday, Oct. 31, when kids can trick or treat at the Halloween-decorated cars in the parking lot. The event, which takes place at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 6360 Route 242 in Ellicottville, runs from 5–7 p.m. and is open to the public.

For a truly haunting experience, check out the Nightmare Hayrides on Sommerville St., a 25-minute, tractor-drawn ride down a creepy path with spooky live creatures, followed by a haunted maze and a trip through the haunted barn, featuring a dizzying vortex tunnel. Nightmare Hayrides are held at 6319 Sommerville Rd., a short drive from the village, and take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings through Halloween. Admission is $17, and free for children under 5. For more information, visit www.nightmarehayride.com.

Is Gowanda’s Historic Hollywood Theater really haunted? Find out during Horror at the Hollywood 2014, at the Historic Hollywood Theater at 39 W. Main St. in Gowanda on the following dates and times: Friday, Oct.24, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 25, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 26, 3-6 p.m.; and Friday, Oct. 31, 6-9 p.m. Admission is $3 per person and free for ages 5 and under. All proceeds benefit the restoration of the Hollywood Theater.

The Woods at Bear Creek, in Franklinville, is offering haunted hayrides 6–10 p.m. on Oct. 31. For only $2, guests will enjoy a ride while encountering costumed creatures along the way, concluding with a stop at a haunted cabin. Follow it up with dinner at the resort’s restaurant, featuring a $10 fish fry that night. Since space is limited, reservations for the hayride are recommended by calling (716) 676-2327.

Halloween falls on a Friday this year, which means the spooky holiday continues through the weekend.

On Nov. 1, the EVL Half is coming to town— a half marathon, 5K and Kids’ Race through the streets of Ellicottville with participants decked out in optional costumes. For more information, visit

Head over to Gowanda for the annual Halloween Party and Pumpkin Drop at Gowanda Harley-Davidson, for a pumpkin-smashing good time. For more information, visit www.gowandaharley.com.

For an out-of-this-world Halloween event, head to the Dresser-Rand Challenger Center in nearby Allegany for an adults-only, simulated space Mission to Mars on Nov. 1. Costumes are optional. Tickets are $30 per person or $50 per couple and include pizza and drinks following the mission. For reservations, email fred@DRCLC.org or call (716) 379-8686. For more information, visit www.DRCLC.org.

Finally, Halloween in Ellicottville means you’re in store for lively local nightlife. Head out in costume or just to go people watch. When else can you dance with a super hero, share the bar with a ghoul or sing alongside some authentic ‘80s rockers? Gear up and enter the costume contest at The Gin Mill, take in some live music and dance the night away with your friends at the hoppin’ local establishments!

‘Tis the season for spooks, laughs, tricks, treats and everything in between. Get out and enjoy it before the clocks fall back and it’s too late — the remainder of the season promises to be so much fun, it’s scary!