By Alicia Dziak
The days are getting shorter and the air is getting cooler, which can only mean one thing — Halloween will soon be here, filled with giggling kids, carved jack-o-lanterns and treats galore. Remember how much fun it was to be a kid at this time of year? Stop by some local spots sure to make you feel like a kid again!
For the Younger Set
Looking for pumpkins and a variety of fall activities? Pumpkinville has it all — tractor rides, a corn maze, new Jumpin Pillows, weekend helicopter rides and more — not to mention a huge variety of delicious homemade treats, and, of course, loads of pumpkins! Walk through the Spookin Barn, a dark but not-so-scary walk-through building geared toward the younger set. With so much fun to be had, it’s no wonder Pumpkinville has become a family tradition for so many near and far. You can even get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping in their gift shop. For more information, visit www.pumpkinville.com.
There will be plenty of unique family fun at Springville’s first annual Screamsville, a series of Halloween-themed events happening throughout October. On Oct. 26, the annual children’s costume parade begins at noon (participants should line up on Mechanic Street in front of M&T Bank) and will be followed by a Halloween party in the Concord Town Hall. Other Screamsville events include a pumpkin carving contest, crafts and a ghost walk. Take the short drive from Ellicottville to Springville’s historic downtown to see the stores decked out for Halloween and get in on the Screamsville fun. For more information, visit www.screamsville.com.
On Oct. 27, Little Valley will be holding the first annual HallowScream Spooktacular. Events include a pumpkin derby, costume parade, monster dash and indoor trick or treat trail, and a haunted house for older kids. The day will end with a Monster Dance performance. Visitors will also enjoy the craft and food vendors. For more information, visit www.lvvfd.com.
On Oct. 31, Good Times of Olean will be hosting a Kids’ Halloween party 6–8 p.m. The party will include a costume contest, bobbing for apples and other treats. For more information, visit www.goodtimesolean.com.
Also on Oct. 31, 6–8 p.m., the Rotary Club of Ellicottville, Foundation for Youth and The American Legion will sponsor a Community Halloween Party at the American Legion on Maples Road in Ellicottville. Kids will have the opportunity to Trick or Treat at a safe indoor location. Games, hayrides and scary fun for the whole family, with candy and other treats for the kids. This party is free to all and has established itself as the place to be on Halloween for kids of all ages.
During Ellicottville’s Trick or Treat hours (5–8 p.m.), be sure to help others by dropping off a canned good at the United Church Community Food Pantry at 53 Elizabeth St. during the Trick or Eat Awareness Can Drive. There will be a treat for all children and parents who share with our pantry.
A Bigger Scare if You Dare
Do you have older kids who might like something a little scarier? The Enchanted Mountains have some great places to explore for a frightfully good time.
From Saturday, Oct. 25-27, and also on Halloween, visitors to the Gowanda will love Horror at the Hollywood, a hauntingly fun walk through the Historic Hollywood Theater, located at 39 West Main St. in Gowanda. For more information, visit www.gowandahollywoodtheater.com.
Go for a Fright Night aerial climb at Holiday Valley’s Sky High Aerial Park on Oct. 25 and 26. The Night Crawlers climb takes place on their challenge courses and is only lit by the light of your headlamp (provided). Get ready for some spooky Halloween encounters. Climbs begin at 6 p.m. and end at 9:30 p.m. Reservations are required. Climbers must be age be at least 7 years of age and at least 36 inches tall. For more information and to make a reservation, call (716) 699-HIGH (4444).
Walk if you dare through the Haunted Hotel Experience at the Dudley in Salamanca, N.Y. Meander through the 145-year-old hotel and basement for a frightfully good time. Event takes place Fridays and Saturdays through October 26, 7–11 p.m. Call (716) 945-2002 for more information.
Nightmare Hayrides on Sommerville Street is a tractor-drawn hayride leading guests down a creepy haunted path with live scary creatures. The spooky journey includes a walk through a one-acre haunted maze and continues into a haunted barn featuring a vortex tunnel. For more information, visit www.nightmarehayride.com
Halloween activities are a great way to reconnect with your kids and spend some quality time together making memories. Map out your adventure and enjoy some of Western New York’s best treats before October is gone!