Ellicottville Provides a Climbing, Screaming, Creative, Dancing Good Time for Adults & Kids

By Alicia Dziak

Just because you’re all grown up, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun during Halloween Season. Ellicottville and the surrounding towns offer a great variety of spooktacular activities for the oh-so-slightly-more-mature set.

Haunting Events

Since there’s safety in numbers, gather up some friends (especially those who won’t mind you jumping into their laps!) and head to Nightmare Hayrides on Sommerville St., a haunting experience that begins with a 25-minute, tractor-drawn ride down a creepy path with live creatures haunting the way. Next stop on the journey is a haunted maze sprawling over an acre of land, followed by a trip through the haunted barn, featuring a dizzying vortex tunnel. A new feature this year is the Gothic Chamber that you really must experience for yourself! Nightmare Hayrides are held at the same location as the Ellicottville Championship Rodeo, 6319 Sommerville Valley Rd. in Ellicottville on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings through Halloween. Admission is $17 for adults. For more information, visit www.nightmarehayride.com.

Looking for something a little less scary? Head to Pumpkinville, and feel like a kid again navigating your way through the corn maze, shooting the corn cannon, riding the hay wagon, racing around the new pedal car track, helicopter rides (weekends weather permitting) and bouncing on the Jumpin’ Pillows. The young at heart will love the huge selection of delectable treats — make it an afternoon date and take in the sights, sounds and smells of the season! For more information, visit www.pumpkinville.com.

If you’ve ever been to Sky High Adventure Park at Holiday Valley, it’s hard to imagine it being any more fun than it already is. But navigate the courses in the dark and you’ve got yourself a real challenge. Night Crawlers After Dark in the Aerial Park takes guests through its ropes, obstacle and zip line courses using only the provided headlamp as your guide. The 2.5-hour night climbs begin at 6 p.m. Reservations are required for this unique adventure taking place for the last time this season on Oct. 17-18. For more information, or to make reservations, call (716) 699-2345.

Discover for yourself if Gowanda’s Historic Hollywood Theater is really haunted during Horror at the Hollywood 2014. The tour takes place at the Historic Hollywood Theater at 39 W. Main St. in Gowanda on the following dates and times: Friday, Oct. 24 from 6-9 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 25 from 6-9 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 26 from 3-6 p.m., and Friday, Oct. 31 from 6-9 p.m. Admission is $3 per person and all proceeds benefit the restoration of the Hollywood Theater.

Feeling the need for spooky artistic inspiration? Head up to Springville where Van Over Fine Arts brings a ghoulish collection of artists together for a horror/Halloween-themed group show called “Dark Arts.” The exhibit kicked off with a public opening reception on Oct. 11. The show will run through Nov. 1. The gallery, located at 49 E. Main St. in Springville, is open Wednesdays through Saturdays 1-6 p.m. For more information, visit www.vanoverfinearts.blogspot.com.

After-Halloween Fun

Can’t get enough Halloween activities? You’re in luck! Since Halloween falls on a Friday this year, it’s easy to extend the fun for an extra day.

Nov. 1 brings the EVL Half to town — a half marathon, 5K and Kids’ Race through the streets of Ellicottville. A Halloween theme means your can get creative and wear a costume while you work off that trick-or-treating candy (admit it — we all dip into our kids’ stashes after they go to bed). Enjoy an after-party with live entertainment at Ellicottville Brewing Company. The fun begins at 11 a.m. on Monroe Street in the village. For more information, visit www.evlhalf.com.

For a roaring good time, head over to Gowanda on Nov. 1 for the annual Halloween Party and Pumpkin Drop at Gowanda Harley-Davidson, where you’ll find a slammin’ pumpkin drop on the pavement and staff dressed to the nines in costumes. The event runs 9 a.m.–3 p.m. For more information, visit www.gowandaharley.com.

Ever wonder what’s involved when heading to outer space? Time to find out! Head to the Dresser-Rand Challenger Learning Center in Allegany for a Halloween simulated space mission for adults only on Nov. 1. Costumes are optional, but learning something new and having a blast are a must! 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, you can’t mention Halloween in Ellicottville without mentioning all the fab hangouts in the village. Stay in the spirit and head out in costume to hit the dance floor or just plan to join some friends and people watch. You’re sure to see it all as you start at the Gin Mill, while listening to great live music and competing in a costume contest, complete with prizes, on Nov. 1. Be sure to check the Ellicottville Times on Oct. 31 to see the full entertainment lineup.

While many of the above events and places also welcome children, why not make it an adult good time with your friends … because Halloween isn’t just for kids. With so many ways to celebrate the season, you’re sure to have a scary good time.