It has been another scary year, but if you’re looking to celebrate spooky season with some Halloween-themed fun, this one’s for you.
This year, more Halloween attractions are open but many are altering their normal operations to create a safe environment for guests. If you decide to go, expect to follow the usual COVID-19 precautions, like mask-wearing and social distancing, to keep real-life risk to a minimum.
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The Philadelphia area has plenty of Halloween attractions to consider. Here, we’ve rounded up 13 options from the family friendly to the truly scary — all within about 80 miles of Center City. Check out the list below:
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After a one-year hiatus, Eastern State Penitentiary is once again celebrating Halloween — just a little differently than its Terror Behind the Walls haunted house. Halloween Nights at Eastern State Penitentiary promises 15 spooky attractions of all different scare levels, including new options for kids. Make your way through three live performance areas, four themed bars and lounges, three immersive (not scary) walkthrough experiences, and two (scary) haunted houses. Be sure to bring a mask, as all visitors are required to wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status.
Don’t miss: Happening nightly, Philadelphia Ghost Tours offers a scary, historic candlelit tour of the backstreets, graveyards, and real haunted houses in Old City.
📍 2027 Fairmount Ave., → Less than two miles from Center City, 📞 215-236-3300, 🌐 easternstate.org/halloween, 📷 @easternstate, 🕑 Select days through Nov. 13
This is a classic Halloween destination for youngsters thanks to activities like themed hayrides, a corn maze, and a jack-o-lantern exhibit. Timed tickets are required for some activities, but if you’re just buying some pumpkins or hitting the petting zoo, feel free to just show up (and wear your mask and social distance). Kid-friendly.
Don’t miss: For the full fall experience, stop by Linvilla’s farm market bakery, where you can grab autumnal favorites like apple cider donuts.
📍137 W Knowlton Rd, Media, → 22 miles from Center City, 📞 610-876-7116, 🌐 linvilla.com, 📷 @linvillaorchards, 🕑 Through Nov. 7
This Jersey farm has been serving up scares for more than 25 years, this time around with attractions like The Ride of Terror (a haunted hayride), Harvest (a scary outdoors walk-through), and a Haunted Paintball Hayride (where you fight off hordes of zombies). Masks, social distancing, and the use of hand sanitizer throughout your visit are highly recommended
Don’t miss: Need a beer for your fear? This haunt is less than 10 miles from a few great Jersey breweries, including Human Village Brewing Co. and Bonesaw Brewing Co.
📍448 Lincoln Mill Rd., Mullica Hill., → 26 miles from Center City, 📞 856-223-1669, 🌐 nightofterror.com, 📷 @nightofterrornj, 🕑 Select Thurs., Fri., and Sat. through Oct. 30
Social distance and enjoy the season with the kids at this Sesame Place attraction, which features everything from trick-or-treating to Halloween-themed floats, all of which you can enjoy from the comfort of your car. Face coverings are required at all transaction points, so don’t forget your masks. Kid-friendly.
Don’t miss: Also check out The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular, which features trick-or-treating around the park, a scarecrow scavenger hunt, and other Halloween-themed activities.
📍100 Sesame Rd., Langhorne, → 27 miles from Center City, 📞 215-702-ELMO, 🌐 sesameplace.com, 📷 @sesameplace, 🕑 Tues. and Weds. through Oct. 27
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Shady Brook’s seasonal attraction this year includes activities like pumpkin picking, a hay maze, and the brand-new eerie illuminations Halloween light show. But if you want to catch a fright, check out the Barn of Horror and Alien Encounter, neither of which have live actors. Masks and social distancing are required, and tickets are timed to last about three hours. Kid-friendly.
Don’t miss: Head out on a nice fall hike at the Five Mile Woods nature preserve, which offers some 285 acres of wooded trails just four miles from Shady Brook Farm.
📍931 Stony Hill Rd., Yardley, → 29 miles from Center City, 📞 215-968-1670, 🌐 shadybrookfarm.com, 📷 @shadybrookfarm, 🕑 Wed.-Sun. through Oct. 31
One of the region’s scariest Halloween attractions kicks it up a notch for its 31st season. Explore seven all-new rooms in the motel, play the laser tag-inspired Zombie Hunt, or embark on a half-mile, walk-through path that’s complete with scary props and sets. COVID-19 precautions are in play, and guests must mask up, social distance, and get temperature checks. Don’t forget to check their website for some discounts.
Don’t miss: Beer-o-logically speaking, Arasapha is about seven miles from Pennsylvania craft beer favorites like Levante Brewing and Sterling Pig Brewery.
📍 1835 Middletown Rd., Glen Mills, → 31 miles from Center City, 📞 610-459-0647, 🌐 thebatesmotel.com, 📷 @batesmotelandhayride, 🕑 Select dates through Oct. 31
This contactless haunt in New Jersey is a 20-minute journey through several scary, theatrical sets complete with plenty of creatures of special effects — which you take in from the safety of your own vehicle. If you want it messy, add on the VIP “Psycho Pass” upgrade to open up your vehicle to splashes of fake blood, water, and more.
Don’t miss: It isn’t all horror here. Get some shopping done at the nearby Columbus Farmers Market, which is touted as the Delaware Valley’s oldest and largest flea market.
📍 2919 US-206, Columbus, NJ, → 33 miles from Center City, 📞 609-251-6707, 🌐 bloodshedfarmsfearfest.com, 📷 @bloodshedfarmsfearfest, 🕑 Weekends through Oct. 31
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Sleepy Hollow is keeping the horror primarily outdoors this year with attractions like The Hollow and The Field, which have sets like a deserted farm, a haunted village, a cemetery, and abandoned gardens. COVID-19 precautions like masks and social distancing are required, and tickets are limited to prevent overcrowding. Be sure to visit Malfate Manor, an award-winning haunted house with some of the most elaborate scenery around.
Don’t miss: Looking for a more realistic spooky experience? Head to nearby New Hope for a lantern-led walk with Ghost Tours of New Hope (reservations required).
📍 881 Highland Rd., Newtown, → 33 miles from Center City, 📞 215-860-6855, 🌐 sleepyhollowhayride.com, 📷 @sleepyhollowhauntedacres, 🕑 Fri.-Sun. through Oct. 31
Peddler’s Village has been hosting this event for 42 years, and this year is no different. Here, you can see dozens of decorated scarecrows that run the gamut from ones inspired by famous fictional characters to ones that are straight-up scary. Kid-friendly.
Don’t miss: Cross the Delaware River into Lambertville, NJ, for a classic Halloween experience. Located about five miles away, the town is known for its awesomely spooky Halloween displays.
📍 100 Peddlers Village, New Hope, → 44 miles from Center City, 📞 215-794-4000, 🌐 peddlersvillage.com, 📷 @peddlersvillage, 🕑 Open daily through Oct. 30
By day, Six Flags’ fall attraction is family friendly with activities like trick-or-treating, a corn maze, and tons of decorations to take in. But by night, it gets scary, thanks to several haunted attractions, themed “Scare Zones,” and outdoor displays. Masks are required for those who are unvaccinated. Kid-friendly (during the day).
Don’t miss: Looking for more Halloween horror? East Windsor’s Field of Terror, which features four unique, scary attractions, is about 13 miles away (advance timed tickets required).
📍1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson Township, → 53 miles from Center City, 📞 732-928-2000, 🌐 sixflags.com/greatadventure, 📷 @sfgradventure, 🕑 Through Oct. 31
For a serious scare, head to this Lancaster haunt, which has been running 35 years. It features five terrifying experiences ranging from a Horrifying Hayride to walk-through attractions like Lost In Jason’s Woods and Zombie Apocalypse. Precautions like masks, social distancing, and temperature checks are required and enforced wherever possible.
Don’t miss: For a post-scare brew, take the ride into downtown Lancaster, where you’ll find great options from the likes of Spring House Brewing Co. and Lancaster Brewing Co.
📍 99 Stehman Rd., Lancaster, → 72 miles from Center City, 📞 717-875-5110, 🌐 jasonswoods.com, 📷 @jasons_woods, 🕑 Select days through Nov. 6
Ordinarily a walk-through experience, Wagner Farm Arboretum’s Brite Nites display in New Jersey is once again a drive-through this year. This contactless, family-friendly attraction takes you down the Pumpkin Path to see tons of intricate, hand-carved jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin sculptures, as well as a variety of different special effects. Kid-friendly.
Don’t miss: For something spookier, take the drive to the nearby Watchung Reservation. There, you can walk through the Deserted Village of Feltville/Glenside Park.
📍 197 Mountain Ave., Warren, NJ, → 75 miles from Center City, 📞 908-350-7383, 🌐 gopassage.com/events/brite-nites-2021, 📷 @britenitesnj, 🕑 Thur.-Sat. through Oct. 30
Once named the best extreme haunted attraction in a USA today, this Pennsylvania haunt has four terrifying attractions, so pick your poison with options like the Haunted Hayride and Nocturnal Wasteland. Or go for the Extreme Blackout, which is so scary that it’s one-night only (Nov. 12) and you have to sign a waiver.
Don’t miss: Keep it creepy with a walk through the nearby Point Rock Tunnel. Built between 1850 and 1851, the tunnel is rumored to be haunted.
📍 191 College Ave., Mountville, → 78 miles from Center City, 📞 717-285-7748, 🌐 fieldofscreams.com, 📷 @fieldofscreams, 🕑 Thur.-Sun. Through Nov. 6
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Steven White contributed to this article.