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Posts Tagged ‘Halloween Vacations’

Halloween 2010

Halloween is one of those holidays that is fun and entertaining for both kids and parents.  Last year, my son and I experienced one of the best Halloween’s in Salem, Massachusetts.  Each year Salem  celebrates by hosting Haunted Happenings throughout the month of October.  The event known as “America’s Halloween Festival” includes events like walking and trolley tours, psychics and sites like witch museums and haunted houses.

The Burying Point

Headed to Frankenstein's Laboratory!

We started our weekend in the Haunted Neighborhood on Derby Street.  I had purchased a Halloween Pass through SalemWaxMuseum.com online before arriving.  The pass included a cemetery tour, admission to the Salem Wax Museum of Witches and Seafarers and admission to two haunted houses, The Haunted Witch Village and Frankenstein’s Laboratory.

Stone at The Salem Witch Trials Memorial

My son and his friend loved the haunted houses and found them frightful.  The museum was a disappointment and we went through it in less than fifteen minutes, but  we all enjoyed the tour through the cemetery and the Witch Trial Memorial. The Burying Point is the oldest burying-ground in Salem.  We saw the headstone of John Hathorne who was a  judge of the Witchcraft court.  He was actually an ancestor of Nathaniel Hawthorne.   We learned that Nathaniel Hawthorne actually changed the spelling of his last name, because he didn’t want to be associated with the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

More Witches!

People watching was entertaining in itself!  The boys had a great time touring the town in their costumes.

A tourist posing with my son and his friend.

We checked out the stores and places to eat on the  way down to the House of Seven Gables.

House of Seven Gables

We ended the day at the annual Carnival Fiesta Show where the boys had fun on the rides and playing games.

We really had a great time and plan on heading to Salem again.  The next time we go, I would love to stay at The Hawthorne Hotel over the last weekend of October and attend the Annual Costume Ball.  Of course both the hotel and the costume ball sell out quickly and reservations typically need to be made far in advance.  On our next visit to Salem, I would change things up from my visit in 2010, so I plan on starting our visit at the National Park Service Salem Visitor Center.   Apparently you can start the Heritage Trail, which is an easy walk along a red line to many of Salem’s attractions.  I loved the Freedom Trail in Boston, and this sounds very similar.  The trail hits highlights like the Witch History Museum , Salem Witch Museum and The Witch Dungeon Museum where there are reenactments of the Salem Witch Trials.

There really is no better place to celebrate Halloween than in Salem, and if you are in driving distance, you really should put this destination on your “Must See and Do” list for at least once!  In my case it is on my list for many more Halloween’s to come!  Planning is key to make this a fun time for you and your family, so check out www.haunted happenings.org or like them on Facebook.  You can even text SALEM to 72727 for updates!  See you in Salem on Halloween and don’t forget to wear your scariest costume!

Witches Brew!

Witches Brew!

Look at my hands!

Look at my hands!


Arrgh

Arrgh!

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Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow

Every year  in Sleepy Hollow, New York,  Washington Irving’s classic tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow comes alive.  The event takes place the last four weekends of October.  This is a popular event, so it is helpful to purchase tickets ahead of time online at  www.hudsonvalley.org.

There are several events in Sleepy Hollow that makes celebrating Halloween spooky and fun.  In the daytime there is a festival called the Legend Celebration.  The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, with its illuminated  4,000 hand-carved pumpkins is also very popular, and we were unable to purchase tickets weeks in advance.  Irving’s Legend is where you can experience  the Headless Horseman terrorizing Ichabod Crane.

The daytime event, Legend Celebration is perfect for younger children and they can be entertained by live music, magicians and games.  For literature enthusiast, a tour of  Washington Irving’s home is available.

When darkness settled in we headed over to Irving’s Legend where we actually saw the Headless Horseman!  Legend Nights is held at Phillipsburg Manor.  This 18th

Hanging with Katrina

century farm and gristmill is turned into haunted area with the cast of characters from Irving’s tale roaming the area.  The grounds are lit by candle lanterns and bonfires to give it a ghostly feel.  The boys who wore their skeleton shirts fit in with many of the other visitors in costume. We watched  Washington Irving’s Headless Horseman take his fabled ride on a black steed and ran into witches, pirates, and spooky ghost.  Listening to the  rendition of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” allowed the boys to experience a classic tale in a way that couldn’t be done in the pages of a book.

The Headless Horseman
Posing with the Troll

This was such a fun and different way to spend Halloween!  The characters and re-enactments were great and it was an exciting way to introduce one of the “classics” to my son and his friend.  If you are looking for another option to celebrate Halloween, this is a great alternative than the local haunted house. Just make sure you plan this day trip well in advance!  Happy Haunting!

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