Where and when to celebrate the holiday with scares, candy, costumes and more.
With Halloween on a Thursday, there’s been a social-media debate about which weekend would be the time to celebrate. From all that’s going on, many local groups have clearly come down on the side of this weekend, before the actual holiday. Here’s a look at some spooky events coming up through Halloween, so get your costumes ready:
Friday, Oct. 25
-- Mass Audubon’s Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary, 345 Bone Hill Road, Cummaquid will host The Enchanted Forest from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday as an activity recommended for ages 3 and up. The woodlands will “awaken,” organizers say, as a guide leads groups on an hourlong walk along a lantern-lit trail, where there will be “creatures of the night — some strange, some silly and some who have much to say.” Warm clothing — costumes are encouraged — sturdy shoes and a flashlight are recommended. Admission: $10 for members, $12 for nonmembers; $8 for ages 3-12 for members, $10 for non-members; free for age 2 and under. Registration is required: 508-362-7475. Information: email@example.com.
-- The Haunted Forest is the place to find “curious and interesting nature-themed” creatures at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, at 291 Route 6. From 5:15 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, visitors can stroll down a candlelit wooded trail, with tours leaving every 15 minutes. Organizers recommend the walk for ages 3 to 12, but say all are welcome and it’s not scary, though they encourage participants to “wear your costume so you won’t be recognized by the things that go bump in the night!” Before or after the walk, visitors are welcome to play in the Halloween game room for prizes. Admission: $10 for members, $12 for nonmembers; $6 for ages 3-12 for members, $8 for non-members. Registration is required: massaudubon.com/wellfleetbay or 508-349-2615.
-- A Spooky Stroll with Dennis Conservation Land Trust will take place 5:30-6:30 p.m. Friday at Dorothy Conners Bell Conservation Land, 315 Setucket Road, Dennis. A guide will lead visitors and talk about nighttime creatures, with surprises along the way. Admission is free; 508-694-7812, DennisConservationLandTrust.org.
-- At Cape Cod Beer (1336 Phinneys Lane, Hyannis), it’s “SKA-lloween” with a dance party featuring ska, rocksteady and reggae music by the NB Rude Boys from 6-9 p.m. Friday. Information: 508-790-4200, capecodbeer.com.
Friday, Sept. 25, and Saturday, Sept. 26
-- The Sandwich Halloween Festival will take place 5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Heritage Museums & Gardens, 67 Grove St., in partnership with the STEM Academy/Sandwich High School Parent Teacher Student Association. The family festival, with costumes and comfortable footwear encouraged, will start Friday with a costume parade with Sandwich school representatives. Then each night will include a Halloween dance party with DJ Ooch Snap, family photos in a spooky Model T car, carousel rides, STEM activities, fireside entertainment, giant foam building blocks, Halloween-themed storytime and crafts, a storybook walk, carnival games, and a scavenger hunt. Cash-only extra tickets to support Sandwich school activities can be bought for a cake walk and a haunted maze, plus there will be raffles. Seasonal drinks and snacks will be available for purchase. Admission: $5, free for children 1 and under and $25 maximum per family.
Friday, Oct. 25, through Wednesday, Oct. 30
-- The fourth annual Captain Lazarus’ Haunted Harbor attraction for Halloween will continue up to the holiday except for a closing on Monday, Oct. 28, at the Cape Cod Community Media Center, 17 Shad Hole Road, Dennis Port. Starting at 6 p.m. will be tours through “a maze of terror” that takes over “13 rooms of horror” with witches, oracles, demonic dolls, a bog monster, ghost pirates and mutant crabs. The attraction may be too intense for younger children. Admission: $10. Information: 508-394-2388.
Saturday, Oct. 26
-- The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History and Brewster Chamber of Commerce will present Green Halloween from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Brewster museum, 869 Main St. Participants are encouraged to wear costumes to enjoy the Local Scoop Pop Mobile, Agway Maze, a pirate ship, activity stations with crafts, games, treats, and surprises. The entire museum will be set up as a Halloween haven, so some regular exhibits won’t be available for viewing. Admission: $6 for children (up to age 16 must be accompanied by an adult); adults with children are free; $15 for adults without children. Information: 508-896-3867 or www.Brewster-CapeCod.com.
-- The Cape Cod Children’s Museum, 577 Great Neck Road South, Mashpee, will hold the Big BOOseum Bash from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Saturday. The costume party will include princess visits, crafts, photos, stories and “creepy crawlies.” Information: capecodchildrensmuseum.org.
-- Dennis and Yarmouth Recreation will hold the annual Halloween Egg Haunt starting at 10 a.m., offering children the chance to search for thousands of plastic eggs filled with candy, toys, and prizes that are hidden at Johnny Kelley Park, 180 Old Bass River Road, South Dennis. The event is aimed at children aged 10 and younger, who are encouraged to wear costumes.
-- Oktoberfest in Chatham, happening 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., will mix two celebrations on Saturday, with Pumpkin People in Kate Gould Park and an 11:45 costume parade around the bandstand along with a beer garden and bratwurst. The event will also include music by the Chatham Band and local bands and kids’ games, crafts, face-painting, and hayrides.
-- A Halloween “Trunk-or-Treat” will be held from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the front parking lot of Northside United Methodist Church, 701 Airline Road, Brewster. Church members will decorate their car trunks, and children can trick-or-treat between them. There will also be candy, crafts and animal ambassadors. All ages are welcome, and non-scary, non-gory costumes are requested. Information: 508-385-8622.
-- Historian and storyteller Greg Williams will return to the Cotuit Library (871 Main St.) to tell the real-life story of terror and murder called “Seducer of Souls,” about Sandwich’s Bathsheba Spooner and the first U.S. death-penalty case. During the Revolutionary War, Spooner joined up with soldiers from both sides to murder her husband. The free program will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday (donations are welcome). Registration requested at cotuitlibrary.org/events--activities or 508-428-8141.
-- The Haunted Sandwich Historic Cemetery Tour will start with a village trolley tour, then a trip to the graveyard trip to Hoxie House to meet Mrs. Hoxie (actress Carol McManus), with singing by soloist Jeanne Prendergast. The event will take place 4-5:30 p.m. Saturday at Old Town Cemetery, Grove St. Cost: $25; www.eventbrite.com/e/haunted-sandwich-historic-cemetery-tour-tickets-76765759453.
-- The Academy of Performing Arts and Nauset Players will convert the Academy Playhouse at 120 Main St., Orleans, for its second annual haunted house from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday. The not-so-scary option for younger children will be available until 6:30 p.m., when the event turns into an event “recommended for those who like to be scared.” There will be face-painting and snacks for children, and a cash bar for adults. Tickets, $10, cash only at the door. Information: 508-255-1963.
-- Falmouth’s Museums on the Green, 55 and 65 Palmer Ave. will present the 11th annual “A Visit With the Night Watchman,” a new version this year of a “slightly spooky haunted experience with a historical twist,” from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday (rain date is Sunday). As in the past, visitors will embark from the Hallett Barn Visitor Center on a 20-minute tour through the 1790 Dr. Francis Wicks house with their escort, the Night Watchman, who will take them to see eerie characters and “mildly macabre” scenes based on real-life historical figures and actual happenings in Falmouth. Barbara Sillery, author of “The Haunting of Cape Cod and the Islands,” will tell stories during short waits between tours. There will be cider, donuts and background information on the stories at the cultural center. The production is recommended for ages 6 and up. Admission: $10, $6 for age 12 and under, $25 for families of four. Reservations are requested, but not required: 508-548-4857, ext. 10.
-- The Friends of the South Harwich Meetinghouse are calling “Halloween: Unhinged” a “unique concert experience,” featuring organist Joseph Marchio, fiddler Rose Clancy, vocalists Nat Wordell and Joan Kirchner, accordionist Thomas Leidenfrost and Highland piper Sarah Marchio. Special effects and “the unexpected” are promised at the 7:30 p.m. show Saturday at the meetinghouse, 270 Chatham Road, South Harwich. That’s just part of the Halloween-oriented day. Carved pumpkins can be dropped off for judging at 2 p.m. with prizes for scariest, funniest, and grand winner, with a parade at the concert. There will be a pumpkin lighting at 5:30 p.m. and cemetery tours start at 6 p.m. Tickets: $20; reservations: 800-838-3006 or halloweenunhinged.brownpapertickets.com. Information: www.southharwichmeetinghouse.com.
-- Flashback Retro Arcade + Bar + Grille, 294 Main St., Hyannis will host a “Thriller Halloween Bash!” from 9-11:59 p.m. Saturday themed to the Michael Jackson song and video with live music by Amy Marie Acoustic. There will be costume prizes, dancing, and maybe a flash mob; https://flashback.bar.
Sunday, Oct. 27
-- The Nauset Halloween 5K Fun Run/Walk will be held 9-10:30 a.m. Sunday at Nauset Regional High School, 100 Cable Road, Eastham. Runners/walkers of all ages may participate in costume, with prizes awarded. Cost: $10-$15. Information and registration: sites.google.com/nausetschools.org/halloweenfunrun/home. Proceeds will help fund activities for the class of 2021.
-- Dennis Police will hold the annual Halloween Hustle 5K race, encouraging runners and walkers to wear Halloween costumes along the route. The 11 a.m. start and the finish Sunday will be at Mayflower Beach, and the costumed after-party, with a 12:30 p.m. parade, is at Chapin’s Restaurant, 84 Taunton Ave. Costume prizes for children and adults will be given out for most original, scariest, and best crime-fighter. For non-5K-participants, a $15 donation is suggested for the party. For information and to register: dennispolice5k.org.
-- Monsters and wild animals are expected on Main Street Hyannis for the Parade of the Horribles and the display of taxidermied animals that will both be part of the Hyannis Open Streets. The free outdoor festival, from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, will take over a section of downtown, offering live music, the animal display by the Barnstable Department of Natural Resources and a Halloween theme. Costumes are welcome. JT and Angel will lead an outdoor dance party; the Kids Zone will feature games, inflatables, and a jump rope challenge; and there will be various other activities and informational displays. There will also be a pumpkin-decorating event, and a Color Blaze Fun Run (details at quenchtrainingforwomen.com/shop/color-blaze-fun-run). Information: hyannisopenstreets.org.
-- The Pilgrim Congregational Church will hold its second annual free Trunk or Treat Party from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the church parking lot, 533 Route 28, Harwich Port. Costumed children are welcome to walk through decorated vehicles to get candy. There will also be games, food, a costume parade, and a Halloween party. Information: 508-432-1668 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, Oct. 29
-- “Among the Body Snatchers: A Greg Williams Halloween Extravaganza” will feature the historian and storyteller sharing spooky and funny tales, including of grave-robbers, from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Sturgis Library, 3090 Main St., Barnstable. Refreshments will be served. Free. Registration required: 508-362-6636, SturgisReference@comcast.net or sturgislibrary.org.
Wednesday, Oct. 30
-- The Atwood Museum, 347 Stage Harbor Road, Chatham, will host Halloween at the Batwood Wednesday afternoon and evening. Free trick-or-treating for costumed visitors will take place from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. through 12 galleries and “haunted halls.” From 6 to 8 p.m.. there will be a “movie screaming” of the classic comedy “Arsenic and Old Lace,” starring Cary Grant and Priscilla Lane, in the Mural Barn. There will be Halloween-themed appetizers, desserts, light beverages, and popcorn. Movie tickets: $15; seating is limited. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.
-- The National Marine Life Center, 120 Main St., Bourne, will hold a Spooky Splash Open House from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, with visitors encouraged to come in costume and “learn about spooky ocean animals.” There will be arts and crafts, games and refreshments. Tours will be available at the Marine Animal Hospital to meet seal and turtle patients. Admission: $5, free for members. Information: nmlc.org.
Thursday, Oct. 31
-- Brewster Ladies Library (1822 Main St.) will host a kids’ Halloween parade from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday, with all ages welcome to come in costume and march down Route 6A. At the Brewster General Store, there will be snacks and songs from Cathy Hatch, then there will be stops for candy along the parade route. Information: brewsterladieslibrary.org.
-- “Vampires of New England” will be the spooky topic addressed by medievalist Susan Jarek-Glidden for a special Halloween Lunch ‘n’ Learn at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, 869 Main St., Brewster. New England’s vampire history emerged a full century after the infamous Salem witch trials, Jarek-Glidden says, and was a region-wide phenomenon. Admission: $25, $15 for members, which includes program, box lunch and museum visit. Advance registration required by 1 p.m. Wednesday; to place lunch orders: 508-896-3867, ext. 133.
-- Firefighters relief associations from Wellfleet and Eastham will host a trunk-or-treat event, with children going from car to car for candy, from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre, Route 6, South Wellfleet. There will be free hot dogs and cider, and admission is free.
-- The fourth annual Provincetown Halloween Greet ‘n’ Treat will include a costume parade, then a trunk-or-treat event at Motta Field, 12 Winslow St. Activities will take place 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday. Participation is free. Information: 508-487-7097.
-- The Yarmouth Port Common Halloween Haunt is back, with free family trick-or-treating around the Yarmouth Port Common from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, rain or shine. Participating will be the Capt. Bangs Hallet House (with a yard full of specters), the New Church (treats and spooky organ music), the Edward Gorey House (staying open late with a cauldron of candy), and the Compass Rose Inn (decorated funereally with treats to give out). In addition, activities, fortune-telling, and entertainers will be on the common. Information: 508-362-3909.
-- Besides collecting candy from decorated cars parked around the lot, the 12th Annual Trunk or Treat at Cape Cod Church, 1205 Nathan Ellis Highway, East Falmouth, will include bounce houses, face painting, food trucks, visits with police and Coast Guard personnel, and games. The event will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, with help from various community organizations, including Mashpee Boys & Girls Club, Cape Cod Children’s Museum, Community Health Center and Big Brother/Big Sister. Please bring your own bag for candy-collecting. Information: capecodchurch.com.
-- A sober Halloween dance and AA meeting, with DJ Curtis V leading the dancing and prizes for best costumes and dancers, will be held 6:30 to 11 p.m. Thursday at the Fellowship Hall at the rear of the Federated Church, 320 Main St., Hyannis. A candlelight meeting will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m, then dancing for the rest of the night. Suggested cash donation: $5 (but no one will be turned away). Information: 508-775-7060, email@example.com, aacapecod.com.
-- The band Sarah Swain & the Oh Boys will be featured at a Halloween dance party from 8 to 10 p.m. Thursday at Wellfleet Preservation Hall, 335 Main St. There will be prizes for best costume, and a cash bar serving mixed drinks, wine and beer, non-alcoholic beverages and snacks/sweets. Admission: $15. Information: wellfleetpreservationhall.org, 508-349-1800.