Fall gifts us with beautiful foliage, crisp air, football games, fire pits, crockpots filled with comfort foods and pumpkins just waiting for a new face. What better way to celebrate all this season has to offer than with a family outing? Whether you enjoy picking apples, attending festivals or getting a little Halloween scare, there are dozens of fun options to choose from in our area. Here’s a few you’ll definitely want to get on your autumn bucket list!
Gather apples for apple pie, applesauce or just plain eating as you take a stroll through Stuckey Farms. From July through October, Stuckey Farms offers 27 varieties of U-pick apples. Check out the Harvest Festival that runs every Saturday and Sunday from September 17-October 23. A ticket costs $8 and includes parking, wagon rides, a 60-foot slide, pedal cars, a barrel train, a corn maze and their new attraction: pig races!
If you like being spooked, head over to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis where adventure awaits for all ages. Proceed with caution as you enter Burnadette the Dragon’s castle. Cursed Castle (The Children’s Museum Guild’s 53rd Annual Haunted House) is open from October 8-30. IPL’s Lights-On Hours are for those who prefer a less spooky experience, while the lights off Frightening Hours are available for those who dare to be scared (children ages 13 and younger must be accompanied by a paying adult.) Tickets are $7.25 for members, $8 for nonmembers with discount tickets available at all Marsh Supermarkets.
How about a walk through a spooky nature trail? Get extra wear out of your Halloween costume as you trick-or-treat through Little Haunt on the Prairie at Ghoul (Cool) Creek Park. This spooktacular event takes place October 27 from 5:00-9:00 pm. Kids of all ages will enjoy nature interpretation, a hayride, craft stations, Halloween games, live owls with a wildlife educator, a dance area and marshmallows at the campfire ring. Cost is $3 per person with canned food donations being collected.
If you are looking for something a little more magical, venture to the Hauntless Halloween at Holliday Park where the park joins forces with the Booth Tarkington Civic Theater for an enchanted evening of fun. This candlelit trail is home to many forest inhabitants who come alive for the weekend. Hikes last approximately 30 minutes and start every 10 minutes from 5:50-7:30 pm on October 15 and 5:50-8:00 pm on October 16-17. Afterward, take a stroll back to the nature center and enjoy a campfire, refreshments and more. Cost is $8 for guests ages 13+ and $6 for ages 2-12. Pre-registration is required. Act now because spots fill up fast.
If you have a dinosaur aficionado at home, then look no more. Bring your T-Rex loving youngster to Waterman’s Family Farm on Raymond Street for the Fall Harvest Festival and witness the giant pumpkin-eating dinosaur demolish pumpkins bite by bite. Admission includes a hayride to the pumpkin patch, two different mazes, straw “mountain,” combine slide, Tire Annie, Spinning Pumpkin and an exotic animal interactive experience. Tour their newest attraction, The Beast, for an additional $5 per person. Waterman’s Family Farm has a second location in Greenwood offering different activities such as a kid’s train ride, farm animals, the little farmer experience, a straw fort and an indoor play school. For pricing and more on both locations, go to watermansfamilyfarm.com.
Calling all animal lovers! Don’t miss this opportunity to put on your costume and trick-or-treat through the Indianapolis Zoo during the annual Halloween Zoo Boo. Zoo Boo runs every Friday through Sunday in October from 2:00-7:00 pm. This popular event offers special animal exhibits and Halloween-themed activities including activity centers, a magic show, pumpkin bowling, a bounce house, cookie decorating and a costume parade. With tickets, the guests can ride the backwards carousel, the Roller Ghoster and a special Halloween train ride.
What about an entire week of festivities? The 69th Historic Irvington Fall Festival takes place October 22-29 offering a five-mile run, a scholarship pageant, musicians, contests, Halloween-themed movies, storytelling, ghost tours, live theater, masquerade ball, a haunted puppet show and dozens of other events including a Festival Zombie Bike Ride. Check out the Street Fair on October 29 from 10:00 am-5:00 pm. This family event provides free entertainment, competitions, a Halloween parade, delicious food, a beer garden and 200+ vendors.
And last, but definitely not least on the list is a trip to Conner Prairie. Keep your head down while you ride the haunted hayride. You never know when the Headless Horseman will appear. While walking the grounds, be sure to visit the many creatures that inhabit the land such as the cosmetics-loving witch, Beutisha and the wanna-be-stand up comedian Dr. Acula. The younger guests will be entertained by the child-like monster Holly Ween’s enchanting stories of magic. Conner Scairie runs the evenings of October 13-16, 20-23 and 27-30 and is suitable for all ages. For tickets and information, visit connerprairie.org.
Fall is here and the fun is just beginning. With so many activities and events to take advantage of, the hardest part may just be choosing where to start!