While many kids look forward to wearing costumes and trick-or-treating, others may be timid or even afraid of all things Halloween. For some young children, this may be the first time they are aware of all the people dressed up as scary creatures lurking around their neighborhood. The good news is, Long Island has many fun, Halloween destinations with families in mind. Linda Reid Bryce, a Westbury mother of two, and author of "Fun Family: 1,100 Things To Do With Your Kids on Long Island & Beyond" (Escapade Publishing), offers her top picks for not-so-spooky things to do this Halloween weekend.
1. Wizard of Oz Corn Maze
WHEN | WHERE Sat.-Sun., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Night Maze, Fri.-Sat., 7-10 p.m.; Harbes Farms, Sound Ave., Mattituck; 631-298-2054; harbesfamilyfarm.com
PRICE $11.95 adults; children under 2 are free
Enjoy a day with your family exploring this kid-friendly corn maze. It features a two-acre Barnyard Adventure, along with Bunnyville, a chick hatchery, bee museum, pig races, a mini-train ride, and more. "Harbes offers three locations with themed actors in it's mazes which adds an extra bit of fun to the experience," said Reid Bryce. "There's so much more to do than just the corn mazes. Harbes offers a true old-time farm festival." The other Harbes corn mazes include: Wild West Adventure Corn maze in Jamesport, which includes a 10-acre Wild West Adventure with characters, straw fortresses, rope maze, and more. Middle Earth (Lord of the Rings) Corn maze, in Riverhead is a five-acre Middle Earth Adventure, with a trike track and more.
2. Halloween Spooktacular
WHEN | WHERE Oct. 29, Toddlers 11a.m.-12 p.m.; Ages 2-10 1-2:30 p.m.; Ages 8 and up 6:-7:30 p.m.; Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center, 30 Main St., Oyster Bay
PRICE Kids: $5 members, $8 non-members; Adults: $2
"The Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center is a true gem on our island," said Reid Bryce. "They're masters at tying wonderful learning experiences into their events." The Halloween Spooktacular features up close encounters with animals, pumpkin picking and decorating, a Halloween Adventure walk, plus prizes for best costumes and story time around the camp fire.
3. Halloween Family Fun Day
WHEN | WHERE Oct. 30, Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages, 1099 Rte. 25A, Stony Brook; 631-751-0066; longislandmuseum.org
PRICE Free with museum admission
Families can enjoy pumpkin decorating, a petting zoo, carriage rides, trick-or-treating, circus performance, costume parade, and more. "What I love about this museum is that many of their events are free and they usually offer an unexpected attraction," said Reid Bryce.
4. Farmtastic Experience
WHEN | WHERE Thurs-Sun, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fairview Farm, 69 Horsemill Lane, Bridgehampton, 631-537-6154, themaize.com
PRICE $10 adults; $8 kids 11 and under; free under 3
"Kids love the opportunity to get up close to the animals and parents and kids alike enjoy shooting the corn canon," Reid Bryce said. Here you'll find an 8-acre corn maze, a one-of-a kind corn cannon, pumpkin picking, gourds, squash, and a Kiddies' Corn Table that's a sandbox with corn kernel.
5. Trick or Treat Trail & Maze
WHEN | WHERE Oct 22-23, Oct 29-30, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Camp Edey, 1500 Lakeview Ave., Bayport; 631-472-1625; gssc.us
PRICE Kids K-6th grade, $10 on the website, $12 at the door; adults are free
"What I love about this trick or treat trail is that you pay one price for 10 to 12 activities," said Reid Bryce. "This event is a fundraiser for the Suffolk County Girl Scouts." Along with the trick or treating trail, you'll find fun mazes, hourly costume pageants, games, crafts, food and more.