Halloween was traditionally a kids’ holiday — but it’s been co-opted by grown-ups who have made haunted attractions scarier and scarier. These locales realize that, and have created toned-down “not-so-scary” versions to let the littlest kids continue to have fun as well.
Kids will walk through the wooded paths of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge's Enchanted Forest and meet friendly characters along the way. Participants will meet various whimsical characters on the forest trails who will talk about the magical forest and its inhabitants. Some of the friendly faces include a Snowy Owl, Jemima Puddleduck, a singing snail and a bat. Plus, kids will have the chance to meet some the Refuge's resident animals. After the walk, kids can participate in games, crafts and more family-friendly activities, such as a mini corn maze, a bounce house and face painting (included with admission). Kids and parents are encouraged to dress in costume. Reservations for time slots are required.
More information: Enchanted Forest, Noon-2:30 p.m. on Oct. 26-27 and Nov. 2, Quoge Wildlife Refuge, 3 Old Country Road, Quogue; $10 per person (suggested kids aged 2-7 with adult); 631-653-4771; quoguewildliferefuge.org.
Spooky Fest at The Center for Science Teaching and Learning transforms Tanglewood Preserve into a family-friendly Halloween event. There are many non-spooky activities such as a Not-So-Spooky Walk" in the woods for young children, arts and crafts, live animals, face painting and more. Price: $10 admission for non-scary attractions, $15 admission non-scary attractions as well as the Haunted Woods, Maze of Zombies. Additionally, families can visit the center's new Dinosaurs! and People's United Bank Animal Adventure exhibit for an additional cost of $15 for adults, $12 ages 10 and younger after purchasing tickets to Spooky Fest.
More information: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12 and every Friday, Saturday and Sunday Oct. 18 through Nov. 2, 1450 Tanglewood Rd. Rockville Centre, 516-764-0045, cstl.org.
American Scarepower Museum
The American Airpower Museum turns into the American Scarepower Museum for an afternoon of safe Halloween fun and trick-or-treating for families. Kids can join a scavanger hunt, take part in a costume contest (ages 12 and younger) and take a ride on the Travesty Tram, which is driven by a ghoul taking families on a short trip around the airport. There are also crafts, face painting and games with prizes. Kids can also tour the Haunted Bomber, which is decorated with cobwebs, spooky airplane pilots and more.
More information: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 27 at The American Airpower Museum, 1230 New Highway, Farmingdale; $13 adults, $10 seniors and veterans, $8 ages 5-12; americanairpowermuseum.com.
Halloween Spooktacular and Tales, Trails and Treats
This season, Sweetbriar Nature Center's trails have been created with different age groups in mind for their special family-friendly events: The Enchanted Woodland Trail is for ages 4 to 8, the Trail To an Eerie Tale are for ages 8 and older and the Jack O'Lantern Trail lined with lit-up pumpkins is for kids of all ages. The Halloween Spooktacular from 7-10 p.m. on Oct. 18 and 19 is recommended for children ages 4 and older. Families can check out eerie animal presentations, the Ghostly Garden, listen to scary stories, create crafts, head on a night walk and more. At Tales, Trails and Treats from 1-3:30 p.m. on Oct. 26, children ages 2-6 can trick-or-treat on a nature trail and meet costumed characters along the way. There will also be encounters with live animals, crafts and storytime.
More information: Sweetbriar Nature Center, 62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown; Spooktacular: $15 child, $5 adult; Tales, Trails and Treats $10 per child; sweetbriarnc.org.
Medford Haunted House: Non-Scare Show
Visiting the Medford Haunted House for the daytime non-scare show is a behind-the-scenes tour for little VIPs. The scary music is off, and there aren't any actors on duty. The kids are given the challenge of finding Kermit the Frog, who is lost somewhere in the Haunted House. Kids can also get their photo taken by the skeletons. It is low key for the kids and ends a few hours before the nighttime scary stuff begins.
More information: 2 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 2 (weather permitting) at Medford Haunted House, 79 Middle Island Blvd., Middle Island; Donation requested; 631-466-8096; nwsdy.li/mhh.
Manor Farm: Not-So-Spooky Trail
This walk follows the same path as Manor Farm's Haunted Trail Nights, but it happens in daylight, and kids will see characters such as a gorilla pop out along the way, said Rich Brundige, program coordinator at Manor Farm. The walk starts at 5 p.m. and lasts about a half-hour, he said. "It's a nice walk in the woods. There's jokes involved. It's almost cartoonish and silly."
More information: 5 p.m. Oct. 27 and 28 at Manor Farm, 210 Manor Rd., Huntington; $7 per child, free accompanying adults; 631-885-3491; manorfarmhauntedtrailnights.com.
Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse: Not-So-Scary Kids Adventure
A guide takes families on a kid-friendly walk through Gateway's Haunted Playhouse. Families can stroll through a batty maze and encounter some goofy creatures, bewitching tricks and ghoulish delights. Strollers and infants aren't allowed; the tour is recommended for children ages 3 and older, and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Admission price also includes a pumpkin bounce house, face painting, balloon creations, a hay-bale maze and more. Refreshments are available for sale.
More information: Noon to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in October at Gateway Playhouse, 215 South Country Rd., Bellport; $15 per person; 631-286-1133; thegateway.org.
Bayville Adventure Park: Not So Scary Days
Bayville's attractions geared to younger kids include the Halloween Express Train Ride around the park, the Pumpkin Bounce, the Pumpkin Patch, where kids can choose and purchase a pumpkin, Halloween arts and crafts, witch and pirate characters for photo opportunities, spooky storytelling and hermit crab races. Admission also includes Uncle Needle's Fun House and Mirror Maze, as well as the Temple of Terror, both without the usual live actors. These attractions are separate from Bayville's six scarier nighttime options, which include, for example, Bloodworth Haunted Mansion, Curse of the Zombie Pirates and Uncle Needle's Fun House with live actors.
More information: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays beginning Sept. 27 through Nov. 4 (and Columbus Day) at Bayville Scream Park, 8 Bayville Ave., Bayville; $24.75 per person; $31.75 includes Halloween themed attractions, as well as unlimited Bayville Adventure Park rides; 516-624-4678; bayvillescreampark.com.