Halloween doesn't have to be scary. If you're looking for a family-friendly adventure this October, here's a list of places to visit in Southcentral Pa. for some fright-free fun.
Halloween Daze & Spooky Knights
Spooky creatures will haunt the Shire at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire this month for Halloween Daze & Spooky Knights. Activities include pumpkin decorating, trick-or-treating in the Shire, a children's Halloween costume contest (and an adult contest too!), a Halloween treasure hunt and more.
Details: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays Oct. 10 through Oct. 25 at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, 2775 Lebanon Road, Manheim. Admission is $30.95 at the gate, $25.95 online, $11.95 for children ages 5 to 11 and free for children 4 and under. For more information, visit parenfaire.com.
This half-mile round-trip walk along the Seven Valleys section of the Heritage Rail Trail is a perfect fall activity for the whole family. Along the way, you'll see lighted and decorated hand-carved pumpkins and other fall decorations. Refreshments provided by the Friends of the Heritage Rail Trail County Park will also be available.
Details: 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, beginning and ending at the Seven Valleys Parking Lot. Event is rain or shine. Donations of $5 will be accepted, and proceeds support the development of York County rail trails. For more information, visit Yorkcountyrailtrails.org.
Halloween in the Park
Nothing says Halloween like an evening of trick-or-treating and family-friendly hayride tours through decorated campsites. You won't want to forget your flashlight for this adventure. And if you arrive early, you can check out the Halloween Pet Parade at 11 a.m. Saturday, which benefits the Animal Rescue.
Details: 6-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 24 at Codorus State Park, 1066 Blooming Grove Road, Hanover. Trick-or-treat is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Hayrides are $12 per car. For more information, visit halloweeninthepark.org.
Hershey Gardens is the place to go to see more than 150 carved and illuminated pumpkins, whimsical scarecrows — some of which come to life — festive fall displays and pumpkin-carving demonstrations. Children are encouraged to come dressed in costume and bring a flashlight for trick-or-treating and scarecrow story time along the path. Refreshments will also be for sale.
Details: 6-9 p.m. Oct. 23, 24, 30 and 31 at Hershey Gardens, 170 Hotel Road, Hershey. Admission is $10.50 for ages 13-61, $9.50 for seniors age 62 and up and $7.50 for ages 3-12. Children 2 and under are free. For more information, visit HersheyGardens.org.
Zombie Fun Run
Get ready to run like your life depends on it. Because it might. At South Western High School's Zombie Invasion 5K Walk and Run, participants will be given a belt with multiple flags attached. South Western Key Club members, who will portray zombies, will try to steal the flags from the runners' belts. The goal is to make it to the finish line alive (or, with at least one flag left).
Details: 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 at South Western High School, 200 Bowman Road, Hanover. Registration is $25 for students, $35 for adults. For more information, visit swzombieinvasion.weebly.com.
Trunk or Treat
Send your little goblins on a trip through the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum, where they'll decorate their own treat bags before beginning a hunt for trunk-or-treat spots located throughout the main and lower levels of the museum. Children 12 and under can collect a treat at each location. Additional activities include an inflatable haunted house, a display of hearse vehicles and Halloween-themed videos played in the indoor drive-in theater.
Details: Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 at AACA Museum, 161 Museum Drive, Hershey. Admission is $7. For more information, visit aacamuseum.org/events.
Central Market Pumpkin Fest
Central Market in downtown York will be full of Halloween spirit as it celebrates Pumpkin Fest this year. Children can participate in pumpkin decorating from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., children's crafts and games from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and trick-or-treating from 9 a.m. to noon. Costumes are encouraged. Market vendor specials will also be available until 2 p.m.
Details: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31 at Central Market, 34 W. Philadelphia St., York. Event is free. For more information, visit Facebook.com/CentralMarketYork.
Hollabaugh's Halloween Fun
Dress your kids in their best homemade, most original or scariest costume for Hollabaugh Bros.' Halloween Fun costume contest at 11 a.m. Additional categories include best baby costume and best overall costume, and prizes will be awarded. The event also includes themed games and crafts.
Details: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31 at Hollabaugh Bros., 545 Carlisle Road, Biglerville. For more information, visit hollabaughbros.com or call 717-677-8412.
Free Comic Book Day is back, but this time it's Halloween edition. That means comic book-style trick-or-treating. Stop by the store on Halloween in costume and you'll receive a free comic book. Participants can choose from nearly 100 titles.
Details: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31 at Comic Store West, 2111 Industrial Highway, York. For more information, visit comicstorewest.com or call 717-845-9198.
Children can also pick up a free comic book while supplies last at Martin Library, 159 E. Market St., York on Oct. 31.