Business Editors/Travel Editors
SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 19, 2006–Anyone who
thinks Halloween is just for kids is missing out on some ghostly fun.
Halloween is the one time of year when it’s okay for grown ups to
indulge in everything from diet-breaking candy binges to daring
costumes a la vampires and the French maid. If nothing else, Halloween
is a means of breaking routine and trying out another role. Break your
routine this year in one of the following cities, where the
festivities promise to scare, or at least tickle, your funny bone.
According to Jen Catto, Travelocity’s Senior Editor, “Halloween is
a time for the kid in all of us to come out and play.” She adds that,
“traveling to your favorite costume party, parade or pumpkin patch
just adds to the fun.”
From the ultimate Vegas party to the best pumpkin festival around,
Travelocity’s editor’s picked the top Halloween events for everyone
from 6 to 60:
Grisly Adult Options: Vegas: Haunted Villages and Wedding Chapels
In true Vegas-meets-Liberace style, the Haunted Village at Orleans
Arena pulls out all the stops with seven decaying haunted houses (with
names like “Hysteria Hotel” and “The Morbid Clown Manor”), an
above-ground graveyard crawling with ghouls and zombies, dizzying
carnival rides, a DJ and live music, and on a surprisingly restrained
note, a pumpkin patch with haunted hayrides. Tickets must be purchased
in advance (Oct. 13-31, 7 p.m. – midnight).
Some think walking down the aisle is scary enough, but not at the
Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel. It’s taking the fear of commitment to a
new level with Halloween-themed wedding packages from Oct. 11-31.
Depending on your theme, the chapel is transformed into everything
from a foggy, Gothic graveyard–complete with the Grim Reaper,
candles, and creepy music–to the costumed set of the Rocky Horror
Picture Show (Minister Frankenfurter’s services included).
Miami: Ghoulish Grooves
Never passing up an opportunity to let loose, Miami celebrates
Halloween in style and takes advantage of the warm Florida nights. Get
your ghoulish groove on at the mansion-turned-haunted house at the
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens’ Halloween Sundowner. The beautiful people
who attend this annual ball go out of their way to make themselves
appear creepy with over-the-top costumes befitting of the lavish, 1916
estate that is now a National Landmark. Top-shelf liquor and J.P.
Chenet wines limit this dance party to nearly 3,000 members of the 21
and over crowd. All proceeds go towards restoration of this popular
museum (Oct. 28, 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.).
Frightening Adult and Children Options:
London: Highgate Cemetery
Founded in 1839, high on a hilltop above the soot and smoke of
London, this massive Romantic-Gothic woodland park became the most
fashionable–and mystical–place to be buried in Victorian society.
Karl Marx, Charles Dickens, and many of Queen Victoria’s Royal
household are among the 850 notables buried here. Highland was
immortalized as the “most magical place in London” and was reputedly
the setting for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The cemetery is notorious for
its myriad myths and legends–from mysterious exploding coffins to
rumors of a predatory vampire, which led locals to storm the cemetery
with torches and garlic in the 1960s. Highgate has recently been
restored for visitors and makes an historic and authentically eerie
place to spend Halloween.
Tarrytown, NY: Old Dutch Burying Ground of Sleepy Hollow
Located along what used to be the Albany Post Road (Route 9), in
the beautiful Hudson River Valley the ruins of this 17th-century
cemetery lay to rest. The Romantic-style design and iconic skull and
angel grave-markers are only enhanced by the overrun vines and dense
wooded areas that comprise the property. The bordering, 860-acre
Rockefeller State Preserve also harkens back to the days of Ichabod
Crane and makes for a wonderfully eerie afternoon hike through the
Editor’s Tip: Just around the corner on Oct. 27, the National
Trust for Historic Preservation’s Lyndhurst Mansion, a superlative
example of Gothic-Revival architecture, hosts a 19th-century themed
Halloween party, complete with famous characters from the past.
Spooky Kids Options: Miami: Kid-Friendly Thrills
If you’re traveling in family-friendly Miami with your little
gremlins, take the brood to MetroBoo, Miami Metro Zoo’s creepy kiddie
celebration. Kids will enjoy face painting, a costume contest, and
costumed parade, and parents will appreciate this safe opportunity for
trick-or-treating amongst the zoo animals (Oct. 28-29, 11 a.m.-4
Another one for kiddies and adults alike is the Seaquarium’s
Monster Splash Nighttime Bash: three nights of trick-or-treating,
Halloween-themed animal shows, and two haunted houses. Candy stations
and other cool surprises will be set up around the park for
trick-or-treaters in costume. The nighttime shows will feature
cadaverous creatures performing at Flipper’s Thrills and Chills Show,
and little ones can follow the yellow brick road to The Wizard of Oz
Sea Lion Show, or see buccaneers put up a fight at Pirates of the Top
Deck Show (Oct. 27, 28, 29 and 31).
Keene, New Hampshire: Record-Breaking Jack-o-Lantern Festival
Each year, tens of thousands of people flock to downtown Keene for
the annual pumpkin festival, which is so popular, the city closes off
Main Street to create a pedestrian walkway. Storefronts and streets
lined with jack-o’-lanterns are only the beginning: more than a mile
of wooden scaffolding supports tens of 1000s of specimens in four
40-foot towers. Starting around nightfall, volunteers coordinate a
simultaneous lighting, which draws a chorus of gasps. Visitors are
encouraged to arrive with prepared, carved pumpkins, ready to be lit,
and past years’ mailed-in samples have traveled from as far as New
In a Herculean effort that would make even Martha Stewart green
with envy, the town holds the Guinness Book World Record for the
largest number of lit jack-o-lanterns: 28, 952-in one place, at one
time (Oct. 21, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.).
Thrilling Parades: San Francisco: Halloween in the Castro
Reminiscent of Rio’s Carnival or New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, the
annual Halloween celebration is a spectacular sight to see. Massive
crowds congregate in the Castro on All Hallow’s Eve to gawk at, or
show off, crazy getups and be entertained by any of the four stages
that feature drag shows, costume contests and live music (Oct. 31, 7
p.m. – midnight).
New York: 33rd Annual Village Halloween Parade
All those in costume are welcome to join hundreds of puppets, 53
bands of different types of music, dancers and artists, and thousands
of other New Yorkers in costumes of their own creation in the nation’s
most wildly creative public participatory event. This year the parade
pays tribute to its origins with an Ancient Celtic communal fire theme
(Oct. 31, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.).
Hawaii: 16th Annual Halloween in Lahaina, Maui
The Legend of Halloween, celebrated since 1990, is more than just
a night on the town in costume! More than 30,000 revelers come to
Front Street on Halloween night to participate in the annual
children’s costume parade, and enjoy crafters, activities, food
booths, live music and dancing, as well as watch The Maui Tacos
Halloween Costume Contest in Banyan Tree Park (Oct. 31, 5 p.m.).
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Amanda Borichevsky, 972-488-4790
Andrea Collins, 212-715-2222