With Thanksgiving behind us, Calgarians have turned their excitement and anticipation toward Halloween. Cobwebs and spiders hang over the doors; skeletons sit perched in chairs on porches; tombstones fill the empty gardens, all the while ghosts made of white sheets gently sway from tree branches on a breezy fall day.
Halloween is an exciting time for all ages. Children spend time deciding on how to make their costumes or which one to purchase, what spooky snack to bring to their class party, and what time to meet up with friends for trick-or-treating. Adults and grandparents are stocking up on boxes of chips, chocolate bars, and candy bags as they look forward to the eager faces and outreached hands of little witches, goblins, movie characters and more.
After decorating the house and buying the candy and costumes, there are several ways to keep excitement and anticipation for Halloween building. Spend free evenings and weekends at some of these exciting activities and events that the city of Calgary puts on!
Some of these events are family-friendly, and some activities will have you jumping and screaming. Be sure to look into the specifics of the event you are considering to ensure that any young children in the home sleep soundly without nightmares.
The following activities and events are family-friendly and safe for children of all ages:
Pumpkins After Dark
Wind through a magical path as spooky sounds and music fill the October air. Over 6,000 carved and lit-up pumpkin displays and sculptures, including dragons, dinosaurs, classic Halloween, and movie and pop culture icons, will awe visitors. Meander under the lit-up skies of Calgary and be amazed by the exciting special effects of several new displays. Located at Calgary’s Winsport, this event is open Thursdays-Sundays in October and on Halloween.
Support wildlife conservation while trick-or-treating in a safe environment. Break in this year’s Halloween costumes early at the Calgary Zoo. Treat stations will be set up throughout the zoo grounds for children 12 and under. (Check online for costumes not permitted to keep it family-friendly and to not upset animals). Zooboo takes place on Oct 29 – 31 from 9 am – 5 pm daily.
Granary Road Pumpkin Fest
Pumpkin Fest is an annual favourite among Calgary families, comprised of games, music, wagon rides, costume contests, pumpkin picking and more! But most likely, the highlight of this weekend is the messy “Pumpkin Chunkin” event, where participants build their launching machine and the crowd cheers as pumpkins catapult throughout the air! The festival takes place on October 22 & 23, with the Pumpkin Chunkin on the 22nd.
Spooktacular Mini Golf
Practice your swing on the transformed 18-hole course at Winsport, filled with pumpkins, ghosts and spiderwebs. A fun and safe family activity where players are encouraged to dress up in their best costumes as they play on the well-lit putt. The course takes about an hour to play and is open Thursdays-Sundays till the end of October.
For those who prefer a little more scare-and-scream at Halloween, these spooky events might be the ones to give you goosebumps and send shivers up your back:
Thrill and chills await the unexpecting at Calgary’s biggest Halloween event. Experience the eerie night air with six outdoor haunted houses, carnival games, rides, independent Halloween horror films, a night market and more. Feed yourself if your stomach isn’t in knots with assorted food trucks, or calm your nerves with a drink in the beer lounge. The event takes place Friday & Saturday evenings from 7 pm – 12 am and Halloween. Thursday, October 27, is Adults Only Night.
Calgary Ghost tours
Want to know what strange things are happening at Firehouse One? Which ghost lives in the Chamber of Commerce building? Follow hooded guides carrying lanterns and learn about the ghosts and mischievous spirits that haunt its buildings and restaurants. Sit back with a drink and enjoy haunted stories while visiting Calgary’s haunted pubs and taverns. Anyone interested can find tour schedules and times at calgaryghostwalks.com.
Field of Screams
Test your bravery and feel the heart-pumping thrills of haunted houses, rides, activities and more at Cobb’s Adventure Park. Transformed into a terrifying horror show by the creators of Screamfest, this outdoor event is a fun evening with friends who don’t scare easily. After screaming through the haunted houses, enter the 6000 square foot maze for heart-pounding twists and turns in the dark. The event is open Fridays & Saturdays from 6 pm – 11 pm throughout October.
Keep this list accessible, so you know what’s happening when you have a free evening or weekend in the weeks leading up to Halloween. Whatever Halloween adventures you have planned, remember to stay safe while having fun!
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