As fall and Halloween festivals are back in full swing, make sure to check out some local options, and if you would rather stay at home, we’ve got suggestions for you too!
Pumpkin patches to haunted houses to movie marathons; the ways to ring in Halloween and the fall season are plentiful. Although COVID-19 disrupted fall festivals and celebrations last year, most of these events are back in full swing. Throughout the DMV, there are activities to match however you like to celebrate!
If you’re looking for something a little scary make sure to check out Field of Screams. Haunted houses are popular attractions in theme parks year-round, but when Halloween comes around, they really kick it into overdrive. Field of Screams is recognized as one of the best haunted house experiences in the country, and they have a location in Maryland in addition to the original in Pennsylvania. When entering the park, visitors are greeted by masked employees brandishing chainsaws. This spooky experience is broken into two sections. First, visitors can make their way through a haunted house, each room more frightening than the last. Apart from the haunted house there are haunted trails that snake through the woods along with food carnival games and plenty of food options.
If the haunted houses and trails are too much, there are plenty of more relaxing attractions in the area. Picking out pumpkins in one of the many pumpkin patches in Maryland is fun for the whole family without all the scares.
Butler’s Orchard is a local favorite, which even includes a small petting zoo. Many pumpkin patches also have hayrides, corn mazes, and other fun fall themed activities. These activities are all outside, so visitors who are more concerned about COVID-19 can feel safer. Make sure to check out the Pumpkin Festival at Butler’s Orchard. The 41st annual festival will run through Oct. 31, and it will feature a vast array of activities. The Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival at Great Country Farms, similar to the Butler’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival, features a wide variety of fall themed ac. The Harvest Festival also features slides, hay rides and weekend pig races.
For Blazers who want to avoid leaving the house and being around too many people, a horror movie marathon may be the solution. Invite friends over and make some popcorn, turn out the lights and enjoy some terrifying films. Sophomore Noah LeBlanc’s favorite Halloween movie is “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” though it's debatable whether that counts as a Halloween or Christmas movie.
To create the best horror watchlist, Blazers can look to the many monthly film challenges that can be found on the Internet for inspiration. One of these challenges features a list of movies to watch each day of October. The Hooptober challenge has gained a decent following on the movie-reviewing site Letterboxd and entire subreddits exist dedicated to creating lists of horror for each day of October.
Of course, trick or treating is the main attraction on Halloween, but COVID-19 has made it difficult to do safely. Luckily, many people’s costumes feature masks already, so the magic isn’t ruined.
Don’t worry if you don’t have any costume ideas yet, many are in the same boat, like sophomore Gus Vanskike. “I don’t have any plans for dressing up, but a last minute low-effort costume is not yet ruled out, or maybe a last minute high-effort one. I’m playing it by ear at the moment,” Vanskike said. Though some Blazers may feel like they are too old to trick or treat, they can still participate by handing out candy to the younger kids in their neighborhood
The many activities located throughout the DMV are not something to miss out on. No matter how you like to celebrate fall, there is an option for you.
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