This has been a scary enough year already, but if you’re looking to celebrate a spooky season with some Halloween-themed fun, this one’s for you.
While many Halloween attractions have decided to not open this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, some are still operating — albeit a little differently. If you decide to go, expect to follow the usual COVID-19 precautions, like mask-wearing and social distancing, to keep real-life risk to a minimum.
Remember that there is risk associated with traditional Halloween activities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, open-air haunted forests and pumpkin patches are considered moderate risk activities, while things like hayrides and indoor haunted houses are of higher risk. And you may have to up your social distancing past six feet either way.
“If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised,” the CDC says online. “The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.”
But if you’re comfortable going out, the Philadelphia area has plenty of Halloween attractions to consider. Here, we’ve rounded up a dozen options from the family friendly to the truly scary — all within about 80 miles of Center City. Check out the list below:
For a quick trip
Linvilla Orchards' Pumpkinland
This is a classic Halloween destination for youngsters thanks to activities like themed hayrides, a corn maze, and a jack-o-lantern exhibit. Timed tickets are required for some activities, but if you’re just buying some pumpkins or hitting the petting zoo, feel free to just show up (and wear your mask and social distance). Kid-friendly.
137 W. Knowlton Rd., Media, 22 miles from Center City, open daily through Nov. 8 (hours vary), 610-876-7116, linvilla.com
Night of Terror at Creamy Acres Farm
This Jersey farm has been serving up scares for 25 years, this time around with attractions like The Ride of Terror (a haunted hayride), Harvest (a scary outdoors walk-through), and a Haunted Paintball Hayride (where you fight off hordes of zombies). Masks, social distancing, and temperature scans are required for entry.
448 Lincoln Mill Rd., Mullica Hill., 26 miles from Center City, open Thursday to Saturday starting at 6:30 p.m. through Oct. 31 (advance tickets required), 856-223-1669, nightofterror.com
The Not-Too-Spooky Halloween Drive-Thru
Social distance and enjoy the season with the kids at this new Sesame Place attraction, which features everything from trick-or-treating to Halloween-themed floats, all of which you can enjoy from the comfort of your car. Face coverings are required at all transaction points, so don’t forget your masks. Kid-friendly.
Don’t miss: Also check out The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular, which features trick-or-treating around the park, a scarecrow scavenger hunt, and other Halloween-themed activities.
100 Sesame Rd., Langhorne, 27 miles from Center City, open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Oct. 28, 215-702-ELMO, sesameplace.com
FallFest at Shady Brook Farm
Shady Brook’s seasonal attraction this year includes activities like pumpkin picking, a hay maze, and wagon rides. But if you want to catch a fright, check out the Barn of Horror and Alien Encounter, neither of which have live actors. Masks and social distancing are required, and tickets are timed to last about three hours. Kid-friendly.
Don’t miss: Head out on a nice fall hike at the Five Mile Woods nature preserve, which offers some 285 acres of wooded trails just four miles from Shady Brook Farm.
931 Stony Hill Rd., Yardley, 29 miles from Center City, open Wednesday to Sunday through Oct. 31 (hours vary, advance timed tickets required), 215-968-1670, shadybrookfarm.com
For a longer drive
Bates Motel and Haunted Attractions
This spot is usually known for its half-mile haunted hayride. But this year, they’re converting it to a walk-through attraction, complete with new props and sets — plus new events like Zombie Hunt, a laser tag game. COVID-19 precautions are in play, and guests must mask up, social distance, and get temperature checks.
1835 Middletown Rd., Glen Mills, 31 miles from Center City, open daily starting at 6:30 p.m. through Nov. 1 (advance timed tickets required), 610-459-0647, thebatesmotel.com
BloodShed Farms Drive-Thru
This contactless haunt in New Jersey is a 20-minute journey through several scary, theatrical sets complete with plenty of creatures of special effects — which you take in from the safety of your own vehicle. If you want it messy, add on the VIP “Blood Bath” upgrade to open up your vehicle to splashes of fake blood and ectoplasmic goo.
Don’t miss: It ain’t all horror here. Get some shopping done at the nearby Columbus Farmers Market, which is touted as the Delaware Valley’s oldest and largest flea market.
2919 Route 206, Columbus, 33 miles from Center City, open Friday and Saturday starting at 7 p.m. through Oct. 31 (advance tickets required), 609-251-6707, bloodshedfarmsfearfest.com
Sleepy Hollow Haunted Acres
Sleepy Hollow is moving the horror primarily outdoors this year with attractions like The Hollow and The Field, which have sets like a deserted farm, a haunted village, a cemetery, and abandoned gardens. COVID-19 precautions like masks and social distancing are required, and tickets are limited to prevent overcrowding.
Don’t miss: Looking for a more realistic spooky experience? Head to nearby New Hope for a lantern-led walk with Ghost Tours of New Hope (reservations required).
881 Highland Rd., Newtown, 33 miles from Center City, open Friday to Sunday starting at 7 p.m. through Oct. 31 (advance timed tickets recommended), 215-860-6855, sleepyhollowhayride.com
Scarecrows in the Village
Peddler’s Village has been hosting this event for 41 years, and this year is no different. Here, you can see dozens of decorated scarecrows that run the gamut from ones inspired by famous fictional characters to ones that are straight-up scary. As always, wear your mask and social distance when you visit. Kid-friendly.
Don’t miss: Cross the Delaware River into Lambertville, N.J., for a classic Halloween experience. Located about five miles away, the town is known for its awesomely spooky Halloween displays.
Routes 202 & 263, Lahaska, 44 miles from Center City, open daily through Oct. 31 (hours vary), 215-794-4000, peddlersvillage.com
For a full day trip
Six Flags Great Adventure Hallowfest
By day, Six Flags' fall attraction is family friendly with activities like trick-or-treating, a hay bale maze, and tons of decorations to take in. But by night, it gets scary, thanks to several spooky outdoor mazes, themed “Scare Zones,” and outdoor displays. Masks, social distancing, and temperature checks are required. Kid-friendly (during the day).
Don’t miss: Looking for more Halloween horror? East Windsor’s Field of Terror, which features four unique, scary attractions, is about 13 miles away (advance timed tickets required).
1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson Township, N.J., 53 miles from Center City, open weekends and select weekdays through Nov. 1 (hours vary), 732-928-2000, sixflags.com/greatadventure
For a serious scare, head to this Lancaster haunt, which has been running 34 years. It features five terrifying experiences ranging from a Horrifying Hayride to walk-through attractions like Lost In Jason’s Woods and Zombie Apocalypse. Precautions like masks, social distancing, and temperature checks are required.
99 Stehman Rd., Lancaster, 72 miles from Center City, open Friday to Sunday starting at 7 p.m. through Oct. 31 (advance timed tickets recommended), 717-875-5110, jasonswoods.com
Brite Nites Drive-Thru
Ordinarily a walk-through experience, Wagner Farm Arboretum’s Brite Nites display in New Jersey is a drive-through this year. This contactless, family-friendly attraction takes you down the Pumpkin Path to see tons of intricate, hand-carved jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin sculptures, as well as a tribute to essential workers and first responders. Kid-friendly.
197 Mountain Ave., Warren, N.J., 75 miles from Center City, open Wednesday to Sunday starting at 6:30 p.m. through Nov. 1 (advance timed tickets required), 908-350-7383, wfafnj.org
Field of Screams
Once named the best extreme haunted attraction in a USA today poll, this Pennsylvania haunt has four terrifying attractions, so pick your poison with options like the Haunted Hayride and Nocturnal Wasteland. Or go for the Extreme Blackout, which is so scary you have to sign a waiver. Masks and social distancing are required.
191 College Ave., Mountville, Pa., 78 miles from Center City, open through Nov. 14 (hours and days vary, advance timed tickets required), 717-285-7748, fieldofscreams.com