There's no shortage of ways to celebrate Halloween in New Orleans with your little ghosts and goblins (or, more likely, Pokemon and Moanas.)
Outdoor parties offer children abundant candy and the thrill of roaming — safely — in costume.
There's a parade, Halloween-themed symphony concert, movie nights and more.
A favorite haunt is Park-A-Boo at Lafreniere Park. Now in its eighth year, the event spans the entire weekend before Halloween and typically attracts about 12,000 costumed revelers. One of the highlights of the event — in addition to trick-or-treating, face painting and balloon sculptures — is the Boo House, a “slightly scary” haunted house designed for those age 3 to 13.
Event organizer Ira Snyder said this year visitors will notice some “major modifications” made to the Boo House.
“We have a lot of new background scenes,” he said. “After last year’s event we found some stuff we liked and decided to make a change.”
Boo at the Zoo starts Oct. 21 at the Audubon Zoo. Tickets are limited but still available. On the other hand, if you have tickets to City Park’s Ghosts in the Oaks, consider yourself lucky. The event has been completely sold out for weeks.
But some Halloween traditions are simpler and don't require tickets. When it comes to the big orange fruit so associated with the season — yes, it’s a fruit — there are a plentiful array of pumpkin patches in the New Orleans area.
Already open are St. Martin’s and St. Augustine Episcopal churches in Metairie, St. Andrew's Episcopal Uptown and First Presbyterian Church on South Claiborne Avenue.
Plum Street Snoball’s Pumpkin Patch in Lafreniere Park opens Oct. 6 by the carousel, and St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Lakeview opens its patch Oct. 7.
For Metairie mom Jessica Netto, however, there’s only one place her family turns for pumpkins each October — Mrs. Heather’s Pumpkin Patch in Hammond.
This will be the second year that her second-grader, Fiona, will celebrate her birthday at the patch.
“Fiona loves the corn maze and the pumpkin decorating,” said Netto, “and my younger daughter Dahlia, who is 3, enjoys the big jumping pillow and the tunnel slide. There’s just so much for the kids to do — a nature trail, a zipline — you can spend the whole day there.”
Fright Light at Kenner Planetarium
Every Saturday in October
Kenner Planetarium and Megadome Cinema
Come enjoy a 50-minute, Halloween-themed music and laser show at the planetarium.
Cost: $5 for kids age 2 to 12 and seniors, $6 for adults
Wheel Fun Pumpkin Patch in City Park
Open daily through Oct. 22 — weekdays 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., weekends 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Big Lake Trail, City Park
A pumpkin patch, carnival games, bounce houses, picture stations and hayrides are all included with event admission. Pedal boats, four-wheel surrey cycles and pumpkins available for purchase.
Cost: Children under 3 are $5; children 4 to 17 are $9; adults are $5
The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s Halloween Spooktacular
Oct. 15, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The orchestra’s annual Halloween family concert features spooky music and invites patrons to come in costume. Arrive 45 minutes early for a meet-and-greet with the musicians and their instruments.
Cost: Free for children age 15 and under; adults $15
Boo Carre Halloween & Harvest Festival
Oct. 21, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
New Orleans French Market
Trick-or-treat throughout the French Market, plus enjoy crafts, pumpkin painting, a petting zoo and live music.
Boo at the Zoo
Oct. 21, 27, 28 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Children up to age 12 are invited to this Halloween festival, which includes scary and non-scary haunted houses, trick-or-treating, games, prizes and entertainment. Tickets are limited.
Cost: $17 per person. All over age 12 months must have a ticket.
Krewe of Boo Parade
Oct. 21, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
New Orleans French Quarter
The city’s official Halloween parade.
Park-A-Boo at Lafreniere Park
Oct. 27, 28, 29. Friday from 5 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., Saturday from 1 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Meet your favorite characters, including SpongeBob Squarepants, Elmo, Barney, Dora the Explorer and Winnie the Pooh at this family-friendly festival featuring trick-or-treating, an all-new Boo House, games, stories, face painting, free balloon sculptures, daily costume contests and a haystack romp, plus food and entertainment.
Cost: $6 for kids age 3 to 12; 13 and over $8; 2 years and under are free
Movie in the Park and Trunk-or-Treat in Kenner
Oct. 28, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Trunk-or-Treat; movie starts at 7:30 p.m.
Muss Bertolini Stadium
Costumes encouraged at this family event featuring games, a photo booth and trunk-or-treating followed by a showing of the movie “Casper.”
Museum Mash at the Louisiana Children’s Museum
Oct. 28, 29 and 31, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Don’t miss the Museum Mash dance party, along with games, crafts and activities for little ghosts and goblins.
Cost: $8.50 per person
Crawloween at the Insectarium
Oct. 28, 29 and 31, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
Kids save $3 off admission if they come in costume to learn about creepy crawlies at this full weekend of bug-themed treats, pumpkins that double as animal exhibits, and even a “Guess how many maggots are in the jar” contest.
Cost: Admission — Adults are $22.95 plus tax. Children are $17.95 plus tax. Senior are $19.95 plus tax
Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (gates open at 9 a.m. for special needs families)
Lakeview Regional Medical Center
This popular Northshore event invites children of all abilities to come trick-or-treat at more than 70 haunted houses, plus pumpkin decorating, games, complimentary photo booth, music, dancing, a costume contest for kids and the annual Northshore Area Board of Realtors (NABOR) chili contest. Boo Fest benefits children with disabilities and their families.
Cost: $2 per person
New Canal Haunted Lighthouse
Oct. 29, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
New Canal Lighthouse
Bring the family down to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation’s New Canal Lighthouse for a few hours packed with games, stories, magic, music, candy and a spiderweb maze.
NORDC Halloween Spooktacular
Oct. 31, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
10 NORDC Centers
A party that spreads across the city, 10 NORDC centers will be offering children a chance to spend the evening dancing, playing games and winning prizes.