If it’s time to celebrate Halloween and you’re looking for costumed entertainment that doesn’t have you driving from neighborhood to neighborhood, you’re in luck. Dress up the whole family for everything from the Salem witch trials to a scientific celebration sure to please this Halloween season. These are Boston’s best alternatives to trick-or-treating.

Parlee Farms
95 Farwell Road
Tyngsboro, MA 01879
(978) 649-3854

Hours: Oct. 24 to 31 Tues to Fri – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sat and Sun – 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Price: $28 one to five people for a 20-pound bag/$20 one to four people for a 10-pound bag/price includes hayride

Visit Parlee Farms for a fun-filled apple picking outing. Feed and pet the goats, sheep, chickens and rabbits at Annie’s Barn. Enjoy a horse-drawn hay ride to the apple orchard, play in the hay and wrap up the night in the shop with apple-based goodies. Here you may purchase some of the best locally grown fruit, vegetables and flowers in the Lowell. At Parlee Farm’s Pumpkin Patch, pick your own pumpkin from more than 40,000 pumpkins grown on more than 12 acres, then go carve your own jack-o-lantern for Halloween. Corn stalks and hardy mums are also sold there for parents to snag while the kiddos play. 

Stone Barn Farm
786 Horseneck Road
Dartmouth, MA 02790
www.massaudubon.orgHours: Oct. 28 – 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Price: $10

The Stone Barn Farm hosts the Family Spooktacular Halloween, an event by the Massachusetts Audubon Society in which visitors wear Halloween costumes and enjoy a kid-friendly hike, Halloween crafts in the stone barn and trick-or-treat stations that are designed to interact with you. Register ahead online with the Massachusetts Audubon Society.

Salem Witch Museum
19 1/2 Washington Square N
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 744-1692

Hours: Oct. 24 to 25 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Oct. 26 to 27 – 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Oct. 28 – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Oct. 29 and 30 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
Oct. 31 – 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Price: $9 adults/$7.50 seniors/$6 children 6 to 14/free children 5 and youngerLearn about what happened to witches in a society driven by superstition and fear in the 1600s. The Salem Witch Trials are a part of American history, and this is where the phenomenon of witch hunts is revealed. A visit to this historical place is real spooky fun for all ages, as families learn about life in a 17th-century Massachusetts Bay Colony, allegations of witchcraft and how those allegations led to so many deaths.

The Witched Cottage at Griffen Theatre
7 Lynde St.
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 825-0222

Hours: Oct. 1 to Nov. 4 Mon to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thurs, Fri and Sat – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sun – 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.Price: $10 adults 10 a.m. to 6 p.m./$6 children 12 and younger/$12 adults 5 p.m. to close/$8 children 12 and younger

See a live stage production created just for Halloween this year. The main show runs every 30 mins on the half hour. Be entertained and shocked by witches, monsters and discontent spirits of Puritans and deal-making devils. In its eighth year, the witchcraft and ghost show is an absolute must for families living anywhere near Salem.

Boston Museum of Science
1 Museum of Science Driveway
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 723-2500 Oct. 24 to 31 Sat to Thurs – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fri – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Price: $21 adults 12 and older/$19 children 3 to 11/$20 senior citizens/free children 2 and younger 

The Boston Museum of Science displays dinosaurs this Halloween season. “Modeling the Mesozoic” is an exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science in the blue wing on the lower level. It features more than 30 almost-complete skeletons and a model of T-Rex. Of course, the best time to visit is during the member Halloween party Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. in the haunted halls of the museum. Cavemen and prehistoric giants are ready for a fun-filled night with ice-aged tricks and treats, activities and prizes for the family.

Franklin Park Zoo
BOO Howl Halloween Celebration
One Franklin Park Road
Boston, MA 02121
(617) 541-5466

Hours: Oct. 27 to 28 – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Price: $17 adults/$14 seniors/$11 children 2 to 12/free children younger than 2

The Franklin Park Zoo celebrated its 100th birthday this October and will host a BOO Howl Halloween in which kids may trick-or-treat on a trail, go through a haunted maze, play games that are ghoulish, make creepy crafts and encounter the creatures of the zoo. This is the place to see Radio Disney on the main stage. Don’t miss the real, live Puppet Showplace Theatre as it will be on site Oct. 27 to make crafts and puppets with the kids. Franklin Park Zoo encourages healthy eating and celebrating on Halloween as Green Halloween has been invited to the festivities too.

Stoneham Zoo
BOO Howl Halloween Celebration
149 Pond St.
Stoneham, MA 02180
(781) 438-5100
Hours: Oct. 27 to 28 – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Price: $17 adults/$14 senior citizens/$11 children 2 to 12/free children younger than 2

Boo Howl Halloween Celebration has the same activities as above in the Franklin Park Zoo, so pick your most convenient option and don’t miss out on visiting the animal exhibits as each is presented with pumpkins to celebrate the season.

The Shops at Prudential Center

800 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02199
(617) 236-3100

Hours: Oct. 28 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Price: $4

Halloween partyThe Shops at Prudential Center hosts a Halloween family event in Boston for toddlers through 12 year olds. Scary costumed children are all welcome for a party loaded with activities for fun. There is trick-or-treating, face painting, magic tricks, pumpkin decorating and costumed characters to see.

Boston by Foot
Beacon Hill with a BOO Tour

8 Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 367-2345

Hours: Oct. 31 – 5:30 p.m.

Price: $20 per personThe Haunted Walking Tour of Beacon Hill will tour graveyard and speak of murders and mysteries left unsolved. Meet at the steps in front of the Massachusetts State House on beacon Street for an hour and a half of creepy tales of Boston’s sordid past.

Maryann Scheufele is a Childrens Book Author, Children’s Literature Examiner for Boston, Massachusetts licensed English Teacher grades 5-8 and 9-12, mother of five grown children, grandmother, Bathroom Designer by Trade, and resident of Plymouth in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Her work can be found at