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Well, 2020 has certainly been a challenging year for all. Because of the pandemic, many of us have endured broad sweeping changes to our personal lives, making the need for some much deserved “fun” all the more important. However, before you fall down in despair that Halloween too might be canceled this year, we are here to update you on some local favorites that are still dishing out some horrific good times, all while abiding by social distancing laws to keep you safe!
A Hudson Valley staple in the area of haunted houses and experiences, the 2020 season at Headless Horseman Hayrides & Haunted Houses introduces a new experience. This year the hayride will be replaced with a Drive-Thru Haunted Experience – Dare to Ride the Horseman’s Trail. Also, open and operating will be the Corn Maze Attractions (walk thru), Haunted Houses (walk thru), Gift Shops, Food Concessions, and Donut Bakery. They will be open October Weekends – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
To abide by COVID-19 safety regulations, facemasks will be required to enter, social distancing will be in effect, and there will be reduced capacity allowed. You can visit their COVID-19 protection plan on the website to see all the ways you will be protected this year.
Saturday, October 10th & 24th from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM will be Children’s Day – A Tiny Taste of Terror. With a reduced scare level, there will be a daytime Drive-Thru I Spy Halloween Game Experience in the comfort of your own car. You can visit friendly characters along the way, walk thru the Magic Moon Maze, Haunted Gardens, and Witch Hazel’s Halloween House, enjoying music, and other surprises. It is the perfect outing for families with young children. The rain dates for Children’s Day are Sunday, October 11, 2020, and Sunday, October 25, 2020.
Also new this year is Headless Horseman Escape Rooms, presenting a new concept of interactive, immersive entertainment. Can you make it out?
Headless Horseman Hayrides & Haunted Houses is located in Ulster Park, NY, part of the Historic Haunted Hudson Valley. The historic manor circa 1793 incorporates over sixty-five acres of naturally landscaped property including foreboding woods, surreal ponds, fruit orchards, and more. www.headlesshorseman.com
Celebrating their 44th year of “Fears” Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion is back this year with an all outdoor show to better abide by New York State guidelines with keeping you safe during the pandemic. The Wicked Woods – The Roots of All Evil show will be a no lines, virtual queue experience, and reservations are needed. Set on an expanded trail of close to a mile of special effects, it is sure to impress!
This year each household/group will enjoy the attractions completely on their own, for a completely private adventure. Guests must wear face masks at all times (If they do not have one, one will be provided for them) and have a temperature check prior to entrance. There will be no more than 10 people in a group and each party will be escorted to their own area, with a minimum of 6 feet away from others. To avoid back up or crowds we have a limit as per the number of guests on the trail, therefore tickets are limited. See the website for the full safety plan.
Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion is open thru Oct 31st Fridays & Saturdays from 7:30-11:30, and Sundays from 7:30-9:30. www.thehauntedmansion.com/
Luckily, one of the lower Hudson Valley’s most beloved events is also back this year with a few similar COVID-19 restrictions. The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is once again displaying all its many faces at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson. Showcasing more than 7000 hand-carved pumpkins, it is an amazing display. New this year is a fire truck—making a special rescue—and witches stirring up a spell. Tour the Museum of Pumpkin Art, where classic paintings get the gourd treatment, see who let the (pumpkin) dogs out, listen for the Headless Horseman—and watch out for swooping jack o’lantern bats. There will be a Pumpkin Carousel twirl and a Pumpkin Windmill whirl along with a Pumpkin Planetarium with a star show like you’ve never seen. Don’t miss the 25-foot-tall jack o’lantern Statue of Liberty and get personal with Instagrammable signs of the zodiac. Get your tickets early, capacity is extremely limited and guests are expected to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart. www.hudsonvalley.org/events/blaze/#info
Pure Terror Scream Park
Open thru Oct 31st, this Guinness World Record holder for the longest overall horror attraction will have 10 different themed walk-through attractions this year. Additionally, all tickets are only available for purchase on their website and they are for specific times. As an outdoor event, the flow will be one way and masks are required. No bags of any kind will be permitted, and the food vendors and gift shop will be closed. www.pureterror.com