Witches and Goblins and Ghosts!

Not So Scary Haunts

Lyndhurst, a Gothic Revival mansion, is hosting two Halloween happenings. A family-friendly  BooFest with silly 19th century mansion tours, storytelling witches, a fortune teller, trick or treating and tours of some 500 scarecrows created in the likes of famous artists and historical figures. 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 28. $13 adults, $8 children ages 3 to 12. The Mansion’s daytime event is their annual Scarecrow Invasion where visitors walk among the scarecrows and participate in a scavenger hunt. 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 10- 31. $5 grounds fee; free for children ages 5 and under.

Lyndhurst, 635 South Broadway, Tarrytown. 631-4481. www.lyndhurst.wordpress.com.

The Boo at the Zoo events at the Bronx Zoo and The Connecticut Beardsley’s Zoo are sure to be spooktacular afternoons. The Bronx Zoo’s Halloween tradition includes hay mazes and hay rides, costume parades, magic shows, musical theater and a Haunted Safari and more. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. October weekends. The Beardsley Zoo’s Halloween fun includes a Boo at the Zoo with hayrides, face painting and music. Oct. 30. $12 adults, $10 children ages 3-11. Beardsley’s evening event, Howl-O-Ween, features a haunted farmyard, gruesome greenhouse and magic show. 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 21-22  and Oct. 28-30.

The Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx. 718-367-1010 www.bronxzoo.org.

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Ave., Bridgeport, Conn. 203-394-6563. www.beardsleyzoo.org.

Hardly Haunted

For some not-so-scary fun visit Historic Hudson Valley’s The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, The Legend Celebration and Irving’s Legend.

 The Blaze, features some 4,000 individually hand-carved illuminated jack o’lanterns; and is not to be missed! Families walk the grounds and see super-sized dinosaurs, pirates, ghosts, a huge King Kong perched high atop a building, an undersea aquarium and more  – all created out of carved jack o’lanterns.  Oct. 1-2, 7-10, 14-16, 20-23, 27-31 and Nov. 4-6. $16 adults,

$12 children ages 5-17; $20/$16 Saturdays, reservations required. The Legend Celebration at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, is a daytime festival with live musicians, magicians, puppeteers, a spooky mime scarecrow and ghost stories. Visitors wear costumes, take part in old-fashioned games and activities and tour the house where Irving lived. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 8-9, 15-16, 22-23 and 29-30. $12 adults, $6 children ages 5 to 17. And Irving’s Legend, is an evening event at the Old Dutch Church featuring the master storyteller Jonathan Kruk. His dramatic performance of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is accompanied by spooky organ music. Performances are on the hour, 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 8-9, 14-16, 21-23 and 27-30. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Historic Hudson Valley. 631-82. www.hudsonvalley.org.

If you’re looking for a special Halloween treat for the “super hero” in your family, visit the Maritime Aquarium where visitors come face-to-face with Spider Man, Captain America, Iron Man and the Green Goblin at Marvel Super Heroes: Operation Green, an interactive action-packed show that teaches audiences the dangers of pollution and ways to conserve energy, recycle and live a greener lifestyle. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Oct. 29. $8; reservations strongly suggested. The show is held in the IMAX theater  (does not include an IMAX presentation).

The Maritime Aquarium, 10 North Water St., Norwalk, Conn. 203-852-0700. www.maritimeaquarium.org.

Chilling Thrills

Looking for a real fright? Historic Hudson Valley’s Horseman’s Hollow, based on Washington Irving’s Legend, takes The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes. Those that survive the terrifying haunted trail have a twisted maze of horrors to contend with. The Hollow’s fear factor is very high with warnings for those who are claustrophobic, have heart or respiratory conditions or prone to seizures. Not recommended for visitors under age 14. Oct. 8-9, 14-16, 21-23 and 27-30. $20; reservations required.

Philipsburgh Manor, Sleepy Hollow. 631-82. www.hudsonvalley.org.

The Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses located in Ulster Park, is an attraction that’s been rated one of the top haunted attractions in the country. The attraction includes six professionally created haunted houses, a labyrinth-style corn maze and a one-mile hayride. The three-hour (approximate) theatrical experience begins with a Headless Horseman Hayride which drops visitors at the first of the haunted attractions, the Lunar Motel Haunted House. Each attraction leads to the next and visitors end where they began. Recommended for ages 10 and up. Fridays through Sundays in October including Oct. 20, 27, 31 and Nov. 4 and 5. $37.95 (includes seven attractions); reservations required.

The Headless Horseman Hayrides, tone down the scare level for one day during Children’s Day – A Tiny Taste of Terror and offer little ones a daylight hayride with a friendly storyteller telling scary tales, not-so-spooky entertainment, face painting, country games and a corn maze and haunted gardens to explore. Noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 8; rain date Oct. 9. $11.

The Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses, 778 Broadway, Rte. 9W, Ulster Park, NY. 845-339-2666. www.headlesshorseman.com

Playland’s Scared by the Sound Haunted House offers a walk-through dark attraction with elaborate scenes with plenty of startles and scares for children ages 8 and up (too scary for youngsters even if accompanied by an adult); and a not-so-scary Hardly Haunted matinee for children ages 7 and under. Haunted evenings:

8 to 11 p.m. Fridays; 7 to 11 p.m. Saturdays; and 7 to 10 p.m. Sundays and Halloween. Oct. 7-31. $15 adults. $11 children ages 11 and under. Matinee: noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 29 and 30. $5. $1 coupon available for download on website.

Playland Amusement Park, Playland Pkwy., Rye. 877-722-7938. www.scaredbythesound.com

Irene C. Okwit is associate editor for Westchester Family.