Boo! Halloween is full of thrills and chills, but for little ones, some gentler entertainment is called for. Head out on the town to these kid-friendly events and give your kids a few tamer tricks and treats.
Halloween Hijinks at Cumberland Heritage Village Museum
The Cumberland Heritage Village Museum takes visitors on a trip back to the 1920s and the days when Canada was between the wars. And during Halloween Hijinks, the whole family can enjoy a scavenger hunt and family-friendly Halloween entertainment. Wear your costume and enjoy a few yummy treats while exploring Halloween’s more mischievous origins.Details: Sunday, October 27 from 10 am to 4 pm. Children under 5 are free.
Trick or Treat with the Mayor
At the mayor’s annual Halloween party, for the bargain price of a donation to the Ottawa Food Bank’s Baby Basics Program (think: diapers or baby food), you’ll get to enjoy a spooky good time with visits from costumed characters and other Halloween fun (indoors and outdoors). Be sure to check out Maleficent’s Withes Den and decorate a pumpkin!Details: Saturday, October 26 from 5 to 8 pm. By donation.
Halloween at Upper Canada Village means dazzling, mind-blowing displays of carved pumpkins, all part of the unique and amazing Pumpkinferno exhibit which continues until October 27. Entire complex scenes of pirates, graveyards, mermaids, and more are all artfully crafted from glowing pumpkins. Strollers or wagons will help little feet make it for the entire walking loop, but be prepared for some line-ups and possible sell-outs.Details: Through October 27, by appointment only; buy tickets online (no tickets at the door). Children 4 and under are free.
Proulx Farm Pumpkinfest
Proulx Farm’s annual Pumpkinfest returns with mazes, slides, pumpkin patches and less-scary Halloween fun like the wagon ride and family-friendly haunted house.Details: Weekends through October 31 or weekdays with reservations. Children 3 and younger are free.
Halloween at the Museums
Visit the national museums in town for any number of kid-friendly Halloween parties. At the Children’s Museum, kids can go on a Halloween Scavenger Hunt (daily through Oct. 23, 9:30 am–5 pm) while at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum they can enjoy a Barnyard Halloween (Oct. 26–27, 9:30 am–4:30 pm) complete with crafts, games and a spooky barn. Both are included with museum admission.
Cannamore Orchard celebrates Halloween with their Acres of Terror event that includes the family-friendly Spooky Wagon Ride (made significantly less spooky for kids on their Family Days, which run on afternoons on Saturdays and Sundays). Enjoy the spooky village, play on the play structures, and try to solve their various mazes. Be sure to pick up a pumpkin on your way home.Details: Family days weekends through October 27. Buy tickets online.
Wickedly Westboro returns to treat families with entertainment and trick-or-treating at local businesses. At this free event, the kids are encouraged to dress up and everyone can join in the fun throughout Westboro where there will be puppets, a magician, custom balloon creations, the very popular Dovercourt bouncy house and more!Details: October 26, 1 pm to 5 pm. Free.
Toddler’s Halloween Hunt
Dress up your toddler and head into the Diefenbunker for a unique Halloween hunt. Spooky and friendly ghosts and monsters will be handing out treats throughout the Diefenbunker (while supplies last).Details: October 31, 10:30 am to 4 pm. By donation; under age 5 free. No reservations required.
Nightmare on Elgin Street
Don’t let the name scare you away; this family-friendly and free event will be a fun way to trick-or-treat together (at participating businesses) and taking in Halloween entertainment. Face painting and balloon animals will delight guests and the Jack Purcell Recreation Centre is hosting movies and a dance party.Details: October 26, 11 am to 2 pm. Free.
Whether you want to enjoy daytime spookiness or evening haunts (it’s all about the scares at night!), Saunders Farm Haunting Season is welcoming visitors until Halloween. It’s open during the day on weekends, and evenings on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, but the week of Halloween, Saunders is opening for their FrightFest every night. For the little ones, during the day there are stage shows, mazes, jumping pillows, play structures and much more for them to enjoy without all the fright.Details: Weekends through October 27, Saturdays 10 am to 5 pm, Sundays 10 am to 4 pm. Buy tickets online to save $5.