Tame or terrifying, Greater Nashua has your Halloween covered
We’ve assembled a ghoulishly good collection of calendar events for your Halloween entertainment.
From high-octane horror houses to family-friendly autumnal fun, we’ve harvested the area’s best offerings.
Grab a buddy and get your boo on!
PARKS & REC HALLOWEEN PARTY
Wasserman Park, 116 Naticook Road, merrimacknh.gov/node/3356.
From 5-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, the 22nd annual Halloween Event will be held at Wasserman Park. Hosted by the Merrimack Parks and Recreation Department and PACT (Police and Children Together). Events will include a costume contest, pumpkin decorating, face painting, games, goody bags, popcorn and more. There will also be a free movie from 8:15-9:30 p.m. featuring “Ghostbusters.”
More information: 882-1046 or merrimacknh.gov/node/3356.
12 Simon St., www.frightkingdom.com.
It’s time once again for all ghosties and ghoulies and long-legged beasties to make their way to Fright Kingdom – if they aren’t there already there waiting for you. Running on select days through Nov. 1 is “New England’s largest indoor attraction” that prides itself on being “Scary, Not Spooky.”
Victims – er, visitors – can enjoy five attractions within the venue as well as the Monster Midway, where they can experience some of Fright Kingdom’s ghoulish characters while enjoying games, concessions, photo opportunities and entertainment.
The five attractions are Apocalypse Z, Bloodmare Manor, Carnival of Corpses, Grim and Vampire Castle. When combined, they were more than enough to have Fright Kingdom selected as one of America’s Best Haunts in 2013.
Fright Kingdom recommends parental discretion for children younger than 12. Although those children will not be refused admission, parents may wish to consider the “Hardly Haunted” matinee performance as an alternative.
Box office hours, depending on the day, are 7-10 p.m. or 7-11 p.m.
Tickets and attraction information, as well as directions and advance sale tickets: www.frightkingdom.com.
HALLOWEEN FRIGHT NIGHT
Greeley Park, 100 Concord St.
The Nashua Parks and Recreation Department will hold its annual Halloween Fright Night from 6-8:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at Greeley Park.
There will be haunted hayrides, scary mazes, bounce houses, caricaturist and animal balloons for all participants. This is a free event for Nashua area residents with the recommended ages of children 5-12. Information: 589-3370.
First Baptist Church of Nashua, 121 Manchester St., www.fbcnashua.org.
Step back to a simpler time at the First Baptist Church of Nashua’s Olde-Fashioned Country Fair, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25.
Come play checkers, listen to country music and marvel at all the burlap, checks, bows and baskets. Come early for a bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich or burrito or a homemade muffin, or come at noon for homemade chowders, soups and sandwiches, with homemade apple crisp a la mode for dessert.
The hall will be chock full of home-baked pies, breads, cookies, cakes, crisps, baked beans, homemade fudge and candy – just like mother used to make. Betty’s Kountry Kitchen will feature the church’s famous array of jams, jellies, canned fruits, vegetables and pickles. Come peruse our Precious Past & Country Collectibles – quality hand-crafted gifts and gift baskets, sachets, wreaths and dried flower arrangements.
Also: Kids’ Korner with free cookie decorating and crafts, Natalie’s Knitting Nook, and Maggie’s Gems and Jewels. And you certainly won’t want to miss the extensive silent auction, including gift cards, scrumptious gift baskets, beautiful collectible dolls and lots of wonderful surprises. Order your Christmas wreath and kissing ball.
More information: 882-4512 or www.fbcnashua.org.
THE DARK CROP
Lavoie’s Farm, 172 Nartoff Road, thedarkcrop.com.
In October 2009, Chad Zingales, a lifelong resident of Hollis, joined forces with the director of performing arts at Hollis Brookline High School, Elyse Tomlinson. The two began blending the fun and excitement of Halloween with the improvisational acting program at the school.
The Dark Crop is now a highly anticipated seasonal part of the curriculum – one for which students develop their own unique characters, help design their own makeup and create their own costumes. Students are then graded based on their level of participation, quality of their performance and dedication to character.
“I’ve always been into Halloween,” Zingales said. When he and a friend decided to do their own thing for the season, Adrian Lavoie and his family “were totally onboard” with hosting at Lavoie Farm. Teaming up with his alma mater (where his wife also now works) created a fantastic learning opportunity for the students.
“They’re wonderful to work with, very enthusiastic, and it shows in our show,” Zingales said. “We focus on acting. It’s about the character; each one has a storyline. The students are allowed to develop their character, and that’s part of their grade.
“We talk about parameters and theme. They come up with costume ideas and work on them and the makeup. Then we do stuff with props.”
The Dark Crop is where the HBHS students get to show off what they’ve created.
“They pop out of the corn, then they interact,” Zingales said. “It may be funny or creepy. We want people to leave remembering characters, not scenes. These kids have a great time with it.”
He also noted The Dark Crop’s commitment to a logical evening of spooky fun.
“You won’t find things that don’t make sense,” he said. “Like, there are no clowns in a cornfield, no electricity, no animatronic stuff. You light the path with the flashlight we give you.”
The Dark Crop is recommended for ages 8 and older. Tickets are $12 adults, $8 ages 12 and younger.
More information: thedarkcrop.com.
37TH ANNUAL HOLLIS PTA HAUNTED HOUSE
Hollis Upper Elementary School, 12 Drury Lane, www.hollishaunt.org.
On Saturday, Oct. 18, The Hollis Haunted House and Halloween Fun Fair is being brought to you by 150-200 local volunteers for its 37th year at Hollis Upper Elementary School at 12 Drury Lane.
The event is twofold: The Halloween Fun Fair runs from 4-7 p.m. in the gymnasium and cafeteria, where games and prizes entice the elementary ages, most of whom enjoy wearing their costumes. There are prizes, a snack bar and bake sale goodies. Activities include fortune telling, a football toss, face painting, nail art, temporary tattoos, Dr. Gross’ Mystery Lab, a cake walk and more.
And then there is the Haunted House, a remarkable phenomenon put on by an extraordinary cast of volunteers who love Halloween and transform a portion of the school – and clean it up again – in the space of 36 hours.
The Haunted House “lights-on” tour, for younger kids, starts at 4 p.m.; tickets are $5. The “lights-off” tour is rather scary and runs from about 6:30-9:30 p.m. (until all guests pass through) and is recommended for ages 9 and older; tickets are $8.
More information: www.hollishaunt.org.
‘UNSCARY NIGHT HIKE’
Beaver Brook Association, 117 Ridge Road, www.beaverbrook.org.
From 6:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 1, bring the kids for a pleasant, not scary, night hike. Learn about nocturnal animals, including bats and owls. Try to expand your sensory awareness, especially listening, taste and touch. Finish with s’mores and cider. $10 members, $12 nonmembers; ages 8 and older.
More information and reservations: 465-7787 and www.beaverbrook.org.
41 Broad St., www.brookdalefarms.com/default.asp.
Autumnal harvest selection of food and decorative accents, and a corn maze.
65 Broad St., www.livefreeandfarm.com.
For five days and nights, it’s all about Halloween at Lull Farm. Beginning with the pumpkin carving tents and ending with a spectacular display of lit jack-o’-lanterns all over the farm. Join the staff Oct. 28-Nov. 1. Apple cider, cider doughnuts, pumpkins and more.
Lull Farm is not hosting a corn maze this season.
NIGHTMARE NEW ENGLAND
Mel’s Funway, 454 Charles Bancroft Highway, www.nightmarenewengland.com.
More than 100,000 square feet of terror awaits you at the massive 20-acre Scream Park set up at Mel’s Funway. Seven heart-racing haunted attractions. Dozens of freakish characters stalk the grounds and roam freely in the woods lining the property. The Monster Midway hosts live music, go-karts, batting cages, two themed mini-golf courses, concessions, restaurant, bar, photo opportunities, gifts and more.
The variety and scale of Nightmare New England offers something for even the boldest of Halloween fanatics. Leave it to us to make your Halloween an unforgettable experience. For instance: The history of the notorious Bishop family of Litchfield has been known for generations, but spoken of only quietly and behind closed doors. Come discover the creepy truth.
More information: www.nightmarenewengland.com.
25TH ANNUAL PUMPKIN FESTIVAL
On and around Milford Oval, 1 Union Square, milfordpumpkinfestival.org.
The 25th annual Milford Pumpkin Festival will be held Friday-Sunday, Oct. 10-12, on the Milford Oval, 1 Union Square. Fireworks, live bands all weekend on two stages, carnival rides, bounce houses, haunted trail, beer and wine tent, zombie walk, talent show, giant pumpkin contest, pumpkin catapult, make a scarecrow, paint a pumpkin and much more.
Plenty of free parking at Milford High School, with frequent free shuttle buses running throughout the weekend.
More information: 249-0676 or milfordpumpkinfestival.org.
PUMPKIN CHUNKER DAY
Trombly Farm, 150 N. River Road, www.facebook.com/trombly.gardens.
Who likes flying pumpkins and family fun? From 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, Trombly Gardens is hosting the world champion “punkin chunkin” team American Chunker, along with Chunk Norris. Ryan Brooks Kelly will be entertaining with some great country rock from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. At noon, the Renaissance Farm Vaulting Club will be doing a horse vaulting demonstration.
Hamburgers and fried veggies at the food booth. Kids games, face painting, pumpkin painting, farm animals, maple cotton candy, kettle corn and lots to do for the whole family. Corn maze, hayrides and pick your own pumpkins going on all day.
Corn maze and PYO pumpkins are open daily. Hayrides available Saturday and Sunday from noon-4 p.m.
More information: 620-5785 or www.facebook.com/trombly.gardens.
– COMPILED BY KATHLEEN PALMER