10 Halloween activities you can still do safely around Boston

From drive-ins to scavenger hunts and costumed bowling, October 2020 still offers opportunities to celebrate fall’s spooky traditions

Visitors to the drive-through Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence can see 5,000 intricately designed pumpkins.
Visitors to the drive-through Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence can see 5,000 intricately designed pumpkins.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Halloween will undeniably look a little different this year, with limits on in-person gatherings and new trick-or-treating recommendations (including bans on door-to-door trick-or-treating in some towns), to name a few alterations. However, that doesn’t mean the fun of the holiday has to completely disappear. Across the state, organizations are gearing up to host in-person and virtual events to deliver the spooks, scares, and thrills you’re used to in October.

In "Hocus Pocus," Bette Midler stars as one of three 17th-century witches who find themselves in modern-day Salem.
In "Hocus Pocus," Bette Midler stars as one of three 17th-century witches who find themselves in modern-day Salem. WALT DISNEY COMPANY/ABC

Outdoor movies are holding strong as the leaves fall, and Suffolk Downs hosts a pop-up drive-in specifically for spooky season. Catch PG-rated “Hocus Pocus” starring Bette Midler on the silver screen from the comfort of your car on Oct. 23, 24, and 25. The 1993 movie will screen at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. each day and tickets are $30 per car. Each ticket purchase also includes a trick-or-treat box filled with seasonal sweets. Suffolk Downs, 525 William F. McClellan Highway, Boston. eventbrite.com

“Halloweentown,” in which a young girl learns she comes from a family of witches, appears on the big screen at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds Drive-In on Oct. 21. Doors open at 5 p.m. for the 6 p.m. showing, and tickets are $35 per car of up to four people with a $10 fee for any additional passenger. The movie is rated PG. Cape Cod Fairgrounds Drive-In, 1220 Nathan Ellis Highway, Falmouth. eventbrite.com


On display now through Nov. 1, Roger Williams Park Zoo presents a drive-through Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular. For $50 per car, visitors can observe roughly 5,000 intricately carved pumpkins per night, featuring spooky scenes, sports legends, and famed celebrities. The trail opens at 6:30 p.m. each night and each tour lasts about 30 minutes. Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence. rwpzoo.org

Here’s your chance to celebrate the holiday the old-fashioned way. On Oct. 23, Plimoth Plantation will host a number of family-friendly activities including a jack-o'-lantern walk, 17th-century-inspired games such as pilgrim hat hoop toss and gourd bowling, and scary stories told around a campfire after the sun goes down. Attendees are encouraged to come in costume and each guest will leave with a goodie bag of Halloween treats. Tickets are $8 for members ($10 for nonmembers), and the festivities start at 5 p.m. Plimoth Plantation, 137 Warren Ave., Plymouth. plimoth.org


Discover the Dark Side of Peabody through a Ghost & Legends Walking Tour organized by Peabody Main Streets. The hourlong tour will delve into haunted happenings, urban legends, and ghostly sightings steeped in the town’s history. Two tours will take place on Oct. 24 at 7 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person and groups are limited to 20 people. O’Shea Mansion, 2 Washington St., Peabody. eventbrite.com

Get your flashlight out for an eerie, after-dark Spooky Scavenger Hunt on the grounds of Canton’s Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate Oct. 28 and 29. Participants are encouraged to come in costume and anyone who solves every clue will take home a prize. Concessions will be available for purchase and tickets are $5 per person. Register for half-hour time slots that begin at 4 p.m. Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, 2468B Washington St., Canton. thetrustees.org

Don’t want to go out? You can still hunt for clues from home or anywhere else with Internet access. Watson Adventures will host Haunted Tales: The Online Scavenger Hunt for Kids at 5 p.m. on Oct. 24 and 25. Two more games will occur at 4 and 7 p.m. on Oct. 31. Attendees ages 10 and older will hear ghost stories from a host via Zoom and get to explore websites of places rumored to be haunted throughout the game. Each scavenger hunt lasts one hour and tickets are $19 per participant. watsonadventures.com


Take in the full moon and the natural tranquillity of Ipswich’s Crane Estate on a Full Spooky Moon Family Hike. This child-friendly event will include a slow-paced hike up Castle Hill on the estate’s grounds, stops to observe surroundings, and an observation of the rising moon. The hike will begin at 4:30 on Oct. 30 and family ticket bundles for two children and two adults are $24 for members ($30 for nonmembers). The Crane Estate, 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich. thetrustees.org

Wamesit Lanes will host a Halloween Lane Party for families.
Wamesit Lanes will host a Halloween Lane Party for families.Wamesit Lanes

Bowl a few sets while celebrating the spooky day in Tewksbury at Wamesit Lanes’ Halloween Lane Party for families. For $40, parties of up to six guests can enjoy two hours of bowling, shoe rental, a $5 game card, and a candy-filled goodie bag. For participants who dress up, there will be a costume contest with prizes awarded for the most creative garb. The event runs noon to 2 p.m. on Oct. 31. Wamesit Lanes, 434 Main St., Tewksbury. eventbrite.com

Children’s musician Laurie Berkner will host two virtual live shows on Oct. 31 during which young viewers can sing, dance, and play games along with her. Tickets are $20 and grant access to the noon show, 5 p.m. show, or both. live.laurieberkner.com


Because of COVID-19, plans are subject to change. Check out the website for each event before attending. Grace Griffin can be reached at grace.griffin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GraceMGriffin.