While trick-or-treating may satisfy your sweet tooth this Halloween, there’s more moonlit magic to uncover beyond your backyard. With the whole family in mind, it’s possible to create your own potion of fun – think mysterious scavenger hunts, pumpkin patch adventuring, arts and crafts, and interactive haunted mazes. Take part in a secret neighborhood retreat and find out why Orange County’s “most elaborate” yard display has been raising hairs for 13 years.
Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch
Dates: Sept. 22 to Oct. 31 weekdays – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; weekends – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Halloween wouldn’t be complete without the shadowy glow of a candle flickering inside a chiseled pumpkin. And there’s no better place to find the perfect pumpkin — along with a handful of other festive happenings — than the Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch. Ideal for the whole family, it offers a lazy train ride through nature as well as a pumpkin patch where you’ll find hundreds of pumpkins for the picking. Satisfy your sweet tooth at the cookie decorating station or strike it rich panning for gold.
Pumpkins & Pancakes – A Children’s Halloween Extravaganza
Date: Oct. 28 – 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Kick off Halloween revelries in costume with a gourmet pancake breakfast followed by distinctive happenings including a petting zoo, hair-feather artistry and balloon artists — to name a few. Parents may take part in the silent auction while the little ones should expect arrivals from special cartoon characters and trick-or-treating as the event concludes. Generously underwritten by South Coast Plaza, 100 percent of ticket sales benefit Orangewood Foundation, providing life-changing programs and support to abused children.
Dates: Oct. 19 to 21, 26 to 30 – 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Oct. 31 – 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Known as Orange County’s “most elaborate” yard display, the legend of Boot Hill unveils its 13th haunting this Halloween. Perhaps the best part about the hair-raising wizardry found here is that its donation based, benefitting Children’s Hospital of Orange County. For nine nights, find out how the ghostly residence of 16 Goldenrod is transformed into the old church and cemetery that once occupied the land. Take note: Parking is limited, but find additional parking at the nearby Springbook Elementary School until 10 p.m.
Spooky Science 2012
Dates: Oct. 20 to Oct. 31 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Spooky never looked so smart than at the Discovery Science Center this Halloween. Let the kids loose on a scavenger hunt as they search for clues and exhibits to compete for mysterious prizes. Take advantage of a creepy family photo opportunity set amongst unnerving green screen backgrounds, designed to put you in the action. Don’t leave without your goodie bag and check out Thor’s Snake Show during select October dates featuring 12 slithery varieties.
Dates: Sept. 21 to Oct. 31
Celebrate Knott’s 40th year of haunting as the “scary farm” transforms into a moonlit wicked marvel. Face your fears wandering through more than 13 mazes, four scare zones and nine live shows. For an extra dose of ghoulish amusement, try the all-new, reservation only, interactive maze – Trapped.