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6 Scare Free Haunts for Timid Tots

‘Tis the time of year for tricks and treats, but many small fry much prefer the treats.  Spooks and scares, which are fun for grown ups and big kids can leave little ones with big nightmares.  Happily, there are plenty of Halloween themed events in the Los Angeles area that combine a huge heaping of fun with just a hint of fright for little ghouls and boys. Dress the family up in black and orange and gear up for a fun filled day, or night, of fall favorites.  Sweet dreams guaranteed.

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Fillmore and Western Railway Pumpkin Liner
All aboard the pumpkin liner! Head on down to the Fillmore and Western Railway for a ride on one of their historic steam engines. Riding the train is half the fun as you venture through scenic farmland. For adults, be sure to check out the snack bar, which sells a great selection of pumpkin ales. Your destination is a one of kind fall festival complete with games, corn mazes, barbeque, arts, crafts, baked goods, and pumpkin patch fun. Call ahead for reservations; many departures sell out quickly.

When: Every weekend in October
Departures: 10:00 am and 2:00 pm Saturdays and Sundays
Cost: Adults: $20, Youth (ages 4-12): $12, Child (ages 2-3): $10,  Under 2: Free
Location: Fillmore & Western Railway at 364 Main Street in Fillmore

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Halloween Family Sleepover at the Aquarium of the Pacific
Have a spooktacular evening at the Aquarium of the Pacific with creepy crawly critters, pumpkin painting, and a freaky flashlight tour. Included in your sleepover will be a pizza dinner, light snack, animal interactions, cereal breakfast, and more. Family friendly costumes welcome.

When: Friday October 26 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 am
Cost: $70 non-members ($60 for members)
Ages: 5+ years (adult chaperone required)
Location: Aquarium of the Pacific at 100 Aquarium Way in Long Beach

Eek at the Greek!
For the third year in a row, Halloween revelers will partake in a symphonic extravaganza under the stars at the Eek at the Greek!  The event will feature the 60-piece Symphony In The Glen Orchestra. Listen to a creepy collection of frightening favorites including: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Night on Bald Mountain, Manuel de Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance, and the return of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-tale Heart” with a special guest narrator. (Enjoy the music, but sneak out before the story for the littlest guys who might get spooked – it’ll be their bedtime, anyway!)  Before the concert, the front plaza of the theater will be turned into a safe Trick or Treat village, complete with costume contests, Halloween themed eats and treats, games and more.

When: October 27th. The Trick or Treat Village opens at 3:30 pm and the concert starts promptly at 5:30 pm.
Cost: Adults $20 and up, children $7 and up. Children under 2 are free.
Location: The Greek Theater at 2700 North Vermont Ave. in Los Angeles

Boney Island
This fun, creative, interactive, animated house display has become a neighborhood tradition for years. Ask around – there are families who’ve been coming to Boney Island since their kids were crawling and now those same kids are running from one lawn attraction to the next. Follow your ghost host with the most, Seymour Bones, as he delights you in the wonders of Boney Island. Climb the haunted tree house, see a skeleton try his luck at shadow puppetry, bust-a-move along side dancing spiders and more.

Created by former special effect artists and Hollywood producers, this is just the right amount of scary for little trick or treaters. Oh, and it’s totally free.

Dates: Saturday and Sunday October 19 and 20, October 24 through October 31
Times: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm Sundays through Thursdays and 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm Fridays & Saturdays
Cost: Free
Location: 4602 Morse Ave. in Sherman Oaks

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The Legend of Sleepy Hallow at Riley Farms
Things are getting a little spooky down at Rileys Farm where Washington Irving’s famous Halloween tale comes to life for the pint-sized crowd. Enjoy apple-bobbing, pie-eating contests, pumpkin seed spitting, dancing, country music, and more.  Admission includes a colonial style dinner. And for the adults – fine wines, ales, and hard ciders are available for an additional cost. After dinner, enjoy a three-act play about the legend of the Headless Horseman, who’s said to ride by later that night. (You can spend the day here apple picking, too!)

When: Fridays from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm and Saturdays from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm from October 4-26.
Cost:  Fridays: Adults are $29.95, kids 3-12 are $24.95. Saturdays: Adults are $32.95, kids are 3-12 $27.95
Location: Rileys Farm at 12261 S. Oak Glen Road in Oak Glen

Strathearn Park Ghost Tour
Who knew history and Halloween could go hand in hand? The Strathearn Historical Park & Museum presents their annual Halloween Ghost Tour where the souls of the departed return to tell tales of Simi Valley history. There are no haunted houses with monsters here, just actors performing in an outdoor tour of the historical buildings in the area. All of the material in the tour is appropriate for even timid trick or treaters, so you don’t need to worry about scaring the little ones. Starting every fifteen minutes, the hour-and-a-half walking tours offer limited seating at a few stops and stroller accessibility. But, leave the flashlights and cameras at home so as not to disrupt the actors or disturb the spooky atmosphere.

Tours are limited to 20-25 people, on a first-come-first-served basis.

When: Oct. 11- 27 on Fridays – Sundays.  Check the website for hours.
Cost: $10.00 (Kids under 5 are free). Free parking is available along Strathearn Place.
Location: 137 Strathearn Place in Simi Valleu

Where do you get your thrills and chills with your little ones? Got some suggestions for great kid-friendly haunts in Los Angeles? Share it in a comment below.

-Christina Fiedler

Photo Credit: OctopusHat via Creative Commons, LA Live Steamers via facebook, Yelp user Tina D., Nicki Dennis and Family and Riley Farms


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