Scared Silly: Halloween Thrills for Atlanta Kids

Whether you’re looking for goosebumps or screams, the Atlanta haunted house and experience scene delivers. For older kids who crave a thrill, zombies in the woods and ghouls in the cornfields will leave them breathless. But for the smaller set, glowing pumpkin displays and a not-too-spooky train ride will dish up Halloween excitement without the terror. Keep reading to find out which haunted thrill is right for your crew.

Pine Mountain Ghost Train

Take a train of terror (and one of not-so-terror). The Family Time train is designed with younger guests in mind, and is meant to be nonthreatening and fun. Scare Time begins at sunset when the ghosts and ghouls of Pine Mountain are set loose to haunt. A total of three trains will depart every hour beginning at 6:20 each night. Closing time varies nightly – make sure to check! Ticket reservations are not required, but are highly recommended. Tickets are available on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights in October.

1881 Stockmar Rd.
Villa Rica
Online: pinemountaingoldmuseum.com


Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival

This year at the Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival you can play all day and glow all night. After the sun goes down, the jack-o-lanterns light up, a sillier-than-spooky Nighttime Parade commences, and you'll find plenty of other not-so-spooky glowing experiences. Although not really a haunted house, it is a little spooky at night will all the glowing jack-o-lanterns, and it's a fun event for the little ones.

1000 Robert E Lee Blvd.
Stone Mountain
Online: stonemountainpark.com


photo: iStock

The Village Haunted Attraction

The Village is an outdoor haunt experience at the Renaissance Festival Grounds that takes visitors on a tour of a village that has been cursed by evil forces. The residents have been acting strangely, and are mutating into creatures with a taste for human flesh! Better for your kids aged 13 and older, expect intense scenes and scares, character interactions, and plenty of thrills. You'll also find food, drinks, and games in the Courtyard area before or after your tour.

6905 Virlyn B. Smith Rd.
Online: 13storieshauntedhouse.com

Haunted Forest at the Buford Corn Maze

The Buford Corn Maze is an Atlanta Halloween tradition. Between the hayride, the bounce house, the pony rides and the corn box (not to mention the five-acre corn maze), there's plenty here to entertain without the spook factor. But if your older kids are ready for a scary Halloween, come on Friday or Saturday night, when the haunted forest is open from 8 till midnight. Kids of all ages are allowed, but use your best judgement, and you'll need to accompany the under-8 set. $16/ person.

4470 Bennet Rd.
Online: bufordcornmaze.com/haunted-forest

Fear the Woods

On this haunted farm, mysterious things happen after dark. Open every Fri.-Sun., this spot offers different spooky experiences for you to choose among (or opt for all three). While they recommend visitors be 13 or older, you can purchase “Monster Protection” with your ticket and the actors will not scare those wearing it. However, animatronics are sensor-activated, so you may still experience some surprise screams.

13 Reagan Rd.
Online: fearthewoods.com

Fright Fest at Six Flags

Timing your Six Flags visit is the key to serving up just the right amount of horror. During daylight hours, there's trick-or-treating, Halloween-themed shows and pumpkin painting for the little ones. Fright Fest begins after dark with terror-filled rides and wandering monsters and zombies. For families with various ages, keep the little ones in the scare-free kid zone while the big kids go exploring after dark.

275 Riverside Pkwy.
Online: sixflags.com

photo: iStock

Fearopolis at Funopolis Family Fun Center

If you're not sure how well your kiddos will handle spooky after-dark activities, Fearopolis could be the perfect introduction to the haunted house experience. Kids will enjoy the competitive games like pumpkin launching and laser tag, and if they want to test their limits of fear, the haunted house gives some startles and scares without overwhelming first-timers.

40155 Hwy 441 S.
Online: funopolisfamilyfuncenter.com


Boo at the Zoo

It's not exactly a haunted house, but if you want an immersive Halloween experience that's 100% kid friendly, Boo at the Zoo is the event you've been waiting for. With a trick-or-treat trail, a costume contest, a big cast of costumed characters and plenty of fall activities, Boo at the Zoo will get your whole family in the Halloween spirit without keeping little ones up at night.

800 Cherokee Ave. SE
Online: zooatlanta.org

Featured image via iStock.

—Shelley Massey