Wondering what you can do to celebrate Halloween besides guiltily eating boatloads of mini-candy bars (before the holiday even arrives)? No worries- we’ve got your back! We’ve compiled a quick list of Halloween activities and ideas to keep your mind on the holiday and off the candy!

Halloween Activities in Massachusetts

Storm The Castle

The “hauntingly” gorgeous and historic Hammond Castle in Gloucester, MA might be a popular wedding spot, but come Halloween the Castle’s halls go dark for a haunted house! The Halls of Darkness tour is not for the faint of heart! The century-old castle closes during the winter and fall, except for the Halloween season when for only $15.00, you’re guaranteed a knee-knocking scare. When you see their “bird man,” don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Prowl The Forest – Mass Audubon Style

Remember The Blaire Witch Project? Well don’t worry, this candlelit forest hike won’t be scary at all. Suitable for all ages, the hike takes place on the evening of Sunday the 29th. The informative evening stroll concludes with popcorn, beverages, and songs by a campfire. Sounds pretty cool to us! Can’t make it Sunday? The Mass Audubon Society has a number of other great events you can attend!

Parade Around Your Pet

Monty And Quick Showing Us There Get-Ups

Okay, so we’ve noticed on Facebook and Instagram that some of the best costumes are worn by family pets! Do you have a-rockin’ costume for Spot? Does your calico fluffy make an awesome cheetah? Well, take that pet into town and parade him/her around!

This Saturday, make your way to Fanieul Hall for the annual Halloween Pet Parade! The event starts at noon and will award winners at the end. Just be sure to register in advance.

Pick Your Own Pumpkin!

Photo Opts Abound At Lookout Farm

Rather than plucking your pumpkin from the local grocery store lineup, try picking it from an actual patch! Here are a few of our favorite locations to find the perfect future jack-o-lantern.

Treat Your Feet For Trick Or Treat!

Head to your favorite nail salon and go for a fall/Halloween inspired mani/pedi! If you’re the one handing out the candy, kids will get a kick out of a little spider or pumpkin on your nails. If you’re the one marching the kids around the neighborhood on Halloween night, then you’re feet definitely deserve a treat!

One of our favorite salons, Miniluxe ,ALWAYS does a great job. If you don’t want to commit to the nail art, consider a classic black manicure to walk your fingers into November.

Photo Credit to MiniLuxe Instagram

Have Some Popcorn With Charlie Brown

If you’re of a certain age, then you might associate Halloween with Charles M. Schulz’s Halloween TV special – It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown! This weekend, get cozy on the couch and watch everyone’s favorite “lovable loser” navigate Halloween night with his cast of mismatched friends. If you have kids, you’ll have a blast introducing them to this classic group of adorable characters. If you don’t have kids, we promise you’ll still enjoy it! Especially, with our favorite Halloween movie snack!

Yes, popcorn is a must. But, try adding melted chocolate and tossing in candy corn for a spooktacular treat!

Dine With Ghosts At One Of American’s Most Haunted Sites

John Stone’s Railroad House in the Early 1800’s

Stone’s Public House in Ashland, Massachusetts is a pub that fits any Irishman’s dream. Quality rib-sticking food, an imaginative cocktail list and full beer and wine menu, live music, and great ambiance, we’ve never had a bad time at the cozy restaurant!

However, if you ever feel a chill creeping up your back, it might just be one of the few ghosts believed to call the old Railway Inn home. Hey, maybe they just want a sip of your Guinness?

The restaurant has been featured on numerous TV shows and articles, and, around every Halloween, the already busy pub brims with ghost hunters and curiosity seekers. Will Mary, the poor girl who died in the inn after being hit by the train on the tracks make an appearance? (Her dress hangs behind glass on an upper floor.) What about the cheating card player murdered by John Stone and supposedly buried in the basement? Or maybe John Stone himself will make his presence felt? Our usual protocol to avoid upsetting him is to make sure we leave a hefty tip and no complaints! Seriously though, we never have complaints, we love this place!

John Stone Himself

Get Witchy With It!

If Halloween has a home base, it’s Salem, MA. From the historical Salem Witch Trials born from fear and hysteria to Laurie Cabot, the American Witchcraft High Priestess, Salem, Mass has a long history with the occult. It also has a long history in general! Countless novels, such as The Crucible and The House of the Seven Gables, have centered on this seaport town.

Want to go but don’t know what to do? Check out the Salem Haunted Happenings for a schedule of events over the next few days. If you do plan to head to the Northshore Halloween Mecca, you might want to include the Award-Winning Peabody Essex Museum on your itinerary, which currently is featuring an exhibit of horror and sci-fi artwork.

No matter what you do this Halloween Season, “boo” sure to have fun!

-The Haute Life