Scaredy cats, we got you.
It’s the same dilemma each Fall: You love Halloween, but you hate being scared. You don’t want to go to a haunted house (a thing you pay to walk around, presumably with your eyes closed, while things jump out at you) or, even worse, a haunted maze (like a haunted house but more confusing because it’s meant to trap you), or worst of all, an escape room (similar to the first two, but now you also have to solve a series of riddles). Why would you pay money to be frightened and solve problems? You’re startled by regular things all year long in normal situations, and everything you experience every day in your life is already a riddle. You certainly don’t need an actor in a zombie outfit jumping out of somewhere to make this worse.
So what do you do? Well, my fellow wimps, you can go to these places, and safely enjoy being surrounded by Halloween things while not being scared one bit because everything’s stress-free and nothing’s trying to fake-murder you.
Attend a Halloween Parade in Your City
WHERE: Your City, Probably
Lots of cities have big, exciting, Halloween-themed parades, and it’s a whole big event. Best part? Not one bit frightening. If you are wanting to “party,” there’s New Orleans’ official Halloween parade, “Krewe of Boo!” which isn’t scary, but it IS a large street party (so, depending who you are, this may sound terrifying).
See The South Congress Bridge Bats
From March through November, you can watch a bunch of bats fly everywhere at this bridge in Texas. It’s less of a Halloween event and more of a “this happens 9 months out of the year” event, but during the year these bats are regular ones and at Halloween you can pretend they are Halloween bats.
Go to a Halloween Themed Puppet Show
WHERE: Los Angeles, California
Skeletons do not have to be scary, and in fact, can sometimes be cute as hell. Puppet theaters like the Bob Baker Marionette Theater in Los Angeles have Halloween themed shows during the month of October, and many of them feature little dancing marionette skeletons and other creatures singing and dancing to Halloween songs. And there’s nothing better than a good Halloween tune, not in my book, pal.
Talk a Walk in the Regular Woods
The woods are known to be a scary place because sometimes teenagers in movies go to a cabin there and then a murderer arrives. However, there are many regular, non-scary woods that you can visit during Halloween time. Look around at the trees–aren’t they spooky? No! They’re not–they’re regular trees, but the leaves are orange and red, signifying that it’s Fall and time for Halloween, so you can walk around and be like, “Wow, it feels like Halloween because of all these trees, I’m glad summer’s over,” while not being afraid.
INSIDER TIPGo to the woods during the day. Less scary.
Go on a (Non-Scary) Hayride at a Farm
WHERE: Your Hometown, Probably
A lot of farms offer hayrides and fall festival activities. There’s nothing that says this isn’t for adults, as well as children. You are allowed to go here, even if you don’t have kids. Be proud of the fact that you are a gigantic wimp, and let a large wagon pull you around a farm safely like the scared dork you are*. Pumpkin Patches are known to have tons of activities for little children, but they are also places where ADULTS with MONEY can BUY PUMPKINS, DAMN IT**.
INSIDER TIPYou can totally have a nice time at one of these places, but be cool–if you’re an adult getting your face painted and petting a goat in the petting zoo, you’re probably creeping everybody out, man.
*Editor’s note: Author is majorly projecting her own feelings onto you and for this we do apologize.
**Additional Editor’s Note: Get it together, Audrey.
Visit an Orchard
WHERE: Many States
You can go to an orchard. An acceptable thing to do for Halloween as an adult is go to an apple orchard. Adults like apples because they’re fruit that is sometimes turned into alcohol, and they just so also happen to be Fall’s favorite thing to pile into a wooden bucket. Go to an orchard. They’re not scary.
Take a Guided Tour of a Cemetery
WHERE: Some states
These tours aren’t scary, but they are in a cemetery, so you can still feel brave. You can walk around, being led by a guide, and look at graves–and nothing will pop out at you. This one at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery happens year round, lasts an hour and a half, and is only $15.
There’s Usually Something Going on at the Zoo
WHERE: Where Zoos Are
Your local zoo probably has events happening, and although they are usually aimed toward children, adults are allowed at the zoo and are also allowed to enjoy Halloween there, as well.
Attend a Fall Craft Show
WHERE: Probably All Towns
Chances are your town has a local craft show, probably held at a middle school on the weekend. In fact, it definitely does have one. Here’s one in Arkansas, featuring a restaurant called The Bean Palace Cafe.
Go Shopping at a Halloween Decorations Store
WHERE: Very Near You, Most Likely
Don’t want to deal with a craft show? Totally. Too many crowds. Just go to a regular Halloween decorations store, then. The best part about Halloween for all of us already-frightened-enough-by-regular-things people is usually the decorations, and sometimes it’s hard to come by those without something jumping the hell out at you at some stupid haunted house. If you walk around a Halloween decoration store like this one, you don’t have to worry about that.
Buy Everything at Target. Or Michael’s. Whatever.
Or how about this: Man, just go to Target. It’s Halloween at your local Target, which means it’s the most wonderful time of the year. They got everything here, and none of it is scary. And hey, while you’re there, you can also go regular grocery shopping. What a treat. Also acceptable: Michael’s Craft Stores. It’s officially Fall inside of those, as well, and everything is constantly on sale for some reason.
Go to a Scary Place but During the Day
The day is not scary, and usually a scary place will not be scary at this time. For example, at night, Knott’s Berry Farm turns into Knott’s Scary Farm, an extremely frightening haunted theme park. But, during the day, it’s just regular Knott’s Berry Farm with all the same decorations. You can look at all of it and be like, “Awesome, it’s Halloween” but not have to worry about being scared–until it’s night time, when you’ll need to quickly get the HELL out of there.
Hang Out at Disneyland
WHERE: Anaheim, California
You knew this one was coming, right? You can go to Disneyland. It’s decked out for Halloween, and some of the rides are slightly Halloween-ish, and there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of here, which is the best part. Go ahead, enjoy the Haunted Mansion, a.k.a. the least scary haunted house in the history of the world. Great news for you, it’s even less scary at Halloween, because it is Nightmare Before Christmas themed.