Halloween Activities near Salt Lake City Utah (from a Local)
Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year, I think it is because everyone can be whatever they want. A child who dreams of being a princess, a little boy who dreams of big muscles and fighting like spider man can let their imagination run wild. So for all my fellow U-tards, here is a guide on Halloween Activities near Salt Lake City Utah.
Unique Halloween Experiences in Utah
About an hour north of Salt Lake City, there is a small town called Heber Utah - where every season their iconic train, the Heber Creeper transforms into a holiday delight.
They start off with the Pumpkin Train, where adults, toddlers, and babies alike can dress as pumpkins. It is a 40-minute train ride costumed characters enthrall you with G-rated stories and jokes. Each passenger is given a delicious pumpkin cookie, and at the end of the trip, you get to pick out a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch for carving. They also have a family-friendly haunted train car, and if you survive the haunted car you even get a Halloween sticker.
If you can't make it on the Pumpkin Train, then I suggest the Wizard Train! Dress up as your favorite wizard, and take a 90-minute train ride through the fall colors and canyons. Each wizard will be sorted by the sorting hat, receive a delicious chocolate frog, and if you are brave enough - you get to try the Bertie Botts Every Flavor Bean. There will be costumed wizards, characters, wands, games, trivia, photos and more.
The Best Haunted Houses
If you haven't been to Utah or lived here during Halloween - you will miss out on the incredibly spooky culture of Haunted Houses. Yes indeed, from Happy Valley Haunts, to spooktacular and incredibly terrifying hands-on haunted houses - there is something for everyone. There is even a new wave of 'leveled hauntings' where you can choose the level of fear you want to experience within a haunted house (for your little ones as well. Boo-fore I get ahead of myself, I will just briefly share my top 5 haunted houses for the whole family.
Castle of Chaos
Castle of Chaos is the “home of hands-on horror" and known for The Mansion, The Caverns, Nightmare in 3D, X-Scream Dungeon. There are several ticket options including General Admission, glow wand admission (that keeps the monsters away). There are four levels of scares, and the extreme haunt: X-Scream Hands-On Horror™ involves some pretty heavy hands-on actor interaction. Not only can the actors touch you, but they can pick you up, drag you off, get you wet, place things or our pets on you, restrain you, mock torture you, put you in things, and anything else that is legal and safe. They have 5 levels of tickets that range from mild glow wand to extreme.
I remember going to the Haunted Forest as a kid and really liking it. This place has been running for more than 25 years. You wind your way through the forested areas, into and out of creepy makeshift buildings and get scared off with a grand finale. While there are mixed reviews on this haunted area, I really enjoyed it as a kid.
Nightmare on 13th
Nightmare on 13th boasts itself as one of the top haunted attractions in America. Getting through all 3 haunted houses takes you about an hour. Everyone gets a free online photo taken with one of the haunted characters, which you download from their site. You will find yourself wandering through Haunted Hollywood, Swamp Blood, and Delirium. They also have a separate extreme fright experience.
Part of the Nightmare on 13th is the Institute of Terror, where patients roam the corridors of the asylum waiting for unsuspecting victims to scare.
Dead City Haunted House
Dead City Haunted House is one I definitely want to check out this year, as they just made over $50,000 in animatronic updates, and now have over 50 rooms of fear. There is an option for less scary days, but there are only 4 days so be sure to check online to arrange those.
The Fear Factory dates back to 1894, this former cemetery factory is a deadly paranormal hotspot. It is full of a history of twisted accidents. If some in your party aren't partial to haunted houses, then do not fret - there are also DJ's, bands playing, concessions and a few deadly characters outside. It takes about 45 minutes to go through Fear Factory. They have several options for extreme levels of fright depending on your ticket purchase, as long as your willing to sign the waiver.
Castle of Chaos
Choose your own level of Chaos on this place, with five levels of fear! The fear level can be catered to both kids and those not easily scared. For those who really love the adrenaline high, try one of their escape rooms!
Frightmares at Lagoon
This one has mixed reviews from people, I've been a few times myself and enjoyed it. However, as I've gone to haunted houses in Utah through the years, I've discovered that for the cost, any other haunted house is just as good with a bit of a cheaper price point. If you want the fun of the rides AND to have a scary haunted house experience though - then it is MUST.
Family Friendly Little Haunts
This is the Place Heritage Park that is mainly run by the Latter Day Saint Church in Salt Lake does host a good time for family friendly fun. Get home made donuts, little haunted pioneer homes with scary ghost stories, Carmel dipped apples, and haunted train rides. The kids can dress up in costume and as they visit the different homes (at least pre-pandemic) they would hand out treats. I'll have to visit this one again and give you an update though, as it has been a few years since I've been to this one.
Corn Mazes Near Salt Lake City
Pack Farms - Farmington, UT
Darryl Pack started farming with his family in Davis County about 1950. They’ve been selling pumpkins to local grocery stores for years, but demand caused them to open their farm ten years ago so you can pick your pumpkin from the field. You can also enjoy the hay maze and scarecrow picture gallery.
Wheeler Historic Farm - Salt Lake City, UT
This agricultural living history museum and outdoor recreation are operated by Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation that was founded in 1887 by Henry Wheeler Sr. They have a pumpkin patch, corn maze, hay maze, and wagon ride. Each October they also hold a Scarecrow festival and contest.
Crazy Corn Maze – West Jordan, UT – 8 Acres
This will be the twentieth year for their maze. There is also a separate haunted trail after dark and 4-acre pumpkin patch.
Cornbelly’s – Lehi, UT – 12 Acres – 3 Mazes
Up for US Today’s Top Ten Corn Mazes. It is a perfect place for the whole family to run amuck. There are animal shows, face painting, games, rides, inflatable dinosaurs/monsters, mini hay mazes, zip lines, and plenty of places to get those enviable family fall photos. At night, there is a separate haunted maze and other haunted attractions here. It is located right behind Thanksgiving point, where you can grab some sandwiches and swing over to the Farm barn and petting zoo, or the Dinosaur Museum.
Pumpkin Patches Near Salt Lake City
Cross E Ranch - Salt Lake City Utah
This is the only interactive working cattle ranch in Salt Lake City Utah. During their Fall festival, there are plenty of animals to interact with. Their corn maze (of which there are 3 different ones) is 14 acres, with nearly 7 miles of trails weaving throughout the corn maze. They also have a 12-acre pumpkin patch, hayrides, corn pits, straw pyramid, mini straw maze, zip lines, pig races, fire pits, slides, and new this year they have an archery shooting range! I've also recently heard they have the BEST apple cider donuts (think East Coast quality) - it is a bit less commercialized here than Cornbelly's is and feels more homey and relaxed for those who don't like crowds.
Schmidt’s Farm – West Jordan, Utah
This pumpkin patch is one of the largest with around 500 tons of pumpkins produced each year. While it doesn't have the family activities that Cross E Ranch has, it is a garden center that boasts some of the best pumpkins around. They also have some delicious salt and peppercorn to take home along with your pumpkins. The crazy corn maze is close by if you wanted to make it a longer activity for family and friends.
Maybe's Pumpkin Patch - South Jordan
This is a farm with historical roots, in fact, it is named as a 'Utah Century Farm' because it was founded in 1884. It is a 14-acre patch, with over 45 different pumpkins and plenty of Instagram-able backdrops, barns and photo booths to capture the moment.
Halloween Park Fun
As a World Walker, you enter into Evermore Park where it feels as if you are walking onto a movie set straight out of Europe. There are seasonal themes to the park, but during Halloween, you enter Evermore Lore. You take a quest through the fairyland where the Fae King has fallen to the darkness and you must help the other inhabitants figure out how to protect themselves and save the Fae King. The story develops and becomes a little more haunted each time you go back.
If you just want to dress up as your favorite hobbit, elf, magician or fortune teller - all fae folk are welcome. You can try your hand at chess in the Tavern where songs with local scallywags are sung. Train your elvish senses in the art of Archery or Ax throwing, learn about the birds, reptiles, and Evermore Park themed cuisine.
While there are portions of the park that are still under construction, visiting Evermore during Lore is well worth the visit.
Witches Night Out
This is a GREAT night out for all those who want to channel their inner witch. It is a great bonding activity for sisters, Moms, and an occasional wizard. It is set in the Gardner Village shopping area that caters to interior decorating shopping. You don't have to spend money if you don't want to, there is music, scavenger hunts, escape rooms, and lots and lots of places to take fun photos and watch the ducks play in the pond. Make sure to get there on opening night as there is a big dance party around a cauldron.
Parking is a bit of a nightmare though and it is along a busy highway - so get there early, or carpool in. They also have dinner experiences with the characters that come, and also a mystery dinner. It does sell out quick though and you really have to be signed up for their email list in order to get in. I would also say if you do want to do any activities it is a bit more costly than I would have anticipated.
There are over nine haunted attractions during Frightmares at the theme park in Farmington. You can ride different rides and roller coasters, along with a stroll through an old cowboy town and a haunted carriage house. Hosted by Lagoon, the staff here pull out all the tricks and treats to make the whole family enjoy their Halloween.
Boo at the Zoo - Hogle Zoo
There are various booths for kids 12 and under throughout the Boo at the Zoo where they can trick-or-treat. Even the animals get special pumpkin and Halloween treats, making the animals throughout the zoo quite active and lively in the holiday spirit. The trick-or-treating activity is free with regular Zoo admission or membership and begins at 9 am and ends at 3 pm.
Pumpkin Nights at Utah State Fair Park
Located in four major cities, this array of pumpkin art will spark the imagination and fill your SD cards with Halloween delights. There is the pumpkin dragon, pumpkin turtle, fire breathers, and the tunnel of pumpkins. There are plenty of sweet treats to fill the belly, and sights to fill the soul as well with holiday delights.
Halloween Shows and Convention
Thriller by Odyssey Dance Theatre - Kingsbury Hall
Odyssey Dance Theatre used to be a tradition for many people in Utah when I was growing up. Unfortunately they closed the doors on the Dance Company forever this last year (2022). I'm leaving this here to help inform locals that this is no longer available, and to also hopefully inspire another dance company here to step in and help keep this tradition alive (or something similar).
Desert Star Theatre
This is a show for the whole family, young and old, it is quite fun and very interactive. Make it a dinner and a show, there are tables, popcorn, and food available. Shows play year-round, but they have popular Halloween characters pop in this time of year for a pumpkin smashing good time. You do have to reserve your tickets in advance. This year 2023, is The Adams Family, Wednesdays Haunted Mansion and it plays from August to November 4th.
Red Butte Garden
The Garden After Dark is a two-weekend family-friendly event with a theme and activities great for kids. This year the theme is 'Oaklore Academy', where kids and adults get to help solve 'The Crimes of Myrtle Spurge'! You will learn about magical properties of plants, attend classes in spells, cryptozoology and more. Beware of the witch Myrtle that can be seen lurking around different corners.
Where all things ghoulish, ghostly, and downright creepy are celebrated and shared. Bring out the inner darkness, and witchy ways within with this convention of fear and fright. It isn't just about vendors, and costumes - the convention requires each vendor to dress up, provide interaction and add to the 'show'. There is ax throwing to get you ready for the zombie apocalypse, haunted trailers, a frightmare street, and an opening night party to start the spook season off right.
Pub Crawls and Speakeasies
For adult festivities with a bit of fun, try a pub crawl in UTAH! Just make sure you use a Lyft, bike or Uber and stay downtown in Salt Lake City; the liquor laws with driving are quite strict. Some of the bars you will drawl to are Harp and Hound (starting around 4pm), Funk 'N Dive Bar, Harp and Hound, Kokomo Club, Lamplite Lounge, and Lighthouse Lounge.
This itinerary can change every year, but you can typically find this insight on Facebook. Look up 'Crawl with Us' on Facebook for some boozy fun, and get a chance to win $1,000 for the best costume!
Every Friday and Saturday night, visit prohibition for a Burlesque and Beats show with aerial artists, drag queens, singers, and burlesquers. I highly suggest reserving a spot as it can get quite crowded on the weekends, visit Prohibition Utah.
Other Halloween Bits and Bobs
There are so many Halloween activities to do near Salt Lake City, and more than what I have listed here even.
Theatre and Musicals
Make sure to check out the Pioneer Theatre Company for the Rocky Horror Show (a total classic), the Off Broadway Theatre that is showing Dracula and Hunchback, the Philharmonic Orchestra and Universities always have Halloween themed concerts.
Active Halloween Fun
If you want to go for a burn (aka a run that burns calories before you eat your ghoulish treats) - then sign up for the Haunted Hollows 5k run through a spooky wooded area, South Jordan has a Halloween Fun Run, and there is also the Witch Run that Gardner Village hosts as well.
No matter what, as long as you aren't an antisocial lazy bones - and push yourself outside your comfort zone - I guarantee you will have an incredible Halloween here in Utah. The spooks, haunts and jaunts here are unlike anything I've seen in the world.
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