Fall is one of the most action-packed times of all in Delaware; a time that is full of festivals that embrace and accentuate the season’s softer, gentler feel. Halloween is an especially fun-filled holiday in this fun-seeking post-summer season, thanks to an assortment of spooky-and-kooky events that are uniquely Delaware.
It goes without saying that Halloween fun in Delaware is at its best when you are at the beach – the waves, the wind, the wonderful shopping and the delicious restaurants will help make that October weekend getaway memorable.
Here are a few top Halloween events in Delaware, just to get you started:
Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddler’s Festival (Oct. 23-25)
One of the beach area’s most colorful fall festivals, this quirky weekend celebration includes a Sea Witch Parade and Costume Contest, a Fiddlers Contest, the Sea Witch Cottage and Heritage Craft, and a Best Costumed Pet Contest. Just in case that wasn't enough, there’s a "cackle contest" for all witches and warlocks, soap carving and fish printing for the kids, a kids' dinosaur safari, scarecrow making, a broom-tossing contest, and Trick or Treating and a haunted bonfire in Dewey Beach. The 411: Festivities take place at and around the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand on Rehoboth Avenue. Be sure to catch a few of Rehoboth’s top-notch restaurants while you’re in town!
Screams at the Beach (Fri.-Sat. Oct. 2-31)
The town of All Hallows was once a flourishing community, but now has descended into perpetual horror and despair, with mayhem around every corner. Evil forces conspire to impose doom on all who stroll through the themed houses; or try to escape the Crimson Woods; or wander through the Cemetery of Sorrows. “It is the most unforgettable night of terror that you will ever experience,” organizers warn. “Many who enter the forgotten town never escape, and those that do are changed forever…” For dinner, swing through charming Milton for some Celtic-flavored eats and brews at Irish Eyes Pub & Restaurant. Screams at the Beach welcomes families but warns that this is an experience of frights and screams. They are located at 22518 Lewes Georgetown Highway in Georgetown, Delaware on the grounds of Sports at the Beach. For more information, call 302-856-7400. The 411: Every Friday and Saturday, Oct. 2-31, 6:30-10:30 p.m. Place: 22518 Lewes Georgetown Highway, Georgetown, Delaware on the grounds of Sports at the Beach. For more information, call 302-856-7400.
The Haunted Forest at Roxana (Oct. 16-31)
Resurrected from the dead after a hiatus, this haunted forest is known for its eerie buildings and dark wooded recesses of start terror. Sooth your nerves with a hot chocolate, or sit by the bonfire until the blood pressure returns to normal. The 411: Opens at dusk; no tickets sold after 10 p.m. Place: 35943 Zion Church Rd, Roxana, Delaware 19945. (302) 436-2300.
Children’s Fantasy Trail at Cape Henlopen State Park (Oct. 23-25)
Kids are encouraged to get decked out in their costumes and come for some trick-or-treating for candy and toys with their favorite storybook characters along the jack-o-lantern-lined trail. Each evening under the tent, there will be singing, juggling, magic and more. The 411: 6p.m.-8p.m. Fri.-Sat; 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Sun. 15099 Cape Henlopen Dr., Lewes, DE. $5 per person.
Lewes Legends Tour
For a spooky night in one of Delaware’s most historic towns, join the Lewes Historical Society for “Spooky Stories: Shipwrecks & Shoals,” featuring a costumed interpreter who will lead visitors on a walking journey of the town’s haunted past of pirates and privateers. The night includes an eerie visit to two old buildings and St. Peter’s Church cemetery, and tales about the lives and (afterlives) of the town’s best-known residents. The 411: Tour schedule will be announced on the Lewes Historical Society website. Best suited for students ages 8-12.
The “Not-So-Spooky Scavenger Hunt” (Oct. 23)
Designed with small kids in mind, this event is geared to give them a fun time rather than the fright of their little lives. Get your little one dressed up and get ready to enjoy an early evening that includes such activities as a pirate quiz, cider and cookies. The 411: 5 p.m.-6 p.m. at the Rehoboth Beach Museum, 511 Rehoboth Ave. No reservations required; donations are welcome.
Boo-B-Que by the Sea (Oct. 30-31)
This family-oriented two-day event will feature music entertainment, craft and food vendors, legal beverages, and (of course), a highly competitive barbeque competition. To enter the competition, both pro and backyard grillers should contact event organizer. The 411: Participants will be set up in the south inlet campground at Delaware Seashore State Park, between Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach. Daily entrance fees are in effect, but visitors can get a 15% discount on campsites by calling 877-987-2757 and using promotional code SEABBQ1515. Proceeds from the event will benefit Delaware State Parks’ Children in Nature program and other outdoor programming.
Boo-to-Do Hollywood Premiere (Oct. 31)
Get ready for gourmet food, live music, a photo booth and costume contest. Come as your favorite Hollywood Movie Star -- or in your Sunday best. The 411: 7 p.m.-11:00 p.m. Nassau Valley Vineyards, 32165 Winery Way, Lewes.
Mysteries of History (Oct. 31)
Walking tour explores the unusual tombstones of St. Peter’s cemetery in Lewes. The 411: Tour leaves at 2 p.m. from Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes (the museum is open from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m). Call 302-645-1148 for more information.