Oh, man. As I write this, it is the perfect fall morning. Slightly cool temps, so I’m wearing a light jacket, and we’re just at the right distance from Christmas to feel a little giddy without worrying about to-do lists, just yet. As if all that weren’t great enough, we have that delightfully creepy, costume-driven holiday, Halloween, to whet our festive whistle in the meantime.
As with every other special occasion, south Louisiana does not shy away from any opportunity to party. As you’ll see below, there are plenty of opportunities (23, to be exact!) to celebrate in spooky style, whether you live in New Orleans or on the Northshore.
Lakeside Shopping Center invites everyone to take photos with the Great Pumpkin and ride the Goblin Express train throughout the month of October. On Halloween, trick or treating beings at 7pm. Hours for the train are Monday – Saturday 10am – 8pm, Sundays 12pm-6pm. Pumpkin Patch Photos: Monday – Thursday, 10am-7pm. Photos with the Great Pumpkin: Friday and Saturdays, 10am-8pm; Sundays, 12-6pm. Click here for more information.
Visitors can get their pictures taken with Mr. Hal-O-Ween at Clearview Mall on Saturdays and Sundays in October. Then, on Halloween night from 5pm-8pm, they will have mall-wide trick or treating, pictures with Mr. Hal-O-Ween, face painters, and games. Click here for more information.
This one-day kid-centric event occurs in Dutch Alley, between Dumaine and St. Phillip Streets, with trick-or-treating throughout the French Market District, from the Shops at the Upper Pontalba to the Open Air Market. Children in costume receive a complimentary trick or treating bag (while supplies last) with a list of participating vendors and visit shops along Decatur Street, at Jackson Square, and in the farmers market. The event, free and open to the public, also includes a petting zoo, interactive craft-making booths, a New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park scavenger hunt and Junior Ranger station, local children’s authors and book signings hosted by Tisket a Tasket book and gift shop, and live music. Click here for details.
This large festival style event, held in Bogue Falaya Park in Covington, offers lots of activities, entertainment, and trick or treating for the kids, plus local area restaurants and vendors will be serving refreshments, snacks and treats for purchase. Costumes encouraged. Go here for tickets and details.
Audubon Zoo’s annual extravaganza is a safe, fun-filled Halloween event for children up to age 12, featuring trick-or-treat houses with candy, the Ghost Train (which can be scary for children and adults), a haunted house (scary and non-scary), games, entertainment and more. All games and treats, except concessions, are free with admission.This year, on Friday, October 21, It’s MARVEL Super-Hero Night with the Spider-Man, Captain America, and Iron Man. For tickets and more information, go here.
October 21-23 on Friday & Saturday: 6pm early admission, 7pm to 10pm general admission; Sunday: 4pm early admission, 5pm to 8pm general admission
The annual spook-tacular three-night Halloween fundraising event hosted by the Friends of City Park offers non-scary fun for the whole family, including unlimited rides in Carousel Gardens, trick-or-treating in Storyland, arts and crafts, a pumpkin patch, airbrush tattoos, balloon animals, music and more. All proceeds from Ghosts in the Oaks go toward capital improvements in Carousel Gardens and Storyland. For tickets, to purchase a Friends of City Park membership, or for additional information, visit the website.
Barnes & Noble stores in Metairie and Mandeville are hosting fun-filled Halloween storytimes. Little Blue Truck is back and picking up his animal friends for a costume party, and in I Need My Monster, a unique under-the-bed story, Ethan checks under his bed for his monster Gabe and finds a note from him instead: “Gone fishing. Back in a week.” Click here for more information.
The Ritz-Carlton pastry chefs will provide the gingerbread, you provide the creativity at this new Halloween event where visitors can make and decorate their own haunted pumpkin creations. Parental supervision is required. Call (504) 262-5048 or go here for reservations and details.
Little ghouls and goblins are sure to have a scary good time as they enjoy festive holiday themed snacks in the Ritz-Carlton’s Davenport Lounge. Costumes are encouraged. Call (504) 262-5048 or go here for reservations and details.
Unlike any other parade in the world, this one includes beautifully horrific props and sculptures from the Kern Studios, and it rolls through the French Quarter and CBD, ending at Mardi Gras World, which will host an after party. For the parade route and other information, go here.
Costumed characters add to the spooky ambience of this Halloween tea at the Windsor Court Hotel’s Le Salon. Children of all ages are encouraged to wear costumes as they enjoy a delicate tea sandwiches and Halloween-themed treats. Call (504) 596-4773 or click here for reservations.
Happening on the riverfront in front of Madisonville’s town hall on Water Street, this festive, Halloween-themed event will also include trick or treats for the children. Click here for more information.
October 28-30 on Friday, 5-8:30pm; Saturday, 1-8:30pm; Sunday, 1-5:30pm
This 3-day Halloween Festival is primarily for children under 13 years old to costume and participate in activities such as trick or treating at 11 “houses” on Treat Street, Boo House (their version of a not too scary haunted house) , face-painting, 12 games, the hay stack romp, animal balloons, a story telling tent, 16 free games with prizes, and an entertainment stage for the children. Visit their website for more information.
Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington invites children and families to wear costumes and come Trick or Treat at over 70 haunted houses on the Green outside their facility. Other highlights include pumpkin decorating at the pumpkin patch, face painting, all-abilities games, a complimentary photo booth, music and dancing, participation by State Police Troop L, costume contests, and more. All proceeds benefit children with disabilities and their families. Visit the website for more information.
Audubon Insectarium is celebrating Halloween with treats and close-up encounters with critters. A $3 admission discount will be given to adults and kids who wear costumes. Visitors will learn about the myths behind some “scary” critters, go trick-or-treating for bug-themed trinkets, enjoy halloween-themed cookies, check out pumpkins that double as animal exhibits, and more. Go here for more information.
In addition to their month-long pumpkin patch, First Presbyterian Church of New Orleans is once again hosting their annual costume contest and movie. The featured movie is “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown,” starts at 2:30pm, while the costume contest starts at 4:30pm in the pumpkin patch. Small prizes will be awarded, and unlimited refreshments will be available for $5. Proceeds will benefit the Program of Hope homeless ministry and Christian Education. If you need more information, call (504) 866-7409 or click here.
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual Halloween Family Concert returns featuring classical music’s delightfully spooky dance tunes. Come dressed in your favorite Halloween costume and be sure to arrive 45 minutes prior to the concert to interact with our ghoulish musicians and their instruments. Go here for details.
The Louisiana Children’s Museum encourages visitors to wear costumes to their annual event, which will feature festive music, crafts, and activities. Kids can dig into a gooey bowl of slime and learn how to make their own at home, treat-or-treat, and bust a move at a dance party in the Atrium. In line with the Museum’s Health & Wellness Initiative, candy will not be distributed. For tickets and information, click here.
The free event, hosted by TerraBella Village Square in Covington, features pumpkins, pumpkin painting, face painting, a jump house, hayride, crafts for the kids, refreshments for purchase, and more. Please bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Covington Food Bank. For details, click here.
The Shops at Canal Place are hosting their annual family- oriented Halloween event. Complimentary candy totes will be distributed (while supplies last) to the kids for fun trick-or-treating at participating stores. Kids are also encouraged to come dressed to impress, with special prizes awarded for the best costumes. In addition, families can enjoy live entertainment, face painting, balloon sculptures, special store promotions, and giveaways throughout the event. Plus, RHINO Contemporary Crafts will offer kids the opportunity to create their own Halloween masks. To learn more, go here.
St. Anselm invites everyone to attend their 11am mass in their family-friendly costumes, then stick around for the festivities to begin. Activities include treat bag decorating, trick or treating, games, a costume contest, cookie and pumpkin decorating contests, and more. The Knights of Columbus will also have drinks and hot dogs. Call (985) 845-7342 or visit the website for more details.
Once again, the town of Abita Springs is hosting a big party on Halloween night. The town hall and around downtown will be filled with music, games, trick or treating, food, and fun. Click here for details.