Halloween thrills and fall fun at amusement parks

Looking for a place to go to get a thrill this fall? Area theme parks are ready to get you screaming.

From family Halloween fun to seriously scary haunted houses, check out the events at the parks below. Make sure to note which are geared toward younger kids and which are not for the faint of heart.

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream

Enjoy your favorite rides, roller coasters, attractions and fall décor during the day. Then, at 6 p.m. the park becomes a seriously scary place. (Pictured above) Fear abounds in the collection of elaborate haunted houses, immersive themed Terror-tories, and darkly entertaining live shows. New this year are the haunted house FrostBite, Axe Alley Terror-tory and an escape room called No Escape: Case of the Haunted Hotel. Consider the park’s elevated scare factor when deciding whether Howl-O-Scream is appropriate for young children.
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday Sept. 15-Oct. 28 plus Thursdays, Oct. 18 and 25. Opening and closing times vary so check the website.
One Busch Gardens Blvd., Williamsburg, Va.

Halloween fun at Dutch WonderlandDutch Wonderland Happy Hauntings

This family event features themed rides, special entertainment, tasty treats and a Trick-or-Treat Trail. Plus a Spook-takular Dance Party on Oct. 21 and 28 at 7 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 13-28. Visit the website for times.
2249 Lincoln Hwy. E, Lancaster, Pa.

Frightland Haunted Attractions

Named one of the top scariest haunted attractions in the country, Frightland offers eight haunted areas including a 2-mile haunted hayride, four indoor haunted houses and a full amusement park with rides, carnival games and food.
Select days Sept. 28 to Nov. 3. Ticket booth opens at 6 p.m. and closes at 9 p.m.
309 Port Penn Road, Middletown, Delaware

Kings Dominion Great Pumpkin Fest and Halloween Haunt

The Great Pumpkin Fest is an ultimate fall festival with scare-free activities such as a petting zoo, foam pit, pumpkin painting, shows and more.
Sept. 22 and Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 28, noon–5 p.m.
Halloween Haunt is a scary evening activity with thrilling rides and frightful attractions including eight mazes, five scare zones, thrilling shows and 400 monsters wandering the park. Scary shows are in the theaters and rides are open for more thrills.
Fridays-Sundays, Sept. 28–Oct. 28. See website for times.
16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell, Virginia

Halloween ride at Hershey Park in the DarkHershey Park in the Dark

The family-focused event has Halloween-themed rides and experiences, a Trick-or-Treat Trail, and 13 roller coasters including a lights-out adventure on three coasters. Admission also includes a visit to Creatures of the Night at ZooAmerica. Take a flashlight and experience the zoo after dark.
Weekends Oct. 19–Nov. 4
100 W. Hershey Park Dr., Hershey, Pa.

Six Flags Fright Fest

Thrills By Day includes monster characters, trick-or-treating, interactive kids dance shows, rides and more.
Fright By Night includes several haunted houses and scare zones located throughout the park. Also catch dance shows, magic and a new bloody stunt show as well as the usual rides.
Select days Sept. 22-Oct. 28. Hours vary.
13710 Central Ave., Bowie/Mitchelville

Check out our roundup of haunted houses this Halloween with scare-factor ratings to help you choose the ones right for your family.

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