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. Check out our key below to quickly reference which events are friendly for the whole family and which ones provide scary thrills.

Updated 2022

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. Fear abounds in the collection of elaborate haunted houses, immersive themed scare zones, and darkly entertaining live shows.  Consider the park’s elevated scare factor when deciding whether Howl-O-Scream is appropriate for young children.

When: Select Nights from September 9 to October 31; Opening and closing times vary so check the website.
Where: One Busch Gardens Blvd., Williamsburg, Va.

Dutch Wonderland Happy Hauntings

Halloween fun at Dutch Wonderland

Safe, non-scary fun for kids and over 30 themed rides and family-friendly attractions. There’s a ghoul-filled train ride to enjoy the beautiful park as well as nightly dance party with cool giveaways.

When: Saturdays and Sundays, October 1 to 30 , 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: 2249 Lincoln Hwy. E, Lancaster, Pa.


Named a Top 10 Scariest Haunted Attraction in the country by Travel Channel, Forbes and Huffington Post. Offers eight unique haunted attractions including a one mile Haunted Hayride, four indoor haunted houses and much, much more. Additionally, there is a full amusement park with rides, carnival games and carnival food.

When: Select days from September 30 to November 5. Ticket booth opens at 6 p.m. and closes at 9 p.m.
Where: 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.
When: Saturdays and Sundays September 24 to October 30, noon–5 p.m. Included with park admission.

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.
When: Fridays-Sundays, September 24–October 30. See website for times.

Where: 16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell, Virginia

Hershey Park in the Dark

Halloween ride at Hershey 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.

When: Weekends Starting September 17 to October 17
Where: 100 W. Hershey Park Dr., Hershey, Pa.

Six Flags Fright Fest

Kids BOO Fest features family friendly rides for you little ones to enjoy during the day. There is also a Trick-or-Treat Trail, wonderful Monstertainment and many other cool activities.

Fright By Night includes several haunted houses and scare zones located throughout the park. Also enjoy haunted shows and your favorite rides at night.

When: Select days from September 24 to October 30. Hours vary.
Where: 13710 Central Ave., Bowie/Mitchelville

Check out our roundup of Maryland Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes for more seasonal fun!