Sign up for our Newsletter


Team Beetlejuice competes in the coffin races during the Halloween Fest in Downtown Riverhead. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

For adults, fall’s arrival means pumpkin spice ads, sweater weather, and foliage peeping. But for kids, the seasonal rewards are far more tangible — finding the perfect costume for October 31, watching creepy movies, and the sugar rush that comes with discovering that one house on the block handing out full-size candy bars. Both parties meet in the middle on the North Fork, where the calendar is ripe with events to make the most out of the weekends leading up to the big Halloween holiday. From the mild spooks of family-friendly activities on a farm to more heart-pounding haunted house tours that come with a medical warning, there is something for everyone this month.

Harbes Orchard’s Spooky Night Maze

Saturdays in October, plus Sunday, October 8, 7 to 10:00 p.m.

The same light-hearted corn stalk maze at Harbes takes on a slightly creepier vibe when those six-foot-tall walls become dark corridors that you navigate by the moon and flashlight. Costumed characters wait to spook your family as they hide down dead ends, pop out from between stalks, and greet you on the bridge. Refreshments will be available for purchase before or after you’ve completed the maze.

$23 per person with the last admission at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are sold on-site only and the maze is open weather permitting. Each party needs one flashlight so bring your own, or buy one on site.

Harbes Family Farm, 5698 Sound Ave., Riverhead

Graveyard Tour

Saturday, October 7, 2:00 p.m. (rain date: October 8)

This walking tour starts at the North Fork Community Theatre and then meanders through the graveyard of the nearby Mattituck Presbyterian Church, where costumed actors tell the life stories of important figures buried there, like civil war vets, and the pastors who made their mark on the North Fork. The production leverages local expertise with the Mattituck-Laurel Historical Society and Museums, which provides the context for those who lived in the area until the 1800s. Add to that the church, which uses a legit graveyard setting, and the North Fork Community Theatre adding the entertainment, and you and the kids get the full-immersion experience. Actors in Victorian mourning attire recount what happened to locals like James and Francis Wickham, who were cut down by an ax-wielding former employee (and you think your job is tough).

$25 per ticket. Tours start every 10 minutes and are available at North Fork Community Theatre, or by calling 631-298-6328

North Fork Community Theatre 12700 Old Sound Avenue, Mattituck

Halloween Fest

Saturday, October 21, 3 p.m. (rain date: October 28)

The town puts its best, costumed foot forward by transforming West Main Street and the surrounding area into a daylong family-friendly party. The coffin race is back with Ghoulies (ages 5-12) and Zombies (12 and older) teams zooming down Griffing Avenue at 3:00 p.m. That is also the street where the costume parade begins just before 7:00 p.m. and then turns onto West Main Street. Expect trick-or-treating for kids from 4 to 6 p.m., restaurants offering specials, and the Haunted Ale-Trail with a bevy of beverages from local breweries and distilleries. In the evening, there’s a stage with live entertainment that overlooks the Peconic River. Here’s a map of the events.

Downtown Riverhead

Bats, Barnacles & Broomsticks Halloween Party

Saturday, October 28, 10:00 a.m.

Arrive in costume and receive half-off admission with a paying adult (one child, 12 years and younger per adult) to this annual Halloween party, now in its tenth year. Kids will make their way trick-or-treating through the aquarium and visit vendor tables for a chance to win raffles and other prizes. Everyone gets to enjoy the aquarium creatures, some of whom will be joining in the dress-up fun with sea lions and penguins holding candy buckets and owls in witch hats. The haunted tree house is back on Saturday nights from 7 to 9:00 p.m. all October where kids can climb the activity tree, decorate a pumpkin, and make sand art.

$46 for adults and $32 per child, before costume discount.

Long Island Aquarium, 431 East Main St., Riverhead

Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. Halloween Party

Saturday, October 28, 7:00 p.m.

Costumes are encouraged — as are team efforts — at the brewery where DJ Flykai will play music as guests dance down the runway in singles, doubles and groups for a chance to impress the secret judges and win prizes, including a $100 gift card and swag. Expect a menu from the brewery’s chef Greg Ling, local wine and cocktails to-go along with Greenport Harbor’s craft brews, including Leaf Pile and Oktoberfest-themed Fest Bier, ensuring something for just about everyone.

42155 Main Road, Peconic

Darkside Haunted House

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October, 6 or 7:00 p.m.

This legendary haunted house, now in its 25th year, is not for the faint of heart — literally, if you have a heart condition (or are pregnant or have a bad back) you should probably skip this. Situated in a house just off the road that looks scary on a summer day, this walkthrough (maybe run?) experience is staffed with talented actors and makeup artists who bring movie-quality special effects to real life. Expect possessed acrobats with the dexterity to walk on all fours, belly up while creeping you out with a crazed gaze, chainsaw-wielding clowns, maybe a few madmen and monsters, and maybe even Jigsaw.

$35 per person; $40 on premium nights in October. Check the website for schedule and to buy tickets.

5184 NY-25A, Calverton