The beloved Halloween holiday falls on October 31, but you can experience spooky events and celebrations all month long in the Oklahoma City (OKC) area. From a night of frights to children's activities and trick-or-treating, Oklahoma's capital has plenty for both kids and adults. Halloween in OKC is unlike any other in the Midwest, and after you're done with your terrifying adventure, you'll understand why it's considered one of the "scare capitals" of the United States.
Each fall, the Myriad Botanical Gardens, a 17-acre exotic plant paradise found in downtown OKC with over 1,000 species of flora from six continents, opens a special section of the gardens dedicated to pumpkins. Over 16,000 pumpkins are brought to the Children's Garden to transform it into a New England-themed pumpkin town with fall decorations, harvest-themed vendors, a carousel, and fun activities like games and crafts. Pumpkinville is open from October 11 through 27, 2019.
While there are many cruises on the Oklahoma River, none can quite compare with the Haunt the River Cruise offered by Oklahoma River Cruises the last three Friday and Saturdays of October—for those 21 and up. Departing from the Exchange Landing on the south bank of the Oklahoma River, this 1.5 hour voyage across the river on a decorated boat includes scary music, appetizers, and a cash bar. Dress up to enter the costume contest, wear shoes that are safe for a boat, bring your ID, and be sure to purchase tickets in advance online.
The Sanctuary and the Guthrie Haunts ScareGrounds are among the top-rated OKC haunted attractions that will be returning for the 2019 season. However, there are more than a handful of these spooky attractions to choose from, each with its own unique take on the scary holiday. The Sanctuary is open weekends from October 4, 2019, through November 2, 2019, while Guthrie Haunts stretches from September 21, 2019, to November 9, 2019. Unfortunately, none of these destinations are appropriate for younger children, so you'll have to leave the kids at home to enjoy these area favorites.
Storybook Forest, which takes place the last two Tuesdays of October in the evenings, is an appealing event for younger children. Little ones will adore collecting candy from characters from their favorite fables and seeing charming Storybook scenes. In addition, the event features fun storytelling, a campfire for sipping on some hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows, a hayride, games, and other kids' activities. Storybook Forest is located in Arcadia Lake's Spring Creek Park in Edmond, about 15 miles north of OKC.
The Oklahoma City Zoo will host its 36th annual Haunt the Zoo Halloween event on the last two weekends of October 2019, featuring trick-or-treating booths, a ghost train, and DJ dance parties. Each year continues to set attendance records, and it's one of the top places in the metro for parents to bring their children for safe Halloween fun.
The community of Bricktown, just east of the Downtown Business District in OKC, goes all out for Halloween for the annual Brick-or-Treat event held on the last Monday of October. You can take the kids to Bricktown for trick-or-treating at district businesses where owners and employees will be dressed in full costumes. Children must be under age 14 and dressed in a costume to participate in the candy giveaways. The event includes a pumpkin-painting station, mascots from local teams, and many fun costumes. Events are centralized around Mickey Mantle Plaza at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (where you can grab a map).
On weekend evenings in October, Frontier City in OKC turns into a haunted amusement park as part of its annual Frightfest celebration. Featuring costumed ghouls and monsters, entertaining saloon and gunfighter shows, a trick-or-treat trail for kids, Halloween dance parties, and a spooky haunted house for older visitors, Frontier City is a great place to spend the day with the whole family and enjoy the night with older kids and adults.
Take the short drive about 35 miles to Shawnee from OKC for the annual Boo on Bell if you want a fun, safe event for the entire family. Held in historic downtown on Bell Street, the event is presented by Safe Events for Families and Visit Shawnee and offers carnival games, live music, storytelling, costume contests (for dogs too), a car show, trick-or-treating, food trucks, and much more. The festivities take place on October 24-26, 2019.
Get Frightened at the Spooktacular Carnival in Mustang
Each year, the city of Mustang about 18 miles from OKC hosts a Spooktacular Halloween Carnival and Festival featuring a petting zoo, train rides, food trucks, numerous games, a maze, and more—all absolutely free. Held at Wild Horse Park and organized by the city's Parks and Recreation Department, it includes a special area for the little kids, and there are concessions available on-site for purchase. Events usually take place the last Saturday evening of the month.
Each October, the Oklahoma Railway Museum dedicates two days to providing children with a few spooks and thrills aboard the Halloween Train. On October 26 and 27, 2019, trains depart several times a day from the historic Oakwood Depot on the Oklahoma Railway Museum grounds, and feature a moon bounce, a miniature golf course, and treats for the kids on-site before leaving the station. Put on your Halloween costume and enjoy one of the special holiday train rides.