It’s that time of year for all things spooky and pumpkin, and Haunt O’ Ween—the newest experience in Holmdel, NJ—does not disappoint. Sure it may sound spooky, but it’s full of family Halloween fun with imaginative themes, trick-or-treating, pumpkin bouncy houses, food, games, rides, and face painting, all part of the adventure guaranteed to put you in the Halloween spirit. Originating on the West Coast, Haunt O’Ween blew East and landed at Bell Works in Holmdel, NJ, this past weekend. Of course, it didn’t take much convincing to get my kids excited to dress up in their Halloween costumes (they had them picked out well over a month ago) and be ready to go on opening day. With over 35,000 pumpkins to see (including ones to take home at the end), it was well worth the night of fun for my kids and us. Read on for all the details, and if you want more ideas on what to do this season, check out our guide to fall activities in NJ.
Halloween Fun at every turn
With over 200,000 square feet of Halloween goodness, this interactive Halloween playground is full of 9 different thematic areas with games and rides. We started by walking through Ghoul Town with ghosts at every turn. At Beyond the Grave Rave, fluorescent skeletons greeted us, and at Hidden Hollows and Funnybones Ranch, there was spooky decor with Western themes. At Moonlight Magic, we peeked into a witches’ lair and made sand art “potions” at the DIY bar (they had face painting too, but my kids chose to skip it). After, we went through the Pumpkin Tunnel, and we were all in awe of the glow-filled tube lit up with smiling orange Jack O’Lanterns. Finally, we came upon the Town of Hauntoween, with cute decorated houses where the kids could go trick or treating. We ended at the Fangtastic Fair, where they really go into it. They loved jumping in a pumpkin-themed bounce house, playing games, and going on the carousel.
One thing to note—there is fog all around, which sets a spooky Halloween scene, and we went before sunset, so if you have little ones that get more spooked, daylight is the time to go. Even though the scenery was Halloween-themed, nothing jumped out or scared anyone on the way, so you can be assured that it is kid-friendly. All of the scenes take about 30 minutes to walk through.
Walk through the fog and see the Halloween adventures around every turn.
Trick or Treat before Halloween
My kids were thrilled to visit the Town of Haunt O’Ween, and since they were dressed in their costumes, this little town put them in the spirit even more. There are eight houses for trick or treating, and we were given small bags to collect treats. A different dressed-up character visited us at each place, and we had plenty of goodies like blow pops, sugar sticks, and other assorted candies. For my kids, getting a Halloween preview of what is to come on the big day was one of the highlights of the Haunt O’Ween trail.
Bounce away from the sugar rush
After trick or treating, my kids were thrilled to enter the Fangtastic Fair, an area with a carousel, food trucks, and bouncy fun. There was a pumpkin-themed slide, bouncy pumpkin house, and a vast Jack o’Lantern bouncy pillow that several kids could run, bounce, and play on simultaneously. This was hands-down the favorite spot—my kids loved to jump and play, and the slide was just the perfect speed for them.
Fuel up at the Fangtastic Fair
Along with the bouncy houses, food and drink stops were available, from the Empanada Guy to an Italian food stop and BBQ. There were picnic tables where my husband and I could sit down and watch the kids play, making it a perfect spot to recharge and fuel up. Over to the side were haystack pyramids of pumpkins, and we could choose one and bring it home. It put us in a festive mood since this was our first pumpkin of the season and a souvenir of Halloween fun. On the way home, the kids were talking about their favorite parts (the pumpkin-themed bounce houses) and how they couldn’t wait to decorate the house after seeing all the witchy and skeleton scenes. But the best part was the kids got a little preview of what is to come on October 31st, making Haunt O’Ween a fantastic way to kick off the spooky season.
What To Know Before You Go
Haunt O’Ween is open for all ages from September 30-October 31, 2022. It’s open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays only, except for the week leading up to Halloween, when it’s open every day (in inclement weather, it’s best to check opening times and closings). Once you get to the event, you can stay as long as you want. Admission prices start at $40 (kids two and under are free), and if you have 10 or more in your crew, you can purchase tickets in a group bundle (fun for birthday parties or school groups). Food and beverage are available along with adult treats. The event is wheelchair accessible, and bathrooms are on site. The whole event is outdoors, so make sure to bring layers if it gets chilly at night, and feel free to dress up in those Halloween costumes for added Haunt O’Ween fun.
101 Crawfords Corner Road
Holmdel, NJ 07733
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