The moment the air becomes crisp and the leaves begin to fall we get excited because it means Halloween is just around the corner. I have yet to meet a child that doesn’t love getting dressed up and while parading around the neighborhood collecting more candy than their little eyes could ever dream of. It’s simply magical...so why not start the celebrations early by heading to Halloween Haunts hosted by This is the Place.
We’ve always loved this is the place but it becomes extra special during their Halloween Hoots. There are all the usual activities to look forward to including: pony rides, train rides, panning for gold and freshly made donuts. But at Halloween Hoots, there’s even more fun to be had.
When you first enter the park, don’t forget to get a schedule of events. There are a few things you won’t want to miss!
Namely, the candy cannon. One of our kid’s absolute favorites! It only happens twice a day (11:30 am and 3:00 pm) so make sure you’re on main street at one of those times so you don’t miss it! My husband took the kids while I stayed in the face painting line (more details later in this post about that) but when my daughter came back she said, “Mom, it was raining salt water taffy”! Needless to say, it was a total hit! Warning though, some pieces get burned by the explosion of the cannon. They weren’t dangerous for our kids to pick up but my husband taste tested one and, as predicted, it was really bad. Do yourself a favor and just throw those ones out.
Our kids love trick or treating...I mean they’re kids so of course they do! But I must say, trick or treating at the old historic homes was a special treat as an adult. Just put some plumbing in one of those homes and I’m moving in. I mean seriously, look at the fireplace...stunning!
At some of the homes there are also little activities for your kids. Mine really enjoyed the pumpkin bean bag toss...such a simple game but they didn’t want to leave it! They also really enjoyed cleaning wool, washing laundry (the old fashioned way) and then ironing it out. My personal favorite was watching little mermaids till the soil. Priceless.
Face Painting. So whenever there is facepainting my kids get so excited. Do yours? Free face painting and we HAVE to do it! In the end, they loved it and all was well but the line moves VERY slowly. Especially the line we were in! We waited over 30 minutes in a line that didn’t seem that long to begin with. My advice, skip it and never let your kids know it was an option.
The costume parade was also a huge hit. Everyone meets on Main Street and follows this pretty impressive dinosaur down the street. It had sound effects and everything so some kids loved him and some kids were terrified. Our 4 and 6 year old followed with delight, our 2 year old wouldn’t leave my arms.
Halloween Haunts also offers a bird show every hour on the hour. It was a cute little show. It doesn’t have the impressive flights that we’ve seen at the bird show at the zoo or Tracy Aviary but that’s not what this show is about. It’s all about giving you an up close look at the birds. They had some beautiful birds and they took the time to walk in between the isles with them so everyone in the audience had the chance to get a close look at the birds. We loved the miniature owls the best...so cute!
The creature encounter was my personal favorite...and I do NOT like creepy things! But this was a cool experience because it was very hands on. We walked in and someone just handed us a snake! My 6 year old held it like a champ which was super impressive to me! They had lizards just sitting out on the table that you could pet and take pictures with.
For our kids, you can’t go to This is The Place without panning for gold. We could have stayed 2 more hours just to pan for gold. After we got our share of gold we took it back to the bank for weighing. He let us know how much our gold was worth…$4.35 to be exact! We heard from a few different families that you can use that money somewhere in the little town but we asked multiple employees and no one knew what we were talking about so we’re guessing it’s a myth. Anyone know? I’m dying to know if you can actually use the money somewhere!
We loved Halloween Hoots at This is the Place. We can’t wait to go back!
Mention the Salt Project for 2$ off per ticket.
See the Salt Project's past articles here.
- Plan to spend a good portion of your day there. We spent 5 hours there and still didn’t do everything!
- Make sure to check the schedule so you don’t miss out on the costume parade and the candy cannon.
- Bring a waterbottle. There’s a drinking fountain right by the small playhouses that has great, cold water for you to fill up at!
- Bring bags for trick or treating but don’t worry if you don’t have one, they provide bags at the entrance if you forgot yours!