A few spooktacular ways to get in the Halloween spirit

Whether you’re trick-or-treating with your children, or planning to have a little fun of your own, there are plenty of fall and Halloween-flavored festivities with costumes and more to be a part of over the next few weeks. Here’s our pick of some of the top Halloween-themed events in Southwest Ohio.


Pyramid Hill’s third annual Zombie Ball, “Dance of the Undead” will be held on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. Jeni Barton, director of arts administration at Pyramid Hill, said The Zombie Ball encourages guests to dress up like zombies, vampires, mummies and other creative characters. Other highlights throughout the evening will include a DJ, The Sweeney Todd of The Animal Crackers, cocktails and a horror-themed buffet, a zombie photo booth, zombie caricature artists, a haunted hayride and more. Plus, attendees will have an opportunity to arrive on the blood-red carpet in a hearse (with a ticket upgrade of $10, or $15 for couples.) Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum is located at 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Road in Hamilton. Tickets start at $30 for individuals and $50 for couples. Other special event packages are also available. For details, visit www.pyramidhill.org or call (513) 863-8336.


Jungle Jim’s third annual Fall Smash will be held on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. The fall celebration will feature Pumpkin beer tastings, hard cider, live entertainment and a variety of food trucks that will invade the Greenhouse for a day of fun. Food trucks will be on site to serve guests, starting at 11 a.m. Festivities will start inside the Greenhouse at 3 p.m. Jungle Jim’s International Market is located at 5440 Dixie Highway in Fairfield. For more information, visit www.junglejims.com and www.junglefests.com, or call (513) 674-6000. The Eastgate location will also have an event the same day, “Jungle Jim’s Taste of the Sea” with fresh samples from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and cold beer and wine until 10 p.m.


Falloween Fest, a family-friendly Halloween event, will be held on Oct. 21, from noon to 6 p.m. at the Butler County Fairgrounds at 1715 Fairgrove Ave. in Hamilton. Festivities will include trick-or-treating with a chance to meet all the crafters and vendors, who will hand out treats. Additional activities include a balloon artist, face painting, food, music by Class X radio and a raffle drawing. Plus, one of the Minion’s will be on site for pictures, along with other photo opportunities, so don’t forget your costume. The raffle will raise funds for Feeding America. Free admission and parking. Those that bring a non-perishable food item will receive one raffle ticket. For more information, call (513) 892-1423 or (513) 376-5871.


Running every Friday and Saturday night through Oct. 28, the 11th annual Halloween Haunt will feature 10 haunted mazes, three outdoor scare zones, three live stage shows and hundreds of clowns, ghouls, vampires, werewolves and zombies lurking in the shadows throughout the park. In addition, 20 rides are open including Banshee, Diamondback, The Beast and Mystic Timbers, recently voted “Best New Ride in 2017” by Amusement Today. Two new scare zones debuted this year: Dance of the Macabre and Wasteland. Tickets for Halloween Haunt are as low as $31.99 when purchased in advance at www.visitkingsisland.com or through the Kings Island’s mobile app, which Android and iPhone users can download for free. Admission to the event is free for 2017 Gold and Platinum passholders.

For children and families, the Great Pumpkin Fest, presented by the Hershey Company, is a kid-friendly daytime Halloween event at Kings Island that will take place from noon-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 29. The event features crafts, games, mini tractor races, a hay bale maze, foam bit, trick-or-treat stops, petting farm, kids’ costume contest and meet-and-greet opportunities with the Peanuts gang. For more information, visit www.visitkingsisland.com.


Jack-O-Lantern Junction at EnterTRAINment Junction features kid-friendly Halloween fun with an indoor, no-scare walk-through trick-or-treat maze with ghosts, skeletons, cobwebs and multiple treat stations; also, the area’s only indoor Pumpkin Patch (where kids get a free mini-pumpkin), plus Halloween crafts, a talking pumpkin, and a Halloweenville miniature animated display. Outside there is a kid-size straw maze, and Halloween themed hand-cranked train cars and electric train ride (weather permitting). All other EnterTRAINment Attractions are also open. EnterTRAINment Junction is located at 7379 Squire Court, West Chester. The attraction is open through Tuesday, Oct. 31. Various packages start at $9.95. Go to www.entertrainmentjunction.com, or call (513) 898-8000.


For those who like Halloween activities that are a bit scary, the 14th Annual Dayton Lane Ghost Walk may be an option to check out. The tour will be held on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 6 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. in the Dayton Lane Historic District. Walking tours will leave from the Wolfe Gazebo in the 900 block of Campbell Avenue. Guests will take a lantern-led, evening stroll through one of Hamilton’s historic neighborhoods. The one-hour, guided walk will expose ghosts, ghouls and legends, and will be held rain or shine. A reception will follow. Tickets are $20 at the door. Funds raised from the event will support the Dayton Lane Historic District, a non-profit, which helps maintain the local neighborhood park, various public landscapes, and other projects that benefit the nationally registered historic district. Visit www.facebook.com/events/129521371025224.


You and your furry friends can celebrate Halloween at The Howl, which will take place on Sunday, Oct. 22 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Voice of America MetroPark at 7850 VOA Park Drive. Dress up your pet and join the “Pupper Costume Parade,” along with a trick-or-treat trail for both children and dogs. After exploring the vendors or participating in the doggy obstacle course, consider sticking around for the 2.4-mile “Doggy Dash” around the lake. If you don’t have a pet, no worries — area rescue centers will have adoptable dogs available for you to walk. For more information, go to www.yourmetroparks.net, or call (513) 867-5835.


Land of Illusion is open for its 20th season. A general admission ticket for $36.99 includes unlimited access to five, award-winning haunted attractions. Concert events are included with admission to the park. Other not-to-miss Land of Illusion attractions include Sniper Zombie Patrol and the freefall Demon Drop, which cost additional/require a separate ticket. Land of Illusion is located at 8762 Thomas Road, in Madison Twp. outside of Middletown. For hours, entertainment options and pricing, visit www.LandOfIllusion.com, or call (513) 423-9960.

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