3 local Halloween daytrips

With Halloween quickly approaching, many weekend daytrippers are getting into the spirit by flocking to Salem, Massachusetts. However, this article is for those who might not have the time or energy to cross state lines but still want to enjoy a day of spooky fun.

Consider these local spooky spots that everyone can enjoy:   

Main Street, Old Wethersfield 

Historic Wethersfield takes great pride in their authentic New England heritage. This picturesque historical backdrop for the Annual Scarecrows Along Main display makes for an unforgettable day as visitors enjoy the creative talents of local crafters.

As you stroll down the street, you’re bound to recognize some familiar “faces" on the pumpkin-headed scarecrows— including George Washington, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, and the Wizard of Oz gang. While the Main Street shops and eateries are top notch, the main attraction really is the incredible work on the plethora of scarecrows that span far and wide. 

Main Street, Essex  

This day trip provides another scarecrow walk, but a totally different feel than that of Old Wethersfield. While downtown Essex is home to some incredible early American historic landmarks (including the famous Griswold Inn), the cozy maritime spot is overall a modern little hub that brings food, lifestyle, and culture together in one charming area! With crafty scarecrows lining the streets, the main attraction here is more the atmosphere itself.

With all the charm of any nautical town combined with the added layer of a community proud of their history, a day trip to Essex will be one to remember. Whether you’re watching ships float by on a seaside stroll, popping into premiere rubber duck novelty shop Essex Duck, or dining with history at The Griswold Inn, Essex is guaranteed to please.

Lake Compounce, Bristol

This day trip is a two-parter— start off the day with different kinds of screams at America’s oldest continuously operating amusement park, Lake Compounce! Take a ride on the famous Boulder Dash roller coaster, pick your own pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, visit the hay mazes and more at this all-in-one experience. 

Once the park closes at 6 p.m., make your way over to Camp Mattatuck, 221 Mount Tobe Rd, Plymouth, for The Hollowed Harvest. This brilliant jack-o’-lantern festival features thousands of artistically carved and arranged pumpkin displays that are impressive to all aged audiences! This luminous walk-through event is a perfect way to end a perfect day. 

This spooky season, don’t forget that there are some incredible attractions right around the corner. Whether you’re looking for a daring date night or family-friendly fun, there’s a whole lot to enjoy right here in our neck of the woods. Happy daytripping!  

Francesca Fontánez is a Meriden-based journalist, educator, and creative. A graduate of both the University of New Haven and the University of Bridgeport, she is happy to be back in Meriden writing about the city she loves. When she's not helping out in the English department at Maloney High School, she's either exploring the Eastern seaboard for her lifestyle blog (@ eastsidevibes on Instagram) or working on music for her band, Cessa and The Zach. Email Francesca at eastsidevibeswithcess@gmail.com with tips on what you want to read about next, or just to say hi!

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