Trick or treat? Luckily, you don't have to choose just one. There will be plenty of both this Halloween in the Catskills! Whether you're escorting a costume-clad child, or you yourself are a big kid at heart, you'll find endless, frightening fun at these haunting holiday events. Kids can safely enjoy the spirit of the season at any of these "treats." Or, if you're feeling brave, head to one of the region's "tricks" for a more intense experience.
Trick or Treat?
TRICK: A Turn of the Screw – Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Nov. 4, Hunter
The hair on your arms will rise, your breath will catch, and your heart will race throughout this thrilling theatrical performance. This Halloween season, Kaaterskill Actors Theater and Schoharie Creek Players present a suspenseful performance of Henry James's classic tale of supernatural horror, A Turn of the Screw. One of the most famous ghost stories ever written, the play follows a young woman who is hired by a mysterious gentleman as a governess to oversee two small orphans at a remote and crumbling mansion full of secrets. Nothing could possibly go wrong there, right?
Enjoy A Turn of the Screw at the Doctorow Center for the Arts in Hunter on October 26, 27 and 28 and November 2, 3 and 4. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7 p.m. and a Sunday matinee is available at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for young adults 12-18. Due to the nature of the content, small children are discouraged from attending. Tickets can be purchased at the door – cash only.
TREAT: Kids Halloween Party at the Shamrock House – Oct. 27, East Durham
Enjoy classic Halloween fun at this kid-friendly Catskills event. Bring your little witches and wizards to the Shamrock house between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 27 for treats, music, games, a magic show, and more. All manner of monsters are welcome, so be sure to come in costume! An adult Halloween party precedes this event on the eve of Friday, Oct. 26.
TRICK: Haunted Theatre Tours – Friday and Saturdays through Oct. 27, South Fallsburg
What's even better than a haunted house? A huge, foreboding haunted theatre! These aren't just any ghouls or ghosts, either. The scare masters at the Rivoli Theatre are the talented thespians of the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop. Tour three levels of frights, each one more terrifying than the last. One of the scariest Halloween attractions in the Catskills, this spooky spectacle grows bigger and more hair-raising every year, so be sure to bring your bravest friends along with you for support! Tours run consecutively from 6-10 p.m. and, thanks to support from the Wallkill Boys & Girls Club and NYSEG, only costs $10. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance online. This attraction is not recommended for children under 13 years of age.
TREAT: Monsters, Inc. at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts – Oct. 28, Bethel
Enjoy all day family-friendly Halloween fun at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on Sunday, October 28. Kids can take part in a candy scavenger hunt and create monstrous crafts between noon and 2 p.m. before the feature event – a showing of Monsters, Inc. – begins. This G-rated Disney/Pixar® classic is a heartwarming alternative to traditional scary monster movies. Snack on something spooky from the cafe, like snails and snakes, mini mummy pizza, and bloody cherry cheesecake. Come dressed up to win a prize in the costume contest, and show off your best "Thriller" moves on the dancefloor during the Monster Mash dance party. Activities are free. There is a small fee to view the movie.
TREAT: The Haunts of Rip Van Winkle – Oct. 26, Arkville
This treat of a trip is more than just fun – it's a great way to support a good cause, too! Bring at least two cans of food to donate to the Arkville Community Pantry and kids ride free! The Haunts of Rip Van Winkle will take passengers on a scenic tour through the picturesque Catskill Mountains, which are aglow with brilliant color during the fall. The Delaware and Ulster Railroad's eerie railroad tour departs from the Arkville Station at 10 a.m. The Arkville Community Pantry offers food assistance to more than 500 families in need.
TRICK: Halloween Costume Party at The Shire – Oct. 27, Delhi
Tricks don't always have to be scary! Halloween can be a feel-good party, too. Dress up and head to The Shire in Delhi for a hauntingly fun time. A costume contest will award prizes for the scariest, sexiest, funniest, and best couple costumes, so get creative! Do the Monster Mash on the dancefloor as the DJ spins his spookiest tracks, and take advantage of drink specials all night long. Festivities begin at 9 p.m. and there is no cover charge.
TRICK: The Barn of Terror in Lake Katrine – Fridays, Saturday, and Sundays through Oct. 28, Lake Katrine
This Catskills trick is almost too scary to talk about. Named one of the "Top 10 Haunted Houses in New York State" by USA Today, the Barn of Terror is now open for its 16th season. That means they have 15 years of experience in the fright business, and you better believe they have learned some pretty terrifying tricks in that time! Covering 30 acres of farmland, the Barn of Terror features multiple ghastly attractions, including The Barn, Silo, Corn Maze, Cemetery, Mineshaft, Root Cellar, Field House, and, last but not least, the terrifying Cornville. Get ready to run from the sadistic creatures lurking in the Corn Maze, and don't be surprised if your hands find something other-worldly as they reach through the pitch-black darkness of the haunted barn. Tours run from 7-11 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Tickets are $33 online and $35 at door. This experience is recommended for those over 13 years of age.
TREAT: Rails of Terror – Haunted Train Rides – Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 27, Kingston
Climb aboard the Catskill Mountain Railroad's haunted train for a moving fright fest hosted by the spook-tacular Lady Eloise. Perhaps the scariest of the "treats," you'll be on the edge of your seat listening to frightening tales of local ghosts. And beware, ghoulish passengers have been known to lurk around the train cars. Rides depart at 6 p.m. and return to the station at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $38 for adults and $30 for children ages 2-12. A $2 discount is available for seniors, military, and veterans. This activity is recommended for teens and adults.
DOG TREAT: UCSPCA Howl-o-ween Party – Oct. 27, Ulster County SPCA, Kingston
Okay, this one is just a bonus, but why leave four-legged canine companions out of the Halloween activities? There might be a few tricks, but there will be lots and lots of treats at The Ulster County SPCA's Howl-o-Ween party. Stop by the shelter between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. for refreshments, a costume parade, and contests. Costumes are encouraged for both humans and dogs. It's scary how cute this event is going to be!
Halloween only comes once a year, so pull your head out of the apple-bobbing bucket and put down the candy corn. Whether it be super scary or family-friendly, it's time to experience something different! Celebrate Halloween in the Catskills this year, and get your fill of tricks and treats. ...Boo!