Halloween is right around the corner, and the anticipatory excitement of our pediatric patients is palpable this time of year. We love hearing about how our community members celebrate this season, from spooktacular Halloween traditions to those more focused on seasonal harvests and the time-honored sacrament of honoring our ancestors.
We like to remind parents that while exciting, Halloween is also very scary, depending on your kiddos’ age or visual sensitivities. Fortunately, the Portland area has a vast array of kid-friendly and more spooky Halloween Events.
Our Favorite Halloween & Seasonal Activities In and Around Portland
We love to share ideas about places to go and things to do that the whole family can enjoy. This time, we wanted to share some of our favorite spooky Halloween events around Portland and other seasonal events for family fun.
1. Harvesting your own pumpkins for holiday displays and carving (all month)
Grocery stores make adding a pumpkin to the cart easy, but why not get your family outdoors and visit one of our many local pumpkin patches? Most farms and growers in the area have more than just pumpkins to sell.
Visitors typically have opportunities to take hay rides, make their way through corn mazes, and pet or visit the farm animals. You’ll learn about growing seasonal fruits and vegetables, have opportunities to shop their farm-fresh seasonal produce stands, and – of course – thousands of pumpkins are ready to be picked.
Examples of “pick your own pumpkin patches” include:
● Pumpkin Patch & Tree Farm
● Bella Organic
● Topaz Farm
● Fazio Farms
● Pumpkin Patch
Your kids will love scouring all those vines as they look for their perfect pumpkin. In addition to building lasting family memories, your trip to local pumpkin patches also supports our local farm culture.
2. Halloween at the Zoo
The Oregon Zoo provides a fun and safe setting for their annual Halloween tradition, where costumed trick-or-treaters learn about healthy habitats for wildlife in a fun scavenger hunt throughout the zoo. In addition, it’s a great way to get some exercise as you walk their extensive grounds while learning more about our planet, the ecosystem, and the many types of animals that share our globe with us.
The zoo states its activities are best suited for children between the ages of 2 and 12, but all are welcome. Trick-or-treat bags are available (while supplies last), and all of the goodies are made with deforestation-free palm oil, essential for preserving orangutans and elephant habitats. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
3. Hocus Pocus in Concert with the Portland Symphony
The original Hocus Pocus (Disney) film was released in 1993. Featuring actress all-stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, who play 17th-century witches who continue to wreak havoc in the current era. The feature film was wildly successful, and nearly 30 years later, Disney recently released Hocus Pocus 2, starring the same cast of witches.
This year, the Portland Symphony is performing the soundtrack to the feature film as the original Hocus Pocus plays in the background. NOTE: While Hocus Pocus was originally rated PG, it watches more like a PG-13 movie. It can be scary for children who are sensitive to the spookier side of Halloween. It’s a wonderful way to spend special bonding time with your older kids.
4. Soak up the Spirit of Halloween in St. Helens
As long as we’re on the subject of movie-inspired Halloween events more ideal for older kids, we must segue to Spirit of Halloween in St. Helens, OR. In 1998 the small city of St. Helens served as a backdrop to the Disney Channel Halloween classic “Halloweentown,” and each year thereafter, they transform their Riverfront District into the Spirit of Halloweentown, a celebration of all things spooky.
While you can take a drive and visit the spooktacularly decorated St. Helens any day of the month, we recommend visiting their “attractions page.” There, you’ll learn more about their varied weekend activities. That’s when the Spirit of Halloween comes alive. The event draws tens of thousands of visitors each year, but some activities may be too scary for the 10/12 and under crowd. Visitor discretion is advised.
5. Monster March & Spooktacular Carnival
On Saturday, 10/29, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., the Sellwood Community House invites families to enjoy the kid-friendly “spirit of Halloween” by participating in or attending their Monster March costume parade. Afterward, enjoy food, games, and activities at their old-fashioned carnival. All proceeds generated by the event go to support Sellwood Community House’s after-school program.
This community event starts at the Sellwood Middle School for the Monster March parade and ends with a party where kids can enjoy games, music, food, a photo booth, and face painting for Halloween. Wear your costumes, and register in advance for food and admission to this family event.
Dia de Los Muertos Celebrations
There are ample opportunities to observe Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in and around Portland. Click Here for a list of events taking place all month long. Some of the most traditional include the 15th Annual Dia de Los Muertos celebration on Saturday, 10/29, at St. Andrews Catholic Church. If you prefer to celebrate on the actual holiday, 11/2 & 3, take the family to the Portland Mercado. This Latin public market and kitchen (including more than 40 traditional cuisine options) goes all out. It’s worth a visit if this is your first time going there.
PANW Wishes Your Family a Safe, Spooktacular Halloween
The enthusiastic team at Pediatric Associates of the Northwest wishes you a safe and spooktacular Halloween. Don’t hesitate to contact us or book an appointment to discuss health and wellness questions about your little pumpkins, goblins, or ghosts.