From a stroll in the haunted forest to great pumpkin races, shred ‘til you’re dead jam and a Halloween party in a wilderness cabin, a handful of Heartland ski resorts have some haunting good fun planned this Halloween. Some of it even starts earlier. Get your ghoul on.
At Crystal Mountain, take a walk through their haunted forest Oct. 17, 23-24 and 30 from 7-10 p.m. if you dare. The haunted trail has something ghoulish around every turn in the pathway. The cost is $8 for ages 9 and up; not recommended for younger children. Afterwards warm by a bonfire and listen to distant screams from deep in the forest. Lodging rates are 25-percent off during this period.
Boyne Mountain Halloween Hoopla is Oct. 23-25 with lots of daily activities planned. Scenic fall chairlift rides will be available daily, family entertainment, hayrides, bonfires with s’mores, and Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark spooky activities including Great Pumpkin Races. Fall colors should be peak. Avalanche Bay Splash Packages are available, which would include all of the activities.
One of the largest Halloween parades in the Midwest is in Illinois’ historic Galena. The Halloween Parade and Festival is Oct. 31. The festival starts downtown at 2 p.m. and the parade at 6 p.m. Over 14,000 attended last year. Rumor has it the ghost of U.S. Grant, who lived in the village, sometimes attends. It’s a haunting good time this historic community decked out for the celebration. Stay at Chestnut Mountain Ski Resort, which is just eight scenic miles outside town. Enjoy the blaze of fall colors spread across the Mississippi River basin from the lofty ridge where the hotel sits 500 feet above the river. The resort has rooms starting at $139 and offers a shuttle to the parade.
Treetops is hosting a Halloween Party Oct. 31, 7 p.m.-midnight. There’s live music, hors d’oeuvres and a costume contest with a cash prize of $50 to best individual and best couple. Best of all the party is being held at a wilderness cabin. The cost is $10 per person, transportation provided to the cabin.
Buck Hill the Zombie Boardshop are hosting a pre-season Shred ‘Til You’re Dead jam on Oct. 30. The jam, now in its 11th year, starts at 6 p.m. Registration takes place about an hour prior to the event. If there isn’t snow, which they’ve had some years, the event is held on ice shavings from area hockey arenas, according to the Zombie Shop’s Shawn Solem. This is Minneapolis and hockey season is underway. Winter’s not far behind.
Photo: It's Halloween Parade time in Galena, Ill. (Galena/Facebook); T'is the season at Boyne Mt. (Boyne)