Amusement parks are adding a whole new level of thrills this fall.
With Halloween a few weeks away, the spooky sights and freaky frights are ramping up at attractions —with a few kid-friendly activities thrown in, too.
Here are the haunts to know.
Six Flags Great Adventure
The New Jersey park’s Fright Fest debuts the world’s first horror-themed virtual reality coaster; in the interactive gaming experience Rage of the Gargoyles, riders sport Samsung Gear VR headsets and battle demons. New attractions also include a prison-themed haunted maze and a side show spectacular headlined by the Lizardman. Family-friendly daytime activities also include magic shows, dance parties and trick-or-treating. Select days now through Oct. 31, Fright Fest tickets starting at $52.99; 1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson, New Jersey, 732-928-2000, sixflags.com
There are plenty of opportunities for screams at the Pennsylvania attraction’s giant nighttime Halloween Haunt, with seven mazes, 25 rides, four “scare zones,” three live shows and more than 500 creatures. For little kids, the daytime Great Pumpkin Fest features pumpkin painting, mask making, a petting zoo and, of course, photo ops with the “Peanuts” characters. Select days now through Oct. 29, Halloween Haunt tickets starting at $33; 3830 Dorney Park Road, Allentown, Pennsylvania, 610-395-3724, dorneypark.com
Plan a weekend on Lake Erie to experience the “roller coaster capital of the world’s” HalloWeekends, which celebrate 20 years running with some new attractions at the Halloween Haunt experience. Those include the show Blood Drums and more haunted house rooms. Multiple mazes, scare zones and live shows round out the spooky offerings, while little ones should check out the Great Pumpkin Fest’s hay bale course, foam pit, trick or treating, parades and costume contests for some non-scary fun. Select days now through Oct. 29, tickets starting at $42; One Cedar Point Drive, Sandusky, Ohio, 419-627- 2350, halloweekends.com
The family theme park’s annual Halloween celebration, Hersheypark in the Dark, has something for kids of all ages and scare levels, from costumed trick-or-treating to a tour of its Creatures of the Night attraction to rides in the dark on three of its coasters. Select dates from Oct. 14-30, tickets starting at $25; 100 W. Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 717-534-3900, hersheypark.com
Playland Amusement Park
Once the Westchester County waterfront Playland Amusement Park rides close for the day, it’s time for Scared by the Sound. Walk through the 12,000-square-foot haunted house and cemetery and watch out for spooky characters and Halloween-themed scenes at the annual fright fest. Select dates from Oct. 14-31, tickets $20; 1 Playland Parkway, Rye, New York, 914-813-7010, scaredbythesound.com