The leaves are starting to turn,  the days are getting shorter, and the sky is getting a bit greyer.  It’s beginning to look a lot like Halloween in the Pacific Northwest.  I know the fall decorations are in full swing at my house.  The witches, ghosts, and goblins have been dusted off and are on display! I’ve even seen a couple of pumpkins, cornstalks, and decorated yards out in the neighborhood.  This is a very exciting time of year when we allow ourselves to be open to a trick, a treat, or a touch of terror, all of which can be found at local establishments that have been reimagined to offer experiences to fit this spooktacular season!

Clackamas County Scare Fair

Every Friday and Saturday night during October, you and your family can venture out to the Clackamas County Fairgrounds to experience a touch of Oregon’s haunted past.  This event works for all ages as it is the only customizable haunt in Oregon.  You can purchase the Creature Candle, which dictates your interaction with the monsters all around you.  If things get a little too intense, you just turn the candle on, and the ghoulish beings shrink back from you and your loved ones, thus providing safe passage through the dark.  They also dedicate the first hour of select nights to families with children ten and under.  This hour is known as Haunt Jr, a brightly lit, family-friendly attraction that focuses on more laughter and less scare. You can expect tickets to cost $25 for all ages for the regular event; the Haunt Jr. costs $20, and don’t forget to set aside $5 for the Creature Candle.  Find out more on the Clackamas County Scare Fair website. 

​​Kids Monster Fest

Located downtown at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Fearlandia allows brave souls to navigate their way through not 1 nor 2, but 3 haunted houses for just $25.  Take a stroll through Fear’s Gate, a nuclear power plant taken over by darkness.  Then head over to Night Terrors to face the fears and phobias that are created by your mind’s eye.   If you dare to go on, you can check out Underhill Manor, where you’ll enter a haunted mansion and go back in time to the Victorian Era to face more horror and terror on your journey.  Typically designed for older fear seekers, Fearlandia offers a chance for little ones 12 and under (and older folks who just don’t care to scare) the opportunity to check out these haunted houses during the day on October 23rd and 24th. The matinee experience is designed to allow daylight to help tame your fear.  Do you have what it takes to make it through all three during the day or night? 

Bauman’s Harvest Festival

If you prefer less haunt and more good old-fashioned fall fun, then you should check out Bauman’s Harvest Festival.  This years’ festival features over 25 events for kids of all ages. You can take a hayride out to the pumpkin patch to select the perfect gourd.  Then take some time for the kids to ride on the bug train, shoot the apple cannon, test their abilities on the obstacle course, and so much more.  There’s a petting zoo, giant slides, cider samples (non-alcoholic for the kids and hard cider for the adults), and even a dark maze which is open on the weekends if you’d like to experience a little fright.  The festival runs from September 25th through October 30th and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. 

Liepold Farms Fall Festival

Liepold Farms is a family-owned farm located in Boring, Oregon.  Established in 1952, the family takes pride in working hard throughout the year to bring seasonal produce to the area.  They offer family-friendly events all year round, and the fall festival is sure to have something fun for everyone.  They have a pumpkin patch, corn maze, scavenger hunt, dark maze (not haunted), hayride, and much more for people to enjoy.  Doing all of the activities on the farm is sure to work up your appetite, so why don’t you check out the cafe? It serves all kinds of goodies such as sausage dogs, nachos, cider, wine, beer, homemade hand-dipped caramel apples, apple cider donuts, and much more.  The farm is open seven days a week from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.  They do close early if the weather is not cooperating, so if it looks questionable outside, call ahead to make sure they are still open.