Last revised: January 1, 2024
By: Adam Burns
You can enjoy a Halloween-themed or autumn-related train ride in New Jersey at four different locations; the Whippany Railway Museum, Pine Creek Railroad, Black River & Western Railroad, and at the Delaware River Railroad Excursions in Phillipsburg.
As the crisp autumn air settles in, Halloween enthusiasts of all ages eagerly anticipate the season of spookiness. New Jersey offers a plethora of family-friendly Halloween attractions that combine thrills, chills, and a whole lot of fun.
From haunted hayrides to pumpkin patches and everything in between, these attractions provide an ideal setting for families to create lasting memories together. If you are interested in other such activities beyond just a train ride, here are some of the best family-friendly Halloween attractions in the Garden State.
Six Flags Great Adventure Fright Fest - Jackson, NJ
(Jackson): Six Flags Great Adventure transforms into a ghoulish wonderland during their annual Fright Fest celebration. Families can enjoy a wide array of activities, including haunted mazes, scare zones, and spooky shows. The park offers age-appropriate scares, with special areas dedicated to younger children where they can enjoy Halloween-themed shows, trick-or-treating, and interactive experiences.
The Great Pumpkin Festival at Heaven Hill Farm
(Vernon Township): The Great Pumpkin Festival at Heaven Hill Farm is a must-visit for families seeking a wholesome Halloween experience. This festival features a giant corn maze, pumpkin picking, hayrides, pony rides, and a petting zoo. Children can participate in pumpkin painting, navigate straw mazes, and indulge in delicious autumn treats. The festival also hosts live entertainment and craft vendors, ensuring there's something for everyone in the family.
Diggerland USA DiggerFest
(West Berlin): DiggerFest at Diggerland USA offers a unique twist on Halloween celebrations. This construction-themed amusement park hosts a family-friendly event featuring hayrides, a pumpkin patch, and a variety of themed activities. Kids can enjoy operating heavy machinery, explore adventure playgrounds, and participate in costume contests. DiggerFest provides a fun-filled day of construction-themed Halloween excitement.
(Tuckerton): The Tuckerton Seaport comes alive with Halloween spirit during their Haunted Seaport event. This family-friendly attraction offers spooky activities such as ghost stories, pumpkin painting, hayrides, and a non-scary Trick-or-Treat trail. Families can immerse themselves in the maritime history of New Jersey while enjoying Halloween-themed crafts, games, and live entertainment.
Zoo Boo at the Cape May County Park & Zoo
(Cape May Court House): The Cape May County Park & Zoo hosts Zoo Boo, a Halloween event perfect for families. Children can dress up in costumes and trick-or-treat throughout the zoo, collecting goodies from various stations. This family-friendly event also includes a haunted house, Halloween-themed games, live entertainment, and animal exhibits. Zoo Boo provides a safe and enjoyable Halloween experience for the entire family.
Field of Terror
(East Windsor): Field of Terror offers a spine-tingling experience for older children and teenagers while still providing family-friendly activities. Families can navigate through a haunted cornfield, explore a haunted hayride, and brave the "Killer Kornfield." The attraction also features a non-scary corn maze, pumpkin picking, and a farm-themed play area for younger visitors.
(Ringoes): The Black River & Western Railroad, based in Ringoes operates from the town's restored Pennsylvania Railroad depot. The BR&W dates back to 1961 and operates trains between Flemington, Ringoes, and Bowne.
The railroad is notable for operating an authentic steam locomotive, 2-8-0 #60 (built as Great Western Railway of Colorado #60 in 1937 by the American Locomotive Company).
During the fall they offer Pumpkin Trains during select dates in late September and October where kids can enjoy a trip and pick out their favorite pumpkin. The trips last about 2 1/2 hours and also includes a corn maze, wagon ride, and other activities.
(Phillipsburg): The Delaware River Railroad Excursions are based in Phillipsburg, operated by the New York Susquehanna & Western Technical & Historical Society. The trips are hosted over short line freight carrier, Black River and Western Railroad, running 15 miles along the Delaware River.
Throughout October the railroad hosts the Great Pumpkin Train where kids can ride out and pick out their favorite pumpkin among other activities offered. This event is held at the historic Carpentersville Lime Kilns where the pumpkins are available to pick out.
(Wall Township): The Pine Creek Railroad is operated by the New Jersey Museum of Transportation. The railroad operates every day through the summer and on a limited scheduled in the late winter and September through December. During several dates in October they host the "Haunted Express" that runs at night and includes a walk through Allaire State Park. The railroad states these trips are not children appropriate if your child scares easily.
(Whippany): The Whippany Railway Museum, base in Whippany, New Jersey also operates excursion trains, since 1965, on the museum grounds using one of a few operational diesel locomotives on hand.
They host a big fall gala each October known as the Pumpkin Patch Train where kids can enjoy train rides, take part in arts & crafts, and many other activities.