Fall is a time to observe the change of seasons. Although many cultures recognize a version of “All Hallow’s Eve” or “Day of the Dead”, in American Halloween is thought to get its roots from Samhain, the most prominent of the four quarter days on the medieval Gaelic calendar. Commemorated on October 31st and November 1st, Samhain marks the first day of winter, also known as Calan Gaeaf by the Celts. Legend holds that the souls of the dead would revisit their former homes seeking hospitality, so people would leave gifts of food and drink to appease the wandering souls. Fast-forward many centuries and transformations later: from a somber night of placating the dead, to more lighthearted festivities involving feasting and games, to present day merry-making that includes parties, parades, Trick or Treat, Haunted Houses and more!
How will you celebrate? Here is a list to help you decide!
Do you need pumpkins to decorate your home? They add a pleasant dash of fall color to any porch stoop, and they are fun to carve! (Carving patterns here and here.) Pumpkins seeds are also delicious when roasted and eaten while they are still warm. (See how to roast pumpkin seeds here.) If your uncarved pumpkins are still fresh at the end of the season, they may be used in any number of mouthwatering dishes and desserts. (Pumpkin recipes here.)
Many grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and garden centers have pumpkins on sale, however, you may choose to embark on a pumpkin hunt at your nearest Pumpkin Patch!
Pumpkin Patch: First Congregational Church of Chatham, 650 Main St., Chatham, Oct. 1st – 31st.
Pumpkin Patch: Unitarian Church of Barnstable, 3330 Main St., Barnstable, Oct. 6th – 29th, 11AM to 5PM Open Friday through Sunday and Columbus Day.
Pumpkin Day at Bourne Farm: North Falmouth Hwy., North Falmouth Sat., Oct. 7, 9AM –3PM Free admission but tickets will be on sale for the various activities; which includes a petting zoo, bounce house, face painting, pony rides, and more! (Some activities are weather dependent.) The Pumpkin Patch will be open for pumpkin picking.
Pumpkin Painting with John Sullivan: Hyannis Country Garden, W. Main, Hyannis Sat., Oct. 14th, 12-2PM, $5.00.
Pumpkin People in the Park: Kate Gould Park & bandstand, 500 Main St., Chatham, Oct. 13th through Halloween.
Cape Cod Tree & Landscape's Pumpkin People in the park.
Giant Annual Pumpkin Patch: West Yarmouth Congregational Church, 383 Route 28, Yarmouth, now through Halloween. Pumpkins big and small! Baked goods will be on sale Sat., Oct. 14th and 28th, from 9:30AM until they are sold out.
6th Annual Pumpkinfest: Sandwich Glass Museum, 129 Main St., Sandwich, Sat., Oct. 21st, 9:30AM to 4PM. Come and see gorgeous glass pumpkins of all shapes and sizes! Each one is a work of art!
Decoupage Pumpkins: Osterville Village Library, 43 Wianno Ave., Osterville, Sat., Oct. 21st
Weekend class. $75.00 fee, pre-registration is required.
Halloween Fun for Kids
Halloween Kids Fest: 394 Old Meeting House Rd, East Falmouth – Sat., Oct. 7th, 11AM – 3PM, every Saturday and Sunday until November. Pick your pumpkins, kids can run a Jack O’Lantern obstacle course, go for a tractor ride and walk the haunted forest!
Not So Scary Halloween: Barnstable Intermediate School- Sat., Oct. 28th, 11AM -1:30PM. For pre-schoolers; bring your little ones in costume! Games, entertainments, food, Trick or Treat hunt and more!
11th Annual Trunk or Treat Festival: Wellfleet Drive-In, Oct. 31st, 4 – 7PM. Trunk or Treat for family, friends, and pets in costume.
Family Halloween Movie and Craft: Brewster Ladies Library, 1822 Main St., Brewster, Sat., Oct. 21st, 2 PM. Make monster bookmarks and watch a spooky (PG rated) movie!
Fall Festival at Taylor-Bray Farm: 108 Bray Farm Road N. Yarmouth Port, Sat., Oct. 7, 10AM – 4PM. Giant Pumpkin Raffles, hay wagon rides, games, refreshments, and other fun!
Halloween Parade: Brooks Free Library, Harwich, Tues., Oct. 31st, 10:30 - 11AM. Youngsters in costume march in a parade to the Town Hall and the Royal to collect treats!
Escape from the Graveyard: Falmouth Public Library, Sat., Oct. 21st, 3 – 4PM. For grades 5 – 12. The Escape Room looks like any other room, but it’s a puzzle that must be solved in 60 minutes to make your escape! Preregister at http://www.falmouthpubliclibrary.org/teens-register.
Witching Hour Story Time: Hyannis Country Garden, W. Main, Hyannis, Sat., Oct. 14, 3 – 4PM.
Halloween Storytime: Falmouth Public Library, Oct. 26, 10:30AM. Costumes welcome!
Halloween Party with Mad Science! : Truro Public Library, Sat., Oct 28th, 10AM – 12PM.
The Enchanted Forest: Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary, 345 Bone Hill Road, Barnstable, Fri., Oct. 27th, 5:30 to 7:30PM. You will be guided by lantern into a mystical woodland and meet with fun creatures! Pre-registration is required. Audubon Members: Adult $10 / Child $7, Non-members: Adult $12 / Child $9.
Haunted Forest: Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Fri., Oct. 27th, 5:15 to 7:30PM. Spooky fun as you are led down illuminated trails! Prizes and face painting! Audubon Members: Adult $10 / Child $6, Non-members: Adult $12 / Child $8.
Trunk or Treat Sandwich: Heritage Museums & Gardens, Sandwich, Sat., Oct. 28th, 2:30 - 4:30PM. Toys for Tots event. A new, unwrapped gift would be very much appreciated. To enter your vehicle for display, please contact Community Service Officer Brian Bondarek at firstname.lastname@example.org. Vehicle entry forms must be received by Oct. 20th.
Halloween Parade: Brewster Ladies Library, 1822 Main St., Brewster, Fri., Oct. 27th, 10AM. Costumed parade marchers will walk to the Brewster Store for songs with Cathy Hatch, and then will go to Kinlin Grover Real Estate for refreshments.
Halloween Family Fun Nights: Heritage Museums & Gardens, 67 Grove Street, Sandwich, Fri., Oct. 27th & Sat., Oct. 28th, 5 – 8PM.
Children's Fun Fest: Unitarian Church of Barnstable, 3330 Route 6A, Oct. 14th, 2 – 4PM. Pumpkin decoration and games.
Fun for ALL Ages!
Cape Abilities Family Fun Cape Abilities Farm, Route 6A, Dennis, Sat., Oct. 7th, 11AM to 4PM. Scavenger hunt, Build-a-Scarecrow, decorate a pumpkin, sample cider, and more!
Haunted Cape Cod: Falmouth Public Library, Tue., Oct. 10, 5 - 6:30PM. Rhode Island Society for the Examination of Unusual Phenomena paranormal investigator Ken DeCosta regales you with tales of Cape Cod hauntings. Preregister at: http://www.falmouthpubliclibrary.org/register/
Dennis Police 5k Halloween Hustle: Mayflower Beach, Dennis, Sun., Oct. 29th, 11AM. The Dennis Police 5k Halloween Hustle is a Halloween-themed fund-raiser to benefit the Dennis Police Scholarship Fund, Dennis Police Association Benevolent Fund, and Community Programs.
The Haunted History of New England: Eldredge Library, Main St. Chatham, Thurs., Oct. 12th, 7PM. Historical fact and legend and tales of hauntings!
Pirates Ball: Cape Cod Maritime Museum, Fri., Oct. 13th, 7 – 10PM. Hosted by comedian Preston “Captain Flapjack” Simpson and DJ Ian Lee, food prepared by The West End. $50 tickets are available at capecodmaritimemuseum.org.
Wellfleet Oyster Fest: Wellfleet, Sat., Oct 14th and Sun., Oct 15th, 10AM – 5PM. Weekend-long annual celebration! Oyster Shuck-Off, cooking demonstrations, food, oyster grant tours, and much more!
A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger: Hyannis Public Library, Main St., Hyannis, Wed., Oct 25th, 6 – 7PM. Lecture, book signing, and Q&A.
Halloween & Magic Party with the Amazing Richard!: Cultural Center of Cape Cod, 307 Old Main St, South Yarmouth, Fri., Oct. 27th, 7:30 – 10PM. Registration is appreciated, costumes encouraged. Funded by the Yarmouth Substance Awareness Committee, the Cape Cod Foundation, Cape Air, and the Cape Cod Five Foundation.
Highfield Oktoberfest: Highfield Hall, 56 Highfield Drive, Falmouth, Oct. 21st, 4 – 7PM. Don your lederhosen and dirndls and come to Highfield Hall’s Oktoberfest beer tent! Dance to live music and nosh on Bavarian foods.
Capt Lazarus' Haunted Harbor: Cape Cod Community Media Center, 17 Shad Hole Rd., Dennisport, Oct. 6-8, 13 and 14, 20 and 21, 28-30. Haunted Harbor Halloween maze.
Oktoberfest in Chatham: Kate Gould Park, 500 Main Street, Chatham, Sat., Oct. 21st, 2 – 4PM, Live music by the Chatham Band, food trucks, traditional German foods, beers, with crafts and games for kids!
Barnstable Village Ghost Hunters Tour: 3353 Main St., Barnstable, Oct. 27th and 30th, 7PM. Professional Ghost Hunters guide a walking tour of Barnstable Village.
17th Annual Art & Souls Costume Ball: Cotuit Center for the Arts, 4404 Falmouth Road, Cotuit, Sat., Oct. 28th, 7:30 – 10PM. 16th annual Halloween dance party. Tickets: $10