Last month, I spent a weekend at BloggyCon 2014. This was a win-win for me: an intimate, low-key blogging conference, held in one of my favorite Ohio family getaway locations: Cedar Point. I loved all of the tips I picked up at the conference, and I was thrilled that I could bring my family and have a mini-vacation outside of conference sessions.
To make it even better, we were there for the opening weekend of HalloWeekends. This is probably my favorite time of year to visit Cedar Point! Why? Here are a few reasons:
The weather is fantastic! Perched on the shores of Lake Erie, you won’t find a better season to visit Cedar Point than Fall, especially if you’re not fond of the summer heat like me. The temperatures are often mild, and there’s usually a cool breeze coming off the lake. You still need your sunscreen, but you can usually wear a single layer during the day and maybe add a sweatshirt or light jacket at night to stay comfortable.
The lines are shorter. Okay, so this is partially true. During the day, you will still do some waiting in line for the most popular rides, but with summer vacation travel done for the year, the lines are still manageable.
At night, however, with many of the haunted attractions drawing the crowds in, some of the ride lines drop to almost nothing. Few times during the year will you be able to walk right on to GateKeeper and Raptor, but we’ve done it during HalloWeekends at night.
Daytime fun is not-so-scary. There are plenty of family friendly activities during the day for the younger set who aren’t ready for their first real scare yet. Planet Snoopy and the Kiddie Kingdom become Planet Spooky and Howl-O-Palooza, with activities like a cornstalk maze, a pumpkin patch, and a foam pit.
Kids are encouraged to come in costume for the Monsters’ Trick-or-Treat, and then join the Peanuts gang for a costume contest. (And a very cute show.) I can tell you that Elsa and Anna were definitely popular costumes – there were at least three of each.
There’s also a Halloween parade down the midway, and for kids wanting to try their first haunted house, there’s the Magical House on Boo Hill. Cordy and Mira love going through this house, and I promise it’s not scary. You even get a candy treat at the end – no tricks!
The decorations around the park are spooky, but during the day everything has a sense of fun to it. Even this monster:
Go ahead, play the video. Yes, he’s singing, “What Does The Fox Say?”
Nighttime fun can be terrifying. Looking for some frightening entertainment? HalloWeekends has that covered. There are several haunted houses and mazes of different themes, as well as six outdoor scare zones.
Since we had the kids with us, and they’re not so keen on haunted houses yet, we didn’t get to check any out this year. But we did walk through Maniacal Mechanical Screamworks (watch out for the ghouls who will zip past you on wheeled kneepads!) and Cordy and Aaron were brave enough to go through CarnEVIL. Not me, though: I don’t like clowns in general, much less evil clowns.
I like scares, but prefer to focus on the beauty of the park at night.
The kids did find parts of these walkthru areas a little too frightening for them, but the actors are very aware of when someone has had too much and will adapt as needed.
Last year when Mira started to get too scared halfway through Screamworks, one well-dressed Victorian steampunk ghoul suddenly changed his tone and began speaking to her in a very friendly way, asking her about her stuffed Minion toy, where he could get one, etc. It immediately calmed her down and as a result she had great memories of that scare zone.
If I could pick only one weekend to visit Cedar Point each year, it would definitely be a weekend during HalloWeekends. The weather, the abundant decorations and attention to detail, and the additional themed events make this amusement park even more fun in the Fall.
You must check out all of this fun for yourself – and hurry, there’s only three weekends left!
Luckily, I’ve got a family 4-pack of tickets to Cedar Point to give away to one lucky reader! Package includes one-day admission to Cedar Point for four – nearly a $200 value.
Here’s the catch – these tickets are only good for 2014, so you must be able to visit Cedar Point at some point during the next three weekends. (Park is open Friday-Sunday through November 2, hours can be found online.) This is a super-fast giveaway, to make sure you have as much time as possible to use these tickets.
To enter, leave a comment below telling me your favorite scary movie or, if you’re not a fan of scary movies, your favorite Halloween tradition. One entry per household – duplicates will not be considered for the giveaway. You must answer the prompt to be eligible.
Entries will be accepted until Thursday, October 16 at 9pm ET. At that point I will randomly select a winner. Winner will have 24 hours to confirm or another winner will be selected. Cedar Point will make arrangements with the winner to receive tickets at the park entrance.