A great animated film delights the kids, with plenty of other elements that parents can enjoy as well. These Halloween events are in that same vein. The scare level is low enough that your kids can sleep at night, but they, and you, will have plenty of fun at Michigan’s best family-friendly Halloween destinations.

Hallowe’en at Greenfield Village

Hosted over 16 evenings in October, guests at Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village are invited to stroll through and choose their own festive or frightful experiences. Hop aboard the Hallowe’en Express for a ghoulish and surprising journey. Timed tickets for the train will be available to purchase online for a small additional fee. This year, elements from the Village’s popular Fall Flavor Weekends will be integrated within the Hallowe’en daytime hours for a family-friendly, harvest-themed atmosphere that will transition into the traditional spooky Hallowe’en atmosphere as twilight falls. Capacity is limited and tickets sell fast. If you miss out this year, add it to your calendar for next time around.

Fall Zootacular at Potter Park

Don costumes and head to the Potter Park Zoo. Stroll through the park and try to decide who’s cuter, a wee human dressed as a pea pod, or a Red Panda? Who’s scarier, that little kid in the Chucky doll getup or the Massasauga Rattlesnake? Look for candy stations along the way. Enjoy the fall colors. Check out the straw maze and other special activities.

Merry, not scary, Halloween festivities are also happening at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, October 15-17 and 22-24, and at the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak for the first three weekends of the month.

Terror on Tillson

If there is one neighborhood in all the land that enjoys Halloween more than any other, it is sleepy little Tilson Street in Romeo. The quaint village is comprised of many historic homes from the 1850s. That is of course, except for late October, when they transform. What started out decades ago as a couple of homeowners putting forth extra effort to decorate for the holiday, has become a sight to behold. Amazingly, the homeowners themselves fund the event, including providing candy to what has grown to be thousands of trick-or-treaters. Typically, you can drop by the week before to see the majority of the décor in advance, if you have other plans for the big night.

Skeletons from all walks of death gather in Northville each October.

Skeletons Are Alive

Northville is a lovely community to visit any time with its abundance of unique shops, flavorful eateries, and Victorian homes. In October, the downtown is taken over by more than 120 life-sized skeletons. They are posed in creative, often humorous ways. It’s a selfie-haven. Kids will love finding and posing with their favorites. The wee ones may even have some fun spotting fairy doors on many of the stores. It’s a secret little community the town is known for welcoming all year round.

The Pumpkin Train

You’ll enjoy the view, while kids join in on the fun, when you hop aboard this autumn express. The Coopersville & Marne Railway hosts the annual Pumpkin Train. Once onboard, the celebration is led by the Famous Pumpkin and his sidekick, Stewy the Scarecrow. They’ll entertain passengers of all ages during a leisurely 90-minute ride through song, dance, and tales. Listen to funny stories as the vintage train makes its way to Marne and back. It features century-old passenger cars and a 1950s era locomotive. The train traverses a route that dates back to 1858. Once the locomotive returns to Coopersville, it’s time to visit the pumpkin patch. Each child can pick their favorite pumpkin to take home.

Glenlore Trails Haunted Forest

This has really become a new hotspot in Commerce Township in recent years with its illuminated forest. If you don’t make it this fall, check it out during the Christmas season. As for Halloween, the immersive night walk transforms into a mystical trail. You’ll find spooky pumpkins, mischievous creatures, and phantom noises throughout the mile-long trek. Every Thursday to Sunday evening the forest comes to life in a dazzling display of light, sound, and wonder. Note that organizers say earlier time slots tend to fill with young families, while the evening brings out a louder crowd. Admission ranges from $15-$25 per person. Pumpkins 3 and under are free.

If you’re not afraid of nightmares and are looking for scarier fare, check out Erebus in Pontiac or the brand new Eloise Asylum in Westland. You may also want to take on Darksyde Acres in Jonesville, Game of Bones in Fowlerville, The Haunt in Wyoming, or Boyne Mountain’s Zip of Terror. Happy Halloween!

Author: Lisa Diggs

Lisa Diggs is a writer, speaker, entrepreneur, business consultant, avid traveler, and founder of The Catalyst Company, LLC, Michigan Positivity Project, and Buy Michigan Now.