The month of October has surprisingly become huge for RV campgrounds, resorts and parks around the U.S. thanks to Halloween.
Maybe because for many in the northern states, its a chance to do one more trip before the RV has to be winterized and put in storage.
Instead of just one night – Oct. 31 – many parks dedicate the entire two or three weekends (or more) before Halloween.
That’s why now is the best time to plan for your Halloween adventures. I’ve put together a list of some of the best places for Halloween camping across the U.S. (based on my own experiences and lists from others, including DoItYourselfRV and Active.com).
The place sells out every weekend in October and to get a spot, many campers had to book their sites a year in advance.
Every year, about 1,500 people visit to take part in the festivities and activities that run all day long.
Several years ago, Jennifer and I visited it on a Wednesday and Thursday and found the place half full already by early birds – Halloween campers who have so much fun stay for weeks at a time.
At night, their motorhomes, fifth wheels, truck campers and travel trailers are strung with lights and spooky decorations. There are paper mache spiders, witches, werewolves, skeletons, headless horsemen and elaborately carved pumpkins. Cobwebs are strung between trees, tombstones sprout from the ground, ghostly sheets wave in the breeze. The park provides inflatables that can be borrowed as well. There are costume parades and contests, wagon rides, music, barbecue and campfire socializing.
I know of no park that is into the spirit of it all like the Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort in Santa Claus, Ind., which is planning seven – count them seven – consecutive Halloween-themed weekends this fall – starting Sept. 13.
“It’s the most popular thing we do,” said Dave Lovell, the resort’s director of marketing. The park hires professional story tellers for Friday night bonfires. There are haunted hayrides, costume contests, scary movies and dance until you drop sound and light show.
As an indicator of how popular it is, reservations start rolling in a year in advance. The last event this year is Oct. 25-26. The 2020 Halloween weekend schedule is already up on their website.
The main event here is set for Oct. 26. Campers should be sure to bring candy for trick or treating and compete to win best decorated campsite. Music, Games, pumpkin decorating, crafts, and more for this afternoon event that begins at noon. It’s free for campers. Non-campers pay $6 per person. Free for 2 years and under.
This park features its Halloween Lights Drive Oct. 4-26. Enjoy the sights, sounds and scares of over 1½ miles of Halloween lights and displays from your car. Drinks and snacks available at the Trading Post in the campground. Looking for other options in Kentucky? Check this list out!
October weekends are full of magic and monsters at the Hill Country Camp Resort. From trick-or-treating to costume contests, there’s something for campers of all ages to enjoy. Other offerings include a magic pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving contests, and campsite decorating contests. Older folks might enjoy the haunted hike.
For more than 20 years the Halloween experts at Midway Campground have been hosting the spookiest haunted woods walk around. Here, you can scare yourself silly with a delightfully terrifying walk in the Midway Wicked Woods. From the haunted graveyard to the spinning tunnel of terror and 3D clown room, this is one haunted walk you won’t want to take alone! Halloween weekends at Midway for 2019 are set for Oct. 26 and Nov. 2.
Definitely geared toward fun for the whole family, this park is holding its annual Halloween weekends for the 33rd year in a row, starting with its Kiddie Halloween Carnival Sept 27-29. There are themes for each weekend leading up to Halloween, including superheroes/villains, R.L. Stine, the pre-Halloween weekend, and, of course, Halloween weekend.
Halloween weekends are held every week through Halloween, starting Sept. 21. Each weekend will feature a number of Halloween themed crafts, games and activities all weekend long. Pumpkin carving contests and a trick or treat parade every Saturday evening. There will also be site decorating contest every weekend in October so don't forget to bring your decorations. See who has the scariest and most creative site. Prizes will be given for first, second and third place winners. Each weekend will get a little scarier and of course you must visit Creekside Manor Haunted House on Friday and Saturday nights.
The 21st Annual Hallowfest celebration features haunted evening hayrack rides, pumpkin roll obstacle courses, pumpkin carving contest, campsite decorating contest and much more! Hayrack reservations begin Oct. 7. Hallowfest is held the weekends of Oct. 12 and Oct. 19. There are a bunch of other Halloween-related events scheduled at Nebraska state parks so be sure to check this list.
This campground’s Halloween Campout is set for Oct. 4-6. The schedule includes a Friday night campfire get-together, trick-or-treating on Saturday through the campground (bring candy to hand out and one full size bar per game for candy bar bingo). Pot luck stew (campers bring the vegetables, the campground supplies the meat and homemade cornbread). Bring a pumpkin to carve, or take part in Halloween games, craft time, and “Monster Costume Ball Party”.
If you’re nowhere near any of these parks, keep in mind most Jellystone Parks around the country now offer Halloween themed activities, while more than a third of KOA’s nearly 500 campgrounds offer Halloween themed activities and so do many privately owned campgrounds. And be sure to leave your favorite Halloween destinations in the comments below!