Halloween Events Nearest To Columbia, Maryland

by Elaine Anderson

Columbia, Maryland, is a planned community comprised of 10 separate villages. While there are no Halloween events that are specific to the larger community itself, there are several events in neighboring towns and cities. Hayrides, ghost tours, a lantern parade and Tudor Place museum events are just a few of the things you can experience near Columbia to celebrate Halloween.

Halloween Lantern Parade

As of 2011, the Great Halloween Lantern Parade takes place annually in Baltimore, Maryland, which is approximately a 30 minute drive from Columbia. The parade is open to everyone in the community to make and display their own lanterns as they walk the route, which begins at the Pulaski Monument on the corner of Eastern and Linwood Avenues. Preceding the parade is an all-day festival and free lantern-making workshops. The festival is also free, though some things, such as arts and crafts and food and drink, do have fees. Participants in the parade display their lanterns, wear any costume of their choosing and also volunteer to be either a puppeteer or gourd band musician.

Haunted Hay Ride

The Haunted Hay Ride in Friendship, Maryland, is approximately an hour away from Columbia, but it is worth the drive. For three miles you will ride through woods and past abandoned farmhouses as actors work to frighten you with gruesome costumes and scenes. A family-friendly event, alcohol and smoking are prohibited. A concession stand providing light refreshments will bring the warmth back into your cheeks after the fright you will endure. The event runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. as of 2011, and a fee of $15 per person goes to benefit the Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum.

Ghost Tours

From April through November, as of 2011, Ellicott City hosts ghost tours on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 pm. Only an 11 minute drive from Columbia, these tours are sure to add a little extra spook to your Halloween plans. Ellicott City is considered by many to be one of the most actively haunted cities in America, and these tours are sure to delight listeners with stories of these hauntings. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children under 12, active military personnel and their families, and seniors over 65. Smoking, video and audio recording are banned, but photography is permitted.

Historic Halloween Spooktacular

Annually on October 31, as of 2011, Tudor Place in Washington, D.C., offers a trick or treat event for children in its gardens from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Children make Halloween treats to take home, and admission is free for members of the museum, $7 for children, $5 per child for groups over 10 and $3 for adults. Tudor Place offers a History Haunt on October 27, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This event is for adults 21 or older, and is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Take a tour through Tudor Place's garden and learn of tales of the departed and later enjoy cocktails and refreshments in the museum's historic gardens and outbuildings. These events are an approximate 45 minute drive from Columbia.

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