What if I told you there was a time of year when you could experience fewer crowds of tourists, pleasant weather, great prices on accommodations plus scare the pants off your family?

Travel in October. You hit the sweet spot in shoulder season plus you get to embrace the funniest, silliest, spookiest time of the year!

Here are 4 Places Where Off-Season Travel Meets Halloween Revelry!

Whistler, BC

Whistler Village Trick Or Treating. Photo Tourism Whistler

Whistler Village Trick Or Treating. Photo Tourism Whistler

Internationally renowned for its downhill skiing, Whistler is a resort town with loads of activities year-round. And it really pops in October with a combination of fun events, nightlife and spooky shenanigans. Parents may like getting wild at the adults-only events and nightlife (full details here: https://www.whistler.com/halloween/) but kids will love Trick-or-Treating in the Village from October 25 to 27, 2019. Pick up a free tote bag at the Whistler Visitor centre then wind your way through the village visiting participating merchants to gather a few ghostly treats!

Key West, Florida

Zombie Bike ride key west photo Florida Keys

Costumed revelers cycle during the Zombie Bike Ride Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Key West, Fla. The event, that attracted more than 6,500 participants, occurred on the first weekend of the island city’s 10-day Fantasy Fest costuming and masking celebration. Photo Rob O’Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO

The ‘Zombies’ will roam Key West on October 20 2019 for the annual Zombie Bike Ride when hundres of bicycling dead cycle the island’s Atlantic Ocean shoreline and streets. Started in 2010, this ride is now a tradition for locals, visitors and even a few pets! The shore will be over run with folks decked out like zombies, skeletons and other undead starting in the afternoon when “Zombieland” opens at Fort East Martello Museum. Said to be haunted, this historic site is a must see at this time of year.

The Zombie Bike Ride takes place on the first weekend of Key West’s annual Fantasy Fest costuming and masking festival, a 10-day extravaganza scheduled Friday, Oct. 18, through Sunday, Oct. 27 2019.

Heritage Park Historical Village in Calgary Alberta

Ghouls Night Out at Calgary's Heritage Park is a beloved Halloween tradition. Photo Heritage Park

Ghouls Night Out at Calgary’s Heritage Park is a beloved Halloween tradition. Photo Heritage Park

While there are dozens of Halloween themed events in this bustling prairie city of 1.3 million,l the heart of Halloween is at Heritage Park Historical Village. Their annual Ghouls’ Night Out event captives children of all ages who stroll down the park’s spookily decorated streets, meet the ghoulish ‘former’ residents of the village and attend the Witches Flying School. Top it all of with the Mash – the Monster Mash at the family dance party, and or fall down the rabbit hole for a wonderfully weird tea party with Alice and her friends. Sprinkled with witchy dance mobs, scarecrows, pumpkin patches, werewolves, a cast of creepy characters, no one is more Halloween than Heritage Park!

Adults can also enjoy Halloween at Heritage Park with Ghosts and Gourmet, a 3-course dinner and ghost storytelling experience followed by a Ghost tour of the park, or check out Dinner and a Movie, a movie-themed dinner at the Selkirk Grille followed by a classic film. Running in October 2019, are Bram Stokers Dracula (The one with Keanu Reeves) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). I’ve not been yet, but I have it on good authority that ghostly happenings are real at the historic village.


Newport Beach

Blackies Halloween Surf Visit Newport Beach and Partners

Blackies Halloween Surf Visit Newport Beach and Partners

Decked out in awesome Halloween costumes, surfers hit the waves in Blackie’s Annual Surf Competition.  Bright and early on Saturday before Halloween, surfers show up in costume on Balboa Peninsula next to Newport Pier and get in the water for a friendly surf contest.

The Sherman Library & Gardens is 2.2 acres of amazing gardens, patios, paths and conservatories. Sherman Gardens will be doing their annual Creatures of the Night on Saturday, October 19, 2019, from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Kids of all ages can get a close look at real live wolves, birds of prey, scorpions, tarantulas, lizards, snakes and other nocturnal animals at this family-friendly evening of entertainment and education. Don’t want to get too close to live animals? How about a chance to dissect and feed carnivorous plants.  Tickets are available in advance for $15 for non-members, $10 for members.  $5 for children 4-17.  Children 3 and under are free. They usually sell out so, get them here – http://www.slgardens.org/. Your ticket will also allow you to visit and explore Sherman Gardens in the ghostly dark.