No, this Halloween won’t feel like the big spooky season New Orleans has become known for in recent years, but fright fans can still look forward to some semblance of the holiday.
Creepy clowns, terrifying zombies and menacing monsters are ready to shock thrill-seekers, but they’ll come wearing masks this year.
A few new Halloween attractions are on deck for 2020.
FOX 8 partners with City Park for an inaugural drive-through trick-or-treat event called Candy Cruise. Mardi Gras World debuts an attraction called NOLAween that lets you pose for photo-ops among Halloween props. The JAMNOLA art attraction hosts a pop-up tour for an avant-garde Halloween experience in the Marigny.
Other returning attractions promise safer scares, with adjustments for the coronavirus era.
We compiled a list of haunted houses and Halloween attractions open for the season around and near the New Orleans area.
Keep in mind that any business operations during the pandemic remain a fluid situation, so some locations may change details. Check back for updates as we get them.
FOX 8 Candy Cruise
Date: Oct. 27
FOX 8 partners with New Orleans City Park to host Candy Cruise, a safe and socially-distanced Halloween event, set for Oct. 27.
Families can visit City Park for the inaugural drive-through trick-or-treat from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Cars will access City Park from Marconi Drive near Tad Gormley Stadium and collect treats from different candy stations along Roosevelt Mall Street.
FOX 8 news talent, New Orleans City Park personnel and parish agencies are scheduled to appear. Plus, there’s a surprise at the end.
Dates: Select days now – Nov. 14, see the schedule here
“Now, we’re going to make it a more personal experience and have people go in intimate groups,” owner Jeff Borne said. “We want to keep it as controlled as we can.”
Art will imitate life through a new laser-tag haunted house experience called “Rift War.” In an interactive, live-combat premise, guests will hunt down virus-infected zombies in an “undead battleground” inside the attraction with a video-game-like, infrared military laser tag riffle.
“We thought that if we incorporated the laser tag elements to it, we could play off of the whole virus thing that’s going on,” Borne said.
Borne said the creative strategy was also an intentional decision to help with social distancing inside the haunted house.
All admission tickets are timed, reservation-based to reduce wait times in line and limit attendance. Masks are required.
General admission tickets are $32.50, with “VIP Fast Pass” tickets for $52.50. Group discounts are available. Most ticket times range from 7 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.
For more information, visit The Mortuary website.
New Orleans Nightmare
Dates: Select days now – Oct. 31, see the schedule here
In Jefferson Parish, New Orleans Nightmare returns for its third year since taking over the former House of Shock location near the Huey P. Long Bridge in Elmwood.
For 2020, haunted house themes feature classic monsters from horror movies and a riff on the Bloody Mary urban legend, the website says.
The attraction is produced by Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group, a Halloween-themed entertainment company behind several haunted houses across the country.
To abide by COVID-10 regulations, only small groups are allowed to enter at a time with their immediate group. All admission tickets are timed, reservation-based to reduce wait times in line and limit attendance. Masks are required, and hand sanitizer is available before entering the haunted house.
General admission tickets vary based on day, with prices ranging from $24.99 to $29.99, plus taxes and fees. Fast pass and “Skip the Line” tickets are available for additional fees.
For more information, visit the New Orleans Nightmare website.
NOLAween! at Mardi Gras World
Dates: Now – Oct. 31
Mardi Gras World debuts a new attraction that transforms float props usually seen in parades, like the Krewe of BOO!, into a Halloween-themed experience this October.
The themed photo experience, called NOLAween, incorporates the artistry of Mardi Gras World’s most iconic props to create memorable moments for photo ops in a socially-distant setting.
Visitors can post for selfies at 15 Halloween-themed sets including supersized skeletons, witches, jack-o’-lanterns and other newly-built Halloween props, some as tall as 14 feet high. Along with the photo opportunities, children can participate in a scavenger hunt within the NOLAween photo area, and receive a treat bag from the gift shop when their scavenger hunt is completed.
Admission to the NOLAween is a free add-on to the regular Mardi Gras World self-guided tours. Tours run daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $22 for adults, $17 for military and seniors and $14 for children, with a $4 discount when purchased online or at the door, with the code “NOLAween.”
For more information, visit the Mardi Gras World website.
Peek-A-Boo at the Zoo
Dates: Oct. 17, 18, 24 and 25
Boo at the Zoo, the family-friendly Halloween event at Audubon Zoo, will return as a socially-distanced, daytime experience this October due to the pandemic. Audubon Nature Institute announced changes for the event now becoming a Halloween “walk-through Zoo adventure” on Oct. 17, 18, 24 and 25.
The re-imagined event, now called Peek-a-Boo at the Zoo, will be held during regular Zoo hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Peek-a-Boo at the Zoo guests are invited to wear their favorite costume.
Peek-a-Boo at the Zoo is complimentary for Audubon Members and included in general Zoo admission as Halloween lagniappe. Audubon Zoo general admission tickets cost $24.95 for non-member adults (ages 13 to 64) and $19.95 for non-member children (ages 2 to 12) and non-member seniors (age 65+).
All guests must purchase tickets in advance online for a specific date and entry time; Audubon Members must reserve their complimentary tickets online in advance as well. Peek-a-Boo at the Zoo will be held rain or shine.
For more information, visit the Audubon Nature Institute website.
RISE Haunted House
Dates: Select days now – Nov. 7, see the schedule here
This new era of social distancing forces RISE Haunted House makes some big changes to its haunted attraction in Tickfaw, La., near Hammond. This year, operators will only open the haunted house, while closing its other two attractions.
In the haunted house, guests will wander through an endless maze designed as an abandoned bed and breakfast where awakened dead souls lurk around every corner.
Similar to other haunted houses RISE will implement online ticketing and a virtual queue line system to allow for social distancing and manage crowd sizes. Everyone on-site will be required to wear face coverings.
Additionally, guests will have to undergo temperature checks before entry. Guests will enter the haunt with only their immediate group on a timed schedule to allow for proper social distancing. Group sizes will be limited to six as required by state officials.
For more information, visit the RISE Haunted House website.
Ranch of Horror
Dates: Select days now – Nov. 1, see the schedule here
Ranch of Horror returns with its thrilling, zombie-themed experiences taking over The Party Barn in Hammond on weekends in October.
A spokesperson for Ranch of Horror says a queue system will limit attractions to small groups at a time and cut down on lines this year.
The attraction will implement a new reservation system this year. Guests can call to book specific times at 985-687-3899.
Ranch of Horror unleashes four spooky attractions for 2020, including Zombies of the Bayou Haunted Hayride and Zombie Escape live paintball field.
New for 2020 is the House of Dystopia, which features a self-guided tour through a haunted house “filled with scenes from your worse phobias.” An on-site mini-golf course will get transformed in the Halloween spirit for rounds of spooky golf.
Movie nights will also return screening Halloween favorites each Friday and Saturday night in October.
Ticket prices vary by attraction. Zombie Escape costs $25; House of Dystopia and Zombies of the Bayou Haunted Hayride cost $15. Spooky Golf costs $8. There’s also a combo pass for $25. Movie nights are free with any Party Barn purchase.
For more information, visit the Ranch of Horror website.
La Adorna’s House of Eclectic Souls at JAMNOLA
Dates: Oct. 27 – 31
Just in time for the Halloween season, costumer and makeup artist La Adorna hosts a pop-up tour at the JAMNOLA attraction in the Marigny.
The “hauntingly-beautiful” guided tour includes a curated playlist, artist appearances, a costume contest with prizes, goodie bags and a cool photo-op.
During the pop-up experience, La Adorna’s House of Eclectic Souls will transform the attraction into an “enchanting journey of glittery ghouls, sparkling spectors, and avant-garde apparitions,” according to the website.
Guests must register in advance for timed tours.
Ticket prices for Oct. 27–29 are $40 for adults; $25 for children. Kids under two are free. Ticket prices for the adults-only experience Oct. 30–31 are $50. Tour hours are Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
For more information, visit the JAMNOLA website.
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