**Updated Oct. 11, 2014
The shiny newness of back to school has worn off, and the kids have eagerly turned their sights to choosing their Halloween costumes, and plotting the best routes for the most candy. But the Billings, MT community knows it’s more than costumes and candy (though there are plenty of opportunities for that!), it’s mazes, pumpkin patches, haunted houses, and more! Get ready to mark those calendars as we take you through the incredible variety of a-maize-ing family friendly activities awaiting you this fall.
Be sure to bookmark this post, as we’ll post updates if/when we learn of more Halloween Happenings! (Psst! Halloween Happenings, part 2 – all about trick-or-treating opportunities in the community will be posted on Oct. 15).
Fantastic Fall Festivities
The Maize at Grandpa’s Farm, back for its 17th year, with “Montana Territory” as this year’s design. Located at 58th Street West and Grand Avenue, the Maize is open on Wednesdays from 6-9pm, Fridays and Saturdays (in October) from 10am-10pm. Costs: The Maize and attractions are $9, kiddos 3 and younger get in free with a paying adult, Friday and Saturday evenings when the maze is “haunted,” $12. Certain attractions like Apocalyptic Paintball carry a separate fee. Other attractions to look forward to are: Speleo Cave, Hay Mountain, Farm ‘n’ Ball Zone, Mini Mazes, Grain Train, Hay Rides, Pumpkin Patch, Corn Ball, Kiddieville – for the littles; Pig Races, and a whole slew of ride variations. Go to www.themaizeatgrandpasfarm.com/ for more information (and to get a $1 off coupon).
Sartorie Farms offers a variety of activities that includes their annual Fall Festival, Zombie Paintball, Pumpkins, and their 16 acre corn maze, “The Beast.” The Fall Festival runs on Saturdays and Sundays in October from 12-5:30pm. Admission costs are $12/adult, $8/children under 10, 2 and under are free. Here’s some of what you can expect:
- Trebuchet Pumpkin Launcher (you can launch it!)
- Large Slingshot Gourd Launcher (shoot for prizes)
- The Beast
- Hay Rides
- Pick a Pumpkin
- Hillbilly Golf
- Trike Track (4 & Under)
- Straw Mountain (Safe Climbing For The Kids)
- Visit ‘Bessie’ & Learn to Milk a Cow (Full Size Simulated Milk Cow)
- Free Marshmallows for Roasting! (bring your own stick please)
Go to www.sartoriefarms.com for more information. 1916 Hawthorne Lane in the Billings Heights
J & K Farms – located just outside of Laurel at 7 Krug Lane – offers a large pumpkin patch, hayrides, a small corn maze, and plenty of photo opportunities. Open through Halloween, you can check out all they have to offer from 9am until dusk. If heading out into the pumpkin patch doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, but you still want the pumpkin patch experience, there are pre-picked pumpkins for your perusal. Looking to round out your fall decorating scheme, they’ve got little gourds and pumpkins and adorably painted pumpkins to choose from as well. Hayrides: $4 per person, Pumpkins: $0.25 per pound. To get information regarding group rates call 628-7592 or 855-7927.
HarvestFest – Saturday, October 11 @ 9am-4pm under SkyPoint in Downtown Billings | 294-5060 Join in the family fun at Downtown Billings’ annual HarvestFest. There are activities for young and old alike starting with the Kids’ Zone featuring pumpkin painting, pumpkin seed spitting contests, balloon creations and face painting. The whole family will enjoy the street art fair and pumpkin pie baking contests. Families will also be able to peruse Arts & Crafts booths along with Farmer’s Market goodies, and a variety of food vendors. Live entertainment will include music, dance, and theater as well as an AM/PM Western Swing Dance lesson. New to HarvestFest is the 3rd Annual NILE Cattle Drive and Parade, starting at 2pm on North 27th Street and 3rd Avenue North. Applications for the various contests can be found at www.downtownbillings.com. Call 294-5060 with any questions.
Pumpkin Carving @ Audubon Conservation Education Center – Saturday, October 25 @ 2-4pm Immerse your family in fall fabulousness with an afternoon of pumpkin carving and canoeing at the Audubon Center. Cost is $5 for non-members, $2 for Friends of the Audubon Center – per pumpkin. Carving tools will be provided, but you’re encouraged to bring your favorite carving tool along. There will be design templates to use, though prizes will be awarded for most creative carvings (and scariest, funniest, happiest, and much more)! Please pre-register for the day by emailing the number of participants and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call 294-5099 for more information.
**Raising Our Spirits: Tales and Tour of the Haunted Museum – Saturday, October 25 @ 8pm. Tickets: $35 The Western Heritage Center has a long and storied history, and you’re invited to join real ghost hunters to investigate areas where paranormal activity has been recorded, using the latest ghost hunting equipment and testing techniques, in the legendary building. This event, that is a fundraiser for the WHC, invites attendees to see video and audio evidence, hear tales of thrills and chills, and wear a costume and be entered to win prizes. For tickets: Call 256-6809 or purchase online.
**Fall Carnival @ Laurel United Methodist Church – Sunday, October 26 @ 11:30am-2:30pm There are no admission fees for this afternoon of fun. Tickets to play games are $0.25 each. Guests can expect concessions, a duck pond, penny toss, face painting, a “scary” maze, and much more! Kids are encouraged to wear their costumes! Come out to Laurel and join in the fun! 307 West 4th Street Laurel, MT
Twilight Tours @ Moss Mansion – October 18, 24, 25, 30, and 31 @ 6-9:30pm, Tickets: $13 Back by popular demand, experience all Moss Mansion has to offer in the darkness of night. Encounter chills and thrills as you walk through the shadows of flickering lights and creaky steps while being regaled with stories of fear and folly through the years. If you’ve ever wondered if the Moss Mansion has a haunted history, bring the family out for the Twilight Tours and find out for yourself!
Haunted House @ Moss Mansion – October 24, 25, 30, and 31 @ 7-10:30pm, Tickets $7, Combined with Twilight Tour $18 Ghosts, ghouls, and gore await those that dare enter the Haunted House that rises on the lawn of Moss Mansion each October. This is an attraction definitely for the (at least) 12 and older crowd, exits are available at nearly every turn, if needed.
**Haunted History Ghost Tour @ Yellowstone Art Museum – October 31 @ 6:30pm (tours starting at 15 minute intervals) Experience the Yellowstone Art Museum as you never have before. For the first time, this Halloween, the YAM will be giving a tour of the facility, including areas normally off-limits to the public. There will be a presentation of recent ghostly findings by paranormal researchers and stories of the YAM’s eerie past as the original Yellowstone County Jail. Tours will be lead by Kelly Everitt and Chuck Randall. The first tour starts at 6:30 p.m. and a second at 6:45 p.m. on Friday, October 31th. The event is free for members or included with paid museum admission.
There are only 15 spots per tour so call 406-256-6804 or stop by the front desk on your next trip to the YAM to get signed up.
**Midnight Tour of the Moss Mansion – Halloween night…Midnight-1am, Tickets $25 | Only 40 tickets are available for this new feature – and only for those ages 15 and older. Reserve your ticket call 256-5100. Halloween. An old mansion. The perfect combination. Visitors will be welcomed to ‘The Bender Inn,’ where live actors will portray a family of serial killers from the late 1800’s. Follow your guide among the darkened rooms of the mansion as you hear the story and meet members of the Bender family, and some of their victims as well…Visitors at midnight will get to find out what lurks up there on the third floor! Prepare yourself to experience the mansion in ways visitors never have before!