Top 5 Destinations to Celebrate Halloween

Whether you adore dressing up for the day, can’t wait to take the kids trick-or-treating, revel in scary stories, or just enjoy a great themed party – Halloween is a perfect time to celebrate Fall. Although it feels like a modern holiday, Halloween can trace its roots back to the ancient pagan festival of Samhain. Samhain celebrates the change of seasons and the transition from summer to winter — a time when the veil between our world and the other world is at its thinnest. While every destination that celebrates Halloween will have the traditional core elements, there are a few destinations that stand above the rest for their Halloween style.

Fire performer at the Derry Halloween Festival [Photo Credit: Mitch Hodge via Unsplash]

Ireland

Since Halloween can trace its origins back to Gaelic and Celtic culture, it seems fitting to celebrate in Ireland! Wander through historic castle ruins, and feel the lines of magic and reality blur at the edges of the ancient forests and in the soft steps of the meadows. In Ireland, you’ll enjoy bonfires, folk stories, light shows, and music — all centered around a spirit of celebration, the changing of the seasons, and a little bit of myth. Dublin offers perfectly spooky haunted tours and Bram Stoker-esque castles. Check out the Púca Festival. which concentrates on storytelling, music, and food in the historic Boyne Valley. Or, make your way to Northern Ireland for Europe’s biggest Halloween festival in Derry! This giant marvel invites you to explore different worlds, enjoy interactive light shows circus & fire performers, and take part in costume parades. Ireland offers something for everyone from parties into the wee hours of the morning to kid-friendly apple bobbing and face painting. With all the festivals rooted in tradition, this is a great addition to your Irish adventure.

New Orleans

Second only to Mardi Gras, Halloween in one of the country’s most haunted cities is a big to-do. At any time of year, New Orleans offers voodoo shops, ghost tours, and haunted sites, but Halloween magnifies all these historic, frightening, and gothic elements tenfold. The haunted atmosphere of the city is given an extra boost with towering skeletons, ghostly horsemen, and endless themed parties. The famous parades are complete with frightening floats where revelers throw candy into the crowds. New Orleans does have a few kid-friendly activities, but this is primarily a holiday geared toward adults. Celebrate with your friends at elegant weekend-long parties. Elaborate costumes, exciting galas, and incredible balls grace the streets of the French Quarter, and the houses are decorated to the nines! If you can’t visit New Orleans in February for Mardi Gras, but are still looking for that party vibe, October is the time to go.  

London

Full of history and tradition, but with all the trimmings of a big city, London offers something unique. It seems like in every corner of London from October 22nd- 31st there’s a Halloween celebration. Enjoy a modern Halloween with themed menus in restaurants and bars, Madame Tussaud’s Alien Escape Experience, Crystal Maze experiences, countless themed escape rooms, and endless costume parties. But London also boasts a long, dark, and storied past, with plenty of ghost tours, serial killer walks, graveyards, underground passages, and dungeons. Throughout the last week of October, London will allow you to immerse yourself in an interactive Halloween, blending historical and modern scares.

[Photo Credit: Andrei via Pexels]

Disney

[Photo credit: Aiden Craver via Unsplash]

Trying to celebrate Halloween in the most kid-friendly way possible? Look no further than Disney! All of the Disney Parks and cruises worldwide celebrate Halloween in style. Marvel at specialty shows, meet-and-greets, and fireworks displays that you won’t see at any other time of year. The kids will love meeting their favorite Villains who only come out for Halloween. Or getting unique photos of the other characters in specialty Halloween costumes. Mickey himself hosts a Not-So-Scary Halloween Party which requires advance tickets. Your favorite rides also get a makeover adding spooky — but not-too-scary — Halloween elements. When you tire of rides, parties, and villains, you can enjoy specialty foods or head into the shops for some seasonal merch. In Disney World, Halloween brings in a huge foodie element with lots of new specialties to try and enjoy. The kids will love the Coco-themed installation! Running through the 2nd of November, it teaches them more about the Day of the Dead. With all sorts of things you’ll never see any other time of year, Halloween is a great time to enjoy a Disney experience.

Canada

Canada is one of the best destinations for leaf-peeping, getting out into nature, and enjoying Halloween in a quaint, kid-friendly way. Canadians celebrate Halloween very similarly to Americans with scary movies, trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, and autumn festivals. You can enjoy small-town fairs, as well as carnival rides, pumpkin patches, or apple bobbing for the kids. Victoria on Vancouver Island is British Columbia’s most haunted city. They celebrate with a lot of spookier activities including haunted night ziplining. The bigger cities like Toronto and Vancouver are dotted with parties and Zombie walks. All over Canada, there are plenty of events for all ages. Infuse your Halloween with a little bit of wholesome, light-hearted fun. This is the perfect place if you don’t want Halloween to be the main focus of your Autumn outdoor adventure but just have it sprinkled into the great outdoors.


Are you ready to add a little travel to next year’s Halloween celebrations? Let us know! If you’re considering a late-October or early-November adventure, it’s worth adding these incredible Halloween experiences to your trip!

Five Destinations Ideal for Group Travel

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In 2022 we are all focusing on connection — finding ways to share experiences and create memories with those we’ve missed spending time with. But deciding where to go for a multi-generational family, reunion, or friend-cation group trip can be tricky. You want to find somewhere with a little something for everyone. Someplace where you can feel safe, and a destination where you can spend a lot of quality time together. And spend time soaking up everything you’ve missed over the past two years. Here are our suggestions for some small-group destinations that would be perfect for this year’s shared adventure:


Mexican All-Inclusives

Sun, beach, and warm sand for the whole family to enjoy! Plus the added luxury of all your meals and drinks included (and no one has to cook or clean!) With a big focus on relaxation, this is a great destination to reconnect. Many all-inclusives have casitas, villas, or stand-alone suites with their own pools. Which gives you a great sense of seclusion and privacy. Plus, they offer a wide range of activities for all ages and interests. You can just enjoy each other’s company without the stress of trying to get to the next landmark or attraction or figure out where to go for dinner that evening. For bigger groups, groups with younger children or those who love chilling on the beach – The Mexican Riviera has a lot to offer.

Costa Rica

a group of friends white water rafting down a river in Costa Rica

With a tropical climate, plenty of private villas, and beautiful beaches, Costa Rica has a lot in common with Mexico. Costa Rica, however, has a greater sense of adventure. Offering a multitude of outdoor activities from hiking to rafting to ziplining. It’s a great destination for friends who love the outdoors and want to have an active vacation with only a few beach days thrown in. Or families with kids who love animals and would enjoy the variety of wildlife in the area. Plus, Costa Rica has a major focus on sustainability, making it a top choice for your eco-conscious friends.

[Photo Credit: Alex via Shared Adventures]

Italy

Often seen as a ‘romantic destination’ (which it can be) Italy has a great advantage for groups — there’s a little bit of everything. If your group has a wide variety of interests, Italy is the place to go. History buffs, foodies, shopaholics, beach bums, and outdoorsy types alike will all find something to enjoy. You can head north to the Dolomites and the fashionably stunning lake district. Or head south into the wine-soaked hills, the small historical cities, and the beautiful beachy coastline. Cities like Rome and Florence offer history and shopping around every corner. And not too far away you’ll find breathtaking coasts and mountains. Italy is all about coming together for an aperitivo or a delicious meal to share stories about the day’s discoveries and adventures. And your accommodations can range from charming local hotels to sleek luxury resorts, city-center apartments, or private villas in the countryside.

Wales

a Castle Ruin in Conwy Wales

For those who aren’t looking for a tropical climate, Wales is great for a multi-generational road trip. The dramatic coastline and beautiful national parks offer a lot for those who love to be active (and for those who prefer a gentle stroll.) Certainly, you’ll find plenty of historic castles and quaint seaside towns to enjoy together. There’s plenty of room for kids to run around, and adults to follow. Above all, there’s something slow and relaxing about the pace of life in this intriguing countryside.

[Photo Credit: Ann via Shared Adventures – read about her UK road trip here! ]

Safari

Whether you head to South Africa, Tanzania, or Kenya – going on safari with your group of friends or family is a magical journey. Share the once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing incredible wildlife up close. And share stories each night over a gourmet meal back in camp — safaris offer a complete change of scenery away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Additionally, safaris are scheduled and guided to maximize the wildlife (and scenery) viewing potential, making planning your day a breeze. As a result, you have more time to focus on creating memories that you’ll be talking about for years to come. Since most safaris are group activities anyway, why not take your own private group with you?


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