Blog Archive October 2011

12 Fun Family Friendly Things To Do This Halloween


Halloween is just a few weeks away!  To help your family celebrate and capture some fun memories we compiled a list of family friendly activities and events happening throughout Oahu.  

  1. Visit a Pumpkin Patch

Nothing says that Halloween is coming more than going to the local pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect family pumpkin for carving.   Check out Aloun Farms Pumpkin Patch Festival and Waimanalo Country Farms Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze.  Say hi to the Great Pumpkin for us. See our recent blog reviews of both.

2.  Pumpkin Carving Festival at Neal Blaisdell Center

Watch master sculptor Ed “Pumpkin Ed” Moody as he carves two 1,000-pound pumpkins. While there, check out the Safeway Pumpkin Patch filled with pumpkins carved by chefs, master carvers and local celebrities.  Participating families can get their own pumpkin for $30.00 which includes one medium pumpkin (or 2 for $55.00), carving tools, stencils, and a work table.  The festival is October 22 at the Neal Blaisdell Center.  Seatings at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.  To register your family visit or call 591-7700 or 843-2502. 

3.  Treats and Tails at the Honolulu Zoo

Enjoy a spooky evening at the wildest place in town!  Halloween themed, after hours guided tours of the Honolulu Zoo on Friday, October 28th and Saturday, October 29th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  The evening will include trick or treating, a costume contest, and much more!  $18 for adults, $14 for children ages 3 to 12 ($16 and $12 for zoo members).  Space is limited, call 971-7195 to reserve your spot or visit

4.  All Aboard the Hawaiian Railroad Society’s Spookapalooza Train 

Each ride is approximately 30 minutes long and includes chilling ghost stories as the train travels through the darkness of night.  Catch a ride if you dare on Friday, October 28th and Saturday, October 29th.  Departures leave the Ewa Station at 7:00 p.m., 7:45, 8:30, 9:15 (Check in 20 minutes prior).    Tickets are $5.00 (Cash Only) per passenger, 2 and under are free.  Reservations are required.   Call 681-5461 or email  Visit for more details.

5.  Read a Scary Halloween Ghost Story

Visit a local library or bookstore for readings of scary ghost stories and Halloween classics!  Barnes & Noble Bookstore will hold readings of “The Eensy Weensy Spider Freaks Out!” by Troy Cummings on October 18; “What Was I Scared Of?” by Dr. Seuss on October 22; “The Very Best Pumpkin” by Mark Kimball Moulton on October 25; “Scaredy-Cat, Splat!” by Rob Scotton on October 29.  Kaneohe Public Library will host read-alouds, storytelling through puppetry and yummy treats for keiki ages 5 to 8 (costumes optional) at 6:30 p.m. on October 26.  Call 233-5676 for additional details.  Finally, Kailua Public Library will host storytelling and crafts for children ages 2 to 5 at 10:30 a.m. on October 31.  Call 266-9911 for more details.

6.  Trunk or Treat at the Children’s Discovery Museum

The Children's Discovery Center will host a "spooktacular" day of creepy crafts and goulish goodies on October 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., fronting the Center's entrance.  Members from the Aloha Mustang and Shelby club of Hawaii will pop their trunks and provide sweet treats to all center visitors.  Call 524-5437 for more information or visit

7.  Haunted Lagoon at the Polynesian Cultural Center

Go on a haunted canoe ride and you’ll experience the tragic story of “The La‘ie Lady” in search of her lost son. New this year, you’ll meet her murdered husband, back from the grave.  Tickets are $19.95 for kama’aina, $14.95 for keiki; general admission is $25/$20; “Fast Pass” also available (recommended!). Reservations are recommended. Call 293-3333 or visit Family-friendly keiki canoe rides run from 6:30-7:30 p.m., offering a milder journey with a “lost warrior” who protects passengers with a mystical light staff.  Canoes run 6:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 22; and daily (except Sundays) Oct. 24-31.  See our blog for our recent review!

8.  Haunted Maze at Dole Plantation

The World’s Largest Maze at Dole Plantation will turn into a Haunted Maze for 11 scary nights. Support Waialua and Leilehua High School’s graduating class by purchasing tickets for $15.00. Tickets are limited and are good on only one night.  Kids aged 4 to 12 must be accompanied by an adult.  Keiki under four years of age are free. The maze is open from Friday, October 21 to Monday, October 31 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are recommended by calling 927-0837 or 220-6924.  Visit for more details.

9.  Watch a Halloween Classic with the Family

Make some popcorn and hot apple cider and celebrate Halloween with the Peanuts by picking up a copy of It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (DVD or check local listing for television air times)! 

10. Hale Koa Halloween Spooktacular Magic Show

Treat your little goblins to an exciting Halloween Magic Show, an all-you-can-eat dinner buffet followed by a spooktacular evening of illusions on October 26 at 6:00 p.m. Ghosts, goblins and creatures of all sorts will spirit their way to the Hale Koa Hotel for the annual event. Children ages 12 and under receive free Halloween treats and the chance to compete in the kiddie costume contest. For information call 955-9428 or visit   

11. Ohana Magic, Live! Halloween Show at Koolau Shopping Center

Come see magic performances and free ballon animals for keiki at the Koolau Magic Theatre in the Koolau Shopping Center on October 28 at 7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.  Tickets are $12.00 for adults, $8.00 for 11 children and under.  $2 discount on pre-sale tickets by phone. Call 239-6711 or visit

12. Trick or Treating at the Mall

Take the family to the local mall for trick or treating!  For costumed keiki at participating merchants on October 31, unless otherwise noted.  Ala Moana Center from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.; Hawaii Kai Towne Center from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on October 29; Kahala Mall from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. (look for balloons at doorways); Kapolei Shopping Center and Marketplace from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.;  Koko Marina Center from  5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.;  Market City Shopping Center on October 29, guided parade begins 6:30 p.m. in the lobby next to Duck Lee Chinese Restaurant;  Mililani Shopping Center from 5:00 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Pearlridge Center from 7:00 p.m. to 8 p.m., Uptown and Downtown;  Royal Hawaiian Center on October 30. A list of participating stores and restaurants will be distributed following the Center’s “Ghoulish Halloween Fun” event, which begins 3:30 p.m.;  Salt Lake Shopping Center: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 29;  Waikele Premium Outlets from 6:00 p.m.  to 7 p.m.;  Ward Centers from 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. (look for black bats hanging above doorways at Ward Warehouse, Ward Centre, Ward Village Shops and Ward Gateway Center); and Windward Mall from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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Haunted Lagoon at the Polynesian Cultural Center


Photos courtesy of the Polynesian Cultural Center

(Click here for more photos)

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One of the most popular and unique Halloween attractions in Hawaii is the Haunted Lagoon at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC)Beginning its fourth Halloween season this year, the Haunted Lagoon has become Hawaii's premier haunted attraction, welcoming more than 40,000 guests in 2010.  This year, the event features an expanded storyline with new characters, a longer canoe ride, and a thrilling 3-D walk through haunted hall adventure prior to boarding the canoes.  The Haunted Lagoon is a full scale ghastly production with a cast of over 100  ghouls and ghosts including movie quality special effects, creepy costuming and amazing animatronics designed to frighten even the bravest among your family!  Guests cast off on double-hulled canoes for a 30 minute journey through the dark waters of the lagoon said to be haunted by tortured souls, crazed monsters, and the not quite dead.   The storyline evolves around the legend of Nalani, or “Lady Laie”, a tortured soul said to really haunt the cultural center.  She was slowly driven insane by family tragedy and seeks vengeance on those who dare disturb her.  Shrouded in a flowing white gown she wanders the lagoon searching for her lost son.  This year, she is not alone in her search, her vengeful husband aiding her and seeking retribution for his own demise.  In addition to her husband, she is also joined by Egyptian mummies, pirates, a crazed troupe of creepy clowns, and for the "thirtysomething" crowd, Chucky, Jason, and Freddy all haunt the lagoon among many others.  If you enjoy a good fright, be sure to sit on the side of the canoe or in the front or back, this also affords you the best views.  You will also most likely get a wet sitting in these positions so be prepared.  If you are faint of heart or easily scared (or just want to stay dry!) sit in the center of the canoe.  Canoes run from now until October 23rd every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and daily from October 24th to October 31st.  The box office is open from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., or until tickets sell out.  Rides start at 6:30 p.m. and the stop at 10:00 p.m. We highly recommend that you book in advance as space is limited and crowds are quite large especially on the weekend when wait times can reach 3 hours or more (not a typo!).  To avoid the long lines, the Polynesian Cultural Center offers “Fast Pass” for an additional charge.  Similar to the FASTPASS system at Disney parks, visitors can purchase “Fast Pass” tickets for preassigned times (7:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 8:00 p.m.) and the additional fee will get them into a special lane bypassing the crowds, cutting wait times to 10-15 minutes.  Consider this if the thought of hours in line are not appealing to you, we did and the extra money spent was worth every penny!  If you chose the more social line option, there are vendors that come around offering snacks and drinks, and you can watch a haunting video giving a bit more background on the “Lady Laie” legend.  For kama’aina, a General Pass is $19.95 for adults and $14.95 for keiki.  If you want a Fast Pass, it will cost $35.00 for adults and $30.00 keiki.  For non-residents, a General Pass will cost $25.00 for adults and $20.00 for children or $45.00 for adults and $40.00 for children for Fast Pass.  The prices are a bit on the high side, especially the Fast Pass, but there are discounts available through 7-Eleven ($3.00 off coupon), 76 Gas, Dominos Pizza, and Pepsi ($5.00 on Wednesdays).  Also, check discount websites like Groupon Hawaii and Hot Deals Hawaii, they are currently running occasional BOGO free discounts and $25.00 Fast Pass deals. Kama’aina Annual Pass holders may ride free on weekdays and for a discounted rate of $10 on Fridays and Saturdays.  Parking at PCC is an additional $5.00 and if its crowded, you may end up in obscure parking lot on the side of the center that we did not even know existed.  Don’t worry though, there are shuttles that run from theses distant lots to the entrance.  The Haunted Lagoon is not for the faint of heart, so the PCC also offers milder "keiki canoes" for family members of all ages from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Aboard each "keiki" canoe is a "lost warrior" who, to protect his passengers, carries a mystical light staff that repels monsters or creatures, including the ghostly “Laie Lady”.   Even with this option, we saw several very young children on the regular canoe ride (as young as 2).  Most seemed to handle the scary side of the ride fine but use your parental discretion.  There are numerous loud and startling noises, ghouls jumping out of the water and from behind stuff, and startling illusions which may scare children.  If yours are prone to nightmares or scare easily, the keiki ride may be for your family.  The Haunted Lagoon is the only haunted canoe ride in the country and its delivers Halloween scares superbly.  It is extremely well done by the folks at PCC.  It is a fantastic family Halloween adventure!  You can check out the trailer or head to the Haunted Lagoon website for more details.  You can also check out Twitter (@LaieLady) for the latest updates.   

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