In the past, we would take the kids trick or treating for Halloween. Our house in New Hampshire is in a great area where neighbors decorate their homes inside and out and truly cater to kids for this holiday. We missed our community tradition but enjoyed a new tradition this year.
We decided not to trick or treat this year simply because we did not need all the candy and we did not know the neighborhoods in the Portland, OR area. We chose Portland as our destination this year because of all the Halloween activities and goings on that happen in this area. Portland is rated 9th out of 20 cities for best Halloween happenings in the U.S. They have a website called PDX Pipeline and app for iPhone and Android you can download that keeps you updated on everything Halloween as well as other holidays.
We found a number of interesting things to do this year. Our youngest son gets scared easily so we had to find some mild activities that he would enjoy, but would interest our teenager as well. We celebrated on Halloween Eve and Day.
On Halloween Eve, we visited Wenzel Farm’s Halloween Fantasy Trail in Oregon City, OR. It was raining so there were not many people here. We have been staying several weeks now on the Pacific Northwest coast so we were well aware that it rains almost everyday this time of year. We learned how to plan for and play in the rain. At Wenzel Farm they had a lighted path that ran throughout the farm. Along the path were spooky decorations like witches, bats, ghosts and other creepy sites. Music was playing and recorded stories could be heard at a few of the stops – pirate maze, crooked house, etc. There were also tunnels and a suspension bridge. At the end, we entered the haunted castle. Lucas thought this was a bit scarier and gripped my hand tightly. He did go through it twice however. (Learn more about this adventure at The Traveling Turtle Blog).
On Halloween Day, we went to the Portland Art Museum in Portland, OR for their $5 after 5 holiday event. This included a haunted tour of part of the museum, black light art viewing, a thriller dance performance (see a clip from the video below) as well as touring the museum to see many different types of art. This was a very unique and educational way to spend Halloween. The kids stayed interested even though it was not their favorite activity.
After the art museum, we headed out to Milwaukie, OR to visit Davis Graveyard. This place was amazing! According to their website, the homeowners purchased this house because it had the perfect yard for a Halloween cemetery. It took them several years to bring the dead and dying to life, but the dream become a reality. For over 10 years, they have created a creepy crawly yard haunt that has attracted people from all over the Portland area. Almost everything in their yard display is handmade from materials bought at the local hardware store. In my opinion, their set was movie scene quality. They have also built a life-size abbey and mausoleum. In addition they had images of ghosts throughout the yard. These are video effects that play homemade movies of “ghosts”. One video was created when their kids were younger playing and singing Ring Around the Rosie. To top it off, the Milwaukie High School drama department, dressed as zombies, did a skit to music.
Finally, after we returned to the camper later that evening, we had pizza (yes at 10:00pm) and hot chocolate and watched Monster House. Lucas gave our Halloween holiday activities a 7 and Jacob gave it a 6. They missed trick-or-treating but did enjoy doing something new.
WATCH A CLIP FROM THE PORTLAND ART MUSEUM THRILLER DANCE VIDEO BELOW: