It’s that time of year again: the leaves are falling and the air has its signature Autumn chill. The pumpkins are fully grown and the corn stalks are at their full height. Halloween is coming up fast. It’s only a matter of days before Ludlow’s neighborhoods are riddled with ghosts, ghouls, vampires, superheroes, and other oddities. Children are excited to trick-or-treat, teenagers are excited to dress up and spend time with friends, and adults are dreading the purchase of expensive bags of candy. However, before Halloween arrives, there are tons of local attractions in Ludlow and its surrounding towns that can be fun for all ages.
If Ludlow locals are looking for a close and cost-friendly way to celebrate the Autumn months, Randall’s Farm & Greenhouse is the place to go. After its initial kickoff on Sept. 17, on Saturdays and Sundays Randall’s will be hosting their yearly “Corn-Fusing” Corn Maze and Hayride for a cost of $7 for children and $10 for adults. They also have Pumpkin Picking Hayrides on Saturdays and Sundays for a cost of $5 for everyone over 5 years old. Anyone under 5 years of age can ride for free. Both of these activities last through the remainder of Sept. and the whole month of Oct.
A more fearful October experience that is a bit of a drive from Ludlow takes place at McCray’s Farm in South Hadley. If you’re looking to be scared, be sure to find yourself there on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night in October.
The farm holds a Haunted Hayride that includes over 100 actors and almost an hour of thrills. The ride itself lasts about 30 minutes and has a following Haunted House that takes about 15 minutes to walk through. These rides start at 7:00 p.m. and run until the last person in line boards the hayride. McCray’s Farm offers family and child-friendly attractions throughout the Autumn months as well. Aside from the Halloween Hayrides, they have a petting zoo, a creamery, and a mini golf course that visitors can enjoy during the day.
If visitors are still looking for a thrill for the little ones, McCray’s also has a “Munchkin Mash” that is appropriate for children of all ages. These particular rides run from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. If individuals are willing to substitute the longer drive to McCray’s for the shorter drive to Randall’s Farm, they should also be willing to spend a few more dollars. The adult hayrides cost $20 for anyone taller than 52 inches and $15 for anyone shorter than 52 inches. The “kiddie” rides cost a lower fee of $5.
Megan Brown, a Ludlow High School senior who has been to McCray’s Farm many times over the years, went again this year and was pleased with her trip.
“McCray’s was fun,” Megan said.
When local thrill-seekers find themselves preferring an indoor scare, DementedFX in Holyoke is the place to go. Like McCray’s adult rides, the cost is $20 per person. They are open every Thursday from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Saturday from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., and Sunday from 6:00 p.m. to 10 p.m. for the entire month of October. Unlike McCray’s, there is nothing for kids at DementedFX. They strongly discourage the entrance of anyone under 13 years of age. Ludlow High senior, Casey Picard, is excited that there is a place nearby that can give her a true scare.
“I heard DementedFX was really good, I want to go,” she said with much enthusiasm.
For people who don’t like to spend money or spend time in crowded places, these attractions aren’t likely to sound appealing. Many locals are going to prefer celebrating the season in the comfort of their own homes, much like Ludlow High senior Morgan Giebner will be.
“I’m having a ton of people over to watch horror movies,” Giebner said.
No matter how Ludlow locals decide to spend their Halloween, there is no denying the changing colors of the leaves and the chill in the air. Autumn is finally here after a long and hot summer and Western Massachusetts has provided a plethora of ways to celebrate it.