Christmas carols playing in November is a no-no. As is setting up a back-to-school sale in July. But that being said, we’d have no problem with celebrating Halloween all autumn long — especially when you consider how our freaky attractions really relish this time of the year.
Now we’re not talking about candied events for the kiddies. In fact, you best leave those loot bags and little ones at home this October for these events, because this guide to our interactive experiences is all about having the wits scared out of you.
For starters there’s the return of Fear the Waking Dead — the 2015 Winnipeg Tourism Innovation of the Year Award of Distinction winner — whose zombies have now taken over Adrenaline Adventures.
As anyone will tell you who attended last year’s zombie infested site at Fun Mountain, this is one thrilling experience that is not for the faint of heart. The first rule in this live action zombie apocalypse role-play escape game is to survive… which will be hard to do considering the amount of undead that await.
(Warning: this video contains upsetting and violent images)
The premise sees the military having rounded up the last of the zombies into Adrenaline Adventures park, where they’ll be used with test groups of people (that’s you!) to see how they react.
It will make you feel like Rick, Carol, and the rest of the gang from The Walking Dead (you know, without having to actually bludgeon anything), while there’s still enough humour to give it that Night of the Living Dead edge.
As our Tourism Winnipeg crew found out last year, Fear the Waking Dead is a seriously scary good time; the actors get so into it, while the ingredients of a dark park, the undead, and numerous obstacles to navigate, makes for one scary good cake.
Fear the Waking Dead will take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout October starting on October 7, with the final night on Gate Night (the 30th). The age is 16+, because it is indeed that scary (we saw a 15 year old last year try to sneak in with a fake ID and he totally peed himself… so you junior high school kids have been warned!)
Adrenaline Adventures is located at 600 Caron Road in Headingley (just outside the city), and tickets can be purchased now (which you’ll want to do, as this will prove to once again be terrifyingly popular) for only $27.34.
Another big scare can be had at Amaze in Corn, whose Haunted Forest has become a bit of a Halloween tradition in Winnipeg.
First off, Amaze in Corn is a truly incredible place to visit in the fall, as their giant corn maze turns gold while the surrounding area (which you can see clearly from their incredible zip lining course, also open until October 30), is the epitome of how pretty the prairies can be in autumn.
Enter the Haunted Forest at Amaze in Corn… if you dare (Amaze in Corn)
But all that seasonally beauty aside, when dusk starts to set in, so does the terror!
Should you dare enter the Haunted Forest — a setting so spooky it would make Van Helsing’s hair stand on end — you’ll soon find yourself amongst its creepy inhabitants, many of whom are looking to feast! (And we ain’t talking about on pumpkin pie!)
The Haunted Forest starts on Friday, September 30, then runs every Thursday through Sunday for all of October. It opens at 6:30 p.m. (which is the best time to take young kids), and closes at 10 p.m. Admission is just $20 for ages 13+, while 12 and under is only $18. Admission fees will also get you into the amazing corn maze, while zip lining is extra.
The third horrifying head of our October Cerberus (that being the three-headed hound of Hades, for those of you who are not Greek mythology buffs) can be found at Six Pines Haunted Attractions, which will be celebrating 18 scary years this October.
Six Pine Haunted Attractions are both suitable for kids and adults — although they highly recommend that kids come during daylight hours when it is not nearly as freaky.
Their FUN BY DAY kiddy tailored interactive activities include pony rides (new this year); Mother Goose’s petting farm; Red Riding Hood friendly woodsman guides through the forest; and — believe it or not — the promise of non-scary clowns (which we thought only existed at Cirque Du Soleil shows). There’s also the option for braver kids (ages 10+) to enter their Famous Barn of Doom during the day (which they tone down during these hours).
Come nightfall, Six Pines Haunted Attractions enters the FEAR BY NIGHT zone, where “R rated” attractions — most of which are new for 2016 — include the Famous Bone-Chilling Twisted Barn of Doom, ThunderRidge Hotel, Terror Train, The Hood: A Red Riding Hood fairy tale gone bad, along with carnEvil: Fear the clowns, because you knew that somehow evil clowns had to be involved.
Six Pines is open Thursdays (with the exception of the 6th) through Sundays during the month of October (full calendar here). Fun by Day is $15 for ages 10+, while for ages 3-9 it’s only $10. FEAR BY NIGHT tickets are $30.