Some people’s idea of a good time on Halloween is to be scared spitless by a zombie chasing them in the dark.
Others prefer not to be terrified.
No matter which camp you’re in, the Snohomish Valley Festival of Pumpkins has you covered.
Every year, thousands flock to seven family-owned farms for Halloween fun. New this year are some family-friendly attractions such as carnival games, straw bale lifts and a dogs’ day. Some activities have a fee.
Pooches in the Patch is 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 27 at Craven Farm, 13817 Short School Road, Snohomish. You and your pooch can go on hay rides, explore the pumpkin patch and navigate the corn maze.
Normally, four-legged friends aren’t allowed on the farm, but this year Craven is opening its doggy doors. The first-ever Pooches in the Path event, Sept. 22, drew about 550 dogs and their owners.
“We really are a family-oriented patch, and there’s so many people who would like to have their full family come out, and that includes their dog,” Craven Farm manager Sandee Acevedo said.
Dogs must be leashed (no retractable leashes, please) and kept out of the animal barn. Be sure to scoop any poop.
The farm’s 15-acre, no-scare maze also will have Flashlight Nights Friday and Saturday. Choose between easy and hard routes. Actual flashlights — not the lights on your smartphone — are recommended.
There will be a pre-World War II cider mill in action this weekend in the barn at The Farm at Swan’s Trail, 7301 Rivershore Road, Snohomish. The farm is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Watch through the window as the mill presses Honeycrisp, Granny Smith and Jonagold apples.
“You can see us bottling what you’re buying,” said Nate Krause, event planner at Swan’s Trail.
Stocker Farms, known for its many haunted attractions, has added a few family-friendly options this year.
Its new straw bale hoist promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning by using a block and tackle system.
“It lets children learn how simple it is to pull up heavy (stuff) with different forms of old technology,” said Keith Stocker, Stocker Farms manager. “You’ll see 8- or 9-year-olds who are able to lift a 100-pound bale of straw by themselves, and they’re amazed by it. They don’t realize they’re learning something about science, but they are.”
The farm at 8705 Marsh Road offers a variety of games and activities, including Konk the Crow, where you throw tennis balls at fake crows sitting on a fence, and Roller Bowler, a farmer’s way to go bowling.
Carleton Farm, 630 Sunnyside Blvd. SE, Lake Stevens, this year has added carnival games and apple cannons. Targets for the apple cannons will be up to 150 feet away.
For thrill-seekers, there’s still plenty of spooky fun to be had.
Carleton Farm’s haunted attractions include zombie paintball, a haunted swamp and a zombie hunt. Stocker Farms (known as Stalker Farms around Halloween) offers zombie paintball, spooky performances by actors, game shows and a scarecrow challenge.
Nighttime activities at Thomas Family Farm, 9010 Marsh Road, Snohomish, include a haunted hayride, escape rooms and a haunted house.
Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.
If you go
Through Oct. 31, Snohomish Valley Festival of Pumpkins takes place at seven family farms in Snohomish Valley — Bailey’s, Bob’s, Carleton’s, Craven’s, Stocker’s, Swan’s Trail and Thomas. Activities include pumpkin patches, corn mazes, zombie paintball, dark mazes, hay rides, a haunted house and bonfires. More at www.festivalofpumpkins.org.