Idlewild’s HALLOWBOO: A Pittsburgh Fall MUST!

The following post is a collaboration between ‘lil Burghers and Idlewild’s HALLOWBOO. In exchange for sharing this information with you, my family received four tickets to visit Idlewild during the event. All opinions are 100% my own. 

It has been a lovely start to fall in Pittsburgh, hasn’t it? With temperatures more like summer, I’m holding on to a hope that winter won’t be awful – will you go there with me? Yesterday was a perfect reminder of summer and we took advantage with a trip to Ligonier for Idlewild’s HALLOWBOO. The kids got a chance to do some “treating” and take on some of their favorite rides before the park closes.

Idlewild’s HALLOWBOO: A Pittsburgh Fall MUST!

Can I admit that in ten years of being a parent (and several invites from my cousins), I have never taken the kids to Idlewild for HALLOWBOO? Two truths here – tickets for a family of six don’t always make our budget and we aren’t big Halloween celebrators due to our faith. But the kids do like the friendly fall atmosphere of “treating” and dressing up as long as it isn’t scary. That’s where Idlewild Park comes in – adults can’t wear masks, “trick or treat” is through Story Book Forest, and the rides are separate from the treating area. We decided it was worth checking out and making our opinion!

Well, the verdict is in and Idlewild’s HALLOWBOO is a must for Pittsburghers, especially the ‘lil Burghers. The day was full of low key fun, lines were non-existent, and the treating was super memorable.

Idlewild’s HALLOWBOO: Our Experience

So what makes it a Pittsburgh must? Here’s what we experienced with the descriptions from Idlewild sprinkled in.

Trick or Treat through Story Book Forest

Idlewild's HALLOWBOO
I’ve got fond childhood memories of enjoying Story Book Forest and watching my kids experience it has been a real joy. Adding the “treating” aspect to it is icing on the cake!

A stroll through Story Book Forest is always a beloved experience for families visiting Idlewild. Featuring a winding path through a real forest, guests visit cottages and other character scenes from fairy tales and nursery rhymes. During HALLOWBOO, kids 12 and under are provided with a complimentary trick-or-treat bag that they can use to collect delicious treats from Goldilocks, Captain Candy, Little Red Riding Hood and many more! Treats provided by Snyder of Berlin and other candy favorites.

There are various stops at the forest cottages and every single character was “on point” with their character and kindness to the kiddos. (Some of them might have been too kind or excited about the kids’ costumes and gave them extra sugary treats…ha!) Treat bags are provided – Mom and Dad might want to bring a bigger bag or walk them back to your car after treating!


There are several shows to take in:

Jack O Lantern Jive – Hillside Theater 4:00, 5:00, 6:00
Monster Mash – Hillside Theater 6:30
Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Day – Daniel Tiger Stage 1:00 and 2:15

We experienced Jack-O-Lantern Jive and Evan and Ava had a blast dancing along to popular dance songs – Arianna and Isla boogied in their seats but were trying to act too cool for school during it. 😉

Shake out your bones and get ready to dance! Our deadly dance captains are going to cast a spell on you and make you Jack-O-Lantern Jive all night long! These classic dance hits will have you bouncing through the pumpkin patch as Idlewild presents the JACK-O-LANTERN JIVE! (4:00 and 5:00 PM)

Ride Favorite Rides

Visit Idlewild for a fall ride on the Ferris Wheel or Spider!

With the exception of Soak Zone and the Wild Mouse, many of the rides were up and running! (Check here for rides that will be operating on your visit day.)

Among our must-visit rides were Jumpin’ Jungle to race on Bigfoot’s Mudslide and play in Jungle Catch; Balloon Race, Confusion Hill, and (Ava and Isla’s favorite) Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Ava was so excited to see Daniel!

In addition to these rides, HALLOWBOO Express Rail Road is a round trip train ride. There are also two different mazes in the park (included in admission price) and a S’mores Station (additional cost)!

Ready to visit Idlewild’s HALLOWBOO?

If I’ve convinced you to add HALLOWBOO to your fall traditions, don’t worry. You have plenty of time to visit. And there’s a discount for you here as thanks for reading our blog! Here is everything you need to know:

Operating Dates (remaining in 2018) : October 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, and 28

Operating Hours: 11:30 AM to 6 PM (Story Book Forest Trick or Treat ends at 5:0o PM, rides begin at noon)

Ticket Prices: Normally $29.99, but click here to save $10 per ticket! (2 and under are free, not included in the price is a $1 amusement tax and online processing fee)

Parking: Free

Follow Idlewild Park on Twitter and Instagram or like them on Facebook to keep up with all the fun!

Idlewild Park

Oh a whim, we decided to join my aunts, uncle, grandma, and cousins for a trip to Idlewild Park. This has to be one of the best parks in the area for ‘lil ones, so there really wasn’t much thinking about if it was the right decision. We were right, for the record.

You already know that we trusted Arianna and cousin A to lead us with the map, but not before we enjoyed a glorious picnic lunch. The park has great picnic shelters that you can rent or claim if they haven’t been rented. We shared a shelter with some random families during the day, and felt comfortable leaving our bags there while we went for a swim. (Note, this is the park where Greg lost his wallet a few years ago. We returned back over an hour after it was lost and it was turned in with nothing missing. It’s that kind of great.)

Yes, we got to go for a swim at the amusement park. No pictures here, but we enjoyed trips down water slides (I finally got over my fear), the wave pool, and Lazy River. It was refreshing to enjoy fun in the water as a family.

In the late afternoon, we headed to Story Book Forest to enjoy a walk around the nursery story book world.

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After this part of the park closed, we headed to Jumpin’ Jungle to ride slides, play in a ball pit, and enjoy time climbing and playing. The bigger kids went with their dads on the Log Flume…poor ‘lil Man was not happy to learn he was 1/2 inch too short to ride with them all, but he enjoyed 45 minutes with Mama while we waited.

Later, we headed on the train to Racoon Lagoon. (Park go-er tip, use the train to get from Hootin’ Holler to the kid area!) The ‘lil kids loved that their slightly bigger cousins could ride with them. They enjoyed every last minute of it, but avoided the camera like the plague.

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Once we had our fill on ‘lil kid rides, we enjoyed the Merry Go Round, Tilt A Whirl, Whip, Paratrooper, and Balloons. Lots and lots of spinning.  No veritgo issues. Swear.

Not even the moment when I looked at Arianna, grabbed her arm and told her it was okay, I had her. Her response? I’ve got you too, Mommy. And always our prince, Evan chimed in that he’d make it all okay.

Not even the moment when cousin E got on the Tilt A Whirl with us and knocked the balance off to the point all we did was spin around. 

We survived the park, and ended up being one of the last people out of the park…even after many employees had left for the day. Those are the things loving memories are made of.

Bonus Points on our awesome day? This was Evan’s first trip to Idlewild Park and he back-navigated us home in the dark. “Turn right up here, Daddy!” and “Just ahead, get on the Pittsburgh Turnpike!” He refused to sleep until we got off the turnpike and on 28, just one exit from our house. What a kid, he takes after his Mama.