By Melissa Shaw
While Six Flags New England is well-known for its horrifying haunted areas during Fright Fest season, families who want Halloween fun -- but not terrifying haunts -- should not hesitate to swap their sunglasses for a sweatshirt and head to Agawam for a full, fun day in the park.
The park employs 250 "scare-acters" to spook guests and offers five haunted areas and multiple "scare zones" across the 235-acre park -- but none of that begins until 6 p.m. From park opening to 5:59 p.m., it's the Six Flags you know and love decked out in the Halloween, spooky-but-not-scary, spirit.
"You better believe we ensure all of our guests know when 6 o'clock is coming," says Jennifer McGrath, communications manager of Six Flags New England. "We provide an hourly warning and then every 15 minutes leading to 6 o'clock. We want to ensure our guests have the best time, whether it's thrills by day or fright by night."
Fun seasonal daytime to-dos include: * Favorite rides, like the Tea Cups, Bumper Cars, Pandemonium coaster and more, re-themed for Halloween * A live, interactive Mayhem Mission Game Show * A Spooktacular Dance Party on Main Street featuring Looney Toons characters in their Halloween costumes * The Trick or Treat Trail, where for a $1 donation to local charity, kids can trick or treat throughout a path, where they meet family-friendly costumed characters and receive candy.
At 6 p.m., the after-dark fun begins, with zombies and all manner of undead roaming the park, and five premium haunted attractions open for business. The fifth, CarnEvil, is new this year. Situated near the new Joker ride, the area features a carnival where the performers have escaped. "They're looking for their next act, which might just be you," McGrath warns.
Six Flags New England is open Fridays through Sundays through Oct. 29. Head here for times and more details. And while Fright Fest traditionally marked the end of the season for the park, that's not the case this year. Six Flags New England will be open on weekends and select days Black Friday through New Year's Eve for its newest event, Holiday in the Park.