There’s A Real Life Halloweentown? Yes, And You Can Visit!
By Brianna Allison
Photo Courtesy of @uniquepnw
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Brianna Allison. Find her on Instagram at @ballison7. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at email@example.com.
Since I first watched Halloweentown when I was little, I have always dreamed of walking the streets of the magical and spooky town among the witches, warlocks, ghosts and monsters. I wanted to see the jack-o-lantern in the town center while I waited for Benny to pick me up in his cab and take me to Aggie Cromwell’s house. But as I grew up, I learned to accept that I was never going to be transported to a real Halloween town.
Now, things have changed…my dream can now be a reality! Because from September to the end of October Halloweentown really does exist!
St. Helens, Oregon has become the fall destination for Halloweentown fans across the nation as they host The Spirit of Halloweentown festival complete with tons of family-friendly attractions and vendors inspired by the cult-classic Disney film. It transforms into the ultimate real Halloween town!
Now before you go sneaking onto the mysterious bus with Marnie, Dylan and Sophie, let’s take a look at what you can expect at the festival this fall!
Where Is Halloweentown?
The Spirit of Halloweentown takes place in St. Helen’s Riverfront District! The city which is a part of the Pacific Northwest is about 30 miles north of Portland and right across the river from Washington state.
So, I’m sure you’re wondering ‘why is the real Halloweentown in Oregon?’ Because, same.
Well, actually St. Helens is the perfect location for the festival because Halloweentown was really filmed in the small town back in 1998 (24 years ago)!! So it only makes sense for the area to recreate the scenes that made their town so famous. And to make the location even better, Halloweentown isn’t the only fan-favorite movie that was shot in St. Helens – the Twilight series was also filmed there! This makes it the perfect destination for a month long of spookiness.
And if you’re lucky, you may see your favorite Halloweentown or Twilight actor visiting to take part in the St. Helens’ festivities! In previous years, Marnie’s younger brother Dylan and love interest Luke have made appearances. This year, keep an eye out for Sophie from Halloweentown or even Twilight’s Alice Cullen!
There’s A Lot To Do In Halloweentown
Now, if you’re not convinced to visit the real Halloweentown yet, wait until you hear about all the activities and festivities that the festival has to offer!
Each year since the movie’s release, the town has transformed into Halloweentown from mid-September to October 31st. As the fans arrive they’ll be greeted by the big pumpkin in the center of the square. During the first Saturday of October after the Big Halloween Parade, the pumpkin will stay lit for the rest of the festivities.
Visitors can also enjoy a newly renovated haunted house attraction, a costume contest, a spooky shuttle ride, a scavenger hunt, a water taxi trip, ghost stories, a Halloween train ride, the Museum of Peculiarities & Oddities, The Pumpkin Puzzle Plaza and more! You can also find your favorite Halloweentown filming locations, including Aggie Cromwell’s House on 3814 SE Martins Street, City Hall on 275 Strand Street, the Old Theater on 212 S 1st Street, Benny’s Cab and the magical bus stop.
But wait, there’s even more! There’s also the Vendor Village! In the Vendor Village are lots of pumpkins, places and booths to shop, face painting, live entertainers, dancing and photo ops. There’s also plenty of food so make sure that you come hungry! And don’t forget that each weekend has a special attraction, guest or event happening so make sure that you check out what’s going on the weekend that you’ll be there!
What Should You Expect?
Well, expect to have a ton of fun! But besides that here is some more information that is useful to know before planning your trip to The Spirit of Halloweentown.
Although weekends can be busy, they are the best time to go and really see St. Helens transform into Halloweentown! The weekends are also when the main plaza and a lot of the festivities happen so make sure to review the schedule! However, if you’re interested in just walking the streets of the town, you can go any time or day just like in any other city.
The hours for most of the attractions are from 10 am to 5 pm, unless otherwise stated. The haunted house is a specialty attraction and is only open until 7 pm Sunday-Thursday, 8 pm on Fridays and 9 pm on Saturdays. The haunted house attraction also requires an additional ticket on top of the general admission ticket. So make sure to check out all of the ticket options before purchasing!
Now, if you’re concerned about parking for the festival, you have a few options. Parking on the weekdays is free, but on the weekend you will need to pay. If you pre-purchase a parking pass before arriving you will pay $15 for a spot, however, onsite parking is $20 cash.
It’s also important to know that the event is pet-friendly, as long as your furry friend stays on a leash and is well-behaved. Otherwise, you and your pet may be asked to leave.
Lastly, not all of the attractions and sights are ADA accessible due to building restrictions, ground conditions and weather. If you still have some questions or are looking for more information about the events, make sure to check out The Spirit of Halloweentown website or Facebook page!
During spooky season, there are tons of movies and shows that are on my must-watch list, but I definitely can’t go a Halloween without watching the Halloweentown movies! The Disney classic always puts me into the Halloween spirit. And this year, watching the movie just isn’t enough. I’m ready to make the trip to St. Helens, Oregon and see the real Halloween town in person, not just on the screen. So, who’s coming with me to live out our childhood dream?
What do you think? Do you want to take a trip to the real-life Halloweentown? Do you know of another real Halloween Town near you? Comment below what activity you’re most looking forward to!