City celebrates Halloween with second annual Fall-O-Ween in Boston Common

Those hoping to view the scenic foliage of the Boston Common may have accidentally encountered miniature ghosts and ghouls instead. Local children got a chance to model their Halloween costumes early during the second annual Fall-O-Ween festivities, hosted by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.

On Oct. 21, the Boston Common was decked out in its spookiest gear catering to guests young and old for this Halloween event. The Fall-O-Ween Children’s Festival was free for all and promised a “spooktacular” time. The event started at 5 p.m. and lasted until 8 p.m., with activities including a haunted zombie maze, spooky mansion slide, the jumpin’ pumpkin, beanbag toss, corn hole, LED swings and more. Not only were there bouncy houses, games, face painting and dancing for the youngsters, there were also vendors selling jewelry, food and hosting activities for older groups as well. 

Festival goers were encouraged to come dressed in costume and the people of Boston did not disappoint. One mom, Jasmine Etienne, was accompanied by her son and daughter dressed as Princess Tiana and the Black Panther. They said they wanted to try everything at the event, but what they enjoyed the most had not been an activity. 

“Our favorite part has been seeing all of the kids and costumes, we saw a really good Batman costume,” Etienne said.

 By the halfway point of the event, the family was confident they would be coming back again next year to enjoy the festivities.

 Local mom, Leah Berger, said her daughter and son were most excited to come out wearing their costumes, her daughter as a dragon and son as a ninja.

“We are also looking forward to Halloween night and getting a pumpkin, but this is probably the biggest event we’ll go to,” Berger said.

The Skating Club of Boston helped in putting on the festival this year, along with key sponsors including HP Hood LLC, Mission Realty Advisors team at Compass, Boston Circus Guild, UMass Boston Baby Lab and Renewal by Anderson

Those who came out to the event had a range of favorite parts, but many agreed it was something they wouldn’t miss next year.

“I know she’s most excited to try out the bouncy house and go on the carousel,” said Nicola Paredes-Rupp. “I will for sure be coming to this event next year, if my niece and nephew are up for it.”

Last year there were similar activities, however, some of them were still virtual due to COVID-19. In 2021, the Fall-O-Ween Children’s Festival held a virtual pumpkin carving contest followed by the in-person festival. Halloween-themed activities were also held last year including the haunted maze and children’s train, which returned this year on the Frog Pond. Similar to this year, guests were encouraged to wear their spookiest, funniest or most glamorous costumes.

If you missed this Halloween event there is still one more week of October to check out Beacon Hill’s festive decorations or see what other activities are offered this season.

Follow Emily on Twitter @emilyrcollins7