The start of October makes you want to zoom from one fall activity to the next. But, in between pulling into the farmer's market and parking your car next to the candy apple stand at the local orchard, you'll want to tap on the breaks and check out the drive-thru fall 2020 experiences near your city or town. Each will bring the best parts of autumn to you, and ensure you have gourd times this season without even opening up your car door.
Note that there's a difference between a drive-in and drive-thru. Drive-ins are where you and your partner may go on a date night this fall when you want to watch a Halloween-inspired movie and snuggle in your car while eating popcorn. Typically at a drive-in theater, you'll be coached to drive your car into a wide lot, where a giant screen is set up. From there, you'll be asked to turn off your headlights and roll up your windows so the entire crowd can enjoy the feature film.
Drive-thrus are a little different, because you're actually driving your car through a corn maze or along a traditional hayride route. At some of the experiences listed below, there are shows involved, and performers will approach your car to act out a spooky (yet spectacular) scene. After you read the details, decide which experience best fits your fall #mood.
1. Skylands Stadium Jack-O'-Lantern Experience
First up is the Skylands Stadium Jack-O'-Lantern Experience, which runs through Nov. 1, 2020. The event is located in Augusta, New Jersey, and is ready for you and your friends to enjoy over 5,000 decorated and lit pumpkins. While you drive all around the pumpkins and through mystical tunnels, you will want to keep your eyes open for dragons, tigers, giraffes, and a graveyard.
The map detailing what sights you can expect is on the event's website, along with additional information on the fall festival that's also taking place at the stadium, and includes a lot of good food and craft beer. Buy your tickets and pick out your time slot online ASAP. (One ticket covers an entire car.)
2. Cox Farms' Drive-Through Market And Hayride
Cox Farms in Centreville, Virginia is swapping their typicall fall festival out this year for a self-drive hayride and drive-through market. So, you can still snack on the apple cider donuts or other seasonal treats you typically shop for in the fall, and ride the apple tree-lined route of this farm.
To get started with this fall extravaganza, simply place an order with the market (with the expectation that you'll pick it up ASAP) on the farm's website, anytime Monday through Friday between 6 p.m. and 12 p.m., or Saturday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., from now until Nov. 2. Ride to the farm to pick it up, and then begin your "hayride."
The hayride will be operating on Monday and Friday at 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., with the last car being able to enter at 5:15 p.m. It'll also be open on the weekend from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., until the last day — aka Nov. 2.
3. Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
Are you the type of person who lives for the spookiness of this season? If so, head straight for a very haunted hayride in Los Angeles, California. It's running on select nights from now until Nov. 1 in Bonelli Regional Park and will give you an enchanting evening.
Simply drive up to 40-ft. screen during your allotted time slot, and wait for a Halloween-esque story to come to life before your eyes. There will be performers and multimedia displays, so get ready to wear your face mask and toss your heart eyes on, too.
4. WI's Best Bloody Mary Fest — Madison (Drive-Thru Style)
Eat, drink, and be scary at WI's Best Blood Mary Fest in Madison, Wisconsin. This fest is packaging together the ingredients you need to experience their fest elsewhere with people you're quarantining with, including Bloody Mary mix, pretzels, and a sliders kit for dinner.
With your ticket purchase, you'll not only be able to help the local businesses who contributed, but you'll also be able to get in your car and drive to Yahara Bay Distillers to pick up the tasty goodies, play a game from your car, and get your picture taken while dressed up.
From there, the fest is encouraging you to go home and enjoy these delights. They've created a playlist to put on during your festivities that you can access through YouTube, and encourage you to have a Blood Mary contest with your friends and then vote using their new Google Docs system. Tickets are sold on Eventbrite — $65 gets you one person's worth of goods, while $260 is made for a quarantine crew of four.
5. Nights Of The Jack
King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas, California isn't going to look like you remember it when you attend Nights of the Jack. This drive-thru experience is totally transforming the space into an IG-worthy sight you'll have to share on your feed. What can you expect? Well, thousands of lit pumpkins, as well as stunning, Halloween-inspired creations of your fave celebs, sports figures, and animated characters.
According to the event's FAQ page, it's not particularly scary, but a wicked good time that will last around 35 minutes. If you want to attend, carve out a night between Oct. and Nov. 1, between 6:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. There are two time slots you can choose from when purchasing your tickets in advance online.
6. Fright Farms
Get your stereo and your inner spook ready. You'll need both as you drive through Fright Farms. Brought to you by a team from Coachella and Outside Lands, this drive-thru experience will likely top many others you have this fall and will feature an AR experience with a group of live performers. Meanwhile, you'll be comfortably in your car, taking in the sights as they happen.
The experience lasts for 35 minutes, and there's a kid-friendly version called Not So Spooky, if you're having a chill night with your adorable niece or nephew. Tickets are available online via the event's website, and you'll need to pick a date and time slot that works best for you. One car can purchase one ticket at ~$65 - $75, depending on the day of the week and time slot you choose, and then get dressed up for a spooky night at the SilverLakes Athletic Complex in Norco, California.