Scare-less haunted house for kids
Brothers AJ, 11, and Dominick, 7, explore the Gateway’s Not So Scary Haunted House for the third year in a row.


Scare-less haunted house for kids




Three years ago my brother and I first walked into the Gateway’s Not So Scary Haunted House — by now we were pros. But this year was improved.

The adventure this time was self-guided, meeting creatures, monsters, witches and mummies along the way through Gateway’s Hotel. The place was a mess, and rightfully so.

We got there at noon when it opened. I went in with my sister, the editor of the Long Island Advance, my brother-in law, my dad and my brother, Dom. Before going in we were able to get our faces painted and play games. Even my grandma and 19-month-old nephew had fun. He loved the balloon animals. The guy made him a turtle and pumpkin on a stick. The event was good for all ages.

At the haunted house entrance, a “concierge” dressed for Halloween greeted us. She briefly went over the rules and then we went in. My brother and I led the group as the rest of my family followed behind. We saw chalkboards with equations and clocks, the kitchen, and different hotel rooms along the way, while being told which way to go by bellhops. Everything from the actual scary haunted house was disguised.

The first monsters we encountered were mummies and witches, then Frankenstein and his daughter and we even danced with some vampires. We did dances from Fortnite. Every time we met a different monster and correctly solved their problems, we received one of five tokens. At the end, the tokens were collected and we got a candy of our choice. We both chose Tootsie Rolls.

But the best part was all the interactive pieces along the way, like an optical illusion tunnel, giant “marshmallow” airbags, spider webs, moving floors and more.

The entire walkthrough is now less than a half-hour, which was less walking and more doing. We suggest coming prepared with sneakers and have breakfast first. But don’t get too full, because there are yummy treats in the midway. I had some chips and apple cider, but there is also candy and hot cocoa. I think it is a perfect start to the Halloween season and fun for all ages.


It’s fun for younger kids, too!

Don’t miss out on painting your face when you go. I was painted like a skeleton and AJ had his face made into a zombie. The face painters are so nice and do a great job. 

My nephew Quinn had a skeleton painted on his hand. It was very cute and matched me. My favorite part inside was the spinning tunnel. It had a lot of colors and spins around. Also, the mummies’ jokes were really funny and their costumes were realistic. I can’t wait to go back next year.

-Dominick Allegrezza

The Not So Scary Adventure is $15 from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through October. Tickets include a well-lit tour, face painting, balloons and a pumpkin bouncer. Great for children under 10.