The Historic Village at Allaire is a living-history museum depicting life in 19th-century America. In the fall, the village—located inside Allaire State Park—turns up the festivities, with seasonally themed special events, haunted hayrides and its signature attraction, 19th Century All Hallows Eve.
Located in Wall Township along the banks of the Manasquan River, the 3,200- acre state park was once a trove of iron ore and other natural resources. A New Yorker named James P. Allaire purchased a small ironworks at the site in 1822 and turned the property into a self-sufficient industrial community with more than 300 residents. Today, the village includes 13 historic structures, preserved on their original foundations, to reflect the life and times of those who lived and labored at the ironworks at the height of the community in 1836.
Open year-round, the nonprofit Historic Village at Allaire has a busy fall schedule that will be in full swing on October 1 with the Fall Craft Show and Art in the Park. Local artists will demonstrate painting, pottery, woodworking and textile crafts and sell their work (adult admission $2; children free). The Fall Flea Market follows on October 8 (adults $1; children free).
Twice each fall, Allaire Village hosts An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe, a live reading of the 19th-century author’s most macabre works. Presented by Helen McKenna-Uff inside the Allaire chapel, this spine-chilling event is set for September 30 and October 1 ($20).
On October 7 and 8, the village will host the interactive retelling of the classic folktale The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The story will be brought to life by versatile Philadelphia-based actor Neill Hartley, along with members of the audience, who are invited to participate ($20).
The Haunted Hayrides and Haunted Village event—October 14 to 15 and 21 to 22—is a different kind of interactive performance. Ghosts, ghouls and monsters will fill the haunted village as you tour Allaire home, set out on a haunted hayride and meander around the village grounds (adults $15; children $10.)
The 19th Century All Hallows Eve event—11 am-4 pm on October 30—will feature costumed performers in live demonstrations at Allaire’s 13 historic buildings. Cooks will make soup over an open hearth, while the blacksmith molds iron into nails, tongs and black roses. A puppeteer will share fables on the village green, and visitors can join in with apple-cider pressing or try their hand at hoop trundling, an old-timey game.
To celebrate in true Halloween fashion, children can dress up and march in the annual costume parade (prizes are awarded). Kids can also stomp through the pumpkin patch at the old Carriage House; enjoy a tractor, wagon or train ride around the village grounds; or take part in the candy-corn guess at the bakery. The village’s antique steam train will be running, and tours of the Allaire home will take place throughout the day (adults $5; children $3).
Besides the seasonal events, Allaire State Park offers more than 20 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The park’s campground has 45 tent and trailer sites, four yurts, six shelters and six group campsites. For more information, visit allairevillage.org.