by Ann Siock | Staff Writer

SCRANTON – With fall in full swing and pandemic concerns overshadowing many of the festivities, The Aquinas has you covered with 5 destinations that will help you ring in the season like a valley native.

Roba Family Farms

230 Decker Road, N. Abington Twp.

The NEPA staple for fall activities, this locale has it all from a pumpkin patch and a petting zoo to a gigantic inflatable pillow, a corn maze, go-cart racing, and a dog show on certain days. Groups that love a good day outdoors or nights by a bonfire may find this farm to be the place for them. The location boasts 11 food stands that peddle anything from apple cider donuts to burgers that will satisfy the foodie in the group. Tickets start at $18.95 per person, and bonfires need to be reserved at an additional fee. While following CDC guidelines when it comes to mask wearing, social distancing and sanitizing at the farm, Robas has also gone cashless this season, meaning credit cards and Apple pay are accepted, and a cash to gift card option is available. To reserve tickets, check out the website.

Lakeland Orchard and Cidery

1649 Lakeland Dr., Mayfield

In the middle of its first year under a new brand, the Roba family keeps the quality of Roba’s Apple Orchard in the new Lakeland Orchard and Cidery located in Scott Township. It has been making appearances on the social media feeds of both local and resident students at the University of Scranton. This orchard has it all, from axe throwing to a Halloween light display to apple ciders for all ages and pallets. The Lakeland Orchard has up to 11 activities included under a variety of passes starting at $16.95 per ticket. The orchard opens at 10 a.m. and the cider garden, retail tent, public fire pits and burger shop are open until 11 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit their website.

Circle of Screams

1911 Scranton Carbondale Hwy., Dickson City

Yes, Northeastern Pennsylvania still has a drive-in. – more than one in fact. The Circle Drive-In in Dickson City still lives up to its reputation as “America’s only haunted drive-in,” however, and succeeds in breaking the fourth wall with its October attraction, Circle of Screams. The crew at the Circle has been frightening guests since their 2017 inaugural haunt featuring the demons of Delfino Manor and other spooky landscapes like a cage maze of clowns and zombie-ridden woods. There are some changes to the Circle of Screams this year because of COVID-19 concerns. Only the manor portion of the attraction is open, social distancing guidelines will be enforced and there are capacity limits on group numbers to ensure a safe distance between groups. Face coverings are required. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the Circle of Screams’ website. Tickets cost $15 per person or $8 for adults who only want to see the movie portion.

Hotel of Horrors

5105 Cherry Valley Road, Saylorsburg

Hotel of Horrors has fans of The Shining covered. Set in the “abandoned,” legendary Lake House Hotel in Saylorsburg, the folks running the hotel host three major attractions and two activities for guests to test their mettle. From an altered trip to the afterlife to iPAS, the location’s Interactive, Patron-Activated Scare activity, Hotel of Horrors has gone where few haunted house attractions have gone before. There are some changes because of COVID restrictions, only Hotel of Horrors and the second attraction, Altered Nightmares, are open to the public. Tickets can be purchased on their website for $25 per person. Social distancing will be enforced as well as heightened sanitation procedures. Face masks are required.

Reaper’s Revenge

460 Green Grove Road, Blakely

With over 60 acres of attractions, the Reaper’s Revenge attraction in Blakely has over an hour of scares. The crew at Reaper’s brings their show all the way to the parking lot, where guests are greeted at the gates by masked actors that provide a glimpse of what the night has to offer to the soundtrack of Blue Oyster Cult’s famous “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” The lines are long, but guests are entertained by actors’ antics throughout the tiki-torch lit thicket and vintage Twilight Zone episodes being projected on an outdoor screen. From there, visitors start their night through the blend of pop culture and horror Reaper’s has to offer. Light displays and performances amuse the unsuspecting on the Haunted Hayride, only to have them abandoned in the middle of the Lost Carnival. They are challenged to find their way through two other attractions before the night is over. Tickets are $45 each for general admission and can be purchased in-person or online. Face masks are required as part of Reaper’s COVID response, however for the safety of their cast and crew, the staff at the attraction prohibits the use of Halloween masks or costuming of any kind.