City introduces Family Fright Fest: Barrie’s free Halloween-themed event

(Barrie, ON) – The City of Barrie is inviting residents to celebrate the Halloween season with a new, free, family-friendly event hosted on October 18 and October 19 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Sadlon Arena. Family Fright Fest is an evolution of the City’s former Ghost Bus Tour, building on its popularity and success with added elements inside and outside Sadlon Arena to enhance the experience. 

“Family Fright Fest is two nights of family-friendly Halloween fun: get seriously scared in the haunted house, join a Halloween-themed skate or hop on a Barrie Transit bus for a family storytime that will surely frighten even the bravest of souls!” says Steve Lee-Young, Manager of Recreation & Culture Programs. 

Family Fright Fest activities will include:
•    Photo booth 
•    Fire pit  
•    Haunted house
•    Scary storytime on a Barrie Transit bus 
•    Halloween-themed skates (October 18: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., October 19: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.) 
•    Crafts and games 

The event will also feature a costume contest — dressed up participants will be entered in a draw to win a prize. If choosing to dress up, participants are asked to ensure costumes are suitable to a family-friendly environment.  

All activities are free and suitable for all ages. Parents/guardians are asked to use personal discretion when deciding to participate in Family Fright Fest. Although geared towards a family audience, some activities may be too scary for some participants. Registration to Family Fright Fest is not required.

The City is also seeking volunteers to assist in Family Fright Fest, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. on October 18 and/or 19. This opportunity is open to those 14 years of age or older. Those interested can email

Additional Halloween programs at the City:

In addition to celebrating the Halloween season with Family Fright Fest, during the week of October 24 leading up to Halloween, the City will also host Halloween-themed skates and swims at various recreation/community centres. View the drop-in schedules for times and locations. 

Like previous years, the City is selling Halloween swim/skate passes at 50 cents per pass, good for one free drop-in swim or skate for children 14 and under. Passes are currently available for purchase until October 31 (or while quantities last) at Allandale Recreation Centre, East Bayfield Community Centre, Peggy Hill Team Community Centre, City Hall and Parkview Community Centre.

Media Contact

Emily O’Brien
Communications Advisor