As Halloween approaches, dozens of macabre vistas appear across the country, frightening but somehow also beckoning groups of visitors. The masterminds behind these apparitions? America Is Haunted, a company that has fear down to a science. That starts with the element of surprise, as each location holds its own secrets and scares. Six terrifying mazes, eight mini-shows, more than 300 monsters, goblins, and ghouls including larger-than-life rats, spiders, and gargoyles, as well as interactive experiences, gory vignettes, and costumed actors await throughout each attraction. The escorted journey may begin with a disorienting, technicolor maze where each turn brings guests face to face with some new horror. Other locales might include a maximum-security prison where the inmates run wild or a grocery store where the cereal is all the healthy kind.
The creative culinarians at Aspire dish out a delightful variety of breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner fare. Guests can start their day on a savory slipper with a plate of classic eggs benedict and home fries ($14), or they can opt for a sweeter climb back to consciousness by sending their fork to scale a stack of cinnamon-brioche french toast ($10) as they slurp a cup of coffee ($3). The lunch menu sports soups (cups starting at $3 and bowls starting at $6), fresh salads ($6–$7), and inventive sandwiches ($6–$10, $2 extra for unlimited toppings), paving the way to the dinner list, which swaps out sandwiches for a selection of mussels, clams, and oysters ($1.50–$12), small plates ($10–$17), and large plates ($21–$34, with a lobster feast at market price). Treat your table to an order of Korean barbecue pork eggrolls to share ($10) or a bowl of New Bedford–style mussels, swimming in perfect synchronization with chorizo, kalamata olives, and sweet peppers ($12). Grilled swordfish ($21) is one of Aspire's headlining hunger tamers, served with a summertime blend of orzo, couscous, quinoa, and split peas and topped with spicy green-papaya salad.
From their perches on smooth-gliding segways, guests take in scenic harbor views and historic venues as they cruise Rhode Island's most populous city with Providence Segway Tours. Notable sites?including the Rhode Island State House, Federal Hill, and the Downcity art district?color the routes as guests glide through the capital in 30 or 60 minutes.
Urban Dare Adventure Race is a fast-paced competition that challenges two-person teams to decipher clues, navigate the city, and perform playful stunts. Combining the bustle of a track meet with the brain-taxing sleuth work of a luge competition, the race uses a dozen trivia-based clues to lead contestants to checkpoints all over Providence. Location hunters reach their checkpoints by whatever means necessary, be it hopping a bus downtown, flying madly through a network of secret ziplines, or scuba-diving in a fountain for bus fare. At the mini destinations, racers must use a camera to document their presence, or, in some cases, get their passports stamped after completing a challenge.
The RI Haunted House within Dave & Buster's acquaints patrons with the vibrant world of the undead between action-packed arcade games. Brave voyagers cross the threshold into a ghastly shipyard where phantom pirates lurk around every corner, waiting for their chance to frighten unsuspecting dwellers or politely ask them for spare doubloons. Explorers can gather shaken wits afterward with competitive bouts of racing, dancing, or tax-return filing on one of Dave & Buster's many video games and ticketed redemption games. Be sure to check the hours before attending.