Headless Horseman Festival at Conner Prairie

Headless Horseman Festival

Updated 9/3/2023

In addition to having over 1000 acres of history, Conner Prairie is well-known for its famous Fall event, the Headless Horseman festival. The festival is back another year with more events and activities than ever! It is so popular in central Indiana that it brings an average of 2,500 visitors per night.

Celebrating forty years at Conner Prairie, the Headless Horseman is a must for your Fall family bucket list. I added it to ours, and this year marked our first time as a family visiting the Headless Horseman. I can’t wait to continue this tradition each year!

Disclaimer: Blog posts contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, I earn a small commission that helps keep this blog running and support my family. If you have any questions, please read my disclaimer and privacy policy. We received complimentary admission compliments of Conner Prairie as part of a media event. As always, my opinions are purely my own.

Festival activities include (according to their website):

  • Scarecrow Contest
  • The Apple Store
  • The Trail of Terror corn maze
  • The Perilous Plunge
  • Magnificent Midway with the Spinning Apples carnival ride, festive games including Cauldron Toss, Zombie Soccer, and Monster Mini-Golf, and bounce houses
  • Barrel-Train Ride (Ages 7 & under)
  • Sleepy Hollow Marionette Show‘Mis’-Fortune telling with Carl Voyant
  • Live DJ and Live Music performances from Sweet Tunes
  • Live Shows: Sleepy Hollow One-man Show and Eerie-llusions Magic Show
  • The Bizarre Bazaar: a whimsical mini-‘museum’ dedicated to the legend of the Headless Horseman
Headless Horseman

Featuring both rides during the day and evening, the Headless Horseman offers both a scary and festive element to Fall. The Haunted Hayride brings the Headless Horseman alive through a seated hayride through Conner Prairie, where the Headless Horseman himself shows up.

Based on the classic tale, the Headless Horseman comes alongside the tractor wagon, riding a horse with a sword in hand. While this may seem frightening to young children, it wasn’t as scary as I anticipated it to be, and I did see many families with young children on the night ride. The night rides may be more scary to young children than daylight rides.

We took one of the last tractor rides available in the evening. Plan to wait for the Haunted Hayride; we arrived on a jam-packed night at 7:30 pm and received tickets for the 10:15 pm ride (then waited an additional 45 minutes in the line after 10:15). If you are taking little ones, prepare for this in advance! It is highly recommended you reserve your hayride in advance. 

If you arrive before 10 p.m., characters will sing traditional songs while waiting in line. For the evening ride, expect to have a few scares, such as spooky music, displays, and possibly some jump-scares in addition to the Headless Horseman.

Corn mazes

In 2019, the Conner Prairie corn maze was voted among the top 10 best in the country award! How cool is that!? {and that’s just one awesome fact!}

Long Maze: Test your wits in our family-friendly long maze. It takes up to 1 hour to complete.
Short Maze: Bring the little ones to our shorter kids’ maze. 30 minutes to complete.
Haunted Maze: Brave the spooky Trail of Terror after dark – recommended for ages 10+. Guests will experience sounds, effects, lights, and live scare actors. Open sunset to 10 p.m.

Important Maze Info
  • Admission is included in your Festival ticket. However, if you’d like to visit during the day, admission to the mazes is available for $5 for guests and $4 for members.
  • The short and long maze (a “haunted maze,” aka the Trail of Terror, is only open at night during the festival) are open during the Headless Horseman hours, from sunset to 10 p.m.
  • The short maze is appropriate for children; the long maze is appropriate for teens and adults. Guests ages 15 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Corn maze paths are 5 feet wide.
  • Wheelchairs and strollers are not advised.
  • Using the restrooms BEFORE the maze is recommended.

The Apple Store

The Apple Store will be open Wednesday through Sunday, September 8 through October 31, noon to 5 p.m. During Headless Horseman evenings, the store will close at 5 p.m. and re-open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tips for Visiting:
  • Days and hours for 2023 are Thursdays – Sundays, October 5th – October 29th, from 6-10 pm.
  • Festival Admission is $24 for guests ages 2 and up, free for members, and $2 for Access Pass holders. Hayride tickets are $7 for guests and members and free for Access Pass holders.
  • Headless Horseman is a rain-or-shine festival!
  • Tickets can be purchased online here,  and purchasing online in advance is strongly recommended. Tickets will only be available at the gate if not “sold out in advance.”
  • Plan to spend 2-3 hours at the festival (longer on busy nights & weekends).
  • Please arrive 45 minutes earlier than your selected hayride time for ample time to check in and walk to the hayride.
  • Children are always encouraged to come dressed up in Halloween costumes. Please refrain from wearing masks.
  • Photos are allowed during the tractor ride, but flash photography, tripods, and other equipment are not.
  • Children aged 15 and under need to be accompanied by an adult.
  • Bring extra money if you want to purchase beverages and food or if you want to take a ride on the 1859 Balloon Voyager.
  • Food will be available for purchase, including hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken strips, French fries, hot pretzels, cotton candy, elephant ears, kettle corn, and various hot and cold beverages.
Things to do nearby:

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