Costumes are OK at any age, but the full perks of Halloween — the candy, the trick-or-treating, the sense of mystery — are reserved for the young. Or at least the young at heart. We touched on some spooky family-friendly events in an earlier guide to Halloween happenings throughout town, but this is the more super-sized installment of things to do with the kiddos.
Here are enough events to keep the family spooked through Halloween weekend.
The Thursday, Oct. 29 Halloween edition of Decks in the Park at Klyde Warren Park gets going at 6 pm, well before most youngsters’ bedtimes. Dress up and listen to several select DJs spinning a mix of diverse, family-friendly music that may or may not include the timeless “Monster Mash.”
Enjoy some dense and safely traffic-controlled trick-or-treating in a blocked-off downtown McKinney on Oct. 30 from 4 to 7 pm for Scare on the Square, which includes a costume contest, a scavenger “ghost hunt,” and other activities.
In Plano on Oct. 30, take the kids candy hunting at Plano’s Heritage Farmstead Museum, the “living history site” that’s the closest thing you’ll find to a little (haunted?) house on the prairie. Chicken feeding and tractor rides go well with the more standard-issue trick-or-treating.
Avoid traumatizing your children with a horror movie and take them to see some more age-appropriate fare in Carrollton’s downtown square, which will host a double feature screening of It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Ghostbusters. A local Ghostbusters fan group will be on hand if you want to take pictures with the iconic car and such.
Dallas Children’s Theater’s Oct. 30 performance of The Ghosts of Sleepy Hollow features the Teen Scene Players taking on the ghoulish tales of Ichabod Crane, the headless horseman, and a cast of other spooky characters with their own stories to tell.
The Perot Museum’s new exhibition about bio-luminescent creatures opens Oct. 31, and the glow-in-the-dark animals should at the least give you some last-minute ideas for Halloween costumes.
Head to Greenville Ave. Pizza Company for a combination of candy and pizza — a match made in heaven — before going trick-or-treating at some of the Lower Greenville neighborhood businesses the morning of Oct. 31.
Bring the pets along for this one as well. The Spooky Pooch Halloween Festival at Main Street Garden on Oct. 31 includes a number of contests (the costume variety among them) for the canine members of your family, a long with a dedicated Kid Zone for the children. It starts at 11 am and runs through 6 pm.
It’s hard to top candy and pizza when it comes to perfect pairings, but Halloween and Star Wars come close. The Frontiers of Flight Museum is offering free admission on Oct. 31 to anyone who shows up in a Star Wars costume.
The Dallas Storytelling Guild will be sharing “ghost tales for kids” on Oct. 31 at 2 pm at the Bath House Cultural Center. (Adults can come back later for the real scary stuff at 7 pm). Nothing beats a good, terrifying story.
The Children’s Adventure Garden at the Arboretum will have trick-or-treating, characters, and other family-friendly Halloween activities through the weekend.
The Alamo Drafthouse will host a kid-friendly carnival at 4 pm on Oct. 31. Trick-or-treat in the theater, jump around in the bounce house, dominate the costume contest (a movie character would be appropriate) or cut some rug on the “Monster Mash” dance floor. Youth-appropriate Halloween shows (we’re imagining there will be a repeat of Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin) will show on loop.