Only two more weeks until the big day. And by “big day” I mean Halloween. Depending on the child, Halloween is consistently ranked #2 or #3 of the most important kid holidays of the year. In fact, if you’re a kid whose mom throws backyard birthday parties, Halloween is a solid #2, with Christmas as its only competition.
Like Christmas, the hype for Halloween starts waaaaay early. You can usually spy plastic skeletons and inflatable pumpkin displays at your local Piggly Wiggly the day after school starts in mid-August. By the time October 31 actually gets here the little kiddles are good and spun up with anticipation.
Also, like Christmas there are kaboodles of activities going on this time of year. Here are just a few to help you and your little ghouls celebrate fall and the most BOOtiful time of the year.
Speaking of Halloween and Christmas, get into the spirit of both seasons with Art Centre Theatre’s production of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” The not-too-scary play tells the tale of Jack Skellington, the leader of Halloweentown who’s thoroughly bored with the scaring people in the “real world” and decides Christmastown is where he needs to be. Things don’t quite work out the way he plans and Christmas turns into something of . . . a nightmare. The show opens this Friday with performances through Nov. 6 with your choice of an adult or youth cast.
If scary is exactly what you’re craving, then check out Dallas Children’s Theater’s production of “Dracula.” The multi-talented DCT Teen Scene Players bring Bram Stoker’s blood thirsty Count Dracula to life — err death, as the Studio Theater is transformed into a frightfully foggy and fun spookfest. This show is best for kiddos 12 and up, so leave the tiny monsters at home. The show runs weekends through Sat. Oct. 29 so get your tickets today.
Have yourself a merry little Edgar Allan Poe Victorian Halloween this Saturday at the Children’s Center at the downtown Dallas Public Library. The Steampunk style event will celebrate the works of Poe and other tales of assorted Victorian monsters with Halloween games and activities. Kids can visit Frankenstein’s Lab, see scenes from Poe stories in the haunted dungeon, or have their fortunes read by the Mysterious Madame Maria. Be sure to dress up for the costume contest!
After you’ve finished tapping on the chamber door at the library, hop on your broomstick and fly across the street to City Hall Plaza for Pumpkins on the Plaza. Highlights include a costume contest, climbing wall, laser tag, face painting, hayrides, pumpkin decorating, crafts, live music, and food trucks. After the sun goes down get your groove on for the main event — a Glow Dance Party on the Plaza complete with glow sticks.
Catch up with the Great Pumpkin at Mainstay Farm, just outside of Burleson. Besides the obligatory pumpkin patch and a wooden corn maze, there is also a hayride that goes over hill and dale, a huge three-story tree house, a 100-foot long super chute slide, and best of all, a jumping pillow. FYI, if you’re thinking a jumping pillow is a bounce house you’d be wrong. It’s a ginormous inflatable pillow that you jump on. That one definitely pegs the fun meter! Family Pumpkin Days are weekends through Oct. 30.
Last, but certainly not least, the tiny East Texas hamlet of Ben Wheeler is gearing up once again to welcome folks from miles around for their 9th annual Fall Feral Hog Festival. Highlights include: a world championship wild hog cook-off featuring Candace Payne a.k.a. “Chewbacca Mom” as a guest judge, a parade, the Fall Feral Follies, a hog calling contest, and lots of live music at Moore’s Store. If that’s not enough, there’s the crowing of the Hog Queen. The gal (or guy) who is deemed Feral-ist of them all will win a cash prize and represent the town of Ben Wheeler during all of its main events for the next year. The hog-themed hootenanny happens all weekend and it’s free.