So excited for Halloween you want to ride around on a broom? Washtenaw County has plenty of specter-tacular events to thrill and chill everyone all month long, from babes in arms to even the
most eye-rolling teens. Let the screams begin!
Friday and Saturday,October 5 and 6Ghoultide GatheringChelsea Community Fair, 20501West Old US Highway 12, Chelsea 269-553-1852 ghoultidegathering.com
Artists from around the country will be turning Chelsea Fairgrounds into a happy haunting ground at the 6th annual Ghoultide Gathering. You’ll find an amazing variety of Halloween-themed creations, including folk art, papier maché animal sculptures, ornaments, paintings, pottery, dolls, and much, much more.
Friday Early Evening Buy: 5-8pm, $20 (includes free Ghoultide shopping tote while supplies last and admission to Saturdayshow). Saturday, 10am-2pm, $5 (children under 10 are free)
Sunday, October 28 U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance Halloween Concert Hill Auditorium 825 North University 734.764.2538 www.music.umich.edu/index.php
Be prepared: You may see a ghost playing cello and a giant bananaon saxophone. At this event, fun takes center stage as the costumed University Orchestras present a program of Halloween music from popular to classical and everything in between.
Two performances: 4pm and 7:30pm, $12 and $8, based on seating location. Friday through Sunday, Oct. 19-21 and Oct. 26-28
Evil Dead The Musical Dexter Community Players Copeland Auditorium, 7714 Ann Arbor St., Dexter 734-726-0355 https://dextercommunityplayers.org/home
Dancing zombies, an audience “splatter” zone, a chain saw incident here and there — if you’re up for an outing with your high schoolers, this ultra-campy rock musical will provide plenty of screams and hilarity. Warning: Be prepared for some NC17 language and plenty of comic gore. The cult classic is back by popular demand for its second year.
Under 16 must be accompanied by a parent. October 19-21 8pm; October 26-28
Sunday, October 28 Halloween Dance-off Jazzercise Center of Ann Arbor 1945 South Industrial Hwy. 734-973-9314 www.jazzercise.com
Parents, want to exorcise those fun-size bars? (C’mon, everybody sneaks at least a couple.) Treat yourself to an outstanding and super-fun Halloween-themed dance exercise workout while the kids (ages 4-10) have a ball learning their own moves and fitness tips. Healthy treats for all! 3pm. Free.
Tuesday, October 16 Preschool Pumpkin Hunt Saline Recreation Center,1866 Woodland Dr., Saline 734-429-3502 www.cityofsaline.org/parks
A walk in the woods is the perfect fall activity — and, for kids ages 2-5, it gets even better as they search for pumpkins that have been “pre-planted.” Once they pick one, they have a chance to decorate them right there in the woods. A slightly spooky (but not scary) tale will be told by a storyteller from the Saline Library, and a snack will be provided. 10-11am. $8.
Sunday, October 21 Trick or Treat on the River Gallup Canoe Livery, 3000 Fuller Rd. 734-794 6240 www.a2gov.org/canoe
Mix up your traditional Halloween transportation — with a canoe! Rent one or a kayak and enjoy a truly unique trick or treating experience as you paddle from place to place for treats. Dress up, bring a swag bag, and watch out for that troll we hear may be under a bridge. Children must be one year or older to be on a boat. No pre-registration required. 11am-4:30pm. $18 per boat.
Monday, October 22 Halloween Costume Workshop Ypsilanti District Library 229 West Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti 734-482-4110 www.ypsilibrary.org
Storebought costumes are all well and good, but nothin’ beats homemade. Get fresh ideas and let your imagination run wild at the library’s Costume Workshop, which will show you how to concoct an utterly original creation with stuff you’ll find around the house. Registration required (call the number above).
Friday and Saturday, October 26 and 27 Bubble, Bubble, Toil, and Trouble Hands-on Museum 220 East Ann St., Ann Arbor 734-995-5439 www.aahom.org
Your budding mad scientists and Hogwarts interns can dream up their own elixirs in this make-your-own-potion workshop. You’ll also be able to create your very own silly spooky story, and learn some eerie effects you can try at home. The workshop is included in museum admission, and will continue throughout museum hours. Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m, Sunday 12-4pm.. $10 ages 2 and up, under 2 free.
Saturday, October 27 Create Your Own Haunted House Ypsilanti District Library, Superior Branch 8795 MacArthur Blvd ., Ypsilanti 734-482-4110, ext. 1391 www.ypsilibrary.org
For a haunted house that’s nicely contained within your un-haunted one, head to this session that shows you how to create your own from a shoebox. Craft materials will be on hand, but you do have to bring your imagination. For older youth and teens, this workshop is limited to the first 12 participants, so register early. 2–3:30pm. Free.
Trick or Treat Spectaculars
Friday, October 26 Downtown Halloween Fall Festival S. Washington between Michigan Ave. and Ferris St. and on the Library Park Plaza, Ypsilanti 734-481-0141 daypsi.com/special_events
Kids from 2 to 12 can trick or treat through historic downtown Ypsilanti and enjoy many awesome activities. Andy the Ambulance will be on hand, and the Ypsilanti District Library Bookmobile will be transformed into the Boo!Mobile, with games, fun giveaways, and more. There will also be a slightly scary storytime at the library at 4:30pm. Festival hours: 5-6pm. Free.
Saturday, October 27 Boo Bash 2012 Briarwood Mall 100 Briarwood Circle, Ann Arbor 734-769-9610 www.facebook.com/BriarwoodMall
Up for some weird science courtesy of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum? How about some face time with Ann Arbor’s favorite clown, Colors? Or a thrilling, chilling fashion show? That’s just the beginning of what Boo Bash 2012 has to offer — and it’s all under one roof and free. Approximately two hours of activities are planned, kicking off with mallwide trick or treating. You can pick up a complimentary reflective goody bag at guest services, but plan to get to the mall right on time at 5pm (if not earlier) on October 27th, the Saturday before Halloween. The event is huge, and you don’t want to miss out on any of the thrills. 5-7pm. Free.
Saline Boo Bash, Saline Recreation Center 1866 Woodland Dr., Saline 734-429-3502 www.cityofsaline.org/parks
Costume competitions (for parents too!), a trick or treat trail, a DJ with rockin’ spooky tunes, and a spectacular balloon drop: the Saline Boo Bash is a one-stop shop for Halloween family fun for kids ages 1 to 14 and their parents. Games will be played, Spiderman lollipops will be created, dances will be danced, balloons will dropped, faces will be painted, and a great deal of candy will be given away. The event is one of the Rec Center’s most popular, so be sure to register in advance. 5:30-8pm. Pre-registration fee: members $7, non-members $9; $12 at door.
Wednesday, October 31 Halloween Party and Main Street Trick or Treating Ann Arbor District Library 343 South Fifth Ave. and Main St., Ann Arbor 734-327-4200 www.aadl.org
On Halloween Day, the littlest trick or treaters can have a full day of fun and take over Main St. while they’re at it. First, head to the library in costume for a very interactive story time led by librarians and professional musicians and featuring songs, rhymes, and finger plays. From there, Main Street is just a quick walk for trick or treating at the different stores. Two sessions accommodate the large crowds: 9:30am and 10:30am. Free.
Destination: Hell, Michigan
Hell is for children
It’s not particularly sinister, or reeking of fire and brimstone. If you blink, you’ll miss it. But with a town named Hell practically in your back yard — about 10 minutes north of Dexter — why resist temptation? And what better time of year to go than Halloween?
The HQ for it all: Screams, a gift shop with an astonishing variety of devil and witch kitsch, and with an event every weekend leading up to October 31st. Here, you can buy your own little piece of Hell: one square inch at a reasonable rate, and a deal some would term “priceless.” You can mail a flame-singed card with the town postmark, arrange to have your name etched into the Walk of Shame, and buy a diploma from Damn U. This is Hell, after all. Why earn merit when you can pay for it?
If you’re hungry, pop over to Hell in a Handbasket for pizza, pasties, and ice cream treats that include the Grave Digger Sundae. And if you feel like something outdoors and, we shudder to think, somewhat healthy, there’s a fine putt-putt course with even more verbal pun-ishment than you’ve already subjected yourself and your loved ones to. There’s also canoe and kayak rental, and bunches of painted wood cut-outs for photo ops. It’s only slightly scary and very corny fun. For kids who are outgrowing the cute animal costumes but not quite ready for zombie masks, it’s perfect.
For info on all things Hell-ish, visit www.facebook.com/pages/Hell-Michigan
Saturday, October 20 Dexter Distric Library 3255 Alpine St., Dexter 734-426-4477 www.dexter.lib.mi.us
The library storytelling program, Super Stories, will feature a Halloween theme at its drop-in story hour for children 6 and younger. Wear costumes and enjoy readings of picture books, Halloween songs, finger plays, and crafts. 11am. Free.
Saturday, October 20 and October 27 Nicola’s Books Westgate Shopping Center 2513 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor 734-662-0600 www.nicolasbooks.com
Saturday storytelling takes a beastly turn in late October. On the 20th, following the weekly Story Time, a Wild Thing in costume will let the Wild Rumpus begin, leading your wild thing, costumed or not, around the store to dance and howl at the moon. Then, on the 27th, a special Halloween-themed program will occur. Catering to children 7 and younger, storytellers at Nicola’s adapt their stories based on the ages of children who come to the events. Costumes welcome either weekend. 11am. Free.