You might be surprised by the great variety of tricks and treats that local merchants and municipalities are offering up this Halloween. Whether it’s a costume parade at the farmer’s market, a spider-web craft at the park or strolling for free treats through downtown, the Ann Arbor area has plenty of events planned to get your little ones into the spooky (or silly) spirit So if you’re looking to do something more than the traditional trick or treating, or just want to give those Halloween costumes a test run before the big night, check out some of these local activities and make this a Halloween to remember!
Trick or Treat Down the River
Sunday, October 10 • 12-4 p.m.
Argo Canoe Livery
1055 Longshore Dr. / Ann Arbor
734-668-7411 / www.a2gov.org
Anyone can trick or treat on dry land.
But this year, you can paddle a canoe
down the Huron River, surrounded by
the city and its beautiful fall scenery.
On the way, don’t forget to keep your
eyes open! Costumed characters will
be waiting to hand out candy and
refreshing “swamp muck.” All ages
welcome. $22 / boat.
Fall Harvest Celebration
Sunday, Oct. 17 • 1-4 p.m.
4650 Geddes Rd. / Ann Arbor Township
Learn about traditional harvest activities
like cider pressing, nut gathering
and corn shelling at this event hosted
by the Washtenaw County Parks and
Recreation Commission. Kids crafts,
snacks and more will also be featured.
Fun on the Farm
Thursday, October 21 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
2240 W. Buno Rd. / Milford
248-684-8632 / www.metroparks.com
Come dressed as your favorite farm
animal, and enjoy hayrides, fun and
games. Cost includes a pumpkin you
can pick yourself. $5 / child
Saturday, Oct. 23 • 6-9 p.m.
Leslie Science and Nature Center
1831 Traver Rd. / Ann Arbor
Celebrate Halloween with the center’s
non-scary Animal Haunts “Eerie
Ecosystems” event. Participants will
enjoy a guided hike through The Black
Pond Woods where costumed characters
will bring plants and animals from
the Lake Erie region to life through
skits and songs. Also featuring pumpkins,
games, face painting, cider and
more. $8 per person, $30 per family.
Halloween Fun at Hudson Mills Metropark
Sunday, Oct. 24 • 1-3 p.m.
8801 N Territorial Rd. / Dexter
Kids and parents alike will enjoy making
cider, creating spider webs and
meeting animals from the Great Lakes
Zoological Society at this annual family-
friendly event. Admission is by
advance ticket purchase only. Cost is $3
for adults and $6 for children.
Downtown Ypsilanti Halloween Fall Festival
Friday, Oct. 29 • 4:30-7 p.m.
Library Park Plaza and surrounding
downtown Ypsilanti area
229 West Michigan Avenue / Ypsilanti
Put on your costumes and check
out historic downtown Ypsilanti.
Attractions include a costume contest
on N. Washington Street, candy for
kids under 12, and a DJ. Stop by the
library for a “slightly scary” storytime
at 4:30 p.m. or visit the library plaza for
popcorn, games and the chance to win
Halloween Concert with EMU
Friday, Oct. 29 • 7 p.m.
Corner of College Place & W. Cross / Ypsilanti.
Offered by EMU’s Music and Dance
department, Kevin Miller and the EMU
Symphony Orchestra will present an
evening of “astonishing surprises and
spooky music.” The audience is invited
to attend in costume. $10 adults, $8 students
and seniors, $6 children under 12.
Halloween Treat Parade
Friday, Oct. 29 • 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Main St. Area, Downtown Ann Arbor.
The annual Treat Parade in downtownAnn Arbor welcomes your costumed characters to the neighborhood with
greets and treats. Black and orange balloons
will indicate participating businesses.
Visit mainstreetannarbor.org for more
information and a list of businesses.
Halloween Party at the library
Friday, Oct. 29
Downtown Ann Arbor Library
343 S. Fifth Ave / Ann Arbor
Stories, songs and treats will be offered
in conjunction with the Main Street
Association’s Trick or Treat Day parade.
Halloween celebration at Huron Village Plaza
Saturday, Oct. 30 • 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Corner of Huron Parkway and
Washtenaw Avenue / Ann Arbor
Check out the plaza at the corner
of Huron Parkway and Washtenaw
Avenue from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a
spooky storytime and costume parade
at Barnes and Noble. Enjoy free treat
bags at Georgetown Gifts, hot chocolate
at Panera, a treat trail through
Whole Foods Market and more. Kids
are encouraged to dress up.
Wiard’s Costume Party
Saturday, Oct. 30 • 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Wiard’s Orchards and Country Fair
5565 Merritt Rd. / Ypsilanti
A family-friendly costume party will be
featured at the Country Fair. Anyone
wearing a full costume will receive halfprice
admission Saturday and Sunday.
For adults, check out the Wiard’s Night
Terrors haunted houses. Visit wiards.
com for more information on admissions
costs and a costume contest!
Saturday, Oct. 30 • 1-2:30 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Ice Arena
2150 Jackson Rd. / Ann Arbor
Skate to the spooky sounds of
Halloween. Prizes will be awarded
for best costumes. Fun for all ages.
General admission. Residents —$5
adults, $4 students and seniors, skate
Halloween Celebration at
the Sunday Artisan Market
Sunday, Oct. 31 • 12 p.m.
Kerrytown Farmers Market
315 Detroit St. / Ann Arbor
Kids and adults in costume will enjoy a
costume parade led by Jorrie Jenkins,
who will read stories on the haystacks
following the parade. The event will
also feature trick-or-treating, a hospitality
table and a treasure hunt to find
special objects on artists’ tables, with
prizes for those who find them. This
event is free.
A dad wonders how far kids’ costumes can go
by Joel Schwartzberg
A while back, my kids and I attended my town’s annual Halloween
Parade and Costume Contest. I was the Cat in the Hat,
Charlie was Sam I Am, and the girls were Thing 1 and Thing 2.
Our costumes were painstakingly handmade, down to the Styrofoam
green eggs and ham.
It paid off—we won a $50 savings bond that by my retirement
could be worth as much as $53.75. But standing proudly
onstage next to an eight-year-old boy squirting blood from his
eyeballs and a twelve-year-old girl dressed as a bloody zombie
bride, I thought, “Whatever happened to pirates and hobos?”
More innocent days
My personal favorite Halloween outfi t was a 1976 Superman
costume. It had none of the super-sculpted muscles or soft cloth
you see in every Superman costume now. My costume also inexplicably
came with a red Lone Ranger-style plastic mask. I
wore it gamely, because what was a 1970’s Halloween costume
without some sharp piece of plastic cutting painfully into your
Kids’ costumes in modern times have gone from sickly sweet
to just plain sick. A walk down the dripping, splattered, fake
blood-soaked Halloween aisle of your favorite drugstore proves
the point: Gore again wins the popular vote.
When I went online to fi nd my kids costumes, I found life-like
swords and machetes, clear masks that fi lled up with blood, and a
wide range of disembodied heads and severed limbs. So where’s
the Texas Chainsaw Massacre costume for toddlers, I wondered.
Isn’t Leatherface more or less Bob the Builder with an attitude?
Fun within reason
I have nothing against horror — in fact, I love it. In 1980, my
mother, a devout fan of the genre, made one of the most dubious
parenting decisions since Joan Crawford shared with her little
girl a certain distaste for dry-cleaning hangers. She brought
her two young children to see The Shining. Escape from Witch
Mountain this was not.
Scarred by that experience, I could have grown into the kind
of kid other children hide their pets from, but I simply inherited
my mother’s taste for good scares. I knew I was hooked when,
as a movie usher in 1984, I was so mesmerized by A Nightmare
on Elm Street that I volunteered for ticket-ripping duty just to
be close to the poster.
But this doesn’t mean I’m buying Charlie a Machete costume
anytime soon. He’s better off carving pumpkins with dull
knives, gathering gobs of candy, and pulling Halloween inspiration
more from R.L. and J.K. than from my coveted nightmares.
That said, I am clearing room in my 2016
event calendar for some appropriate father-
son fright night bonding if he’s
game. The Grudge 8? The Peoria
Witch Project? The Hills Have Ears,
Too? Bring it on.
Halloween Trick or Treat
Sunday, Oct. 31 • 5-7 p.m.
Main St. / Manchester.
Enjoy caramel apples on the porch at
the mill, a costume contest and more at
this classic, annual event.
FOR MORE HALLOWEEN EVENTS GO TO ANNARBOR FAMILY.COM