Everything is ready! The pumpkin is carved and the children’s costumes are made (thanks, Ba Ngoai!), and even the front yard is looking festively frightful. On October 31, whether you are celebrating the eve of All Saints’, All Saints’, All Souls’, or the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (the origin of Halloween), it’s going to be fun to play dress up and make-believe.
There are several spooktacular family-friendly events in Portland so don’t wait until dusk to go out trick-or-treating. Make it a whole day of celebrating since this year Halloween falls on a Saturday. Here are my top picks:
1. “Howloween” Party at the Zoo - Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.
Trick-or-treaters can fill their bags with goodies and learn about wildlife Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, during Howloween at the Oregon Zoo. The event runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free with zoo admission.
2. Halloween Party at the Portland Children’s Museum - Oct. 31
Break out your cat ears and furry tail or maybe a superhero cape and join the parade. The Halloween Costume Party at the Portland Children’s Museum is an all-day event with scavenger hunts, not-so scary story times, and fun activities (make a mummy!). Free with admission.
3. OMSI presents SCREAM! - Oct. 10 – Jan. 3, 2010
SCREAM!, a new exhibit at OMSI, explores our fears and things that give us goose bumps. Through fun, interactive challenges, guests can experience fear in a safe environment and discover the science behind their physical and emotional responses. I can handle creepy-crawlers; now if only I can overcome my fear of snakes. EEK!
4. Scream at the Beach - Oct. 15 – 31 (open daily)
Portland’s premier haunted event has been ranked as one of the Top 3 Haunts in the nation by AOL. Enjoy a carnival atmosphere with a massive walk-through haunt, live shows, rides, music, concessions, and games at the Jantzen Beach SuperCenter. I wouldn’t take my 9-year-old; it’s more appropriate for teens and older.
Have fun, be safe and Happy Halloween.