Family Picks: Halloween edition!

Family Picks: Halloween edition!

You've got your pick of Halloween activities this weekend, with lots of trick-or-treating, haunted houses, a ghost train, pumpkin displays, Halloween parades and festivals, and even some spooky science. So grab your costumes and go!

And check here for our list of trick-or-treat hours around the area!

Mystery at the Museum: 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Orpheum Children’s Science Museum, 346 N. Neil St., C. Admission charge.

Family-friendly haunted house set up by the Prompting Theatre, a company of adults with mental challenges. This year's interactive event will bust the myths surrounding monsters, mad men and scary Halloween lore.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children, with proceeds benefiting the Orpheum and Developmental Services Center.

For information: Call 352-5895 or visit the museum's website

Halloween at the YMCA: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Fitness & Family Center YMCA, 707 N. Country Fair Drive, C. Free.

Wear your costume and join the Y for Halloween fun! All children must be accompanied by an adult.

For information: Call 359-9622 or visit

Early treats! Trick-or-Treat, 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Savoy Rec Center, 402 W. Graham Drive, Savoy. Free.

Get your costumes out for a trial run with costume contests, games, a child friendly haunted house and candy! Categories include best family theme, best homemade costume and more.

For information: Call 35903550 or visit

Trunk or Treat! 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, First Presbyterian Church parking lot, corner of Hill and State streets, Champaign. Free.

Trick-or-treat car-to car with First Presbyterian and the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club. Open to all children; costumes should be "little-child friendly."

For information: Visit

Halloween Spooktacular! 11 a.m. Saturday, Border's Books and Music, 802 W. Town Center Blvd., C. Free.

Kids ages 3 to 8 are invited to read scary stories, play spooky games, do a creepy craft and top it all off with a terrifying parade! Costumes are encouraged.

For information: Call 351-9011 or visit the store's website

Chemistry fun: Spooktacular Chemistry, 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Orpheum Children's Science Museum, 346 N. Neil St., C. Free with museum admission.

Spooky and wacky chemistry fun for kids, set up by the University of Illinois REACT group. Costumes are encouraged.

For information: Call 352-5895 or visit

Downtown Trick-or-Treat: Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, downtown Champaign. Free.

Start your trick-or-treating with unique treats from more than 15 different downtown businesses. Ten Thousand Villages will pass out Fair Trade chocolates and recycled bookmarks, Cakes on Walnut is preparing handmade cake truffles, and Evolve Fitness will hand out granola bars and fruit, just to name a few!

For information: Visit the association's Facebook page

Ghost stories: “Gruesome, Gory, and Ghastly Ghosts and Ghouls,” 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday,  Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., U.  Suggested donation of $5.

This family event will feature multicultural ghost stories by local storytellers Dan Keding, Kathe Brinkmann and Kim Sheahan, as well as tellers from the UI Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Children will receive bags of candy.

Stories are appropriate for children in grades K-5. All donations will support the museum’s educational programs and the Center for Children’s Books.

For information: Call 244-3355 or visit the museum website's calendar of events

Halloween Party! Class Act, 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, 114 S. Neil St., C. Free.

This family celebration will feature crazy costumes, arts and crafts, face-painting, games, prizes and spooky stories. And for $1 you can decorate Halloween cookies from Cakes on Walnut.

For information: Visit

Harvest Fest: Ogden Community Harvest Fest, 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Prairieview Ogden Elementary School, 304 N. Market St., Ogden.

Enjoy a carnival with 25-cent games, costume judging, raffle tickets and a cake walk. Unmasked 25-cent entry fee with a chance to win a door prize. Bring a food item for the local food pantry.

Halloween Carnival: 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday,  Homer Community Center, 500 E. Second St., Homer. Free.

Games and costume contests for children through fifth-graders. Proceeds will go towards a performing trip to Disney World. Organized by Heritage Junior High and High School bands.

Halloween Parade: 2 p.m. Sunday, Rossville. Free.

Parade route runs from the post office north to the high school building. Kids will receive a goodie bag plus hot dogs and drinks in the gymnasium. Costumes will be judged in eight age groups – younger than 2 through adult, plus group theme.

For information: Call Dick Queen at 748-4344

It's Halloween! 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green St., U. Free.

Can’t wait for trick-or-treating?  Put on your costume and pop in for spooky stories, songs, and crafts.

For information: Call 367-4069 or visit

"Light Fright": Haunted House, 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, David S. Palmer Arena, 100 W. Main St., Danville. Admission charge.

This haunted house sponsored by the Jaycees and Palmer Arena is geared toward kids 12 and under, although it may not be suitable for the youngest children. Admission is $3.

For information: Visit

And if you missed them last week....

Ghost Train! Ghost Train and Haunted Boxcar, Monticello Railway Museum, 992 Iron Horse Place, Exit 166 off Interstate 72, Monticello. Admission charge.

Kids and adults can enjoy the train ride through Camp Creek Hollow with a stop at Cemetery  Road, but only the brave should check out the Haunted Boxcar! And for young children we recommend the matinee trains on Sunday for a train ride and lights-on walk-through of the boxcar.

Evening trains run at 7, 7:30, 8, 8:30 and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m. Sunday; and 7, 7:30, 8, 8:30 and 9 p.m. Oct. 29 and 30. Children’s matinee ghost trains are at 1, 1:30, 2 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Admission of $6 (for ages 2 and up) includes the haunted boxcar. Hot food and drinks will be available for this event at the museum site.

For information: Call 762-9011 or visit the museum's website

Graveyard for charity: Halloween graveyard display, 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 303 W. Evergreen, St. Joseph. Donations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis.

The Derenne family's front yard has been transformed into a Halloween graveyard to raise money for St. Jude's, with more  than 60 jack-o’-lanterns, scarecrows, skeletons and mummies. Visitors can stroll through the display and leave contributions in pails along the trail.

Lighted pumpkins! Arthur's Pumpkin House, nightly Sunday through Oct. 31, 235 S. Vine St., downtown Arthur.

See hundreds of pumpkins carved by local residents, businesses and schoolchildren.  No two pumpkins are alike! The lighted display will continue nightly through Halloween.

For information: Visit the village of Arthur's website


Check the Are We There Yet? blog every Friday for upcoming family friendly events, pulled from our News-Gazette online calendar, e3 magazine and other sources.

Do you have an item you’d like to submit? Email me at, or use the new and improved N-G online calendar on the News-Gazette home page,


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