For those who can’t wait to sport their costumes and start celebrating Halloween, SUNY New Paltz welcomes children ages 12 and under and their families to visit the campus from 3 to 5 p.m. on Oct. 31. SUNY’s Halloween features games, a haunted house, crafts, contests and trick-or-treating.
A Halloween pre-parade children’s (with parents) party at the Westwood Metes & Bounds Realty office at 134 Main Street will be held on Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m. with treats, decorating trick or treat bags, a Halloween coloring contest, children’s crafts, scarecrows and more.
The Lions Club annual Halloween Parade will begin at 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 at the New Paltz Middle School and take revelers in their costumes, a marching band, larger-than-life puppeteers, families, friends and local leaders and characters down Main Street to the Village Fire House. There, each child will be given an apple for health and a piece of candy for good measure by the Lions Club volunteers. Just follow the crowds and the music.
Older kids with a stomach for a bit of gore can head uphill one block to Hasbrouck Park for New Paltz’s much-anticipated annual community haunted house, originated by Dan and Ann Guenther and now sponsored by the YMCA. According to Ann Guenther, this year there will also be a special haunted event for the little kids in the little kids’ playground at the park.
Following the parade, families can head a couple of blocks downhill to view the prizewinning jack-o’-lanterns at The Bakery. The Night of 100 Pumpkins is always a visual treat with pumpkin-and-gourd creations made by toddlers, youth, teens, college kids and adults trying their hand at turning squash into outrageous pieces of art. The Bakery provides free apple cider, and anyone interested in entering the contest should visit their website or stop by to pick up an entry form.
For people who want Halloween to outlast its status as a one-night, sugar-and-ghoul-fueled event, there are happenings that last for days. One of those is the New Paltz Teen Seen’s annual haunted house, which opens its doors of horror on Oct. 29 through Oct. 31 from 6 to 10 p.m. and is located at 220 Main Street in New Paltz.
According to Teen Seen Director Jim Tinger, the youth center has provided this fun Halloween event for 17 years. He says that this is just one more way that the youth center participates in almost all community events.
“This is a way for us to do an event performed by our kids for people of all ages and it displays their talents while being fun and interactive for everyone involved,” Tinger said.
The Teen Seen’s production requires approximately 100 youth volunteers to set it up and break it down and another 50 who participate in it.
They receive visitors from ages eight to 80, but Tinger was cautious to point out that “some people don’t realize that it can be scary and so we don’t recommend that children under 8 years of age attend.”
They do charge a nominal fee of $2 for children 18 and under and $3 for adults just to pay for the expense of putting the show together. This year’s theme is “prison,” so watch out and make sure you don’t get yourself landed in jail.
Historic Huguenot Street is presenting three nights of terror-filled tales and tours of the darker, spookier side of the old Indian, French and Dutch stomping grounds on Huguenot Street in the heart of the historic district.
Haunted Huguenot Street will take place on Oct. 29, Oct. 30 and Oct. 31 from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. Tickets are $9 in advance and $12 that night. You can pre-register by going to their website or by calling 255-1889 or 255-1660. But the staff at HHS warns participants, “this is not for the faint at heart.”
Frightful nights in Gardiner
In Gardiner, kids and parents will have another fun event to add to the pile already containing regular trick-or-treating.
Gardiner Library will hold its “Haunted House Contest.” Children from ages 5 to 10 will get a chance to craft their own nightmare version of a haunted house from cardboard (something shoebox-sized) and get their artwork displayed in the local information archive.
There is a slight chance that if you’re from town you’ve heard already of the Haunted House Contest.
“The kids that did it last year -- and the parents -- they just raved about it,” explained Children’s Librarian Nicole Lane. “Some of them were very elaborate. One of them made sounds as you walked by.”
Kids who participate also have a chance to win a book through a special raffle. To enter your creation, bring your haunted mansion to Gardiner Library before Oct. 28.
For more information about the contest, or the library in general, head to www.gardinerlibrary.org or call the library at 255-1255.
Halloween happenings in Marlborough
The Town of Marlborough’s fifth annual Trunk-or-Treat will be held on Sunday, Oct. 31, from 12:30-2 p.m. at Marlboro Elementary School. Decorate your car with pumpkins, garlands and cobwebs, dress in your Halloween Sunday best -- and don’t forget the treats. Children wear their costumes and trick-or-treat between the cars in this haunted parking lot. In years past, small white skeletons and glow-in-the-dark scorpions adorned the back of a black Saturn SUV, a Volvo became a large spotted steer and a Subaru hatchback opened to reveal a fortune teller’s chamber, complete with crystal ball.
Pre-registration is required for participating cars; decorations must be appropriate for children. Conjuring true Halloween spirit in a safe environment is the aim of Trunk-or-Treat. For more information, contact Tina Rosa at the Town Supervisor’s Office, (845) 795-2220.
A Musical Munchkins Halloween Concert will be held at the Marlboro Free Library on Saturday, Oct. 30. Pre-school to kindergarten-age kids and parents are invited to come to the library between 11 a.m. to noon for the concert and Halloween snacks.
“It’s very upbeat; it’s not scary,” said Susan Tumminia, Director of Childrens’ Programs. “They do a great Halloween-theme concert for the kids. They sing songs about scarecrows, pumpkins, and maybe make an eerie sound -- ‘Boo!’ It’s age-appropriate for five and under. It’s a quick Halloween celebration for the young ones, and I’m happy to have the Musical Munchkins back again.”
Everyone is encouraged to wear a costume. The library will be closed for this event. To RSVP, call 236-7272, ext. 15. For more information, visit http://www.marlborolibrary.org.
Highland fun fest
In Highland, head to Dubois Farms for the Halloween Fun Festival, Saturday, Oct. 30-Sunday, Oct. 31. It’s the last weekend for pick-your-own fun on this 54-acre farm -- and costumes are encouraged.
“We’re going to have a costume contest and a haunted corn maze for the younger kids -- not too scary -- 14 and under,” said farmer Dave Dubois. “Naturally, we’ll have all the same attractions we have year-round: the barbecue, the pony rides and all that fun stuff. It’s a great time of year on the farm.”
Head into the orchards for Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Cameo, Lady apples, Fuji, Gold Rush and Ida Reds. Buy two bags of apples, get the third free. There’s also pumpkins and grapes to be found on the grounds. Visit with farm animals, take a tractor-pulled wagon ride and much more.
Dubois Farms is located at 209 Perkinsville Road, Highland.