by Laura Kocum
on Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 at 10:07am.
It's known as the home of "Freakfest," a wild annual festival with music, outrageous costumes, and sometimes outrageous behavior. But downtown Madison is reclaiming its place as a family friendly locale. This week, that includes appealing to a younger audience for Halloween. The Madison Central BID is hosting Family Halloween this Wednesday, October 28, from 3-6 p.m. Families are encouraged to come out, wear costumes, and enjoy everything State Street and the Capitol Square has to offer. Participants can trick-or-treat at downtown establishments, stop in to a number of museums and entertainment venues for special programming, and enjoy all kinds of arts and crafts. The Madison Parks Department is offering Hay Rides downtown for $2/person. Aside from the hay rides, the event is free, and aimed at children 12 and under.
For starters, families can stop at Dream Bank, and decorate a bag for collecting treats. Then, venture to the Madison Central Library or the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and enjoy stories, crafts, and hunt for skeletons in the art. Capitol Kids adds more crafts and creepy fun to the mix. Overture Center will host Master Magician Tim Glander and provide Halloween themed family photos. The Madison Children's Museum will offer a glow in the dark craft, and the Wisconsin Historical Museum will provide mask-making and a ghostly tour of the past. Add in the shops and restaurants in between, and your trick-or-treaters are sure to leave with a full bag of treats. Family Halloween has been part of downtown since 2009. Organizers say they wanted to create an event that welcomes families to enjoy downtown together.
Of course- the annual Freakfest will still go on- and is planned for Saturday, October 31. Live music is planned for three stages. The Mountain Dew Stage on the Capitol Square, The Steve Brown Apartments and 96.3 Star Country Stage on Gilman Street, and the WSUM and Ian's Pizza stage on N. Frances Street will fill downtown Madison with music and fun. The list of performers is lengthy, but the variety is sure to please. Tickets for Freakfest can be purchased in advance, or at one of four entry points the night of the event.
Whether your Halloween adventures are geared towards children or adults, there is fun to be had downtown this week.