by Laura Kocum
on Monday, October 23rd, 2017 at 9:10am.
If you've helped a child get a Halloween costume, you know that they take great pride in their choice, and would enjoy wearing it more than once. In Madison, you can celebrate Halloween all week long. Businesses, churches and schools often offer "Trunk or Treat" options around town, where costumed children can walk parking lots, enjoy decorated trunks and fill up on sugar. The week leading up to Halloween, there are at least a few larger Halloween events, designed specifically for families:
More than 75 downtown businesses will open their doors to welcome your kids and their costumes. Not only will they be able to enjoy some sweet treats, but you will also find other entertainment. Hay rides will be available for $3/person (kids 2 and under are free). Craft projects will be offered at Dream Bank, the Madison Children's Museum, Capitol Kids and several other locations. Overture Center for the Arts will offer free live performances and photo opportunities, and area museums and the library will offer story times, science projects, and numerous hands-on activities that kids are sure to love. The Madison Police Department will be on hand, handing out kids badges and offering visits with the mounted patrol. Remember to visit State Street and the Capitol Square to enjoy the afternoon.
An annual event, the Henry Vilas Zoo opens its doors to area businesses and trick-or-treaters. Enjoy the animals, treats, a bounce house, face painting and more at the zoo. Education animals will be out to meet with visitors, and Halloween-themed animal exhibits will make the trip both fun and educational. A pumpkin decorating contest will provide for some fun viewing. If you wish to compete in this event, the Zoo asks that you bring your decorated pumpkin for judging on Friday, October 27. Please note that pumpkins should be decorated but not carved. The zoo also requests that decorators avoid using balloons or straws (for animal safely). There will be child and adult winners in several categories. These winners will be announced on Sunday.
Monroe Street businesses (near the zoo), will open their doors to costumed kids and their families. Eight blocks of businesses will offer treats, surprises and a costume contest. Use your creativity to put together a winning costume, and enjoy walking through the local businesses.
After all this fun wraps up, remember that the City of Madison has specific advice for trick-or-treating in neighborhoods. They advise you to make your visits between 4 and 8 p.m. They also suggest the following:
Make sure your costume is visible to vehicles & others.
Do not use toy weapons as part of any costume.
Do not trick or treat alone.
Only approach homes that are well lit, & only approach the front door.
Stay on sidewalks & obey traffic signs / signals.
Carry a flashlight.
Don’t eat any candy until an adult can check it for you.
Make sure costumes do not impede movement or vision.
With this advice in mind, remember to have fun, enjoy the chance to walk outdoors, connect with friends and neighbors and make good memories!