It’s the second weekend in October, and Halloween fun is already starting. So here’s an excerpt of family-friendly activities for what is my seven-year-old grandsons’ favorite holiday. With the boys in mind, I’m listing things that aren’t too spooky to keep them from sleeping at night. Anything scarier is up to you!
October 12 - November 16 -- 27th Annual Dia de los Muertos Exhibition, Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Dr., Dallas. Open Tuesdays - Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Eclectic art in traditional and contemporary styles celebrates people, things, and ideas that have “passed on.” Free. See www.dallasculturecenter/bathhouseculture/.
October 16 -- Museum after Dark: Ghosts of the Past, Heritage Farmstead Museum, 1900 W. 15th St., Plano, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Tickets $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors. Learn about investigating paranormal activities and ghost hunting equipment. Reservations required. To register, and for other farmstead events of the season, see www.heritagefarmstead.org/.
October 19 -- Halloween at the Heard, Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, 1 Nature Place, McKinney, 6-10 p.m. Trick-or-treating with the museum’s animatronic dinosaurs, outdoor movie, “Haunted Forest,” kids’ costume contest and more at this annual fund raising event. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 3-12. The museum warns that tickets sell out. See www.heardmuseum.org/.
October 24-27 -- Halloween Nights at the Dallas Zoo, 650 S. R.L. Thornton (I-35), 5-8 p.m. Things get wild after hours at the zoo, with candy stations, a Monster Mash show, Animal Adventures shows and more. Tickets $10 for ages three and older, parking $5 per vehicle. For more information and discounts for members, go to
October 26 -- Dia de los Muertos Festival, Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak Street, Dallas, all day beginning 11 a.m. Craft workshops, dancers and music on the plaza. For information, see www.dallasculture.org/latinoCulturalCenter/.
October 26 -- Spooky Storytime costume contest, Lakewood Branch Library, 6121 Worth St., Dallas, 1 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Recommended for ages 4-11. For information, contact 214-670-1367.
October 26 - 27 -- Family Fun Weekend at the Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Trick or treating with costumed characters, petting zoo, magic show and more. Tickets to main garden, $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 3-12. Onsite parking, $10. For more information, including discounted parking, see www.dallasarboretum.org/.
October 31, 2013 -- Day of the Dead: The History, Reading and Games Room, Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway. Bring your lunch, learn about history and culture behind Day of the Dead celebrations and how to build an ofrenda to honor deceased loved ones. Free. See
November 1 - 2 -- Ghost Tales, by Dallas Storytelling Guild at the Bath House, 521 E. Lawther Dr., Dallas. From 7-9 p.m. each night. Stories at the evening performances are intended for adult and teen audiences. This year there’s also a 2 p.m. matinee November 2 appropriate for elementary school aged kids. Evening tickets are $10, matinee $5 at the door 30 minutes before the shows. For more information, see http://dallasstorytelling.org/.
(Next Friday -- take a road trip during next weekend’s historic U.S. 80 Hi-Way Sale)