Playtime: Family-friendly Halloween happenings near and far

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As my oldest son picked out an astronaut costume for Halloween that has a NASA patch and a working zipper, it was hard not to compare it to the stinky plastic Barbie Bride costume I had in elementary school. To be clear, I loved this costume and its sharp mask whose veil was precariously affixed to the top just as the weaponized elastic strap was to the sides.

There are a lot more costume options these days and Pinterest and YouTube tutorials have added a whole other element to the DIY costume, which were the majority of costumes I remember seeing in elementary school. Here are some great local options to get the most use/chances to catch a good picture out of this year’s costume in our last few minutes of staving off ubiquitous Christmas displays.

With Halloween on a weekday, the rush between school, work, and any Trick-or-Treat plans can be stressful, especially when it comes to dinner. There are two local budget friendly options on Halloween night to feed the kids while creating a good base layer for the candy that’s on deck. At Dick’s on Highway 99 in Edmonds, on Halloween only, all children 13 and under in costume who “Trick or Treat at Dick’s” will get a FREE Hamburger or Cheeseburger. Just north on 99 at MOD Pizza, and also only on Halloween, kids 12 and under in costume will get a free mini pizza with a purchase of MOD-sized entree. The MOD-sized entrees are about 8 bucks with a mini pizza around 5 bucks.

The Mountlake Terrace Business Association will hold their annual “Trunk r Treat” event, which attracts about 1,000 local kids to Trick or Treat from the trunks of decorated vehicles and their costumed owners, on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 31. Trunk R Treat is held at the intersection of 56th Avenue West and 232nd Street Southwest. Kids begin trick or treating at 5 p.m. and the event typically lasts about two hours.

If the crowds and the costumes are too much for the little one in your house, there will be a Halloween Fun-for-All at the Edmonds Library on Halloween. This all ages event runs from 4 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31 with some “not-too-scary Halloween stories and less than frightening fun activities.”

We’ve realized in the last couple of years that Edmonds Community College is a great resource for children’s STEM activities and not in the sit-down-and-learn-this way but the kind of learning that is disguised within fun activities and new technology.

Friday, Oct. 27, EdCC is holding their Haunted STEM Lab from noon to 6 p.m. in Monroe Hall, which is right on 196th Street. We went to this event last year and it was all kinds of fire and smoke and 3D printing and if I remember correctly, an explosion. There were plans to attend EdCC being worked out on the way home as my kids’ hands were full of 3D printed Pokemon and laser printed personalized pumpkins. This event is free and open to all ages,  though children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information on The Haunted STEM Lab you can call 425-640-1980.

Saturday, Oct. 28 from 5 to 9 p.m. there will be a Costume Carnival at the Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion. “Kontageous (Hip Hop) Dance Company and the Mountlake Terrace Dance Academy are teaming up to bring you the best family friendly event in town.” There will be carnival games, food, a costume contest and “diverse music and dance” for entertainment. The money raised will go to KDC and MLT Dance scholarships as they “strive to offer inclusive and challenging dance opportunities to everyone.” The cost is $5 per person or $10 per family of 4. For more information, you can call MLT Parks and Recreation at 425-776-9173.

I wanted to give an honorable mention to one of my favorite Halloween traditions that isn’t in, or even next door to, Edmonds. It is a fun option if you have younger kids who might be overwhelmed or up too late on the 31st. On Sunday, Oct. 29 from noon until 4 p.m. you can trick-or-treat at the Seattle Waterfront.

We started doing this when our oldest son was just a baby as it more convenient for our schedule and a great way (good excuse) to get a million pictures in the daytime. We used to go every year until hockey and construction downtown put a damper on our routine, but considering the forecast, we plan to add this to our Halloween itinerary. The waterfront businesses participate, starting at Ivar’s north of the ferry terminal, we typically end our run at the aquarium which has lots of Halloween themed events happening inside. These events require admission and you can find the schedule along with more info on Trick-or-Treating at the Seattle Waterfront HERE.

  By Jennifer Marx

Jen Marx, a mom of two young boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time. You can find her on Twitter trying to make sense of begging kids to ”just eat the mac n cheese”

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