Sure, we celebrate Halloween on Wednesday, Oct. 31, this year, but the holiday starts even earlier in Evanston. Here's a roundup of events for kids and families to put on your calendar in the days leading up to Halloween 2012.
Project Pumpkin at Northwestern University
4 – 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 25, at Northwestern University’s Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Dr.; Free.
Kids can trick-or-treat for free at Norris Center, which is decked out with themed rooms, a haunted house and a giant pumpkin bouncy house. Northwestern students will also host booths with face painting, fortune telling, cooking decorating and other activities.
Halloween Happening at Ridgeville Community House
4 – 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 25, at the Ridgeville Community House, 908 Seward St.; Free.
Enjoy a harvest display, haunting music and free treats at Ridgeville Park District’s Community House.
Fairy Tale Trail at the Woman’s Club
4 – 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Woman’s Club of Evanston, 1702 Chicago Ave.; $5 per person at the door.
For years, the Woman’s Club of Evanston has offered this non-frightening alternative to Halloween haunted houses, which is fully accessible to children with special needs. Led by mermaids, wizards, princesses and safari guides, kids travel through a series of interactive rooms populated by storybook characters and full of sensory activities.
Robert Crown Preschool Halloween Party
10:30 a.m. – noon, Friday, Oct. 26, at the Robert Crown Center, 1701 Main St. Free.
Preschool age children are invited to a party featuring games and prizes, professional face painting, balloons and other activities. Healthy snacks will be served, and kids who show up with a costume will be rewarded with a treat to take home.
‘HallaDaze’ at Fleetwood-Jourdain
6 – 8:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 26, at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Center, 1655 Foster St.; Free.
Fleetwood-Jourdain staff will be dressed in costumes for an evening of games and live entertainment, including a magic show, spooky clowns, exotic balloons, face painting and refreshments. For kids ages 4 to 12.
Bug-A-Boo Halloween Walk
Varied times, Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd.; $3 members, $5 nonmembers.
If traditional Halloween activities are just too spooky, then visit the Evanston Ecolgy Center for a special Halloween walk. This year’s theme is “Alien Invaders,” and involves Ecology Center staff dressed up as invasive plants and animals in Evanston. Register kids ages 2 and up for a specific time slot in advance online or by calling 847-448-8256.
Creepy Crafts at the Main Library
3 – 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at The Loft at Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.; Free.
Sixth- through twelfth-graders can sign up to make paper pumpkins, spiders, zombies, mummies, treats and more at The Loft. Register in advance online or by calling 847-448-8625.
Halloween Festivities at North Branch Library
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at the North Branch Library, 2026 Central St.; Free.
Children ages 3 to 7 are invited to drop in anytime to take a picture with the Spooky Halloween Tree, unearth bones in a scavenger hunt, visit the haunted room and dance to the Monster Mash at the North Branch of the Evanston Public Library.
Zombie Walk at Evanston Public Library
7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29, starting from the Community Room at the Main Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.; Free.
Teens and older children are invited to don their oldest, rattiest clothes and goriest, bloodiest-looking makeup for the Evanston Public Library’s first official zombie walk, which begins with zombie stories from a master storyteller and concludes with a zombie parade.
Halloween Skating Party
6:15 – 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Robert Crown Community Center rink, 1701 Main St.; free for those in costume.
Come in costume and skate for free at a Halloween skate at the Robert Crown Community Center. Space is limited to the first 50 skaters.
Free Showing of Sleepy Hollow
7 – 8:45 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 31, at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.; Free.
Celebrate Halloween with a free showing of Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci, in the Community Meeting Room on the first floor of the Main Library.
Trick-or-Treating in Evanston
4 – 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31.
Official trick or treating hours last from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., according to the City of Evanston.