Oklahoma City family fun is a lot like this season's pumpkins: it comes in all shapes and sizes.
The variety and number of Halloween events to attend, besides just general fall fun like pumpkin patches, makes me reach for my calendar. So far, I have an Elmo, a Grimlock from "Transformers" and a "Star Wars" Stormtrooper that will want to wear their costumes more than once, I'm sure.
It's up to me to plan where we're headed and when, since there are so many choices. What I love about this collection of lists is that the events are divided by theme, like if you're looking for a Mommy & Son Dance, a Day of the Dead festivity or a place to trick-or-treat indoors on Oct. 31.
You can find the full lists of fall fun and Halloween events on MetroFamily's website but here are three unique community happenings that have made my short list to consider:
Bigfoot, and Werewolves, and Chupacabras, Oh My! at Martin Park Nature Center: This Sunday's free event addresses a pressing topic at our house: monsters. My youngest is 2 and I don't know if it's the influx of Halloween-themed shows on PBS Kids and Netflix or just what's up but every night's bedtime ritual starts with "What if a monster comes?" followed by "Do you have enough monster spray?" Maybe this event will clear up what we've been saying all along, that there are no monsters. The recommended age to attend is 6 and up. Even if I just take our older children, some of this information might filter through to clear up any lingering doubts their imaginations harbor.
Haunt the Zoo: We've never been to Haunt the Zoo and it's appealing because not only is the event at the Oklahoma City Zoo, which my children enjoy visiting, but it's offered more than once, so there's a way to work around commitments or inclement weather. Saturday and Sunday Oct. 21 and 22, then the next weekend, Oct. 28 and Oct. 29, are those dates. There will be 25 fantasy booths and a ghost train rounds out the experience. Trick-or-treat bags are required and they cost $7 each, in addition to regular Zoo admission. The ghost train is $3 per passenger.
Day of the Dead Festival in the Plaza District: I want to see this already-vibrant arts area come to life for Day of the Dead. Our family doesn't observe the solemnities associated with its traditions, which are more common in the northern countries of Central America, but we can appreciate that other biracial and Latin American families here share their heritage with the community. People occasionally ask my sons about something related to Day of the Dead and I would like to educate them so the response isn't a blank stare. The event is free to attend and I'm sure we'll see familiar art that will match talks we've had about La Catrina and José Posada and why recognizing artists associated with the region makes for a more culturally literate society.
There is also a list of restaurant discounts applicable on Oct. 31 here. It's rare our family eats at a franchise. Our children have never been to IHOP and my oldest has friends that go, it seems, so he wants to see what's on the menu. We might stop by for a pancake since there's a special for kids.
No matter what you do this Halloween season, I hope it's fun and memorable! See you on the trick-or-treat trail.