There's plenty for families to do this Halloween in south Washington County ranging from haunted houses to Howl-O--Ween for pet lovers. Many neighborhood events are free, while the larger shows cost $5 and up and nearly all event organizers will accept nonperishable food items for the Friends in Need Food Shelf in St. Paul Park.
- Harvest celebration at YMCA
The Southeast Area YMCA is hosting a Community Family Night from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30. The event's free and open to the public. Activities led by the YMCA Leader's Club will include special crafts, fun harvest activities, popcorn and a movie, bouncer and a family Zumba class. Open gym and swimming available.
The Brian and Holly Darling family, along with extended family members and friends, have such a "joy for Halloween" that they spend many hours building Nightmare Grove around the Darling residence.
The neighborhood haunt, at 9042 Upper 81st St. in Cottage Grove, has grown from sitting on the sidewalk scaring kids and handing out treats to two nights of "Nightmare Grove," which funnels visitors through a driveway tunnel to the garage and out to the back yard. Brian Darling said he can't name the new horrific features that await visitors, because that would give it away.
Nightmare Grove is free and will open at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 30 and 31. Last year, more than 500 visitors walked through the Grove and donated just over 100 pounds of nonperishable food for the Friends in Need Food Shelf, in St. Paul Park. "We hope to double those numbers this year," Brian Darling said. For details and a map, go to the Web site at www.nightmaregrove.com.
- Deadview Cemetery
Deadview Cemetery, "A Grave Experience," will be open from 7 to 11 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 29, 30 and 31 at 8839 96th St., in the side yard at Old Langdon School House. Admission is $5 per person with kids, 5 and younger, free. Children, 12 years and younger, must be accompanied by an adult.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Friends in Need Food Shelf, in St. Paul Park. For details and a map, go to www.DeadviewCemetery.com.
- Howl-O-Ween for pet lovers
Howl-O-Ween, for families and their pets, will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, at Park Grove Pet Hospital, 7663 79th St., in Cottage Grove. Activities will include games, prizes, food, trick-or-treating for pets and kids and a costume contest for pets.
Clinic veterinarians and representatives from area pet-related businesses will be available to greet and meet guests and explain their services. For details, call the pet hospital at (651) 459-9663.
- Trunk-or-Treat at Tutor Time
Tutor Time Child Care Center at 7071 East Point Douglas Road in Cottage Grove is hosting a Trunk-or-Treat in the parking lot for kids from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29.
- Kruczek's haunted house
John, Deb and Tonia Kruczek invite the neighborhood over for an evening of haunting memories, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, at 7485 Jordan Ave., in Cottage Grove. The family is collecting donations for the Friends in Need Food Shelf.