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Bring out all your orange, eh, “close to orange,” and “in the orange family” clothing and sleep with a nightlight, ‘cause October and (more importantly) Halloween are here! Everyone walks faster at night, looks over their shoulder quickly and manages to let a scream loose for the smallest thing. It’s amaz- ing how little black spiders, sheets with eye-holes and pumpkins become larger than life around this time. And this time is reserved for children parad- ing as gypsies, firemen and the popular super hero of the moment (with simultaneous movie and merchandising). Find out what your city has in store for you, whether it is pumpkin-lit trails and serious bug crafts in Kalamazoo or a pumpkin launch in Saugatuck. Even the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre woos teens with zombie culture — I’m sure the two can relate.

Don’t Bug Me! Safe Halloween Saugatuck Fall Funfest

by Missy Black |

Creatures of the Night: Whooo Dun-it?

DON’T BUG ME! SAFE HALLOWEEN Kalamazoo Valley Museum 230 North Rose St., Kalamazoo Oct. 29, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

FREE!, (269) 373-7990

Celebrate the Kalamazoo Valley Museum’s new CSI: Crime Scene Insects exhibit and the creatures that solve crimes by creat- ing all kinds of bugs from 24 different art tables. Crafts for ages 3 to 12 are available and kids may create bug boxes, bug neck- laces, bug masks, bug picture frames and color Halloween bags. According to Program Coordinator Annette Hoppenworth, when it comes to kids and bugs, there’s no better pairing: “Bugs are everywhere. Kids can find them; they are fun to play with and there are so many different kinds.” Add a “Nitewalk” planetarium show—a quick seven-minute haunted segment—and it’s a night filled with activity. If the kids are insistent on candy col- lecting, the Kalamazoo Mall location offers trick or treating from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Recap: free museum admission, a planetarium show and bags of candy equal smart parenting and smart finances.


Something tells me to advise parents to bring hella wet-wipes to this event. Why, you ask? Well, pie eating for one, combined with food vendors, a pumpkin launch and pumpkin carving. It’s going to be a messy-but-fun outing if you get yourself to the Fall Funfest Day at Coghlin Park in Saugatuck. This event is “very family oriented, yet we have bands, a low-key beer tent and you can relax on the riverfront and watch the boats go by,” says Marketing Coordinator Janet Schmidt. Energetic kids can exhaust themselves with Clydesdale horse wagon rides, face painting, tug of war and pumpkin decorating. With minimal costs for certain activities (we’re talking fifty cents or a dollar), this event won’t break the bank. Pumpkin rolls, costume contests and fire engine rides are what make this event stand out.

FALL FUNFEST DAY Coghlin Park Culver St., Saugatuck Oct. 15, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

FREE!, (269) 857-1626

CREATURES OF THE NIGHT: WHOOO DUN-IT? Kalamazoo Nature Center 7000 North Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo Oct. 28 & 29, 4-7 p.m. $7 child, $2 parent, $5 child, $1 parent for members, (269) 381-1574

The Kalamazoo Nature Center is the perfect place for a little outdoor fun. Mysterious adventures and magical tales await travelers who venture into the night. A non-scary experience, this event is the nature center’s Halloween celebration and offers a glimpse into the nocturnal activities of the natural world by solving a mystery. “Kids walk a pumpkin-lit trail and meet a giant bat or a giant spider of a Luna moth,” says Lisa Panich of the Marketing and Communications department. Creatures share their secrets with nighttime explorers and creepy craft making follows along with hot cider around a campfire. Join the fun and come in a cos- tume. Tours take place every 15 minutes rain or shine and guests meet at the Interpretive Center parking lot.

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD Grand Rapids Civic Theatre 30 North Division Ave., Grand Rapids Oct. 14-16, 20-23, 27-30 $8-$14, (616) 222-6650

Start drafting up your zombie escape plans because Grand Rapids Civic Theatre is alive with the dead. For ages 12 and up, tweens will get a kick out of this horrifying play, which will be performed for the first time on the Civic Theatre stage. “This is the real deal. It’s scary, gory and recommended for the older young people. Teens are going to love the thrill of being scared and all the nervous laughter,” says Susan Strohmer, director of the production. The gripping, terror-filled monochromatic play brings all the fright of the cult classic film to life on stage. “Zombies are quite popular,” says Strohmer, and when it comes to realism, “I’m recommending even the actors have a strong stomach.” n

Photos: Saugatuck Fall Funfest, courtesy of Saugatuck/Douglas Area Business Association; Kalamazoo Valley Museum, photo by Gail Kendal; Kalamazoo Nature Center, photo by Lisa Panich.


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