Mama Madison: Ways to have fun this Halloween

...for you and the kids

Anyone who knows me, even a little bit, knows I am not crazy about Halloween. To be honest, when it comes to October 31, I am downright Grinch-like. Trust, me if I thought I could get away with stuffing the spider webs, candy corn, trimmings and trappings up my chimney and dropping them off on Mt. Crumpit, I would. Ever since living my own horror film on a third grade field trip -- being trapped watching John Brown mount the gallows stairs in the Harper's Ferry wax museum for 45 minutes during a power outage -- I have avoided anything even remotely frightening.

As a parent, a whole new set of Halloween issues creeps up. First, what is an appropriate costume for an eight-year-old girl? It is probably not the Sexy Nurse or French Maid costume she found, shockingly enough, in her size online. And perhaps the even tougher question might be, is it still okay for a middle-schooler to trick or treat, especially if the costume is lame? My answer will have to be yes (as long as he keeps me in Reese's). I guess I should just be happy I don't have to deal with his sneaking into Freakfest yet (I hope). And just how much candy is too much for one night?

Then, to make the holiday even more frightening, the Wizards of WEAC have conjured up the annual teachers' convention (aka no school for the kids) the two days preceding All Hallows Eve. What am I going to do with my goblins and ghouls on Oct. 28 and 29 besides break into the Halloween candy and second-guess non-returnable costume choices?

Fortunately, there is quite a bit fun to be had in Mad-Town those two days, even if you are not into real ghosts and gore. Crafty kids can sign up for a Make Your Own Monster Doll class and learn a thing or two about sewing. You can check out the Halloween themed indoor course at Vitense Golfland and putt through a ghost or two.

And Friday's Downtown Madison Family Trick or Treat from 2-6 p.m.will allow kids to trick or treat at participating State Street and Square businesses and let moms and dads drop in to some of their favorite shopping haunts. Kids can take hay rides around the Capitol Square ($2/person) from 2-6 p.m.

Plus, there's special Halloween events goings on at Isthmus, 101 King St., where costumed kids can have their photo taken in front of our 'spooky' scene and pick up a treat. That's where I'll be, in fact. Stop by and say hello.

Okay, maybe this holiday isn't so scary after all. And while my jeans size has unfortunately grown a size or two, so has this Halloween Grinch's heart.

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