Written by Kristen Skladd
Halloween is only a week away. Before you indulge in a night of trick-or-treating with a bevy of ghost, goblins and ghouls, make time for your family to enjoy these great Halloween-themed day trips:
8450 W. 10 Mile Rd, Royal Oak, MI 48067
The Detroit Zoo calls Zoo Boo its “merry-not-scary” annual Halloween celebration, and the event is an all-around evening of fun for families. A half-mile decorated trick-or-treat trail is just the start of the zoo's festivities for costume-clad youngsters.
"Zoo Boo is a fantastically fun and safe Halloween event for the entire family," said Patricia Janeway, Communications Director at the Detroit Zoo.
"Two tips: Come early and be green by bringing your own reusable treat bag," Janeway said.
Early purchase of tickets is strongly advised. According to the event website, tickets may sell out. However, if a time slot and day for Zoo Boo does not sell out, a limited number of tickets will be available at the gate on the day of the event for a slightly higher price.
Don't miss a live mini-musical appropriately named “Zoo Boo Revue,” performed in the Events Pavilion.
The Fine Print
Zoo Boo will be held October 25-27 (6-8 p.m. on Fridays, 5-8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays). Advance tickets are $8 per person, ages 2 and up. Children under 2 are admitted free. Parking is $5 per car for all guests, including members, for special events and evening events. Additional attractions including Simulator and Carousel rides and movie showings. More events are also available at an extra cost. Detailed information is listed on the zoo's website.
Other than candy, food is not provided at Zoo Boo. Patrons may bring their own dinner if they choose. However, the zoo’s Arctic Café will be open during Zoo Boo.
1219 E. Square Lake Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
Who doesn't like getting lost in a corn maze? With 3.3 miles of trails, thousands of visitors make the trip to the Bowers Farm Corn Maze in Bloomfield Hills each year.
While you're there, don't forget to pick your holiday pumpkin from the pumpkin patch.
And don't worry about going hungry while at Bowers, the farm supplies a bonfire complete with s'mores. If chocolate isn't your dessert of choice, apple cider and donuts are also available inside at the concession stand.
"The Corn Maze event has been a tradition in this community for seven years," said Bowers Farm Manager Holly Glomski. "Many of our guests make a visit to the Bowers Farm a family tradition in the fall."
"Any time is a great time to visit," says Glomski. "If you have small children, we suggest visiting on Sunday or during daylight hours on Friday and Saturday."
Bundle up for a wagon ride around the Farm and see farm animals, including llama, rabbits, goats, sheep and horses. The ride is included with corn maze admission.
The Fine Print
The corn maze is open Fridays from 5-9 p.m., Saturdays from 4-9 p.m. and Sundays from noon until 4 p.m. until Oct. 27. The cost is $8 for ages 12 and up, $6 for those ages 6-11 and free for children under 5.
While both cash and credit is accepted at the ticket booth, only cash will be honored at the concession stand, wagon ride, and pony ride locations.
Bowers also has a haunted maze which is offered separately from the corn maze on Friday and Saturday nights from dusk until 10:30 p.m.
60 West Wattles Road, Troy, MI, 48098
(248) 524- 3570
During this Wizard of Oz-themed event, children are invited to dress up in their costumes and head over to the Troy Historic Village for some classic, Halloween fun.
Kids will have the chance to trick-or-treat from building to building, collecting candy as well as special miniature pumpkins from the Troy Garden Club along the way.
“The Village is a great backdrop for children to trick-or-treat in a fun and safe environment while learning about history,” said Village Executive Director Loraine Campbell.
In true Wizard of Oz fashion, don't forget to visit “Scarecrow Row,” a line of family-friendly scarecrows along the Village fence.
Grab some free cider and doughnuts to keep you warm as your kids visit with Dorothy and all of the Wizard of Oz characters. Don't forget to have them stop into Poppleton School and construct a craft to take home!
The Fine Print
The event will take place Oct. 26 from 1-3 p.m. Costume-clad children, ages 12 and under, will be admitted to the Village free with a paying adult or senior. Admission for adults is $5 and just $3 for senior citizens.
Parking is available at nearby Zion Church with free shuttle bus rides to and from the village.
Intersection of Clinton and State Street, Howell, MI, 48843
(517) 546-0693, ext. 7005
With less than a week before Halloween, there's nothing like a final Halloween run, through a cemetery nonetheless, to get you in the spirit.
Did we mention Sleepy Howell himself kicks off the run?
With more than 1,400 costumed runners racing through downtown Howell last year, event organizers are hoping for an even bigger turnout this time around.
"We are working together to provide the most wonderful family experience for this time of year," said Sarah Rowe, Sports Director for the Howell Parks and Recreation Department. "We are hoping to have over 1,600 runners (in costume) for this year's event."
Bring a flashlight; running through a cemetery is truly spooky! Headlamps are also recommended.
Be sure to wear a costume. It's a festive run and all runners and walkers are encouraged to dress as their favorite Halloween character.
The Fine Print
The race begins at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 26.
Intersection between Cadieux and Neff, Kercheval Avenue, Grosse Pointe, MI, 48230
Once the school day ends on Halloween, kids surely will be in the mood for some trick-or-treating. Why not take them to this free event at The Village in Downtown Grosse Pointe, and let the candy collecting begin early?
"Halloween in The Village is like no other event anywhere; where else can you see the whole downtown closed and all the businesses handing out candy to children?" said Peter Dame, Village DDA Director. "It’s a special part of what makes Grosse Pointe a wonderful community."
Be sure to look for the Friends of the Grosse Pointe Public Library. The organization will be passing out free books to trick-or-treaters!
Bring a camera! There will be a costume contest underneath the town's clock. The Village Downtown Development Authority will award prizes for scariest, most original and best overall costumes.
The Fine Print
The event will be held Oct. 31 from 3-4:45 p.m. Kercheval Avenue will be closed to automobile traffic during event hours. Parking is available on nearby side streets, at the city's public parking lots and The Village’s parking structure (behind Trader Joe's).