Halloween is more than just trick-or-treating along Woodward

By: Joshua Gordon | Woodward Talk | Published October 23, 2013

Halloween is the time of year for children to go door to door in their neighborhoods and collect as much candy as they can. But, in several cities along Woodward, this time of year offers much more.

While the traditional trick-or-treating will take place in Berkley, Ferndale, Huntington Woods and Pleasant Ridge, there are several other activities that will take place in the cities that will help families celebrate the holiday.

In Ferndale, the Downtown Development Authority will have a downtown trick-or-treating event Oct. 26 to go along with the traditional trick-or-treating Oct. 31. The Ferndale Public Library, 222 E. Nine Mile Road, is always a popular stop in the downtown trick-or-treating, said Jillean McCommons, head of youth services, and this year is no different.

“We have done an event for a couple of years to coincide with the city’s trick-or-treating downtown, but this is the first year we have a theme,” McCommons said. “We went with ‘Wizard of Oz,’ and we are creating a yellow brick road for kids to walk down; they will have characters to meet along the way, and there will be candy and a fun time.”

McCommons said she will be dressed as the Tin Man while other staff and volunteers will be dressed as other characters from the book. The movie version of “The Wizard of Oz” will also be playing throughout the night.

The library has drawn about 200 kids in past years, and McCommons said the staff wanted to do something different and fun outside of the usual Halloween costumes and treats.

“We wanted to celebrate a children’s book and bring it to life; that is the main reason for our theme,” she said. “From here on out, I would like to pick a book and make it come to life for the kids, and we can all dress up and it should be a lot of fun. This is just another way we do nontraditional things in the library, and we hope people have as much fun as we do.”

The event at the library will be running from 7-8 p.m. and is free for anyone to drop in at anytime. McCommons said the library is also accepting candy donations, which can be dropped off anytime before the event.

Trick-or-treating also will be taking place on Halloween in Berkley, Huntington Woods and Pleasant Ridge. Times are not exact, but city officials said most houses and businesses start handing out candy at around 5 p.m.

In Pleasant Ridge, families will also have an opportunity to enjoy a few pre-Halloween activities. From 10-11:30 a.m. Oct. 24, the city will be throwing a Halloween party for toddlers at the Community Center, 4 Ridge Road, and a similar party for older children will take place from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 28, also at the Community Center.

On Oct. 27, the city will hold hayrides from 4-6 p.m. at Flynn Field, at the end of Maywood Avenue, for people of all ages.

In Berkley, children and families will have a chance to enjoy a carnival and some ice skating before Halloween.

On Oct. 24, the Berkley Parks and Recreation Department is putting on the annual Halloween Spooktacular carnival at the Berkley Community Center, 2400 Robina Ave.

“The carnival has been going on for a while, and we didn’t have it for a few years when we took a budget cut 10 years ago, but the Berkley Junior Women’s Club stepped in, and we have partnered with them ever since,” said Tom Colwell, parks and recreation director. “It has always been a popular event with a variety of different games and pictures for the kids and snacks. Kids just like to dress up and come to this.”

The carnival runs from 6-7 p.m. and 7:30-8:30 p.m. with a cost of $4 for one session. Colwell said families enjoy the carnival because it is an inexpensive event and safe for their children.

The Spooky Skatacular event is in its third year, but Colwell said, this year, the event gives the city a chance to show off the new renovations to the Berkley Ice Arena, located next to the Community Center.

And, while the carnival is more tailored to children, the ice skating is fun for the whole family. The event runs from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 26 and children in costume skate for free.

“We wanted to make sure everybody had the opportunity to see all the things we offer at the Ice Arena, and the kids get to come skate in costumes and get goodie bags,” Colwell said. “At the carnival, the kids participate on their own and take pictures on their own, but with skating, we push the family aspect and get the whole family skating together.

“On Halloween, you get to dress up and you get free candy, and if you are a kid, what else could you want?”