With Halloween just a couple of days away, it’s time to carve those pumpkins and stock up on candy for the pint-sized princesses, pirates and superheroes who will soon come a-knocking.
For many Langley residents, deciding on the amount of candy to purchase for Oct. 31 can be a real guessing game.
In some areas, kids come by the busload, while other neighbourhoods become a ghost town — well, one without little ghosts and goblins, that is.
In recent years, many Langley parents have begun optioning for a well-lit, warm trick-or-treating experience that steers clear of screeching bottle rockets and provides refuge from the elements.
For those looking for an alternative to outdoor trick-or-treating or an additional way to celebrate, there’s no shortage of ‘spooktacular’ events and activities in Langley leading up to Halloween.
From eerie indoor displays and parades to ghost tours and bowling parties, here are a handful of things to boo … er, more like do.
The Dungeon Tour
For more than 20 years, the basement change room/bathroom area of HD Stafford Secondary School has been boarded up and used as storage — that is, until now.
Since August, two teachers — Stu Mitchell and Brad Hendy — have been busy transforming the dark, abandoned nook into a spooktacular haunted house.
“We cleaned it all out over the summer, painted it all black, built the floor plan, walls, lighting … everything,” said Hendy of the attraction that includes 25 student actors, 10 eerie scenes and a concession — though you may not want to eat after catching a glimpse of the props.
“We’ll have a lower lobby filled with adult actors — some will be carrying some jars of real cows eyes.”
When: Oct. 29-30 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., (4 p.m. to 5 p.m. is geared to a younger crowd).
Where: H.D. Stafford Middle School, 20441 Grade Cres.
Cost: Admission to the dungeon is $4 for adults and $3 for students. Proceeds go to the Grade 8 girls basketball team.
Info: Email Bhendy@sd35.bc.ca or call 604-534-9285.
Halloween Trick or Treat Parade
Willowbrook Shopping Centre’s popular Trick or Treat Parade returns Oct. 31, providing children with the opportunity to show off their costume and collect candy from participating stores.
Last year, more than 2,000 kids filled the mall to seek refuge from the downpour and fill their bags and buckets with goodies.
While Megan Mccrea, the marketing director for the shopping centre said the mall’s not expecting as big a crowd this year, it’s still going to be busy.
“It’s safe, warm and people appreciate a community event,” she said, noting that 100 per cent of the proceeds goes straight to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
To participate, parents are asked to register at one of the following entrances: Sport Chek, Swimco or The Pantry.
When: Oct. 31 (5-6 p.m.)
Where: 19705 Fraser Hwy.
Cost: $2 per child up to age 12.
Info: Call 604-530-4492 or visit www.willowbrookmall.com.
Extreme Halloween Party
Willowbrook Lanes has been a favourite family haunt for years and Halloween is no exception. On Oct. 31, the bowling alley will come alive with little ghouls and goblins for their first annual Extreme Halloween Party.
When: Oct. 31 (4:30-6 p.m.)
Where: 6350 196 St., Langley
Cost: $30 for a lane (lanes holds up to six bowlers)
Info: Call 604-533-2695 (Register ahead of time to secure a lane).
Boo at the Zoo
Lions and witches and zebras, oh my!
Whoever said Halloween is only fun at night obviously hasn’t been to the Boo at the Zoo. Children are invited to come in costume to the Greater Vancouver Zoo on Oct. 31 to meet a “creepy crawly” in the Vivarium at 11 a.m. and then gather in the Animalasium Learning Centre at 11:30 a.m. to make a Halloween craft.
When: Oct. 31 (11 a.m.)
Where: 5048 264 St.
Cost: Children 12 and under who go to the zoo dressed in a Halloween costume get free admission.
Info: Visit www.gvzoo.com or call 604-856-6825.
The popular Grave Tales historic walking tours are back in Fort Langley.
Learn all about the people who lived in Fort Langley hundreds of years ago –some of whom never left.
These spine-chilling stories are depicted at night by an expert storyteller as you walk through the Fort Langley Village.
When: nightly until Oct. 30 (7 p.m. and 8 p.m.)
Where: National Historic Fort
Cost: $15.10 per person. Age 17-plus only.
Info: visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca/fortlangley or call 604-513-4799.
Grave Tales (Youth Edition)
Gather around the fire inside the old Hudson’s Bay Company fort for some ghost stories and fun in this family-oriented version of the popular Grave Tales.
Unlike the main tour, this one is geared toward older youth and teens, accompanied by a parent.
When:daily until Oct. 30 (6 p.m.)
Where: National Historic Fort
Cost: $11.70 per person. Parental supervision required.
Info: Reservations are required by phone only at 604-513-4799. Visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca/fortlangley.