Halloween Alternatives for Your Family

Halloween is almost here and with the holiday comes costumes, tricks and treats. But if you don’t like traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, not to worry. There are plenty of other opportunities for you to take your little ones on an adventure in a more contained environment.

Boo at the Zoo October 19 – 21, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Boo at the Zoo provides more than 40 treat stations, animal demonstrations, discussions with the animal keepers, jugglers and magicians. $30.

Fair Oaks Mall-O-Ween October 31, 5:15 – 7:30 p.m.

Pile your ninjas, fairies, police and firefighters into the car and head on over to Fair Oaks on Halloween for some traditional trick-or-treating, face painting and balloon artists. In a non-scary environment, even your youngest will feel safe and you’ll love the climate controlled weather. Free.

22nd Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade October 28, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Alexandria’s annual parade begins at Mt. Vernon Avenue, south of E. Bellefonte, and continues down to the Mt. Vernon Recreation Center play fields at Mt. Vernon and Commonwealth Avenues. Children, pets, and strollers in costumes are invited to march and show off their finest and scariest Halloween garb. Register at 1:30 p.m. for the Best Pet Costume. The judging for Best Decorated Stroller is also held at 1:30 p.m. Free.

Mall-O-Ween at Dulles Town Center October 27, 1:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Meet in Center Court at Dulles Town Center to celebrate Halloween! There will be mall-wide trick-or-treating, craft activities, a spooktacular magic shows (at 11:00 a.m. & 12:00 p.m.), face painting, horse drawn hay rides (10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. only) and more. Costumes are encouraged! Free.

You can also check your local fire and police stations, as well as houses of worship to see if they have any Halloween programs.

When November 1 hits and you have too much candy in your house, bring the sugar consumption down and do a good deed at the same time. Operation Gratitude arranges for thousands of care packages each year to be sent to our troops serving away from home. Send your candy with a nice note and feel good! Check out operationgratitude.com for details.