It’s the season of fall fun in Greater Cincinnati! Here are our editors’ picks for kid-friendly Halloween hoots that are good for your little ones this month.
West Chester Family Dentistry invites the whole family for the 6th Annual Spooktacular Event, featuring a costume contest, tasty treats, a chili cook-off, music, games, a chance to pet a real alligator, goodie bags and door prizes, as well as child ID and finger printing by the West Chester Police Department, and the Fire Safe House, Truck and Ambulance to tour with the West Chester Fire Department. Bring canned food items for Reachout Lakota, and receive an additional door prize entry form! West Chester Family Dentistry, 9000 Cincinnati Dayton Road; 5 – 7:30 p.m.; 513-755-2112 or wcfamilydentistry.com.
FREE FABULOUS FALL FUNDAY
Bring the whole family to experience a free afternoon of art and hands-on fun. Halloween is on the way — start the celebration with a fall decoration to take home, some live “spooky” animals from Great Parks of Hamilton County, a stop at the Art Cart, and a performance of Hansel and Gretel by ArtReach at 2 p.m. Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike Street; 1 – 4 p.m.; 513-241-0343 or taftmuseum.org.
What a family! Pumpkins, gourds and squash are all part of the same family, yet they look very different. Find out how they grow, and learn how we use them for food, utensils, bird houses and even musical instruments. Highfield Discovery Garden inside Glenwood Gardens, 10397 Springfield Pike; programs take place at 10:45 a.m., 1 and 4 p.m. Oct. 21 – 25, and 1 and 4 p.m. Oct. 26; $4 per child, $5 per adult, plus a valid Great Parks of Hamilton County Motor Vehicle Permit ($3 daily, $10 annual) is required to enter the park; 513-521-7275 or greatparks.org.
Say hello to the museum’s resident brown bats, and explore the world’s largest artificial limestone cave during this daylong celebration of these amazing creatures. Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Avenue; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; all museums pass $14.50 adults, $13.50 seniors, $10.50 ages 3 – 12, $5.50 ages 1 – 2; 513-287-7000 or cincymuseum.org.
It’s fun for the whole family, especially the furry members, at this event that includes trick-or-treat, costume contests, refreshments, free play in the park, duck ponds, face painting, pumpkin carving contests, hide-and-treat and more! Red Dog Pet Resort & Spa, 5081 Madison Road; 513-733-3647 or red-dogs.com.
Boone County Parks presents the 25th annual Jack-O-Lantern Contest and Walk! Enter your carved pumpkin into the contest (drop off is 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. at the Central Park Concession Building) then return that evening to see it displayed on the trail! Halloween t-shirts will be awarded to winners in different categories, while families enjoy a non-scary event for all ages. The Arboretum at Central Park, Camp Ernst Road, Burlington; 7:30 – 9 p.m.; $1 entry fee; 859-334-2283 or boonecountyky.org.
Bring the family for an afternoon of fall fun! Enjoy a round-trip on the Whitewater Valley Railroad to the pumpkin patch, where you can take a hayride and pick out a pumpkin for each child ages 12 and younger. Whitewater Valley Railroad, Grand Central Station, Connersville; 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. Oct. 25 – 26; $10; 765-825-2054 or whitewatervalleyrr.org.
Pipsqueak Theater presents a Madcap Puppet performance of Aladdin and Friends this morning — be sure to arrive early for giant cookie decorating, face painting, holiday crafts, and family photos in the photo booth! Doors open at 10:30 a.m., with the show beginning at 11 a.m. 20th Century Theater, 3021 Madison Road; 10:30 a.m.; $8 per person, free ages 2 and younger; 513-731-8000 or facebook.com/pipsqueaktheater.
Everyone will have a barking good time at this year’s Howl! Bring the kids, and the furry members of your family, for trick-or-treating around the lake. Proceeds will support Wiggley Field Dog Park. Voice of America MetroPark, 7850 VOA Park Drive, West Chester; 1 – 4 p.m.; $5 plus a valid MetroParks of Butler County motor vehicle permit (see site for rates) is required to enter the park; 513-867-5835 or yourmetroparks.net.
Bring the kids in costume for a fun, daytime event that lets them explore the world of fire fighting — kids will get a passport to explore the museum, completing activities along the way, including crafts, games, the fire safe house, stories, a photo booth and more. Complete the passport and get a goody bag to take home! An evening session that’s a little more scary for older kids begins at 6 p.m. Cincinnati Fire Museum, 315 West Court Street; 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; $4 per child, free up to two adults per child; 513-621-5553 or cincyfiremuseum.com/special-events.
FREE JACK-O-LANTERN WALK
Walk a wooded trail lit with a thousand luminaries and Jack-O-Lanterns, and enjoy refreshments and fall family photos. Be sure to enter your own carved pumpkin in the contest (pumpkins may be dropped off Oct. 29)! Tower Park Tennis Courts, South Ft Thomas Ave., Fort Thomas; 7 – 9 p.m.; ftthomas.org.