My 5-year-old keeps asking me if Halloween is just one day. I mean, technically, yes: It’s October 31. But she must be picking up on a deeper truth: That the joy of Halloween begins the day the 10-foot skeletons and front-yard graveyards appear, which in our neighborhood is October 1.
This year the 31st falls on a Monday. But the local fun kicks off the Friday before, October 28, with one of my family’s favorite events, the Med47 Haunted Forest in Bristol. This entirely volunteer production — which also runs Saturday, Sunday and Monday — is a wacky woodland wonderland appropriate for little kids starting at 4 p.m. (the jump scares begin after 6 p.m.). Our favorite part last year? The mysterious man tossing us candy while gliding along a zip line high above in the trees.
Other events that Friday:
The Bristol Rec Department is hosting Mad House Halloween, a dance party and costume contest (5-10 p.m.) at Holley Hall.
Kids collect candy at the Spooksville Trunk or Treat (5:30 p.m.) in Brandon’s Estabrook Park.
The Sheldon Museum is hosting a Spooky Night (5-7:30 p.m.) with tarot card readings, a “murder-scene dollhouse,” live spooky music and a Moth-style community ghost-story-telling event.
Brave souls head to Lake Dunmore to explore the new (quite scary, we’re told) Kampersville Haunted House starting at 7 p.m. (same time Saturday night, too).
Down in Rutland, Come Alive Outside and Partners for Prevention are hosting the intriguing AREA 802: Halloween Trail Experience (4-9 p.m.), which is based on a local legend involving UFOs, the FBI and missing persons…
Saturday events include:
A Monster Dash & Costume Parade in Vergennes (9 a.m.).
A special Halloween storytime at Bixby Library (11 a.m.).
Pumpkin carving at the Cornwall Town Hall (10 a.m.-noon) and on the Bristol Town Green (1-2 p.m.).
Cornwall Trunk or Treat (1-3:30 p.m.)
Families don costumes and trick-or-treat at local businesses as part of Middlebury’s annual Spooktacular (3:30-5 p.m.).
Town Hall Theater hosts a Family Ghostly Gathering (5-7 p.m.) featuring a dance and costume contest, crafting and Mexico in Vermont eats.
The famous Rutland Halloween Parade kicks off at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday events include:
Eddy Farm in Middlebury is getting the horses all dressed up for another Halloween Costume Barn (1-3 p.m.).
On Halloween itself:
Pop into the Salisbury Free Public Library’s Halloween Party at 5 p.m. for free pizza and cider. In Bristol, Lawrence Memorial Library staff will greet trick or treaters until 6 p.m.
Hit up Jones the Boy Bake Shop’s Haunted Halloween Walk Through (5-8 p.m.) in Bristol for treats, a food truck, adult and kid beverages and a raffle.
Trick-or-treating in Middlebury:
Our favorite place to take little kids is South Street because it’s short, manageable and well-lit. For a longer, more adventurous trick-or-treat experience, try Buttolph Acres.