Some parents are uneasy about trick-or-treating on a school night, especially because Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year. Others may not be comfortable with their children masquerading around neighborhoods full of strangers. There are plenty of alternatives around the Charlotte area. Some include church fall festivals, corn mazes and shopping mall trick-or-treating. These are the best options this Halloween.
Not-So-Spooky Halloween Carnival
Stump Town Park
200 S. Trade St.
Matthews, NC 28105
When: Oct. 27 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
There will be hours of fun for your little Spiderman, Superman or Wonder Woman at the No-So-Spooky Halloween Carnival. This year’s theme is Super Heroes. Kids will enjoy favorite carnival games such as Knock the Cans Down and Ring the Bottle as well as fair rides, putt putt and candy galore. A D.J. will rock the park with favorite hits all night. This event is geared for ages 10 and younger. It will conclude with a grand costume parade around the park. Look out for Curly the Clown; he’s always a favorite among the youngsters.
Hickory Grove Baptist Church (Main Campus and North Campus)
6050 Hickory Grove Road
Charlotte, NC 28215
When: Oct. 27 – 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Price: $2 per person
The whole community is invited to this event to enjoy candy, rides, games and food. Costumes are welcome, but no witches, ghosts or goblins. There’s finger food and funnel cakes for purchase as well as delicious homemade treats found at this church’s fall festival. Have a good ol’ time at the cake walk, cookie decorating or playing at the batting cage. Last year, a ferris wheel and bumper cars were the kids’ favorites.
Kidgits Halloween Boo Bash and Mall-wide Trick-or-Treating
Concord Mills Mall
8111 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC 28027
When: Boo Bash Oct. 27 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; indoor trick-or-treating Oct. 31 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Price: free Boo Bash for Kidgit members/$5 non members
Kidgits Halloween Boo Bash will kick off in the mall’s food court. Ages 12 and younger may enjoy family friendly entertainment, games and crafts. Dress the kids up in their favorite costumes, and enjoy a couple of hours of fun with the Kidgit’s Mr. Nigel, a ghoulish goody-bag, a mummy wrap and a pumpkin pass. The mall will provide Halloween night trick-or-treating. Look for stores with an orange pumpkin in their window as an indicator they are participating in the festivities.
Related: A Guide to Concord Mills Mall
Country Days Corn Maze
416 Joe Lee Helms Road
Indian Trail, NC 28079
When: Friday, Saturday and Sundays through Nov. 4
Times: Friday – 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday – 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday – 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Price: $7 youth and adults/$5 10 and younger
The Country Days Corn Maze features a new design each year. Participants will pick a trivia topic, such as history, movies, scriptural, scouting or sports, and questions are found on 10 posts throughout the maze. Correct answers will ensure smooth progress, while wrong answers could lead to a dead-end passage. Or, just follow the maze map for a 30-minute adventure. Concessions include hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken, chips, funnel cakes and fried Oreos. Also enjoy farm activities for a dollar each, including a cow train, corn convoy, pumpkin sling and duck races. The mystery of making it through a maze at night is the scariest part. Don’t forget a flash light.
Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC 28012
When: Oct. 27 to 28 – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Price: free to members/$12 adults/$6 ages 4 to 12/$11 seniors
Boo-tanical will provide a fun, educational twist to this Halloween event. Search out witch hazel, spider lily and a moonbeam thread leaf on a scavenger hunt throughout the gardens. Other activities include making a witch’s brew, story telling and games. Pack a picnic-basket lunch, and meander across some 400 acres of rolling meadows, woodland and lake-front property. During the visit, check out the sparkling fountains and a conservatory filled with tropical plants and orchids. The visit will be half-price with a costume.
Catherine Lash engagingly connects with people. She has learned that interested listening and thoughtful questioning are the means through which collaboration creates a story. She grew up traveling the world and learning military life in an Air Force family of seven. She currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and three kids. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.