It's Halloween time!
The buzz of Halloween can be felt in the cool fall air. People populate their yards with pumpkins and ghoulish decorations. They dangle fake cobwebs throughout their homes, bust out the orange and black décor and fill big bowls with candy for the coming trick-or-treaters.
Kids anticipate the day when they can once again don witch wear, Spiderman spandex, princess pearls and more, all to collect their yearly bounty of candy.
This year, the Alexandria area has a long list of Halloween happenings.
Wednesday, October 31, 4 to 7 p.m. The Viking Plaza Mall in Alexandria has Mall-o-ween with free candy for kids. A professional photographer will be available to take photos of kids in costumes, for a charge.
TRUNK OR TREAT
Wednesday, October 31, 4:30 p.m. First Lutheran Church in Alexandria invites children to the 9th annual Trunk or Treat held in the church's parking lot. Kids can dress up and roam from trunk to trunk, collecting candy.
OSAKIS HALLOWEEN PARTY
Wednesday, October 31, 5:30 to 7 p.m. About 300 ghosts and goblins are expected to attend the annual Osakis Halloween Party at the Osakis High School cafeteria.
Kids should dress in Halloween costumes and prepare for a lot of candy, fun and prizes.
Donations from area businesses make this a successful event. Donation cans have also been put out at Osakis businesses to help fund the event.
The party is for children ages 0 through 6th grade. They will enjoy a light supper of a hot dog, chips, cookie and punch. Adults and older kids can eat for a $1 donation.
There will be games and a photo opportunity.
Frightmare Farm is hosting a haunted barn for ages 13 or older, "guaranteed to scare the 'yell' out of you." Admission is $10. It is open Friday and Saturday, October 26-27 and November 2 from 6 to 11 p.m. and Thursday, November 1 from 5 to 10 p.m.
Kids' night will be held on Wednesday, October 31 from 5 to 10 p.m. Admission is $5. Come dressed in a costume and get a treat. All ages welcome.
The haunted barn is located at 5448 Prairie Road Northeast, Carlos, north of Alexandria. For more information, find Frightmare Farm on Facebook or Twitter.
ECFE HALLOWEEN FUN
Wednesday, October 31, 4 to 6:30 p.m. Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) and school readiness invite the public to Halloween fun at the Woodland Elementary school gym.
Admission is $5 per family. One family member must be younger than 5 years.
COMMUNITY HALLOWEEN PARTY
Wednesday, October 31, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. There will be a community Halloween party at the National Guard Armory in Alexandria.
Admission is free. Children through age 12 or 6th grade are welcome with a parent or guardian.
LUCKY STAR 4-H CLUB HALLOWEEN PARTY
Sunday, October 28, 2 to 4 p.m. The Lucky Star 4-H Club is having a Halloween Party at Forada City Hall in Forada. There will be prizes, carnival games, bike giveaways and lots of candy.
The event is free and open to the public. All ages are welcome.
Friday and Saturday, October 28-29, 7 to 11 p.m. Glenwood and Beyond and the Minnewaska Jaycees in Glenwood will host Fright Nights at the Pope County Fairgrounds. The event will feature a maze through the livestock stables, with more than 11 scary scenes.
It is recommended for ages 13 or older. Admission is $5 per person.
HALLOWEEN CANDY BUY BACK
November 1 and 9, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and November 5, 6 and 7, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. To help parents encourage their children to eat and consume fewer sugary treats, Alexandria Smiles will hold its 5th annual Halloween candy buy back.
The business will pay $1 per pound (up to five pounds) for unopened candy. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Candy will be collected at Alexandria Smiles, 1400 Hawthorne Street, Suite 3 in Alexandria.
Through Operation Gratitude, the candy will be sent to local soldiers who are overseas.
October 26-27, 30-31, 6 to 11 p.m. The Alexandria Area Arts Association (AAAA) will hold its 7th annual Haunted Theatre at the AAAA Theatre in Downtown Alexandria.
According to Benjamin Klipfel, AAAA executive director, the attraction has doubled in size, utilizing all three levels of the theater.
The event is self-guided, driving audiences deeper and deeper into the theater.
Patrons may take advantage of the coat check for $1 and enjoy treats in the attraction's general store, Helden's Flesh Foods (homage to the event sponsor Elden's Fresh Foods). Among the treats are "Bled Pudding" and "Mince Pie," baked by Roers Bakery.
October 30 is Jingle Hell Night, with 10 percent of the evening's proceeds going to the Jingle Bells Foundation in Alexandria.
Admission is $8 at the door. This event is not recommended for children younger than 10.
For more information, visit alexandriaareaarts.org.
Wednesday, October 31, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Church for the Harvest in Alexandria invites parents and children 6th grade or younger to its annual Harvest Party.
There will be food, a large prize drawing, face painting, games, toys to win, a Candy Cavern and large blow-ups. Admission is one bag of candy.
PETTING ZOO AND CORN MAZE
Wednesday, October 31. Erickson's Petting Zoo in Osakis offers a large petting zoo, playgrounds and tractor rides out to the pumpkin patch. People can explore the corn maze and find their way by following clues. There will also be pony rides, goat tower and "Billy Goats Gruff" playland.
On October 31, admission is $5, and people can explore the corn maze with flashlights after dark.
Erickson's Petting Zoo is located at 11890 Hope Road, Osakis.
Visit Erickson's Petting Zoo Facebook page for a chance to win a free pass for four people to the Fall Family Fun.