Opelika Parks and Recreation is getting into the Halloween spirit with numerous events lined up this month. With events for children, adults and the whole family, there is ample opportunity for all to celebrate this spooky holiday.
Halloween Movie + Eerie Express
On Friday, October 11 children of all ages are invited to come take a ride on the Eerie Express. From 6-8 p.m. Monkey Park will be transformed into a Halloween haven, and riders on the Rocky Brook Rocket miniature train will be able to take a ride through several spooky scenes. Following the train rides, Casper the Friendly Ghost will be playing on the amphitheater stage.
The decorations around the track will primarily be simple Halloween themed scenes that even small children will enjoy. Fog machines and special lighting will illuminate pumpkins, ghosts and witches as the train rolls by.
“We wanted to make this a kid friendly event where even the smallest kids wouldn’t be scared,” said Mandy Johnson, special events coordinator. “There aren’t many Halloween events that cater towards younger children, and we wanted to ensure they could participate in the festivities this year.
The Halloween Movie and Eerie Express is free and open to the public.
Fright Night at the Villa
On Saturday, October 12 Jordan Peele’s new movie Us will be shown on the lawn next to the Spring Villa “big house”, an old antebellum home known for its rumored paranormal qualities. The movie begins at 6 p.m., and viewers are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs and snacks. This event is for adults only, and viewer discretion is advised.
Us is rated R. a detailed review of the content that caused it to receive this rating can be found at www.kids-in-mind.com.
Fright Night at the Villa is free and open to the public.
Covington Recreation Center is hosting its 4th Annual Halloween Drop-In on Thursday, October 24. From 6-8 p.m. 3rd-5th graders can come participate in games, eat specially crafted Halloween snacks and brave the “haunted rec center”. There is also a costume contest, giveaways and goody bags, ensuring that no child leaves empty handed.
“This event isn’t just about giving the kids something to do or giving the parents a break,” said Pam Driver, Covington Center Programmer. “It also gives us a chance to instill in the kids that everybody is somebody when they come here.”
This event is $5 per child and open to the public.
Tour de Fright
On Friday, October 25 the SportsPlex is hosting the Tour de Fright Haunted Bike Ride. From 6-8 p.m. children and adults of all ages can bring their bikes, trikes, scooters and strollers to take a ride on the haunted walking trail behind the Opelika SportsPlex.
This event features several spooky (but stagnant) scenes along the track that bicyclers can ride past at their leisure. There is no limit to the number of times a person can ride the course and parents are welcome to join their children for the ride.
This is event is hosted in conjunction with the Opelika Bicycle Advisory Committee and serves as an awareness campaign for safe cycling practices. The OBAC gives out a limited supply of free bicycle lights to all children in attendance.
This event is free and open to the public.
The Great Pumpkin Splash
On Friday, October 25 the Opelika SportsPlex is transforming into a floating pumpkin patch. Children ages 6-12 can come pick their pumpkin out of the pool and decorate it for Halloween. This event begins at 6 p.m. and there will be free swim to follow.
Johnson explained why this event is such a big attraction towards children.
“We wait until the kids get there to throw the pumpkins in the pool. They make these big splashes and they bounce and bob up and down, and the kids really enjoy watching that. Then they get to swim through this floating pumpkin patch. It’s really cool.”
This event costs $4 per child and is open to the public. Pre-registration is required by October 22. Registration is taken at the Opelika SportsPlex front desk.
Fall Festival and Children’s Carnival
Opelika’s Fall Festival and Children’s Carnival is scheduled for Tuesday, October 29 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Children 12 and younger are invited to wear their costume to the Opelika SportsPlex soccer fields and participate in a variety of carnival games, inflatables, rides and entertainment.
This year’s Fall Festival includes a variety of attractions including a Disney character hayride, bounce houses and giant slides. There will be traditional carnival games like go fish and milk bottle throw, and there will be non-traditional carnival games like plinko and “pick or treat” (a giant nose you pick candy out of). There will be a designated preschool area for younger kids unable to participate in some of the larger games.
This event has free admission, but most games and activities do require the purchase of tickets or wristbands. All-access wristbands are on sale for $10 or you can purchase individual tickets for 25 cents. Most games cost 2-3 tickets and there are around 25 games in total. Tickets and wristbands can be purchased in advance at the Opelika SportsPlex front desk or they can be purchased at the event.
For more information on all of Opelika Parks and Recreation’s Halloween events please visit www.opelikaparks.com.