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7 Halloween activities that are fun for the entire family
Trick or treating, dances, costume contests abound for kids, adults
Psy’s “Gangnam Style” plays while everyone dances during the 11th annual Mother Son Halloween dance last year at the Gainesville Civic Center.

Halloween activities

“Creatures of the Night” festival
When: 5-10 p.m. Oct. 16.
Where: Environmental and Heritage Center, 2020 Clean Water Drive, Buford.
Cost: $8 nonmembers.
More info:

Nightfall at Elachee
When: 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17
Where: Chicopee Woods, Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville.
Cost: $5 nonmembers, free members
More info: or 770-535-1976

12th annual Mother-Son Dance
When: 6-8:30 p.m. Oct. 22
Where: Gainesville Civic Center Ballroom, 830 Green St. NE, Gainesville.
Cost: $50-$60 per couple. Pre-register by 5 p.m. Oct. 19.
More info: or 770-531-2680

Haunted History tours
When: 6-9 p.m. Oct. 23-24
Where: Northeast Georgia History Center, 322 Academy St. NE, Gainesville.
Cost: $8-$10.
More info: or 770-297-5900

Trick-or-treat on the Trail
When: 3-5 p.m. Oct. 24
Where: Midtown Greenway, 682 Grove St., Gainesville
Cost: Free
More info: or 770-531-2680

Boo at the Zoo
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 24 and noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 25
Where: North Georgia Zoo, 2912 Paradise Valley, Cleveland
Cost: $8 adults, $6 children ages 2-11
More info: 706-348-7279 or

Halloween Friday at FlipNFun, Gainesville.
When: 6-9 p.m. Oct. 30.
Where: FlipNFun at Lakeshore Mall, 150 Pearl Nix Parkway, Gainesville
Cost: $24-$19
More info: 770-287-0511

Trick-or-treat on the Square
When: 5-7 p.m. Oct. 31.
Where: Main Street, Clarkesville
Cost: Free

Trick or treating at Lakeshore Mall
When: 6 p.m. Oct. 31
Where: Lakeshore Mall, 150 Pearl Nix Parkway, Gainesville
Cost: Free for kids 12 and younger.
More info: 770-535-8877

Boo Bash
When: 3-6 p.m. Oct. 31
Where: North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall
Cost: Free
More info: or 706-216-3609

Trick-or-Treat on the Square
When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 31
Where: Downtown Dahlonega
Cost: Free
More info: 706-864-3711

Zombie 5K run
When: 9:30 a.m. Oct. 31
Where: Braselton Brothers department store, 9924 Davis St., Braselton
Cost: $25 or $30 after Oct. 23
More info:

As All Hallows Eve approaches, Northeast Georgia cities and towns are gearing up for fun family filled activities throughout October. From trick-or-treating to Halloween dances, there is something for everyone.

Returning to the Midtown Greenway in Gainesville is the fifth annual Trick or Treat on the Trail. The free event recommended for children 12 and younger will run from 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24. Costumes are encouraged but facepainting and temporary tattoos will be available.

Plenty of candy will be handed out on the trail at 682 Grove St. in Gainesville on the corner of Grove Street and Parker and Grove and Banks streets. Costumed children can collect the treats from the decorated house fronts along the trail.

But if trick-or-treating is not a priority, children may jump in inflatable bounce houses, participate in various spookalicious games, or get up close and personal with an animal at the petting zoo.

For many children of Hall County area, Trick or Treat on the Trail offers a safe alternative compared to door-to-door trick-or-treating on Halloween night.

But the trick-or-treating event will not only supply children with sugary treats. Georgia Mountain Food Bank will collect canned food items to mark the beginning of the holiday season.

For more information, visit

Monster mash

Before trick-or-treating begins, boys and grownup girls can monster dance the night away. The 12th annual Mother Son Halloween Dance will be from 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, at the Gainesville Civic Center.

Couples must preregister by 5 p.m. Oct. 19 for $50 per couple for city residents and $60 for nonresidents. Sibling discounts will be offered.

The night will include spooktacular music and dancing, a catered dinner for any monster appetite, costume contests for the best dressed and a raffle for the lucky.

For more information, visit or call 770-535-6860.

Nighttime exploration

For those who prefer outdoor activities for Halloween, Nightfall at the Elachee Nature Science Center is a choice activity in Gainesville.

The non-scary and educational event is from 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, in the Chicopee Woods. Children may don their best costumes as they trick-or-treat through the woods. During the outdoor trek, children and their accompanying parents will come across trail naturalists, who will share treats and stories. A storyteller also will spin tales by the October moon and Elachee astronomers will lead a tour of the night sky via telescope.

Trick-or-treating at Elachee cost $5 per person for nonmembers. Members will be admitted free.

Boo at the Zoo

But if you’re not ready for the things that go bump in the night, the North Georgia Zoo and Petting Farm will host its annual Boo at the Zoo.

Some of the animals will don their favorite costumes to entertain tiny tots dressed in disguised or clad in their everyday clothes.

For anyone dressed in their Halloween apparel, he or she will receive a free feed cup.

Other Boo at the Zoo activities include a dig for buried treasure hunt and a scavenger hunt with plenty of prizes to be found. And if you are not afraid of spiders, attendees will have the chance to hold a Tarantula during the event.

Boo at the Zoo will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. The zoo is at 2912 Paradise Valley Road in Cleveland.

For more information, call 706-348-7279 or visit

Scary pet perfection

For the domesticated furry creatures that like to dress up, Gainesville is sponsoring a special event. Howl-O-Ween will be from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, on the square in downtown Gainesville.

The pet costume and trick contest will begin at 6 p.m. Then an hour later, the Retro Rock-Its will put a spell on listeners with a free concert.

The pet-friendly event will raise money for Hall County Animal Shelter adoption program by selling wristbands for a Pup Crawl. The Pup Crawl will be from 6-9 p.m. Wristbands cost $10 and offer discounts and specials at many downtown establishments.

For more information, visit or

Shopping around for some candy

On Halloween night, the Lakeshore Mall and the North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall will open their doors for a trick-or-treating event like no other.

At 6 p.m. Oct. 31, the mall at 150 Pearl Nix Parkway in Gainesville will allow children 12 and younger to trick-or-treat from store to store. A DJ will play Halloween-inspired music.

Then children will be judged on their disguises during the Halloween costume contest.

For more information call 770-535-8877.

The outlet mall at 800 Ga. 400 South in Dawsonville will offer a similar event with its first Boo Bash.

The event will offer free trick-or-treating bags for children 12 and younger at Guest Services in the Food Pavilion. Then children may venture to each store from 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, collecting treats.

For more information, visit, or call 706-216-3609.

Digging into treat in downtown Dahlonega

Just north of Gainesville and Dawsonville, businesses in downtown Dahlonega will participate in the annual Trick-or-Treat event.

From 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, children 12 and younger can don their costumes and vie for treat and bragging rights. Organized by the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Merchants, the event offers parents a safe place during daylight hours to bring children trick-or-treating.

Children may collect candy from participating vendors and compete in the costume contest at the Dahlonega Gold Museum. The contest will begin at 6 p.m. and be divided by age groups. Prizes for first, second and third place as well as the most original will be awarded.

A short walk away, the University of North Georgia Office of Residence Life will host a Trunk-or-Treat event at the same time in parking lot 16 off Chestatee Street.

For more information, call the Visitors Center at 706-864-3711.

Run off sugar weight

The day after Halloween, the Elachee Nature Science Center will offer a way for people to shed the pounds after indulging in candy.

The Trick or Trek Trail Run will be 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, at 2125 Elachee Drive in Gainesville. A 5-kilometer walk/run and a 10-kilometer trail race will occur in the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve.

In addition to giving away a prize for the best costume, all preregistered race participants will receive a Dri-Fit race shirt. Registering before Oct. 20 costs $20 for the 5K, and $30 for the 10K. Before Oct. 31, race applications cost $25 and $35, respectively. The day of the race, the prices are $30 and $40.

Call 770-535-1976 or visit for more information.

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