Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Boo! Haunting Happy Halloween Events

Halloween is an excuse to get dressed up in a costume that's either scary or funny, green or some other color, and go have fun. It doesn't matter what age you are, although that can determine whether you trick or treat, and how. So here are some family-friendly ways to say Boo!, and others that are best reserved for grown-ups.

San Francisco - Spend a spine-tingling evening touring Alcatraz, which once housed some of the world's scariest criminals. The Alcatraz Night Tour travels from Pier 33 at 4:20 p.m., and returns after taking you through some of the darkest corners of the island prison. Only a few hundred people an evening can be accommodated, and since Oct. 31 will be especially popular, I suggest you make reservations.

Disneyland - Spook-tacular entertainment includes the traditional giant "Mickey Mouse" jack-o'-lantern in Disneyland Town Square, Haunted Mansion Holiday in New Orleans Square and Candy Corn Acres in Disney's California Adventure, plus the Disney characters who wander the theme park year-round will be dressed in goofy Halloween costumes. Including Goofy. There's also a daily Happiest Haunt Tour, a three-hour extravaganza that includes the stories behind some of Disney parks' spookiest attractions, told from the perspective of Disney villains, with stops at the super-spooky Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Haunted Mansion Holiday, Snow White's Scary Adventure, and other rides. The tour fee is $59 -- on top of the park admission fee.

New York City - This year is the 35th annual Village Halloween Parade, and it promises to be one of the biggest and best, since this year Halloween falls on a Friday, and that means the parading and the partying that follows can go into the wee hours. This year's festivities feature more than 50 bands, hundreds of dancers, thousands of costumed participants, and as many as two million onlookers. The theme of this year's parade is Ghosts. Scary fun, for sure. Or, choose
the Halloween “Boos Cruise” aboard the Circle Line Downtown. This 2½ hour Halloween Cruise on the 143-ft luxury yacht Zephyr incluees a tour of New York harbor and a costume contest. Again, I suggest you make reservations.

In case you're wondering about the image I've posted here -- it is a lithograph by Edvard Munch, one of a series of paintings and lithographs of this iconic nightmare scream. One of the originals is on display in Munch's hometown, Oslo, Norway -- where I just will happen to be visiting a few days before Halloween.