Get Out

Trick-or-treating, scary tales and a ‘sensory-safe’ Halloween

Kids and families trick-or-treat in downtown Bellingham in 2011.
Kids and families trick-or-treat in downtown Bellingham in 2011. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

Halloween in all its ghoulish glory is a popular holiday among all ages in Whatcom County, and several events are being offered especially for children this weekend.


▪  Because Halloween is on a Saturday, the Downtown Bellingham Partnership will have its annual free trick-or-treating from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30. Participating merchants — sometimes nearly 100 — will display a poster.

▪  A Halloween-theme Family Activity Day at Whatcom Museum promises art projects and a chance to see exhibits — including the new “Unhinged: Book Art on the Cutting Edge” — at a reduced rate.

It’s from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at the museum’s Lightcatcher galleries, 250 Flora St. Admission is $3; free for museum members.

Chris Brewer, museum educator and operations manager of the museum’s Family Interactive Gallery, said costumes are encouraged. Activities include “spooky storytelling” and face painting, plus craft activities inspired by such children’s books as “I Need My Monster,” “Skeleton Hiccups” and “Where the Wild Things Are.” There’s also ghost rocks, jack-o’-lantern printing, spider web weaving, and a make-a-book scavenger hunt.

▪  Sunnyland neighborhood celebrates with a “gentle and inclusive” Pumpkin Polka Trick-Or-Treat event that focuses on children with food allergies, sensory issues and disabilities, such as autism, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at various homes.

The event was organized by resident Jenn Mason, whose daughter has cerebral palsy. Participating homes will be well-lighted and promise no loud music, flashing lights or spooky decorations. They will hand hand out stickers and toys instead of candy. Dogs and other animals will be kept inside, and no shouting of “Trick or treat!”

For details, go to or to the Pumpkin Polka Trick-Or-Treat page on Facebook . A map of participating homes was to be posted by Oct. 28.


▪  Halloween Fright Night features games, refreshments and conversation for grades six through 12 in a free after-hours event from 6:15 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, at Blaine Public Library, 610 Third St. Register online by clicking on “events” at or by calling 360-305-3600.


▪  Trick-or-treating will be 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. Stores in the historic district will be decorated for the season and free family photographs will be taken in the atrium of Finnegan’s Alley, at 1106-1114 Harris Ave., between 11th and 12th streets.

▪  Members of Bellingham Storytellers Guild will tell scary stories appropriate for young children from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, in the downstairs Readings Galley of Village Books, 1200 11th St. Halloween tales will be “the scary, funny stories that kids like,” said the guild’s Doug Banner. “The more mucous or poop there is, the better. It’s all good fun.” It won’t be too frightening for small children, Banner said, adding that “the tellers are very sensitive to the audience.”

▪  A Monster Mash costume party and parade for school-age children is free at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, at Village Books, 1200 11th St. There will be games, treats and origami craft activities based on the book “Monstergami” by Duy Nguyen. A parade through Fairhaven follows.

▪  Bellingham Storytellers Guild presents “Extremely Scary Stories,” for children 13 and older and adults who delight in serious macabre from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, in the Fireplace Room of Fairhaven Branch Library, 1117 12th St. “It’s really scary stories,” said the guild’s Doug Banner. “Psychologically scary. ... It’s all Alfred Hitchcock, ‘Twilight Zone,’ get-in-your-head kind of scary.” Definitely not for small children, he said.


▪  Trick-or-treating is 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, on Main Street, sponsored by Ferndale Chamber of Commerce with more than 40 businesses distributing candy. Main Street will be closed between First and Third streets for the safety of children and their families. While there, look at the Pumpkin People displays that were part of a recent business contest.

▪  A free all-ages Haunt the Park party from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at Pioneer Park features refreshments from a cauldron, and trick-or-treating at the historic cabins. Some areas of the park will be “haunted.”

Reach Robert Mittendorf at 360-756-2805 or Tweeting @goMittygo and @BhamMitty.


Find Robert Mittendorf’s Out With the Kids column online at