There are plenty of fun and safe things for the kids to do this Halloween, which falls on Friday.
The annual Ceres Halloween Festival will take place at the Ceres Community Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31. Families will be treated to a safe and fun evening filled with free activities but all children must be accompanied by an adult.
The event will feature a costume contest, games, Halloween photo booth, crafts, dance instruction, a science room, a fake tattoo parlor, storytelling, fortune telling, face painting and a petting zoo. Tricycle races will be held in the center's parking lot.
An activity promising to be popular is a ride through from the center to a haunted house to be offered in nearby Whitmore Park courtesy of the Ceres Boy Scouts. A tram will also take riders through the "haunted" Whitmore Mansion property a block away. The exterior of the historical mansion will be decorated with a haunted house look with creepy mood lighting and a cackling witch beckoning her visitors.
Helping the city to put on the event will be approximately 70 youth members of groups from both Ceres and Central Valley high schools as well as Mae Hensley and Blaker Kinser junior high schools.
For more information on the festival or any of the city's programs, call Cambria Pollinger at 538-5782.
Children can learn how to make a foam jack-o-lantern on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 3 p.m. at the Ceres Library.
Children and tweens will learn how to turn a foam frame into a seasonal jack-o-lantern using stickers and imagination. The Ceres Library is located at 2250 Magnolia Avenue in Ceres. For more information, contact the Ceres Library at 537-8938.
Muggles and wizards alike are invited to celebrate Halloween at Hogwarts on Thursday, Oct. 30 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Keyes Library, 4420 Maud Ave., Keyes. Individuals of all ages may visit the Keyes Library for this special Halloween celebration that honors the children's book series. Participants can make crafts, pose for a picture, participate in potion making classes, and sample sweet treats! Individuals can come in costume; however, costumes are not required.
For more information, call 664-8006.
Across the river, the 2014 Haunted McHenry Museum, 14th and I streets, will be held nightly through Thursday and feature a haunted maze, costumed performers from Prospect Theater Project, Halloween crafts, a pumpkin roll and other games.
The event, set for 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. nightly, is for elementary school age children and their families with the goal to entertain but not overly frighten the children. Volunteer actors and actresses from the Prospect Theater Project will perform in the haunted rooms. Other teen volunteers will lead tours.
Tickets are $5 per person, with children under 5 admitted free. They are available at the McHenry Museum Gift Shop, are being sold in advance by several parent clubs and will be available at the door. Tickets may be purchased online at www.hauntedhousemodesto.com.
The event is being organized by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stanislaus County.
For more information call 222-5826 or visit www.hauntedhousemodesto.com.