Halloween and Harvest Happenings

Fun for the whole family

by TJ Wierenga

From Harvest Happenings to Halloween, the Yellowstone valley has a bounty of great family and kid-sized events this month! We scared up a list of spooky stuff for our readers.

Corn Maize The 12th annual, amazing Corn Maize (www.cornfieldmaize.com) is at 58th Street West between Grand and Rimrock, from September 4 through October 31st. Hours are Wednesday and Thursdays from 6-9PM, Fridays from 6-10PM, Saturdays from 10AM to 10PM, and closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesdays. Maize and attractions $8/adults, $6 for kids ages 5-11, and under age 4 is free with an adult. Field of Screams, Maize and all attractions Friday and Saturday evenings in October are $10/adults, $8/children ages 5-11, and under age 4 is free with an adult. This year’s attractions include Pig Racing, Pedal Karts, Hay Mountain, Cow Train, Hay Ride, Mini Maizes, Corn Box, Tube Slide, Farm Animals, the Country Store, and the Pumpkin Patch. Howl-y Cow!

Sartorie Farms at 1916 Hawthorne Lane off Wicks Lane in the Billings Heights will celebrate their annual Fall Festival every weekend night from 1PM to 5PM in October. Hay wagons leave the farm every half hour, beginning at 1PM, to the pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins. There will be a petting zoo, “Straw Mountain”, a straw maize and climbing area on straw for little ones, a John Deere tricycle track for kids under 5, a “hillbilly golf course” miniature golf course, pumpkin weight guessing contest, pumpkin slingshot, a Halloween costume contest and more! Price is $4/person over age 12, $2.50 ages 2-12, and under age 2 is free with an adult. Pumpkins are priced per pound. For more info call 245-9599.

First Alliance Church Pumpkin Patch at 1835 Central in Billings. Daily from October 5 – 31st, 9am to dark, literally truckloads of pumpkins available! Sold per pumpkin, with sizes ranging from “little bitty” through “big boys”. Pumpkins are sold as a youth group fundraiser with percentage given to missions. Special note – on Saturdays October 10, 24 and 31st from noon to 3PM, FREE BBQ will be served to the pumpkin-lovin’ public! Contact the church at 656-6850 for more information.

Harvest Fest in downtown Billings. Sixth annual Oktoberfest-type event Saturday October 10 from 9AM to 4PM under the Skypoint. Entertainment includes a Kid’s Zone with pumpkin painting, pumpkin pie walk, the Farmer’s Market, food, arts & crafts, a Fall Basket raffle and Scarecrow raffle along with Pumpkin Pie and Harvest Baking contests! Also new to the event this year is an Oktoberfest Beer Garden featuring craft beers from our local breweries. 294-5060 for more information or email info@harvestfun.com.

Local Ghost Tours Fun Adventure Tours invites the public to join them in their 12th annual trip into the Twilight Zone. New haunting stops this year for your entertainment! Tours depart from the Dude Rancher Lodge on October 16, 17, 22. Tours begin at 7, 8 and 9PM and cost $20 for all seats, being best suited for ages 12 and over. “Hang onto your seats while we tour the site of notorious China Alley, where no other tour dares to go. You’ll learn about the cleverly disguised opium dens of the 1920s, and about the mysterious and spooky tunnels under the downtown streets. Tour operator Renee and author Karen Stevens (Haunted Montana) invite you to join us and our driver, Mr. Macabre, for a trip into the Twilight Zone--if you dare! We’ll tell you tales of the dark side of Billings’ past, of rumrunners and ghostly ladies of the night, of the murder of a policeman and Billings’ one-and-only lynching. Call 254-7180, check out their website at www.MontanaFunAdventures.com or email tours@montanafunadventures.com for more information.

Billings Health & Rehabilitation Halloween Party 2115 Central Avenue in Billings - Saturday, October 24 from 2PM to 4PM. Held outside this year, the new and improved event will feature a magic act, haunted house, balloon tying, pumpkin bowling, and much more! Bring your own bag for candy. Free admission. All ages welcome, Costumes encouraged, including adults! Call Zaida at 656-6500 for more information.

Haunted Sunday School at First English Lutheran Church at 1243 North 31st Street in Billings – Wednesday 0ct 28 from 6PM to 7PM. Halloween Party put on by the United Campus Ministry from MSU Billings. Haunted Sunday School rooms, games, and a Fair with different stations like bobbing for apples, etc. Costumes encouraged, with costume contest. Free admission. Appropriate for ages 4 and up, with grade school age being target audience. 1243 N. 31st Street. Call 245-4933, Aldin Barnes for more information.

Downtown Trick or Treating

On Friday, October 30 from noon to 5PM, many downtown businesses will open their doors to costumed trick-or-treaters. Begin at the Downtown Billings Office at 2815 Second Avenue North, picking up a bag for candy, a treat, and a map of participating businesses.

Trunk n’ Treat Atonement Lutheran Church at 407 Wicks Lane in Billings will have a Trunk n’ Treat event on October 31 from 6:30 to 7:45PM in the parking lot of the church. Games, snacks, “trunk or treating” from car to car, kids are invited to wear costumes, the candy is donated by the church, and the public is welcome! Call 245-7004 for more information.

“Boo at the Zoo” ZooMontana at 2100 S. Shiloh Road in Billings. From 1PM to dusk on October 31, Montana Zoo will host scavenger hunts, face painting, haunted houses, cookie contests, candy, many booths with various vendors, different picture booths, and more. 3,000 attended last year. Admission is $6 for ages 16 and older, $4 for senior citizens, $3 for ages 3-15, and free for children in costume when with family, for children under the age of 2, and for Zoo members. For more information, log on to their website at www.ZooMontana.org, or call 652-8100.

“Treatapalooza” at Faith Chapel – 517 Shiloh Road in Billings. Saturday October 31 from 6:30PM to 8:30PM. The theme this year is “Treasure Island” – Geared primarily for school-aged kids, but all ages welcome, costumes encouraged (attend the 5PM service in costume if desired!) Refreshments served. Bring a bag for candy. Parents welcome too! Call 656-8780 for more information.

Harvest Party at First Alliance Church, 1835 Central.. Saturday, October 31 6:30-8PM. Fun activities, food for the kids, no admission. Encouraging costumes for kids. Candy prizes and toy prizes.

Billings YMCA Healthy Halloween Party 402 N. 32nd Street, Saturday October 31 3:00pm-5:00pm. Games and activities for all ages. Haunted hallways, costume parade. Toys and prizes will be used, not candy, as “treats” at the party. Preschool age children will have activities and their own special “Haunted Hallway” to enjoy! This party is for preschool and school aged children up to 12 years old. Free for everyone! The first 75 members that sign up for the costume parade and then participate will receive a t-shirt at the party. SFM

TJ Wierenga lives in Billings with her husband and two preschoolers.