2019 Fall Family Festivities
October 1, 2019 | by rebecca stewart
Though Halloween isn't until the very end of October, there are oodles of Fall festivities that are perfect for families in and around Billings to add to their family fun bucket list this month. We'll take you through Harvest Happenings, to Trick-or-Treating good times, before wrapping things up by putting a little Scream in Your Halloween.
** denotes new or updated information
The Maize at Grandpa’s Farm is “Up to Our Ears In Fun!” this year, celebrating their 21st season with all kinds of good times planned; plenty of the oldie but goodies with new things to discover, see everything they have to offer at www.themaizeatgrandpasfarm.com (but can I just say two words: Human Foosball).
Located at 58th Street West and Grand Avenue, the Maize is open Wednesdays 6-9pm; Fridays & Saturdays in October 10am-10pm. Costs: $10/general admission, $13/haunted maze (Friday/Saturday only), Zombie Paintball add $3 for 25 paintballs, $5 for 50 paintballs, $8 for 100 paintballs.
Get a $2 off coupon at: Hubbard/West Feeds, Shiptons Big R, Albertsons, LP Anderson/Point S Tire & Automotive.
The Laurel Pumpkin Patch at T&C Farms is back for its second season, after taking over from J&K Farms following their retirement. Located just outside of Laurel at 1927 Holstein Ln, T&C Farms offers a large Pumpkin Patch for picking, Hayrides, a Corn Maze, Pumpkin Slingshot, Redneck Skee-Ball, Farm Produce, Country Store and Playground, Barrel Train, and more!
October Schedule: Fridays-Sundays (and Oct 25-31) 9am-Dusk. Groups may call to schedule for weekdays. To get information regarding group rates call 406.272.2280
HarvestFest – October 12 @ 9am-4pm | Downtown Billings, under Skypoint
This annual fall festival, in its 16th season, offers fun for the whole family! Look for the arts and crafts tents, farmers’ market produce, food trucks, and the Kids Fun Zone, hosted by Wise Wonders Children’s Museum, starting at 9am with free activities. KTVQ sponsored additional fun in the Kid Zone that’s not to be missed, including free unicorn or cowboy pony photos from 10am-1pm. Expect live entertainment, the Fall Gift Basket Raffle, and a beer garden hosted by The Montana Brewing Company. As always, the public is invited to participate in the Pumpkin Pie Baking Contest, taking place inside of Valley Credit Union building on N Broadway at 1pm. (applications at www.downtownbillings.com/harvestfest).
Trick-or-Treat Events & Activities
Great Pumpkin Celebration @ Cabela’s – October 19 & 20, October 25-31 | Weekends: 12-5pm, Weekdays: 5-7pm
Costumes are very much encouraged for this free photo opportunity at Cabela’s (everyone gets a complimentary 4x6 print, but photo packages are also available for purchase). There will also be free crafts and family activities. Make note of the Costume Parade opportunities on October 26 at 3:30pm and October 31 at 6pm. The festivities cap off with Trick-or-Treating on Halloween from 4-8pm.
Halloween Carnival @ Billings Family YMCA – October 25 @ 5:30-7:30pm | 402 N 32nd St
Kick-off your Halloween festivities with the YMCA at this "fang-tastic” event! Open to the public, Y member or not, you can expect an aquatic pumpkin patch, pumpkin painting, spooky snacks, an inflatable obstacle course, a haunted rockwall, and so much more!
Costumes encouraged; registration required. 248.1685, www.billingsymca.org. All ages welcome! $5/person, $15/family
** Halloween Carnival @ Peace Lutheran Church - October 25 @ 6-8pm | 1301 Avenue D
Peace Lutheran's annual Halloween Carnival includes free Trunk-or-Treat, activities for all ages, treats, and more!
Boo at the Zoo @ ZooMontana – October 26 @ 10am-4pm | 2100 S. Shiloh Rd
Bring your costumed cuties to ZooMontana’s annual “merry, not scary” event where you’ll find games and activities, food vendors, lively entertainment, and oodles of candy! And you won’t want to miss the Mad Scientist Shows at the amphitheater throughout the day. Let’s not forget the animals, they’ll be ready and waiting to see all the Halloween creatures visiting the Zoo!
Regular Zoo admission day, free for Zoo members. Sponsored by Wendy’s and Brewer Dental Center.
** PAW Patrol Trick-or-Treat Event @ Target - October 26 @ 10am-1pm | West End & Heights Locations
Celebrate Halloween at Target where the kiddos are invited to come in costume and trick-or-treat their way through the store; plus watch an exclusive episode of PAW Patrol!
Fall Carnival @ Laurel United Methodist Church – October 26 @ 11:30am-1:30pm | 307 W 4th St, Laurel
Bring the kiddos (in their costumes, if they like) for an afternoon of fun! Carnival-type games will fill the fellowship hall in the church basement, and back by popular demand is the haunted maze (level of scare based on age). There will be food available to purchase and fun to be had by all! No admission, but tickets to play games are $0.25 apiece or 25 tickets for $5. (Bring a non-perishable food item to get 3 free tickets).
Carry the fun into Sunday where the kiddos are invited to wear their costumes to Sunday school (9-10am) for the annual Costume Contest!
Fall Family Fun Night @ The Family Tree Center – October 28 @ 5:30-7pm | 2520 5th Avenue South
The community is invited for this Fall-themed evening of fun for the whole family! The kids are invited to wear their Halloween costumes (no scary ones, please!), and you can expect a night of food and games. Please RSVP at 252.9799.
Downtown Trick-or-Treat – October 31 @ 12-5pm | Participating Downtown Billings businesses (https://downtownbillings.com/trick-or-treat/)
Get your trick-or-treating started early with Downtown Billings Alliance-hosted annual adaptation for children accompanied by an adult. You could start just about anywhere (look for the balloons that signify participating businesses), but it’s recommended that you begin your adventure at the Downtown Alliance office (116 N 29th St, Suite A) for a participant map and trick-or-treat bag.
In collaboration with the YMCA and Alberta Bair Theater, the DBA facilitates a shuttle, making the route more accessible to the public.
Halloween Carnival @ Laurel Middle School – October 31 @ 5-7pm | Free | 725 Washington Avenue
Don’t worry about what the weather is doing with the Laurel Chamber’s Halloween Carnival! Families with kids of all ages are welcome to join in the fun. Local businesses will, once again, be manning booths with candy and carnival-type games. And the family can fill their bellies with the Chili Dinner. (Admission and festivities are free; dinner by donation). Don’t miss the Costume Contest starting at 5:30pm!
Trunk or Treat @ Shiloh United Methodist Church – October 31 @ 5-7pm | 1810 Shiloh Rd
It’s a one-stop trick-or-treating adventure at Shiloh UMC’s annual Trunk or Treat event. It’s candy, games, prizes, hot chocolate (because, Montana), and more!
** Trunk-or-Treat @ Pilgrim Congregational Church - October 31 @ 5-8pm | 409 S 36th St
Pilgrim Congregational Church invites you to do some trunk-or-treating on Halloween night.
Sugar Rush @ Elevation Church – October 31 @ 6-8pm* | 711 4th Ave N. (Located across Main Street from MetraPark on 4th Ave, accessible from 4th or 6th Avenues)
Sugar Rush at Elevation Church is a Halloween adventure not to be missed. It features five fun zones for families to walk through: Circus, Superhero City, How to Train Your Dragon, Castle, and Toy Story.
Parking is available at the Metra, with a free shuttle to and from, and food trucks are expected on-site for families to share a meal together, if they’d like, on this busy Halloween night.
*Families with special needs are invited to come early at 5:30pm
Trick-or-Treat at Scheels – October 31 @ 5-7pm | 1121 Shiloh Crossing Blvd
Whether the weather outside has us bundled or leaving the coats behind on Halloween, it won’t matter with Scheels’ free, indoor trick-or-treating event. Your costumed kiddos are invited to pop in any time between 5 and 7 pm to receive a little something for their goody bag (or bucket)!
Brewer Dental Center Candy Buy Back – November 5 @ 4-7pm | 2900 Central Ave, Bldg 2 | $1/pound of candy donated (each child will also receive a basic hygiene kit)
Have an overabundance of Halloween candy? Consider sharing some with Brewer Dental Center, or rather Operation Gratitude, which is where your candy will ultimately end up. BDC provides candy in every Care Package that Operation Gratitude sends to deployed troops, veterans, and first responders. Kiddos can also color pictures and write letters to be included in the care packages.
Come see BDC at Boo at the Zoo, and Douglas will have a special ticket, "Just for You." Then bring that ticket and sell BDC your candy. You’ll make the Troops oh so happy (and you could win something dandy!) A winter sled package could be yours, to keep the kids busy in case they get bored!
Putting the Scream in Your Halloween
Halloween’s not just for the kids, check out these Halloween happenings, some that are fun for the whole family, and others perfect for mom and dad.
Sleepy Hollow Wagon Rides @ ZooMontana –October 11-12, 17-19, 23-26, 29-30 | 6-9pm, weeknights; 6-10pm, Fridays and Saturdays | 2100 S. Shiloh Rd
With a tale made for Halloween, experience the Zoo in a different way with these family-fun wagon rides through the back of ZooMontana. Make sure you dress for the weather (you might want to bring a blanket along for the ride, but no flash photography). As the wagon winds its way through scenery and spooky sites, you’ll listen to the tale of Sleepy Hollow and the Headless Horseman.
Tickets: $15/person; Free/Children ages 3 and younger | sleepyhollowmontana.com, 860.3699
Montana Spirits at the Moss @ Moss Mansion – October 4, 5 & 11 @ 6:30pm | Reservations available online: www.mossmansion.com, $30/adult (must be ages 21+)
It’s an adults-only evening at the Moss with this special, frightful storytelling event that is paired with five Montana-made brews and liquors. There are seven tours throughout each evening, with 12-15 guests per tour. The evening will end with local beer and Montana Paranormal Research Society personnel in the basement. ID required at check-in.
Horror Theater and Haunted Maze @ Moss Mansion – October 18-19, 25-26, 31 @ 6:30pm (theater), 7pm (maze, weather permitting) | Maze Tickets: $10, Asylum Horror Theater Tickets: $18, Combo: $25
Once upon a time, on the dark and creepy grounds of the Asylum for the Insane, silent screams vanished into the Labyrinth. Head inside the Mansion for Asylum Horror Theater, not a tour for the faint of heart, the plot unfolds as you move from room to room with one of the Asylum’s staff.
Then head outside to the Labyrinth, a true maze featuring a more difficult path, with some halls leading to dead ends (or early exits). You never know what you might encounter there! On Halloween night, you’re invited to bring the littles (any age) before dark (4-6:30pm), to run the maze for $2 (must be accompanied by an adult) before the scary things lurk in the shadows.
Adults must accompany their children and teens on the grounds at night. Themes might not be appropriate for ages 8 and younger.
Haunted Hallows @ Two Moon Park – October 25, 26, 30 @ 6:30pm, gates open | Tickets $10/person, $20/VIP tickets to skip the line (Event recommended for ages 14+)
Back for its seventh year, Billings Jaycees’ Haunted Hallows at Two Moon Park offers the spookiest 1-mile walk you’ve ever experienced! The last sacrifice is sent through at 10:30pm each night, so be sure to get there by 7:30pm or 8pm to make sure you make the cut. Lines can run long, so patience is a virtue (grab some water, hot chocolate, or kettle corn to help pass the time). Dress for the weather, the terrain can sometimes be uneven or muddy. Easily scared? Stick to the middle of your pack, so they’re encountering the ghouls and goblins first. (Sometimes somebody’s gotta take one for the team, am I right?) Do remember to keep your hands to yourselves during the walk – startled or no. No alcohol allowed.
Have a screamtastic time!
Be sure to bookmark this page and check back throughout October for new or updated information!
Originally printed in the October 2019 issue of Simply Family Magazine
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