Family-Friendly Halloween Events around the Merrimack Valley

Whether you like to dress up, craft, read, get scared, or just collect candy, this list will have something for you.

Let us know in the comments if we’ve missed any fun events!

 

ALL OCTOBER

Haunted Maze4pumpkins

Free Admission

Everyday 9am-6pm

242 Cambridge St , Winchester, MA 01890-2342 United States

 

Annual Pumpkin FestivalScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

Free Admission

Enjoy corn mazes, hayrides, pumpkin picking and much more!

Each Weekend 10am-5pm

81 Jennie’s Way, Tewksbury, MA 01876

 

 

OCTOBER 18

TBT Monster Bash: Grades 6-8Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.24 PM

Kids will watch the movie monster house and create their own monsters

3pm-5pm

Tewksbury Library Meeting Room-  300 Chandler St, Tewksbury, MA 01876

 

Paranormal Evening with MGHPSScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.20 PM

Learn what it takes to be a ghost hunter from Mass Ghost Hunters Paranormal Society.  Grades 6-12. Registration Preferred.

6:30pm-7:30pm

Tyngsborough Public Library Community Room, 25 Bryant Lane Tyngsborough, MA 01879

OCTOBER 21

Breakfast with Halloween FriendsScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

Full breakfast buffet with pancakes. Kids can take pictures with Halloween friends and those in costume can join the Halloween Parade. Call 978-692-8200 ext 520 to register.

8:30am-11:30am

Westford Regency Inn- 219 Littleton Rd, Westford, MA

 

Merrimack Valley Halloween Book FestivalScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.24 PM

Free Admission

10am-4:30pm

North Haverhill Public Library Main- 99 Main St, Haverhill, MA 01830

 

Annual Pumpkin Painting at Griggs FarmScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

10am-3pm

599 Boston Rd, Billerica, Massachusetts 01821

 

The Delvena Theater Company Presents: Salem Witch HysteriaScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.20 PM

Let history come alive by watching and participating as jury members in dramatizations of true stories of the Salem Witch Trials. Register in Advance.

2pm-4pm

Dracut Library- 28 Arlington Street, Dracut, MA 01826

OCTOBER 22

From the Pumpkin PatchScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

Children ages newborn through 13 from low-income families are invited to pick out one free costume.

12pm-3pm (While supplies last)

UTEC- 35 Warren St, Lowell, MA 01852

 

 

OCTOBER 23

Zombie Apocalypse Scavenger HuntScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.20 PM

Teens ages 12-17 can dress as zombies and solve riddles in a scavenger hunt for food, water, and safety. Register in Advance

6:30pm-7:30pm

Dracut Library- 28 Arlington Street, Dracut, MA 01826

 

 

OCTOBER 24

Annual Unscary Halloween CelebrationScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

All children and adults welcome. Celebrate Halloween with stories, songs, costumes and more.

10:30am

Pollard Memorial Library Meeting Room, 401 Merrimack Street Lowell, MA 01852

OCTOBER 25

Puppets, magic, and humor help children ages 3-12 can learn how to stay safe while trick-or-treating. Registration Required.
6:30pm-7:15pm
Billerica Library Meeting Room, 15 Concord Rd Billerica, MA 01821

OCTOBER 26

Come in costume so that after the stories, you can fo trick-or-treating in the Library and Town Hall.
1pm-1:30pm
Tyngsborough Public Library Storytime Room, 25 Bryant Lane Tyngsborough, MA 01879
Children grades 4-12 can compete individually or in teams to see who can make the most amazing Halloween themed cupcake. Cupcake and decorating materials provided.
4pm-5pm
Chelmsford Public Library McCarthy Meeting Room, 25 Boston Rd Chelmsford, MA 01824

OCTOBER 27

Halloween Theme Public SkateScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

Wear costumes and skate. Chance to win raffles, prizes and giveaways. $5 admission, $5 rental skates

8:30pm

Chelmsford Forum- 2 Brick Kiln Rd, North Billerica, MA 01862

 

 

OCTOBER 28

Drop in Craft- Halloween Door Knob HangerScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

9am-4pm

Dracut Library Children’s Room- 28 Arlington Street, Dracut, MA 01826

 

Halloween Bingo & Craft for KidsScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

Children ages 4-10 can come for bingo or crafts or both!

11am-11:30 – Bingo

11:30am-12pm – Craft

Tyngsborough Public Library Community Room, 25 Bryant Lane Tyngsborough, MA 01879

 

Trunk or TreatScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

11am-2pm

5 Littleton Rd, Ayer, Massachusetts 01432

 

Monster Bash and Halloween StrollScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.24 PM

12pm-3pm

Downtown Lowell and Lowell High School

 

Halloween Family Movie & Pumpkin DecoratingScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

Children and families of grades K-4th watch a Halloween movie in costume. and kids K-4 will be able ot decorate mini pumpkins. Sign-up fro pumpkin decorating required

1pm

Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street Lowell, MA 01852

 

Halloween Parade and Party at the North Town HallScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

Wear costumes and meet at the North Chelmsford Fire Station to participate in the costume parade. Party will be held at the Chelmsford Community Center after the parade. $3/person with a $10 family cap donation suggested.

2:30pm-5pm

31 Princeton St, North Chelmsford, MA 01863

 

7th Annual Halloween Bash in the DellScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

$5 entry fee

3pm-8pm

SpringDell Farm- 571 Great Rd, Littleton, MA 01460

 

Spooky Story Contest CelebrationScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.24 PM

4pm-5pm

Chelmsford Public Library McCarthy Meeting Room, 25 Boston Rd Chelmsford, MA 01824

 

Great Pumpkin WalkScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

Bring carved pumpkins for chances to win prizes!

5:30pm-7pm

25 Bryants Lane, 120 Westford Rd, Tyngsboro, MA 01879

 

 

OCTOBER 29

19th Annual Safe HalloweenScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

10am-1pm

Tewksbury Memorial High School, 320 Pleasant Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876

 

Roudenbush Annual Westford Halloween ParadeScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

Parade starts at 1pm at Frost

Westford, MA

 

Halloween Theme Public SkateScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

Wear costumes and skate. Chance to win raffles, prizes and giveaways. $5 admission, $5 rental skates

1:30pm

Chelmsford Forum- 2 Brick Kiln Rd, North Billerica, MA 01862

 

Trunk or Treat Chili Cook-offScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

To enter chili into the contest, contact the church office

4pm-6m

United Methodist Church of Westford- 10 Church Street, Westford, MA 01886

 

 

OCTOBER 30

Pumpkin Chunkin’ CatapultsScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.24 PM

Grades 5-12 will build a catapult using ordinary objects to launch a candy corn pumpkin Registration Required.

3:30pm-4:30pm

Billerica Library Meeting Room, 15 Concord Rd Billerica, MA 01821

 

Halloween PartyScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

A not-so-scarey Halloween Party for children age 2 to grade 3. Advance Registration Required.

4:15pm-5:15pm

Dracut Library Meeting Room- 28 Arlington Street, Dracut, MA 01826

 

 

OCTOBER 31

Trick or Treat at the LibraryScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

Children in costume can visit the Tewksbury Library to receive treats from all 4 service desks anytime between 10a and 9pm.

*For ages 3-6 there is a Halloween story time from 11-11:30am

* For grades 6-12 there is a Halloween Fest open from 3-8pm

Tewksbury Library- 300 Chandler St, Tewksbury, MA 01876

 

Halloween Drop-In CraftScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.30 PM

10a-12pm

Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street Lowell, MA 01852

 

Westford Farmers Market – Halloween Dance JamScreen Shot 2017-10-16 at 5.31.24 PM

2:30pm-6pm

Westford Town Common- 10 Lincoln St, Westford, MA 01886

 

 

 

 

halloween-151843_1280

 

= 1-4. Events with more pumpkins could be too scary or intense for younger children

 

 


Babysitting–Is Your Child Ready or Not?

By: Erica Williams

Girl babysitting

A few months ago, my twelve-year-old daughter came to me and said she wanted to start babysitting. It seems her best friend had started and was making shopping money and she wanted some of that for herself.

I remember starting to babysit when I was about her age but it was terrifying to think that my baby would be on her own watching another baby. How did I prepare her?

I started looking into different options and found the Babysitting Basics Class at Lowell General Hospital.

I’m so glad she went! She met with kids around her age to learn things that I only wished I known at her age, including CPR!

I highly recommend that any parent that has a daughter or son that is wanting to start babysitting take the course at Lowell General. They will learn a lot and get tips on safety and child care. It will give them confidence going into their first job and you peace of mind knowing they have the tools to succeed.

My daughter has been babysitting using the skills she learned in her class and loving it and the money she’s been making for those weekend shopping trips with her friends.

 

You can find out more info on the Babysitting Basics Class at https://www.lowellgeneral.org/health-and-wellness/health-and-wellness-programs/for-tweens-and-teens


Making It Through Maria

By: Jenn Rivera

 

before

                     Before the hurricane

Months ago, my family planned a reunion for September in Puerto Rico. Due to scheduling conflicts, I wasn’t going to be able to attend, but my schedule cleared at the last minute. It had been awhile since I had seen my extended family, so even though my kids and husband couldn’t go due to work and school, I hopped on a plane with my brothers and mom and met my aunt, uncles, cousins, and their families in Puerto Rico.

When we landed on September 18th, our goal was to check on our elderly grandparents, to make sure everything was back in order after Hurricane Irma and to get all their supplies restocked for Hurricane Maria. We and the locals expected Maria to pass and be back to our normally scheduled lives and vacations fairly quickly.

We were wrong.

Hurricane Maria hit the island head on. We immediately lost our power in the rental house we were staying at, and with it went our running water. We fought as a family to keep our place from flooding and the wind from breaking down our doors. We listened in horror as the wind battered our house and broke the skylights. We thought that getting through the storm safely, was the accomplishment but when the skies finally cleared and the wind finally stopped, we opened our doors to a whole new Puerto Rico. The once lush and tropical island had been stripped bare of trees and leaves, houses were destroyed, and the power was out.

I couldn’t even get through to my husband or children on my phone because the cell towers had been knocked out. Luckily, one of the cousins had a little reception if you stood in the right place in the house so we all made our “we’re okay” calls on his phone and heard the terrible news:

There was not one area of the island that wasn’t affected.

We were trapped with nowhere better to go in a house with no power, no running water, a door that no longer locked thanks to the storm, and 11 terrified people. We were quickly running through the meager “hurricane” provisions we had bought prior to the storm. They consisted of some chips, crackers, granola bars and other snack foods.

We called our airlines to find out how this would affect our return flights and were told that we wouldn’t be leaving the island until October 3rd.

October 3rd? With no money, no water, no power, without my babies? That was not happening. I think that was the moment I truly started panicking.

after

            After post-hurricane “cleanup”

We made it through the next fews days on the grace of God and the kindness of strangers. Just when we started running out of food and water, the restaurant under us came back to find that had damage that would prevent them from opening for a very, very long time, so they gave us a couple cases of water and some bread and other non-refrigerated perishables and left. Just as we were running out of money, we discovered one working atm and were able to get the money necessary to purchase from the cash only businesses that had been able to open up thanks to generators. When it was time for our rental to be over, the person who’s place it was told us we could stay as long as needed rent free, he just wanted to make sure we had a safe place to stay.

We had enough gas left in our cars to visit my grandparents, make sure they were as okay as anyone without power or running water could be. We were able to repair a couple of the more minor damages to their home and due to our finding cash, were able to purchase them supplies since they refused to return to the states with us. When we returned to our house that night, we knew that the last time we’d be able to drive our rental car was to return it and that might be pressing our luck, because we were so low on gas and there was none on the island.

We decided it was time to head to the airport and see what would happen, we’d already missed our initial return flight date and things didn’t sound like they’d be getting any better.

When we got to the airport we said goodbye to our cousins, aunts, and uncle, and we all headed our separate ways since they were flying out on a different airline than us; all of us wishing the others luck, but knowing that in all likelihood none of us would make it out that day.

We were right, we didn’t make it out of the airport and home for another 4 days. We were hot, tired, dirty, and thirsty, but when we boarded that air-conditioned flight out of San Juan, I don’t ever remember feeling so grateful. I was feeling cool air for the first time in over a week and I was on my way home to see my babies.

Our family was lucky to get out and to have faired so well compared to others on the island. My heart goes out to those still in Puerto Rico, those with homes destroyed, my family that lives there, and the people who were with us in the airport who didn’t make it out when we did.


Easy Vegetable Soup

By: Justina Scharf

 

As a single mom of two kids, I need all the help I can. That’s why I love my crockpot. I can start it in the morning, drop the kids off at daycare and school, head to work and when we get home, it’s ready for dinner.

This is by far one of my favorite recipes because my kids like it and I can keep the ingredients on hand at all times.

 

Ingredients20170914_181815

– Beef roast, cubed

– 2 cans green beans

– 2 cans corn

– 2 cans carrots

– 2 cans diced tomatoes

– cubed potatoes or 1 can kidney beans*

– brown gravy powder

– 2 beef bouillon cubes

– 1 cup of water

– spices to taste: black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine all ingredients in a crockpot.

2. Cook on low for at least 6 hours.

 

That’s it: two steps before you’re enjoying a delicious dinner that the kids will love. It couldn’t be more easy!

 

* I use whichever I have on hand, but don’t use both otherwise it can get a bit too starchy


Home Again On My Own

By: Emily Matthews

popcorn-1433332_1920

I’ve been stressed. I’ll admit it, and so will my kids and husband. So when my husband offered to take the kids for a Daddy Day and told me it was time to have a Mom’s Night Out, I didn’t have any problem saying yes.

Usually, when he takes the kids to give me a night out, I’ll call up some of my girlfriends and we’ll go out to eat and catch up. This time was different. I was in no mood for anyone. I just wanted to be on my own. But I also really wanted to see the new chick flick, Home Again with Reese Witherspoon. So I did something I’d never done before…

I went on my own.

It was liberating. No kids wanting to go to the bathroom or telling me they were bored. No husband discreetly trying to check the scores on his phone or rolling his eyes at the love story. It was just me, Reese, and the handful of other ladies in the theater who seemed to be doing the same as me.

I really enjoyed the movie, but I have no idea how much of that was the storyline and how much of that was the freedom of being able to enjoy it on my own.

All I know is that I can guarantee that I’ll be making more just me trips; it was just what this mommy needed.


Joining the DIY Slime Trend

By: Hanna Carmichael

IMG_7485

It seems that something is always popular and going “viral” with kids. Last year the water bottle flip was all the rage, now it’s slime. Making slime, playing with slime, videos of slime. They have slimes that are colorful, glittery, and even slimes that look like foods, such as cookie dough.IMG_7309

And because of this strange new trend, my house has slime everywhere. My 9-year-old daughter loves slime and even started making it and selling it to her friends.

I don’t usually let my kids get involved in all the trends, but slime was different. For her, it has been a great creative outlet and gives her something to play with to keep her overactive mind busy. I especially like the slimes that are closer in texture to putty because they can go places with us and keep her entertained without creating an absolute mess.

So while I might not enjoy all of the slime around my house, I do love the way she gotten so involved and really bloomed in her creativity. Selling the slime has taught her the value of things and has given her excitement for saving her earnings and buying things that she really wants.

 

Here is one of the best DIY slime recipes I’ve come across because it doesn’t use any harsh chemicals like Borax.

 

DIY Handsoap Slime

– Pour baking soda into a mixing bowl.

– Mix a small amount of dish soap into your baking soda. (The color of your dish soap will determine the color of your slime, but you can add food coloring as necessary.) Gradually add more until you have a creamy, solid substance. It should look kind of like pudding. If you add too much soap, just add a bit more baking soda.

– Enjoy playing with the slime!

IMG_7486IMG_7447

*Slime is not safe to eat for humans or animals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


6 Healthy Back-to-School Tips for Moms

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Back-to-school season generally means back to busy calendars. We all know that getting your child ready for school involves more than just filling their backpacks with the right supplies. When parents send their child off to school, they want to be confident that their child is mentally and physically prepared. This includes making sure they are caught up on their shots, are well rested, and have healthy meals prepared for them. Follow these helpful tips to make sure you’re sending your child back to school on a healthy note.

 

 1. Get Vaccinated

Vaccinations protect children from many serious illnesses and diseases. In order to be safe, it is important for not only your child to get vaccinated as early as possible in the school year, but for your whole family to get vaccinated as well. A number of schools actually require your child to have certain vaccinations before enrollment. Therefore, it is best to contact your child’s school ahead of time and find out what health requirements are needed. There is likely to be helpful information on the school website regarding health-related requirements. For general health purposes, you should also talk to your child’s healthcare provider to see which ones are recommended.

 

 2. Get a Checkup

When preparing for your child to go back to school, a regular checkup is a great way to identify any issues that could impair your child’s learning ability. A physical may help uncover some unexpected health problems, such as hearing and vision, that could get in the way of your child’s learning. Getting your child’s eyes and ears checked before school begins is particularly important. Children who have difficulty hearing or seeing clearly may not perform as well in class simply because they cannot see the board or hear the teacher. Therefore, it is a good idea to address these issues before school begins to ensure your child is in the best position to learn.

 

 3. Shift Bedtimes

It is important for children to get a healthy amount of sleep each night in order to stay focused throughout the day. The recommended number of sleep hours for children and teenagers falls between 9 and 13 hours. Staying within this range of hours will help your child to be well rested, making him/her more productive and attentive in class.

During summer, children often get in the habit of staying up a little later and sleeping in a little longer. To get your child ready to wake up earlier for school, gradually shift his/her bedtimes a few weeks before school starts. This way, your child will be eased back into the school schedule, rather than laying in bed the night before school fully awake. Additionally, to keep bedtimes constant, try creating an evening structure for your child.

 

 4. Teach Good Hygiene

Although it is great for your child to learn how to share with classmates at school, this also means sharing germs. With a classroom full of children, there are sure to be plenty of germs floating around. To protect both your child and your family, it is essential that you teach your child the importance of washing your hands after using the restroom, and how to properly do so. If you know your child is not keen on taking the time to properly wash hands, it may be a good idea to provide your child with hand sanitizer as a convenient and clean alternative.

 

 5. Stock Up On Healthy Foods

Good nutrition is extremely important for your child’s mental and physical health. When packing lunches for your child, make it easier for yourself by stocking your house full of healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole-grain bread, and lean protein. Oftentimes, children are tempted in the school cafeteria with the vending machine and cafeteria food. However, if you pack a lunch full of nutritious and delicious foods, your child will enjoy eating healthy. Also, remember that meal and snack preparation is a great time saver, no matter how small. Taking a few minutes out of your Sunday afternoon to cut up a few fruits and vegetables will shave a lot of time off your busy mornings.

As far as after school goes, the first place children seem to run to when they get home is the kitchen. Much like meals, it is just as important to provide your child with a variety of healthy snack options that are limited on added sugars. Having your home stocked with healthy snacks decreases the likelihood of your child binge eating an entire pack of cookies.

 

 6. Create an Organized Learning Space

Provide your child with an organized space to do schoolwork. It is easy for children to get distracted from their homework if they are at the kitchen table with clutter and conversation surrounding them. Having a clean, organized, and clutter-free area for your child to work encourages focus and efficiency. This area could even include supplies your child may need such as pencils, paper, a calculator, etc.

 

 


Grow A Garden Anywhere

By: Colin Thomas

 

I love to grow my own vegetables and herbs every summer and cherish the time I spend tending to the garden. Eating fresh vegetables and herbs grown from my garden tastes so much better than the ones I buy at a local grocery store. I recently moved into a new house with my wife and two kids and we didn’t have a big yard that allowed for a vegetable/herb garden so I decided to improvise.IMG_4181

My wife recently commissioned an artist out of Colorado to create two large hanging stained glass pieces that are hung in our dining room. Beautiful pieces, I must say. Since they were created in Colorado and I live in Massachusetts, they were very carefully shipped to us in large wooden shipping containers. Once we removed the stained-glass pieces from the containers, my first thought was to put them in the truck and bring them to the local transfer station for disposal. But as I looked at these containers, I had a second thought. Why not use one of these containers to grow my garden?

My wife, kids, and I took the container out on my deck and drilled some small holes in the bottom of the container so that it would drain properly. Then we lined the bottom with a crop cover I bought at a local Ace Hardware store. This cover protects the wood from rotting and keeps everything intact. We also poked small holes in this cover to allow for proper draining. Next, we added in the potting soil and began planting cherry tomatoes, basil, parsley, and a variety of peppers.

Today, the garden is thriving, and the kids really enjoy eating the cherry tomatoes right off of the vine. It was a great family project; and most of all, I am so happy we are growing our own herbs, peppers and cherry tomatoes. We are thrilled with the bounty we have seen so far! Plus, it saved me a trip to the local transfer station.