The kids at The Cuddle Zone Learning Center in Allentown are busy decorating bags that will collect a coveted item: candy. On Halloween morning, the toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners at the early learning center will get into costume, and bags in hand, continue a tradition the center has had for fifteen years -- a Halloween parade to local businesses.
“We do a costume parade and trick-or-treat offsite. The employees of the five businesses located near our center come out to see the kids in costume and pass out candy,” said Michele McEllroy, owner of the Allentown Drive center that cares for children ages six-weeks to ten years. After the parade is over the festivities continue in each classroom with teachers hosting Halloween themed games and activities. As for the candy the kids receive, it stays in their bags for Mom or Dad to dole out (or eat themselves) later.
The only costume rule at the center: no weapons. Otherwise kids can dress as their favorite animal, superhero, movie character or dinosaur. One year McEllroy saw a Stegosaurus (of the preschool variety), bony plates and all, roaming around in a costume made by a very creative parent.
If you want to see some very distant relatives of the dinosaur head over to the Lehigh Valley Zoo, 5150 Game Preserve Rd., Schnecksville, for what it calls a “frightfully fun, not-too-scary event” for all ages this weekend, October 27 and 28, from 10am-4pm. Admission to the zoo includes not only animal encounters but children (and adults) can come dressed in costume and trick-or-treat throughout the zoo. Admission is $10.75 for adults, $8.75 for children ages 2-11; children under 2 are admitted free.
If the cost of buying candy for the expected onslaught of neighborhood kids has emptied your wallet, you can go to the local malls for some free activities. But if you’re driving to the mall with baby in costume, heed this advice: Choose a costume that will allow you to buckle the latch crotch strap properly between the legs (words of wisdom from a friend who really liked that super cute pea–in-a-pod costume but realized it wasn’t car seat friendly. Her three-month-old son went as a super cute cow instead.).
On Saturday, October 27, at 11am, the Lehigh Valley Mall, 250 Lehigh Valley Mall, Whitehall, is holding a Kidgits Book Bash. Kids can get a free bag to hold the loot they can collect from participating merchants identified by orange and black balloons.
Also on Saturday, the Promenade Shops, 2845 Center Valley Parkway, Center Valley, is hosting a Halloween Dance Party at 2pm in the patio area outside Rave Cinema. According to the website, kids can “BOO-gie” down, and the first 200 kids in costume will receive a goodie-bag stuffed with treats. Other retailers are also hosting activities stations where kids can get tattooed, play games, hear stories, listen to music and get their picture taken in costume.
On Sunday, October 28, at Palmer Park Mall, 2455 Park Avenue, Palmer, any retailer with an orange and black balloon outside their store will be giving away treats from 3pm until the candy is gone.
Boscov’s at both Palmer Park Mall and The Lehigh Valley Mall, are coordinating in-store activities to coincide with the mall wide treat-or-treating. This means that on Saturday, from 12pm-2pm, kids who visit the Lehigh Valley Mall Boscov’s can decorate a pumpkin, create a Halloween mask, color a treat bag and Halloween themed sheets, get a free coloring book and listen to songs by an artist from Melody for Humanity. The same activities will take place at the Palmer Park Boscov’s on Sunday from 3pm-5pm.
If candy in your house is taboo because your child has a food allergy or diabetes, Boscov’s has a candy exchange program in partnership with the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. Children ages fourteen or younger can trade in their candy from November 1-7, at the Boscov’s courtesy desk, for a gift card. Parents must preregister in order for their child to participate in the candy exchange. The form can be found at http://www.boscovs.com/static/about_boscov/stores_locations/easton.html.