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With the fall season now in full swing and Halloween approaching, rec centers across the country are preparing spooky experiences for communities.

For example, the Hastings Family YMCA in Nebraska will be hosting its annual Halloween at the YMCA event on Friday, October 28, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Games, activities, candy, costumes, inflatables, a kids train, pumpkin decorating, face painting and more will be available in the Y’s parking lot free of charge for attendees.

Brandi Skalka, the groups and parties coordinator for the Hastings Family YMCA, said the celebration over the last several years has brought joy to hundreds of children throughout the area.

“Our Halloween event this year is going to be an absolute blast,” said Skalka. “We will set up carnival style games throughout our entire parking lot, and the kids dressed up in their Halloween costumes get to play the games to win prizes and candy. The first 100 children will have the opportunity to decorate and take home a pumpkin as well.”

Learn More: Staci Alden shares more Halloween fitness class and event ideas here.

This is Skalka’s second year of planning the event, and she said multiple entities from the community partner with the Y to sponsor and help operate the fun night.

“The Hastings Police Department attends our event with an officer who hands out stickers and takes pictures with the kids in front of the squad car,” said Skalka. “We will have a variety of food trucks available for families to purchase food, and we received a few sponsorships from Pinnacle Bank, Heritage Bank and Kinetic Windstream. We also have many nonprofits attending. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other organizations in your communities. Everyone wins when organizations can team up.”

Skalka said the event is free as it benefits the Y’s mission by providing safe, fun and affordable Halloween entertainment for the community. She said they hope to create memories within these families they can forever cherish.

“We have always had a tremendous attendance level at our Halloween event,” said Skalka. “Parents are always grateful to get out into the community. We plan on having over 1,000 attendees every year.”

Here are a few other examples of how community rec centers are celebrating Halloween and bringing fun to their communities this year.

YMCA of South Palm Beach County

Boca Raton, Florida

Leaders at the YMCA of South Palm Beach County is inviting the community to attend their Trunk or Treat Halloween events on October 21 and October 22. For admission, everyone needs to bring one bag of candy per person along with a fee of $15 per child and $5 per adult.

The Boynton Y branch will be hosting on October 21. The night will feature trunk or treat, a corn maze, hayrides, a magician, stilt walkers, Kona Ice and more. The Boca Y branch will be hosting on October 22 where similar attractions will be available for attendees.

Both nights will feature competitions for trunk decorations, and participants will be entered into drawings for $100 gift cards.

Learn more about the events, here.

Lake Saint Louis Parks and Recreation

Lake Saint Louis, Missouri

On Friday, October 21, the Lake Saint Louis Parks and Recreation Department and the Lake Saint Louis Mother’s Club will host “Halloween Party at the Park.” The night will feature activities like inflatables, a DJ, balloon sculptures, face painters, pony rides and more hauntingly good treats.

Held at Founders Park, this year’s event will also feature the 1st annual Halloween Hustle. This 1k run/walk will be held before the start of the Halloween party, and participants will receive early access to most of the night’s attractions.

For more information, click here.

Rosen JCC

Orlando, Florida

The 2nd annual Good Ghoul Gala is coming to the Rosen JCC on Saturday, October 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. According to Rosen JCC’s website, this event was created by the Miles to Go Charity which helps create custom drawstring bags filled with personal items for the homeless.

Proceeds from this event will help support the Miles to Go and the Rosen JCC. Attractions include food trucks and drinks, hayrides, roaming characters, a fashion show, a silent auction and more.

To buy tickets and to learn more, visit http://www.goodghoulgala.com.


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John Reecer

John Reecer is an assistant editor at Peake Media.

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