May 14 2010 12:00 AM

Local groups offer safe trick or treating



Halloween is supposed to be ha-ha spooky, but many parents are scared of neighborhood trick-or-treating for real. To offer an alternative, the Lansing Principal Shopping District is bringing back its Trick-or-Treat on the Square for a second year. They must be onto something, because the inaugural event drew a crowd of about 5,000 in 2008.

Entertainment will be provided throughout the evening, with a magic show, acrobats on stilts and a nocturnal animal display. The Jammin’ DJ’s will provide the tunes, and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” will undoubtedly be played more than once before the night is over. Kids-only activities include the slime making station and a hay bale maze.

Extra voracious wolves can register for the timbit (doughnut hole) eating contest. Other refreshments will also be available for purchase for those with smaller appetites.

Mindy Biladeau, executive director of Lansing Principal Shopping District, put the evening’s horrors in perspective. “We wanted to provide a safe and family-friendly environment within the heart of Lansing and use the excitement of the season in a positive way,” she said. “We’ll have more activities this year and more of the creepy crawly things you expect with Halloween.”

Merchants are also rewarding trick-or-treating children in Lansings Old Town on Friday, Oct. 23, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., where visitors can also catch Tim Barrons annual dog costume contest at the corner of Grand River Avenue and Turner Street. Another is East Lansings Great Pumpkin Walk from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct, 28. The city and downtown businesses invite families to bring children in full costume for trick-or-treating at more than 50 downtown merchants.

Michigan State University’s Greek Life will host its annual Safe Halloween carnival for children 12 years and younger Thursday, Oct. 29. A costume contest will provide an outlet for creativity, and yes, there will be candy. Trick-or-treating is free of charge, thanks to the fraternities and sororities of MSU. The event will take place in East Lansing on MAC Avenue between Elizabeth Street and Burcham Drive from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

So put down that stake and mallet, Dr. Van Helsing. The Lansing area is full of trustworthy Halloween activities and caters to the interests of both young and old. Have a wicked time.

Lansing Principal Shopping District’s

Trick-or-Treat 5-7 p.m. Oct. 28,
Rain date: Oct. 29 5-5:30 p.m. – magic show 5:30-7 p.m. –
trick-ortreating 6 p.m. – timbit (doughnut hole) eating contest, hay
maze, slime making, nocturnal animal behaviors, High 5 Stilt Guys, and
more Free admission S. Washington Square and Allegan Street, Lansing
(517) 487-3322