Mari's Moments

October 27, 2011

Friday Freebies: Halloween haunts

Here are some family friendly alternatives that won't be frightful to your pocketbook.

Mari's Moments

Making my way through motherhood, one moment at a time

Taking the family out for Halloween fun doesn't have to be frightful for the pocketbook. Here are 5 free haunts in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. (Click here for free food for Halloween)  :

1.Treat Street In The Fort Worth Stockyards: Join Stockyards Station and Radio Disney for a safe, family-friendly Halloween Party in the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards! Children can trick-or-treat at Stockyards Station shops, take a free hayride, decorate pumpkins and compete for prizes. 
Recommended ages: All
When: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday, October 31
Where: Historic Fort Worth Stockyards, 130 East Exchange Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76164
Info: 817-625-9715,
Cost: FREE!

2. HalloweenFest: Bedford offers kids a chance to make slime, get their faces painted, play in bounce houses and take part in carnival games.
Good to know: Trick or treat at candy stations and concessions will be available.
Recommended ages: 12 and younger
When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, October 29
Where: Boys Ranch Activity Center, 2801 Forest Ridge, Bedford
Info: 817-952-2323,
Cost: ALMOST FREE! (Cost is a canned good per person or a donation to the Tarrant County Food Bank)

3. Scare on the Square: Dress in your costume and go shop-to-shop to pick up your treats. Along with gathering goodies during the safe and fun trick-or-treating event, participants can enjoy interactive activities. Don't forget to enter the “Be Green on Halloween” costume contest where you're encouraged to make your own costume by using items that are already in your house. To enter the contest, just stop by the city's Office of Environmental Stewardship table during Scare on the Square to sign up. Prizes will be awarded to winners. New this year is a Pumpkin Patch, located on the grounds of the McKinney Performing Art Center.
Good to know: Historic Downtown McKinney is closed off for trick-or-treaters to cross the street safely. Parking can be found throughout the historic downtown area.
Recommended ages: All
When: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday, October 31
Where: Historic Downtown McKinney, 111 N. Tennessee St., McKinney
Info: 972-547-2660,
Cost: FREE!

4. Día de los Muertos Festival: The Latino Cultural Center's daylong celebration will take a new spin by embracing recycling! Enjoy craft workshops using recycled and found items, two special presentations of El Viaje de Tina by Cara Mía Theatre Co. and much more!
Recommended ages: All
When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, October 29
Where: Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak, Dallas, Texas 75204
Info: 214-671-0045,
Cost: FREE!

5.  Mansfield Police Department’s Fall Festival: The annual festival is a cooperative effort coordinated by the Mansfield Police Department to provide a safe affordable alternative for families. Children can wear their costumes and enjoy a hayride, bounce houses, face painting, puppet shows, games, a petting zoo, a train ride and lots of candy.
Good to know: Most activities are free, but some rides have small fees.
Recommended ages: All
When: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, October 29
Where: Vernon Newsom Stadium, 3700 E. Broad St., Mansfield
Cost: FREE!


1. Pumpkins on the Prairie: Enjoy the cooler temperatures of Fall and head to this fun pumpkin patch. Your children can play in the bounce house, run through the hay maze and play games in a Kid's Patch. Don't miss the Pumpkin Launching and face painting on weekends!
Good to know: Pick out and purchase a pumpkin. All proceeds will benefit Grace Avenue Missions, Ministries and Assistance
Recommended ages: All
When: Open through Sunday, October 30. 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. (or sunset), Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.(or sunset) Saturday and Sunday; NOTE: The pumpkin patch will open at 9 a.m. on Sundays, however, activities do not begin until noon.
Where: Grace Avenue United Methodist Church, 3521 Main Street, Frisco, Texas, 75034
Info: 972-335-2882,
Cost: Parking, admission and games are FREE!

2. Pumpkin Village: Free activities for the kids include hay rides, petting zoo, hay pyramid, bounce house and bounce slide. Other activities have fees.
Good to know: Pumpkins prices range from $.50 to $20.00 per pumpkin with all profits going to charity. Food and drinks available for purchase.
Recommended ages: All
When:  9 a.m. to dusk, daily. Through Monday, October 31.
Where: Pumpkin Village Pumpkin Patch, 4908 Cross Timbers, Flower Mound, Texas 75028
Info: 214-498-8300,
Cost: Parking and admission are FREE!

3. Rockwall Pumpkin Patch: About 125,000 pounds of pumpkins will be available for the pickin' and this patch stocks the traditional orange pumpkins as well as novelty pumpkins and gourds. Daily activities for the kids include a special photo area, Story Time Theatre near Oscar the Scarecrow, a hay maze and pumpkin carving. On Saturdays, there's Pumpkin Patch Playtime, which includes storytime, craft projects, face painting and special entertainment.
Good to know: Pumpkins are delivered from New Mexico and California where ideal conditions produce large colorful pumpkins. Tuesday is Senior Day. Seniors (ages 55 or better) get 10% off purchases. 
Recommended ages: All
When: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily. Through Sunday, October 30.
Where: 1201 Ridge Road, Rockwall, TX 75087
Cost: FREE!

4. The Pumpkin Patch: First Christian Church Arlington with Rush Creek Christian Church of Arlington puts on this patch to raise funds for their youth groups. Little ones can enjoy storytelling, mini-pumpkin maze and pumpkin decorating.
Good to know: On Sundays, there are special events including a Costume Contest at 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 30.
Recommended ages: All
When: Noon to dusk, Sunday through Friday. 10 a.m. to dusk, Saturday. Through October 31.
Where: 910 S. Collins St. Arlington (1.5 miles south of Cowboys Stadium)
Info: 817-277-2634,
Cost: FREE!

ROAD TRIP! 5. The Pumpkin Patch at First Christian Church of Granbury: This patch includes more than 1,000 pumpkins, a photo booth (bring your own camera) and pumpkin painting station.
Good to know: On October 29, the church is having a free family Fall Festival from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sunday, October 29 with games, prizes, free supper and bounce houses.
Recommended ages: All
When: Noon to dusk, Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to dusk, Saturday and Sunday. Sunday, October 16-Monday, October 31
Where: 2109 W. Highway 377, Granbury, TX 76048
Info: 817-573-5431, h ttp://
Cost: FREE!

Check Maricar's Friday Freebies blog every week for a list of free things to do in the Dallas/Fort Worth area! To submit your own Friday Freebie, add a comment to her blog or send your submissions at least one week before the date of the event to with the subject line: "Friday Freebies"

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