University offers safe Halloween fun for children

The Office of the President and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are hosting annual Halloween festivals Oct. 28, providing a safe and fun way for children to enjoy Halloween at the university.

The children of staff, faculty and students are invited to wear costumes and enjoy activities during the 14th annual Longhorn Halloween in the Frank Erwin Center, Oct. 28 from 2-5 p.m.

The free event will feature about 50 booths with activities such as games, carnival events, a haunted house, face painting, fortune telling, a chemistry circus and fire safety programs that will include a close-up look at a real fire engine as well as a chance to shoot hoops with Longhorn athletes or pin the tail on Bevo. Student performance groups will include acapella singers, a variety of dance troupes and a Japanese drumming ensemble.

More than 40,000 pieces of candy were distributed last year to the 2,500 children who attended and 750 volunteers from throughout the university community provided their time and creative talents to the event.

Free parking for those attending Longhorn Halloween will be available in the Trinity Parking Garage at the corner of Trinity and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Parking will not be available in Lot 108 to the south of the Erwin Center.

Anyone wishing to contribute candy for distribution at the program may deliver to it to any of the guard stations on the Main Campus and the Pickle Research Campus. Candy will be accepted Oct. 25. For safety purposes, all candy must be donated in the original wrapping and perishable items such as fruit or home baked goods will not be accepted. All candy is screened prior to distribution.

The program is sponsored by the Office of the President and coordinated by the university's Office of Relationship Management and University Events, a unit of the Office of Public Affairs.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is hosting its third annual Goblins in the Garden family Halloween festival Oct. 28 from 4-7 p.m. The event is open to the university community and the public. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and students and $3 for children 5 to 12 years old (under 5 free).

Explore the haunted tower, conduct fun experiments at the mad scientist's laboratory, decorate small gourds, create jewelry, take a photo in the pumpkin patch and more.

Children will have a fun and safe environment for trick or treating with candy stations provided. In the Wildflower Center's store, Barbara Beery will sign her latest children's book "Fairies" and children under 12 will receive a free treat. And for the first time, a scarecrow display, constructed by participating organizations and volunteers, will be featured.