I've always felt like Halloween was for kids and families. We're tracking down a list of local towns and the hours they'll have their official trick-or-treating hours later this month, so watch for that soon, but we do already know, via a media release from the Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department, that there is a slew of cool events happening under their watch.

Harvest Hayrack Ride Night

The fee is $6 per individual or $20 up to a group of 4 ($6 extra per person) and free for children 5 and under.

This event is being held Wednesday, October 12 at Ushers Ferry Historic Village, 5925 Seminole Valley Trail NE.

Families will enjoy fall fun including hayrack rides, drinking hot cocoa around a bonfire, and making crafts. An earlier program called “Sunset Pumpkins” is held from 5-6:30 p.m. for families with young children who have a hard time staying up late (older children are welcome, too.)

There is also a late session, "Night Owls" from 6:30-8 p.m.

Safe Halloween for Kids

This popular event is held at Ushers Ferry is Sunday, October 23 from 1-4 p.m. It includes trick-or-treating, games, and costume contests. Admission is free this year. Advance registration is encouraged, but not required.

Spooky Swim

Swimmers of all ages can celebrate Halloween with a splash at the annual “Spooky Swim” at Bender Pool, 940 14th Avenue SE, on Friday, October 28 from 6-8:30 p.m. Participants will receive a bag of treats as they leave. Admission is free this year.

Special Populations Halloween Dance

This event is in its 30th year. It is co-sponsored by the ARC of East Central Iowa on Friday, October 28 from 7-9 p.m. at Northwest Recreation Center, 1340 11th Street NW. Individuals of "all ages and abilities" are invited to attend and wear a costume (there will be prizes for the best costume!). Admission is $5 at the door.


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