There’s nothing to be afraid of about Halloween this year — unless you want to. And then you can opt for the terrifying.
Celebrations around the Oct. 31 tradition of haunting range from “Dog-O-Ween” parties for you and your costumed pet to Harvest Festivals that shed the spooky concept of trick or treating for games and bounce houses.
Feeling nervous about how what kind of nutrition the kids are ingesting? Try the natural and alternative treats party at Whole Foods Market Oct. 31. Or let the kids beg door to door to their hearts content and sell whatever is over their approved consumption limit to two dental offices that send the candy to U.S. troops (see Nov. 2 listings).
There’s a Halloween happening for every taste, including film addicts and symphony supporters (see Thursday listings for both). There are even thrills that have nothing to do with Halloween; Moorings Presbyterian Church is offering Segway rides at its harvest Block Party Saturday.
Here are the local events compiled for the coming Halloween week:
■Preschool Halloweeny Pajama Jam, ages 4-6, pizza and Halloween craft, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Max Hasse Community Park, 3390 Golden Gate Blvd. W., Naples. $10. 348-7500.
■Haunted Walk, encounter ghouls, goblins and monsters in mazes, tunnels and haunts, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. daily through Oct. 31, Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium, 3450 Ortiz Ave., Fort Myers. $6, member adults; $3, member children; $10, non- member adults; $6, non-member children; Halloween night: $6, member adults and children; $12, all others. (239) 275-3435.
SATURDAY and SUNDAY
■ Pumpkin Fest for children, with pony rides, magic shows, hamburgers, bake sale, face painting and more, 10 a.m-3 p.m. Saturday, St. Monica’s Episcopal Church, 7070 Immokalee Road, Naples. Free. 591-4550 or www.stmonicas.org
■Pumpkin Festival, pick a pumpkin and enter in a contest, talent competitions (register at Web site with this listing) face painting, henna tattooing, a pie eating contest, pumpkin food contest, hay rides and a fun zone, from 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25, Fort Myers Beach. Free admission. www.pumpkinfestonthebeach.com
■Halloween Happening, ages one and up, arts and crafts, games, trick or treating, costume contests and a giant air slide, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday,Oct. 24, East Naples Community Park, 3500 Thomasson Drive, Naples. $2. 793-4414.
■ Halloween costume story time and craft fest, 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 5377 U.S. 41 N., Naples. Free, but must make reservations by Friday, Oct. 23. 597-2040.
■ Pumpkin decorating, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 24-25; trick or treating 4 to 7 p.m. at marked stores and costume parade from 6 to 7 p.m. Oct. 30; and noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 31, decorate masks and roast marshmallows, Bass Pro Shops, Gulf Town Center, 9902 Gulf Coast Main St., Fort Myers. Free. (239) 461-7800.
■ Halloween alternative, trunk or treat, inflatable obstacle course, bounce houses, a pumpkin patch, free burgers, hot dogs, snacks, costume contest, 1to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 Marco Presbyterian Church, 875 West Elkcam Circle, Marco Island. Free. 394-8186 or marco.church.com/news
■ Boo at the Zoo, Saturday,Oct. 24, 3 p.m. trick or treating and South African lions carving pumpkins; 3:30 p.m. alligator bay feeding; 4 p.m. leopards carving pumpkins; 5 p.m. black bears carving pumpkins; 6 p.m. children’s costume contest; 6:30 p.m. Red River hogs stomp and chomp pumpkins, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, 1590 Goodlette-Frank Road, Naples. $19.95, adults; $18.95, seniors; $11.95, children 3-12; one child in costume whole family receives 50 percent off; Florida residents 50 percent discount coupon at www.napleszoo.org. 262-5409.
■ Halloween Spooktacular, costume contests by age group, face painting, crafts, music, games and pumpkin patch sales, 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, Mackle Park, 1361 Andalusia Terrace, Marco Island.
■ Harvest Block Party, big-wheel obstacle course, bounce house, Segway rides, face painting, pumpkin decorator, Wii bowling, volley ball, jam session, demonstrations, cake walk, keepsake photos, free food and drinks, 5 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, Moorings Presbyterian Church, 791 Harbour Drive, Naples.
■ Friendly forest, trick-or-treat and meet friendly costumed characters and live animals with a costume contest, 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, Oct. 24-25, and Oct. 31, Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium, 3450 Ortiz Ave., Fort Myers. $$5, member adults; $3, member children; $9 non-member adults; $5, non-member children. (239) 275-3435.
■ Fall festival, featuring Tino Wallenda of the Flying Wallendas, jugglers, clowns, carnival games, bounce house and car show, 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25, First Assembly Ministries, 3805 The Lord’s Way, Naples. 774-1165.
■ Halloween party, ages 18 months to 5, crafts and a parade, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Parkway, Naples. Registration is required. Free. 252-7542.
■ Halloween party, ages 18 months to 5, crafts and a parade, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, Headquarters Regional Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Drive, Naples. Registration is required. Free. 593-0870.
■ Preschool Halloween costume contest, games, arts and crafts and a costume contest for ages 6 months to 6 years, 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, Golden Gate Community Center, 4701 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples. $2. 252-4180.
■ Dog-o-Ween, pets and owners encouraged to wear costumes at this canine companion two-course dinner, 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, Bamboo Cafe, 755 12th Ave. S., Naples. $25.95, dinner; $5, cocktails that benefit the Humane Society of Naples. 643-6177.
■ Build-a-costume party, 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, Immokalee Branch Library, 417 N. First St., Immokalee. Free. Registration not required. 657-2882.
■ Creatures that go bump in the night, a visit from a barn owl, guided tour through the “spooky” Conservancy Discovery Center and ghost stories and folk tales around a campfire, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday and Oct. 30, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, 1450 Merrihue Drive, Naples. Registration is required. $12, members; $15, others. 262-0304, ext. 266.
■ “The Haunted Screen: From Nosferatur to Twilight or How we Neutered the Vampire,” film clips and lecture to explore the parallels and variations of vampire characters, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, Alliance for the Art, Foulds Theatre, 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. $5. Reservations required. (239) 939-2787.
■ Creatures that go bump in the night, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, 1450 Merrihue Drive, see Thursday listings.
■ Ghost and goblin costume party, costume contest, prizes and arts and crafts for children one month to five years, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Oct. 30, Veterans Community Park, 1895 Veterans Park Drive, Naples. $10, first child; $5, additional sibling. Registration is required. 566-2367.
■ Light the Night festival, games, a bounce house, hot dogs and refreshments, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30, East Naples United Methodist Church, 2701 Airport-Pulling Road S., Naples. $5. 774-4696.
■ Hog-o-ween, costume contest and live entertainment by Hoss Hawg and Backlash, 6to 10 p.m. Oct. 30, Harley-Davidson/Buell of Fort Myers, 2160 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers. (239) 275-4647.,
■ Costume party for dogs to benefit Wee Waggin, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 30, C Grape, 4450 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs. 221-7388.
■ Halloween trunk or treat, children one and older go from car to car and trick or treat, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 30, Max Hasse Community Park, 3390 Golden Gate Blvd. W., Naples. Free. 348-7500.
■ Family Halloween ball, live music, dancing and costume contests, 7-9 p.m. Oct. 30, Vineyards Community Park, 6231 Arbor Blvd., Naples. $15, per family. Registration is requested. 353-9669.
“Murder at the Mansion,” food, wine and an interactive game of “whodunit” to benefit Southwest Florida Symphony, 7 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 30, Burroughs Home, 2505 First St., Fort Myers. $75; $125 VIP ticket. (239) 418-1500.
■ Halloween skate night, haunted music and treats at the door, 9-11 p.m. Oct. 30, Germain Arena, 11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero. $5, adults, includes skate rental; free to children in costume, includes skate rental. 948-7825, ext. 1306.
■ “Haunting Good Time” Halloween celebration, pony rides, a petting zoo, Halloween costume parade and contest, trick or treating, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 31, Big Cypress Marketplace, 220 Basik Road off U.S. 41 South, Naples. Free. 262-3210 or 774-1690.
■ Hog-o-ween, costume contest, prizes, food, live entertainment and trick-or-treating, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 31, Harley-Davidson of Naples, 3645 Gateway Lane, Naples. 594-5504.
■ Halloween Party on Fifth Ave. S., noon to 4 p.m., children’s costume contest, face painting and trick or treating; 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., adults and families costume contest, and live music, Oct. 31, up and down Fifth Ave. S., Naples. Free. 435-3742.
■ Trick or treat, children aged 15 and younger in costume get a bag at customer service and then visit each department for all-natural and alternative treats, 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 31, Whole Foods Market, 9101 Strada Place, Naples. Free. 552-5100.
■ Halloween party, 3 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31, Naples Depot Lionel Train Museum, 1051 Fifth Ave. S., Naples. 262-1776.
■ Mall-o-ween, 4 to 7 p.m. trick-or-treating; 7 p.m. costume contest; and 7 p.m. water ski show, Oct. 31, Miromar Outlets, 10801 Corkscrew Road, Estero. Free. 948-3766.
■ Halloween party, games, prizes and costume contest, 5-8 p.m. Oct. 31, Tree of Life Church, 2132 Shadowlawn Drive, Naples. 530-2200.
■ Fall festival, bounce house, obstacle course, games, candy, food and prizes, 6-8 p.m. Oct. 31, East Naples Baptist Church, 16967 Shadowlawn Drive, Naples. Free admission. 774-1282.
■ Joe Marino’s Monster Mash, show, dance and costume contest, 7 p.m. Oct. 31, Fleamasters Music Hall, 4135 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., Fort Myers. $20. (239) 334-7001.
■ Halloween bash, live music with Billy Hamilton and prizes for best costume, 7 p.m. Oct. 31, Break Time Lounge, 4600 Gulfstream Drive, Naples.
■ Halloween Candy Buy-Back, 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 2, Advanced Dentistry of Naples, 9180 Galleria Court, Suite 100, Naples; offering $1 for each pound of donated unopened, wrapped candy, which will be sent to U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea and to children at Youth Haven. 593-0880.
■ Candy Purchase, 2 to 5 p.m. Nov. 2, Bonita Dental Care, 8951 Bonita Beach Rd. SE, Ste. 206, Bonita Springs; offering $1 for each pound of donated unopened, wrapped candy, which will be sent to U.S. troops abroad; children bringing their candy in costume eligible for prizes and giveaways. 992-8555.