Get spooky with Halloween events around Columbia

Halloween may look different this year, but there are still ways to have fun with friends and family.

With Halloween fast approaching, plans were made to make the most out of the day while being safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. To help the community have fun this holiday season, a few local events have appeared for Columbia families and residents to attend.

Columbia Parks and Recreation put on an event called Gut the Gourd. It was a two-night in-person event on Oct. 19 - Oct. 21 from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at the Armory Sports Center.

Gut the Gourd was a pumpkin carving and painting activity where attendees can have fun without worrying about the clean-up or mess. The pumpkins used for the event are donated by the Peach Tree Farms and Strawberry Hill Farms. It also featured a costume contest both nights where the winner received a prize.

Columbia Parks and Recreation is trying to engage the community as much as they possibly can with COVID-19 precautions. Jay Bradley, the recreation specialist for Columbia Parks and Recreation, said Columbia Parks and Recreation hopes to get their community members back out and having fun.

“It was really nice to get our community members back into our facilities after everything that’s been going on,” Bradley said. “We still want to continue to have events but we’re very cognitive of the COVID virus and everything.”

Another event in Columbia is the Bonkers Spooktacular Halloween Party. The event is located at Bonkers on Oct. 30 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Spooktacular is featuring activities such as trick-or-treating, pumpkin decorating and a Not-So-Spooky room party-goers can walk through and guess different spooky objects they find in mystery boxes. Ellie Bonilla, sales and marketing employee at Bonkers, is excited for the community to have some fun with their families at the party.

“We realized a lot of people don’t have many plans for Halloween,” Bonilla said. “With everything going on right now, I think a lot of people need something fun to look forward to as long as they’re wearing their masks and they are social distancing.”

To find more information about where to purchase tickets and attend, visit their website at goingbonkers.com and purchase a ticket on Eventbrite.

Another anticipatory event is Halloweenie on Oct. 30 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The District has been doing Halloweenie for 10 years now. This year, the event was held virtually to accommodate the community’s safety during the pandemic.

This event will feature all kinds of different activities for kids and their parents to participate in. Nickie Davis, the executive director for The District, has been gathering all kinds of things for goodie bags with items from different local businesses parents can pick up the week of the event.

“Right now our businesses are bringing us candy, they’re bringing us little goodies, coupons for the parents and any of that type of thing,” Davis said. “We will be stuffing trick-or-treat bags that the parents can pick up the week of the event and have them there for the kids during the event.”

Halloweenie is a popular event in Columbia, and local businesses and The District didn’t want to go without it this year. With the event going virtual, the kids can still have fun while being safe at home.

“Halloweenie is probably the second biggest event that we throw throughout the year so it was a really big bummer for us and our businesses to not be able to host the kids and see them in their super cute outfits,” Davis said.

To find out how to attend and get a goodie bag, visit The District’s website at DiscoverTheDistrict.com for more information.

While Halloween may not look the same this year, there are still ways for families and friends to go out and have some fun. The Columbia community has a lot of different resources to find things to do during the holiday to ensure that this Halloween is as horrific as ever.

Edited by Sophie Stephens | sstephens@themaneater.com

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