THE ARTS SNOB, by Rosemary Ponnekanti
You enjoy a good thrill, but you also want good taste. You want your haunted house to be Art Deco, your murderer with professional acting skills, and your zombies with their toes pointed. You are a Halloween arts snob admit it. Luckily for you, theres plenty of South Sound fun thats scary and artsy.
Harlequin Productions is putting on a one-night-only production of THE GOLEM on Halloween. Adapted from the novel by Gustav Meyrink, The Golem follows the story of Athanasius Pernath, a jeweler in Pragues Jewish ghetto in the late 19th century who is afflicted with a curious amnesia. When a strange man enters Pernaths life with a mysterious book, the jeweler begins his descent into a labyrinth of murder, madness and plots of revenge and unrequited love. He comes face to face with his own dark past and mortality. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the night of show. The show begins at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the State Theater, 202 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia. harlequinproductions.org or call 360-786-0151.
Tacoma City Ballets popular HAUNTED THEATRE: BACKSTAGE TOUR AND EERIE DANCES is where youll find those zombies with perfect turnout. Ghostly dancers show adults and kids around the TCBs historic Merlino Building, transformed into spooky spaces, with Halloween-inspired dances following. One-hour, kid-friendly, costumes encouraged. 7 tonight, 3 and 5 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. $5. 508 Sixth Ave., Tacoma. 253-272-4219, tacomacityballet.com.
Lakewood Playhouses HALLOWEEN RADIO SHOW is a fundraising gala that features Frankenstein and music by The Sinister Sisters. 8 p.m. Saturday. $25 or $40 per couple. Lakewood Playhouse, 5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd., Lakewood. 253-588-0042, lakewoodplayhouse.org.
Its DAY OF THE DEAD (Dia de los Muertos) all this week and next at Tacoma Art Museum, where visitors can admire the skeletons in the enormous floor sand painting, visit community ofrendas (altars commemorating passed loved ones) and explore their own arts and crafts for the Mexican All Souls holiday. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays. $10/$8/free for 5 and younger. Free all day Nov. 4 for the Dia de los Muertos Community Festival. 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. 253-272-4258, tacomaartmuseum.org.
The Washington State History Museum turns into CREEPSHOW: TERROR IN TACOMA this weekend: Each haunted floor will have vampires, monsters and ghouls to show how humans have been spooked through the centuries. 7-11 p.m. tonight and Saturday. $13/$10. 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. 253-272-3500, washingtonhistory.org.
THE SENSITIVE PARENT, by Dusti Demarest
Is Halloween too scary for you and your kids? If youre looking for a bit of fun that doesnt involve leering skeletons leaping out at you, youre not the only one. At tinyurl.com/ssoundpumpkins, youll find a listing of all of South Sound's pumpkin patches and corn mazes, and those are some of the best no-screaming options.
But here are two of the biggest little-kid-friendly events:
FALL FESTIVAL, which runs from noon-3 p.m. Sunday at Olympia Christian School, 1215 Ethel St. NW, Olympia. The event offers games, face painting, food and fun. Even the price is right: 25 cents per ticket. ocssda.org.
For family fun on Halloween itself, you cant go wrong with the PUMPKIN PATCH BASH, which runs from 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Westfield Capital mall, 625 Black Lake Blvd., Olympia. The free event is sponsored by the Church of Living Water and is billed as a trick-or-treating alternative. It offers games, candy and bounce fun. 360-754-5830, livingwater.com.
THE GOTH, by Rosemary Ponnekanti
If your Halloween is not complete without a purple bustier, a lace choker and oodles of black makeup, then this is the event for you: Last years Gothic get-together Le Noir Bizarre in downtown Tacomas slightly-spooky Sanford and Sons, was so popular that this year they turned it into a weekly Thursday event through October but you can still catch the big one on Halloween itself. So go bust out that inner Edgar Allen Poe.
The MONSTER MASH BASH is a Goth dress-up event with grab bags for the first 20 guests and costume contests at 7 p.m. Event runs from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Le Noir Bizarre (A Little Touch of Magick), 763 Broadway, Tacoma. 253-272-0744, alittletouchofmagick.com.
And a post-Halloween steampunk version of Le Noir Bizarre will happen Nov. 17 at The Tea Shoppe inside Sanford and Son, 543 Broadway, Tacoma.
THE ZOMBIE HUNTER, by Jeff Mayor
For you, the only good zombie is a dead zombie and youre the best person to take it down. But you yearn for more action than offered by the Zombie Apocalypse video game. Fear not brave one, there are ways for you to wreak havoc on the world of the undead.
If you want to test your zombie avoidance and/or hunting skills, take part in Olympias ZOMBIE DASH. Runners in this 5K event sign up as humans, zombies or zombies hunters. Humans start first, zombies go two minutes after and the zombie hunters two minutes after that. Each human wears a white tail. If a zombie catches up and grabs your tail, you will be considered bitten. Zombies will be wearing red tails. If a hunter pulls off a Zombie tail, the zombie is considered dead. 4 p.m. Saturday. Day-of-event registation is $50. Marathon Park alongside Capitol Lake in Olympia. zombiedash.org.
The Rutledge Corn Maze and Elma Paintball are teaming together to present ZOMBIE WARZ. The paintball scenario game unites the worlds military and police agencies to fend off the Zombie Apocalypse. Games begin at 9:45 a.m. Nov. 10, Dec. 1, Dec. 26 and Jan. 5; $20-$50. Rutledge Corn Maze, 302 93rd Ave. SE, Tumwater. emeraldcityhobbies.com.
THE PET LOVER, by Craig Hill
If youre anything like me, the sight of a pet in a Halloween costume can be enough to make you call the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. So, when my wife recently dressed our little dog, Lucky, as a spider and he looked at me with sad eyes that seemed to say Make her stop or Ill poop in your shoes, I reached for the phone.
Heres what PETA said: Some dogs might enjoy the attention. The animal rights organization says costumes are OK for pets as long as the ensemble doesnt constrict movement, risk cutting off circulation (no rubber bands) or have trailing parts in which a pet might get tangled. Sorry, Lucky, but it looks like youre in for a busy Halloween. Bret Michaels is one of the most popular costumes at the Tacoma PetSmart this season, manager Oscar Avalos said. For $16.99, your dog can dress up like the lead singer for Poison, or for $14.99 it can dress up like his tour bus. The Bret Michaels costume comes with zebra print pants and a faux-diamond studded belt and includes fake arms holding a guitar and a microphone. Bandana and eyeliner not included. The Thurston County store is off Pacific Avenue at Sleater-Kinney Road in Lacey.
South Sound Petco stores plan to have HALLOWEEN COSTUME CONTESTS. Olympias store, at Black Lake Boulevard and Cooper Point Road on the west side, is holding its contest at 1 p.m. Saturday. Store employees and sometimes customers vote on best costumes. Stacy Rebenstorff, assistant manager of the Gig Harbor store, said shes seen lizards dressed as sharks, hamsters dressed as cowboys, guinea pigs in shirts, and dozens of cats and dogs dressed as pirates. She says the key to victory is creativity and cuteness. Check petco.com for dates and times of contests at other stores.