By Josette Keelor
Halloween is nearly a week away, but around the valley this weekend the wait for a wicked good time is done.
With Woodstock's Halloween on Court Square, downtown ghost tours and Spooktacular in Winchester, Front Royal's Halloween Zombie Walk and a Halloween Harvest Party in Basye, frightful fun is waiting to welcome all ages. But it's not all about Halloween this weekend; Christmas is vying for attention too.
It starts with Front Royal Little League's "Twisted Fairytales" haunted house, offering 40 minutes of fright rain or shine from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday and 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Front Royal Little League fields, 990 Little League Lane. Information: 636-7440, email@example.com
Saturday, the Halloween hype gets serious in Front Royal, with the first ever Halloween Zombie Walk inviting the community to dress in their zombie best, prepare a zombie walk and take to the streets from 7 to 10 p.m. Organized by patrons and the proprietors of the Lucky Star Lounge, the walk will begin at 7 p.m. at the Bing Crosby Stadium, march down Commerce Avenue onto 8th Street, continue south along Warren Avenue to Chester Street and end on East Main at the gazebo. Information: search Zombie Walk at Facebook.com
A Halloween parade, costume judging and Monster March will begin at noon at the Royal Plaza Shopping Center, 417 South St., Front Royal. Judging will be at noon at Gold's Gym and is free to children up to age 10. Everyone in costume gets a goody bag, and prizes will be awarded by Kmart. Information: www.royal-plaza.com
In downtown Winchester, businesses along the Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall will be open for Spooktacular trick-or-treating from 3 to 5 p.m., and free guided ghost tours of old town will begin at 5 p.m. at the corner of Loudoun and Cork streets. Information: 540-535-3660, www.oldtownwinchesterva.com
Harrisonburg's Halloween trick-or-treating will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Court Square, with music, games, crafts, costume contests and other goodies. Information: 540-432-8922, www.downtownharrisonburg.org
The Woodstock Enhancement Committee will host Halloween on Court Square in Woodstock from 1 to 2:30 p.m. with pumpkin painting, face painting, an inflatable maze, storytelling, mask making and more. A magic show will be at 1:30 p.m., and participating businesses will hold trick-or-treating for children accompanied by an adult. Admission is free, and children ages 5 to 12 can register to win the honor of lighting the Town Christmas Tree with Mayor Jeremy McCleary later this year.
Speaking of Christmas, if you're only trying to make it through Halloween to be one step closer to December, or if you just want to get a head start on holiday shopping, then head to the Fort Valley Museum this weekend for Christmas in October. From 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, the museum will celebrate an old-fashioned Fort Valley Christmas with unique gifts from the museum's heritage series, limited edition crocks, pewter ornaments, the 2014 calendar "A Year in Fort Valley" and more. Local craft vendors, a bake sale and light refreshments will also be on site. Information: 540-933-6036, www.fortvalleymuseum.org
But back to Halloween:
• Winchester Book Gallery will host a Halloween Splotch Monster Art Workshop from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. with artist Stephen Loya.
• Trunk or treat at Shenandoah Community Fellowship, 197 Patmos Road, Woodstock, will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Children pre-school to age 10 can come costumed and collect a neighborhood of candy in one parking lot and enjoy carnival games, prizes, a moon bounce and free food. Information: 540-459-2952
• In Basye, a Halloween Harvest Party will begin at 4 p.m. at Deauville Farm, 7648 Crooked Run Road. Costumes are not required, but they make it more interesting. Visitors are welcome to bring food and drinks.
• The Conicville Fire Department will host a children's Halloween party from 6 to 8 p.m., with a haunted house, games and refreshments and a costume contest for ages infant to 12.
• From 7 to 11 p.m. at Skyline High School in Front Royal, the World History Travelers will sponsor a haunted trail to raise money for students' overseas travel.