Gone are the days of the crew of Peanuts, who set out every year sans-parents with their paper bags, excited to see what their neighborhood had in store for candy and homemade goodies ("I got three cookies!" "I got a popcorn ball!" "I got a rock.") Thankfully, we live in Denton, where there is no shortage of safe family-friendly activities where our own ghosts, goblins, superheroes and fairy-tale princesses can parade around in their costumes, while their parents can be assured that they are having a safe and fun Halloween.

Events

If your family is excited about getting more out of this festive holiday than candy, there's some great Halloween events happening this weekend! Don't wait until the last second - get your tickets now for the great family-friendly show Shrek the Musical, presented by the Music Theatre of Denton. This is the last weekend for this show, so save your seats now to see Shrek rescue the fair princess Fiona from the evil Lord Farquaad. Thursday, Friday and Saturdays shows are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday's is a matinee at 2 p.m.

DOD rotator image - Photo by Cherie Yurco Photo by Cherie Yurco

Saturday is one of the biggest spectacles Denton has to offer all year: the Denton Day of the Dead Festival! Get to Hickory Street for the pumpkin patch, coffin races and Twilight Parade. There will be great music from Bonnie & Nick, Taste of Herb, Mariachi Quetzal, Cholo Rock, the Hickory Street Hellraisers and Bubba Hernandez. Then, for the grand finale, Cirque du Horror, the original musical, will be at Dan's Silver Leaf at 9. See the full schedule here. (And stop by the Discover Denton Welcome Center for face painting and Thriller dance-offs between races!)

Our wonderful partners Frank Buck Zoo will also have Zoo Boo on Saturday from 6-8 p.m. Don your costumes and go on up to Gainesville Saturday evening to see the animals and walk away with some delicious treats.

Trick-or-treating

There are plenty of occasions for your families to trick-or-treat in a safe environment, instead of ringing strangers' doors.

Get a head start on Halloween with the Denton Trunk-or-Treat at the Denton County Historical Park on Saturday. There will be games, food trucks, face painting, costume contests and giveaways from 5-7 p.m.

trick-or-treat Photo courtesy of the Denton Main Street Association

For those going out on Halloween night, there are several options for trick-or-treating around town! Stop by the First United Methodist Church on Locust from 6-8 p.m. for the Share the Harvest Trunk-or-Treat event. Bring a canned food item for admission to go to the Denton County Food Room and enjoy the snack dinner, hay rides and treats!

If you're on the south side of Denton, there will be trick-or-treating at Unicorn Lake from 4:30-6:30 p.m. They'll have carnival games, bounce houses, coupons, cotton candy and popcorn and fun crafts!

And, of course, who can miss the trick-or-treating around the Denton Square! With more than 20 businesses (including the Discover Denton Welcome Center!) participating, this is a great way to come out and experience the Square. Keep in mind that the streets around the Square will not be closed, so keep a close watch on your small ones! Make sure to stop by the Welcome Center from 7-8 p.m. to hear Polly Maynard live!