Halloween-themed events creep back into weekend fun

Halloween is almost upon us, and area gardens are getting in on the action.

I can’t believe we’re less than two weeks away from Halloween! Where has the month gone?

As we creep closer to my favorite holiday, more Halloween-themed events are popping up on the radar, in addition to other great events happening in and around town that are a bit less spooky.

The frightening fun at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, 3550 Ashley River Road, begins this weekend and is set to be held next weekend, as well.

The fifth annual Family Fright Nights runs the last two weekends of October (Oct. 18-19 and Oct. 25-26) and will include games, prizes, a costume contest, haunted train rides and more.

With fun that’s appropriate for all ages to enjoy, the event begins at 6 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m. each night.

Tickets are “$10 per spirit or $40 for a car of up to five souls.” Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Call 1-800-367-3517 or go to www.magnoliaplantation.com.

Cypress Gardens is also getting into the spirit with the Halloween in the Swamp event Thursday-Saturday.

General admission to the gardens ($10 for adults, $9 for seniors age 65 and over, $5 for kids ages 6-12 with ages 5 and under getting in free) includes activities for all ages, with a lighted pumpkin trail, jump castles, storytelling and marshmallow roast.

If you’re looking for something a little spookier, consider their Haunted Swamp Experience, a separate event that’s not recommended for kids. Participants can go on a haunted boat adventure, walk a haunted trail and, if they survive, participate in the family events, too.

The Haunted Swamp Experience is $15 and includes general admission. Kids 5 and under aren’t allowed, ages 6-12 can participate if accompanied by an adult.

Halloween in the Swamp runs 7:30-10:30 p.m. General admission tickets will be sold at the gate while Haunted Swamp Experience tickets must be purchased in advance at mycommunitytickets.com.

This month’s Third Thursday event in downtown Summerville is celebrating Oktoberfest.

Attendees will be able to listen to music performed by the Vistas Band, which performs music from the ’50s to today; and take a stroll down the Art Walk or through the many stores.

A number of booths featuring local vendors will be set up in Hutchinson Square, and shops and restaurants will likely be hosting events and specials.

The event runs 5-8 p.m. Go to www.summervilledream.org.

From 5 p.m. to sundown Thursday, pick up your pup after work and head over to Palmetto Islands County Park in Mount Pleasant for the season’s last Pups, Yups and Food Trucks event.

Featuring an evening of socializing, live music and more, The Bill Show will perform while the Autobanh Food Truck serves up tasty treats.

Outside coolers and alcohol are prohibited. And remember, all pets must be leashed outside the dog park. Admission is free with the $1 gate charge. Palmetto Islands County Park is at 444 Needlerush Parkway in Mount Pleasant. Call 795-4386 or go to www.ccprc.com.

Yet another event that’s going to the dogs this weekend is Saturday’s Dogtoberfest.

Held from 1-5 p.m. at Freshfields Village, the free event is all about enjoying the crisp weather while supporting pet rescue organizations from around the Lowcountry.

Spend the afternoon sipping wine, drinking craft beer, eating great food and helping a cause.

Dogtoberfest will have local rescue groups offering meet-and-greets, there will be a pet costume contest, a blessing of the animals, live entertainment, vendors and more.

Proceeds from the event benefit Shih Tzus and Furbabies, Grateful Goldens Rescue, Greyhounds Pets of America Charleston, Carolina Coonhound Rescue, Pet Helpers, Water’s Edge Animal Rescue, Lowcountry Lab Rescue and King Charles Cavalier Rescue.

Freshfields Village is at the crossroads of Kiawah, Seabrook and Johns islands. For more information, email dogtoberfest@kica.us or call 768-3875.

From noon-5 p.m. Sunday, the Park West Recreation Complex, 1251 Park West Blvd., in Mount Pleasant will play host to the 26th annual Children’s Day Festival.

Presented by Bi-Lo, the event will feature live entertainment, rides, wall climbing, face painting and more, with food purchases benefiting East Cooper schools.

The free event also will include old-fashioned festival games and pony rides, inflatable slides and jump castles, and more.

For more, call 884-8517 or go to www.comeonovermp.com.