PumpkinParadeWithrowThis year Halloween falls on a Saturday. That means a full day to enjoy the “holiday.” (It can’t possibly rain again in Toronto, right?) But as most parents can attest, Halloween is not a one-day event.

And rightly so, given all the time you spent making your costumes by hand for the whole family (coordinated nonetheless) and all the trips to stores across the city only to end up spending more than you wanted ordering online to secure this year’s most popular look. Okay – time to get your money’s worth or at least give them a good test run.

There are tons of family-friendly Halloween events from now until October 31, 2015. But we’ve found a few pre-Halloween celebrations that are offering fun for free.

Halloween Boo Barn at Riverdale Farm
Saturday & Sunday, October 24 & 25
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Wear your costume, find and carve your own pumpkins and visit a haunted barn (for kids 3 to 10 years old.)

Boo Barn at Wychwood
Sunday, October 25
5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The Artscape Wychwood Barns hosts face painting, storytelling, a DJ dance party and a haunted house.

Toronto Public Library
Check the line up at branches across the city for pre-Halloween (and Halloween Day) activities – puppet shows, make your own costume events and haunted houses. 

Halloween Fun in Riverside
Saturday, October 24, 2015
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pumpkin decorating, kid costume parade and bouncy castle.

Twilight Pumpkin Float in High Park

Sunday, October 25
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Carve a pumpkin and set it a float. Free event, pumpkins are $2.50. (Proceeds go towards the Nearer to nature Adopt-a-Class that sends a class from a high needs school on a field trip to the High Park Nature Centre.)

Boo at the Zoo! (Free admission for kids 12 & under in costume)

Saturday & Sunday, October 24 & 25 and Friday & Saturday, October 30 & 31
In addition to all the Zoo has to offer, there will be costume parades, costumed characters to meet and make your favourite animal in play-doh activities.

Post-Halloween: Pumpkin Parades are popping up everywhere. On November 1st, you can bring your jack o’lanterns to a participating park, line them up and take in their last glow until next year. (The City takes care of them afterwards.) Here are some of the gatherings. Know of any others?