COLUMBIA — Halloween can be challenging. Between costumes and sugary treats, it's almost impossible to avoid the hoopla, whether you want to or not.
There are events across Columbia to keep kids, parents and horror fanatics happy.
A Guide to Trick-or-Treating for UNICEF
Order your boxes online or make your own canisters
Instead of candy, ask for loose change
After you’re finished, send your money in to UNICEF
Celebrate your success by attempting to raise over $500 to be recognized on UNICEF’s “Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF” webpage
• Scavenger Hunt, 7 p.m. Oct. 29, Columbia Mall Barnes & Noble; for students in pre-K to fifth grade; free.
With the bookseller's Mystery Month Scavenger Hunt, students 10 years old and younger can gather clues in this fun Halloween-themed event.
• Halloween Party, 10:30 a.m. Oct. 29, Columbia Mall Barnes & Noble; for young children; free.
Also at Barnes & Noble on Thursday is a special storytelling of "Halloween Night" by Marjorie Dennis Murray, which mimics the poem "The Night Before Christmas."
• TRYPS and Treats, 6-8 p.m. Oct. 30, noon-5 p.m. Oct. 31, Target wing, Columbia Mall; for toddlers through age 10; free adult admission with a child under the age of 3, otherwise the cost is $5 for both adults and children older than 3.
TRYPS and Treats is presented by the young artists of the Columbia troupe, TRYPS, which stands for Theater Reaching Young People and Schools.
The theater troupe puts on stage shows with different age level groups, and is offering a show with face painting, activities and storytelling at the Columbia Mall. Children are encouraged to show off their Halloween garb.
• "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28, Columbia Public Library; for families, costumes welcome; free.
Every year, the library puts on a holiday film showing. This year, children and parents alike can enjoy the 1966 classic, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”
• Tiger Night of Fun, 6-8 p.m. Oct. 31, Hearnes Center Fieldhouse (east entrance); for children sixth grade and younger; free.
The Tiger Night of Fun, an annual event put on by Columbia Parks and Recreation at Hearnes Center, will be filled with activities for the younger set. Tammy Miller, spokeswoman for Parks and Recreation said there will be games and lots of candy.
"It's a safe alternative to door-to-door trick-or-treating," she said.
• Rocky Horror Picture Show, 9:30 p.m. Oct. 27, The Blue Note. Tickets: $10.
It’s 30 years later and the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" is still going strong. All the fun of costumes without the cold. For those who regularly attend this Halloween event, this year marks the 30th anniversary of the film’s release.
Master of ceremonies Mark Chambers warns that the event is for open-minded adults only. Chambers says the evening’s highlight will be a slideshow 30 years in the making.
The oldest photo is of an 18-year-old Chambers, and it moves to the present, documenting his experience with the show. It shows times such as when Chambers did four showings every Friday and Saturday night and when he was working with his two oldest daughters.
• Spooktacular, 8 p.m. to midnight Oct. 30, Memorial Union. Tickets are free to MU students as well as family members of graduate or professional students and $5 to the public.
Mizzou after Dark sponsors "Spooktacular" with Halloween crafts, free pizza and soda, and DJ Rusty. Psychics will give personal readings; and caricature artists, balloon artists and airbrush tattoo artists will be available as well. Prizes will be given away during the costume contest.
• Halloween concerts, 8:30 p.m., Oct. 31 Mojos and The Blue Note. Mojo's tickets cost $5 a the door. Tickets for The Blue Note cost $10 in advance and $12 at door.
• Un-Halloween Concert, 7 p.m. Oct. 31, United Methodist Church. Tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
The 9th Street Philharmonic Orchestra is performing an "Un-Halloween Concert" at the United Methodist Church, but conductor, Alex Innecco said he has nothing against Halloween.
“I didn’t want to sound like the Addams Family,” he said.
The evening will feature Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6, Mendelsshon’s Symphony No. 5, and Brahms Hungarian Dances No. 5 and 6. Innecco will provide the history behind these compositions.
• Cabaret X.8: Tales from the Basement, 9:30 p.m. Oct. 30 and 31, Ragtag. Tickets: $10.
Cabaret X.8: Tales from the Basement features the Big Muddy Opera Company as they present "The Hallowed Weenie” at the Ragtag.
The show stars longtime Big Muddy performers Audra Sergel, Travis McFarlane, Colin Daly, Eric Meyers and Beth Hunter.
• Ragtag Zombie Funk & Soul Party: Zombie Walk at 6:30 p.m., Zombie Funk & Soul at 9:30 p.m. Oct. 31, Ragtag; free.
Think your costume's so good it should be featured on television? Consider joining the Columbia Access Television Zombie Walk and Zombie Funk & Soul event at the Ragtag.
Arrive at CAT-TV at 6:30 p.m. to dress yourself up in your favorite “undead” attire and makeup using the supplies available or even the professional makeup artists ready to bring out the zombie in you for a costume judging.
Then, wander the streets of Columbia and show your zombie pride around town, from the District to cemeteries, while being broadcast by CAT-TV.
Finally, head to Ragtag for another contest, drink specials, a screening featuring zombies at 10 p.m., and music provided by DJ Slab 'oBacon.