Think spooky but safe for Halloween

Many Dot parents want to let their kids participate in all the Halloween excitement, yet worry that door-to-door trick or treating is fraught with problems. Riding to the rescue is The Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events, which is collaborating with local agencies to offer a pair of upcoming free events that are spooky, but safe.

For those families open to a friendly sort of “scared straight” experience, Mattapan’s B-3  Station is hosting a sort of “haunted hoosegow” tonight (Thurs., Oct. 29) from 3pm to 8pm.

Local teens have helped decorate various cells and are dressing up to pose as real-live (though possibly undead)  inmates in their creepy surroundings. Other volunteers will guide kids and parents through the haunted cellblock.

On the lighter side B-3 will also present an entertainment stage and a moon bounce. Details: “Address is 1165 Blue Hill Avenue, use Rhodes Street lot. Open to children 12 and under who must be accompanied by a parent. Please bring a canned food donation for local food pantry.”

On Halloween itself (Saturday) the mayor is once again inviting the community in for another “Boo Bash,” a free party that runs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Strand Theater.

The ornate former Upham’s Corner movie palace gets a “Phantom of the Opera” make-over for the afternoon’s frightful festivities -- including another haunted house for the brave to explore.

Among the featured performers will be award-winning magician Debbie O’Carroll, who says, “My Trick or Treat Magic Show combines stage magic, physical comedy, tap dancing, and fanciful tales with lots of audience participation to make this show perfect for young Halloween revelers ages 3 to 9. The audience will attend a ghostly tea party and trick or treat at a haunted house. They will help design a funny costume, make sound effects for a silly nightmare, meet some magical Halloween creatures, and much more.”

Out in the “Gallery,” there will be a continuous loop of animated Halloween features and DJ Damien will be encouraging the youngsters to sing-along with some familiar Scare-oke tunes. In the “Spooky Crafts” area kids can decorate jack o’ lanterns and create spider bracelets
 “Boo Bash” attendees are encouraged to wear their Halloween garb to participate in the big Costume Parade (plenty of photo ops for parents!). Children 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

It wouldn’t be Halloween without candy, and Dorchester’s own Phillips Candy House is providing chocolate goodies. For details on these events, contact the city at 617 635-3911.