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The neighborhood parade featured superheroes, Michael Myers, witches and more. Lora Olive/For IndyStar

October brings a variety of opportunities to hang out with your children around Indianapolis. Activities range from dinosaurs and baby sharks to ghouls and goblins.

Some may require an admission fee, but several events are free.

Here are 25 things you won’t want to miss doing with your kids in October:

Grab your Halloween costumes and head to the Indianapolis Zoo for pumpkin bowling, crafts, Candy Corn Factory Mirror Maze, the the Round-Go-Merry carousel that runs in reverse, a dance party, extra animal keeper chats and more. Masks can be worn by ages 12 and under only.

When: 2-7 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays and 2-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays on Oct. 3-6, 10-13, 17-20 and 24-27.

Address: 1200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis.

Admission: Ranges from $10.95-$21.95.

Visit the museum at a discount. Choose from the museum, the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience or a combo pass for both venues.

When: 4-8 p.m. Oct. 3

Address: 1337 Shelby St., Indianapolis

Admission: Ranges from $5-$7

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Go back in time 60 million years and see more than 80 animatronic dinosaurs that seem to walk and breathe at the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center. Enjoy themed rides, bounce houses, games, science stations, fossil digs and more.

When: 3-8 p.m. Oct. 4; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 5; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 6

Address: 1202 E. 38th St., Indianapolis

Admission: Ages 2-64 are $22; ages 65 and older are $20; VIP tickets with unlimited rides and attractions for ages 2-12 are $36. Parking is $8.

Kids will learn fun ways to create their own emoji at Apple in The Fashion Mall. Kids learn how to draw colorful faces and objects, and they get hands-on experience using the Adobe Fresco app on iPad with Apple Pencil to draw an emoji to take home. Devices provided.

When: 4-5 p.m. Oct. 4, 11 and 18

Address: 8702 Keystone Crossing, Indianapolis

Admission: Free

Find the best things to do

Swing by Allisonville Nursery, Garden & Home for games, hayrides, pumpkin painting, walk a llama, face painting and more. Food trucks will be available on site.

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 5

Address: 11405 Allisonville Road, Fishers

Admission: Free

This kids-only race is for ages 5-12 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Participants will receive a commemorative t-shirt and finisher’s medal. A Celebration Zone will feature interactive activities. Same-day registration is available while supplies last.

When: 1-5 p.m. Oct. 5

Address: 4790 W. 16th St., Indianapolis

Admission: $20


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Head to the Nickel Plate Express and get in line on platform 8 3/4 — an homage to platform 9 3/4 used by characters in the “Harry Potter” series. Enjoy a 90-minute train ride learning new spells, brushing up on local wizarding news, scoring a wand, enjoying treats and drinking butter beer — both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions will be available.

When: 3-5 p.m. Oct. 5-6, 12-13

Address: 105 East Main Street, Atlanta, Indiana

Admission: Ages 13 and older are $27; ages 4-12 are $25

Ages 14 and under can grab a free pumpkin, jump in bounce houses, have their face painted, receive an Indianapolis Indians swag bag and more at Victory Field. Hayrides are free for Knot Hole Kids Club members. Plus, meet Indians mascot Rowdie the Bear dressed as a scarecrow.

When: Noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 6

Address: 501 W. Maryland St., Indianapolis

Admission: Free

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Enjoy kids activities, hayrides, food, music, a classic car show, a market stand and more at the Village of WestClay.

When: 2-4:30 p.m. Oct. 6

Address: 12884 Broad St., Carmel

Admission: Free

Kids can climb a tree with an arborist during the Indiana Arborist Association Tree Climbing Competition. Climb length will vary depending on demand. Children must weigh over 30 pounds or fit in the gear safely. Climbers must sign a waiver to participate.

When: 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 12

Address: 1550 Broad Ripple Ave., Indianapolis

Admission: Free

Families can join forces to help draw Indianapolis’ longest hopscotch court on the sidewalk surrounding Lugar Plaza. Chalk provided.

When: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 12

Address: 200 E. Washington St., Indianapolis

Admission: Free


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Eight different meetups are scheduled for Pokemon Go fans. They will be in Avon, Broad Ripple Park, Carmel, Castleton, Garfield Park, Lawrence, Noblesville and White River State Park. Most meetups begin at 10:30 a.m.

Anyone who donates a coat to Coats for Kids or donates $5 or more to Wheeler Mission will receive a special button. The featured Pokemon will be a Trapinch. Bonuses include three times Catch XP plus three-hour Lures.

When: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Oct. 12

Address: Various locations

Admission: Free; White River State Park will still charge for parking, $8-$40

Visit Avon Town Hall Park for hayrides, campfires, hot dogs, s’mores, apple cider, crafts, pumpkin carving and more. Prepared food will also be available for purchase.

When: 4-8 p.m. Oct. 12

Address: 6570 E. U.S. 36, Avon

Admission: Free

Start the fall season with bounce houses, balloon artists, vendors and a giant pumpkin drop at The Shops at Perry Crossing.

When: 6-10 p.m. Oct. 17

Address: 2499 Perry Crossing Way, Plainfield

Admission: Free

A free kids race at 11 a.m. will follow the 10 a.m. 5K run and walk at the Cumberland Streets & Parks Department’s East Pennsy Trail. Organizers encourage all participants to wear costumes. There will be kids activities, a silent auction, health and wellness booths and a costume contest for both the adults and kids.

When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 19

Address: 11501 E. Washington St., Cumberland

Admission: $20 for adult runners includes t-shirt

Grab the whole family for kids activities, games, giveaways, free food, free drinks, winter coat distribution, bounce houses, live entertainment, and more at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds & Conference Complex.

When: Noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 19

Address: 1900 E. Main St., Danville

Admission: Free

Kids ages 7-12 with diabetes can enjoy haunted cabins, trick or treating, a costume contest, games and more at Diabetes Youth Foundation of Indiana Camp Until a Cure. Registration is required.

When: 7-9 p.m. Oct. 19

Address: 5050 E. 211th St., Noblesville

Admission: Free

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Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio brings dancing ghosts and skeletons, a juggling scarecrow, Esmerelda the witch and Dracula to life from the ghost house at the Irving Theater. Arrive early; the shows are very popular.

When: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 21-22

Address: 5505 E. Washington St., Indianapolis

Admission: Free

Hang out with Indianapolis Colts players, cheerleaders and mascot Blue at Lucas Oil Stadium. There will be trick-or-treating, a costume contest, a costume parade, games, autographs and more. Join the Colts Kids Club for special access and giveaways at the Halloween Party.

When: 4:30-8 p.m. Oct. 23

Address: 500 S. Capitol Ave., Indianapolis

Admission: Free. Downloadable ticket required for entry


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Enjoy the kid-friendly Halloween movie “Monster House” at Thomas Carr Howe Community High School.

When: 6-8 p.m. Oct. 23

Address: 4900 Julian Ave., Indianapolis

Admission: Free

Enjoy free hot dogs and warm beverages while supplies last as you listen to the story of the Headless Horseman at Irving Circle Park. The Circle City Chamber Choir and The Black Hat Society will also perform.

When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 24

Address: 236 S. Audubon, Indianapolis

Admission: Free

See all the costumes, dancers, musicians and more at The Historic Irvington Halloween Festival’s annual parade. The parade starts at Audubon Road and Washington Street. Register to be in the parade here.

When: 4-5 p.m. Oct. 26

Address: 5700 E. Washington St., Indianapolis

Admission: Free

Drink hot chocolate and eat s’mores around a campfire while learning about Indiana owls at the Eagle Creek Ornithology Center. Bring warm clothes and a flashlight for a hike to search for owls. Registration is required.

When: 5-6:30 p.m. Oct. 26

Address: 6515 Delong Road, Indianapolis

Admission: Ages 16 and older are $6; ages 5-15 are $3; ages 4 and under are free.

Participate in games and the annual contest for best costumes for children and adults. There will be refreshments and music by the Scottish Rite Orchestra.

When: 2-4 p.m. Oct. 27

Address: 650 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis

Admission: Free to members and their guests

This live experience features performances by Baby Shark and his friends, as kids learn about shapes, colors, numbers and more at Clowes Memorial Hall.

When: 2 and 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27

Address: 4602 Sunset Ave., Indianapolis

Admission: Ranges from $19-$96. Meet and greet is additional $50 per person.

Chris Sims is a digital producer at IndyStar. Follow him on Twitter: @ChrisFSims.

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