This year, visit a haunted house, position the kids to catch candy dropped by giant cranes or join Día de los Muertos parties and area costume events.
Why not walk like a zombie? Ambitious zombies will have a surprising number of opportunities to terrify the living. Join a downtown zombie walk, a street dance or a costume ball in Las Cruces or lurch over to El Paso for a zombie walk and sock hop.
Try a new venue for your candy-begging rounds, and move out of the 'hood and into the mall for some of your Halloween adventures.
Here are some spooky alternatives for Halloween 2011.
Calling all zombies
Occupy Main Street Downtown at the second annual Las Cruces Zombie Walk.
"Last year, hundreds turned out to weave, lurch and shamble through downtown, while friends and relations snapped photos and cheered their favorite zombies on. This year, they'll do it all over again, making women faint, children scream and men jibber in fear!" said zombie coordinator David Salcido. "In keeping with nationally recognized rules of such events, zombie attire is mandatory and all participants are asked to remain in character, communicating only in a manner consistent with zombie behavior, i.e. grunts, groans, moans and the occasional slurred call for 'brains.'" Zombie prizes will go to "Most Original," Most Disgusting," and "Best Group or Couple."
Gathering in front of the Rio Grande Theatre, 211 N. Main Street, at 5:45 p.m. Saturday for the 6 p.m. event. End the event with a dance party in front of the theater featuring The Phuzz. Ultimate Fitness will demonstrate Zombie Zumba! and the Las Cruces High School Dancers, whose rendition of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was a highlight of last year's event will be back to perform.
It's all free (but non-zombies should be prepared to defend their brains). Info: www.RioGrandeTheatre.com.
The fourth annual Halloween Disco/Zombie Ball runs from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday at the Alameda House, 526 S. Alameda Blvd.
"Decades of Decadence" is the theme for the ball, hosted by Mistress of Naughty Ceremonies Ivonna Bump. There will be a costume contest, a live DJ and a cash bar. Proceeds benefit Southern New Mexico Pride, sponsoring GLBT activities throughout the year including Pride 2012 next June.
"Everyone participating in this year's Zombie Walk on the Downtown Mall is encouraged to stagger over," organizers said.
Tickets, at $15 or $12 for students with college I.D., are available at Spirit Winds, Enchanted Gardens, Hubbard's Music and at the door. Info: www.SouthernNMPride.org.
Día de los Muertos celebrations range from area art shows to the big fiesta in Mesilla 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Oct. 28, 29 & 30, with altars, arts and crafts, food vendors, entertainment, dancing. Build altars from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday (overnight security provided) or 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday. Come in costume with noise makers or musical instruments for a traditional procession from Mesilla Plaza to San Albino Cemetery at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 2.
Get your Halloween with some history, culture and fun food when you bake pan de muerto, a traditional Day of the Dead bread, in a period wood cook stove and an adobe horno from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Fort Selden State Monument,1280 Fort Selden Road, in Radium Springs. Take I-25, Exit 19, 13 miles north of Las Cruces. Join in the fun and take loaves home to share with friends and family. All supplies will be furnished. It's free with adult paid single admission of $3 and totally free for kids 16 under and New Mexico veterans. Info: (575) 526-8911, or www.nmmonuments.org.
A Halloween Party Haunted Climb will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at The Gin Studios, 430 N. Compress Road. The event is a feature of Project in Motion. Costumes are suggested, an audience is appreciated and cupcakes are provided. Cost is $5. Info: (575) 208-4413 or visit, projectinmotion.com. The Great Pumpkin Candy Drop begins at 1 p.m. Sunday at Maag Softball Complex at the corner of Solano Drive and Hadley. Three giant cranes will drop donated goodies from the sky and there will be music and games. Friends of the Community and the city's parks and recreation department sponsor the event. It's free. Info: (575) 541-2550.
Gym Magic of Las Cruces, 2341 Entrada del Sol, presents a fun carnival event benefiting the Children's Miracle Network from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, featuring games, food, free candy, a costume parade and more. A $3 donation is requested. Info: www.gymmagic.com or call (575) 523-1616.
Trick or Treat at the Mesilla Valley Mall. Come in costume and visit merchants for goodies from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday. Judging for best costume awards begins at 5 p.m., but most get in line earlier to strut their stuff at the court where Santa and the Easter Bunny are found at other seasons.
The Fairacres-Picacho Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a Halloween Funhouse from 6 to 10 p.m. Monday at the fire station, 5208 Quesenberry Lane. The 18-member crew will fill the station with games and prizes. Children in costumes will get candy and adults who are interested in being a volunteer with the department can also learn more. Info: (575) 525-2979 or visit, fairacresfire.com.
The Asylum haunted house will be open Sunday and Monday at 2716 Cheyenne Drive. Free and donations will benefit Las Cruces High School Theater Booster. Info: facebook.com/theasylum2011.
KLAQ's Fear Factory has been open and will stay up until Halloween day at the Haunted Warehouse, 1323 N. Lee Trevino Drive in El Paso. Blood will boil, bones will shake and it is advised to not go alone. Hours are from 6 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, from 6 to 10 p.m. Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under. Info: klaq.com.
The Terror Trail Haunted House, 401 Anthony Ave. in Canutillo, will be open until Halloween day every weekend from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. It includes a haunted trail. Info: (915) 877-2110.
Sun-News editorial assistant Andi Murphy contributed to this report.
S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at (575) 541-5450