A Halloween party for mermaids, pirates and other water-lovers

My daughter likes to reach for the impossible. For her birthday recently, she asked for a swimming suit “with a real mermaid tail.” Uh huh. I’m still working on that one. Maybe I’ll have something figured out in time for Christmas.

In the meantime, Halloween is coming up and that means it’s time for costumes and parties. Wanna-be mermaids in particular won’t want to miss the upcoming “Splash-O-Ween” party at Currents – which will include a costume contest and other fun activities in addition to open swim.

It’s this Friday (!), Oct. 28, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The admission cost is $3 for all ages, with a dollar from each admission going to Share The Fun Youth Recreation Grants.

So support a good cause while also enjoying the company of Currents mascot Oscar the Otter (who will pull double duty as the costume contest judge), as well as a “Mad Scientist’s Lab” display, a greased pumpkin contest, musical inner tubes and a pumpkin relay.

Word is that the Crazy Creek Cafe from Splash Montana will also offer concessions for purchase.

For more information about the city’s aquatics programs or the “Splash-o-Ween” party, call 721-PARK.

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Halloween bashes abound in Missoula

I’ve taken several running starts at trying to list all the Halloween events for children in Missoula this year, and so far haven’t been able to clear the hurdle.

There is just too much going on. Where do I even start?

One of my favorites is the annual Halloween Bash at the Families First Children’s Museum. It doubles as a fundraiser for the museum, and it’s now heading into its ninth year.

For only 5 bucks a person, kids and their families can enjoy five hours of Halloween-themed activities. This year’s bash will take place on Sunday, Oct. 30, from noon to 5 p.m.

Here’s an idea of what to expect: A ghouly ghost craft project, spooky story time with musicial guests “The Unknowns,” a creepy crawly show provided by Animal Wonders, a dissection demonstration by SpectrUM, freaky fishing, mummy mountain slide, a treasure dig, and of course games and a glow-in-the-dark dance room. And more.

Kids are encouraged to come in costume.

For more information about the bash or the Families First Children’s Museum, call 541-PLAY, email info@FamiliesFirstMontana.org, or come on down to the museum at 225 W. Front Street.

And for more information about local Halloween events, well, I’ll do my best to post them as I find out about them. But don’t wait on me! If you know about a particularly cool and kid-friendly Halloween party, go ahead and drop me a note or tell readers about it yourself in the comments.

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Win free gas and other goodies at the Family Connections event on Tuesday

As I mentioned earlier, the Tuesday evening event known as Family Connections will be free and open to the community – free to attend, plus free eats and door prizes.

Now comes word that attendants may just snag a free gas card as well, courtesy of the Town Pump Foundation.

Apparently the foundation gifted the Missoula Forum for Children and Youth with $500, with which it bought 20 gas gift cards worth $25 each. One of those would be about enough to top off the tank in my Jeep.

But that’s not all. Event organizers are planning on giving away plenty of other goodies, including, for instance, $25 gift cards to local grocery stores, thanks to the Montana Educators Credit Union and Orange Street Food Farm.

Once again, the event will take place in the Home Arts Building at the fairgrounds. It is meant to mark the fact that Missoula was again named one of the best communities for young people.

A 3 p.m. press conference will kick off the event, with doors opening to the public at 4 p.m. sharp.  Call the forum’s youth development coordinator, Nina Cramer, at 721-3000, ext. 1023, or send an e-mail to ncramer@co.missoula.mt.us, for more info.

And good luck snagging one of those gift cards!

- MM

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Women, women everywhere

March is Women’s History Month, March 8 is International Women’s Day and tomorrow, March 6, is the day of Missoula’s third annual Women’s Fair.

The free event is open to all ages and offers a variety of exhibitions, booths, activities and other entertainment “covering every aspect of a woman’s life,” according to the Web site. Oh, and did I mention the bachelor bid?

There’s also a “Baby Sitter Speed Dating” thing happening, which sounds like it works just like other speed dating operations only it’s aimed at matching parents with potential babysitters.

Check out the Web site for more info, or better yet, just show up at the University of Montana Ballroom on the third floor of the University Center between the hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and see for yourself.

- MM

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