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Reggie Bauer, left, Jack Sullivan (on the floor), Ken Langenfeld and Aaron Henry rehearsed for a production of “Arsenic and Old Lace” at the LeDuc House in Hastings.

Photo submitted by Black Dirt Theater,

Trick-or-treaters at the 2011 Haunted Forest event in Lakeville.

Submitted photo,

Halloween happenings in Dakota County

  • October 19, 2013 - 2:00 PM

The season of ghosts and goblins is upon us. Here are some Halloween happenings for the young, and the young at heart.

Spooky Music

Saturday, Oct. 26, 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m., the Minnesota Symphonic Winds performs haunting numbers at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center.

The “Spooky Music” concert starts with Johan de Meij’s Symphony No. 1 “Lord of the Rings” and the dramatic “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff. During the second half, they will play a medley of John Williams scary themes (“War of the Worlds,” “Jaws,” “Witches of Eastwick,” “Harry Potter” and “Dracula”), Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera,” and Eric Whitacre’s “Godzilla Eats Las Vegas.”

St. Olaf College music professor Dr. Timothy Mahr leads the second “Spooky Music” show, a fundraiser for the Friends of the Burnsville Performing Arts Center.

“They’re really outstanding,” Wayne Huelskoetter, who chairs the Friends of the Burnsville Performing Arts Center. “It’s lively music.” After the show, a group of musicians will move up to the upper lobby to play big band music for late night dancing.

Tickets are $25 or $15 for groups of 10 or more.

Murder at the mansion

Oct. 20 and Oct. 24-27

The LeDuc mansion features the classic dark comedy “Arsenic and Old Lace,” put on by the Black Dirt Theater.

“It’s just kind of spooky,” said Libby Wasylik, the theater’s executive director. “There are dead bodies in the window seats.”

Because the play is set in a rambling old house, the Victorian LeDuc is “such a perfect setting for the show,” said Wasylik.

He said that they had long wanted to perform at the historic LeDuc, but it lacked adequate stage space. The solution? A promenade — theatregoers move from room to room and watch a scene in each, put on by different cast members. Touring audiences will see a different Mortimer, a pair of aunties and Teddy Roosevelt in each room.

“It’s just delightful,” she said. Also, Wasylik said, the format “allowed so many more people to get involved.”

Tickets are $10 for children and $16 for adults. Shows start every 15 minutes from 6:20-8 p.m.

The great outdoors

Caponi Art Park, Saturday, Oct. 26, 1-4 p.m.

Caponi Art Park invites families to lead costumed kids on a trick-or-treat tour of spooky sculptures. Kids will also make a Halloween craft and enjoy hot cider and popcorn. Admission: $5 suggested donation.

Dodge Nature Center, Friday, Oct. 25

Dodge Nature Center in West St. Paul hosts its Halloween Extravaganza, with a trick-or-treat trail, nature programs, face painting, scary hair, storytelling, music, wagon rides and a costume contest from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Brave visitors can walk the “Scary Trail” from 7-10 p.m. Admission is $9, and $6 for members $6; children 2 and under are admitted free.

Close to home

Friday, Oct. 25: Halloween party at Hastings High School commons (6-8 p.m.), Burnsville’s Halloween Fest on Nicollet Commons (6-8 p.m.), Boo Bash at the Inver Grove Heights Veterans Memorial Community Center gym (6-8 p.m.), and Farmington’s Halloween skate at Schmitz-Maki Arena (7-8:30 p.m.).

Saturday, Oct. 26: Lakeville’s Haunted Forest (5:30-8:30 p.m.) in Steve Michaud Park and Rosemount’s Haunted Woods Trail (6-8 p.m.), which begins at the S. Robert Trail park-and-ride lot.

Sunday, Oct. 27: Burnsville Ice Center’s Halloween party (noon-1:30 p.m.), Halloween Hodgepodge at Eagan Community Center (3-7 p.m.) and Northfield’s Halloween skate at the Northfield Ice Arena (5:15-6:45 p.m.).

Monday, Oct. 28: Apple Valley’s bonfire at Valleywood Golf Course (6-7:30 p.m.).

Thursday, Oct. 31: Halloween Get Together along Marie Avenue in South St. Paul (5-7 p.m.) and Halloween bonfire at Mendota Plaza in Mendota Heights (7-9 p.m.).

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