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« Fall Guide 2012: Halloween Movies & Specials | Main | Five Great ... Things to Do With Kids After 5 p.m. »

Weekend Spotlight: Batfest, Fall Fest, Free Movies & More

Here are a few of the standout events for the coming weekend, but of course check the Go West Calendar for opportunities that might better fit your family's schedule, interests or budget. And if your family is still in the market for a pumpkin, make sure to take a look at the Go West Guide to Pumpkin Patches.

Spiders are the focus of Sunday's "Animal Encounter" at the Red Oak Nature Center. Photo by eyemage on Flickr.WHEATON: The Wheaton Park District's Halloween Happening is Friday from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Wheaton Community Center and Rice Pool and Water Park. Preregistration is not required, and all ages are welcome. Admission is free. There is a small fee for some events (such as the games, which require tickets), and food concessions are available. There will be a costume pageant with prizes early in the evening, a "Trunk or Treat" event in the Rice Pool parking lot, crafts, games and a friendly "Trick or Treat Trail." Click here for a detailed schedule.

AURORA: SciTech Museun in downtown Aurora will be transformed into the "Haunted Museum" starting this weekend, with the house open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and again next weekend, on Oct. 26-28. Admission is $10 and includes an outdoor maze. It's not immediately clear to me how young is too young for this haunted house, so call SciTech at 630-859-3434 to gauge the spookiness level.

AURORA: If you're looking for something *not* Halloween-focused, Ballet Folklorico Quetzalcoatl is performing on Friday at 8 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. Authentic wardrobes, made in Mexico, are part of what makes this ballet a great example of Mexican tradition and art in the United States. Ballet Folklorico Quetzalcoatl features more than 50 dancers, ages 8-40. Tickets are $18 for children ages 12 and under and $25 for adults. 

BATAVIA AND OSWEGO: The "Free Fall Movie" series continues this weekend at Goodrich Quality Theaters in Batavia (the Randall 15 IMAX) and Oswego (the Kendall 10). "Ice Age 4" will be shown at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday, with a special sensory-friendly screening on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. All showings are free.

BATAVIA BATFEST: The annual "Batfest" in downtown Batavia will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This family event will feature morning trick-or-treating, storytelling, a pumpkin roll, hayrides, farmers' market, a costume parade, games and contests at the Riverwalk. For a complete schedule, please click here. This is a free event.

NORTH AURORA: The Red Oak Nature Center will be hosting is free "Fall Festival" on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. There will be crafts and activities in the woods. And on Sunday at 2 p.m., the nature center will host one of its monthly "Animal Encounters," with the focus this time around being on spiders.

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