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Family-friendly Halloween events on LI

Zoe Klipstein, 15, of Stony Brook, plays Zoe

Zoe Klipstein, 15, of Stony Brook, plays Zoe the Zombie Slayer in Ballet Long Island's 2014 production of "Zombies Attack The Nutcracker," which will be performed Oct. 26, 2014, in Ronkonkoma. Photo Credit: Ballet Long Island

Although Halloween seems to get scarier, gorier and louder every year, maybe you're one of those who hankers more for treats than tricks. If so, these five places won't disappoint.


WHEN | WHERE 6-10 p.m. Friday and Oct. 31 at Organics Today Farm, 169 Washington St., East Islip

INFO 631-650-4424,

Bring a flashlight and take a nighttime stroll in search of the perfect pumpkin (75 cents a pound, ages 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult). Afterward, enjoy hot chocolate, apple cider and other treats ($1-$3) around one of the firepits.

"I thought it was going to be scary or hard to walk around," says Stephanie Nunez, 28, of Brentwood, who went picking after dark earlier this month with her daughters, ages 3 and 4. "But it was fun, and the pumpkins were easy for them to pick up."

Farmer Mike Massino says the moonlight picking, now in its second year, is "an alternative to all the gore."

Also on a quest for pumpkins was Jamie D'Albenzio, 33, of West Babylon, who was taking a break over a bowl of pumpkin soup while her son Landon, 3, joined other children in the hay wagon. Says D'Albenzio, "We're always looking for fun things to do with family and friends."


WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. Saturday at Ballet Long Island, 1863 Pond Rd., Ronkonkoma

INFO 631-737-1964,

ADMISSION $20 ($18 in advance)

The ballet company is taking the Christmas classic and turning it on its zombie-infected ear. Yes, there's a party -- and a nutcracker -- but things start to go wrong when the Zombie Maid comes calling.

Music lovers will enjoy the performance's selection of both classical and contemporary scary music -- but no real spooks.

"There's no slashing and gashing," says Mary-Ellen Ransom, the company's outreach manager. "But there will be about 20 bloody zombies onstage at one time."


WHEN | WHERE 2-4 p.m. Sunday at Sands Point Preserve, 127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point

INFO 516-571-7900,

ADMISSION $20 a car

Come in costume for this low-scare daytime Halloween party that transforms the historic mansion into a (barely) haunted Castle Gould. Kids can make Halloween-themed crafts using acorns, pressed leaves and other autumnal items found in the preserve.


"The Phantom Carriage" silent movie

WHEN | WHERE 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday at Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington

INFO 631-423-7611,


This Swedish ghost story with a morality clause is that much more creepy because of the authentic sound of the theater organ accompaniment by MoMA's Ben Model. Find out what happens when people behave selfishly -- and then die. Hint: Death is not the end of the story. "It is eerie and unsettling, like any really great ghost story," says cinema co-director Dylan Skolnick. "It will give you a chill, but make you think as well."


WHEN | WHERE 5-8 p.m. Oct. 31 (rides leave every 20 minutes) at Benner's Farm, 56 Gnarled Hollow Rd., Setauket

INFO 631-689-8172,


If you just want a hayride, come early to Benner's Farm for a low-scare turn around the farm on Halloween night -- costumes encouraged. Stay after 6 p.m. and you'll get a slightly spookier ride as "live people are sprinkled in with the static characters along the ride," says co-owner Jean Benner.


WHEN | WHERE After the 1 p.m. parade Saturday at Village Square, Glen and Bridge streets, Glen Cove

INFO 516-759-6970,

Carving magnificent pumpkins is all in a day's work for the artists of Maniac Pumpkin Carvers, who will do a three-hour demo after Glen Cove's costume parade. It will include carving techniques and Halloween history.

"People get so excited about anything pumpkin," says co-founder and Commack native Marc Evan, 34, who is based in Brooklyn. "Over the three hours, they'll see the sculpture from start to finish."


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