Fall doesn't officially start until Sept. 22. Halloween is about six weeks away. But the calendar is about the only thing that's waiting to declare it fall.
Pumpkin patches will begin opening their doors this weekend. Visitors will be darkening the doors of many local haunted houses in just a few weeks. And then there are all of the fall festivals and other seasonal events to look forward to in the next couple of months.
So let me present to you our 2012 Go Ask Mom Halloween and fall fun database, where you'll find information about more than 100 pumpkin patches, haunted houses and other events across the region.
Not every event or venue has finalized their schedule. So stay tuned for updates and additions. If your event is not included on the list or you would like to update information about an event on the list, please email me with Halloween in the subject line.
And a note on some changes:
Several pumpkin patches are opening a week and even a month later than past years. So be sure to check with your favorite patch before heading out this year.
Hubb's Corn Maze in Clinton has a bunch of new offerings including laser tag and an "animated chicken show."
In Raleigh, Durant Nature Park will not hold its long-running Halloween Trail this year, which took families along a nature-based trail in the evening.
Both the Durham and Raleigh Jaycees, long-time providers of haunted houses in these parts, will not be spooking people this year. But, Raleigh Jaycees will be providing activities for kids at Raleigh Living Dead, a new event in downtown Raleigh that is billed as family friendly. I'll have more about that as we get closer to the date, which is Oct. 27.
Finally, let's get to the big question that I'll starting getting emails about any day now: When do kids around here go trick-or-treating?
This is a confusing subject for some because when Halloween falls on a Sunday, as it did a few years ago, some towns and cities do actually set trick-or-treating hours for another evening.
This year, the answer to that common question for the vast majority of readers, perhaps even all of us, is Oct. 31, which is a Wednesday this year.
I'll have a separate post on trick-or-treating schedules as we get closer to the day. Some cities and towns do recommend hours, which are usually between around 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., give or take 30 minutes.