When pumpkins appear on doorsteps and the calendar turns to the end of October, Halloween-lovers young and old start to yearn for ways to celebrate their favorite holiday. Fortunately for those who happen to live in Mandeville, Louisiana, there's plenty of seasonal festivity on the north shore to please them, no matter what their age or fright-tolerance level.
Mandeville Soccer Club Halloween Midnight Madness
Each year, the Mandeville Soccer Club (mscsoccer.org) hosts one of the largest invitational youth soccer tournaments in the New Orleans metro area, bringing over 150 teams to Pelican Park for the four-day event. As well as being a competitive tournament for both recreational and Division 1 teams, the tournament is a Halloween party, with costumes, face painting, games and other seasonal fun.
Franco's Athletic Club Spooktacular
More active Halloween entertainment can be found at Franco's Athletic Club (myfrancos.com), where the annual "Spooktacular" offers festive fun for toddlers and older kids . Trick-or-treating, a soft play area and a costume contest are geared toward the tiniest ones, while two inflatable obstacle courses, the Saints Quarterback Challenge and a game bus filled with laser tag, Wii games and a human hamster wheel are designed to keep older kids happy. A scary haunted house, dancing and games round out the activities.
Shadowlands Haunted House
If you're serious about your Halloween scares, venture to Covington and check out the Shadowlands haunted house (shadowlandshaunt.com). For haunt lovers who don't want to leave the north shore, Shadowlands offers an alternative to the haunted houses of New Orleans--and it's a good alternative. Opened in 2009, the haunted house is relatively new but it has already made a name for itself in the haunted attraction community. Its thrills aim for terrifying, so it's not something you'll want to drag the tots through.
Bayou Jam Halloween Bash
Another north shore attraction within screaming distance of Mandeville is the Bayou Jam Halloween Bash in Slidell (slidell.la.us). Featuring the music of Vince Vance and the Valiants, the concert is part of Slidell's popular outdoor concert series and, with a 5:30 p.m. start time, it's family-friendly. Kids are encouraged to come in costume and, after the music, there's safe trick-or-treating.
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