Halloween isn’t a day: It’s a season. And we’re at the height of it now, with a host of local attractions offering a bloody good scare ... or not.

Whether you want to ignite your fright or prefer to take a fear-free hayride, there are plenty of pre-trick-or-treat events for you. To fit your fear factor, we’ve complied a list of activities that range from fun to fright to nerves of steel.

No matter which boo venue you choose, here are some insider if-you-go tips:

• If you go for a super-scary event, know that you can chicken out. Most haunts have “safe words” you can use to get an early exit and low-scare areas, such as the concession area or bonfire, where you can chill. Some also have low-scare days.

• Don’t wear your designer duds, favorite outfit or snazzy shoes. Haunted houses, hayrides and marshmallow roasts are messy affairs.

• Leave your cellphone behind. Although it’s tempting to use the flashlight function or take a selfie with a zombie, it’s more likely that you’ll drop it, lose it or damage it.

• Lastly, do not touch the creepy characters you encounter. While the ghouls and goblins might seem all too real, they’re actors doing their job — entertaining you.

Just want seasonal fun

Big Woods Halloween: Go on a pumpkin scavenger hunt around Elm Creek Nature Center and collect treats from costumed animals, visit the Skull Lab and Gross Out Grotto. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 26. $7. Elm Creek Park Reserve, 13351 Elm Creek Road, Dayton.

See the full Star Tribune article here