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Fall Festivities and Halloween Happenings

Mark’s Melon Patch on U.S. Highway 82 W. in Terrell County has a variety of activities to offer visitors. (Staff Photo: Laura Williams)

Mark’s Melon Patch on U.S. Highway 82 W. in Terrell County has a variety of activities to offer visitors. (Staff Photo: Laura Williams)

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These pumpkins at Mark’s Melon Patch will be on display as jack-o-lanterns beginning Oct. 23. (Staff photo: Laura Williams)

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(Staff photo: Laura Williams)

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The Albany Museum of Art will host “Frightnights,” through the month of October. (Special photo)

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A spooky barn maze, dunk tank, and jumping castle are just a few options Mark’s Melon Patch offers for visitors. (Staff Photo: Laura Williams)

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Mark’s Melon Patch (Staff photo: Laura Williams)

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Mark’s Melon Patch on U.S. Hwy 82 W. (Staff photo: Laura Williams)

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Special photo

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A visitor observes the art of basketweaving at Historic Westvillle (Special Photo)

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The River Zombie Run 5k is set for October 26. (Special Photo)

ALBANY — Seasonal decorations appeared in the stores months ago, but festive fall fun and Halloween happenings are happening now — at a more opportune time. From pumpkin picking to spooky mazes and hayrides, a variety of activities are available around the area for the young and young and heart.

Here’s a roundup of events and activities happening in the area. For a hauntingly good time, be sure to check them out — if you dare.

Mark’s Melon Patch: Located on U.S. Highway 82 near Sasser, Mark’s Melon Patch is open daily from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. Aptly overflowing with pumpkins, gourds and sunflowers, this picturesque diamond in the rough offers a variety of homegrown seasonal foods and products and provides activities all month long, for children and adults. From a spooky walking trail and barn maze, to a talking scarecrow, a jumping castle, antique tractors and live entertainment, Mark’s has a little bit of everything. Visitors can pick their own pumpkins to turn into jack-o’-lanterns, and nighttime hayrides take visitors through the pumpkin patches, where you might just spot the great pumpkin Charlie Brown searched for, or be surprised by a ghostly visitor or two lurking among the vines. For more information, or for class and group reservations, call 229-698-4750.

Schedule of Events

Fun in the Dark Night Hayrides

Oct. 23, 24, 25 and 26; Dark until 9 p.m.

Grab a cup of hot chocolate, see dozens of candle-lit jack-o’-lanterns and take a ride through the pumpkin patch.

Sunflower Family Fun Festival Weekend

Oct. 19 and 20; All events 1 to 6 p.m.

Music provided by Bill Harrell & Ed McRee

Last Chance Happy Hayridin’ Weekend

Oct. 26 and 27; All events 1 to 6 p.m.

Music provided by Michael Everson

More events happening in the area include:

Overdose: Byne Memorial Baptist Church will present a dramatic walk-through that chronicles the consequences of people’s choices in this life and beyond. The Judgment House presentations will take place in a series of rooms portraying different scenes that combine to tell a story relevant to events happening in the world today. Presentations lasts about 45 minutes. Dates are Oct. 18, 6 to 10 p.m.; Oct. 19, 4 to 10 p.m.; Oct. 25, 6 to 10 p.m.; Oct. 26, 4 to 10 p.m. and Oct. 27, 4 to 10 p.m.

Albany Fright Nights: Albany Fright Nights celebrates its 13th year as the largest haunted house in the region. Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit the Albany Museum of Art. To get scared out of your wits, visit 2815 Old Dawson Road at the old Harley Davidson building. Dates are Oct. 18 to 19, 25 to 26 and 30 to Nov. 1; cost for admission is $9. For additional information, visit www.albanymuseum.com or www.albanyfrightnights.com.

Halloween: Have a Halloween day with the animals Oct. 20 at the Flint RiverQuarium and discover which creatures have characteristics in common with those usual Halloween ghouls….

Trick and Treats: For the fourth year, the Flint RiverQuarium will play host to princesses, superheroes and zombies for a night of games, refreshments and activities. The event is Fri., Oct. 25 at Flint RiverQuarium and along Riverfront Trail to Thronateeska Heritage Center, from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission is $6 with a costume, and $8 without one. For more information call 229-639-2650 or 229-432-6955.

River Zombies Run: Fans of “The Walking Dead” may feel like they’re on the television screen themselves during this untimed, 5K fun run obstacle course to benefit the Flint RiverQuarium. The zombies come out on Oct. 26 at 3 p.m., 110 W. Mercer Ave. Human minimum age to participate is 12 years. If under 18, parent must be present and sign a waiver. For more information, visit www.flintriverquarium.com.

For those willing to put forth a little more driving time, more fall fun activities are available:

Historic Westville: Fall was a busy time of year in the 1850s. Visit the Westville village to see where crops are harvested, soap and candles made, cotton ginned and spun, and sugar cane is cooked down into syrup. Visit the Westville village to see how these autumn chores are done, play games and view specialized tools of the trade, such as blacksmithing and basketweaving. Dates are Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 and 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for adults and kids in kindergarten through twelveth-grade is $10; $8 for senior citizens, military and college students, and free for pre-K children. The Historic Westville village is located at 9294 Singer Pond Road in Lumpkin.

Fall Frolics: The Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton is hosting a variety of activities. The Harvest Celebration on Oct. 19 features corn shelling, garden tours, traditional children’s games and face painting. Trick or Treat in the Village on Oct. 26 with a monster spider web and a costume contest. Other activities on Saturdays in October include the pumpkin patch, corn maze, face painting and train rides. The pumpkin patch and corn maze is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Also, the Wiregrass Farmers Market opens each Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon near and offers a variety of fresh and local fall produce.

Admission to the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village on Tuesday through Friday is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors (age 55 and over), $4 for children 5 to 16 years of age, and free for children four and under. Saturday admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (age 55 and over), $5 for children 5 to 16 years of age, and free for children four and under. For more information, contact the Museum at 229-391-5205 or visit the Museum’s website at www.abac.edu/museum.

1 Mile Fun Run/Walk: Oct. 26, 9:30 a.m. at Georgia Museum of Agriculture. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m.; event has mass start at 9:30 a.m. Race starts at the Country Store parking lot and ends at Opry Shelter. The train will return runners to the Country Store parking lot. Entry fee is $20 at the gate; The race route is a one mile loop course through a portion of the Georgia Museum of Agriculture historic village. Zombies may jump out and chase you at various points along the course to help you hurry on your way.

Pavo Haunted House: Friday, Saturday and Oct. 25 to 26; 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. at the old Pavo school on Ga. Highway 122 in Pavo. For more information, call 229-921-3969 or visit www.pavohauntedhouse.com.

Pavo Fall Festival: Oct. 26, beginning at 5 p.m. at the old Pave school on Ga. Highway 122 in Pavo. Tricks and Treats for the whole family include a live DJ, karaoke, street dance, pony and hay rides, cake walk and costume contest. All vendors welcome. For more information, call 229-977-4271.

Jack-o-lantern Jog: Saturday; one-mile fun run at 7 p.m. and 5K at 7:30 p.m. at Thomas County Upper Elementary and Hand in Hand Primary School campus in Thomasville. Enjoy a family-friendly spooky evening of racing and fun, where runners are encouraged to wear appropriate costumes. For more information, call 229-225-4394.

Thomasville Nursery Fall Festival: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 5545 U.S. Highway 319 S. There is no charge to participate in games, play in the bounce houses or get your child’s face painted. There will be a kid’s costume contest for prizes, with categories for Most Creative, Scariest, Funniest, Most Colorful and Best Overall. There will be a Craft Corner in which you can make a modern square fall wreath. The charge for the Craft Corner is $10. Info: Landis Thomas, 229-236-4617. www.facebook.com/TvilleNursery.

Boston Mini Marathon and Festival: Oct. 25 and 26 in downtown Boston. The Miss Boston pageant kicks things off on Oct. 19, followed by a barbeque cook off Oct. 25. For information on entering the contest, contact Bill Tanner at 229-226-2357 or Mark Beckham at 229-498-1046. After the cook off, “Forever Young” will perform a live concert in Watt Park, beginning at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 will host race/walk events, arts and craft, food vendors, live entertainment, a Halloween costume contest and parade. For more information, call 229-498-4065 or visit www.bostonga.com for more information.

Howl-o-ween at Thomasville Dog Park: Oct. 26, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 415 S. Pinetree Blvd. Have a howling good time with your furry friends and family. Activities include Bobbing for Weenies, Bobbing for Bones, Thomasville Police Tips and Treats, pet adoptions from the Thomas County Humane Society, Bark Busters obedience instruction and obstacle course demonstration, a K-9 demonstration by the Thomasville Police Department and bounce house. Contests begin at noon and include the Boo-tifull Pet Parade for all dogs that will determine the Fastest Wagging Tail, Best Sloppy Kiss, Super Silly Pet Tricks, Tallest Dog Treat Stack in 30 seconds, Best Costume, and Best “Doggie and Me” Costume. Dogs MUST be over 6 months old with ALL annual shots and vaccinations. For more information, call 229-227-7043 or email kha@thomasville.org.