Sure, trick-or-treating is an all-American tradition for the Halloween season. And so are those annual parties the more well-off family's kid is throwing down the street equipped with fake fog, silly spooky sounds at the door and cheesy, "scary" games. This year, why not take the kiddies to something a little different and less costly, especially if you've been breaking your pocketbook on costumes every Halloween? The Dallas Children's Theater presents Hoot Owl Hootenanny by the Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts. This little fun-house type of program features Mr. Gott, who opens a crooked door to another world filled with music, mischief and nonsensical characters. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 1:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and 4:30 p.m. Sundays October 3 through October 31 (no performance on October 4). Hoot Owl Hootenanny is recommended for ages 4 and older, including those 4 years old at heart. Performances are held at DCT's Rosewood Center for Family Arts in the Backstage Theater located at 5938 Skillman St. Tickets are $13 for children and $15 for adults. Special discounts are available for groups of 10 and more. Call 214-740-0051. --Jenice Johnson
Grunk in the Trunk
Worried the rug rats are becoming couch potato zombies? A free, temporary cure is as close as Valley Ranch Branch Library, which is presenting parents with an innovative technique for tricking children into doing housework. On Thursday local storyteller Dana Proulx presents her interactive version of Asian folk tale "Bungalee and Grunk the Junk-Eating Dragon," in which Bungalee and his sisters and brothers protect their castle from Grunk the dragon by giving themselves and their home a thorough cleaning. Children have the option of pretending to be Grunk, stomping through the kingdom breathing fire and junk, or being part of Bungalee's clan, cleaning up before the dragon gets to the "castle," in other words. Take notes. There's no reason bathrooms and kitchens can't become "castles." Proulx presents "Bungalee and Grunk the Junk-Eating Dragon" as part of the Library Live! program Thursday at 7 p.m. at Valley Ranch Branch Library, 9940 W. Valley Ranch Parkway, Irving. Call 214-520-0023. --Cheryl Smith
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Stuffed With Fluff
Trips to Winnie the Pooh's 100 Aker Woods were frequent for many of us during childhood, and the adventures of the assorted characters reside in the rarefied air of storytelling at its most timeless. Smart, engaging and sweet as a honey pot, the golden bear gets the "mutant alligator in a New York sewer" treatment on Saturday morning at the Lincoln Park Barnes & Noble. A bookseller (who undoubtedly will be ribbed on his or her next smoke break) clad in a huge Pooh suit will meet and greet the little folk, and--outside of the few kids cowering and shrieking at the sight of the freakishly magnified bear--fun will be had by all at 10:30 a.m. Barnes & Noble is at 7700 W. Northwest Highway. Call 214-739-1124. --Matt Hursh