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dressing up as snooki...again...

It's Halloween Weekend! What's there to do other than trick or treating or house partying?  I always think that I'm going to come up with a great costume idea, and then this time of year rolls around and my creativity bank has been overdrawn (hence last year's Snooki costume - but I just couldn't get as Oompa Loompa orange as she is).
Anyway, I have a few suggestions for things other than costumes, parties and cheap candy (ugh).

Smile - October 28th and October 29th at Norman Rothstein Theatre (950 West 41st Avenue at Oak)
If you like Sesame Street or the Muppet Show for characters like Guy Smiley (the talk show host) and Don Music (the frustrated composer who'd bash his head against the ivories), then you're going to want to see Smile at Norman Rothstein Theatre.
It's a comedy musical satire that goes behind the scenes of a 1985 teenaged beauty pageant where a group of 17 year old girls is combined with a win-at-all-costs competition...but all the adults are played by large Muppet-style puppets.

Smile, the comedy musical satire, is at Norman Rothstein Theatre now until Sunday night. There's a show both tonight and tomorrow night at 8, and then 2pm show tomorrow and Sunday.

See, not so scary unless you fear Muppets (and fyi, both Guy Smiley and Don Music TERRIFIED my sister when she was little - sorry, N!).


Little Spooks & Friendly Ghosts - Saturday, October 29th, 5 to 7pm at VanDusen Botanical Garden (5251 Oak at 37th Avenue)

So...for children aged nine and under, there's: Little Spooks & Friendly Ghosts at VanDusen Botanical Garden by Public Dreams (the same people who created the Trout Lake Lantern Festival and the Parade of Lost Souls).

Little Spooks & Friendly Ghosts is tomorrow night between 5 and 7pm, and includes some gently scary fun.

Play Giant Jenga - a fun game that involves 7-foot tall pieces made from lightweight packing foam, learn to juggle from one of Public Dream's expert circus performers, make your own spooky wind catchers in the Glasshouse...all while Public Dreams characters on stilts characters in spooky costumes wander through the Jack-O'Lantern laden garden.

Little Spooks & Friendly Ghosts is at VanDusen Botanical Garden tomorrow night from 5 to 7 and happens rain or shine, so dress for the weather...and little ones can come in costume to help haunt the Garden.


Chef Mark McEwan - Monday, October 31st at Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks (1740 West 2nd Avenue) and Tuesday, November 1st at CinCin (1154 Robson)

Celebrity chef, restauranteur, and tv personality Mark McEwan is coming here next week to celebrate his new book, Mark McEwan's Fabbrica, a collection of recipes with an Italian twist.

He's here for two things: on Monday evening at 6 (yes, Halloween night), he's doing a cooking demo and talk at Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks on West 2nd...

And then Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m., Chef McEwan is hosting a four-course dinner and overseeing the kitchen at CinCin on Robson for a meal inspired by his new recipe book, Fabbrica.

Mark McEwan is at Barbara Jo's Book to Cooks on Monday at 6pm.  Tickets at $50, which includes a signed copy of his new recipe book, Fabbrica, and then he's both hosting and overseeing a four-course dinner (inspired by recipes from Fabbrica) on Tuesday night at CinCin on Robson.