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BEST BETS

1. Catch spooky cool stories from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Buffalo Zoo.

Then walk on the wild side, hop on a wagon and see some animals. Swig cider, too! It's Howl-o-ween Hayride time. The fun continues at the same time Saturday, Oct. 29 and 30.

To purchase tickets at $8 a pop, log on to buffalozoo.org or call 837-3900 ext. 116. The zoo is at 300 Parkside Ave.

2. Celebrate a scream-free Halloween from 5 to 7:45 p.m. Friday or 2 to 7:45 p.m. Saturday at the Amherst Museum.

Call it trick-or-treating on the mild side. Visit historic buildings, where costumed volunteers will hand out treats. Then eat cider and doughnuts, and boogie.

Advance prepaid registration is necessary! Tickets will not be available at the door!

Call 689-1440 and have a credit card in hand, or stop by the museum at 3755 Tonawanda Creek Road. Cost is $6 for children and $3 for their adult chaperones.

3. Get outside while you still can. Hike two glorious state parks from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Only $1 per person:

Buckhorn Island State Park Sanctuary: Discover gulls and other loud waterfowl in the protected Niagara River marsh and shoreline area of Grand Island. Call 826-8895 to register.

Whirlpool & Devil's Hole State Park: Enjoy the colors in the Niagara Falls gorge along the river. Participants must be at least 8 years old. Call 745-7848 to register.

4. Quick! Find a pumpkin no larger than 6 inches in diameter. Carve it, and run to Hoyt Lake in Delaware Park Saturday for the pumpkin float.

While you're at it, take part in a fairy walk and play some enchanted games. It's from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Pre-registration is required by calling 838-1249, Ext. 19. $5 per child. Wear costumes and have even more fun!

e-mail: jkwiatkowski@buffnews.com