Halloween haunts and happenings

Aspen Times Staff

Aspen’s favorite holiday weekend promises frights and fun for all ages. And, as if your friends don’t look weird enough already, wait ’til you see them Sunday night – assuming you recognize those ghoulish partyers at all. (Beware: That could be your scumbag ex hitting on you from behind a mask.)Assorted restaurants and nightspots will be hopping by the witching hour, but there’s plenty on tap for the younger set, as well.New this year is the Wheeler Opera House Halloween Carnival and Haunted House. The free festivities start at 3 p.m. with not-too-scary movies for the 3- to 9-year-olds in the theater. The lobby will feature a carnival for little ones, ages 2 to 5. Creepy creatures and other frights await kids ages 6 to 11 in the Wheeler’s haunted digs from 3:30 to 7 p.m.What could be scarier than a haunted house? A haunted mine on Halloween night. The Smuggler Mine will be scaring the wits out of all who enter from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for youngsters under age 12. Kids under 12 must accompanied by an adult and no one under 5 will be admitted. A parent or guardian must sign a waiver for kids ages 5 to 12. If pumpkin carving is your thing, check out the jack-o’-lantern extravaganza on the plaza at Aspen Highlands tonight through Sunday evening. More than 600 carved creations will gleam eerily in the night.Or, head for the final Aspen Saturday Market of the season for a pumpkin-carving contest at 10 a.m. Free pumpkins will be handed out to everyone who shows up in costume.The Maroon Bells Lodge and Outfitters will be hosting family fun on Saturday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at T-Lazy-7 Ranch.A horse-drawn wagon ride, haunted house, dinner buffet, music by a disc jockey and cash bar are promised. The haunted house is geared for kids ages 3 to 10; games and crafts are also planned.Admission is $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and younger. Reservations are recommended, call 920-4679.