Spooky Fun At the Libraries!

Libraries Are Full of Tricks and Treats

Driving down the street, I see pumpkins on front stoops and fake spiderwebs strung across bushes. The leaves on the trees are changing, like kids putting on costumes for trick-or-treating. It may be the time of year for all things spooky, but there’s nothing scary about the fun you can find at your local library. Read on to hear some stories and take a peek at the tricks and treats happening at the libraries across Jefferson and Waukesha counties!

Taking the Fun Outside

The beautiful weather means a great opportunity for outdoor programs. At the Hartland Public Library’s outdoor Monster Bash, families arrived in costume to enjoy activities and treats, a hike on the Ice Age Trail, and a showing of the movie “Goosebumps” in Nixon Park.

“We had a great time,” one visitor said. “Hope it becomes a yearly thing!”

A table full of craft packages to make spooky headbands

Pumpkins and Candy Mean Halloween Fun

If the kids can’t wait until Halloween to collect candy, you can stop into the L.D. Fargo Public Library in Lake Mills to go on a Candy Bar Scavenger Hunt. Kids can find the candy bars hidden around the library to get candy and be entered to win a book prize!

Pumpkin painted pink with a crown on it, sitting on a table next to a Pinkalicious book.

If you stop into the Butler Public Library, you’ll see dozens of creatively painted pumpkins for the Pumpkin Decorating Contest. One pumpkin was transformed into the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree; another became Hagrid’s hut from the Harry Potter books. You can see pictures of all the pumpkins on the library’s Facebook page.

Speaking of pumpkins, last week the Karl Junginger Memorial Library in Waterloo hosted a free pumpkin decorating class. 18 attendees learned how to swirl paint and create bouquets on their pumpkins with fake flowers, tulle, and even skeleton heads.

A table filled with craft supplies. Several decorated pumpkins sit at the end of the table.

A Ghoulish New Picture Book

With Halloween less than a week away, readers have been counting down with a new picture book from local author and former library director Leann Lehner. “The Twelve Days of Halloween” counts down to the big day with a variety of fun, Halloween gifts delivered by a witchy True Ghoul. Multiple libraries in Jefferson County have hosted book readings and signings with Ms. Lehner, who came to each one dressed in her witchiest attire, complete with ghoul-green hair. You can find the book in your local library to read to your own little ghosts and goblins at home.

Family History Month At the Library

October is also Family History Month, so if you’re interested in learning how to research your family history, you can pick up a free genealogy take-home kit from the New Berlin Public Library. Each kit includes instructions on how to use Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest from home, as well as a print-out family tree.

An open photo album with old black-and-white photos in it

The Best Surprise of All?

Sometimes the most shocking thing at the library isn’t jack-o-lanterns and ghosts, but the incredible amount of interesting, fun, and helpful materials available on the library shelves. 

Recently, a librarian at the Watertown Public Library noticed a boy looking at the Library of Things collection. “What is this stuff?” he asked her. She told him how he could check out any of the items- Kindles, cake pans, yard games, and more- with his library card. 

“So…the library isn’t just books?!” he said. What a fun surprise!


No matter how you decorate your pumpkins or which costume you’ll be donning this Halloween, we hope you’ll take a minute to stop into your library to see all the spooky fun you can have there!

Written by Jill Fuller. A version of this article appeared in several local newspapers in October 2021. We are sharing those pieces here on our website a few weeks after each piece has been printed.