ITHACA, N.Y. — Haunted happenings are afoot. Halloween is around the corner, and there are plenty of local events to get you in the spooky spirit.

There are events for all ages starting this weekend. Wizarding Weekend, returning for a fourth year, will bring thousands of people to Downtown Ithaca for the celebration of magic, science and fantasy. From Friday through Sunday, there will be costume contests, activities for all ages, crafts, quests and more. Other activities this weekend include parades, trick or treating, haunted cruises, spooky puppet shows, music and more.

Here’s a look at some of the events happening this weekend:

Friday

Miss Angie’s Haunted Shadow Show: Miss Angie and Emily Hoyt team up to bring you a spooky 45-minute Halloween Shadow puppet show for people of all ages! The show uses simple materials of poster board and light for a unique show. There are three upcoming shows: at 11 a.m. Friday and at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday in Center Ithaca.

GIAC Halloween Parade: A parade starting at GIAC from 3:30 to 5 p.m. will make its way to the Ithaca Commons.

Pumpkin Carving Contest: From 3:30 to 6 p.m. on the Ithaca Commons pumpkins and gourds will turn into masterpieces during this contest. Artists, designers and students are encouraged to take part. Along with the contest, there will be a silent auction. There are prizes in store for the top carvings. The first place winner will get $300.

Trick or treating & Halloween party from 4 to 6 p.m. in Downtown Ithaca. The Halloween party will be in Center Ithaca. Costumes encouraged. Stores that are participating in trick or treating will have a sign in their window. At the Halloween party, there will be face painting, games, chili made by the GIAC teen catering program, and cider. Learn more here.

Wizarding Weekend: The three-day festival officially kicks off Friday. Here are the top things we recommend checking out!

Dumbledore’s Army Training: From 4 to 6 p.m. at the Tompkins County Public Library, teens (ages 13 to 17) can practice wand-handling techniques and work their way up to wizarding duels.

Magic, Movies & Music: The Cayuga Chamber Orchestra is presenting its first Halloween Pops concert featuring movie themes from Harry Potter, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Lord of the Rings and others. The audience will be invited to participate in a costume parade/contest. The event goes from 7 to 9 p.m. at the State Theatre of Ithaca. More information and tickets here. Cost: $12 to $30.

Creepy Cruise on Cayuga Lake: Get on board the MV Teal for the last weekend of the season. The boat will be decorated for Halloween and costumes are encouraged. There will be a costume contest and music from DJ ha-MEEN. The cruise goes from 5 to 7 p.m. Cost is $20.

City of Magic Ball: From 8 p.m. to midnight in the Community School of Music and Arts Ballroom (third floor), there will be a fancy dress magical gala with dancing, costume contest, a photo booth, sweet and savory bites to eat and a cash bar. There will also be a meet and greet with special guests. Tickets and more information here. Cost: $40 per person.

Ithaca Fantastik is taking place for 10 days between Oct. 26 and Nov. 4 at Cinemapolis. The film festival is returning with the year’s best new independent horror, sci-fi, fantasy, bizarre, mind-bending films. There are also special event, including an art show, VR experiences and after parties. Click here for more information and titles.

Saturday

5th Annual Ithaca City Cemetery Sprint: If you have a few calories to work off after Day 1 of the festival, take part in the annual cemetery sprint. It’s a one-mile run through the historic cemetery. It’s start off uphill, but goes down after that. Costumes are welcome and there will be prizes for the best ones. All ages are welcome. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and the run/walk takes off at 9 a.m. Cost: Fun Run/Walk $13; Timed run $13; Group of four or more $10 per person; children 3 and under are free. Click here for more information.

Cemetery Halloween Tours: Hosted by Historic Ithaca, learn about the Ithaca City Cemetery’s evolution from “village burying ground to Victorian garden of the dead.” Visitors will enjoy the view and history. There will be doughnuts and cider available. The tours take place rain or shine. The tour begins and ends at the downhill, University Avenue entrance to the Ithaca City Cemetery. Parking is available along Linn Street, University Avenue, and Stewart Avenue. The tour begins at 1 p.m. Cost: $9 general; $6 Friends of Historic Ithaca; $6 seniors (65+); Kids 12 and under are free. Register for a tour here.

Miss Angie’s Haunted Shadow Show: Miss Angie and Emily Hoyt team up to bring you a spooky 45-minute Halloween Shadow puppet show for people of all ages! The show uses simple materials of poster board and light for a unique show. There are three upcoming shows: at 11 a.m. Friday and at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday in Center Ithaca.

Creepy Cruise on Cayuga Lake: This haunted afternoon cruise on the MV Teal will feature ghost stories from the lake. The cruise goes from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $18 for adults and $14 for children 12 and under.

The street festival for Wizarding Weekend will go from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for a full schedule.

Watch live Quidditch matches: Catch roller Quidditch matches at noon and 3:15 p.m. Saturday at the Quidditch Pitch next to Press Bay Alley. There are also skills practices at 10:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.

Ithaca Fantastik is taking place for 10 days between Oct. 26 and Nov. 4 at Cinemapolis. The film festival is returning with the year’s best new independent horror, sci-fi, fantasy, bizarre, mind-bending films. There are also special event, including an art show, VR experiences and after parties. Click here for more information and titles.

Cocktails and Cosplayers at Hotel Ithaca: From 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, sip cockatils in the company of manga, magic, anime, sci-fi and fantasy cosplayers. There will be music, a costume contest, themed games, snacks and a cash bar. Cost is $35 per person.

Sunday

Cemetery Halloween Tours: Hosted by Historic Ithaca, learn about the Ithaca City Cemetery’s evolution from “village burying ground to Victorian garden of the dead.” Visitors will enjoy the view and history. There will be doughnuts and cider available. The tours take place rain or shine. The tour begins and ends at the downhill, University Avenue entrance to the Ithaca City Cemetery. Parking is available along Linn Street, University Avenue, and Stewart Avenue. Tours begin at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Cost: $9 general; $6 Friends of Historic Ithaca; $6 seniors (65+); Kids 12 and under are free. Register for a tour here.

The street festival for Wizarding Weekend will go from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for a full schedule.

Spooky Science at the Sciencenter: Visit the Sciencenter from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday in costume to explore how science can get spooky with tricked-out exhibits, hands-on activities and demonstrations. Learn more here. Admission is free.

Ithaca Fantastik is taking place for 10 days between Oct. 26 and Nov. 4 at Cinemapolis. The film festival is returning with the year’s best new independent horror, sci-fi, fantasy, bizarre, mind-bending films. There are also special event, including an art show, VR experiences and after parties. Click here for more information and titles.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at koconnor@ithacavoice.com and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.