Ninjas, superheroes, and ghosts haunted the corridors of the Ballston Common Mall Monday night at the mall’s annual Halloween event, Oct. 31. From 5 to 7 p.m., the mall hosted an assortment of kid-friendly activities and parents said it gave a safe and warm shelter from the frigid night for Arlington trick-or-treaters.
Mimicking the neighborhood tradition of door-to-door trick-or-treating, store employees gave out candy and treats to the mobs of costumed children who paraded around the shopping complex.
The mall sponsored face painting and balloon sculpting in the food court alongside the Arlington Police fingerprinting booth on the basement level. The police have had a presence at the mall in year’s past; fingerprinting is an effort to be able to identify children and keep them safe from predators, they have said.
Many of the adults embraced the mall events as an alternative to walking the streets.
“We don’t have to go knocking on doors and it is much safer, it gets everything done in an hour,” said Mike Tran. His son Aaron dressed up in a yellow costume outfitted with fake muscles and a facemask, like his favorite superhero Wolverine from the X-men. With Wolverine’s metal claws, Aaron was sure he could take his nemesis, Cyclops, in a fight.
Echoing Tran’s sentiment was Marianne Pena.
“We like to come here because it is safe. It is getting cold to go walking around outside,” Pena said. This was Pena’s second year coming to the event. She brought her 9-year-old son Ronny and two of her coworker’s children this year. The Harry Potter ghost, Star Wars' bounty hunter and Disney princess each accessorized their costumes with rustling plastic bags, full of candy.
Others parents saw the event as an opportunity to begin their night of festivities at the mall before hitting the streets for more sugary snacks.
Daniel Armadariz and his family recently moved to the Arlington area but, are used to frequenting Halloween night at the mall.
“We go to the mall and then the neighborhoods,” said Armandariz. “We go [until] they are pooped.”