With elaborate set designs, spooky scenes written and performed by parents, and a “candy arcade,” the Verdugo Woodlands Dads’ Club’s Spooktacular event promises an unforgettable Halloween experience for all.
On Oct. 27 and 28, children and community members will explore “the mines under the Dads’ Club” during the gold-rush-themed Spooktacular at the Dads’ Club building, located at 1728 Cañada Blvd., adjacent to Verdugo Woodlands Elementary in Glendale.
“The Dads’ Club building gets transformed into this enchanted Halloween walk-through experience,” James Demerjian, president of Verdugo Woodlands Dads’ Club, told the News-Press. “The sets are built completely by parent volunteers and it’s an incredible experience for the families.”
Once event attendees make their way through the walk-through, which will feature entertainment from parents acting out various skits, they will walk out into the candy arcade. There, children can enjoy carnival games with plenty of opportunities to win candy and sweet treats.
“The kids love it,” Demerjian said. “They go bonkers over all the games.”
Following the creative vision of Dads’ Club member and architect, Chris Corbett, the plans for this year’s Spooktacular have been in the making since the start of the school year, with the “heavy duty work” happening in the two weeks prior to the event.
“Right now, we’re in the thick of things,” Demerjian said. “Building sets, painting, designing, assigning roles and memorizing lines — it takes several weeks to really put into production.”
While the event is geared toward the kids, Demerjian said that the Spooktacular — along with all Dads’ Club events — benefit the entire community. Parents bond together to accomplish the extravagant, immersive experience. Students from Crescenta Valley High School get community service hours by volunteering to help run the arcade games.
“People yearn for opportunities to socialize and have fun, especially after [the pandemic],” Demerjian said. “There’s so much camaraderie and community [during our events]. … It’s a great feeling.”
While the Dads’ Club has been around since 1957, this is the third official year of the Spooktacular. In October 2020, the Dads’ Club worked with the city of Glendale to help put on its COVID conscious Halloween drive-thru event. After seeing that event’s success, the club decided to embark on its own journey the following year, setting the precedent for many Spooktaculars to come. Previous Spooktaculars have brought in around 300 to 400 attendees each night, said Demerjian.
Despite the name, all parents and guardians alike are encouraged to join Dads’ Club. Other notable events from the nonprofit include its Pancake Breakfast in January where donated holiday presents are raffled off, Father’s Follies where parents put on a theatrical show in May and the Fall Festival, which took place earlier this month.
To purchase tickets for this year’s Spooktacular, visit eventbrite.com/e/728915354447?aff=oddtdtcreator and use code “SPOOK23” for $5 off tickets.
First published in the October 21 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.