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KIDS CAN HAUNT MALLS

Crews of costumed youngsters will be welcomed at several locations.

It's Halloween, and you are plotting your kids' course for trick-or-treats. Will you stay in your neighborhood, hang out with friends or keep your princes and princesses at home? For parents with little ones, you might opt to do your trick-or-treating at the mall. And if you do, you can do some good as well.

University Mall in Tampa and Magic 94.9-FM have teamed up with Metropolitan Ministries to collect food while the kids trick-or-treat at the mall. Children in costume can trick-or-treat from 5 to 7 p.m. today, and the first 400 children to bring in a nonperishable food item will get a goodie bag from Magic 94.9.

The Trick-or-Treat So Others May Eat program will be held in the mall's center court and will include more than 100 stores passing out candy. Parents and children are also invited to get their picture taken with the Chick-fil-A cow in the Food Court from 6 to 7 p.m. And don't forget about the soft, pirate-themed play area that opened in the mall earlier this month.

Westfield Citrus Park in Tampa and America's Second Harvest are inviting boys and ghouls to Scare Away Hunger by bringing one nonperishable food item to the mall's concierge today during trick-or-treat at the mall from 5 to 8 p.m. All food collected will go to local families. A door decal will point your goblins to stores that are handing out treats.

Many other bay area malls are also offering trick-or treat goodies to children on Halloween:

-At Westfield Brandon Shopping Centre, kids 12 and under can collect candy from participating shops from 6 to 8 p.m. No masks allowed.

-Kids ages 12 and under can get candy from the concierge desk and participating stores at Westfield Countryside in Clearwater from 5 to 8 p.m. Masks are only allowed for ages 5 and under.

-At Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg, children can trick-or-treat from 6 to 8 p.m. today. And as an added bonus, the mall is showing Casper and Friends Trick or Treat on its network of plasma screens at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. through today.

-West Shore Plaza in Tampa is making trick-or-treating an all-day event. Bring your kids in costume throughout the day to pick up treats from participating stores.

-No age or costume limitations at Seminole Mall. Kids can visit stores from 5 to 8 p.m. today.

Although it's not a mall, Publix Supermarkets are having trick-or-treating from 4 to 7 p.m. Take the kids by in costume to pick up some goodies.

Sherry Robinson edits Go Momma for tampabay.com. She can be reached at robinson@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8305.

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