Lerner Fellow Eunice with three middle schoolers dressed up in costume

Here at the Lerner Center, we love a good costume carnival. So when we were invited by our friends at Take Back the Streets to host activities and games at the Blodgett Middle School Halloween event, we suited up in our best cat onesies and headed to the Near Westside.

The Take Back the Streets hosts the collaborative event each year, asking different groups in the community to lend a hand, serve apples and apple cider, play games with the kids, and host a costume contest. There is even a costume giveaway and face painting. The entire Near Westside community is invited, and each year draws a large crowd of children and parents.A girl dressed as a butterfly with in bright green neon tutu and multi-colored shirt, and bright colored butterfly wings.

Lerner Center fellows Jordana and Eunice took the Costume Carnival as an opportunity to engage the children in active games to balance out the candy they’d be collecting that weekend. The kids loved the hula hoops, bean bag toss, hopscotch, and jump rope competitions hosted at the Lerner Center station. Instead of handing out candy, the fellows gave out punch balloons (remember those!?), silly eyeglasses, and little wind-up toys. The punch balloons were a big hit!

The best part of the event was, of course, the kids in costume. They stole the show with their silly, scary, creative, and elegant outfits. They helped us get into the spirit of the season and turned an ordinary Friday afternoon into one to remember. Looking back, we’re so glad the Take Back the Streets team invited us to participate, and we can’t wait for next year!


Two brothers dressed as the chracters from curious george. The smaller child wears bright yellow pants and yellow button down, with a pok-a-dot tie and a bright yellow fedora. His older brother stands a few steps way wearing brown jumpsuit and monkey ears while playing with a red hula hoop.