(SACRAMENTO)

Grab the kids and hop in the car later this month for the MIND Institute’s annual Fall Festival, featuring a drive-through trunk-or-treat celebration!

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place Oct. 22 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. in the MIND Institute parking lot. It will feature costumed MIND Institute staff and volunteers from several other groups handing out candy and toys. The NorCal Challengers auto enthusiasts will provide festively decorated vehicles.

Celebrating safely

This is the second year in a row that the fall festival has featured a drive-through trunk or treat due to COVID-19. Families will be asked to stay in their vehicles and masked volunteers will hand out the treats and toys through the car windows. All volunteers will be screened for COVID-19.

“The goal is to celebrate safely while having a great time connecting with our community and providing some fall fun,” said Erin Roseborough, a MIND Institute child life specialist who created the fall festival several years ago. “We can’t wait to see all of the smiling faces – even through car windows!”

All families are asked to register by Oct. 20 for a time slot in order to keep traffic running smoothly. Costumes are encouraged!

Register for the fall festival here.

Family Time at the MIND

The festival is one of many “Family Time at the MIND” events throughout the year hosted by the MIND Institute’s Child Life Program. These free, public events are for the entire family and have included movie and game nights, yoga and talent showcases.

The child life team is accepting donations to support the fall festival using this wish list.

Veronica Tuss
These events are special because we encourage children to be entirely themselves, to just be and have fun – whatever that means for them uniquely.Veronica Tuss

Child life specialists are developmental experts who are trained to provide evidence-based, developmentally and psychologically appropriate interventions, such as therapeutic play and preparation for procedures to reduce fear, anxiety and pain for children.

“These events are special because we encourage children to be entirely themselves, to just be and have fun – whatever that means for them uniquely,” said Veronica Tuss, a MIND Institute child life specialist.

The UC Davis MIND Institute is a collaborative international research center, committed to the awareness, understanding, prevention and treatment of the challenges associated with neurodevelopmental conditions.


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This is the second year in a row that the Child Life Program at the MIND Institute has hosted a drive-through trunk-or-treat as a safe alternative during the pandemic. Last year more than 100 families turned out for the festive event.

Register for the fall festival here.

Get directions to the MIND Institute.