Fun things to do that won't cost a fortune.

Cheap Thrills 

GROWING WISER: Want to learn a bit more about the competing--and confusing--growth initiatives on this November's ballot? Now's your chance, with public discussions held at 6 p.m. each Wednesday in the Historic YWCA, 738 N. Fifth Ave. For information, call 326-9622.

TEENY HALLOWEENIES: A witch's brew of Halloween parties for kids will splatter throughout the city.

Tucson Parks and Recreation will offer events beginning on Friday, October 27 that include a teen dance in the Cherry Avenue Recreation Center, 5085 S. Cherry Ave.; a Halloween Haunting from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the Quincie Douglas Neighborhood Center, 1575 E. 36th St.; and Halloween Madness at the Northwest Neighborhood Center, 2160 N. Sixth Ave. And that's just the short list. Admission to the events is free or minimal. For a complete list of city-sponsored events and other information, call 791-4873.

Reid Park Zoo also gets into the action from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, October 27 and 28, with Howl-O-Ween. Visitors to this year's wild party can enjoy a greatly expanded children's fun area that includes costumed characters, trick-or-treating and decorations galore. And the scary area "will bring a higher level of terror to the zoo -- not recommended for those with weak hearts or knees." Admission is $3. Call 791-4022 for information.

Finally, the Tucson Children's Museum gets into the eerie act with the Dino Halloween Party on Sunday, October 29. Kids will have the chance to dress up and learn about the "scariest reptiles of old." The party runs from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the museum, 200 S. Sixth Ave. Admission is $5.50, $4.50 for seniors, $3.50 for kids, and free for children under age 2. Call 792-9985 for details.

CINEMATIC FLAIR. The Fox Theatre Foundation celebrates a great old movie house with Halloween Sneak-Peak at the Fox.

This creep-fest foray will feature a free, behind-the-scenes mini-tour of the old theater. It will be the first time in 25 years that the public can glimpse this art deco gem, which once comprised the cinematic heart of downtown.

Guests will be escorted in groups of 15-20 into the auditorium by a pair of Fox Theatre Foundation volunteer guides, who will present facts about the timeless venue, and particularly the auditorium, which has barely changed in appearance since the 1930s.

"We're thrilled to be able to showcase the building," says Herb Stratford, Fox Foundation director. "After a year of clean-up and stabilization, we're ready to show Tucson what an important landmark the Fox is."

The tours run from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, October 27 and 28, at the Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. at Stone Avenue. Admission is free. Call 624-1515 for information.

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