It’s that time of year again, when children are looking forward to dressing up as ghouls, goblins, pirates, princesses and other creatures for Halloween.

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At’s Halloween costume exchange on Saturday, parents can swap and trade gently used costumes. ( photo)

For many penny-pinching parents, however, the scare is in their pocketbooks this season, and getting the latest Joker outfit or ballerina getup is not at the top of the list, especially when their growing children will render the items unwearable in just a few months.

To help, will hold its fifth annual costume exchange on Saturday, an event where parents and kids can swap and trade their gently used costumes for other gently used costumes.

Here’s how it works: Drop off your costume at the La Cumbre Plaza’s Guest Services booth this week between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. in exchange for a voucher good for a costume you can pick up on Saturday. You can also bring a costume in on Saturday morning before 9:15 a.m., when the trade takes place. There will be entertainment, music and activities.

If you can’t find a costume, your trade-in will be considered a donation, and if you don’t have a costume to trade, a fee of $8 gets you a shot at picking out a costume.

It’s not just costumes that are getting traded on Saturday. founder Rachel Steidl says books are just as easily outgrown.

“I have three elementary-age kids, and it’s hard and expensive to keep the shelves at home stocked with books,” she said. Now in its second year, the Book Swap is an ideal place for parents to trade in their children’s already-read books for ones that might pique their interest.

All sorts of books — paperbacks, hardbound, picture books and chapter books for children from kindergarten to sixth grade — can be exchanged. They should be in good condition — not torn or marked up — to be considered for trade. Books for trade also can be dropped off at La Cumbre Plaza or brought in on the morning of the swap. They can be purchased for $1.

The book swap is an effort by the parent resource Web site to encourage parents and kids to read more often, and regularly. Children who read or are read to every night for at 20 to 30 minutes tend to have better vocabularies and learning skills than children who don’t have that experience. 

Proceeds from the costume and book swap are going to Isla Vista Elementary School. Click here for more information.

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at