We probably won't see massive Halloween parties this year, but celebrating the spookiest of the seasons is still very possible. Here are some events taking place in September and October that will metaphorically be the caramel to your apple. Be safe, have fun and get creative this Halloween season.
Note: this list will be updated regularly as Halloween-themed events are announced.
"Boo at the Zoo" drive-thru
For the first time, the Milwaukee County Zoo will allow motorized vehicles on its pathways for a 30-minute, mile-and-a-half ride through several spooky, "merry not scary" Halloween areas. The Zoo animals will not be viewable during the tour, as the paths will instead be filled with creepy carved pumpkin and jack-o'-lantern exhibits, ghoulishly entertaining games, lively light shows, playful Halloween displays, and concessions and merchandise stops. "Boo at the Zoo" runs Oct. 22-25 and tickets are available here or by calling (414) 256-5466.
Boozy Bard's virtual production of "MacBeth Raw (ish)"
Boozy Bard – colloquially known as the "drunk Shakespeare group" – is offering its first virtual experience this year. So grab something boozy to drink and watch a live, interactive production of "MacBeth" via Zoom. The shenanigans take place October 7th and 28th at 7 p.m. Find out more and register right here.
City Lounge "Nightmare on Layton Ave." pop-up
City Lounge has transformed its space many times, so it's no surprise the bar is about to become the "wicked-est" watering hole in Cudahy. The terrifying fun runs Oct. 9 through Nov. 7 and will feature a nightly horror-themed party, both indoors and out. Read more about it here.
The Domes' "Legend of Sleepy Hallow"
The Domes are reopening to the public Saturday, Sept. 26. The show dome will be decked out for the annual fall show, which this year is "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Guests can find clues in the colonial autumn garden to solve the mystery of the Headless Horseman. For public health and safety, pre-registration is required, so go here.
Gothic Milwaukee's Downtown Ghost Tour
Take a spooky tour of Downtown with Milwaukee author and personality Anna Lardinois. As a gifted storyteller, lover of folklore and expert historian, Anna will help you look beyond what you see every day and explore a world of hidden pasts and dark secrets, restless spirits and eerie sightings. Masks are required. Go here for tickets and more info.
"Halloween Glen" family-friendly celebration
It's the 27th year of "Halloween Glen," put on by Milwaukee Recreation, and it returns to the magical, 23-acre Hawthorn Glen nature preserve for two nights of spirited fun for kids and adults. This year's theme is "Nature Babies" and includes interactive and educational skits at eight decorated stations. Each child will also receive a take-home craft kit. Halloween Glen takes place Oct. 9th and 10th, and to register go here.
The Hill Has Eyes
The Rock Sports Complex’s wildly popular outdoor scare fest, The Hill Has Eyes returns for its ninth year on Friday, Oct. 9 at 7900 Crystal Ridge Rd. in Franklin. The 45-acre field of screams is entirely outdoors and boasts a full hour of terror. Also back is The Not So Scary Halloween Party, which puts a little kid focus on The Hill Has Eyes on from 2:30 until 4:45 p.m. on Sundays through Nov. 1. This version of the experience is aimed at kids ages 8-12. Information on The Hill Has Eyes COVID-19 plan, as well as ticket and time information can be found here.
Milwaukee Food Tours' "Ghouls and Spirits Adult Trick-or-Treat"
This tour combines a haunted city walk with food and Boo-ze (thus, you must be 21 to attend). Mask up, dress up in costume and enter to win a prize via the tour's costume contest. For those not comfortable taking a public tour, a Home-aween Kit is also available. Go here for the deets on everything.
"The Neon Whale" Halloween party
On Friday, Oct. 25, Lost Whale, 2151 S. Kinnickinnic, will morph into "The Neon Whale" in honor of the Neon Gang from Batman Forever. The one-night event will feature neon lights, glow in the dark cocktails, music and more. Costumes and/or neon face paint is strongly recommended. Peruse the Facebook invite here.
Party at Paulie's
Paulie's Pub in West Allis is hosting a Halloween bash on Sat., Oct. 31 from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. with a costume contest and drink specials. Dress up and drink up! Here's more.
Trails & Treats: Choose your own Halloween adventure
The Riveredge Nature Center presents this unique, family-friendly Halloween event on Saturday, Oct. 23 on the stunning, easy-to-traverse nature trails. Participants get to choose their own adventure along a 1.5 mile loop with activity stations and fun scattered throughout. Register for the 5 p.m. or the 6:45 p.m. event here. Flashlights and costumes are encouraged!
Wisconsin Feargrounds' "The Compound"
Wisconsin Feargrounds returns to the Waukesha Expo Center with two all-new haunted houses. Health and safety procedures are in place due to COVID-19. The ghoulish attraction is open every Friday and Saturday in October from 7 to 11:30 p.m. Find out the deliciously dark deets here.
To stay informed of all the haunted house news in Wisconsin, including what's open and what's not this year, go here.
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.