Halloween is fast approaching, and that means Milwaukee's streets will soon be overrun with zombies, witches, ghosts and goblins. From spooky street parties to terrifying tunes, there will be no shortage of haunt-worthy hot spots for those looking for a ghoulish good time.
Here at OnMilwaukee.com, we want to make sure you're not left alone in the dark - about all of the frightful fun, that is - so we've compiled a handy roundup of all of the area's Halloween happenings. Happy haunting!
BOO-ZE AT THE BARS
BOOS AND BOO-ZE TAKE OVER WATER STREET
The Water Street Entertainment District is closing down the street for a full day of witchcraft and riff-raff this Saturday. Art Milwaukee will conduct pumpkin carving and other activities during the day, live music will rock the stage all night long, beer will be flowing in the streets and much more. Stop by early starting at 2 p.m., or stay late.
GO CARNEVIL WITH HORNY GOAT
Get Horny on Halloween as the Horny Hideaway hosts two nights of live music and costume contests Friday and Saturday, with a chance to win $500 cash for the best costume. Festivities start at 8 p.m. nightly.
PILLAGE AND PLUNDER MILWAUKEE
Ahoy, ye pirates and wenches! Celebrate Halloween scallawag-style at The Iron Horse Hotel Saturday. Enjoy Captain Morgan and Barrel 1907 drink specials starting at 7 p.m. and live DJ music from 9 p.m. to midnight, plus enter to win a $100 Branded bar tab in the 10 p.m. costume contest.
HAVE A HAPPY HOLLANDER HALLOWEEN
Put on your best costume and grab your bike for the second annual Hollander Halloween Costume Crawl. Saturday's crawl will ride through the city and feature giveaways and activities at Cafe Hollander-Downer Avenue, Ben's Cycle, Cafe Centraal, Cafe Benelux, Nomad World Pub and Trocadero. Riders can join in anytime along the crawl starting at 9 a.m. to receive drink specials and get in on the fun, raffles, costume contest and other entertainment.
IT'S "THRILLER" NIGHT!
The Pirates of McKinley Lagoon will once again set sail on Milwaukee's East Side and Downtown this Saturday, ransacking bar after bar with flash mob performances of "Thriller." Zombie-fy yourself and join the fun starting at 5 p.m. Visit brewcityhops.com for details.
SCARE UP SOME '50S FUN
Celebrate Halloween in the company of sharp-dressed cats with smooth-talking style as Bryant's Cocktail Lounge and The Brass Rooster proudly present the second annual Mad Men Halloween Party. Adorn yourself in your best 1960s suits and cocktail dresses and sit back and relax with delicious mid-century cocktail specials and swinging hi-fi music starting at 8 p.m. Saturday. There will also be a $100 cash prize for the best Mad Men character costume, as well as smaller prizes for the most unique costume, the most obscure character and the sexiest Joan. The Brass Rooster will offer 10 percent off hats for people attending the Mad Men Halloween Party.
DO THE WHISKEY BAR BASH
Get wicked at Whiskey during their annual Halloween bash costume party this Saturday night. Stop by starting at 9 p.m. for a chance to win a year's supply of Jameson, Red Bull or a $100 Whiskey Bar gift card. Left On Sunset plays at 10 p.m. A portion of the night's proceeds will benefit Hunger Task Force.
Savor some spooky fun at Rustico this Saturday with $25 all-you-can-drink tap beer, rails and "ghoul drool," plus free pizza and live music from DJ FredX. Be sure to wear your best costume for a chance to win hundreds of dollars in gift cards, a barrel party and more fun prizes. The fun starts at 9.
ATTEND THE DEATH EATER'S BALL
The always extraordinary and packed Club Anything Halloween Bash returns this Saturday starting at 8 p.m. This fantasy film-themed ball celebrates the best fantasy and magical movies of all time. This year the club will be transformed into Hogwart's Great Hall, featuring the four houses of "Harry Potter," music from alternative/industrial DJs Burn, Mr. Smith, Garz, Johnny V., Narc and UV, plus a $1000 Costume Contest. You do not have to follow the theme, but costumes based on your favorite magical or fantasy movie character are encouraged. $10 cover.
STUBBY'S SCARES UP SOME FUN
Stop by Stubby's for a chance to win free beer for a year this Friday night. Starting at 8 p.m., wear the best costume to enter, or wear any costume to get $1 off Central Waters beers and a tapping of their rare coffee stout, plus live video mixing from DJ FredX.
Have a blast as you dance and sing the night away Saturday at Paulo's Scaryoke 2 Halloween Costume Party. Enter the costume contest starting at 4 p.m., take your turn at the mic and enjoy free pizza at 11 p.m. and free beer from 10 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are $20.
CREEPY FUN FOR THE KIDS
THE ZOO GETS "SPOOKTACULAR"
Visiting the Milwaukee County Zoo is always a treat, but this weekend offers a little something more. Go trick-or-treating throughout the park, march in a costume parade, enjoy live music and more fun Halloween events at the Halloween Trick-or-Treat Spooktacular this weekend. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children ages 3-12 and free for Zoo Society members.
GHOSTS UNDER GLASS
Gather your little ghosts and goblins for an evening of treats at the Milwaukee Domes this Thursday. Enjoy fun and frights with the family as you trick-or-treat through the Haunted Dome, enter the children's costume contest, paint pumpkins and more from 6 to 9 p.m. Hot dogs and soda will be available for purchase. Admission is $6 at the door (kids 5 and under are free).
A NIGHT IN THE MUSEUM
Scout groups and families with children ages 6-12 can explore the Milwaukee Public Museum under the cover of darkness on a flashlight tour, experience a planetarium show in the six-story dome theater and head to bed in select exhibit areas at this special Saturday night overnight. The package includes a planetarium show, educator-led activities, discovery hunts and self-guided flashlight tour, access to museum exhibits, a light evening snack, light breakfast and all-day museum admission Saturday morning.
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS MARCHES INTO WALKER'S POINT
Join the Walker's Point Center of the Arts for their second annual Dia de los Muertos parade this Friday, held in conjunction with their annual Dia de los Muertos art exhibit. The parade will step off at 4 p.m. and travel from the United Community Center to the WPCA, then continue back to the UCC for a performance by Ballet Folklorico Hermanos De Avila.
SWEET AND SCARY TREATS
Celebrate Halloween early with a sweet treat from IHOP this Friday. Kids 12 and under can stop in any IHOP location from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. to design their own Scary Face Pancake with whipped cream, strawberries, Oreo cookies and candy corn. No purchase is necessary.
BOOS IN THE 'BURBS
Bring your princess or pirate to the Children's Play Gallery in Delafield this Friday for a morning of Halloween fun from 10 a.m. to noon. Wear your costumes and come ready for trick or treat, face painting, balloons, games and lots of fun. All Halloween activities will be included with the price of regular gallery admission.
FALL FAMILY FUN FEST
Unearth some free family fun at the Racine Art Museum this Saturday. Enjoy spine-chilling stories, pumpkin decorating, wicked art projects, costume contest and much more from 3 to 6 p.m.
HAVE A HAPPY "HOLLOW-EEN"
Don't be afraid of the dark - find out what it's like under the ground as Cave of the Mounds hosts a weekend of kid-friendly Halloween Treat Tours in the Wisconsin caves. The visitor center will also host fun fall crafts, a coloring contest, a scavenger hunt and story times daily, as well as other special events. Cave of the Mounds is open daily all weekend long from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. One-hour guided tours depart frequently. No reservations are necessary.
SCARES ON STAGE
A BALLET WITH BITE
A breathtaking story of passion, seduction, transformation and sacrifice, "Dracula" stakes its claim as this Halloween’s most thrilling adventure as it returns this weekend to the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. The Milwaukee Ballet Company’s strength and vitality is highlighted in this monstrous production combining dark and towering scenery, period costumes, dramatic lighting effects and a chilling score performed live by the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra.
THEATER AFTER DARK
Join the World's Stage Theatre Company onstage at the Marian Center for Non-profits for an intimate tale of Poe's downward spiral into madness. In "Nightfall," Edgar Allan Poe stands alone in the flickering darkness of his mind, trying desperately to convince himself - and the audience - that he's not mad. The spell he weaves brings together four highly theatrical adaptations of "The Raven," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "The Tell-Tale Heart." Tickets are $16, or $12 for students and are available online or at the door before the night's performance (cash or check only). See it this weekend.
A SPOOKY OLD WORLD SUPPER
Don't miss out as Old World Wisconsin expands its popular dinner theater program with its spooky supper productions of "Dracula" this weekend. This show is rich with horror, suspense and seduction, making for an ideal and unique Halloween outing. As Count Dracula begins to exert his will upon the residents of London, they try to piece together the clues of his appearances to save themselves from a hideous fate. Tickets are $60 for adults and $50 for children 17 and under. Admission includes both the show and dinner. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (262) 594-6301 or visiting Old World Wisconsin's website.
A MOUTHWATERING MURDER MYSTERY
Bring your detective hat, magnifying glass and appetite for a killer night of fun at Serb Hall. Which one of these costumed characters is responsible for committing the murder? It'll be your job to solve this crime before time runs out. Tickets are $60, which includes a three-course buffet dinner. Mention onmilwaukee.com and get the buy one, get one free "Criminal Deal" all weekend long.
MYSTERY AT THE 'EDGE
Riveredge Nature Center announces its second season of "delicious sleuthing" with Mystery at the ‘Edge. This year’s mystery will be a playful look at a popular view of the Old West, combined with environmental messages, some cheeky humor and a murder to solve. Register for Saturday's 5 p.m. show and dinner online or call (262) 375-2715.
MILWAUKEE IMPROV MASSACRE
Celebrate Halloween with some killer improv as Worst Case Scenario weaves a scary slasher story into life with an hour-long slasher movie-style scene based on your suggestions. Check it out Friday at midnight at ComedySportz. Tickets are $5 cash only at the door.
ILLUSIONS IN THE NIGHT
Magic enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy the Halloween fun of David Seebach's annual Halloween production, featuring amazing broomstick levitations, the menacing giant guillotine, the gruesome "Burned Alive," sawing a woman in half with the lethal giant buzzsaw, wise wizards and witches of all kinds! Tickets are $20, or $10 for seniors over 65 and kids 12 and under. See it this weekend at the Greenfield Performing Arts Center, 4800 S. 60th St.
SPOOKY SPECIAL EVENTS
GET YOUR THRILLS AND CHILLS THIS OCTOBER
If you're looking for a good way to get your blood pumping this Halloween, a visit to any of these area haunted houses should do the trick. Combining rooms of terror, corn mazes and spooky hikes, local businesses, organizations and schools set out to scare you senseless. Get a list of the area's top destination in this year's OnMilwaukee.com Haunted House Guide:
VISIT THE THEATRE DES VAMPIRES
Journey into the strange and mysterious world of Theatre of the Vampires as Club Anything hosts Milwaukee Ballet's first official "Dracula" after-party this Friday. Mingle with performers from Dracula and experience a vision of the vampire world including absinthe, live music featuring the Dead Superhero's Orchestra, roll players and fire dancing. The Elixir Lounge and Absintherie will be open especially for this event. Your entry includes one free absinthe courtesy of Milwaukee's own Amerique 1912 Absinthe. A portion of your ticket price benefits Milwaukee Ballet. Doors open at 9 p.m. Performances begin following "Dracula" at the Marcus Center.
GET A "TRANS-FUSION" WITH MILWAUKEE BALLET
Transform yourself with a magnificent costume and experience the undead with Milwaukee Ballet’s "Dracula," followed by a sin-sational party in The Atrium with the ballet's stars at Trans-Fusion: The Party. This anticipated one-night-only event starts Saturday at 10 p.m.
MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN
Join the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum for their third annual Halloween masquerade party Saturday. Come in costume and prepare to be thrilled and/or killed during a guest participation game beginning at 8 p.m. There will be prizes, trick or treating, fortune telling, complimentary hors d'oeuvres, cash bar and a midnight surprise. Admission is $25; psychic readings are $20.
ENJOY SOME "HALLOWED SPIRITS"
Join the Milwaukee Special Olympics Young Professionals Board for a fun and frightful fundraiser at Great Lakes Distillery this Thursday. Guests can enjoy Halloween-themed cocktails concocted by the masterminds at the Great Lakes Distillery, along with the exclusive opportunity to experience "Fright Flight" food and spirit pairings, from 7 to 10 p.m. There will also be brewery tours given by Great Lakes Distillery staff and live entertainment performed by local band Mic Over Matter. In addition, there will also be a "split the pot" costume contest, plenty of raffle prizes, silent auction items and unique festival games throughout the night. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. All ticket sale proceeds will support Special Olympics of Wisconsin initiatives.
JOIN OPERATION PUMPKIN
Hundreds of jack o'lanterns will light up St. Paul Avenue for a season of Halloween fun along the window space of the Historic Pritzlaff Building. Come out and see all the unique and interesting carving creations made by your fellow Milwaukeeans through Nov. 1.
BIG SCREEN SCARES
Stop by the Times Cinema all weekend long and catch one of their many frightening flicks. The theater is showing "Inkubus," starring Robert Englund (the original Freddy Krueger), John Carpenter's "Halloween" and "Trick 'r Treat" for just $5 a pop.
BREW CITY BOMBSHELLS SCARE UP SOME FUN
The Bombshells and their special guests return to the Times Cinema Saturday night for a "Best of Milwaukee" Halloween Extravaganza starring the Miltown Kings, Dead Man's Carnival and more. Swing by at 10 p.m. and get in for just $10.
"DIA DE LOS MUERTOS" ART
Celebrate this rich Mexican tradition this weekend with one of the longest-running Día de los Muertos exhibitions in Milwaukee. Curated by local artist Jose Chavez, the celebration at Walker's Point Center for the Arts will include ofrendas (altars/offerings) created by local artists of various backgrounds in addition to sculpture and 2-D work related to the holiday.
AN ARTISTIC DAY OF THE DEAD
Learn about and celebrate the Mexican traditions of Dia de los Muertos with the Museum of Wisconsin Art. Join the museum as it becomes a colorful and vibrant scene of live music, traditional dance, dedicated altars and hands-on art making Saturday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m.
TUNE INTO TERROR WITH 88NINE
88Nine Radio Milwaukee hosts a special Halloween show with Brother Ali and Motopony at Turner Hall Halloween night at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.
THE BIG HALLOWEEN GIG TUNES UP
Enjoy a night of live music from the Barbeez and Spoiled Rotten at the Big Halloween Gig costume party, starting Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Tripoli Shrine Center. Your $35 admission ($40 at the door) includes tap beer, pizza, costume contest and access to the cash bar. Must be 21 or older. All proceeds benefit Variety - The Children's Charity of Wisconsin.
GET DOWN WITH HALLOWE'EN
Circle A hosts their 10th Hallowe'en party Monday night, featuring Wereworm and Busybodies at 8 p.m. and DJ Miss LaFontaine at 10.
CONCERTS ON CRAMER GETS FESTIVE
Enjoy a night of music at Concerts on Cramer's second annual Halloween concert this Sunday night. Costumes are encouraged, but optional. A donation of $5 is suggested. Music starts at 8:30 p.m.
HARRY'S GETS SCARY
Join one of Milwaukee's hottest reggae bands, for Harry's Bar and Grill's Annual Halloween Bash. Rock out with King Solomon cover-free starting Saturday at 10 p.m.
THRILLS AND CHILLS AT THE RIVERSIDE
Paranormal experts believe that Halloween is the time of year when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest. What will you believe after you experience the spine-tingling reports of spectral activity at the Riverside Theater? Your paranormal party includes a haunted history tour led by Caper Company’s Haunt Spots investigators, one free tap beer or soda, free pizza, tarot readings by the Tarot Sisters, giveaways and more. Tours begin at 7 p.m. Friday and run through 1 a.m. Tickets are $25. Costumes are welcome but not required.
TAKE A HAUNTED HISTORY TOUR
Explore the haunted history of the Third Ward on Milwaukee's original ghost tour. Meet in front of the Milwaukee Public Market at the corner of St. Paul and Water Streets at 7 p.m. and embark on a walking tour full of surprising and spooky tales of ghosts, curses and monsters from past and present. Tours run Friday and Saturday evenings. Call (414) 367-8326 to reserve your spot.
BOARD THE BUS WITH GHOULS & SPIRITS
Explore a city's worth of ghost stories through the Third Ward, along Brady Street and down Wisconsin Avenue on Saturday night's Ghouls & Spirits Adult Trick-or-Treat bus tour. Enjoy three unique courses as you travel throughout Milwaukee, plus hear from a local paranormal society's lead investigator as they share their investigation experiences with you. Food, drinks, guided fun and round-trip transportation are included with each $70 ticket. Everyone must be at least 21 to participate.
TOUR THE BREWS
Tour some of Milwaukee's most haunted taverns on a surprise spooky bar tour this Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m. Starting at Tally Ho Pub & Tavern in Hartford, the bus will shuttle to each destination, which will be revealed on the day of the event, then return to Tally Ho for a themed multi-course dinner complete with cocktails, samples of Great Lakes Distillery's Pumpkin Spirit and a bonfire. Tickets are $40 and include round trip bus travel, dinner and liquor samplings. Attendees must be 21 and up.
EXPLORE CEDARBURG'S GOTHIC PAST
Take a peek into Cedarburg’s dark history with a 90-minute walking tour through the national historic downtown district and nearby Zur Ruhe cemetery this weekend. The World War II years are the focus of this year’s popular Gothic History Tour. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 day of tour ($10 in advance for CCC members). Advance tickets are strongly encouraged for this popular sell-out event. Tour groups are limited and preassigned, so let the Center know if you want to be grouped with family and friends.