A handy guide to Halloween in Milwaukee

By - Oct 29th, 2010 04:00 am

Having trouble picking out your Halloween costume, let alone deciding where to show it off?  Don’t worry — TCD has got you covered with our handy guide to everything spooky, scary and downright bizarre this Halloween season in Milwaukee. Looking to do some day-drinking while carving pumpkins?  How about an excuse to dress in lingerie and dance the Time Warp, guys? Or are you in the market for something a little more family-friendly?

However you want to spend your Halloween, TCD’s got something for everyone. If you see something that piques your interest, simply click on the link for location, dates and times.

One of the characters you’ll meet at the Splatter Haus.

Haunted Houses

Haunted house junkies needn’t look further: check out some of these amazing haunts in the Milwaukee area.

Haunted High is not located in Milwaukee, however the short drive to Oconomowoc will be well worth it as Haunted High is a veritable palace of terror.

Mars Haunted House bills itself as Wisconsin’s only “truly haunted house” which, after looking at pictures of their venue (a commercial building from the 1800’s), seems entirely possible.

Elements of Fear is run by the parents and students of Our Lady Queen of Peace School, capitalizing on the idea that Catholic school is scary to pretty much everybody.

Hauntfest, held at State Fair Park, has been scaring the pants off Milwaukee for seven years.  Billed as Wisconsin’s largest and only heated haunt, Hauntfest is a must for any haunted house aficionado.

Some other great haunts outside of the Milwaukee area: A Theater of Lost Souls, Bear Den Zoo, Burial Chamber, Dominion of Terror, Fright Hike, Horror in the Dark, Salem’s Plot, Splatter Haus and Wisconsin Feargrounds.

Family Friendly Fun

Boo at the Zoo or the Halloween Trick or Treat Spooktacular, both happening at the Milwaukee County Zoo.  Boo at the Zoo promises different Halloween events like a pumpkin patch, crafts and educational talks about the animals while the Trick or Treat Spooktacular is all about the candy.

The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum’s Not So Scary Halloween lets kids trick or treat throughout the entire museum and learn something new at every treat stop.

Riverwest Halloween: A Family Affair, has got Halloween family fun while also benefiting the Riverwest Co-Op.  Be prepared for some DIY fun like making apple cider with a real cider press.

Halloween Glen offers families a “natural alternative” to the season’s scary thrills by teaching participants about nature with a walk through the woods.

Adults only (get your mind outta the gutter!)

88.9’s Halloween Party with Gogol Bordello will have you grooving, gypsy-punk style, all night long.

The Milwaukee Naughties Halloween Party, held at Art Bar, will have the fun and eclectic crowd that characterizes Riverwest nightlife.

If you need an excuse to get dolled up in your best lingerie (really though, who needs an excuse?), the Rocky Horror Halloween Weekend at the Oriental is the best place to show it off.

If you’re still stuck in the eighties, the Ale House Halloween Party w/ Radio Radio will have you rocking out to new wave music and inducing eighties flashbacks all night long.

Do you love George Romero’s horror classic Night of the Living Dead?  Do you love puppets?  Perfect.  Then don’t miss Night of the Living Dead Puppet Show at the Oriental.

The Spooky Clown Get-Down at Cafe Centraal sounds pretty scary.  Calm yourself by indulging in their inexhaustible beer list and Halloween Hangover Brunch the next day.

The Hollander Halloween Costume Crawl, starting at Cafe Hollander on Downer at 9 a.m., is a seven stop biking pub crawl that combines costumes, beer, a free brewery tour and bicycles.  For the ambitious drunk biker in us all.

Discovery World has an old-school radio theater program, Secret Labs,  that is billed as “astonishingly true.”  Live music, cash bar and a live radio performance make this Halloween experience a one-of-a-kind treat.

Frank’s Power Plant is Bayview will have you either singing or cringing at their free Midnight Karaoke and Costume Contest.

Trick or treat in style at the Iron Horse Hotel’s Costume Party.  It sounds awesome – instead of candy treats, expect Rehorst cocktails.

The Mad Planet’s Costume Party will be sweaty, dirty and totally fun.  Some will be in costumes although unaware it’s Halloween.

Victor’s Pub Crawl visits four different bars and boasts a costume contest with $1,000 in cash and prizes for first place.

Whiskey Bar spreads out Halloween fun all weekend.  Thursday: pumpkin carving contest.  Friday: costume contest and a chance to win a year’s supply of Jack Daniel’s, Jameson and others.  Saturday: time to dance.

Off the beaten path

Looking for something a bit more outside the box? Try these less raucous but by no means less fun events.

The beautiful Villa Terrace’s Midnight in the Garden party features a scavenger hunt, fortune tellers and costume contests.

Old World Wisconsin is hosting a Halloween Dinner Theater – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Treat yourself to their seasonal harvest buffet, then a lamp lit walk to view the show.

Trick or treating for grownups! Ghosts and Spirits Gourmet Trick or Treat takes participants all over the city, sampling and drinking all the while.

Carve your own pumpkins and enjoy a stiff autumnal brew at Club Garibaldi Pumpkin Carving in Bayview.

Alchemist Theater’s Murder Castle chronicles America’s first serial killer: H. H. Holmes.  Alchemist Theater has pulled out all the stops with an elaborate pre-show that is not to be missed.

Gothic History Tours illuminate Cedarburg’s creepy history.

Trying to find a date for Halloween?  Try Halloween Speed Dating — it’s fast, simple and probably more effective than trying to flirt while dressed as a bloody zombie.

Discovery World lets you play cops and robbers, grown-up style at CSI: Milwaukee.  Investigate crime scenes, meet detectives and learn to lift fingerprints.

Pumpkin Patches

Perfect for a day trip to the country, these patches have pick-your-own apple and pumpkin hours as well as seasonal treats:  Apple Holler, The Elegant Farmer, Basse’s Taste of Country, The Family Farm, Swan’s Pumpkin Farm, Homestead Animal Farm and Barthel Fruit Farm.

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