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14 Choices for Halloween Fun

Food, drinks and fright at events like Fetish Friday, Harry Potter Halloween and Trolley Bar Crawl.

By - Oct 28th, 2015 04:11 pm
The Iron Horse Hotel. Photo by Sean Sweeney Photography.

The Iron Horse Hotel. Photo by Sean Sweeney Photography.

A very popular choice for scary movies around Halloween is The Shining, Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel. But you won’t find a spot that loves the film more than The Iron Horse Hotel. The hotel, located at 500 W. Florida St., is hosting “The Shining Bash” on Halloween night at 7 p.m.

The movie will be screened on an HDTV throughout the night and staff will be dressed as characters from the film. The hotel’s retail shop, The Mercantile, will also be dressed to the nines, offering guests a frightful experience complete with holograms and fog. If scares aren’t your thing, then you can take to the dance floor where DJ Kiings will put on a monster mash from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. There will of course be a costume contest with prizes including a $100 and $50 bar tab.

The hotel confirmed via email that everyone is invited, but those 21 and older are able to enjoy special $8 cocktails. Cocktails include Red Rum Punch, with White rum, dark rum; Malibu, pineapple, cranberry and orange juice; Room 237, with Great Lakes Pumpkin Spirit, rye whiskey, pumpkin compote, muscovado, orange bitters and cream; and of course, Here’s Johnny, with Bulliet Rye, Benedictine, Cynar, Punt e Mes and Jamaican Bitters.

Second Annual Food Fright

Or you might try a night of scares and sampling with Local First Milwaukee at the Lakefront Brewery at 1872 N. Commerce St. from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on October 29th.

Receive a souvenir pint glass, four Lakefront beers, and food samples from 17 local restaurants you can vote on for the “crowd favorite” category including Belair Cantina, Fresh Farm Bowls Food Truck, Simmer Café, The Rumpus Room, Story Hill BKC and more. You can also partake in the Lakefront’s haunted brewery tour experience as well as the costume contest with the categories of best Milwaukee local celeb impersonation or MKE reference, best pop-culture reference, most amazing makeup and best food or cooking reference. Of course, there will be dancing with music provided by DJ Cat Reince.

The $50 general admission includes all of the perks above, but $100 will get you a “Live Coastal” Local First t-shirt and reserved seating for the event. Get tickets through the website.

Harry Potter Halloween

Grab your Nimbus 2000 and bottle of Pumpkin Juice and head to UW-Milwaukee’s Greene Hall at 3347 N. Downer Ave. for a Harry Potter-themed party with the UWM Center for International Education. The party is on Oct. 29th from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and guests are encouraged to dress as their favorite Harry Potter characters. The Facebook page insists that you preregister through Eventbrite as there are limited tickets.

Fetish Friday

Head to the Nomad World Pub at 1401 E. Brady St. for a NSFW Halloween Eve costume contest with categories for Sexiest Male, Sexiest Female, Best “Tran”-Sylvanian and Most Goulish Deviant. The event page for the pub says that WHYB and Fortune will be making music from 9 p.m. onwards. Judging for the costume contest begins at midnight with the grand prize winner taking home two Packer tickets and $100.

Halloween Trolley Bar Crawl

Enjoy a spooky twist on pub crawls with the Halloween Trolley Bar Crawl hosted by MyDrinkOn.com. On Oct. 30th and 31st from 8 p.m. to close, you can hop aboard a Milwaukee trolley with three drink vouchers to enjoy drink specials at bars along N. Old World Third St. and the Historic Third Ward, including Rumor, Buck Bradley’s, Milwaukee Brat House, Oak, The Irish Pub, Who’s On Third, Rosie’s On Water and Upper 90 Sports Pub.

You can also enter a costume contest for a chance to win the grand prize of $1,000! According to the event page, all you need to do is snap a photo of yourself and your friends either at the event, during costume shopping or just images of Halloween in general and then post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram while tagging @MyDrinkOn and #NightmareOn. Each post counts as an additional chance to win.

Pre-Check, which allows you to start at any bar at any time on Friday or Saturday, is Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Rosie’s On Water (1111 N. Water St.). Check-in is on Friday and Saturday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Rumor (161 W. Pittsburgh Ave.) and Buck Bradley’s (1019 N. Old World 3rd St.). Check out the event page to take advantage of deals through Living Social and Groupon.

Brady Street Halloween Bash

One of Milwaukee’s favorite streets offers a night of street-wide Halloween fun! Come in your best costume to your favorite bar and restaurant on the street for a chance to represent the business at the main costume contest at Casablanca at midnight. The website says that first, second and third place winners will receive $1,000, $750 and $500 respectively. Other prizes will be provided by Bud Light and Guinness.

The participating bars and restaurant are as follows: Van Buren’s Whiskey Bar & Grill, Hybrid Lounge, Casablanca, Regano’s Roman Coin, The Standard, Hosed on Brady, Jo-Cat’s Pub, Jack’s American Pub, La Masa, Malone’s, Club Brady and Nomad World Pub.

The Nomad World Pub is welcoming the Enablers at 9 p.m. You can also enjoy $3 Bud Light and $4 Guinness throughout the event.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee’s Halloween Bash

88Nine Radio Milwaukee is hosting their Annual Halloween Bash on (of course) Halloween night starting at 7 p.m. at Turner Hall Ballroom. Doomtree, LIZZO and Rusty P’s & The LMNtlyst will be providing the tunes. You can buy tickets on the event page on The Pabst Theater‘s website.

Halloween Late Night Party Cruise

Celebrate Halloween with a cruise down the Milwaukee River and along the shore of Lake Michigan. The Milwaukee River Cruise Line offers a Halloween night cruise from 10:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Enjoy the sights with unlimited Miller Lite and a nacho buffet with music provided by DJ Zac. A costumed patron will be awarded with a prize at the end of the cruise. Book tickets at the company’s website.


It’s common to see costumed people walking about on Halloween night, but how about a restaurant dressing up for the holiday!? That would be the Vanguard at 2659 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.: On Halloween at 5 p.m., the restaurant will convert from a beer and sausage restaurant to an American-style Chinese restaurant known as “Golden Dragon.”

Co-owner Jim McCann told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via email that the staff wondered “If we were to abandon our original concept, what other style of restaurant or type of cuisine would we serve if we didn’t decide to become a sausage restaurant? Instead of a standard Halloween party, we thought it would be fun to have Vanguard ‘go as a different concept.’”

For the whole night, chef Shay Linkus will be serving scallion pancake with red pork belly and chopped clam ($8), spicy shanghai noodle with mushroom and bok choy served with a choice of beef or tofu ($8),  hot and spicy lobster ($14) and more. Snacks include gwai lo eggs ($4), duck egg rolls ($5) and mushroom egg rolls ($4).

You can check out the full menu from the Journal Sentinel’s coverage here.

Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge

You’d have to be mad to miss out on the Sixth Annual Mad Men Halloween Party on 8 p.m. Halloween night at Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge (1579 S. 9th St.).

According to the lounge’s website, the bar promises “delicious mid-century cocktails and swinging hi-fi music.” People who come dressed in 1960’s style suits and cocktail dresses are offered special prices on old-fashioned martinis and manhattans.

Dapper men and women can also join a costume contest with categories including Best Peggie, Sexiest Joan, Best Couple, Best Glen and Most Obscure Character. Judges will be walking around the lounge handing out prizes to those who not only look sharp, but can act sharp as well. The grand prize, $100 for the best Mad Men character, will be awarded at 11 p.m.

Mad Planet

More madness. Head to Mad Planet at 533 E. Center St. for a Halloween night bursting with Afro Cuban, Latin Jazz, Reggae, Roots and more with artists De La Buena, R.A.S. Movement and DJ Papa G. The event is on Halloween night at 9 p.m. and has a cover charge of $10. Check the website for more info.

Lazy Susan

Lazy Susan will be hosting a Halloween bash starting at 7:30 p.m. at 2378 S. Howell Ave., according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The bash includes a magic show, palmistry, karaoke, a costume contest and a buffet with roast goat. It’s $25 at the door or $20 if you order in advance and bring two nonperishable food items for the Bay View Community Center food pantry. Call (414) 988-7086 for more info.

The Garden

The Milwaukee Social Chair is hosting a costume party at The Garden, a SURG Banquet Facility, at 725 N. Milwaukee St. from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Halloween night. You can dance to the music of DJ Scott Sloan or watch the worst horror movies playing in the background. There will of course be a costume contest complete with prizes.

Admission is free but tickets are limited. You can also reserve a VIP table with drink specials and bottle service for the entire night for $150.

Day of the Dead Party

Can’t make the Halloween festivities? Then head to The Nomad World Pub to celebrate Day of the Dead on Sunday, Nov. 1st. According to the event page, the pub offers $5 margaritas, $3 Mexican beers and half-off tequila shots for those that come in costume. The bar also offers “special edition sound travels” with Marcus Doucette & Friends.

In Non-Halloween News…

Giovanni’s – the Italian restaurant we covered back in August – has finally reopened last Monday at 1033 N. Old World 3rd St., according to OnMilwaukee. The restaurant closed in 2006 at its original location at 1683 N. Van Buren St., but now the whole family is back and ready to roll with their brand new menu. The restaurant is joining the Comedy Café, which also moved to the same space after closing its original location on Brady Street.

St. Joan Antida High School is hosting their 60th Annual Spaghetti with the Sisters at 1341 N. Cass St. on November 1st from noon to 4 p.m., according to the Three Holy Women Catholic Parish church bulletin. It costs $10 for adults and $9 for seniors to chow down on some real home-style cooking, spaghetti made from a  “closely guarded recipe that has been handed down over the generations.”

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