Sophie Bolich

13 Events to Haunt Your Halloween

Crafts, costume contests and plenty of (boo)ze — where to find the best Halloweekend festivities.

By - Oct 24th, 2022 04:28 pm
Halloween. Pixabay License Free for commercial use No attribution required

Halloween. (Pixabay License)

Whether you’re in search of a family-friendly outing or a dance with the devil, Milwaukee has you covered. Choose your own Halloween adventure from the following list of upcoming events.

Lost Whale – Nadja’s

Break out those wooden stakes for Lost Whale‘s, “What We Do in the Shadows” Halloween pop-up. From Oct. 28 to 30, the bar at 2151 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. will transform into Nadja’s, a fictional nightclub and choice hangout for Staten Island vampires, as portrayed in FX’s mockumentary-style comedy.

Co-owners Tripper Duval and Dan Beres will offer several themed specialty cocktails like Throat Juice, Bloodsucker and other vampire-inspired sips.

In an on-theme act of goodwill, Duval and Beres will also partner with Versiti to host a blood drive on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Each of the 20 sign-up slots are already filled.

See our earlier coverage

SlyFox Cocktail Bar

“Come, we fly!” To SlyFox, that is, for the cocktail bar’s Hocus Pocus-themed Halloween pop-up.

Come Oct. 28 through 31, the bar’s sleek interior will transform into an eerie lair — suitable for villainous witches and thrill-seeking Milwaukeeans alike.

Managing Partner Andrew Logman will feature several witch-crafted cocktails, including Binx, a coffee and rum-based drink; Unfaithful Lover Long Since Dead, a fruit juice and rum-soaked tiki cocktail; Circle of Salt, a pumpkin-based margarita and a non-alcohol option, The Candle Lighter.

Sticky Rice on Brady, which shares a building with SlyFox, will be in on the weekend-long celebration, which will run from 4 p.m. to midnight each day.

See our earlier coverage

The Sugar Maple – Studio Ghibli Pop-Up

The Sugar Maple celebrated Halloween early, launching its four-day Studio Ghibli-themed pop-up on Oct. 20., but the event was so popular that it will be extended until the end of the month.

“You meet people and you realize that almost everyone loves these movies,” Harrison Browning, who co-runs the cocktail program at Sugar Maple, told Urban Milwaukee in September.

The initial celebrations featured house-made ramen from The Sugar Maple’s own Xay Matabele, food trucks, games and a vendor fair.

The extended pop-up will include the art show, themed cocktails and decor.

Sugar Maple, 441 E. Lincoln Ave., is open Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from noon until 2 a.m. and Sunday from noon until 10 p.m.

See our earlier coverage

Mercado Pa’l Pueblo

Raices Revolucionarias, an arts-based collective, will host a Día de los muertos market, Mer-Calacas on Oct. 29.

The event will take place at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, 839 S. 5th St., featuring creative vendors, food and family-friendly activities including live music and arts and crafts workshops.

The name Mer-Calacas is a combination of the word mercado, meaning market, and calaca, meaning skeleton — which is also a decoration commonly seen during Dia de los muertos celebrations (not to be confused with calavera, the Spanish word for skull).

More information is available on the Raices Revolucionarias Facebook page.

Nomad Coffee Bar

Late nights have you feeling like a zombie? Head over to Nomad for coffee so strong, it could raise the dead.

The Brady Street cafe and sister establishment to Nomad World Pub will host a Thursday Night Throwdown on Oct. 27. A $5 fee buys participation for a combined latte art and costume competition. Winners receive cash prizes.

The event is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Nomad Coffee Bar, 1668 N. Warren Ave.

Deer Camp – Spooky Camp

Deer Camp is known for its over-the-top holiday decorations, and Halloween is no different. As of Sept. 29, the deer-themed bar has been engulfed by spider webs, skulls and all-around spooky decorations.

The month of Halloween-themed events will culminate with a jam-packed weekend at the bar, 1023 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. “Spooky Camp” will host scary movie trivia on Thursday Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. to kick off the weekend-long celebration.

On Oct. 28 and 29, the bar will throw a Halloween party, complete with a costume contest, drink specials and tunes by DJ Mateo.

Twisted Cafe

Twisted Cafe, which opened in January 2022, will celebrate its first Halloween in style, with plans for an all-out party featuring drink specials, food, hookah and music courtesy of DJ Pryme. There will also be a costume contest with a $100 prize for first place.

The cafe, 1505 N. Farwell Ave., will be open from 8 p.m. until midnight on Saturday, Oct. 29 for the party.

Entry is $5 and the event is restricted to those 21 and older.

The Vanguard – Paisley Pork

The restaurant formerly known as The Vanguard is dressing up as Paisley Pork, a Prince-themed restaurant, and will invite guests to “go crazy like it’s 1999” on Thursday, Oct. 27.

The Bay View restaurant and bar, 2659 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., will honor the High Priest of Pop with an Italian-inspired menu. Although The Vanguard is known for its house-made sausages, an online post for the event promises vegan options “to fully honor” Prince, who followed a vegan diet.

The Vanguard is known for its yearly Halloween celebration, which has in previous years seen the establishment transform into a honky tonk saloon, a comedy club, a Chinese restaurant, a seafood spot and a “Seinfeld” tribute restaurant.

The Vanguard will be open from 11 a.m. until midnight on Thursday, Oct. 27 for its one-day transformation.

Día de los muertos – Forest Home Cemetery

Forest Home Cemetery & Arboretum will host a free, family-friendly event on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 2405 W. Forest Home Ave.

The celebration will include a 5k run and walk, food trucks, local vendors, arts and crafts, face painting, traditional music and dance, altars to the dead, community resource booths and more.

Families who have loved ones buried in the cemetery are invited to create ofrendas or altars at the burial site from Oct. 28 until Nov. 3.

The 5k run and walk will start at 9 a.m., followed by the festival from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

For more information about the event, vendor opportunities or to sign up for the 5k, visit the Forest Home Cemetery website.

Milwaukee Annual Halloween Bar Crawl

Calling all creepy crawlers — Howl at the Moon will host the fifth installment of Milwaukee’s annual Halloween bar crawl on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 4 p.m. until 11:45 p.m. Participants will receive an entry into the costume contest ($1,000 grand prize), two complimentary beverages and access to food and drink specials at participating locations, plus other surprises.

The event has grown rapidly since its 2019 debut, which drew 629 participants. Last year’s event attracted 2,623 attendees.

The crawl will kick off at Howl at the Moon, 1103 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., with stops at Brother’s Bar & Grill, Duke’s on Water, McGillycuddy’s, Mojo Mke, Third Street Tavern, Red Rock Saloon, Flannery’s, Safe House, This Is It!, and others. Attendees are invited to congregate at Bodega nightclub from 10 p.m. to midnight for the after-party.

Tickets are $22.50 each and are available for purchase online. Group tickets are discounted.

2022 Halloween On Brady

Brady Street lays claim to the city’s largest costume contest, which will commence on Saturday, Oct. 29. Participating bars will hold preliminary rounds of judging. Winners from each bar will head to Nashville North, where judges will crown three winners at midnight. First prize will take home $1,000, second place will receive $500 and third place will receive $250.

Participating bars are Up-Down Milwaukee, Malone’s on Brady, Famous Cigar Bar, Club Brady, Casablanca, Hosed on Brady, Jack’s American Pub, Jo-Cat’s Pub, Mangos Cafe, Nashville North, Nomad World Pub, Pete’s Pub, SlyFox Cocktail Bar, The Standard Tavern, Saint BibianaWurstBar MKE and Hi Hat Garage.

Visit the Brady Street BID website for more information and a look at previous years’ costumes.

A Black Cat Alley Halloween

Black Cat Alley, an open-air art gallery on the East Side, and surrounding businesses will be the site of a family-friendly Halloween celebration on Saturday, Oct. 29.

The festivities will start bright and early with a “Jacked-O-Lantern’ workout class at Shred415 East Side, 2165 N. Prospect Ave. Stick around for a build-your-own scarecrow workshop in the alley at 11 a.m., or head to Crossroads Collective for a cookie pop-up, kids costume contest, dog costume contest and kids trick-or-treat.

Nine Below will also be in on the fun, hosting Family Fright Fest Fireball Golf. The mini-gold bar will host a second, adults-only round later on.

Come evening, the sky won’t be the only thing turning dark — tarot card readings, Glow & Throw axe throwing at AXE MKE and an adult costume contest are all in store after 6 p.m.

Additionally, DJ Fuzzy Logic will host a throwback dance party in the alley, accompanied by drinks from The Pharmacy outdoor alley bar. The Oriental Theatre will also present a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show.

More information is available on the Black Cat Alley Instagram page.

Lazy Susan

Lazy Susan, the self-proclaimed casual fine-dining establishment in the Bay View neighborhood, will host a Halloween Cocktail dinner.

The gluten-free menu will take diners on a tour of Eastern Europe, Haiti, Mexico and New Orleans with standout dishes such as Romanian grilled sausages, green plantains and devil sauce, duck tamales and more.

For dessert, attendees can choose from caramel apple cheesecake, chocolate beet cake and pan de los muertos (bread of the dead), a traditional Mexican sweet bread.

Cocktail pairings will be provided in partnership with Koval Distillery.

Aside from gourmet food and drink, an on-site magician and tarot-reader will provide entertainment.

Tickets are $150, with $50 from each ticket donated to the Bay View Community Center.

This event was cancelled as of Tuesday, Oct. 25.

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