How to Celebrate Halloween in Milwaukee

From haunted houses to pumpkin carving to where to get your costume, here’s how to make the best of Halloween 2015.

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By Liz Chatterton and Mary Jo Contino

Where to Get Your Costume

For those looking for a cheap approach to dressing up, make sure you’ve got some ideas in mind before going to Value Village, a one-stop shop for costume needs. Their recycled Halloween clothes and decorations could go fast, but be sure to check back later because donations are always pouring in. With deals every day, you’re sure to find something that fits your plan for the holiday (324 W. North Ave., Mon.-Thurs. & Sat. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Fri. 9 a.m.-8 p.m.,

No costume is impersonal at Kim’s Costumes. The business started when Kim herself had a high demand for handmade theater apparel. Now she provides costumes for the public out of her shop in West Allis (7121 W. Greenfield Ave., Mon., Tues. Thurs., Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m-1 p.m. Closed Sun. & Wed.,

They pop up quicker than you can even say, “Halloween Express,” and this year they’re in several prominent locations: Kenosha, Racine, Greenfield, Brookfield, Downtown, and more. No idea what or who you’re going to be this year? No problem. Check out their website, which has the largest selection of dress-up garbs you’ll find in one place (4601 S. 27th St. (Downtown Location), Mon.-Sat. 10am-9pm, Sun. 11am-6pm,

Halloween Fun for Everyone

Grab a pumpkin and head to Humboldt Park, where you can join others in bringing it to life at the Pumpkin Pavilion. More than 1,000 pumpkins will be lit, as activities such as hay riding, face-painting, games, movie showings, music performances, and scrumptious local food go on all around them. Magic shows and fire spinners will also be performing for an extra thrill (3000 S. Howell Ave, FREE Community Pumpkin Carving: Oct. 21-22, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Pumpkin Pavilion: Oct. 23-24, 6 p.m.-10 p.m.;

If you’re bored of trick-or-treating in your own neighborhood, change the setting and head down to the Milwaukee County Zoo for their Halloween Spooktacular, where traditional candy-hunting is put on the backburner. Attendees get to enjoy the zoo’s haystack maze, light shows, giveaways, and more. The animals will have their fun, too, since zookeepers will be presenting them with gifts throughout the weekend at a spectator’s glance (10001 W. Bluemound Rd, Oct. 23 6pm-9pm & Oct. 24 9am-9pm,

Imagine being able to participate in a real game of Clue or, better yet, being a character in your favorite scary movie. At Escape Chambers MKE, participants have one hour to crack safes, solve puzzles, and make it out of their chamber to avoid certain unfortunate ends. All chambers are different and there are three of them; their fourth is coming soon, where participants will begin the hour chained together. Do you have what it takes? (275 W. Wisconsin Ave., Hours Vary,

Halloween Fun for Over-21

High demand for Milwaukee’s Halloween Trolley Bar Crawl has extended it to a 2-night event. The trolley will “crawl” all over Third St. and the Third Ward—arguably the most popular places to drink in metro Milwaukee. Ticket-holders get three drink vouchers and can enjoy drink specials at all participating bars. Dress up in your best Halloween garbs for a chance to win the $1,000 cash prize (161 S. 1st St., Oct. 30-31, 8 p.m.-2 a.m.,

For Milwaukeeans who tend to enjoy a good hog and a good ale—or even, just a good ale—stop by the Wisconsin Craft Beer Festival hosted at the Harley-Davidson Museum. There will be three tasting sessions, where each of the myriad of participating breweries will provide a taproom-only or limited release beer option. For wannabe-brewers, the festival is also hosting informational presentations from four prominent home-brewing authors (400 W. Canal St., Oct. 23-24,

At Turner Hall Ballroom, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee is hosting its annual Halloween bash. This year features Doomtree, Lizzo, LMNOP’s (1040 N. 4th St. Doors 7 p.m.,

Haunted House Guide

Not at all related to The Weeknd’s hit single, The Hill Has Eyes in Franklin sits on one of Wisconsin’s most haunted lands. It’s not just a haunted house, it’s a horrifying trail of five haunted attractions, including a haunted carnie tent and a forklift, that have earned 8 out of ten scare sculls on Choose a mild, medium, or deadly haunt, and get ready to scream. Located on Historic Mitchell Street, Milwaukee’s infamous Mars Haunted House is terrifyingly fun. Unlike most other haunted houses, Mars is actually haunted by its original owner Mr. Milton, who shot and killed his family of five, then himself inside the house. For a kid-friendly option, try The Haunted Tall Ship at Milwaukee’s Discovery World. Dress your kids up like pirates and ghouls and check out a fun alternative to a haunted house.

More Events:

  • Not sure what to do before trick-or-treating starts? On Halloween, celebrate the dead at Milwaukee’s Dia De Los Muertos celebration at Walker Square Park. There will be a 5K walk/run, an art market, and traditional dancers. Come dressed in traditional Day of the Dead garments complete with fun and colorful skull makeup, and join the Walker Square Neighborhood parade. (Celebration is from noon until 5 p.m. at Walker Square Park (9th and Mineral). Parade starts at 2.p.m.)
  • There’s nothing cuter than a dog in a costume. Wisconsin Humane Society is hosting the Halloween Howl on Oct. 29 so even your dogs can celebrate the holiday. There will be a canine costume contest, bobbing for hot dogs, tricks for treats, and a bone dig ($20/dog. Event is from 7-8:15 p.m. at The Wisconsin Humane Society, 4500 W. Wisconsin Ave.)
  • Looking to dance your striped, Wicked Witch of the West socks off? 88Nine Radio Milwaukee is hosting their annual Halloween Bash at Turner Hall Ballroom with local and national DJs and artists so you can get your Monster Mash on ($14. Doors and show start at 7 p.m. at Turner Hall, 1040 N. 4th St.) 
  • Keep your kiddos safe on Halloween. Milwaukee County Parks is sponsoring the Children’s Safety Fair at the Kosciuszko Community Center on Oct 29. Kids will be given Halloween safety tips at the events resource table, while also enjoying a haunted house and costume contest. ($2/person. Event is from 5-8 at Kosciuszko Community Center, 2201 S. 7th St.)
  • Want to work out before eating all those Snickers? Racestart Training is having their first Halloween Workout and Paleo Potluck on Halloween this year. The event begins with a group workout (which may involve pumpkins) and ends with a potluck filled with paleo treats. Costumes are welcome ($15 if you bring a dish to pass and $20 if you don’t. Event starts at 10:00 a.m. at Racestart Training, 2018 S. 1st Street – unit #305)