Your guide to the best Halloween parties, street fests, ghost tours and more.
We all love getting scared on Halloween, but one fright no one wants to experience is realizing that you missed out on fun Halloween festivities. Here’s a list of everything spooky — from costume contests to pumpkin carving to ghost walks — that you won’t want to miss this October.
Pier 106 is hosting a pumpkin carving happy hour. For a $10 fee, you’ll receive a pumpkin, carving tools and a tap beer of your choice. Advanced registration is required for this event.
Where: Pier 106 Seafood Tavern (106 W. Wells St.)
When: October 17, 6 – 9 p.m.
Dress up in your favorite costume and take a 3.5-hour bus/haunted city tour through Milwaukee. Get ready for ghost stories, fun Halloween trivia, pizza, a stop to celebrate Day of the Dead and chocolate treats. Tickets cost $65 plus a $3.50 fee, and guests must be 21+ to attend.
Where: Milwaukee (exact meeting spot given upon ticket purchase)
When: October 19 – 20 and October 26 – 27
This 1.5-mile walking tour of the Third Ward includes stories of the area’s haunted history, ghost stories and folklore, and recent reports of paranormal activity. Tickets are $20.
Where: Meet in front of the Public Market (400 N. Water St.)
When: October 21, 3 p.m.; October 26 – 27, 7:30 p.m.
Take a few shots of Fireball at Jo-Cat’s Pub before taking a bus for The Hill Has Eyes — one of Milwaukee’s best haunted houses. The pre-party starts at 5:30 p.m., then the bus leaves for The Hill Has Eyes at 7.
Where: Jo-Cat’s Pub (1311 E. Brady St.)
When: October 21, 5:30 – 9:30 p.m.
For $100, guests receive a five-course, Halloween themed gourmet dinner at the Miller Brewery Caves. Wear your best costume, as there’s a costume contest where winners receive two free tickets for future Miller Caves dinners. Your ticket also includes an optional tour of the caves, as well as a Miller Caves glassware gift. There is a 40-person limit on this event, so make sure to get your tickets fast. All guests must be 21+.
Where: Miller Brewery (4251 W. State St.)
When: October 25, 6:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Sixteen bars and restaurants on Brady Street are hosting costume contests this Halloween, with each bar choosing a first-place winner who will be entered in a Grand Prize drawing at midnight at Hosed. Brady Street’s website boasts of “HUGE cash prizes,” with additional prizes as well.
Where: Brady Street, various locations
When: October 27, 9:30 p.m. – Midnight
With over 10,000 square feet of haunts and sounds, Milwaukee’s “largest and craziest Halloween party” returns with entertainment by Kiss FM DJ Gee A, Rutger Krueger, BG GOOD and SHAYKENN, as well as a costume contest with a $500 cash prize.
Where: Ugly’s Pub (1125 N. Old World 3rd St.)
When: October 27, 9 p.m. – 2:30 a.m.
A free Halloween drag show and costume contest (with cash prizes) hosted by Pabst Brewery, this event is a cheap and fun way to get out this Halloweekend.
Where: Pabst Milwaukee Brewery and Taproom (1037 W. Juneau Ave.)
When: October 27, 9:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Don your best disguise for a night of music, dancing, drinking and costume contests for Most Bond-like Costume, Most Creative Costume and Best All-Around Costume, with prizes for each equaling $100.
Where: SafeHouse (779 N. Front St.)
When: October 27, 10 p.m. – 2:30 a.m.
The Outsider will bring New Orleans to Milwaukee this Halloweekend, with a Voodoo Halloween costume contest. DJs will play creole, zydeco and ragtime music, a tarot card reader will be giving fortunes, Ouija boards are available and even the food and drinks are New Orleans Voodoo inspired.
Where: The Outsider Rooftop Bar (310 E. Chicago St.)
When: October 27, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Lakefront Brewery’s final fun run of the year isn’t one to miss. Participants can run in costume, and also test out Saucony running shoes. The route is 3-6 miles, depending on if you opt for the Oak Leaf Trail or Riverwalk, followed by a costume contest at Lakefront’s Beer Hall (must be 21+ to enter).
Where: Lakefront Brewery (1872 N. Commerce St.)
When: October 29, 6 – 8 p.m.
Bring out your inner detective at this murder mystery dinner hosted by Maggiano’s Little Italy. Their family-style dinner will include appetizers, salads, pasta, entrees and desserts, and a cash bar will also be available. Costumes are encouraged, and tickets start at $60 per person.
Where: Maggiano’s Little Italy (2500 N. Mayfair Rd., Wauwatosa)
When: October 31, 6 – 9 p.m.
Kiss Ultra Lounge promises that it’s “going DOWN” at their Halloween party. Costume contests will also be occurring, with winners receiving cash prizes.
Where: Kiss Ultra Lounge (7330 N. 76th St.)
When: October 31, 9 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
Family Fun Frights
This four-day fest is centered around pumpkin carving, with guests invited to carve their own jack-o-lantern while also admiring the 1,000+ ones on display. Expect to partake in dance lessons, pumpkin carving, costume contests, magic shows and much, much more. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged.
Where: Humboldt Park Pavilion (3000 S. Howell Ave.)
When: October 17 and 18, 5 – 9 p.m.; October 19, 6 – 9 p.m.; October 20, 3 – 9 p.m.
Spooky Stalks started as a yard haunt in 1998, and has since grown into Milwaukee’s only haunted cornfield. This “unique adventure in the dark” is filled with “spooky scenery, amazing illusions and scary surprises.” Tickets cost $13. Due to the scary nature of this event, it’s not recommended for children under 12.
Where: 12000 W. Appleton Ave.
When: October 19 – 20, and 26 – 27, 7 – 10:30 p.m.
The Milwaukee County Zoo is hosting a costume parade and trick-or-treating event, with other activities and things to see as well. Reduced admission is offered both evenings of this event.
Where: Milwaukee County Zoo (10001 W. Bluemound Rd.)
When: October 19, 6 – 9 p.m.; October 20, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Presented by Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful, this fest promises a bounty of activities for you and your children, including: trick-or-treat stations, a DJ, “Milwaukee’s largest ‘Thriller’ mob dance,” pumpkin carving, face painting, a costume contest and hayrides.
Where: Forest Home Cemetery (2405 W. Forest Home Ave.)
When: October 20, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Check out Historic Downer Avenue for a haunted Halloween event, with activities for the whole family ranging from trick-or-treating, chalk drawing and balloon art for kids, and a mini pumpkin pub crawl for parents.
Where: Downer Avenue (2651 N. Downer Ave.)
When: October 20, Noon – 4 p.m.
Kids get to go on a pumpkin hunt while adults “trick-or-treat” around the dealership to enter to win a $100 gift card and other prizes.
Where: Milwaukee Harley-Davidson (11310 W. Silver Spring Dr.)
When: October 27, Noon – 2 p.m.