The Twin Cities are a hotbed for exciting, spooky events around Halloween. Just last weekend, thousands of zombies lumbered through downtown Minneapolis for the annual Zombie Pub Crawl. This event is so popular that it even holds a Guinness World Record for largest gathering of zombies, illustrating the love that Minnesotans have for creepy, macabre events. If you missed ZPC this year, don’t get your tattered zombie pants in a bundle quite yet—there are still plenty of Halloween and horror-related events to participate in before the scariest night of the year! We’ve collected seven of the more interesting, geek-friendly events here, but please feel free to leave any ideas that we may have missed in the comments below.
Quick note: some of these events may require a bit of travel if you live in the Twin Cities, but most of the events are within the Minneapolis–St. Paul area.
1. Haunted Basement X (now through October 31)
Even if you haven’t been to the Haunted Basement yet, you may have heard stories about it from family or friends. If you haven’t heard any of the peculiar, somewhat disturbing accounts, well, let’s just say that the Soap Factory has a waiver that you have to sign on their website before you can participate. This year is the 10th anniversary of the Haunted Basement, and there are several less-scary packages on offer if it seems like it might be too much for you. For ticket prices, dates, times, and the waiver that you’ll have to sign, click here.
2. October Fright Nights by Marcus Theatres (Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through October 29)
If seeing a film instead of getting sucked up in the craziness of a haunted house is more your style, Marcus Theatres is holding its October Fright Nights Film Series at Oakdale Cinema and at Parkwood Cinema in Waite Park. They are showing classic horror films on the big screen on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights in October. This weekend, the gory, darkly comic slasher A Nightmare on Elm Street is playing, and the following weekend is the quintessential Halloween film Halloween. More information about tickets and showtimes can be found here.
3. Trail of Terror (October 7–October 30)
It’s pretty tough to not include Trail of Terror on any Halloween events list, as this is one of the bigger Halloween attractions in Minnesota. Although it may be a bit of a trek if you reside in the Twin Cities (though a familiar one for RenFest goers), Trail of Terror has plenty to offer in order to get your spine tingling, if you’re into that kind of thing. This year, there is a zombie 5K, zombie paintball, four different themed haunted houses, and a large, heated indoor maze. And if you need a bit of liquid courage to get you through the scares and frights, there are three different bars with beer and cocktails. Ticket prices and information about the various events can be found here.
4. Twin Cities Horror Festival V (October 27–November 6)
The fifth Twin Cities Horror Festival runs for 11 days at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis and incorporates a huge variety of shows, including dance, music, theater, and film. The events are all horror related, and many of the descriptions include phrases such as “Do not bring children,” which sounds like a pretty great time if you are a fan of the more unsettling things in life. Visit the official website here for a preview of some of the events, ticket prices, and times.
5. Stranger Things Halloween Parties (October 28 and October 29)
Stranger Things was one of the biggest phenomena on Netflix this year, and there was never any doubt that the phenomenon would bleed over into Halloween. Stranger Things costume ideas are all over the Internet, and there will most likely be plenty of Elevens and Demogorgons wandering around the streets on October 31st. At least two Minneapolis venues have picked up on the trend and are throwing Stranger Things themed Halloween parties that are sure to be filled with plenty of ’80s music and creative costumes. On October 28th, Mill City Nights is throwing its party—which may be your last chance to see the venue, as it’s closing by the end of the year. Then, on October 29th, 89.3 the Current’s Jake Rudh is hosting a Stranger Things Transmission party at Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge. More information about these events can be found on the Mill City and Transmission event pages.
6. Art in Motion: A Thriller of an Event (October 29)
Presented by the Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota, Art in Motion: A Thriller of an Event is a Halloween themed dance performance at the Lakeville Area Arts Center. A performance that mixes ballet and the horrors of Halloween should be a really unique experience, and there is also a costume party included at the event. Further, at the end of the performance there will be snacks and refreshments as the winner of the costume party gets announced. More information about this show, as well as the address and link to buy tickets can be found here.
7. First Avenue’s Halloween Party and Costume Contest (October 31)
If you don’t have to work on November 1, or if you know the perfect hangover cure (please let me in on your secret), then First Avenue is the place to be on Halloween night. Listed on the event site as “The Best Halloween Party in Town,” First Avenue plans to deliver plenty of DJs, as well as over $1,000 in cash prizes. I’d suggest buying tickets in advance if you plan on going to this party, as it’s sure to be popular. Times and ticket prices can be found on the First Avenue website.
As you can see, the Twin Cities has a huge variety of events to participate in around Halloween. Whether you want to go out and party, or relax and watch a movie on the big screen, there is something for everybody. What are your favorite Halloween-related events in the Twin Cities? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!