In case you haven’t noticed, it’s that time of year again: Jack-o-lanterns, fake spiderwebs, plastic bats hanging from the trees (along with the occasional roll of toilet paper). We’re all familiar with the trappings of Halloween but if you happen to be from out of town, it can be confusing when you want to party like a local. Luckily, we have the inside scoop when it comes to best celebrations and events, no matter which city you’re going to be in on All Hallow’s Eve!
There is no city that celebrates Halloween as enthusiastically as New Orleans. With its famous cemeteries, voodoo rituals, and long history of ghosts and spirits, the city practically oozes scary. It should be no surprise that its residents embrace New Orleans’ intrinsic spookiness and party with a gusto usually reserved for their other favorite holiday: Mardi Gras. Crowds will flock to Bourbon and Frenchmen for street parties and parades, so don your best costume and join in the festivities. Cate Root from The Times-Picayune has a great breakdown of all the major happenings.
Nashville loves to party no matter what the occasion and Halloween is no exception. Any club you hit is almost guaranteed to be having a costume party or themed event of some kind. To see the cream of the crop, head to Play Nashville for their Freak Show contest with $5000 in prizes. Next door, Tribe Nashville is having a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock that’s sure to be a scream. Looking for some real excitement? You will definitely want to try the Demons on Demonbreun Hill, a combination pub crawl and zombie paintball shoot.
Costume contests, pub crawls, haunted mansions, and graveyard tours are just a few of the exciting Halloween events you can find in Boston. Before you head out for the night’s festivities be sure to stop at Dorothy’s Boutique in Back Bay, the biggest adult costume shop in Boston, to pick up some cool accessories. If you happen to have a bike (and more importantly a costume you can ride in), the Halloween Bike Ride draws hundreds of participants for a casual 10-12 mile ride through the city, starting at Copley Square.
Besides the typically nightclub craziness, Denver also has a lot of great family-friendly Halloween attractions. The Denver Zoo puts on their annual Boo at the Zoo event with over 25 trick-or-treat stations and other kid-centric activities, all free with normal zoo admission. The Haunted Field of Screams in Thornton is Colorado’s largest Halloween attraction with over 35 acres of “haunted” cornfields. For more grown up activities, ColoWeen at the City Hall Event Center is the most anticipated costume party of the year.
Halloween in Seattle usually means one thing: putting on your sexiest costume and dancing until the break of dawn. FreakNight is the main event with big-name DJs, but if you don’t feel like spending a couple hundred dollars for the 2-day pass, there are plenty of other dance parties where you’ll have just as much fun like Pulse at the EMP Museum. Dancing not your thing? Try the Crawl-O-Ween pub crawl and see some of downtown’s hottest bars. Or if you’re feeling extra adventurous, Citizen Zero is a zombie-themed urban hide and seek game on a massive scale.
Nothing cool ever happens in Portland. You might as well just stay inside and hand out candy to the trick-or treaters. Ok just kidding, you can find the usual mix of costume contests, dance parties, pub crawls, and zombie-themed everything. Jamie Hale of the Oregonian has already put together his procrastinator’s guide to Halloween in Portland, so we’ll just skip reinventing the wheel on this one.