25 freaky and fun things to do for Halloween in the Twin Cities

Dancing started early
Dancing started early for Dylan Swanson of Golden Valley, Minn., as he waited for the food contest to begin during downtown Minneapolis' 2015 Zombie Pub Crawl.
Judy Griesedieck for MPR News | File 2015

This October, there is plenty of family and adults-only fun to be had in the Twin Cities metro area that doesn't involve creepy clown hoaxes.

Here's your roundup:

1) Trail of Terror

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When: Oct. 17-20 and 24-27

Where: Renaissance Festival Grounds, 3525 145th St. W., Shakopee, Minn.

Admission: Tickets are $25 or $20 if purchased ahead of time

The event's website claims that it's the biggest Halloween attraction in the Midwest. How could you miss that?

This year, the event will feature an "Escape Room," where brave souls must race against a clock and break out of a room, and a giant game of Twister, among many other spooky activities.

2) BareBones Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza presents "You Were Once Wild Here"

When: Oct. 23, 24, 28, 29, 30 and 31 at 7 p.m.

Where: Hidden Falls Regional Park, St. Paul

Admission: Suggested donation of $10 or $20 at the gate

This outdoor puppetry and performance art piece can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. It's BareBones' 23rd annual production, and this year's story line is still "a work in progress." Last year's show was full of real flames and a story of heart-sinking lies — and cockroaches.

3) ZooBoo

When: Oct. 22, 23, 29 and 30 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, 1225 Estabrook Dr., St. Paul

Admission: $6-$7

This event is intended for children younger than 8 years old and offers an alternative to neighborhood trick-or-treating. Kids are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes.

Unfortunately, most of the zoo animals go to bed around 4 p.m. every day, so the chances of seeing any beasties are slim.

4) Who Says I'm Dead? Hollywood's Greatest Ghosts! presents: "Topper"

When: Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: The Heights Theater, 3951 Central Ave. NE, Columbia Heights, Minn.

Admission: $8

"Topper" was a 1937 film hit about a couple who die in car crash, but quickly realize they are stuck between heaven and hell because they didn't do anything right or wrong while they were alive.

The couple decides that their ticket to the pearly gates will come from haunting their friend Topper and pushing him to live a little ... and buy a new sports car.

The Heights Theater sells candy and popcorn..

5) Boo-yonce: A Bey Halloween Party (21+)

When: Oct. 31 from 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Where: Honey, 205 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

Admission: $5 cover at the door

Local DJ Flip Phone is hosting an "All Bey, All Night" Halloween bash, with drag performances by Genevee Ramona Love.

6) Kick-or-Treat

When: Oct. 19-23

Where: National Sports Center, 1700 105th Ave. NE, Blaine, Minn.

Admission: Team fee of $180 to enter the tournament

This soccer tournament is open to any team of four players and a goalie. Seriously: Anyone who wants to kick it.

Costumes on the field are encouraged, but only if they don't interfere with the game or have any pointy objects on them. Team slots fill quickly, and kids must be of high school or middle school age.

7) Zombie Pub Crawl 2016 (21+)

When: Oct. 15 starting at 5 p.m.

Where: Zombie Lot, First Avenue and 5th Street, Minneapolis

Admission: $38

Thousands of the dead will rise and crowd the streets of downtown Minneapolis on Saturday night to bob their heads to the musical beats of Smash Mouth, Zomboy, Rae Sremmurd, Andrew W.K. and more.

Attendees are encouraged to pick up their event wristbands at a Twin Cities-area Ragstock store and get discounts on zombie makeup and costumes for the event.

This year, the event will include a 50-foot inflatable zombie and a strict "no staggering into traffic" rule.

8) Minnesota Monster Dash half marathon/10-mile/5K

When: Oct. 29 at 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.

Where: CHS Field, 360 N. Broadway St., St. Paul

Admission: $34.99-$69.99 to register for the race

What other opportunity will you have to run around downtown St. Paul dressed as The Flash or Batman without getting some very strange looks?

9) Pumpkin carving

When: Oct. 22 from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Bottineau Field Park, 2000 Second St. NE, Minneapolis

Admission: Free

This event is free and open the public and offers tons of decorating supplies to add some pizzazz to your pumpkin.

10) Strange Things: A Halloween Party (18+)

When: Oct. 28 starting at 9 p.m.

Where: Mill City Nights, 111 5th St. N., Minneapolis

Admission: Tickets are $10 ahead of time or $12 on the day of the show

The Stranger Things-themed party features music by DJ Fancy Restaurant and DJ Shannon Blowtorch and a $500 prize for the best costume. Extra points if you show up dressed as a Demogorgon or Steve Harrington's hair.

11) Halloween: Minnehaha Falls of Fun

When: Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Minnehaha Regional Park, 4801 S. Minnehaha Dr., Minneapolis

Admission: $3 at the door and $2 for a hayride

Roast marshmallows and stroll along the river to the falls during this family-friendly event.

There will be hayrides, a bounce house and dancing for the kiddos, to expend some of that sugar-fueled energy.

12) Shafer Corn Maze

When: Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m.; Saturdays from noon to 9 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 6:30 p.m. throughout October

Where: South of Hwy. 8, outside Shafer, Minn.

Admission: $8.50 for adults and $5.50 for kids

This year, the corn maze is barnyard-themed — and you're guaranteed to get a little lost somewhere between the cow's ear and the chicken's beak.

13) Light Up the Night and Grand Day Parade

When: Oct. 29 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Where: Main Street and Fifth Avenue, Anoka, Minn.

Admission: Free

This marks the 96th year Anoka celebrates its reputation for being "The Halloween Capitol of the World," and boasts as many lights and pumpkins as ever in two separate parades through the city's downtown.

14) First Avenue's Halloween party and costume contest

When: Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: First Avenue and 7th Street Entry, 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis

Admission: $10 in advance, $15 at the door

This Minneapolis Halloween staple will feature (CLOUD), DJ Greenery, DJ Espada, Mike 2600 and DJ Smitty to name few.

There will be $1,000 in cash prizes for the best costumes, so get creative if you want to win!

15) ValleySCARE! Halloween Haunt

When: Most Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in October

Where: Valleyfair grounds, 1 Valley Fair Dr., Shakopee, Minn.

Admission: $35 for adults

As darkness falls over the Valleyfair grounds, hundreds of monsters and murderous clowns descend on visitors.

The event's website exclaims, "Experience tight spaces, extreme situations and unforgettable encounters designed to test the boundaries of your worst fears!" Sounds like a fun time, right?

16) Ghost, Graves and Caves tours

When: Fridays and Sundays in October

Where: Wabasha Street Caves, 215 Wabasha St. S., St. Paul

Admission: $25

Take a ride around downtown St. Paul and hear about all its tales of murder and ghost-sightings. Then, tour the Wabasha Street Caves, which are said to be haunted.

17) Dead End Hayride

When: Every day in October except Mondays and Tuesdays; rides start at 7 p.m.

Where: 28186 Kettle River Blvd., Wyoming, Minn.

Admission: $16-$45

Discover what lurks deep within the woods of Pinehaven Farm, then enter the Sunny Vale Asylum at the end of the ride.

18) Lake Como pumpkin patch

When: Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to sunset throughout October

Where: Como Park, 1360 N. Lexington Pkwy., St. Paul

Admission: Wristbands for kids and adults range from $5 to $9

This event is hosted by Wheel Fun Rentals and offers food, rides and games. Kids can pick out their own pumpkin from the patch.

19) Stillwater Howl-O-Ween Party

When: Oct. 29 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Where: Stillwater Dog Park, 148 Myrtlewood Ct., Stillwater, Minn.

Admission: Free for dogs and their humans

There will be a dog costume contest, raffles, photographers and dog trainer demonstrations.

20) Victorian ghost stories at the James J. Hill House

When: Oct. 21, 22, 28, 29 and 30 after dark

Where: James J. Hill House, 240 Summit Ave., St. Paul

Admission: $12

The event features readings of ghost stories, including works by Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde, in a dimly lit room in this historic St. Paul mansion.

The program lasts an hour, and includes a tour and hot cider after the stories.

21) Mary and Her Monster exhibit

When: Evening preview party Oct. 27 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.; Discover Days event Oct. 29 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Exhibit opens Oct. 29

Where: The Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave. S., Minneapolis

Admission: $5-$10; free for kids under 4

In honor of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's writing of "Frankenstein," learn about the science that inspired her.

The preview party features illustrator, cartoonist, Duluth native and former Low bassist Zak Sally. The Discovery Days event includes STEM activities such as make-your-own-monster, a scribble-bot and light-up masks.

Costumes encouraged.

22) Mystic Lake Halloween party (18+)

When: Oct. 29 from 7 to 11 p.m.

Where: Mystic Lake Casino, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake, Minn.

Admission: Free

This event features live DJs, dancing and a costume contest with a $1,000 grand prize.

23) Military Zombie Hunt

When: Fridays and Saturdays in October, from 7 to 11 p.m.

Where: Washington County Fairgrounds, 3591 Stillwater Blvd. N., Stillwater, Minn.

Admission: $25

Shoot down zombies with paintball guns from the back of a military truck. You are given 200 rounds of "ammo" to dispel while trucks take you deeper into the zombie-ridden fairgrounds.

24) Pumpkin Nights

When: Sundays through Thursdays from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30 p.m. to midnight, beginning Oct. 14

Where: Minnesota State Fairgrounds, 1719 Como Ave., Falcon Heights, Minn.

Admission: Adults $20-$23, kids $16-$18, free for kids 3 and under

Walk a half-mile loop around the fairgrounds and see exhibits of more than 3,000 lit-up jack-o'-lanterns.

25) Day of the Dead

When: Oct. 23 from noon to 4 p.m.

Where: Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul

Admission: $6 for kids, $12 for adults

The Minnesota History Center is celebrating El Dia de los Muertos through exhibits, traditional Mexican games, art and activities in an event that's open to the public.