When Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as All Saints Day in the 8th century to honor fallen saints and martyrs, he probably didn’t envision the night before—dubbed All Hallow’s Eve—blossoming into the raucous, indulgent and oftentimes scandalous celebration we know and love today as Halloween.
But truth be told, the pope laid the groundwork for one of my favorite holidays and for that I am forever grateful, especially since Halloween isn’t just a one-day celebration anymore. There are some great events—pumpkin fests, pub crawls and 5Ks—happening throughout October that make for a scary good time.
If you're looking for some great places to trick or treat, read Where to Trick or Treat this Halloween.
BRING THE KIDS
October 17-18 (10 a.m.-4 p.m.)
Two years ago I was a polar bear for Halloween and I couldn’t help but think to myself, “What would a bear think about my costume?” Would it feel insulted or flattered?
Zoo Boo is your chance to put on your best costume—it doesn’t have to be animal-related, but coming in costume gets you $2 off general admission—and discover some amazing, family-friendly exhibits.
October 10, 7-10 p.m.
More like the Lantern FUN 5K! This nighttime jaunt around Magnuson Park is a great way to burn some calories before over-indulging in candy during the weeks leading up to Halloween. Tickets get you a commemorative 2015 race bib, an official moisture-wicking race shirt, glow gear, entrance to the after-party and your very own LED lantern that you can re-gift for Christmas two months later.
October 2-31 (Fridays-Sundays)
If clinging to dear life while upside down on a roller coaster doesn’t give you a scare, visit Fright Fest’s two haunted houses. Admission to the event also grants you access to more than 20 amusement rides and —a scare-free zone with a giant inflatable slide, face-painting, photo booths and more for kids 12 and younger.
Days and times vary
This event, hosted by Thomas Family Farm, combines the thrill of fending off an army of evil zombies without the actual threat of being eaten alive. Grab a paint gun and fire away at the approaching undead—and very brave (unarmed) volunteers.
October 24 (9:30 a.m.)-October 25 (3 p.m.)
Free with zoo admission
You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a hippo devour a pumpkin. Discover a repertoire of animal behavior at this family-friendly event as hippos, bears, elephants, monkeys, and other animals crunch, smash or stomp on pumpkins.
October 31, 4-8 p.m.
This fourth annual indoor event is fun for children (ages 10 and younger) and a welcome respite for parents who normally endure freezing temperatures following their tykes around town for some trick-or-treating. It is a safe, warm and cozy opportunity for kids to dress up and enjoy the Halloween experience, while probably learning a thing or two as well.
October 31, 10 a.m.
Don’t let the name fool you, there’s nothing to be afraid of at this 5K fun run and 4K walk to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. There’s also a free kids dash for children 12 and younger.
October 24, 3 p.m.
This is an annual worldwide simultaneous dance of Michael Jackson's Thriller for a world record and charity. Need we say more?
Okay, maybe a little more. This year donations go to the Sister Island Project for supporting the poverty-stricken community of Cruz Verde in the Dominican Republic, as well as the Community Health Fund that serves community members in the region of the Dominican Republic.
October 23-25, 30-31
Times Vary, $24 kids, $39 adult
If stepping off a suspension bridge and ziplining to some unknown destination in the dark sounds like a fun way to spend your Halloween, you're way more brave than I am.
LEAVE THE KIDS AT HOME
October 17, 9 p.m.-1 a.m.
$20 before September 30, $25 after September 30
Hopefully your actual prom wasn’t a nightmare. Even if it was, don’t miss your chance to relive it with , ripped jeans and Gin Blossoms CDs in a Halloween-themed atmosphere. There’s a Scream-inspired interactive game and a Fashionably Undead Yearbook souvenir to take home, not to mention a lot of booze.
Some say black cats are bad luck. I say, who cares? And let’s party. At the second annual Black Cat Bash, located at Studio Seven in , there will be music, drinks, food and prizes for outstanding costumes. Dante's Inferno Dogs, No Bones About It, and Hot Revolution Donuts will satisfy your hunger after a night of boogying down on the dance floor.
October 24 (noon)
If there is a more excitement-inducing combination of words than “Halloween” and “Pub Crawl” then I haven’t heard them. More than 500 people are expected to participate in this fifth annual bar hop, a 12-hour drink-a-thon—although participants are encouraged to pace themselves, eat a hearty meal and plan rides home ahead of time—around various Seattle neighborhoods.
October 30, 7 p.m.
$45 before October 29, $60 day of event
Burn some calories and dance the night away at this festive Halloween celebration. Run or walk the 5K in costume and then party it up at the dance party in the Green Lake Community Center.
October 31, 8 p.m.
$39 general admission
Get your pulse pumping with more than 2,000 party-goers at Seattle’s largest Halloween bash. DJ (not his real name) supplies the beats as costumed Seattleites dance the night away. There’s also a $1,000 prize for the best costume so bring your A-game.