TRI-STATE HALLOWEEN EVENTS
Below are more than a scare, er… a score of great opportunities to get your gaggle of ghosts in the spirit of the season, some events featuring multiple days to participate. (Ongoing event and pumpkin patches / corn mazes are listed at the bottom of this page).
Dark Chambers Haunted Forest
October 6–7 13–14, 19–21, 26–29, and 31
Light Fright: 6-6:30 PM
Full Fright: 6:30 – 9:30 PM
YMCA Camp, 11764 JFK Road The haunting of Dubuque returns to the forest for the first time in almost a decade. But it’s not the Jaycees anymore. Instead, the man who brought us the fantastic frights of Dark Chambers in the Port of Dubuque is taking the fear back to where it was famously housed for so long. Pat indoors, part outdoors, and 100% frightening! Resurrecting the Haunted Forest and combining it with all the scares you love, dark turns and terrifying sights will get your heart pounding. Grab your friends and anyone else you think will help you make it out and come test your mortality inside the Chambers. The Forest is open Oct. 6–7 13–14, 19–21, 26–29, NOT on the 30th and open again for the last day on Halloween, Oct. 31. There is a light fright version of the forest from 6 to 6:30 p.m. each night for $10. Tickets are $15 for everyone for the full fright which runs 6:30–9:30 p.m. You can also get a fast pass to the front of the line for $25. Get more details at DarkChambers.com.
Witches Night Out
Thursday, October 12, 6–9 PM
@ National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
Halloween fun isn’t just for kids! The Museum Store at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium will host “Witches Night Out,” from 6-9 p.m., in the National River Center. Join for a fun-filled night of shopping, wine tasting, live music by Johnnie Walker, free appetizers, and more! Admission also includes a free goodie bag for all witches and warlocks, complimentary Witch’s Brew all night, and a 20 percent discount all evening on Museum Store purchases! 21+. $8 Members; $10 non-members. RiverMuseum.com.
RoSHOCK Monster Bash
Friday, October 13, 5:30–7:30 PM
@ Roshek Building
Join for safe trick-or-treating with the Dubuque fire, police, and rescue departments and a dance party. Don’t forget your costumes! Drawings will be held throughout the night. Free. 700 Locust St. RoshekBuilding.com.
Tykes and Tales
Saturday, October 14, 9–10 AM
@ Inspire Café
Bring your kiddos down to Inspire Café for a performance by the University of Dubuque theater department. The performers will be acting out a selection of Halloween theme stories accompanied by sound artists. Enjoy drink specials and face painting. Free. 955 Washington St. Inspire-Cafe.com.
Second Saturdays & Ghost Stories
Saturday, October 14, 1 PM
@ Dubuque Museum of Art
Join DuMA for kid friendly ghost stories with local storyteller Amy Ressler. Second Saturdays is a free and family oriented programming every second Saturday of the month. This program features culturally-diverse performing arts acts and hands-on art activities that the entire family will enjoy. Second Saturdays is sponsored by Mediacom. Free. 701 Locust St. 563-557-1851. DBQart.com.
Saturday, October 14, 7:30–10 PM
@ Inspire Café
Enjoy a night of spooky drink specials, tasty appetizers, and a photo booth. And it wouldn’t be a party without Winnie, Mary, and Sarah! View Hocus Pocus the movie. Tickets available for purchase at Inspire Cafe. $10. 955 Washington St. Inspire-Cafe.com.
smART Saturdays: Mask Making and Spooky Special Effects
Saturday, October 21, 10:30 AM–1 PM
@ Dubuque Museum of Art
Oct. 21 and 28. On Oct. 21, students will participate in Halloween mask making, encouraging unique ideas and featuring instruction on creative techniques and out-of-the-box materials. On Oct. 28, attendees will return to embellish their costumes and ideas using spooky make-up and special FX, with instructions on easy and inexpensive ways to make prosthetic and other unique costume effects. Examples and materials demonstrations will be provided. Come dressed to get messy! Ages 13-16. $20 per attendee ($10 members) plus $5 materials charge (Sign up is for BOTH October sessions, this is a two-part commitment!) 701 Locust St. 563-557-1851. DBQart.com.
Hazel’s Halloween Birthday
Saturday, October 21, 11 AM & 2 PM
@ Hazel Green Opera House (Hazel Green ,WI)
Oct. 21 and 28 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Oct. 22 and 29 at 2 p.m. When Witch Hazel Green’s little black cat goes missing, she learns that sometimes a boost of confidence from family and friends is all the magic you need. This marionette production features her big green son Frankie and a host of your favorite characters, including the Six Dancing Witches, a ghost, a skeleton, Scarecrow Sally and Hazel’s nemesis, the goblin who lives in the lead mines. (Last seen in “The Lead Miner’s Daughter.”) The show is about 50 minutes long. Photos and Q and A after each performance. $5 Adults; $4 children 12 and younger. 608-732-7129. hazelgreenoperahouse.blogspot.com.
Safe Trick-or-Treat at Hy-Vee
Saturday, October 21, 1–3 PM
@ Dubuque Hy-Vee Locations
Take part in coloring, cookie decorating, mini pumpkin decorating and more! Then you can trick or treat all around the store. Costumes are encouraged but not required. Free.
An Evening with Edgar Allen Poe
Saturday, October 21, 6–7:30 PM
@ Inspire Café
Inspire Café and the University of Dubuque theater department present: An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe. Featuring a staged reading of selected stories by Edgar Allan Poe. The performance will feature sound artists as well, and is sure to be the perfect way to get yourself and your friends into the Halloween spirit. Free. 955 Washington St. Inspire-Cafe.com.
18th Annual Hills and Dales Halloween Harvest
Saturday, October 21, 4–6 PM
@ Kennedy Mall (555 JFK Rd)
Head to Kennedy Mall for the 18th Annual Hills & Dales Halloween Harvest on Saturday, Oct. 21. Receive a goody bag full of treats, sign up to win several door prizes, come dressed to win costume contest prizes and groove at the dance party! The event is a fun, family friendly night with a “Ghoulish Games Area”, and dancing with music by Premier Entertainment.
Tickets are $5 per child and can be purchased at the door the night of the event. All proceeds support Hills & Dales’ mission of building meaningful lives for individuals with disabilities by offering services that support the whole person and enhance community inclusion. For more information, visit HillsDales.org.
JDIFF Halloween: A Nightmare on Airport Road
Saturday, October 21, 8 PM–12:30 AM
@ Dubuque Jet Center Hanger (11000 Airport Rd)
The Julien Dubuque International Film Festival is throwing an ‘80s horror theme Halloween party you won’t want to miss. A haunted maze will serve as one of the entrances for those who want to up the scare factor! Enjoy music, a costume contest with prizes, and more. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at JulienFilmFest.com. For $10 extra, JDIFF will reserve a driver to take you home (max of four people per reservation). For more information, visit JulienFilmFest.com.
Movie Night: A Ghost Story
Wednesday, October 25, 6 PM
@ Carnegie-Stout Public Library
Starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, A Ghost Story (2017) is a drama about a recently deceased, white-sheeted ghost who returns to his suburban home to try to reconnect with his grieving wife. The movie is 1 hour 32 minutes long and is rated R for brief language and a disturbing image. Closed captioning or subtitles will be turned on. Adults only. Free. 563-589-4225. dubuque.lib.ia.us.
Trunk or Treat
Thursday, October 26, 6-8:30 PM
@ Dubuque Co. Fairgrounds
People decorate and gather their cars in the large parking lot to pass out candy and goodies from their trunks. This family event will have kettle corn, food, games, live music, and more. $1. 14569 Old Highway Rd. 563-588-1406. DBQfair.com.
Rocky Horror Picture Show Screening
Midnight @ Mindframe Theaters
October 27 and 28
The all-time cult classic Halloween favorite returns to the big screen. Come in costume if you dare! Prop bags available for purchase. If assembling your own bag, include: confetti popper (instead of rice), newspaper, water pistol, light/glow strip, rubber gloves, noisemakers, confetti, toilet paper, cardboard toast, party hat, bell, and cards. Please note: real food is not allowed. Rated R. 555 JFK Rd. MindframeTheaters.com.
Terror At the Grand Opera House
Light Fright @ 6–7:30 PM
Full Fright @ 8 PM–11 PM
Light Fright @ 6–7:30 PM
Full Fright @ 8 PM–10 PM
Grand Opera House (135 W 8th St)
For decades there have been rumors that the oldest surviving theater in the City of Dubuque, The Grand Opera House, is haunted. No one is sure what lurks in the dark corners and back hallways, but now it’s your turn to explore the dark recesses of the ancient theater.
After a wildly successful and highly praised debut in 2016, Terror at the Grand returns with 4 floors worth of fear inspired scenes. Beware the hand that touches your shoulder or the voice that whispers in your ear. It may be one of our cast members or it may be one of our friends from beyond.
This walk through haunted theater experience follows an all new route; winding through the theater, stage and back hallways featuring scenes to put your senses on edge.
$5 Light Fright is intended for young children and those who prefer more a fun and less scary experience. $10 Full Fright is intended for those who want the full “Haunted House” experience. Tickets may be purchased at the door. For more information, visit TheGrandOperaHouse.com or call 563-588-1305. n
Friday, October 27, 6–8 PM
@ Swiss Valley Park
All ages are welcome for a night of nature. Starting at Swiss Valley Park Green Ash Pavilion, enjoy a non-scary hike through the park along with games, crafts and a campfire! Hikes leave every 15 minutes. Registration is required as space is limited. $3. secure.getmeregistered.com/HalloweenHike 563-556-6745.
Asbury Halloween Parade
Friday, October 27, 7 PM
@ Spring Green Dr, Asbury, IA
The Asbury Halloween Parade line-up begins at Lord of Life Church (corner of Hales Mill Rd and Spring Green Dr) and ends at the Asbury Eagles Club (across from Dupaco). Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Anyone interested in participating in the parade can contact Peggy at the Asbury City Hall at 563-556-7106 or email@example.com.
Trick or Treat @ Farmers’ Market
Saturday, October 28, 9–11 AM
@ Dubuque Farmers’ Market
Bring the kids with or without costumes for activities and treats from our local farmers and crafters. Grab your map of participating vendors at the Kids @ Market booth and complete the Halloween hunt to enter to win a prize! Bags will be provided to the first 50 kids.
Dia de Loa Muertos
Saturday, October 28, 10 AM–Noon
@ Multicultural Family Center
Come celebrate Dia de Loa Muertos (Day of the Dead)! This fun celebration, hosted by Clarke University Spanish studnets, will feature a brief presentation, light refreshments, an Dia de Loa Muertos themed arts and crafts! Dia de Loa Muertos is celebrated in various regions of Latin America (particularly Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and United States) and focused on gatherings to remember friends and family memeber who have died. All ages welcome! Pre-registration is required. Free. 1157 Central Ave. Cityofdubuque.org/recreation.
Saturday, October 28, 10 AM–2 PM
@ Creative Adventure Lab
Paint or carve a pumpkin, design your own trick-or-treat bag, and enjoy treats on us during Creative Adventure Lab’s Halloween Celebration! Purchase your ticket in advance to reserve your spot today. $20 per child; $15 per child for members (adults free). 210 Jones St. 563-607-5366. advntr.org.
Galena Halloween Parade and Festival
Saturday, October 28
Hot Air Balloon Lift @ 7:30 AM
Halloween Canine Contest @ 11 AM–1 PM
Kid’s Festival @ 1–4 PM
Parade @ 6:30 PM
Downtown Galena, IL
This marks the 39th year that the Galena Area Chamber of Commerce will host its annual, nearly two-hour long Halloween parade. The popular event features spectacular floats, local marching bands, candy galore, and many costumed participants. Hot air balloon baskets will light up Main Street as they make their way through the parade.
Start the day at the Palace Campground and watch the hot air balloons take off. The Kid’s Festival is held at the Galena Middle School Gymnasium for free. The Canine Contest also includes a dog walk, pet photos, refreshments, and more. The parade kicks off at 6:30 p.m. starting on Franklin St. and running south on Main St. ending at the flood gates.
Shuttle service starts at 2 p.m. and runs through 6:15 p.m. from the Galena Wal-Mart parking lot. Return shuttles run until 10 p.m. Free but donations are accepted. For more information, visit VisitGalena.org or call 815-777-9050.
Sweet Treats on Main
Saturday, October 28, 11 AM–2 PM
@ Main St in Platteville, WI
Head to Platteville for Sweet Treats on Main from. Free train rides will be available for your trick-or-treaters (weather permitting).
Sunday, October 29, 10 AM–3 PM
@ Diamond Jo Casino
Join Tri-State Vendor Events for a fun indoor Trick or Treat with the kids and do some shopping while you are there! Bring a bag for your children to go trick-or-treating with vendors and crafters. Bid on silent auction items that benefit a local community organization. Free.
Sunday, October 29, 3 PM
@ Theisen’s Home Farm Auto (2900 Dodge St)
The DOG-O-WEEN Contest is hosted by Theisen’s of Dubuque to raise funds for the Dubuque Humane Society and is done in conjunction with the Humane Society. There will be a $10 entry fee per dog, and all money collected will be donated to the Dubuque Humane Society. Registration begins at 2 p.m. and the contests begin at 3 p.m. that day at Theisen’s of Dubuque. A panel of judges will evaluate each dog’s costume. Prizes will be awarded for two categories: dog only and combo (dog and person(s)). For official contest rules, visit the Dubuque Theisen’s Store.
Mad Scientist Party & Trick-or-Treat Event
Sunday, October 29, 4–6 PM
@ National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (350 E 3rd St)
The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium will be celebrating its 30th annual Mad Scientist Party & Trick-or-Treat event at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium on Sunday, Oct. 29.
The Mississippi River Discovery Center and Fred W. Woodward Riverboat Museum will be turned into a multi-point science lab and trick-or-treat space for kids. Over a dozen fun and engaging science stations will be set up throughout the Museum & Aquarium. All activities will be held indoors, costumes are encouraged, and snacks and beverages will be available for purchase. The space is completely wheel chair and stroller accessible.
The Mad Scientist Party & Trick-or-Treat event provides an indoor, safe, non-scary, family-fun experience for children 12-years-old and younger. All children must be accompanied by an adult. The event costs $5 per person ages 3 and older and $4 for members (a 20% discount); regular Museum & Aquarium admission charges do not apply.
The science stations and experiments will be staffed by Museum & Aquarium education staff as well as students and educators from the Clarke University Education Department and Western Dubuque Community High School.
For more information, visit RiverMuseum.com or call 563-557-9545. n[end]
YMCA Halloween Parade
Monday, October 30, 6:30 PM
@ Main Street, Downtown Dubuque
Dubuque Ghosts and goblins of all ages will converge once again for perhaps the most popular parade of the year in Dubuque. Line up begins promptly at 5:30 p.m. at Jackson Park and the parade begins at 6:30 p.m. Scores of groups come out in full costumed madness for a super-fun hour in the streets of Dubuque. Prizes will be awarded to organizational floats, business floats and walking groups. 563-556-3371. DubuqueY.org.
Trick or Treat at Shake Rag Alley
Monday, October 31, 5-7 PM
@ Shake Rag Alley (Mineral Point, WI)
If you are a kid or want to act like a kid…put on your wildest costume and come to Shake Rag Alley after the Mineral Point Halloween Parade. Meet friendly (not scary) costumed characters who will be passing out Halloween treats at each of the Shake Rag historic buildings. This Mineral Point tradition is enjoyable for the whole family and a way to meet so many other free spirits and check out their wacky get-ups. Free. ShakeRagAlley.com.
ONGOING HALLOWEEN EVENTS
GRIPS Ghost Hunt
Tuesdays and Thursdays Now through October 26
7 PM @ Linwood Cemetery
Walk with a paranormal group GRIPS (Great River Investigative Paranormal Society) as they investigate history and people of Dubuque’s past. GRIPS will take people along the beautiful and peaceful paths to various graves with unique histories and stories to be told. Paranormal investigative equipment will be used to experience the fun and thrill of ghost hunting. Each walk lasts approximately two hours. All attendees must be 10 years of age or older. $10. 563-213-9043. GRIPSGhostHunt.com.
Great River Reapers Home Haunt
Now through October 31
Sunday–Thursday: Until 10 PM Friday and Saturday: Until 11 PM
2750 Burden St
Walk through the free Great River Reapers’ outdoor haunt, featuring a graveyard, 16 spiders on the roof, animated figures, horse drawn hearse and much more. In conjunction with the haunt, they do a food drive for the Dubuque Food Pantry and accept cash donations for The Wounded Warrior Projects. They draw 50 to 100 people a night and about 800 trick-or-treaters on Halloween. Bring the little ones during daylight hours.
Haunted Galena Ghost Tours
Fridays and Saturdays Now through October 31
8 PM @ Big Bill’s Sandwich and Coffee Shop (Galena, IL)
The charm of old Galena entices you, the darkness of night descends, the shadows envelop all. Then the stories and tales begin, returning you to a feeling you had forgotten, from a place long ago. Rain or shine. $18 Adults; $10 children 12 and under. 301 N. Main St. 815-990-7203. HauntedGalenaTourCompany.com.
TRI-STATE PUMPKIN PATCHES
Vesperman Farms Corn Maze and More
Open Daily through Fall Vesperman Farms (8149 Stage Rd, Lancaster, WI)
Vesperman Farms boasts one of the biggest and most challenging corn mazes in the Midwest. Originally just a corn maze and pumpkins, the farm now boasts a trebuchet, rubber duck races, farm animals, climbing tires, an air cannon, and the snack barn with the caramel apples and the apple cider doughnuts.
Enjoy Kyle’s 100-foot zip-line, giving kids of all ages the excitement of flying down the hill (not too fast) inches off the ground. Fast, easy and fun! But for many, it’s the corn maze that brings them in droves. Each year a completely new and creative design is made into a-maze-ing images filled with mind-bending twists and turns.
Fall is pumpkin time, and Vesperman Farms has them by the wagonload. The pumpkin air cannon, which we got to see in action, shoots a pumpkin a quarter mile! There is also a real trebuchet (catapult) at the farm that will take a 20–25 pound pumpkin and chuck it up to 600 feet. Plus so many more fun things to focus on for kids and families.
The farm is open seven days a week, Monday–Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $8 for everyone ages 5 and up and free for kids under 5. Call 608-723-2542 for group rates and special times by appointment like school tours!
Visit VespermanFarms.com for more details on everything, and follow them on Facebook. From Dubuque, take HWY 151 N. to Dickeyville, turn on to HWY 61 to Lancaster. Turn left on Stage Rd. (there will be signs) and go two miles. Look for the big red “barn” on the right… and tell ‘em 365ink sent ya! n[end]
Tri-State Market & May Family Pumpkin Barn
Fridays through Mondays: Now Through October 30
9 AM–6 PM @ 1887 Hwy 35, East Dubuque, IL
The Tri-State Market & Pumpkin Barn is an open-air market featuring homemade caramel apples, pumpkins, bounce house, haunted house, corn maze, hay rides, farm animals, food and more! Find fun fall decorations including gourds, wreaths, crafts and much more. 815-747-6832 .
Schuster’s Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze
Saturdays and Sundays: Now Through October 31
10 AM–5 PM @ 7541 Schueller Heights Rd
In addition to the corn maze and pumpkin patch, Schuster’s also features a smaller free kids maze, bounce house, and pumpkin cannon! Admission is free. Kid’s corn maze is free. Adult corn maze, wagon rides, pumpkins, and concessions available for purchase.
Papa’s Pumpkin Patch
Now through October 31
10 AM–5 PM @ 16679 360th Ave., Bellevue, IA
Papa’s Pumpkin patch features free wagon and barrel rides, bat cave, petting zoo, and bounce houses for the kids. Plus you can pick out your own pumpkins, gourds, squash and pie pumpkins, plus other goodies are available for purchase. 563-872-4728.